“God’s Design” – Know Thyself, Creature

creation

God and Adam having a serious talk about who’s in charge.

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the titles below are chapters in the book.

Today we are gathering children around to discuss the first three chapters of God’s Design. Here we will learn that we have a creator and we are his creatures.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

“Knowing the Creator”

This chapter sets up the entire book by focusing on two points: God as creator and how he created us to work a certain way, and we can only understand ourselves when we understand the designer.

The flow of this chapter happens like this:

->Genesis 1:1 says we have a designer and we are “designed to work a certain way”…

-> The Bible gives us instructions on what we were made to do…

-> We are created “in His image,” so we are designed to be like Him…

-> Some people don’t follow the Bible so they are confused about themselves….

-> Do you trust God and His design for your life?

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

I would agree that we are all created in the image of God. In fact, I am amazed at how diverse God is when I view people from all around the world. Different skin tones, different heights, different body shapes, different mental and physical capabilities…the list can go on. But, when I read that we are “designed to work a certain way,”  I’m sure that the author is not referencing the fact that God blessed engineering minds with different capabilities than artistic minds or simply that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. We know what this book is about so I think we can safely guess at what is meant by “work a certain way.”

My question then is this: If men and women are created in the image of God, and men and women are designed for different roles, does that mean that God also has a leadership/headship role and a submissive role? If God is creator and in complete power of everything (as we learn in the next chapter) how can he also be submissive to authority?

When the author says, “Those who do not honor, thank, and worship God end up confused about who they are and how they are to live,”I think, really? I know plenty of people who do not believe in God and they are not confused at all about themselves. I am left to assume that the lesson learned is: If you don’t follow the prescribed way we tell you to live (because it’s in the Bible), you will live in confusion. What a great way to start.

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“We are not the Creator”

That’s right. Get it out of your head. You are not God. You are a mere creature.

Remember being created in the image of God? Forget about it…you’re a creature.

And, as a mere creature, forget about complaining about how God created you. It won’t do any good anyway because apparently God is in complete control of us. Trust and embrace how you, creature, were created.

If we are created in God’s image, are we created with a mind, body and soul that reflects that image? And, if God is in complete control of us why do we need reminders to love one another? If God controls us, I would think that he would precisely do that – control us. That doesn’t explain why it is that Christian people are capable of doing horrible things. Perhaps thinking of yourself as a mere creature without any control over yourself is a bit depressing.

Stop thinking too hard about it, creature. Just accept it.

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“Created Male and Female”

Our last chapter if full of stereotypes that I’m sure you are all expecting. God created man and woman so that they could have lots and lots and lots of children creatures to fill the earth.

Boys like boy things such as guns and trucks and grow up to be masculine men. Girls like girl things like dolls and tea sets and grow up to be feminine women. Boys should dress like boys and girls should dress like girls. I really think that most of what we define as “boy things” and “girl things” is purely cultural. There was a time when boys wore dresses just like girls. Our commonly used pink for girls and blue for boys didn’t really catch on until after World War II.

So where does this leave a boy who likes to play with dolls? My son is younger than his sister and he loved to play whatever she was playing. There were times he would have painted finger nails and dress up in her swim suits (we have pictures to prove it!). Does a parent who teaches this book squelch that kind of play? And what about girls who love to wear pants, play with toy guns and end up joining the military? Are they not as feminine because they are not doing “girl things?” Then you enter the realm of people who are intersex. How confusing this teaching must be. They were created in the image of God, but they don’t quite fit a category.

The kicker of this chapter is the ending activity:

Discuss with your parents the ways that men and women behave differently. With their help, make a list of differences between men and women. Then go with your parents to a mall and notice how men and women are showing or not showing God’s good design.

And there’s your assignment for the day. Go to the mall, watch people and judge them based solely upon what you observe. What a way to raise children – to judge others instead of being compassionate.

67 comments on ““God’s Design” – Know Thyself, Creature

  1. Oh, this is so sad. Go to the mall and look for people who are doing it wrong. Yeah, Jesus would totally do that…

    And good luck with this, parents. I remember last Halloween, I was shopping at Costco and saw a lot of excited children, already dressed up in their costumes, as parents were doing last minute shopping. I saw one religious family, the women & little girls in long plain dresses and tennis shoes. They were stoic and grave. One of their little girls was looking so longingly at another little girl here age dressed up in a tutu, who was chattering happily with her mom. My heart just went out to that little girl.

    So, yeah, load your kids up with guilt and fear about screwing up what God made them to be, point out all the mistakes around you, and then stand back and watch them blossom… NOT. Sigh…

    I think the book should go more like this- Our Creator designed us to work a certain way: We thrive when we love, encourage and support one another!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm… Julie Anne, you haven’t answered your own question…

    My question then is this: If men and women are created in the image of God, and men and women are designed for different roles, does that mean that God also has a leadership/headship role and a submissive role? If God is creator and in complete power of everything (as we learn in the next chapter) how can he also be submissive to authority?

