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What Luther Says

A Lutheran Layman's Response To International Women's Day 2014

Do you know what today is?

Apparently, today is "International Women's Day 2014" and I had no idea! But, then again, I'm a "male chauvinist" and a "Bible-believing neanderthal" who many believe "is against women" simply because I'm a Christian and that makes me "bigoted" since they also believe that God (or St. Paul, at the very least) was bigoted too.

Funny. That's not what my Bible says. Quite the opposite. The Word of God tells me we are all in the same boat here (Psalm 51:5; Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34).

For that matter, this prevailing wisdom of the politically correct masses is not what history testifies too either. History clearly demonstrates that Christianity has done more for so-called "Women's Rights" than any other religion to ever exist.

My gosh, just consider how women were treated and viewed in the various times and places when and where various Books and Epistles we find in the Bible were written and then prayerfully consider how women are portrayed to us through those writings, how some are positioned as key individuals in some accounts, and how they are all treated by Jesus Christ Himself even.

But all of that doesn't matter I'm told. I'm still a "narrow-minded man" and so my biology and genetics makes me predisposed to be that way. Hmmm...that's ironic, isn't it? How non-believers always want to talk about how we're all "born this way" -- just don't try to point out how the "I Was Born This Way!" mantra is actually proof positive that what the Bible tells us about being born sinners is true (Psalm 51:5; Genesis 8:21; Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:12; Ephesians 2:3).

Back to today's subject matter. I learned that the first International Women's Day was held in 1911 and that it's celebrated annually on March 8th with thousands of events across the world.

In fact, it was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19th, 1911 where more than 1 million men and women attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.

The United Nations even has its own official theme each year. Their theme for 2014 is "Equality For Women Is Progress For All" although I'm not sure if the same theme will be presented to the Islamic and Muslim communities since it wouldn't be "politically correct" to insinuate that the "Religion of Peace" is still discriminating and persecuting women.

The good news is that Google has decided to do their part by commemorating things (as they often do) with a new "Google Doodle" and video too. Here it is...

International Women's Day 2014: Google Doodle Compiles Celebratory Video

Google has marked International Women’s Day with an animated Doodle celebrating women from across the world. International Women's Day 2014 has the theme 'inspiring change' and celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing world attention on areas that still need further action.

Google's Doodle marks the day by showing over 100 women from all corners of the globe in a 80 second video. Some of the women featured include prominent figures such as Malala Yousafzai and - bizarrely - children's character Dora the Explorer, who all say "Happy International Women's Day" in various languages.

The video, compiled by footage sent in, also features music by Belgian group Zap Mama.

The doodle shows the Venus symbol in Google's trademark colours and uses the video to "provide a glimpse of what some women across the world are doing", Ryan Germick, Google Doodle's team leader told The Telegraph.

"International Women's Day is a really hard topic," he said. "How do you summarise what women represent in a graphic?"

"A 20-part DVD wouldn't have scratched the surface. We decided with the Doodle format we could probably do a fun video."

Did you catch that? Popular female fictional characters -- like cartoons and muppets -- are given a voice today, but don't even think about giving Christian women a voice to chime in!

All of this reminded me of a classic video called "The All-Male Panel: A Play In Three Acts" by none other than The Lutheran Satire YouTube Channel. It's only 4-minutes long so do be sure to check it out, because it's so appropriate to this topic.

Of course, I hope it also goes without saying that the "Politics of Semantics" is at play here just like it always is. I mean, who in their right mind would willingly choose to be against anyone's "rights" to do anything, especially if it means going against the majority opinion?

Naturally, the "Old Adam" in us thinks that's a travesty and he will always have something to say about that since he's always trying to get us to commit and justify our sins (in this case, the sin of pride and the sin of silence when it comes to proclaiming the truth).

Let's give the "Women's Rights Movement" a confession of faith...from Christian women!
There's more on this subject by clicking here if you want to go even deeper with this commentary and Bible study today.

For now, I'm reminded of some passages of Scripture.

Romans 1:16-32 (ESV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,e as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

1 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)
For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

First, let's look at 1 Timothy 2:13. Typically, it's the previous verse (1 Timothy 2:12) that gets all the attention these days, but I wanted to highlight this one in particular, because it clearly and simply teaches us that God ordained and established order and that God ordained the roles of men and women at creation.

This does not mean that men are more important than women (Ephesians 5:22-33), but that God established different callings for them. The relationship between husbands and wives (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23-24), set in place before the fall into sin, remains unchanged today.

Thus, the commands and prohibitions concerning men and women -- equal sinners in God's eyes I might add -- in this passage are not merely reflections of 1st Century Jewish culture or Paul's personal opinions. Paul roots the practices of the Church in God's created order.

As for the passage from Romans 1, I was going to talk about the whole "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" in Romans 1:25 (how it's the essence of idolatry which we see with the idolatry of womanhood in today's story), but I would just like to jump to the heart of what's being said there instead of trying to connect it to today's specific topic.

In short, we love to condemn the sins of others. Yes, it is the sin of pride that unmasks itself in this "Women's Rights Movement" all the time. We might not have committed some of the acts that Paul condemns here, but we all have sinned. Again, men and women are equal in that regard.

We have exchanged God's truth for human foolishness. Seeing sin, we ought not respond defensively, but in confession. We know God's response to sin: He sent His Son to die for sinners.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner! Grant me sincere confession and compassion for other sinners. Amen.

Let us pray for those whose identity is as a woman first and foremost in this life rather than as a child of God in Christ Jesus.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, never mind with the whole "I Am Woman! Hear Me Roar!" nonsense and, instead, meditate on all the "I am the LORD" verses (like Isaiah 48:17 and John 14:6 to name a couple) and the fact that God is sovereign, not man (or woman for that matter).

We are to be about a Theology of The Cross and not a Theology of Glory for ourselves.

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a Lutheran-In-Name-Only at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that perhaps wouldn't be too big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in interpreting a specific portion of Scripture exegetically, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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