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A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda

Written by: MacArthur Jr., John    Posted on: 04/01/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

The following message was delivered at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, by John MacArthur Jr.  It was transcribed from the tape, GTY-44, titled "A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda."  A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE.

I have made every effort to ensure that an accurate transcription of the original tape was made.  Please note that at times sentence structure may appear to vary from accepted English conventions.  This is due primarily to the techniques involved in preaching and the obvious choices I had to make in placing the correct punctuation in the article.

It is my intent and prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this transcription to strengthen and encourage the true Church of Jesus Christ.                                    Tony Capoccia

           

               A Biblical Response to the Feminist Agenda

                             Copyright 1993                                    by                          John F. MacArthur, Jr.                           All rights reserved.

            Let us open our Bibles to Titus, chapter 2.  In our study of the second chapter of Titus we are considering it under the title, "The Character of a Healthy Church."  In this chapter the Apostle Paul gives instruction to the church as to how it is to conduct itself.  He directs his instruction to older men, older women, younger women, younger men--selecting every category within the church and giving basically some direct and specific instruction to them.  This is very crucial to the life of the church, not only for its own internal well-being, but for the sake of its witness.  He says, in verse 5, that "This instruction is so that the Word of God may not be dishonored."  Verse 8, "So that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us."  And verse 10, "So that we may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect."  Those are evangelistic matters.  We want the Word of God honored; we want the opponents of Christianity silenced; and we want God our Savior adorned. 

Let's look at verses 3, 4, and 5,

      Older women likewise, are to reverent in their behavior, not       malicious gossips, not enslaved to too much wine, teaching       what is good, that they may encourage the young women to       love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible,       pure, workers at home, kind.  Being subject to their own       husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.

One of the responsibilities of the older women, which we noted when we discussed that, is that they are to teach the younger women, and here it is very specific what they are to teach, as indicated in verses 4 and 5.  God has designed, very clearly, His own order for the conduct of young women, just as He has for young men and older folks as well.  If there is anything in our culture that is being attacked more viciously than any other, it is this matter of the role of young women.  In fact, if I were to title this message alone, I might title it "The Feminist Attack on the Divine Order for Women."  We are going through that right now.  No matter what I would say about verses 4 and 5 it would be controversial.  If I just read it--it would be controversial. 

One of the most devastating, and debilitating, and destructive movements in our day is the "Feminist Movement."  It is changing not only the world but sadly it is changing the church, and as a result the Word of God is being dishonored; opponents are having plenty bad to say about us and God our Savior is being dishonored and shamed.  Radical feminism has brainwashed our culture.  It has brainwashed our culture to the degree that even the church has fallen victim to this.  Church leaders, theologians, professors of theology who are supposed to be profound in the Scripture, as well as lay people in the church have bought the feminist lies.  There was even an organization in America called "CBE" having to do with Christians for Equality, and this is an evangelical group advocating a feminist agenda.

Marriage and the family, the primary building blocks of social and moral order, are in shambles in our country and the future is even worse than the present.  Unthinking Christians, unthinking believers, not just in liberal churches but in evangelical churches, unthinking, untaught Christians are falling prey to this agenda.  The sad thing is that most of us have no idea where it is coming from.  Most of us think that this is just a lot of women who really just want some liberation and some freedom and they're tired of cleaning floors and washing dishes, and they want equal pay, and they want equal jobs, and they want to get out from under the mundane duties and express themselves in more grandiose ways than they think they can in the home--that may be a contemporary component--that isn't even remotely related to the reason for this.

The real feminist agenda is frightening.  The real feminist agenda is Satanic and you need to understand that, so I am going to do something this morning that is a bit unusual.  Rather than diving right into the text this morning, I want to give you some understanding of where this movement today has come from, so that you will see that text in its proper light.