    You’re setting us up for the debate on Eternal Subordination of the Son (TM). It’s part of this role-playing game we call Complementarianism, and I’m not sure which is fueling the other. I think the fondness for a wifely submission fantasy is what’s fueling the recent assault on the Trinity by Wayne Grudem and others—splitting God in the heavenly realm and making him submit to himself as an example to us (Is that what the doctrine of Trinity is for?).

    It’s not Trinity, it’s tri-theism; and other theologians are not afraid to call them out on the heresy. The struggle, after all, is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities, the powers, the rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness… (oh, now I’m sounding like a fundamentalist country preacher—but I really got this from Ephesians 6, the chapter just following the one where the comps get a lot of their inspiration, as long as they ignore verse 21 of chapter 5).

    I shall stay tuned to the ESS debate and to your blog. And I’ll buckle up.

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  3. The ‘go to the mall’ schtick is straight from Bill Gothard. What about “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart”? There were issues at church conferences with the Gothardites because they couldn’t focus on God when the people around them were “immodest”. They made them cover up, instead of telling the Gothardites that maybe it was their hearts that were immodest.

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  4. And… if the book continues to follow the Gothard paradigm, then the basic pattern becomes: Here’s a situation for you to judge. Ahh. Seems simple, but really the common sense conclusion you might come up with is wrong, and here’s why it’s wrong (insert new information, twist or equivocation), so now that you’re questioning your own judgment, here’s something evil we’ll slip in (like you need to unquestioningly obey all authority).

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  5. Boy, if this doesn’t exactly describe the toxic message my oldest gleaned from Growing Up Evangelical: Since she didn’t like a lot of girl things (like makeup, girly clothes, tea parties, pink, etc) post-preschool, and she did like a lot of boy things (like fuss-free dressing, rough housing, being loud, deep conversations, etc), she worried that she must be a lesbian. Which in church would be a no-no.

    She came to the conclusion, at the ripe old age of eleven or twelve, that she must not be a lesbian because she wasn’t attracted to girls. But she wasn’t sure what that did make her. Thank God, she inherited the family strong-willedness and decided she was who she was, and people within the church could like it or lump it.

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  6. I’m not a swearer or a liar (just kidding!)

    “Discuss with your parents the ways that men and women behave differently. With their help, make a list of differences between men and women. Then go with your parents to a mall and notice how men and women are showing or not showing God’s good design”.

    Might have hastily dropped a “what the F…” at this one.

    Openly encourages children to JUDGE people based on their appearance.

    WHAT THE F!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When the author says, “Those who do not honor, thank, and worship God end up confused about who they are and how they are to live,”I think, really? I know plenty of people who do not believe in God and they are not confused at all about themselves.

    This is one thing I consistently think is bizarre about their thinking. Most people have literally ZERO difficulty with manhood or womanhood. I am a woman. It’s not complicated, I am as I am.

    I don’t have to fit a ‘role’ to make a me a woman. I don’t have to deny parts of myself that are innate and it is literally insane to say that God designed me as a woman so I have to ignore pieces of myself to fit that design!!

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  8. What I didn’t care for about this book, having read pages of it that were over on Amazon, is that the entire genre misses The Gospel. We are to love God and to love our neighbors. Jesus said that all of the Law and the Prophets was summed up in this. Jesus never advocated Comp doctrine and teachings.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. They make this man/woman stuff so complicated!! It’s just not.

    The only thing complicated are these bizarre and mostly cultural expectations they keep putting on people, men and women, to be something they are not. If you are a manly man who loves to shoot guns, great. Girly girl who loves to wear dresses? Great. If you prefer pants, or books, or camping, though, that doesn’t make you confused or wrong. It makes you yourself. We are not cookie cutouts, we are unique.

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  10. Since she didn’t like a lot of girl things (like makeup, girly clothes, tea parties, pink, etc) post-preschool, and she did like a lot of boy things (like fuss-free dressing, rough housing, being loud, deep conversations, etc), she worried that she must be a lesbian.

    That is so sad! I’m glad she figured it out.

    What happened to the natural recognition that some girls were ‘tomboys’ as children, that its not big deal and mostly they grow out of it anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ted, I like to ask rhetorical questions….maybe throw it out there and see if a comp can give me an answer. You’re right, though, I stumbled upon this book at a hot moment of talking about ESS. We’ll see if it leads there or not.

    But, seriously, how can one be in full authority of the whole wide world and universe, yet also be submissive?

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  12. The irony is, by trying to define maleness and femaleness into rigid lists of traits that won’t fit a large number of kids, and by worrying and obsessing over it beginning early in children’s lives, these people are likely to cause the very thing they say they’re trying to prevent- confusion about sexual identity!

