Following is an excerpt from a blog by our friend Gavin Peacock, co-author of the highly recommended book The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them. Gavin writes about the reasons why he and Owen Strachan wrote this book. Their reasons make it a must-read.
On January 5, 2015 I was working late preparing a message on marriage
for the annual winter Some of the national papers in the UK had reacted adversely.
conference at the church where I pastor. Just
before I went to bed I tweeted out a few thoughts that I was going to
include in the message. I thought nothing more of it. However, the next
morning I awoke to a torrent of Twitter abuse.
The notifications came in waves and did not stop for 24 hours. I was
called “a sexist pig”, “a moron”, “a misogynist” and many other
unprintable things. And although this was mainly from a secular public
there were many abusive comments from those who professed to be
Christian. My Twitter feed was hit over 1 million times that week.
Why the big deal? Well here are the tweets:
“God’s design for marriage in male and female headship and submission is complementary not competitive.”
‘Wives: one of the primary ways you are to respect your husband is by gladly submitting to and encouraging his leadership.”
“Husbands: one of your primary duties in loving your wife is to feed her with the Word of God daily”
You see I hit on the current hot topic: biblical sexuality
and particularly the complementarity truth about men and women in
marriage. It was straight out of Ephesians 5 and the beauty of headship
and submission. I didn’t set out to create a storm. I simply stood (and
still stand) on the Word of God as authoritative, inerrant and
sufficient for all things especially such fundamental, creation
realities like manhood and womanhood. Yet we live in an age where these
foundational truths are being ignored and rewritten according to what
fits with our fallen desires. And so we even call good evil and evil
good as our culture morally crumbles around us.
In every age Satan wants to attack the authority of God’s Word
because he hates God’s glory. It was that way from the beginning (Gen.
3). In our day this one verse in particular is where the Word confronts
the culture and what Satan wants to undermine.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27)
The sheer beauty of binary sexes created in the image of God with
complementary physical and functional differences is thrilling. Yet this
verse has been trampled in society and downplayed in the church.
This is why I am so thankful for the humble, bold and visionary
leadership of Owen Strachan, the President of CBMW, and who invited me
on as Director of international Outreach. Owen is also an extremely
gifted teacher and writer and when he asked me to co-author The Grand Design with him, I jumped at the opportunity.
Let me give three reasons why we wrote the book:
ONE: We want to lay out the truth about manhood and womanhood
and to proclaim that this is what the Lord says. And that should be
enough. The Creator’s Word is always enough. But we also want to
proclaim that his Word is good and beautiful. We simply want to show
that his design for men and women is indeed grand. It is about his glory
in creation (Gen.1: 27), redemption (Eph. 5: 31-32) and consummation
(Rev. 19:7-9). It also reveals something about his triune nature (1 Cor.
11:3). So complementarity is not a tertiary issue. We want people to be
thrilled with God and his divine design.
TWO: We also want to be a clear, encouraging and helpful voice to the church.
This book is theological, practical and pastoral. It is not abstract it
is accessible. We need to be clear on these issues in the days ahead
and help Christians work it out in their lives as single or married in
the home, church or workplace. These are the issues that will test
churches and prove their faithfulness (or not). And, in an increasingly
gender-neutral society, these are the issues that the church must live
out. We have to be able to defend and display the truth about complementarity.
THREE: We want to show that complementarity is a mission moment for the church.
It is the point at which the battle for God’s authority rages most in a
secular world. The UK Twitter storm was indicative of the heat this
topic receives. But to avoid engaging with the culture here is to
relinquish a gospel opportunity. We want souls won for Christ and human
beings to flourish. We want men and women to find their identity in
Jesus and his Word. We want marriages to display the gospel. We want to
vividly draw the lines and contours of masculinity and femininity. And
gospel redeemed biblical manhood and womanhood in the home and church
and workplace sets forth this attractive counter culture. So we desire
to affirm the equality of the sexes, delineate the difference and
celebrate both. That is the tone of this book.
Make no mistake it will cost a person to be Christian in our day. It
always has. Jesus tells to expect it (Matt. 5:11-12). The Apostle Paul
echoes the sentiment (Acts 14:22). The history of the suffering church
bears witness to this truth. It cost me as a Christian footballer in
different ways throughout my 18-year career. It will cost all of us in
various ways: reputation, family, friends, career, and money. It might
also mean public vilification in big and small ways. In some countries
Christians fear a raised fist. In our day it is a raised eyebrow or
trial by Twitter.
In all of this, there is one thing I have learned more deeply over
the past year. The Word of God is rock. And the Word of God works.
Complementarity is both true and good. I took a few hits in the press as
a footballer but nothing quite like that of January 2015. However, the
Word of God is worth it! It always is. Honor it and he will honor you.
Gavin Peacock is a Canadian pastor and former soccer star, and Director of International Outreach with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.