What the public sees is women who want to be free.  In fact, there is even a book published by a Christian publisher written by a Christian woman, called, "Woman Be Free;" and we think that this is a movement about freedom for women, freedom from strictures that bind them to their husbands and their children and their duties in the home.  We see it as a cry for equality in a society that is preoccupied with life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness; a cry for opportunity and privilege to use their abilities and their skills unhindered and unrestricted; and sometimes the rhetoric does sound reasonable.  But the real agenda is not reasonable--it is frightening. 

Let me help you to understand some of the philosophy that is behind this movement, by giving you some quotes from the recognized leaders of the feminist movement: 

Gloria Stimenn (sp.) says, "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God." 

Radical feminist leader Sheila Cronam (sp.), who is oft quoted by the way, says this, "Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women's movement must concentrate on attacking this institution.  Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage."

The "Declaration of Feminism" goes back to November of 1971 when they laid out their agenda and this is what it says, "The end of the institution of marriage is necessary for the liberation of women; therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men.  All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women.  We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!"  Mark that, "We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft!"

Anne Lori Gaylor (sp.) writing an article called "Feminist Salvation" in the "Humanist" in 1988 says, "Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragement, solace, and inspiration from real women.  2,000 years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women towards the feminist salvation of the world."

Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist, Assistant Professor of Education at Welsley College, and the Associate Director of the school's Center for Research on Women, writes, "In order to raise children with equality we must take them away from families and communally raise them."

And that well known name, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, writing an article called "Women in the New Race," says this, "The most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it."

We cannot think lightly about this agenda--we have to think deeply about it.  The fact that you may feel in your heart some need to be free because you become victimized by the current agenda, doesn't really mean that you really understand the agenda.  You don't know that behind this entire feminist movement is some very Satanic religious philosophy, and it runs very deep in the people who are influencing our culture, the people who have influenced deeply and provided the whole agenda, to say, Hillary Clinton and many others.  And we have to take these ideas very seriously because they are in the White House, and now they will be creating laws that we have to live by.  They are obliterating our culture.  They are being taught through every avenue to our youth, and even Christians are falling under the spell of the feminists.

Sheila Croonan (sp.) again, writing in the National Organization of Women Times, in January of 1988, said, "The simple fact is, every woman must be willing to be recognized as a lesbian to be fully feminine!"  Now, some people might think that this is some kind of a 20th century phenomena, that this is some kind of a new thing connected to American democracy and egalitarianism--it is not--it is old; it is very, very old.  Though in our time, in our century it is an expression of the anti-male, homosexual women who generated it, it is not a human creation at all; it is Satanic--absolutely and utterly Satanic.  I want to take you back to some of its origins so that you can understand it.

Feminism with all of its assorted features and its unique companionship with homosexuality is an old, old heresy that is meant to destroy God's design.  It really started in the Garden when Eve, the original feminist, stepped out from under Adam's authority and thought that she would act independently and led the whole race into sin; and thus the first act in Satan's feminist agenda was successful.

Let's go back, say, to the time of the New Testament.  We won't go all the way back into ancient, ancient time; we can learn enough by going back into New Testament times.  When we get back into the time of the New Testament, before the New Testament, running through the New Testament and after, we have a religion that is generally known as Gnosticism.  It comes from a Greek word "gnosis" which means "to know."  Gnosticism was the religion, the mystical religion of superior knowledge.  You could experience mystical, intuitive, spiritual knowledge, which was higher than the Bible--that was the whole point of it.  It was an anti-God, antichrist, anti-Biblical religion designed by Satan to lure people away from Scripture.  What you see today in the feminist agenda is a repackaging, a reincarnation of ancient Gnosticism.  In fact, the parallels are very striking.

Peter Jones, writing in his book, very interesting book, "The Occult Empire Strikes Back," says, "Gnosticism is a broad term to describe false, anti-God religion developed before the birth of Christ as the meeting of the mysticism of the Eastern religions and the rationalism of the Greek West."  That's just a broad definition.  Gnosticism took Greek Rationalism (i.e., the musings and the mind of man) and Eastern Mysticism (those intuitive, esoteric, fanciful, imaginatory experiences that mystics supposedly have), and wed them together and said, "This is the higher knowledge, this is the lofty knowledge, this is the superior knowledge."  It is very hard to pin down specifics in the Gnostic religion because it is a kaleidoscopic mixture of all kinds of mystical things, and anytime that you have a mystical religion it is somewhat amorphous or shapeless because it tends to ebb and flow in the minds and the imaginations of its adherents.

