Massachusetts forces schools to let ‘transgender’ boys use girls’ restrooms, lockers

Our current Western culture is obsessed with tolerance.  Tolerance is, at best, a word that points to people tolerating traits, characteristics, and belief sets, about others.  At worst, there is no objective framework for how far to tolerate.  Obviously, tolerance is great when practiced toward the things that make our country great, but it seems this word—tolerance—is being applied to everything these days.

Most recently, and hilariously sickening, tolerance has been applied to K-12 public schools in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has issued orders to the state’s K-12 public schools requiring them to permit “transgender” boys and girls to use the opposite sex’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing facilities as long as they claim to identify with that gender.

Many elementary schools in smaller Massachusetts towns include children from kindergarten through eighth grade, making it possible for boys as old as 14 to share toilet facilities with girls as young as five.

First of all, this is absurd.  Secondly, a 14-year-old boy with a five-year old girl in the same bathroom?  I absolutely cannot believe this is real.  It seems like something that is science fiction, or something that would take place in a Wayans Brothers film.  However, the absurdity doesn’t stop there.

“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student,” the statement says. “A school should accept a student’s assertion of his or her gender identity when there is … ‘evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity.’” That evidence, according to the document, can be as simple as a statement given by a friend.

That means, according to the newly issued school policies, that boys who say they identify as girls must be addressed by the feminine pronoun and be listed as girls on official transcripts.

They must also be allowed access to girls’ facilities and be allowed to play on girls’ athletic and club teams. The same is true for girls who say they are boys.

Obviously, I am a proponent of a real God who creates real people with real gender identities… all for his glory.  However, if this happened when I was in high school, I know two things that would have happened:

1) I would have been the best “girls” basketball player in the nation.

2) I would have been the first guy to “sign up verbally” to hang out in the girls locker room.

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Are Men the Weaker Sex?

In a recent article at the Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard doesn’t really come out and call men weak.  She does, however, use the word silent in her description of men today.  Her framework for this description is found in a simple and provocative message:

The feminist movement has been so effective in advancing women over the past several decades that the ability of men to thrive–indeed, their fundamental role in society–is now in peril.

We have, at everyone’s fault, said that it is not okay for men to have any powerful role in the advancement of society anymore.  Books are coming out called The End of Men and Men on Strike that point to this phenomenon of men being afraid to move forward in the world of work because they are potentially afraid to admit their own weakened position–again, by the fault of everyone.

Listen, I am totally okay with women in the workplace.  I am totally okay with women who are stellar candidates for CEO positions.  I am totally okay with women who function as great CEOs.  I would even be fine working for a good woman leader in the work place.  However, I am not okay with men being afraid to speak out, work hard, and move our society forward, even if it steps on the toes of the feminist movement.

So, for example, when a female CEO openly discriminates against a male job candidate, no one says a word.  Conferences and events geared toward helping women in business remain commonplace, even in industries where they’re reaching parity with men.  Research centers focused on women win grants, but no one demands comparable funding for studies on men.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of wimpy men who can’t adapt to an ever-increasing white-collar, female-launching, male-discriminate society.  As Beard states,

No man wants to be branded a whiny antifeminist by the growing sisterhood of leaders who are women.

My question for men (and women) is:  Why not?

This should be something we should talk about.  This is something there should be conferences on.  This is something there should be books written about.  This is something we should talk about in our churches.  This is something research centers should get grants for.

I, personally, am sick of the silence.

Conflict in Marriage is Almost Always the Man’s Fault

Think about that statement for a minute.  Conflict in marriage, I think, is almost always the man’s fault.  In fact, I might even go 100% on this one.  Though marriage is the pursuit of Jesus together, for God’s glory, between two one-flesh companions of equal dignity, value, and worth, it is also a place where sin can be magnified.  As men, we are called to a pretty high standard of leading our wives.  And as we know, leadership is not dictatorship.  Leadership is servant leadership.  What’s more, we, as men, are also called to provide and protect.  We are called not just to protect them physically, but also emotionally and mentally.  And so, where a man neglects his wife, conflict arises.  Whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, etc.  Conflict arises from unmet desires in our hearts.

Husband, you are called to know those desires and meet those desires in your wife.  You, as a man, are called to care for your wife as you would your own flesh (Ephesians 5:29).

And let me tell you, as a man who wants to love and serve his wife in great ways, I am thankful for the gospel.  Because it is in the grace of Jesus that I find unbelievable comfort and forgiveness when I fail… and it happens a lot!

