Monday, November 19, 2018


Gender Equality: The Biblical Perspective

Gender: Issues or Burdens?

Gender issues and burdens govern human thoughts and actions all over the world. Gender considerations are prime in the policies and practices of Governments, businesses, politics, religious and voluntary organizations and in all places where man and woman meet, mingle and socialize, and in all human activities. In some spheres, they enjoy equal rights and status, and in some others, they have separate territories to dwell on. In many countries, a woman has special privileges whereas in some they are treated at par with men. However, it is ironical that those who crusade for gender equality enjoy special privileges and treatments in certain spheres to have an advantage over others. The conflicts in this sphere are largely because we do not look at it from the divine perspective but from the finite human angle.

Even though the Bible is crystal clear on gender issues, Christianity had its share of controversies on issues related to gender over the years. These issues are seriously discussed, debated and disputed on many a forum, but sadly these have not converged much. All those who are involved in these deliberations remain dissatisfied about the policies on gender in the Church and in the society.

One may look at the issue of gender equality from God’s perspective rather than from human, to understand, accept and follow on so that there can be a satisfactory disposition on it. At the same time, we must also look at these issues from a human point of view to make it relevant, pragmatic and situational to apply these in our daily lives and in our immediate context.

It is pertinent here to note that Christianity has played a major role in bringing about gender equality in the various cultures of the world. The Church and the modern missionary movement have fought to bring about the dignity, status, employment, education, health and development of the so-called weaker gender. Thus Christianity, the Bible and the power of Gospel have been major catalysts in liberating the weaker gender and help them come to the forefront of modern life even in religiously conservative cultures and countries.

Despite the general impression of the woman being the weaker vessel, she has been, more than once, emperor, Prime Minister and political leader of several countries of the world including the empire where the sun never set at least for some time. In many other cultures, she has been the queen like in many African tribal groups. Women have been powerful in many kingdoms in Asia and they were great fighters like the Queen of Jhansi. In some cultures, in India, women held the wealth and property of the families and thus controlled families and communities.

Gender: The Epitome of the secret of creation

The idea of gender and its differences has its origin with God. There are divine wisdom and purpose in humans being of two genders which have a lot of differences and an equal number of similarities that make them complementary rather than contradictory. But we can’t discount the subtle and cunning ploy of the enemy to create a false impression that there is a third gender called ‘transgender’ which is influencing nations, humanity and even the judicial system. Transgender is the impact of abuses of various nature the enemy instilled in humans during childhood and puberty years to create an ungodly way of life.  American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association have conducted a series of studies to ascertain this. Moreover, it has been proved that a clear majority of transgenders have moderate to serious mental aberration like depression, obsession, mania and other mental disorders reflected in their behavior and attitude (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA; American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 14: 13–39, 2011). Others are forced into repeated mind manipulations through the media and social media. The Bible emphasizes these as deviant behavior (Romans 1:26-27). But the enemy of our souls repeats the lie that transgender is for real several times through the media and fake studies like Kinsey Report to make even innocent people think that there is some ‘truth’ in these lies. Lately, the enemy has successfully invaded into the legislative and legal processes in many countries including India.

When God created humans, He made them male and female, in His own image and they both had His breath in them (Genesis 1:26-31). Their duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges were the same. They were one person made into two and then were blended together (Genesis 5:1-2). They were given the same spiritual and earthly blessings equally. They both were granted unique roles in building up future generations.

When sin entered human life, man and woman lost many of the privileges given to them by God. Their mutual relationship was also ruptured. Thus, they developed the desire to control and rule over each other (Genesis 3:16). Thus, there have been conflicts, competition and consequent problems in human life which resulted in suppression, oppression, and complexes of the various type which affected their relationship the world over. Their roles get reversed in some cases and each fighting for its own rights, recognition, privileges, importance, prominence, and relative satisfaction.

It is then that God provided a new equation between man and woman where the old self is crucified and made to die and a new person to emerge in its place. This is what the Bible calls ‘Rebirth’. In the new life, the two persons, both man and woman, crucify their craving for control, rule, competition, winning over each other and to oppress, suppress and become slaves to various complexes. They subsequently lose these desires as they allow the Spirit of God to control their hearts, thoughts, desires, likes, and dislikes. The Bible speaks about this as ‘newness in Christ’ without any feeling or sense of superiority or inferiority (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17). When man and woman become a new creation, their relationship becomes one of mutual responsibility and complementarity (Galatians 3:26-29). Each tries to understand his or her roles in this relationship and tries to fulfill the role to the best of one’s ability, effort, commitment and submission (Ephesians 5:21) and live in humility. The Bible reassures its readers in general and believers that man and woman cannot be independent of each other as they are in the new creation through rebirth (1 Corinthians 11:11). They are interdependent. This is the gender equality the Bible teaches and helps its followers to practice in families, church and in the society at large. 

