The phrase “Girl Power” is a term of empowerment that describes a cultural phenomenon of the mid 1990’s to the 2000’s; it is linked to third-wave feminism. Girls of the 90’s and 00’s are raised to be individualistic, self-sufficient and powerful. From Disney Channel Power Girls to all-female power rangers to Jane Bond types; girls are inundated with female power images. We, the modern girl crowd, are told that to be a success in this age we must get pretty, get a great job (with lots of $$$) and get a family (however we personnally define “family”). And of course, it is a given that everything in our world revolves around us. Most girls, at least the Christian ones, don’t ask that the WHOLE WORLD revolve around them, after all that is a tad bit selfish. But as Modern Girls, we expect most of the things in our lives to revolve around our whims in some way. Why, you may ask? It’s the human sin-nature thing. It is also the Girl Power thing, the daughter of Post-Modernism. And last but not least, feminism has had a huge impact on our world – making the whole world all about how I feel as a woman. As a result, the focus-on-me-attitude that comes so naturally to today’s modern girl, but it can be detrimental when applied to reading God’s Word.
Let me explain, when a modern girl reads her Bible, with the me-focused Post-Modern idea that God wrote it just to her and whatever she reads is all about her, it can change the way she reads the text. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that God didn’t write the Scriptures for you. My point is that the primary reason for the Bible was for God to reveal Himself so that we could be saved and He would be glorified, not just to make you feel warm fuzzies. The writing of the Scriptures was all about God. The Bible reveals to us who He was and is, what He has done and what He will do. So the reading of Scripture should first and foremost be about God.
Example of ‘The Modern Girl’s version of the Gospel’
The modern girl reads Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” And she gets all excited, because in her personal letter from God, He says that He has great plans for her. Fabulous! Wonder if those great plans include a hot husband and $400,000 house? In the book, A Purpose Driven Life, on page 31, Rick Warren says “Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose. God says “I know what I am planning for you…’I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future’.” Warren implies that this verse is a promise from God that if you live purposefully for God that life will be wonderful. Both Warren and the Modern Girl have missed the depth and power of this passage. What happens to the Modern Girl when her heart gets broken and her world comes crashing down? Didn’t God promise her good things? Is God a liar or did she read Scripture wrong?
Example from ‘The Word of Yahweh God’
To truly understand what God is saying in this passage, it is important to read the whole section. Jeremiah was a prophet, speaking God’s message to the rebellious and sinful people of Judah. In chapter 25, God announces that because of their unrepentant sin, Judah will be taken into captivity by Babylon. In chapter 26, the leaders of Judah try to kill Jeremiah for prophesying God’s discipline. In chapter 27, Jeremiah puts a yoke on his neck as a living picture of Babylon binding the people of Judah in captivity. As you can imagine, the people were not excited about this message, and so in chapter 28 they gathered false prophets to tell them nice things. Hananiah, the false prophet with the nice message, spoke of a very short punishment and peace. Jeremiah, speaking the words of God, delivered a sober and hard message of exile for a long time and a future hope.
Chapter 29, is a letter from Jeremiah, from God, to the exiles. He tells Judah, who is in captivity, that because of their rebellion against God, they will undergo 70 years of captivity. They have lived unrepentant in their sin and now must suffer the consequences. But God does not leave His people to wallow in sorrow or self-pity, He instructs the people not to be overcome by the severity of the judgment. He gives them hope in a future promise of restoration and deliverance.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
In this passage, God is reminding His people of the seriousness of sin and its consequences, while also reminding them that He is faithful and will deliver them from the consequences of their own sin! What an awesome God! Jeremiah 29:11 is a ray of hope in a dark world; a reminder of God’s Holiness, which cannot tolerate sin, and God’s Redeeming Love, a love that has a plan for deliverance even as His people are still sinning!
Jeremiah 29:11 is not about my life or happiness, it is about the Gospel!!! This is a beautiful picture of the God whom we serve…Judge…Holy God…Father….Redeemer. This passage teaches us that God is just. He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. God is love, He truly loves His people. He gave them the hope to carry them through the exile. God is faithful. He keeps His promises. He can be trusted, even while His people are suffering the consequences of their sin. He is Redeemer. God planned for the deliverance and restoration of His people. Yahweh God is not warm and fuzzy or feel-good, but He is always good.
What does this mean for us today? It means that we can trust God when life is rough, when everything looks dark, when we are dealing with the mess we have made of our lives. It means that sin is no laughing matter and that there will be consequences. It means that God loves us enough not to leave us in those dark places for longer than necessary. The sinful choices of a Modern Girl will result in consequences, but God has a plan for redemption, if she will just repent.
The Modern Girl version of the Gospel strips Scripture of its Divine nature and turns it into some warm and feely self-help book. The Modern Girl Gospel serves a god who revolves around her, rather than serving a God who, as God, serves no one. The Modern Girl Gospel teaches girls how to be happy, but not how to be godly. And most importantly, the Modern Girl Gospel does not have the Holiness of God behind it, the redeeming grace of Jesus in it or the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver it, which makes the Modern Girl Gospel useless to rescue us from the eternal punishment for our sin. Ladies, we need nothing less that the Yahweh God of the whole Bible to rescue us!
You can have the Modern Girl Gospel that just makes you feel good with pretty words and ideas. Or you can have the whole Word of Yahweh God, the God who disciplines His children and faithfully restores them to Himself in the proper time. One or the other, it’s your choice. Do you want a relationship with a god that is all about you? Or do you want a relationship with God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Savior, Redeemer, and King? It’s up to you, Modern Girl.