Corporately Deceived

Last night after I finished writing in my blog, I tried to find my cell phone and go to bed. But my cell phone was nowhere to be found. So I tried to call it from the house phone and some Chinese guy answered the phone. I was lucky enough to leave it in a taxi on the way home from the leaders meeting. He was nice enough to offer to bring it back to the house, though he was smart enough to remind me that he expected to receive a finder’s fee. When you’re as brainless as me, you have to figure this kind of stupid tax into your budget. But I managed to get my phone back for a few bucks. 

After our Bible study on Saturday, a girl asked me about the role of women in the church. She’s been reading some books that attack the Bible and say that it portrays God as a woman-hater. She’s one of our first friends here and one of the first that became a Christian. This is becoming a big roadblock for her. She doesn’t like the fact that the Bible says that women shouldn’t preach, should submit to their husbands, etc. She’s a pretty ambitious university student who works very hard and really wants to get ahead in an extremely male-driven business world. She’s trying to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt, but some of these books attack pretty hard. 

It’s unreal some of the arguments that the book makes. I almost didn’t know what she was talking about. She told me that some guy in the Bible gave his wife to be abused to protect himself, then cut her up into pieces. Then I realized that she was talking about the beginning of Israel‘s civil war at the end of Judges. What in the world! That’s like saying that God is for selling your brother into slavery because that’s what Joseph’s brothers did! That’s what you get to do in a closed-system society – make up junk. I explained that, and I think she felt more than a little relieved. After all, submitting to your husband is one thing, getting chopped up into pieces is a different story.  

So she wants to know what God expects of her, what the role of women in the church is, why she has to submit to her husband, etc. She asked if I can send her the passages of the Bible she ought to read. Obviously, there will be some surprises that she will like, but there’ll be plenty she won’t like. This is one of those questions we’re going to have to specialize in answering. It will take illustration, exemplification, and repetition to drive this truth home. After all, most of the churches here are led by women and attended by women. And we’re dealing with university students. These girls have made it into higher education, and they’re counting on it to free them from the bondage they feel the women of their parents’ generation lived under. And “God Is A Girl” is a mega-hit song here right now. 

What I am really finding to be so remarkable is the limited scope of the devil’s deception. When he finds something that works, he’ll put millions of people under the same yoke. If it’ll poison one person, he’ll aerosolize it and put it in the ventilation system to infect everyone. What’s exciting about this is that if God can lead us to a presentation of the truth that will undo this deception, the same presentation can inoculate tons of other people, as well. There’s lots of examples of specific cultural or religious groups that, when their objections to the Gospel are answered in a certain way, have responded. That’s why I’m so anxious to take note of the all the major groupings of reservations, doubts, and roadblocks that these students have to receiving the Gospel. And we have to become specialists at defusing these strangely unvarying bombs.

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