 

Dads, Are You Doing Whatever it Takes to Lead? [AUDIO]

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Tons and tons of research is being done throughout the church toward the question, “How do we reach men?”  If you know me, then you know I am know super passionate about this question.  My life, as of late, has been on a crusade for this (hence, the book), and I think that though churches are, for the most part, attempting to reach men, challenge men, engage men, and spark a sense of courageous passion in them that only the gospel of Jesus can do when it takes root in a man’s heart, there are things that are drowning men, too.

Randy Stinson, author and professor at Southern Seminary, gives two distinct problems.

1) Lots of men are addicted to pornography.  And, in all honesty, we don’t talk about this issue as much as we should.  Pornography is ravishing our men.

2) God could potentially be turning a deaf ear towards men because of how they are treating their wife.  1 Peter 3:7 shows us this, when Peter says, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (emphasis mine).

I have added 2 things to this list in my sermon below.

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Why Should DAD Purchase ‘Reformational Manhood’ for His Teenage Son?

Here are several reasons:

1. As a dad, you are called to be the primary disciple-maker of your own children. This is a resource that will allow you to walk with them as you do just that.

2. We are a church of wimps, or as CS Lewis says, “Men without chests.” Let’s continue to reverse this and create warrior-men with iron chests.

3. Young men need to learn theology.

4. Young men need to learn the gospel.

5. Young men need to learn to share the gospel.

6. Young men need to learn to defend the gospel.

7. Young men need to learn courage.

8. Young men need to learn to prepare themselves for marriage at an early age.

9. Young men need to learn why they should never, ever paint their toenails.

10. Young men need to learn to be leaders.

11. Young men need to learn to work hard.

12. Young men need to learn to protect women and children.

13. Young men need to learn to make quick decisions amidst numerous possibilities for the benefit of others.

14. Young men need to learn to redeem their time from brainless and stupid activities.

15. Young men need to learn about Jesus, the only perfect man.

16. Young men need to learn how to treat and pursue women, appropriate to their differing relationships.

17. Young men need to be discipled by their dads, or a spiritual father.

18. Young men need stern, relational teaching and correction.

19. Young men need to learn to be servants.

20. Young men need to learn to be gospel-centered warriors.

PURCHASE REFORMATIONAL MANHOOD TODAY!

 

Dear Stay-At-Home Mom

This is a repost from Trevin Wax’s blog, Kingdom People. Thank you, Trevin, for these words.  They are a timely reminder for this husband of a an amazing stay-at-home mom.

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,

You are a gift of God to your husband and your kids.

But you don’t always feel that way, do you?

There’s a low-level feeling of guilt that creeps into your heart from time to time. Sometimes it bubbles over into tears, usually on lonely, difficult days.

You scan blogs and read books about being a good mom. You find some helpful tidbits here and there, often from women who are grandmothers now. Women you can learn from but who seem to have forgotten the struggle. They seem to have it all together.

In your heart, you want to be the kind of mom who trains up kids to make a difference for the kingdom. You know it’s an honor to be entrusted with these kids. You know you’ve only got one shot. You want to be the mom who teaches them the Bible, models how to pray, and trains them up in the fear of the Lord.

But most of the time you feel like you’re barely holding it all together.

Your house cleaning can’t keep up with your kids’ mess-making.

The kids embarrass you by acting up right when your guests arrive.

Your husband doesn’t get just how worn out you are by the end of the day.

You come to the end of your patience. You lose your temper.

Then you feel worse.

The last thing you consider yourself to be is a “good mom.”

And you think to yourself, It’ll be a miracle if my kids turn out okay.

And – surprisingly – that’s right where God wants to meet you. The place where you admit your powerlessness and your need for Him.

It’s only by God’s grace that any kid grows up to be a force for the kingdom.

You see, there are no perfect kids and no perfect mothers.

No matter what you read in blogs, see in magazines, and learn in books. There are sinful kids and sinful moms and dads.

And the only thing greater than both is the grace of God.

The God who says “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The God who loves to forgive, to transform, and empower.

God loves you – not because you are a good mother but just because you are His precious child.

God loves you – not because you’ve mastered all the skills of parenting but because He has.

It’s divine grace that will transform your parenting – not guilt.

It’s grace that will keep you going and serving and scrubbing when you’re exhausted and worn out.

It’s grace that will conquer your feelings of inadequacy and remind you of God’s love for you in Christ.

It’s grace that goes for the heart of your kids, not just their behavior.

God has demonstrated the fullness of His love for you through the cross of His Son, even while you were still a sinner.