Today, Gnostic religion is called the "New Age Philosophy," but it's Gnosticism--it's the same thing.  It's a new kind of mystical, higher level of knowledge that is supposedly shows the weakness, the mundane character of Biblical Christianity.

Now, let's look at Gnosticism and get some idea of what it is.  The best way to define it is by what it attacked, rather than what it is, because as I said, it is so amorphous, it is so subject to imagination and intuition that it can spin off in all kinds of ways.  But the one thing you do see in Gnosticism is that it continually blasts everything the Scripture affirms.  So you can know it by what it attacks. 

At the heart of ancient Gnosticism was a central myth, and that central myth drove the whole heresy.  Here is that myth: the myth was that the physical universe was never intended to exist--it's part of that old Greek dualism "That matter is evil and spirit is good."  But the idea was we were all supposed to be free spirits, and free spirits with full self- knowledge would be divine, and we were just supposed to float around in the mystical free world of spirit life, unencumbered and uninhibited by physical definition and confinement.  But, the physical universe came into being, and it came into being, they said, because a foolish sub-god created the universe. 

If you read ancient Gnostic literature you will see that they attack the Creator God, they mock Him, they disdain Him with a disdain that even has components of hatred in it.  They hate the Creator God who made matter because to them matter was evil, and it becomes the prison of the free floating spirit. 

According to one recently discovered Gnostic text, God the Creator is presented as, "Blind, ignorant, arrogant, the source of envy, and they call him the 'Father of Death.'"  Gnostics believe that this fake god somehow (and they have to believe this or their whole thing would fall apart)--this fake god somehow, when he created the universe, accidentally infused into humanity some spark of divine life.  They would have to say that or they would have no way to fan the spark of divine life that they want to believe that is in them.  So that man is divine: there is a little component of divinity in him which he needs to fan until it just consumes him and he becomes fully divine.  But here is this man with the divine spark, or this woman with a divine spark imprisoned in evil matter, and he has to find, or she has to find, a way to escape. 

Gnostics taught that there is no such thing as sin, because there is no such thing as right and wrong in the human realm; therefore, there is no need for a Savior, there is no need for a death on the cross, there is no need for an atonement.  What they needed to do to be saved was (listen to this) "Throw off the God of the Old Testament--this evil God."  Throw off the God of the New Testament with all of His laws and all of His threats, and all of His so-called punishment.  Throw off the whole Old and the whole New Testament and free yourself from the encumbering of this subgod, this bungling creator who did what he never should have done and created a prison for us in doing it. 

So you can see that the first tenet of their system was a blasphemy against God--calling God evil, bungling, ignorant.  The system also included (listen to this) lies that elevated women.  Ancient Gnosticism focused on women, this is what it said, for example, "Eve was a spirit endowed woman who saved Adam."  They said, "Final salvation for the whole world from the imprisonment of matter will come through female power, and the key is female self-actualization, self-realization, self-knowledge, in which a woman becomes so fully in tune with herself and so well knows herself, and actualizes, and realizes and fulfills herself that she becomes fully divine, and as she becomes divine she will rescue the rest of these lame men just like Eve, fully divine, rescued poor Adam." 

In fact, convoluting the creation account, Gnostic texts tell us that Dame Wisdom was the heavenly Eve.  There was a mystical heavenly woman named "The Heavenly Eve" who is the same as Dame Wisdom (she is the source of all wisdom).  She entered the snake in the garden, and she taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation.  The snake then is not called the "Tempter," the snake in Gnostic literature is the "Instructor."  The snake is ultimate wisdom, the snake was wiser than anybody else.  The snake, it says in Gnostic literature, is the redeemer because the snake is the incarnated woman who comes to heavenly Eve and teaches the truth about self-realization, which is self-fulfillment, which is making yourself divine, which delivers you from being encumbered by matter. 

