This is a public gathering of worship where the Lordship of Jesus Christ is to be declared, exposited, offered and applied by all who hear. Our triune God alone is to be worshiped and we are to hear and proclaim His holy law and gospel openly, both here and throughout His land, without fearing any man.
Jesus said that the church is the light of the world and that we are not to put that light under a basket – it is to be put on a lampstand where it gives light to all who are in the house. We are to be the salt of the earth, preserving the world from encroaching evil. One of the applications of these things is that we are to speak openly as a church with regard to public darkness and public evil as it occurs. It seems we have no lack of opportunity of late, and so as we gather to worship, we must again make a public declaration to our civil rulers.
As a founding member church of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, our position on the latest action of the military is biblical and clear. One of our memorials reads as follows: “It is not lawful for women to be mustered for combat service, for our Lord has declared it an abomination for women to don the martial attire of a man (Deut 22:5). Christian fathers must protect their daughters from being seduced or coerced into such a circumstance, and the Church must support them as they do so.”
In other words, we are required by the scriptures to declare to Mr. Panetta, “Mr. Secretary, you may not place women in combat positions as standard operating procedures. It is an abomination to the Lord.”
This issue was discussed in two sermons I preached as we went through the book of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 14:21b we are commanded not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk and we learned that this passage, in light of all of Scripture, teaches us that women were created by God to be life-givers, nurturers and sustainers of life – not dealers in death. In Deuteronomy 22:5 we are told that it is an abomination for women to dress in warrior-garb.
Of course, the church is having a difficult time declaring this because we are just as guilty blending genders where the Scriptures make clear distinctions – for instance, ordaining women as though they could be pastors or elders. We don’t obey the clear and obvious teaching of scripture; why should the world? Our unisex, egalitarian culture is an abomination. We are not to destroy mankind, with all of its masculine and feminine distinctions, as God created us. We are instead to cultivate and glory in these distinctions. To mess with them is to mess with the picture of the Gospel.
And this is why we are so mixed up. This is why the church does not know how to wage real warfare with her spiritual weapons. This is why the Gospel proclaimed to our generation is so impotent. Our message is all mixed up, our pictures are all skewed, our unrepentant hypocrisies are unnoticed by us but as obvious as can be to the unbelieving world. Let judgment begin with the household of God.