Defending Wayne

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When a man stands up for something, you can be certain that others will try to make him sit back down. When he refuses, it’s his character that suddenly finds itself in the crosshairs.

You probably have never heard of Wayne Grudem but if you pay any attention to national politics, you’re about to hear a lot about him. And my guess is that most of what you hear won’t be good.

Wayne Grudem isn’t a politician. He’s a seminary professor and author. His most notable work is called Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. If you’ve spent any time in a quality Christian college or seminary, you’ve come across this book. But none of that has anything to do with why you’ll be hearing Wayne Grudem’s name.

Wayne Grudem is a complementarian. That means that he believes that a husband should do the job of leading is wife and children. Well, that’s the actual definition. Progressives would use a different one. To them, a complementarian is someone who sits on the couch all day telling his woman to get him another beer while he considers his next rape victim.

Along with writing books, Wayne Grudem serves as a religious liberty adviser for presidential candidate Marco Rubio. That’s why you’re going to be hearing Wayne Grudem’s name a lot.

In fact, it’s already happened.

Time Magazine calls him “controversial.” One blogger says that he, “limits women.” As Rubio’s numbers continue to rise, you can expect more people to attack Wayne Grudem. When politicians shine a light on religious men who stand with conviction, you can always expect the character attacks to follow.

But rather than listening to all of the attacks and misinformation, perhaps we should look at the man himself. In doing so, we might just get a good picture of what it really means for a man to lead his family.

Wayne Grudem was a department chair at a major evangelical seminary in the Chicago area. For his field, it was a dream job. You could say that it was like coaching the New England Patriots, minus all of the cheating of course. He had the job that hundreds of Bible scholars would love to have.

But all wasn’t well. Wayne’s wife was sick and the Chicago climate made her illness worse. A job opened up for Wayne in Arizona, a climate that had already proven to be much more friendly to his ailing wife. Here’s how Grudem handled the decision of walking away from his dream job of 20 years and moving to a new place to work at a school that few had even heard of.

“On September 19, 2000, when we were in the middle of this thinking process, I came to Ephesians 5:28, ‘Even so, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.’ If I were living with the pain in my body that Margaret is living with, I thought, would I move for the sake of my health? Yes, I would. So, if I were to love my own wife as I love my own body, then shouldn’t I move for the sake of Margaret? It seemed an unmistakable implication of this verse.”

That sounds nothing like the caveman that Wayne Grudem and other complimentarians are often presented to be. It sounds more like a man who loves his wife enough to lead her and make personal sacrifices for her good.

But the decision making process wasn’t over for the Grudem’s. Wayne wanted desperately to avoid the leadership mistakes that he had made earlier in their marriage.

“At that time, I thought that God wanted me to teach at a seminary, and though I had asked Margaret what she thought, I did not honestly listen. I think that I failed to understand that though the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), a well functioning head has ears. Perhaps if I had listened more, and involved her more in the process, many of the details of the decision would have been different.”

Now wait just a minute! Wayne Grudem didn’t drag his wife by her hair all the way from Chicago to Arizona?

Grudem has endorsed Marco Rubio for president. I have not. But I am endorsing Wayne Grudem. Not for president but rather for a man who we would all be better of having listened to and read.

In the coming weeks you will be told that Wayne Grudem is against women. As his own life story shows, he is not. What he is against is feminism. You know, that failed worldview that virtually demonized all sex, scares men out of even thinking about approaching a woman without first signing a contract of mutual engagement and that has led many women to put aside the so-called ball and chain of an apron and trade it in for the much heavier one that comes with grabbing for more and more power.

So to put it another way, Wayne Grudem is very much for women. If you don’t believe me, just ask his wife. You can look for them the next time you’re in Arizona.

Will Your Church Be A Lighthouse?

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It’s that time of year again. Fighting. Greed. Power plays. But enough about the Wal-Mart parking lot on Thanksgiving night. Let’s talk about your church and those wishing to be the next president of the United States.

Christians, don’t prostitute your places of worship out to the most likely presidential candidate. Remember, the church is the body of Christ, not a billboard to be used by Donald Trump or any other candidate. If we remember that, we will find ourselves making a much bigger impact in our communities and around the world.

Don’t get me wrong. Christians must speak up. Our voices must be heard defending the unborn, the orphan, the widow and the abused. Our presence must be felt in the public square. This is no plea for Christians to get out of politics. Rather, it is a plea for Christians to get politicians out of their churches, unless those politicians are content to worship Jesus with everyone else in the church (James 2:1-13).

People are hurting. They are scared and they are looking for answers. The last thing the man who just lost his son to suicide needs to hear on a Sunday morning is some lesser of two evils presidential candidate reminding us of why he’s better than Hillary Clinton. What that man needs is the gospel. He needs to be reminded that Jesus is in control and that Jesus is good. Rand Paul or Ted Cruz aren’t going to do that. And I don’t know that we should expect them to. Perhaps we should just let them figure out how to balance the budget and shut down ISIS and let the pastor take care of the Sunday morning sermon.

And that Sunday morning sermon should not be devoted to telling people who they should vote for. Most of us have the candidate that we like. And that’s good. But that candidate, no matter how sincere or noble, should not be propped up as if he can do what only the gospel can. Pastor, write a blog post about your political opinions. Share them with friends over a slice of pizza. But don’t push the Bible to the side on Sunday mornings in order to have more time to let everyone know what you think about Marco Rubio. Even worse, don’t open the Bible and use it to prove that the white horse from Revelation 19 is really Marco Rubio.

Your church should be about the business of lifting up Jesus Christ, not Ben Carson. Your church should be a place where broken hearts find their hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ, not Jeb Bush’s tax plan. And your church should be a place where Jesus, not some politician, is presented as victorious over the enemy. In case you need reminding, that ultimate enemy is Satan, not Hillary. Feel free to leave your own joke about that in the comments section on Facebook. You’re welcome.

There are two options for your church when it comes to the campaign for president. It can play the part of a lighthouse or a prostitute. If you want to be a lighthouse, just love Jesus, love people and preach the gospel faithfully. If you want your church to be a prostitute, I hear that Donald Trump has a few Sunday mornings open next month.

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