They also say this, "The serpent in the garden is the true Christ, the true reflection of God."  So, they take redemptive history and stand it on its head like a Satanist cross in a Black Mass.  God is evil, the serpent in the garden is the true Christ, Christ in the New Testament--the reflection of God--is equally evil.  Now, again I say, it is hard to pin all this stuff down, it's mystical stuff, but you can see not so much by what it is, the clarity of it, but by what it attacks.  Right?  It attacks God, Christ, the Bible, Creation. 

"Though caught in matter," they say, the Gnostics, "humanity once again can become part of the universal whole by a process of self-realization."  They say in the Book of Genesis, "The lack of self-realization is really the problem that man has."  The Bible says that man's problem is sin--sin!  And the root of his sin is his self-preoccupation, so they flip that completely around.

So the heart and core of Gnostic religion then is the "consubstantiality of self with God;" you make yourself into God.  You are the only God that exists: you get in tune with yourself, you elevate yourself--self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-actualization, self-realization, self-fulfilment; whatever your self wants that's how you become God--you just give complete sway to your own self-desire. 

[The Gnostics say] "So the human plight is not because we have moral offenses against God, but we are ignorant of human potential."  Listen to this, according to Gnostic writing, "The real Christ's spirit actually sat on the branch of a tree watching the Christ on the cross and laughed at Him."  Let me read to you from the Apocalypse of Peter (one of their ancient documents), this is from that Apocalypse,

      He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the       living Jesus, but the one in who's hands and feet they drive       the nails is the fleshly part, which is the substitute part       being put to shame, the one who came into being in His       likeness.  Be strong, for you are the one to whom these       mysteries have been given to know them through revelation,       that he whom they crucified is the firstborn and the home of       demons, and He who stands near him is the living Savior.

The earthly Christ is a demon; the spiritual mystical Christ in the tree laughing is the true Christ.  Further, they said, "Since the true Christ never died, there is no resurrection."  Redemption, then, is not a gracious, miraculous transformation of a person through the sacrifice of Christ.  Redemption is self-understanding, self-actualization, that is, giving sway to anything your self wants: getting out of the strictures, getting out of the limits, getting out of the prison, being free.  Peter Jones writes that, "The Gnostic believers are saved when they realize who they are: a part of the divine, processing within themselves the kingdom; capable of anything; untrammeled by human traditions, creational structures, or divine laws.  It follows that part of self-redemption is the rejection of Biblical ethical norms and the promotion of the distortion of Biblical sexuality."  In fact, they say, "That when a person comes to full self-knowledge he becomes another living Christ, and since the serpent had that knowledge; the serpent who was the woman is also the true living Christ."  Everything twisted and perverted. 

Gnosticism is the blasphemy of Satanic distortion of God's truth:

The Bible says, God is a good God and He is the sovereign God--the Gnostics denied it and blasphemed His name. 

The Bible says, Christ is the Living God incarnate in flesh--the Gnostics blasted it, blasphemed His name. 

The Bible says the snake was the tempter--they say the snake is wisdom personified who is the instructor.

The Bible says Jesus died on a cross for your sins--the Gnostics says that the Jesus that died on the cross was a joke.

Obviously, this is Satan's lying heresy to confound God's truth.  This blasphemous stuff the Apostle Paul wrote against, even in his epistles in the New Testament.  It is the doctrine of demons from seducing spirits.  This wasn't invented by Gloria Steinem (sp.) and Bella Apsburg (sp.), this was invented in the pits of hell millennia ago. 

Now, to the very central element in this; and that is the issue of "Feminism."  What role did feminism play in Gnosticism?  Well, it played a very, very important role, as I told you already.  Eve was the savior of Adam; and furthermore, the spiritual or heavenly Eve was the personification of wisdom in the serpent who became the instructor, and by thus, his instruction sets out to save men.  But let's take a look at some other things.