    My honest opinion is that a healthy sexual identity comes out of healthy relationship with parents and other adults of both sexes. Relationships where the child is accepted, loved, nurtured, respected, encouraged, affirmed. I just don’t see those kinds of relationships being encouraged in these groups. They begin by following goons like the Ezzos or Pearls, then add this poison to it… it is going to lead to a bitter harvest for many.

    You can’t go back and redo your children’s infancy and childhood, if years down the road you realize it was a big mistake. I want to urge people who are considering these materials to do some research, read up on the subject, and give these materials a very critical analysis. Check out the actual training and credentials of the authors (and not the ones they claim they have- check them out as a journalist would because there are a lot of misleading claims from these authors.) Just because a book is “Christian” does not make it right or true. There are better resources on child rearing in the secular world, where the research is impartial and based on actual observation and study.

    Everything researchers have learned about how infants and children develop and the best conditions that lead to healthy development are at odds with these systems. Parents, you are the ones who will reap the rewards. These leaders will not be there for you when it all goes south! Some of them are estranged from their own adult children. Do your homework on this, your children deserve it.

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  13. And, as a mere creature, forget about complaining about how God created you. It won’t do any good anyway because apparently God is in complete control of us. Trust and embrace how you, creature, were created.

    I wonder if the same parents who would give this book to their kids are the same parents who beat their kids until their will is broken. Some parents can’t embrace how their kids were created.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mark, I don’t think this is exclusive to Gothard’s teachings. It seems to be human nature to consider others not as good as you are–at least that is what I have seen in my own family.

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  15. Shy1 said,

    The irony is, by trying to define maleness and femaleness into rigid lists of traits that won’t fit a large number of kids, and by worrying and obsessing over it beginning early in children’s lives, these people are likely to cause the very thing they say they’re trying to prevent- confusion about sexual identity!

    I was just discussing this not too long ago, I think on a former post here?

    I was a tom boy type of girl.
    But even from the time I was only 4 or 5 years old, I remember my mother, who was into traditional gender roles, keep pressuring me to be more “girly.” It seemed to bother her I was boyish.

    Although as a kid I preferred to play with Bat Man action figures (and other things considered to be for boys), my mother would periodically buy me dolls and keep pushing them in my face, asking me, “Don’t you want to play with this instead.”

    (She was nice with the pressure, she was not mean or cruel about it, but it was pressure never the less, and it made me feel as though I was flawed for not living up to her expectations of girlhood.)

    Then, seeing how secular toy companies promoted girly girl behavior and stuff – all the toys in the “girls aisle” at the store had nothing but dolls, toy kitchens, or beauty related items (like toy make-up kits), and how Sunday School classes and Christian books for kids I was given at church emphasized a “girly girl” type of way of being female, and it left me very confused.

    I was a tom boy. I could not figure out why all the toys, books, photos (like of girls being shown playing with doll houses in the Sears catalog), and stuff I was being shown by my mom, the church, and secular culture, kept stuffing this pink, hyper-girly version of femaleness into my face all the time. It was upsetting and confusing to me as a kid.

    The drawings in the Christian booklets I saw as a kid always showed boys doing fun stuff I wanted to do, like climb trees, while the artwork of little girls showed them wearing dresses (I hated dresses) and playing with baby dolls, the sort of stuff I had no interest in doing.

    The cumulative effect of all that – of seeing girlhood (or womanhood) being depicted one-way only (feminine, wear dresses, play with dolls, etc) even in Christian- produced materials made me feel like there was something wrong with me, I was flawed, and God must be upset or disappointed with me.

    (And I remember experiencing these feelings and noticing this stuff when I was just 5, 6 years old.)

    I didn’t understand as a kid, why, if God supposedly wanted all girls only to like pink, play Barbie, wear skirts, etc, that I had no interest in Barbie, or playing with dolls, and I preferred wearing cut-off jean shorts to wearing frilly pink dresses.

    Combine all that with my father, who had a tendency to shame me anyway, for anything and everything else, and I grew up feeling bad about myself (and due to other reasons).

    But yes, having traditional, Christian gender role stuff crammed down my throat on a regular basis (even though it was usually done politely) left me confused and feeling ashamed of myself.

    I felt ashamed partly because I felt (as a kid) that I was apparently not living up to what my mother, God, or culture felt I should be – I was doing “girl hood” wrong, I used to think.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The “activity” in the gender comp book:

    Then go with your parents to a mall and notice how men and women are showing or not showing God’s good design.

    IOW, go out in public and sit in judgement on total strangers.

    Sounds more pharisaical than Christlike. Gee, what could possibly go wrong? 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is one thing I consistently think is bizarre about their thinking. Most people have literally ZERO difficulty with manhood or womanhood. I am a woman. It’s not complicated, I am as I am.

    Lea, it seems that Dr. Terry Real would agree with you.

