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This is the first of a two-part series on femininity and sexuality.  Our current cultural beliefs are in direct opposition to the truths determined by our Creator.  These articles will explore the common cultural beliefs and Biblical truths regarding these two topics.

Femininity
"Feminism is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we are all affected by it.  So, what exactly is feminism... and has [its] effect been good or bad -- or both?" ("Biblical Femininity in a Feminist World", Cindy Garland, Bob Jones University).

To begin with, feminism is a striving toward equality with men in a few important, specific statuses; namely legal, vocational, and political.  This, however, is not a modern movement; it has existed since the Fall, recorded in Genesis 3.  More recently, there is evidence which supports that the city of Corinth during the time of the Apostles was feminist in its culture and attitude.  Still more recently, in a letter from First Lady Elizabeth Adams to her husband, President John Adams, Mrs. Adams implores her husband to "remember the ladies" and not to forget the sex when making laws regarding man's liberties (History.com).

In a world historically governed by male headship and patriarchy, are all the strivings for equality with men evil?  Not all of them.  We will see some good that has come out of the recent waves of feminism in America.

In 1963, Betty Ferdan published a book entitled The Feminine Fasique.  This book was counter-cultural in that it supported the idea of women finding personal fulfillment outside of their traditional roles, such as wife and mother.  Ferdan is credited by some as sparking what is called "Second Wave Feminism", a wave of women's rights activists chiefly riding on the curtails of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.  Second Wave Feminism fought chiefly for "reproductive rights".  In 1960, for instance, the FDA approved the first oral form of birth control, giving women the "right" to a more effective way to control pregnancy.  Followed in 1973 with the legalization of abortion, feminism has changed the world as we know it.

"Third Wave Feminism" began in the 1990s when outcry surrounding Anita Hill invigorated activists.  Hill, in short, made accusations against Clarence Thomas, a judge who had been appointed by President George H.W. Bush.  At his confirmation hearing, Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment.  Even after a lie-detector test, Thomas was adamant of his innocence.  In spite of all the controversy, Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.  To be sure, activists were outraged that Thomas was still confirmed and that a woman's testimony was not taken seriously.

Third Wave Feminism brought about three important reforms in our cultural understanding of femininity.  First, it brought about intersectionality, which means all oppressed groups are valued.  In other words, unity developed among all those who viewed themselves as oppressed.

Secondly, social constructs were deconstructed.  For instance, gender was argued to be a social construct, which means, if it is constructed only by society, then it can be changed.  This theory influenced gender role discussions and even sexuality discussions.  If gender is only a social construct, then it is fluid; meaning, it can be changed.

Thirdly, patriarchy was challenged, meaning that the traditional valuing of masculinity over femininity was reversed.

While not all of these outcomes are bad, there are four specific outcomes that are bad.  First, more and more women are instigating divorce today.  Case in point: A recent politician told all her female supporters to "divorce their [conservative] husbands."  Divorce, except under circumstances outlined in Scripture, is not right.

Secondly, sexual promiscuity has been a growing sin, in large part due to the "reproductive rights" of women.  When the consequences of sin can be minimized, it doesn't seem like such a big deal.  However, sin is direct rebellion against God's authority - which is a big deal.

Thirdly, there has been a push to promote tough women and stupid men.  Recent TV shows are prime examples of this.  Women are portrayed as tough, heroes, and, in many cases, even masculine.  Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as weak, stupid, and foolish.  Neither portrayal is helpful.

Lastly, gender fluidity has arisen as a negative outcome of the modern feminist movements.  If society creates gender roles and sexual orientation, then society can be changed, thus changing societal constructions.  This, however, is relativism at its core.  It is a direct affront to the absolute truth of God.

Sexuality
One's view of sexuality depends chiefly upon one's view of God and His created, natural order.  One man in particular, Matthew Vines (author of the book God and The Gay Christian), has been training men and women - and, according to him, all other sorts of sexual orientations - how to use the Bible to support homosexuality.  Vines operates from a distinct worldview.

James DeYoung says, "Every person comes to the matter of homosexuality with an established opinion, which has been shaped by a worldview."  How one views creation and what one understands about the Creator is, therefore, worldview shaping.  For the Christian, "what God has revealed about reality, truth, and ethics is authoritative" (DeYoung).

Vines, however, has done something contrary to the authoritative Word; he has made huge interpretative errors, based on his faulty worldview.  Hermeneutically, Vines relies on the historic-grammatical method to interpret the Bible.  This method places human folly and current scientific "discoveries" above the inerrant truth of God.

For instance, Vines would agree that the story of creation does, indeed, show that males and females were created; however, he would also add that this is historically understood in this context.  He would argue scientific advances today show that there are more than two types of sexes, something the writers didn't know at the time Genesis was written.

People who practice these hermeneutic errors are called Revisionists.  Revisionists also claim that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of the sin of homosexuality; instead, they were destroyed for the sins of violence and inhospitality.  They come to this deduction from an obscure passage in Ezekiel 16:49-50.  In reality, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins.  All sin is an abomination against the holy God of Heaven.  Jesus said that it would be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgement than those who reject Christ (Matthew 10:15).  Still, Sodom and Gomorrah were known for their sin of homosexuality (Genesis 19).  Jude 7 speaks of homosexuality as "going after strange (unnatural) flesh".

In truth, homosexual desire and behavior are consequences of rejecting God, are considered by God to be sin, and are contrary to God's original design.  No one is born gay; we are all born male or female.  It is our sinful passions that lead to death.

In our culture's worldview, sex is on a fluid scale, meaning that it can change.  This is, of course, understanding sex as a social, relative construct and not as the biological, absolute truth that it is.

Conclusion
Jeremiah teaches us about the depravity of man: "The heart is deceitfully wicked and desperately sick; who can understand it?" (17:9).  Sinful desires arise from our own hearts, and we "are lead away and enticed by our own desires" (James 1:14).  All truth created by mankind is false and not able to be trusted.  (God's absolute truth will be explored in the next post in more detail.)  In short, sexuality is not a social construct.  One is born either a male or a female, and certainly there are distinctions between the two sexes.  It worries me that there is an entire generation growing up before us who are not even aware of the biological, natural truth of God!  At the same time, Christians ought to prepare to reach this next generation with the truth of God and His Gospel!


"Be killing sin, or it will be killing you!" (John Owen).