In the Gnostic system, Eve dominates Adam and sexual roles are totally altered.  And you can understand this, because Satan wants to totally tear up God's created order.  They wrote (the early Gnostics did) that

      The divine revealer was feminine.  The divine revealer said,       "I am Androgynous.  I am both mother and father, it is       through me alone that the all stands firm.  I am the womb       that gives shape to the all by giving birth to the light       that shines in splendor.  I am the aeon to come.  I am the       fulfillment of the all, that is, the glory of the mother."

Now, all of that doubletalk is the talk of the Androgyny of Gnosticism: that means the wiping out of all sexual distinction.  There are Gnostic texts where God the Creator is castigated by a higher feminine power.  That's that heavenly Eve called "Sophia"--Dame Wisdom.  And, "God the Creator," the Gnostics said, "finally learned that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  In other words, He learned to fear the feminine "Sophia," so that the God of the Bible is now in fear of the feminine god "Sophia."  The feminization, then, of this higher God "Wisdom" led directly to the ordination of women.  The ordination of women flows out of the feminization of deity. 

The early Gnostic, well known to church history students, named "Marcion," was excommunicated from the church in A.D. 150.  He then established his own church, in which he appointed women as bishops and priests.  In the Valentinian Gnosticism, women functioned as teachers, evangelists, healers, priests, perhaps as bishops.  This movement in the church to put women in the roles of spiritual leadership is simply reflective of this same kind of religious attitude.  In sum, Gnosticism, then, rejects the Creator God of Scripture as blind, and envious, malicious, not hesitating to commit the most heinous blasphemy of all.  The Gnostics even called the God of the Bible "The True Devil."  For the true Gnostic, the real God, whoever this force was, was unknowable, impersonal, untouchable--some kind of unified sum of separated parts--a sort of pantheistic force.  But they said this, "The divine being, because he is all and all, impersonal, untouchable--just this big force--is best expressed by 'androgyny,' that is, the erasure of male and female distinctions." 

The ideal for the Gnostic was to become sexless--a radical refusal of sexual differentiation, and a complete confusion of sexual identity and God's intended role.

See, this is how Satan has always tried to tear up God's moral order in the world, and attacking the family, of course, does the greatest damage.  Diabolical reversal of everything--is Satan's approach.  Destroy God's created order; destroy the integrity of Scripture; destroy the character of God; destroy the name of Christ.

Beloved, I am telling you this is what is behind today's feminist movement.  This is not some whimsical deal that popped up in the 20th century by a few women who wanted to take off the apron and buy a briefcase--this is not that.  This is not something that was invented by women who wanted to abort their babies and get into the corporate halls and the executive washrooms.  This "New Age" thinking (that's what it is called today) is nothing but "Gnosticism."  "New Age" is a new way of talking about age-old Gnosticism.  The heart of it is that female power is the key to salvation.  The "Goddess Cult" is back! 

Shirley McClain wrote a book called "Going Within," and in her book she writes this dedication, "Dedicated to Sachi (sp.), Mother Kathleen Anbila (sp.), and all the other women and men who seek the spiritual feminine in themselves.  Male is matter, matter is male, matter is evil, male is evil, feminine is spirit, spirit is feminine, and that's good."

Radical feminism today is being moved along by the idea that women must be liberated and they can redeem humanity--they can save humanity.  These are the philosophers that are driving the movement--the religionists: "Creator God of Genesis has to go, He is male, tyrannical, he denies basic human liberties, He demands total obedience, He threatens punishment for evil deeds."  Consequently, "Original sin is not to be found in man," they said, "but in God.  Feminist liberation releases us from God, and from all His evil male values--like marriage, fidelity, family, authority, and morality.  The serpent Eve wants to set us free!  The God of the Bible is a jealous tyrant who wants to stand in her way."