    “…for boys and men, masculine identity is perceived as precious and perilous, though not a shred of evidence has emerged to indicate the existence of this supposed precarious internal structure, masculine identity. Studies indicate that both boys and girls have a clear sense of which sex they are from about the age of two, and that this knowledge is extremely solid and unambiguous in all but the most severely disturbed children… Boys do not need to be turned into males. They are males. Boys do not need to develop their masculinity. They are masculine, no less than girls are feminine.”

    — Terrence Real, “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Serving Kids in Japan, who the heck is Terry Real? Ever go to a convenience store today? You can’t tell whether the clerk is male or female! The society is going toward gender-neutral is conversation (remember “ze” and “zim” instead of he or she and him or her?) and in dress. Saying that boys are boys and girls are girls is just refusing to talk about the issues we have today.

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  19. Ever go to a convenience store today? You can’t tell whether the clerk is male or female!

    I haven’t experienced that. Maybe it’s because the convenience stores near me are run by families from India. Still, I cut my musical teeth on the likes of Boy George and other early 80s British pop groups. I have yet to see anything in the mainstream US that even comes close.

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  20. What do you mean you haven’t seen anything that comes close? Do you mean that you haven’t met any trans people or run into men dressed as women in a pubic restroom?

    I will never forget the girl from Wisconsin who came to visit us in 2007 when she came out of the bathroom with wide eyes saying there was a guy dressed as a women in there. My daughter told her to keep her voice down or we would be thrown out!

    Today there are many people who dress so that you don’t know whether they are male or female, I met a guy last year who said he was a gender-neutral guy and wanted the waitress to use the pronoun “they” instead of either he or him. And the discussion is everywhere–in the churches, in the news where a district asked teachers not to say “boys” and “girls,” and among writers who are deciding to use “ze” or “they” or both as pronouns. Boy George is not that unusual today.

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  21. The society is going toward gender-neutral is conversation

    Although there have always been a few people who are legitimately confused on this point and need help, mostly what’s going on now it a trendy culture phenom, not much different from wearing guy liner, just a bit more ridiculous.

    Still, the vast majority of people are not at all confused and trying to make all of them fit some dumb stereotype of manhood or womanhood really doesn’t fix anything, because there was no problem to began with.

    Also, the people who are embracing this trans stuff are mostly not going to be swayed by the Christian culture here. So they are preaching to, and mostly confusing and shaming, the choir if they don’t think they match up.

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  22. Do you mean that you haven’t met any trans people or run into men dressed as women in a pubic restroom?

    Yes, I have a trans friend. No, I haven’t run into any trans people in a public restroom.

    The UK has been far more accepting of LGBT people than the US. While different states in the US are passing, or trying to pass, laws restricting trans people, the UK Foreign Office put out a travel advisory for its LGBT citizens warning them about North Carolina. If LGBT people offend you, don’t plan a dream vacay to the UK.

    The book in the OP isn’t about gender fluidity anyway. It’s about preparing kids from a very young age to accept CBMW’s gender roles that closely resemble Sharia Law.

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  23. …who the heck is Terry Real?

    Sorry, Irene, perhaps I should have explained a bit more. Dr. Real is a therapist who’s done a lot of work with dysfunctional families, and written a number of books dealing with depression in men and male/female relationships. The quotation is from his book about the phenomenon of “covert depression” and the social forces that feed it — my brother gave it to me, and I’ve found it very insightful.

    Ever go to a convenience store today? You can’t tell whether the clerk is male or female!

    Uhmm… You do remember which country I’m in, right? I don’t know all the rules, but convenience stores here don’t seem to let their clerks cross dress. So I can tell which clerks are women and which are men. Japanese society is becoming gradually more accepting of LGBT citizens, but they’re not nearly to the point that North America is.

    Whether you accept trans folks or not (their presence seems to be very upsetting to you), they’re not going anywhere, and I seriously doubt that a book like “God’s Design” is going to change that.

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  24. Also, the people who are embracing this trans stuff are mostly not going to be swayed by the Christian culture here.

    Yeah, I find it hard to picture a cross-dressing man responding positively if he hears the following: “Look, Mommy! That man isn’t following God’s good design, like in the book! I bet God is mad at him! Is he going to hell?”

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  25. “Go to the mall and, in your childish wisdom, judge people.” Wow, teaching kids to be just like Jesus….

    I wonder who would pass muster. The woman in the Duggar-approved dress might look like she’s following “God’s good design,” but she might be harboring resentment of her “God-ordained gender role.” And the woman in jeans and a sweatshirt might “dress like a man,” but be properly submissive to her husband. So, really, how is an 8-year-old to know?!?!

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  26. Short off-topic comment. A man on The Wartburg Watch posted this amazing poem he wrote. I just posted it on my new blog. I wanted to share it all with you. Have a nice weekend, folks.

    I Have a Verse
    by Wayne Harmon ©

    They argued with me long and loud.
    They told me I was being proud.
    The debate went from bad to worse.
    I know I’m right. I have a verse.

