When Satan skews the illustrations of God’s truth, he is actually working to skew the truth itself. We know that God has ordained marriage to be a committed relationship between one man and one woman, but why? His explanation is clearly given in both Testaments. In Genesis 2:24, we are told, “Therefore (because the woman was made from Adam’s flesh) shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The inspired explanation in Ephesians 5:30-31 is clear, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife…” Simply put, marriage between one man and one woman is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church.
The roles of the husband and wife are the illustration of Christ’s redemptive plan for man. The husband illustrates the loving leadership of Christ, and the wife illustrates the loving trust of believers in Christ. This truth is also taught in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” This verse suggests no such thing as inequality between Christ and God, but the willing subordination of the Son to the Father in the redemptive plan. Just as there is a testimony of loving leadership and loving trust in the Godhead, there is this same testimony in the home.
Think of it: no human being comes into this world that is not born into an illustration of God’s redemptive plan. No matter what kind of spiritual darkness covers the cultures of the world, every living soul has, or has had, a human father and mother. No wonder Satan has targeted the family for destruction since the Garden of Eden. Paint an inaccurate picture, and the observer is likely not to recognize the real thing. Having perverted the Biblical plan for marriage, the forces of evil are now allied to institutionalize the perversion. We must not be distracted into thinking this is merely a debate about civil rights; it is a matter of defending the Gospel!
The illustration of the family is reinforced by an illustration in the Local Church. Baptists have historically held to a church polity based on two offices: Pastor and Deacons. Although other traditions may have some merit, the weight of biblical teaching on church polity is similar to that on the home. The two offices provide another illustration of loving leadership and loving trust. When these offices are properly pictured, they are helpful to both the Christian family and the community that need the Gospel. Evil pressures are just as strong and focused to pervert the Local Church as they are toward the family. Dictatorial pastors should not be surprised to find bullies at the head of homes. Rebellious leadership among the men of the church can well expect there to be rebellion in the homes.
Just as parents who violate their biblical roles influence their children to despise those roles and assume unbiblical attitudes and lifestyles, so it is in the Church. Pastors and deacons are in a powerful position to communicate truth, if they believe it and are committed to it. It has often been said that the Church has more influence on the culture than the culture on the Church. Liberation from the biblical role of the Church in its relationship to Christ preceded the “liberation” of women in the home. An apostate Church should not be surprised to find itself in an apostate society.
We will not change the minds of the spiritually blind through logic and the majority vote. This problem is an outcry for revival. We will never end the holocaust of abortion, the insanity of redefining marriage, or a host of other problems until we have a sane judiciary, which we will never have until we have a Congress with character, which we will never have without an electorate with principles. That will only come through evangelism and the regeneration of individuals.
God’s redemptive plan includes two parties in a relationship: a Savior and a Believer; a loving Leader, and a trusting servant. Where better to present this Gospel in a convincing, well illustrated way than from within the two places where God has built the illustration into the very structure itself: the Biblical home and the Fundamental Baptist Church.
John Vaughn is the President of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International.
(Originally published in FrontLine • November/December 2004. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)