He has promised you His presence.

He has spoken His approval over you in Christ.

He is the perfect Father who delights in you as a daughter.

Find in Him your Treasure and Joy. Be to others what He is to you.

So walk in freedom. Let Him hold you together when everything seems to be falling apart.

Bask in His unfailing love for you. And rest in His promise of power.

A Gospel-Centered Labor Day: Working Hard is Worship

As men, we are called to work and to work hard.  Paul states in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”  Now I realize that there are valid reasons why some men cannot work, but for those of us who can, we should see this as one of our greatest callings.  When we work, and work hard at that, we exalt Christ and honor God.  Our work becomes purposeful and provisional.  In our work, God is glorified.

To paraphrase and add to Piper, “God is most glorified in us, we are most satisfied in him… through our work.”

Labor Day is an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.

We are in somewhat of a paradox today as we celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers in our country, while also attempting to hide the reality that almost 1/10 people are unemployed in our nation.  As we continue to create gospel-centered warriors for the sake of Jesus’ name, teaching young men to work hard is of most importance.  We must teach our up-and-coming young men that work is foundational to who they are as men.  As men, we are called to work hard and provide for our families.  And then we are called to be good stewards of the prosperity that God may, only in his grace, provide us with.

As men, we must:

  • Work hard
  • Get paid
  • Use our resources well
  • Provide for the needs of our family
  • Give more
  • Not go into debt
  • Live within our means

Andy Stanley tweeted this morning: The National Debt is a direct result of the mishandling of our National Prosperity. No discipline with our dollars. #recoverybeginswithme

Here is the theological progression of work in Scripture.  May we live out Colossians 3:23 as we work.  May you work hard at resting on this gospel-centered labor day.

  • God created man (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • He gave us the mandate to work (Genesis 1:28)
  • Work would provide the way for Adam to eat (Genesis 1:29-30)
  • Adam fell into sin (Genesis 3:6-7)
  • God cursed the ground (Genesis 3:17-18)
  • Adam’s work (and our work through Adam) has now become toilsome (Genesis 3:19)
  • Work is still the means that provides food, but now we eat through the sweat of our brow (Genesis 3:19)
  • The curse has turned the desire for work in men to the default setting of laziness (1 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
  • Through Christ, we are redeemed and our work becomes purposeful, provisional, and God-glorifying(Col. 3:23)

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COMMENTS OR CONTACT:  I am always glad to hear from readers.  Leave a comment or contact me here.  Follow regular updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gregrgibson

 

Reformational Manhood / Info & Cover Artwork

Friends, I’m very excited to announce the news of my first book, Reformational Manhood.  This book is something that I have been working on for a little over two years and I couldn’t be more thrilled about its future release.  The book is being published with Borderstone Press.  Borderstone is a fairly new publishing company based in Arkansas, and they have published several great works already.  They have a very bright future.  I am humbled and honored to work with them on this project.

What is the book about?

Reformational Manhood is a book all about biblical manhood.  In fact, it is written in first person and it is about my journey into understanding and practicing manhood according to Scripture.  I tell stories from my past.  I talk about interactions with men in whom I have great respect.  I talk about my failures.  But most importantly, I look to Jesus, the only perfect man, and attempt to draw implications from his life, finding hope in the truth of the gospel when we fail to be this type of man.  In today’s culture, manhood is defined by our culture.  In Reformational Manhood, I challenge young men (and all men really) to practice biblical manhood NOW.  I challenge young men to get jobs NOW.  To become leaders NOW.  To learn Scripture NOW.  To prepare themselves for marriage NOW.  To clothe themselves with courage NOW.

And to become a man according to Scripture, not of culture.  And much more.

To whom is the book written?

This book is written primarily to high school guys, college guys, and 20-somethings.  However, it is written, in a way, to all men.  It doesn’t matter if you are 50 years old, Reformational Manhood, can be applied to you if you define your manhood according to our culture and not of Scripture.  Secondly, I would challenge older men to read it, because we must begin to challenge, train, and equip younger guys, and this book is a guide to doing just that.  Whether you are a teenager, a college student, a young man preparing for marriage, a husband, a father, a youth pastor, or a pastor — it doesn’t matter — this book is written for you.

How can you help spread the word about the book?

First of all, I pray that you would consider buying this book.  It will be available at LifeWay Christian Bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and on Amazon.  If your local LifeWay or Barnes & Nobles does not have it in stock then please ask them to order it.