    I told him that his hair’s too long.
    He scoffed and told me I was wrong.
    I said her short hair is a curse.
    I know I’m right. I have a verse.

    I told them they must give a tenth
    Of all their money before it’s spent.
    A tithe of wallet, bank and purse.
    I know I’m right. I have a verse.

    I told them Rock and Roll’s a sin.
    A noise that’s straight from Satan’s den.
    They laughed until I thought they’d burst.
    I know I’m right. I have a verse.

    I told her she cannot divorce.
    You said, “I do,” so stay the course.
    Forget the doctor and the nurse.
    I know I’m right. I have a verse.

    Jesus said those from above
    Will be known by how they love.
    Apologizing really hurts.
    I thought I was right. I had a verse.

    Wayne Harmon’s blog where this poem appears is: http://wayneharmon.org/2016/08/31/i-have-a-verse/

    my new blog: https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/

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  27. And one more off-topic comment. I also posted the wonderful poem “Paper Matches” by Paulette Jiles. I saw it on a bus years ago and memorized it as I rode. The only poem that went to my heart and bone marrow…and stayed. It’s this very subject too. About women and girls being subordinate.

    “Paper Matches”

    My aunts washed dishes while the uncles
    squirted each other on the lawn with
    garden hoses. Why are we in here,
    I said, and they are out there?
    That’s the way it is,
    said Aunt Hetty, the shriveled-up one.
    I have the rages that small animals have,
    being small, being animal.
    Written on me was a message,
    “At Your Service,”
    like a book of paper matches.
    One by one we were taken out
    and struck.
    We come bearing supper,
    our heads on fire.”
    ― Paulette Jiles ©

    https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/2016/09/03/poem-paper-matches-by-paulette-jiles/
    my new blog: https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/

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  28. Regarding some of Irene’s post above, about transgender people.

    To me, that is somewhat of a separate topic.

    I am cis / hetero. I was born female and identify as a female.

    Yet, I do not fit Christian gender complementarian notions of what they believe to be godly, biblical girlhood or womanhood

    Because I did not neatly fit gender complementarian views of femininty, it created confusion in me, made me feel ashamed of myself, made me resent being a female, and caused me to think God did not like me.

    -I wrote about all that in greater detail in this post above on this very thread.

    I’m not sure what the solution to transgender kids is, but I know what it is not-

    Forcing gender stereotypes on to kids, such as telling girls that they MUST like to play with dolls, God designed them to play with dolls, and then shaming them or scolding them if they don’t fit those boxes.

    Such teaching (which is not even in the Bible) only confuses people like me, who did not fit those cultural ideals of girlhood when I was a kid.

    By the way, rejecting gender complementarianism does not lead to becoming Transgender. I am case in point on that. I rejected complementarianism but did not morph into a Trans person.

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  29. SKIJ quoted an author:

    “…for boys and men, masculine identity is perceived as precious and perilous, though not a shred of evidence has emerged to indicate the existence of this supposed precarious internal structure, masculine identity. Studies indicate that both boys and girls have a clear sense of which sex they are from about the age of two, and that this knowledge is extremely solid and unambiguous in all but the most severely disturbed children… Boys do not need to be turned into males. They are males. Boys do not need to develop their masculinity. They are masculine, no less than girls are feminine.”

    — Terrence Real, “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”

    I was saying something similar to what Dr. Real said on T-W-W blog a couple months ago, under a post about complementarianism there.

    What I said there is I don’t understand this cultural concern that boys don’t know how to grow into men.

    You especially see this concern dragged up by my fellow social conservatives (yes, I am one – I’m a so con – but don’t agree with them on every issue) concerning single mothers. They will go on and on about how a boy in a single mother household needs a male role model.

    They clutch their pearl necklaces in worry that boys may be taking too many cues from popular media on “how to be a man.” (There may be a grain of truth in that last point, I guess, but…)

    You don’t often hear this rhetoric so much when it comes to girls.

    I mean, I never hear people say, “Oh, poor girls who grow up in our culture today, so confused about girlhood. Who will teach them how to grow into women?”

    And you never hear stuff like, “Those poor girls in single father homes, they have no female role models. Who will teach them how to be women?”

    Yet, girls and women scrape by okay without someone telling them “how” to be a girl or woman.

    And when folks like complementarian CBMW try to step into that role, by telling girls how they “ought” to be, it can create confusion or problems in them, as it did with me (I refer readers again to my longer post up the page from last night).

    I just find it really strange that so many conservatives or Christians think boys or men need assistance, or to take classes, in understanding “how” to be a boy or a man.

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  30. By the way.

    Some of these people you see in public who you cannot easily discern their gender? Some of them are androgynous, and not necessarily intentionally so.

    Did anyone else here ever watch the “That’s Pat!” skits on Saturday Night Live TV show years ago?