Equality through centuries

History reveals that equality and equity are fought and sought after through the centuries by humans. At the same time, biblical influence worked to help woman gain security, safety, equality and dignity in the various cultures of the world. Bible has influenced to change a lot of superstition and taboos of the various cultures in the realm of gender especially in Africa and South Asia. The Bible thus practically demonstrated its power in influencing the world. But we must bear in mind the fact that despite all that the Bible has done for the woman, its impact can be felt only through the right attitude of both man and woman.

Equality in the New Testament

In the New Testament, we read that Jesus dealt with women as much as He dealt with men. Jesus revealed that He was Messiah, first to a Samaritan woman. The resurrected Lord Jesus appeared first to a woman, thus giving so much privilege to womenfolk. We also read that women were actively involved in the church in various ministries (Romans 16)

The New Testament gives specific instructions about the involvement of women in the church. Even though there is no gender difference in salvation (Galatians 3:28), as far as ministries in the church are concerned, women are instructed to remain silent or inaudible, in the sense of instructing men (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Corinthians 14:34). Scriptures also give reasons for such an instruction. It is because the woman was used of the devil to mar the first creation by succumbing to temptation while in the garden of Eden, that God wanted women to be restrained from marring the second creation, the church through taking a leadership role. The Bible reminds its readers that men were given the leadership role in the church whereas women’s role is mostly among sisters (Titus 2:4-5) and in the homes to bring up children. Here we can clearly see the different roles attributed to the woman in the church and at home where man is the head and woman is in a support role. But both these roles are equally important and that they are complementary to each other. They are like the two sides of a coin and together their roles make human life in society and family possible. In the absence of such a converging of roles and responsibilities, there will be anarchy in the world, church and in homes. 

Genders coexist for a divine purpose

It is to be reiterated that there is perfect equality between man and woman in God’s economy of things. They are given equal importance and status in the way God deals with them. But surely there are differences in their roles and responsibilities just as we find a difference in the parts played by different organs in the human body. When each part recognizes this truth, there is no conflict in the functioning of the human body. So, when the Bible commands the woman to submit to the man in a husband-wife relationship (Ephesians 5:22), we are all also admonished to submit to each other in the fear of Christ (verse 21; 1 Peter 5:5). Thus, there is no cause for clamour and battle to gain equality which is already recognized by the Bible in the church, in homes, and in the society. Added to this, submission of the wife to the husband is envisaged as a loving and passionate attitude in response to the unconditional agape’ of the husband towards the wife rather than a compulsive and authoritarian demand placed on the wife. If the Eternal Son of God submits to the Eternal Father voluntarily, the secret of submission needs to be understood in the like manner (1 Corinthians 11:3).  The head covering given to the woman is a practical demonstration of this truth.

We must remind ourselves of the fact that the difference and distinction of gender are functional and not positional, as nature itself teaches humans. Along with this, man and woman are given specific roles and responsibilities with corresponding accountabilities in the creation and in the church, which are complementary, conciliatory and congenial. Both man and woman need each other for God to fulfill His purpose in creation and in the new creation. May the readers receive the grace to meet the attitudinal challenges in these spheres and try to recognize our place and importance in fulfilling the purpose for which we are placed here on earth!!

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Counselor’s Corner: AFFAIRS 

Dear uncle:

I am going through a difficult situation which I am unable to share with my parents and best friends in the assembly. Please give me a solution through the pages of your magazine. I am a 16-year-old female, Plus Two student, in a mixed school. I am born again and I recently got baptized also. My dad and mom are actively involved in the assembly and my elder brother is active in our youth group.

Uncle, in our class, all my classmates except me have “affairs”, with some from among our classmates or from the other batches and from the junior classes in the school and a few from their neighborhood. They all share these openly with friends. My classmates are ridiculing me for not having an affair and they push me to develop such relationships with boys in our school. They say that it is only natural to have such relationships and that there is nothing wrong in it. They always try to connect me with some boy and persuade and motivate me to develop affairs. I know that I am a child of God and should resist such entanglements in this world. But it is very difficult in our school environment. I do not know what to do and how to handle this situation and am losing my concentration in studies and in spiritual matters. I am afraid I might fall any time soon because of constant pressure from my friends and promptings from the boys around. I am not confident to share this with my mother because I am afraid I might be misunderstood. Please help me through this medium.


Dear Ansu:

I am glad you decided to share this burden with me which shows your sincerity in this matter. Thanks for being very frank and open. As you know, our environment in schools and colleges is highly contaminated with sin and worldliness. The enemy of our soul is trying to lure us into a sin of some sort so as to destroy our spiritual life. Many of our dear youth have fallen into such temptations and traps and have destroyed their lives. I am glad you are resisting these temptations. Such temptations always come from the devil to destroy God’s children. But it is not a serious matter for the unsaved people even though these affairs have caused total destruction for many of them also. The enemy will try to tempt you through your eyes when you see some attractive person. Temptations will come through the ears when people prompt you through enticing and motivating words. Some temptations come through ‘casual’ touch also. Your best defense in such circumstances is to submit your eyes, ears and body as a living sacrifice to the Lord Jesus and continue to live a crucified life (Romans 12:1). Resist every temptation of the devil by praying and submitting your untoward thoughts to the Lord Jesus to handle. Keep away from such enticing friends who try to persuade you. Be friendly with them for the sake of the Gospel, but be firm in your convictions. Tell them that God is preparing one of His choicest children for you who will be revealed at the right time, probably after 5-8 years from now and till that time you want to keep your heart, mind, thoughts and emotions pure for God and for that person. If possible, share the story of Isaac and Rebekah with your friends and tell them how God will reveal His perfect will for you at His best time (Genesis 24). Tell them that you are not bothered about this subject now because you are too young to think about such serious matters as relationships. Tell them also that you will pray for them to understand the provision of God in their lives as well.