Secondly, I pray that you would tell your friends about this book.  Put it on your social media accounts.  Tell your friends who are in ministry.

If you are a youth pastor or college pastor, then I pray that you would encourage your students to purchase it, as well.

When is the release date?

The book is due to be release before the summer gets here.  A date has not yet been given from the publishers.

What are REFORMATIONAL MANOOD CAMPAIGNS?

In the coming months, there will be a few Reformational Manhood campaigns before the books release.  I would love to see student ministries and college ministries all over the country go through this book with their young men this year.  I will keep you updated on these campaigns as they develop and are announced.

Again, please consider spreading the word.  I am praying for a revival amongst the men in this generation that we would be men who loves Jesus, his church, and the nations.

(Cover Artwork Credit — Clay Barton)

REVIEW: Act of Valor

As promised, here tis’…

Act of Valor has made me want to become a Marine.  Well, in my mind, at least.  From beginning to end, this movie was full of mind-blowing scenes that left me on the edge of my seat.  A quick side note on that phrase:  I actually had a conversation with someone this week where they asked me if I was on the edge on my pants whilst reading The Hunger Games.  I responded by saying, “Yes, I took my pants off, laid them on my seat, and sat only on the edge of them; back-pocket-side, of course.”  And let me tell you, if I could have gotten away with taking off my pants and then sitting on the edge of them in the theatre during Act of Valor, then I would have been in action movie Utopia.

Without giving away plot scenes or talking about how this or that scene was jaw-dropping, I’m going to focus on a few themes that this movie harked upon.

First of all, it was definitely military propaganda.  I mean, I’m ready to give up my life in small town Maryville, TN and join the ranks of the big, bad military.  And here’s why:

1.  Courage.  

The act of courage sings to the hearts of men quicker and faster than any other action.  The courage it takes for men and women to step into uniform and go into battle for their country is awe-inspiring.  Especially those whom face the realities of death in their missions.  As biblical men, we are called to have courage.  Maybe we aren’t called to become expert snipers, but we are called to lead, provide, and protect, and each one of these traits takes courage.  What’s more, standing up for what you believe in takes courage.  Defending the gospel takes courage.  Asking a girl to marry you takes courage.  Living a life of holiness according to Scripture takes courage.  Sharing the gospel takes courage.  Preaching the gospel takes courage.

Courage is born not from uncertainty but from conviction.

2.  Leadership.

Leadership  is viewed in a bright light in the military.  In this movie, leadership is portrayed in this bright, redemptive light just the same.  We see superiors lead their subordinates with boldness and courage, carrying themselves in such ways that their subordinates do not respect them out of rank alone, but because of character and service.  As men who love the gospel, should this not be said of us in our homes, jobs, communities, and churches?  We are given leadership not because of our position but because our character and service has proven our position of influence.

3.  Family.

This theme kept echoing through my head the entire movie.  This group of soldiers, neigh warriors, that made up their platoon (or squad or whatever it is called) treated each other like they were family.  Their bond was so tight that they called themselves brothers.

I long for this in the church.

4.  Discipline.

Fourthly, the discipline it takes to be in the military compares with no occupation in the world.  The discipline in their training, practice, execution of orders, structure, and lifestyle is par none.  It takes discipline to be healthy.  It takes discipline to work out.  It takes discipline to love and serve your wife.  It takes discipline to love your children and lead them spiritually.  It takes discipline to spend time with Jesus daily.  Discipline, in my opinion, could easily be said to be the framework of a man who practices biblical manhood.

5.  Sacrifice.

And finally, sacrifice.  This is evident throughout the entire movie as men put their lives on the line for their fellow warriors, as well as their country.  Sacrifice takes discipline.  It takes courage.  It means giving yourself to something greater than yourself — maybe an idea, a dream, a person, a family, an ideology, a belief, a hope, a conviction.  Every time I see sacrifice in a medium of our culture, I picture the gospel, and I pray that this theme would point people to the greatest sacrifice in the history of our world — Jesus himself.

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And finally, something funny… before the movie, I was eating at Buffalo Wild Wings with a student of mine, named Andy.  As I was praying out loud before our meal, I heard Andy begin to chuckle.  As I said, “Amen,” and looked up at him, he proceeded to say, “Who is Chip?”  “What are you talking about?” I said.  You said, “Thank you, LORD, for his friend, Chip,” Andy said.  At that point, I laughed out loud, almost spewing my Diet Coke all over the table, and gently corrected him, saying, “No, I was thanking the LORD for your friendship, not your friend, Chip.”  Hilarious!

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