    (I wish they’d put those skits on You Tube, but they haven’t)

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  31. “Ever go to a convenience store today? You can’t tell whether the clerk is male or female! ”

    Heh, I remember my parents making the same exclamation back in the 1960’s. Believe me, WE could tell.

    Does the sex of the clerk need to be obvious to you before you can treat them with kindness and respect as a human being?

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  32. Shy1, I think that is the real point. I think that we are so steeped in behavioralism that we think we can somehow “purify” society by forcing everyone into our views of what are the correct roles. That is not how societies are changed. Constantine did not necessarily do the church a service by making it the official religion of Rome – instead, that brought in the power mongers who started using the church to satisfy their own thirst for power. What led to it was great – Christianity was a grassroots religion that changed the world through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Instead, we think we can become the Holy Spirit by forcing society to adopt our rules. So, instead of loving those who are transgendered or whatever, we try to force them to act Christian, thinking that is how their hearts will change.

    I’m not scared of transgendered people in the “wrong” bathrooms. Transgendered people are generally attracted to the “opposite” sex. Meaning anatomically male transgender females are attracted to males, not girls. What I’m concerned about is pedophiles in the women’s bathrooms, not transgenders.

    The law doesn’t prevent pedophiles from being in bathrooms of the opposite sex. The law doesn’t create a magic force field that physically blocks men from walking in the women’s restroom. It doesn’t do anything except give the legal system the opportunity to punish pedophiles who are caught in the opposite bathroom. Just like restraining orders don’t prevent abusive husbands from attacking their estranged wives.

    If our society’s behavior is going to change, it is going to be through individuals loving one another and the work of the Holy Spirit. Bathroom laws are not going to change people’s hearts, despite how many Christians are making transgenders in the wrong sex bathrooms public enemy number one.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. “What I’m concerned about is pedophiles in the women’s bathrooms, not transgenders”

    I have a school friend who is female to male trans. lovely person who was very boyish as a child.

    Mark, I suspect there are more paedophiles in ‘the church’ than out of it. More religious predators than those who are openly ‘deviant’.

    The confused trans people are not the wolves.

    They need our love and compassion the most.

    These are the ones Jesus came for.

    I can’t understand why they feel the way they do. But it’s not my place to condemn.

    I struggle to practically love and relate in a way that is right without encouraging behaviour that is offensive to God.

    I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    Like

  34. Transgendered people are generally attracted to the “opposite” sex. Meaning anatomically male transgender females are attracted to males, not girls.

    I don’t think this is actually true. I haven’t seen data on it, but in my personal life I’ve seen female to male who are interested In females and male to female interested in females. Caitlyn Jenner was married to a woman.

    I think we had a sort unwritten of ‘nobody freaks out about who is in your restroom unless they are creepy’ policy and my only concern is that when you lay the rules out people won’t go with their instincts. And that people who are wishing to do harm will manipulate the new policy’s.

    But my hairdresser reminded me that we had a boy molested by a man in a restroom a number of years ago and I’ve heard many examples of men dragging women into restrooms regardless of policy. Maybe restrooms are just somewhat dangerous places because they are isolated, no windows, vulnerable etc and we should think a bit more carefully about ways to protect people in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Sorry hit post too soon.

    What I wanted to say is that this talk about lgbt people is mostly a dodge, because what they actually want is for girls to be put in their obedient little place and just listen to the men folk. The rest is just cover.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. “What I wanted to say is that this talk about lgbt people is mostly a dodge, because what they actually want is for girls to be put in their obedient little place and just listen to the men folk. The rest is just cover.” – Lea

    Agreed.

    My grandmother, who died at 102 years old and was a Presbyterian, was university-educated in the 1920’s with a degree in science, taught men Geometry who were going off to fly planes in WW II (the college asked her to), was the first woman to be a dean of a public college in California, and she would roll over in her grave if she knew this nonsense being taught by these ultra-conservative groups.
    My grandmother helped get women the right to vote, the 19th Amendment. She talked about what it was like to be in graduate school and not have the right to vote! (She had women Presbyterian friends who were medical missionaries (doctors) and served in countries around the world and they did an awesome job! I saw the slides of their communities overseas.)

    The whole gay argument is a smoke screen to avoid the real discussion: The Comps teach “another Gospel”. It’s one thing to conduct your own marriage as you see best, given giftedness. It’s another thing to teach children and others that it “must” be “this way”.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Lea – I do think this book has hit early on why comps talk about lgbt issues and not just focus on the home and church. Children are taught to be thankful and happy for how God made them. They are taught not to question how God made them. So when a person raised in this teaching at any age starts to question their sexuality, this can be shameful and damning to them. And, as a parent who may be confronted by their child’s questioning of sexuality or coming out, how do they appropriately respond to that? LGBT people do not fit the mold of how God designed men and women, marriage and authority, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Serving Kids in Japan, I want to thank you for mentioning the book, “I Don’t Want to Talk About it” by Terry Real. I looked it up and it looks fascinating, I decided to read it. Here is a quote I think is very appropriate to this subject:

    “Traditional gender socialization in our culture asks both boys and girls to “halve themselves.” Girls are allowed to maintain emotional expressiveness and cultivate connection. But they are systematically discouraged from fully developing and exercising their public, assertive selves – their “voice,” as it is often called. Boys, by contrast, are greatly encouraged to develop their public, assertive selves, but they are systematically pushed away from the full exercise of emotional expressiveness and the skills for making and appreciating deep connection.
    …The traditional socialization of boys and girls hurts them both, each in particular, complementary ways.”

