Monday, April 23, 2007

Crowning Glory of the Creation of God

"Who am I? Secular humanism says I am the result of random processes. Christian theism says I am the crowning glory of the Creation of God. Christian theism says He knit me together in my mother's womb. Christian theism says I am no accident, I am no result of random processes. ...whether I am tall and beautiful or whether I am small and not-so-handsome, whether my body functions perfectly or I am deformed severely, I am the crowning glory of the Creation of God, and as a result I have inherent dignity, and inherent worth and inherent value. "
-Voddie Baucham

I am sure there were many pearls of wisdom at this past year's Desiring God conference, but the message titled The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Post-Modern World by Voddie Baucham hit home with me.

Don't let the title throw you; it's a very understandable yet profound message concerning the conflict between Christian and humanist worldviews. Click here to download the free mp3 graciously provided by Desiring God.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ignition

What turns a quirky fashion statement into a fad? And what transforms a fad into something timeless? What causes a book to reach the bestseller’s list, while other equally well-written books gather dust on library shelves? From feminism to yoga, activities and ideals once held only by fringe radicals have become the norm. We all would like to know: Why and how?

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, attempts to answer these questions. Gladwell writes of the Hush Puppies, once a little-known shoe brand that inexplicably gained worldwide recognition:

In the case of the Hush Puppies, the great mystery is how those shoes went from something worn by a few fashion-forward downtown Manhattan hipsters to being sold in malls across the country. What was the connection between the East Village and Middle America? The Law of the Few says the answer is that one of these exceptional people found out about the trend, and through social connections and energy and enthusiasm and personality spread the word about Hush Puppies.

What caused the Hush Puppy fad? According to Gladwell, it was surprisingly simple: a small number of people actively spread the word.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, a new wave of feminism swept over America. This wasn’t your grandmother’s “Votes for Women” campaign. This movement threw orthodoxy out the window. Men were labeled “oppressors” and feminism became known as the “women’s liberation movement.” The movement redefined womanhood and pushed Biblical perspective into the shadows. It was unconventional and extreme--and it transformed North America.

Yet, like the Hush Puppies’ rise to stardom, the feminist movement’s success was not due to political action or protest marches. Its success can be traced to a group of people who simply spread the word.

In 1968, film editor and feminist Kathie Sarachild brought a new strategy to light. The best way to promote feminism, she found, was to form “consciousness-raising groups.” Small groups women would gather together for annual meetings in which they would each share experiences of “oppression” and discuss common difficulties they faced. One scholar noted, “Feminists agreed that consciousness-raising, or ‘speaking bitterness,’ was the most potent, effective tool in the mobilization of the feminist movement.” (Mary Kassian, The Feminist Mistake)

This should be no surprise. In Proverbs 12:18, Solomon speaks of the tongue’s power: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Here, Solomon ranks words with an instrument of war. What more piercing weapon exists than the tongue? When it has taken thousands of soldiers to change cities into minefields, fewer words have changed the face of empires.

Yet there is one factor that pulls an ideology into popularity which researchers often miss; ultimately all is controlled to the One causes mouths to open and shut. He is the One who allows a movement (however temporarily) to ignite or fade into the footnotes of history.

While feminism may be a dominant philosophy of our time, in the end “…the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will.” (Daniel 4:32) Perhaps I may live to see this ideology discarded as a new “ism” claims the spotlight, but at the closing of the day, His Word will prevail.

What ignites a dream into a movement, and a movement into a revolution? Feminist researcher Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” I would add that all changes have occurred only because God allowed them---and He always has the last word.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Overbearing Daddies & Magazines That Care

“We wanted to set a standard of dignity and honor for the way the girls should be treated by the men in their lives,” said Lisa Wilson, co-founder of Generations of Light, an abstinence promoting ministry in Colorado Springs. “I believe if girls feel beautiful and cherished by their fathers, they don’t go looking for love from random guys.”

Randy Wilson and his wife, Lisa, founded the “Purity Ball,” a formal event for fathers and daughters to encourage abstinence. At the ball, fathers declare their commitment to treasure and protect their daughters’ purity, while the daughters vow to remain sexually pure until marriage.

Although there may be valid controversy surrounding the Purity Ball--such as whether the young girls who participate comprehend the vows they are taking, or concerning the modesty of the fashions worn at the ball--the media's reaction is incredible. Glamour, a teen magazine dedicated to spreading fashion tips, beauty secrets, and, ironically, advice on sex, reports on the Purity Ball with resentment. The article states:

“The roles are clear: Dad is the only man in a girl’s life until her husband arrives, a lifestyle straight out of biblical times. ‘In patriarchy, a father owns a girl’s sexuality,’ notes psychologist and feminist author Carol Gilligan, Ph.D. ‘And like any other property, he guards it, protects it, even loves it.’”

The author goes on to say,

“Fathers who are protective of their daughters’ virginity are nothing new. ‘Keep your flower safe!’ a good friend’s dad used to tell her when we were in college, and we’d laugh—both because it was too late for her virginity and because there was something distasteful to us about his trying to control her sex life.”

Thus comes to light a double standard. A magazine which sells copies based on sex advice to teenage girls censures concerned fathers for taking an active interest in their daughters’ behavior. Christian leader Albert Mohler commented,

“Here you have an absolute culture clash… [with Christianity which states] that parents not only have the right but the responsibility to guard the sexual virtue of their children (in this case talking about girls, but we could talk about boys as well… including the father’s responsibility to guard his son from pornography and other sexual involvements.)”

Activist Eve Ensler was quoted in Glamour as saying, “When you sign a pledge to your father to preserve your virginity, your sexuality is basically being taken away from you…It makes you feel like you’re the least important person in the whole equation. It makes you feel invisible.” Yet ‘invisible’ is hardly the adjective that comes to mind at the sight of a father and daughter uniting with a common goal. By promising to protect his daughter and showing her life choices matter, a different word seems appropriate: treasured.

Sources:
  • Baumgardner, Jennifer."Would You Pledge Your Virginity To Your Father?" Glamour Magazine, February 7, 2007.
  • Mohler, Al. Al Mohler Radio Show. March 19, 2007.
_______________________

Ella at Created to be a Help has posted some valuable thoughts on this. Here's a snippet:
"Reading about this, I was once again saddened by the way our culture takes the truly beautiful and makes it look undesirable (such as purity and faithfulness to your future husband, while it takes the truly undesirable (ungodly) and makes it appear beautiful (such as adultery and fortification). Then, I realized that it’s not just our culture. It’s been going on since sin entered God’s creation..."
Read the rest here.

Labels: , , ,

Contributors:

Kristin, Hannah & Lindsey

A blog by three young ladies who have a desire to serve the Lord and encourage other young women around them.

Are you a good person?  TheRebelution.com: Join The Modesty Survey