Are You Like Your Mother?
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
As you may have guessed after reading the Scripture above, we will not be discussing the psychology behind the mother-daughter relationship. The word, “mother” in the title is in reference to the mother of us all – Eve (Genesis 3:20). You well remember how she was deceived and the consequences that followed (Genesis 3:1-6, 16). Deception is the topic at hand and it is an interesting one. We do not often ask ourselves whether or not we are involved in deception – either as the recipient or the contributor. The nature of deception lends itself toward such neglect of examination; for when we are deceived by someone, we very rarely “know what hit us” or else it would not be deception. As Christian women, when was the last time we asked ourselves if we are being deceived about a certain subject? Although much could be said from God’s Word about deceiving others (it is not looked upon favorably – Proverbs 24:28; Revelation 20:10), the content of this article will focus upon examining whether or not we, as God’s women, are the ones being deceived.
The Spirit speaks of deception over seventy times in the Scriptures. The words, “do not be deceived” or “let no one deceive you” is found ten times in the New Testament. Even if it were stated only once, it would be an important subject to study. God, in His wisdom, has seen fit to remind us forgetful humans to be ever watchful of deception. Let us be honest as we consider and discuss some ways that we may be deceived:
Are you deceiving yourself? Often, we are guilty of comparing ourselves to others or comparing a situation to someone else’s in order to justify some wrongdoing in our lives. You may have heard something similar to: “My teenager got a tattoo and started smoking, but at least she’s not sleeping around like that other girl,” or “I know what the Bible says about adultery, but God wants me to be happy and I do a lot of good in the church.” When we try to justify our sinful lifestyle or that of someone else, we are lying to ourselves (and others). God has plainly stated in His Word what sin is; and when we try to go against that, only corruption in our lives ensues (Romans 6:23, 7:11; James 1:14-16; 1 John 3:4). Maybe, we think we are without sin and much more spiritual than another person. The apostle John states that the truth is not in us if we say that we have no sin (1 John 1:8). The apostle Paul warns against deceiving ourselves by thinking that we are better than others in some way(1 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 6:3, 7). James specifically mentions the misuse of the tongue as a way we can deceive ourselves (James 1:26). As Christian women, we cannot claim to be spiritually minded, and yet, say whatever crosses our minds (James 3:9, 10; Colossians 4:6; 1 Timothy 5:13). With such an attitude, the ultimate deception occurs – deceived by self. Really, this kind of thinking is putting our thoughts above God’s Word – thinking we are somehow wiser than the Almighty. Just as Eve knew what God had stated about eating the fruit, we know what He states in His Word. Will we deceive ourselves and try to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5) as our mother did? Or will we submissively obey His Word? God desires us all to humbly submit to Him, admitting our sin (2 Chronicles 7:14; James 4:8; 1 John 1:9; Romans 4:7). Sin has no place in the Christian’s life nor the attempt to justify other’s sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:1-5; 1 John 3:6-7). We will be held accountable for such (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We can deceive ourselves but we cannot deceive God!
Are you being deceived by evolution/humanism? This philosophy has taken the world by storm. Since the mid-1800s through the 1900s a shift in the mindset of the populace occurred and more people abandoned the Truth for so-called science. Well-educated, intelligent individuals told the public that these “scientific discoveries” were facts, and the public, not wanting to be unintelligent gave in to it. Today, it is not uncommon to hear people claim they do not believe in a higher power because evolution has been proven. Even more absurd is some claiming they believe God used evolution and millions of years to form what we see today (2 Timothy 3:13). If we think that our beliefs do not affect the actions and decisions we make in our lives, we are being deceived. We have all seen the Internet flooded with news stories such as the outcries of injustice for a gorilla who was killed because he was hurting a child that fell in his cage or violent protests claiming a certain race of people are important – that in some waytheir lives matter more than others. Not to mention such organizations like Planned Parenthood that helps kill over a million babies each year under the guise of “care”. This type of mindset is being deceived by man-made theories and propaganda. It is sad indeed when Christians give into these beliefs. Exodus 20:11 states that God made everything in six days and He ceased creating on the seventh. In the context of this passage, God is giving the commandment to the Israelites to observe the Sabbath Day. Now, how would Israel understand God’s reason for them to keep the Sabbath if He did not create the world in six literal, 24-hour days? They understood He meant just what He said - a day is a day, (they worked six days a week and rested the seventh – not millions of years!). Furthermore, along this vein, God made mankind in His Image (Genesis 1:26), and we are all of one race – Adam’s race (Acts 17:26). Humans are given the authority of stewardship over the earth (Genesis 1:28). God gave us the responsibility to take care of His creation, not place it above all else. Certainly, we are to be sad when we see animals mistreated (or any of His creation), but we must be moreoutraged when people willfully choose to take the innocent life of an unborn baby!Our science books may tell us that evolution has been proven, but the very nature of true scientific inquiry teaches that evidence points to proof. Where is the evidence for evolution? The fact is that there is not any observable evidence for man arising from primitive beings or the world exploding into order from chaos (man-made pictures in books is not proof). Really, the evidence we observe around us and continue to discover points to quite the opposite – design demands a Designer, codes require a Programmer, and physical laws demand a Law-giver. Only the God of the Bible can be the Creator of the universe! Because of His very nature, He cannot be subjected to human standards of scientific investigation, and is the only explanation (Cause) of our origin (effect) (John 4:24; Hebrews 3:4). His Word leaves no room for evolutionary ideas. Just as Satan tempted Eve and made sin look like the smart choice, we can be fooled into believing his gimmicks today. May we not be deceived by these false views but hold fast to the Truth (2 Timothy 2:22-26)!