    I can’t wait to read the rest of this book.

    One part of the world is always looking forward, recognizing the problems in the present and the past, looking for solutions to problems and ways to make things better. Another part of the world fears the future and hangs onto the past because it is what they know and understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Kathi–Exactly! The question is how do we respond to LGBT people if we don’t believe in homosexuality? I give this author credit for trying, unlike the people in many children’s ministries who have openly told me they have no idea how to respond when kids ask about homosexuality. A girl in junior high asked me last year, why would God be against homosexuality if it is love? We need to begin thinking about this stuff and how we should respond to those questions as Christians. We are already behind the game.

    Like

  40. You’re welcome, Shy. A lot of it spoke to me very strongly and made sense. I especially admire the compassion and toughness Dr. Real shows towards his patients, as described in composite case studies throughout the book. I hope you enjoy it.

    Like

  41. Irene, the medical consequences of sodomy suggest to me that the activity is not healthy. (Google it if you dare)

    My brother tells me “not all gay men sodomise each other”. He’s not gay, but he knows this somehow haha.

    The whole ‘pride’ movement is one big celebration of sexual licentiousness. To think otherwise is to be deceived.

    I have a female to male trans acquaintance and her job is as an ‘activist’ with a Queer publication. Some of the stuff they put out is truly wicked.

    There is nothing wrong with taking a stand against unrighteousness.

    The manner in which we do it speaks volumes.

    I don’t stand on a street corner declaring that “Tax cheats will burn in hell if they don’t turn to Jesus”.

    And I have no plans to do similar regarding the unwed cohabitors or gay people.

    If a married person asked you, “should I cheat on my wife with the hot babe next door?”

    Would you say, “oh. Don’t ask me! I’m not your judge!”

    Of course you would advise against the adultery, wouldn’t you?!

    I feel the same about homosexuality. If asked, I will say I don’t think it’s God’s way.

    If it’s not brought up then I don’t seek to make it dinner time conversation.

    My aim in life is to proclaim Good News. A part of the message involves explaining a holy God and unholy sinners. Christ died for sinners. “What is sin?”

    Transgression of the law.

    “What’s the law”

    “The front of the Bible”

    Doing it in love is the key.

    How could it be love to not warn people or stand for righteousness?

    My view is no doubt unpopular.

    I’m ok with this. I love God and want to stand for all things good.

    Like

  42. The question is how do we respond to LGBT people if we don’t believe in homosexuality? I give this author credit for trying…

    Even if Michael and Steward’s approach breeds arrogance and contempt towards total strangers? I worry that it does.

    We need to begin thinking about this stuff and how we should respond to those questions as Christians. We are already behind the game.

    Behind the game? Yeah, I’ll buy that. But then again, we Christians and our churches often have been for some centuries now. And not just in our treatment of LGBT people, but also regarding divorce, domestic and sexual abuse, mental illness and a host of other issues.

    It reminds me of a political cartoon that I saw back in the 90s. (I can’t find it online, but I’ll try to describe it.) It’s a single panel cartoon, and the scene is a medieval dungeon, with prisoners hanging from the wall, shackled at the wrists. Their prison garb bears labels with names like “Newton”, “Darwin”, “Freud” and “Einstein”. One prisoner has just been released from his chains, is being led out of the dungeon by the guards. His label reads “Galileo”. Newton turns to Darwin and says, “I hear he got a pardon from the Pope.” To which Darwin snorts in reply, “Lucky bum.”

    And the caption underneath: “350 Years Behind The Times”

    I sometimes wonder whether we’ve learned any lessons at all from the mistakes of the past…

    Liked by 2 people

  43. “We need to begin thinking about this stuff and how we should respond to those questions as Christians. We are already behind the game.”

    It really depends on the God they are teaching. If they are teaching the determinist God, this is a real problem.