 In the Bible, we have the illustration of great ruin in the life of Samson who had many affairs. Many of the heartaches of Jacob were because of his affair with Rachel. The prodigal son ruined his life through such a riotous living. In all these cases, God could use them only after they repented of their fleshly desires and resubmitted their lives to God. They all escaped total destruction through true confession and repentance before it was too late. The book of Proverbs gives us a long list of admonitions about how to keep away from such relationships and submit our lives to God to rebuild and remold us according to His perfect will (Proverbs 3:5 & 6; Chapters 5 & 7). James said that we should submit to God, resist the devil, draw near unto God, cleanse our hands of all wrongdoings, sanctify our hearts, repent, cry and submit ourselves to the Lord (James 4:7-10).  Check and see how many of the acts of the flesh fall within the definition of ‘affairs’ given in Galatians 5:16-21.  The Bible says that you should desire and seek to have the fruit of the Spirit in your life that includes ‘’self-control’ which is the key to resisting temptations (Gal. 5:23). Temptation comes first in the form of selfish, unholy and sinful desires. But we are commanded and warned against such desires and not to covet anything that is not ours (Exodus 20: 17). When given a chance to dwell in our hearts, these desires will grow slowly and become deep cravings and will fill our hearts with an insatiable and unquenchable thirst for it. When these unholy desires become solid in our hearts, it becomes very difficult to forsake it (James 1:13-16). Please know that you are not to desire anything that is not yours, which is the sin of covetousness. But God gives us holy desires according to the Word of God and through the Spirit of God. He gives us His best at His time (James 1:17). All other desires are from the devil to distract you from the path of the cross.  We are commanded to think on things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8), and a desire from the devil will not be one of those. Your walk among unbelieving classmates should be one of good character and behavior (1 Peter 2:11-12).

Dear Ansu, please know that God has a clear plan for your life which will be revealed at the right time. God has already earmarked a person for you as your life partner, out of the 3.75 billion males of this world. That person will best fit your needs when you reach the marital age. Till God reveals it, please resist the devil’s plans to destroy your spiritual life. Many have gone the wrong way and destroyed their lives and live with heartaches and frustrations. Life is like a glass which falls down and breaks and no one can put it together. Your life is a beautiful, but fragile glass jar in which God wants to pour His love to fill it for His glory. Please don’t allow some devilish and evil desire to break it. Keep your heart and mind clean for God to write His plan in it according to His perfect will. Resist the devil through warfare of prayer and meditation of the Word (2 Corinthians 10:4). Remember, the devil has many tactics and he sometimes also uses pseudo-spiritual people to lure you into unholy relationships so that he can destroy you. You are precious to your parents and their hearts will break if your life gets destroyed. So please pray much and dedicate yourself to Jesus on a regular basis. Flee temptations through prayer, meditation of the Word and continuous consecration. God will help you to escape these perils in life. If there is any known desire for someone, please confess it as sin and repent of it and get washed and be clean by the Word of God and be filled with the Spirit. Every time you are tempted, confess and forsake it.

Ansu, Please tell your tempters that your life is already pledged to Jesus Christ and that it is no longer negotiable. Tell them also that you want to keep your life clean. Tell them that it is not right to steal someone’s son and keep hiding him in your heart which is a sin against God and that person and his parents. Tell them that you are not an orphan to look for an affair and that you have a merciful and benevolent Heavenly Father who will care for you all the days of your life and fill you with His goodness. Also, please keep away from the visual media which keep throwing temptations into your heart and try to make you fall into temptations.

I hope you will find continued victory in your life and live a victorious life all the days of your life.

Oommen Philip
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Questions and concerns may be sent by email to or by cell or WhatsApp: 989-557-8487

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


A New Book in English * Just Released



Author:  Bro. Oommen Philip, Trivandrum, India

Publisher: Brethren Bible Institute
Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India

Foreword by Bro. K.A. Philip, Mylapra, Kerala, India

This Book comes out of years of meditations, study, preaching and teaching on this vital subject by the author

Strongly recommended for trainers, preachers, teachers, workers, and Christians of all ages

Matt finish, 286 pages, with multicolor thematic cover design

Copies can be had from
The author (+91-989-557-8487)
Publisher (BBI: +91-468-222-4045)

 India Rs.150.00
Overseas (U.S. $10.00)
Postage extra