So when you hear about the Methodists, or the Presbyterians, or whatever, or the Episcopalians, deciding to change the Bible and put in "She"--you know that this is not some human contrivance to make ladies feel better about themselves--this is a Satanic religion, as Satanic as a "Black Mass!"  And, as with ancient Gnosticism, the New Age movement today, the goal of liberation, is total reversal of all God-ordained values!  That's why it is so unthinkable that Christians would get sucked into this! 

"I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely," said Roman Catholic theologian Carol Krist (sp.).  "I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely,"--there you have in one simple statement the whole deal.  Where is God?  In myself.  What is God?  Feminine!  And, I am one with God.  And she found God in herself with liberation from all Biblical constraint. 

The path to the New Age involves destroying the Biblical male and female differentiation--that's New Age feminism.  Take for example New Age author Charlene Sprentnack's (sp.) book, "The Politics of Women's Spirituality," published by Doubleday, (by the way the same publisher that published the Anchor Bible Commentary series; they are publishing God's Word and Satan's at the same time).  This book, "The Politics of Women's Spirituality" is a book that calls for an end to Judeao-Christian religion, and the call is that we will end Judeao-Christian religion by a feminist movement nourished on goddess-worship paganism and witchcraft that succeeds in overthrowing the global rule of men.  Feminism wants revenge. 

Their real ideological goal, because it's Satan's goal, is to absolutely erase any recollection of creational structure and Biblical morality--wipe it out!  And they are after it!  You wonder, don't you, two generations from now whether anyone will know what Biblical morality is.  Well, they might be able to read the ancient Bible and see what it looked like, but they certainly are going to have a hard time looking around town to find it.  And here, witless Christians jump on this feminist bandwagon as if it were some harmless thing: "Well, we have a right to work, and we shouldn't be confined at home, and I have a right to express fully myself."  Silly women who fall prey and silly men who do as well.

George Guilder (sp.) is a prominent writer.  He makes no claim to be a Christian, but he does understand the agenda.  He was once a feminist thinker, but since 1973 he has realized what their agenda is and he's written about it; this is what he says,

      The revolutionary members of the "Women's Movement" say that        sexual relationships are fundamental to all our other       institutions and activities.  If one can profoundly change       the relations between the sexes (they contend) one could       radically and unrecognizably transform the society.

[He is] dead right!  The Satanic agenda is to destroy human society, to just rip the family to shreds and to destroy marriage, so that God has no means to pass righteousness from one generation to the next.  Right? Which was always the role of the family.  There is no more order maintained in society.  There are no more ethical values left, and the way you do that is sexually--you just shred all standard norms sexually, so nobody knows how any one is related to anybody, but everybody is free to do whatever they want to do and that is how they become divine. 

Guilder rightly affirms that "Sexuality is not simply a matter of games people play, it is one of the few matters, truly, of life and death to society."  He warns that if the feminist agenda, even in it's most moderate version, is carried through, "Our society is doomed to years of demoralization and anarchy, possibly ending in a police state" 

Our society is doing exactly what I told you in Romans one happens to a society when "God gives them over."  What does it say?  "God gave them over," and what did they do?  "Women with women doing things which aren't even imaginable, and men with men doing things which aren't imaginable."  that's what happens to a society under God's wrath--God lets them go--and they're going the way of the Satanic lies. 

Playing right into the hands of the Satanic lies is our own government--working hard aren't they?  What are they working so hard?  Our government, the government of the United States, State of California, the City of Los Angeles, are doing everything they can do to eliminate all gender differences.  That is not an issue of constitutional liberty; that is an issue of Satanic religion. 

Homosexuality is the companion of feminism because of androgyny.  Homosexuality running rampant--no society can survive that.  The Roman Empire didn't survive it.  This entire system is going right into the "pit"--tearing up God's order--sexually; tearing up families; tearing up marriage; blaspheming God; blaspheming Christ; exalting the Serpent.  I read one book this weekend where one man suggested that the Antichrist might be a woman if we keep going the w

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