    If they are teaching Jesus Christ as the full representation of God, it is a no-brainer. Love for all –even those (many of us) who are not living out His intention for us. That includes addicts, sociopaths, narcissists, adulterers, child abusers, gluttons, arrogants, etc,

    As my mom used to say, ‘I am not here to see through people but to see them through’.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Daisy, thanks for sharing your childhood story. As another one of those tomboys, I can totally relate. I’ve always been attracted to males, not to other females, but always had a hard time fitting in with other females. I never liked frilly dresses or hypergenderized toys as a child; I liked climbing trees, building forts, and making stuff out of mud. When I read stories and fairytales as a kid, I was very frustrated that the males in the stories were always the heroes, the ones having the adventures, while the females often sat around waiting to be rescued. Ugh. How boring. (That’s not always the case; some of the pre-Victorian fairytales have very strong female characters, but I’m going off topic).

    I wanted to go explore the world, have adventures, etc. I was introduced to Tolkien at an early age, and used to fantasize about fighting my way through an army of orcs and goblins at the top of some lonely mountain pass (I know, some odd little girl I was, LOL).

    I was in my late teens when the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge came out. It was really popular at the Christian college I was attending at the time. The whole premise of the book is that boys and men crave adventure while girls and women crave safety. I found the whole thing so insulting. Even the cover design I found insulting — I was jealous of the cool dude jumping from rock to rock at the edge of a cliff.

    For a while I wondered if there was something wrong with me, but now I know God created me to be a courageous woman.

    Truth is I’m still a “tomboy” — happily married to a handsome man, and mothering a house-full of little boys. My boys are very brave and adventurous, but they can also be very gentle and nurturing, especially with their stuffed animals and with younger children. I want to make sure no one ever makes them feel ashamed of the nurturing side that they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I think I would have just curled up and died is someone had tried to cram the “God’s Design” gender-role book for children down my throat as a child. Or maybe left the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Thanks Kathi! I have to brag on her a bit more. This took place when I was very young perhaps around 11 –but it took me years to recognize what she knew and did with little fuss.

    There was a older teenager who started attending our church alone who was very strange and not accepted by his peers About the best way to describe him would be like Pat on the old Saturday night live. My mom got to know him and decided that he had hidden artistic and musical flairs that should be developed….so she did just that. Then she discovered he had this talent decorating cakes. So he became the go to person for every single event that needed a cake. When she remarried years later he made her a gorgeous five tier wedding cake. She also owned a flower shop so she sent him lots of business.

    She never said a word about him being different. He was just “talented Roy”. She focused on his potential. May we all learn from that and “see people through”. I miss her as I recall so many of these situations. It was her normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Lea,

     I haven't seen statistics, either, other than what I've read that transgenders are less likely to be pedophiles. I was assuming it was opposite sex attraction, but I know that there are a significant number who are demisexual.
    
     My wife has a good strategy, which is to have unisex bathrooms. The problem overall is that bathrooms tend to be unoccupied, and since the vast majority of people are going to help others in need, having more people in the bathroom is going to be a greater deterrent.
    

    Salty,

     I think we mostly agree. We are all victims of original sin in different ways. Some sin patterns are more visible and some sin patterns are hidden. Also, some sin patterns are considered more acceptable in society where others are not. I think conservative Christianity tends to obsess about visible sin patterns (e.g. LBTQ) and ignore hidden sin patterns (e.g. emotional and spiritual abuse).
    
     That said, I think our role in society as Christians is generally not to be the angry mob of picketers, but be the ones who truly love those around us when others want to use them for political ends. I think it is a constant struggle to find the balance between showing true love, and not ignoring sin, and that is going to be different in every situation.
    

    Like

  48. Not sure what happened with the formatting.

    Yeah, I can’t read most of that. Many places have a ‘family’ bathroom, that could easily serve a unisex, but it’s more efficient and space saving to have one big bathroom for each sex. And many transgender folks have objected to being forced to use the unisex bathroom rather than the one of their choosing.

    I was musing on the issue of general bathroom safety and wondering if maybe some sort of alarm might be good to have? I don’t know.

    I never liked frilly dresses or hypergenderized toys as a child; I liked climbing trees, building forts, and making stuff out of mud.

    I’m sure I had frilly dresses but I also liked climbing trees and had a brother, so I played with everything. Plus, a lot of toys were gender neutral…light brites, that log cabin thing, etc. I never thought any of that was odd. It all seemed pretty normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. “http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/1-timothy-212-not-as-clear-2/

    I am honestly very new to the idea that men and women can be equal in marriage–let alone in teaching. It does open a different view of the world!”

    Interesting about “gar”. The author mentioned the Chiasm in Corinthians. The same device was used for parts of Eph 4-5 which has to chapter breaks.

    In 1 Corin 11, most miss the main point: interdependence. Woman from man and man born of woman.

    Keep reading…especially historical context of 1 Timothy and the cult of Diana mentioned in Acts that necessitated the use of the rare and badly translated word, “Authenteo” used once in the NT in 1st Tim.

    Happy researching!

    Like

  50. @Irene,

    Where do you live that you can’t tell the difference between male and female convenience store clerks?

    I have NEVER had this problem and there are lots of 7-11 convenience stores where I live.

    Like

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