Are you being deceived by feminism? This movement sprang from the roots of humanism and evolution. We saw it increasingly rise (at least in the US) in the last half of the 20th century. The doctrine of feminism is different from the characteristics pertaining to femininity. (See the article: https://www.thegospelofchrist.com/womens-study-aids/feminist-or-femininity). Many of us, as women, are guilty of being deceived by this philosophy. First, concerning the work place, we have developed the mindset that to be “complete” women we must first, work outside the home; and further, we must rise to the top and compete with men on all levels. This is a sensitive subject for many as they proclaim, “We can do any job a man can do!” Really, that is not the question. The question to ask as a Christian is, “Should I strive for a job that takes me from my responsibilities at home?” Let us be clear – a woman working outside the home may be a financial must, but her main, God-given responsibilities must be, first and foremost, to her home/husband/children (Titus 2:4, 5). Is there a correlation between the rise of women working outside the home and the breakdown of the family unit? Some have suggested such. As women, we cannot give into the mindset that we are of lesser value than our husbands (or any man) if we do not become highly educated and “meet our full potential” by becoming a CEO. A woman of God meets her true, full potential when she fears the Lord and puts spiritual things above the temporal (Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Secondly, feministic doctrine has influenced the area of fashion, and unfortunately, the Christian woman has swallowed it in gulps. The desire to look and feel attractive is a characteristic God has given us, but often, we selfishly carry it too far. God has not called us to look like runway models or to display the latest fashion trends (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3). Often, these trends are immodest and showcase the feminine body like something to be worshipped. It is not uncommon in today’s world to see women wearing revealing clothing in public. Tight skinny jeans, leggings with short skirts, and cleavage-showing tops have become the norm for our culture, but should it be so for women (especially Christian women)? Ladies, we know the answer to that. We are put here by God to spread His glory – How will showy, immodest clothing (or behavior) help win souls? The deceived feministic mind believes that a woman can do whatever she pleases – who are you to say otherwise (especially if you’re a man)? But, the truly liberated woman of God believes her worth is found in Christ and her beauty is in her character – incorruptible and precious (1 Peter 3:4).
Are you being deceived in your role as a Christian woman? Admittedly, this is related to the previous subject, however, it needs to be explored more specifically. Satan has used many ways to divide God’s people and deceive the whole world throughout the centuries (Revelation 12:9; 18:23). All of the methods are based upon lies and he has fooled many through persuasive, yet empty words (Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:4; 2 John 1:7). One such way is by convincing us that God’s Word is a document written to a people we cannot really understand, in a far off place, in a time that we just do not relate to anymore. Thus, with deception-filled minds, when we read such things as, “Let women keep silent in the churches…” (1 Corinthians 14:34), we come away thinking it is meant only for the 1st century Christians and their culture. Too many let that deception keep them from studying God’s Word fully and from seeing that the New Testament teaches a woman is not to be in authority (lead/speak) over a man in spiritual things (1 Timothy 2:12-14). (For further study see: https://www.thegospelofchrist.com/womens-study-aids/the-role-of-women. This type of deception is what Satan used on the very first woman– he got her to doubt God’s Word (“Has God indeed said…”, Genesis 3:1-5). Ladies, we make the same mistake as Eve if we believe/teach something different about our roles as women than what God states in His Word. We are letting Satan’s falsehoods or half-truths (which are still lies) blind our eyes from the path that God has set in place. There are now some elders who are permitting women to teach in mixed-gender worship assembly. Where does the Bible say elders can give their God-given authority as spiritual leaders away to women? Some claim that if we do not let women take on these leadership roles, then no one will do it and therefore, we are hindering the Gospel. Does disobeying God’s Word promote the spread of it? Does the end justify the means? This is truly Satan’s deception at its worse! The fact is, there are Christian men who have the potential to lead as God would have them – maybe they need more encouragement from us and lesscriticism and depreciation. Why did Satan approach and speak to Eve first? Maybe he knew he could play upon her emotions to influence her husband - something to think about. Ladies, we can have a powerful influence; but if we are being deceived and not following God’s Word, it will be to our detriment and to others’ demise. There is so much we as women can do in the Lord’s church, our homes, and the community for His glory. The Lord’s church today would not have many of the good works going on without God-fearing, faithful women. We must stand upon the eternal, relevant truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and let our lights shine in our God-given role as women (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-23, 33; Titus 2:3-5). Let us not be deceived like our mother!
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