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Telling the Truth About Lies

woman holding coffee looking out a window thinking about lies
A review of Rosaria Butterfield’s “Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age.”

What do you say when someone you love asks you to embrace their new name and pronouns? What does love look like at that moment? Recently I faced such a choice: embrace a friend’s new identity and deny God, or offend her and risk losing someone I love.

Providentially, “Five Lies of our Anti-Christian Age” arrived like a lifeline. This new book from Rosaria Butterfield, written to women but universally helpful, identifies the popular deceptions of our day: that homosexuality and transgenderism are normal, that feminism is good for the world and the church, that modesty is outdated and harmful, and that a spiritual person is kinder than a biblical Christian.

Her response to each claim is thorough and biblical, delving into God’s Word and imploring those who think they’re immune to wake up because these lies are “sneaky and seductive.” While she believed all of them as an unbeliever, she admits she “continued to believe some of them for years into [her] Christian life” (p. 17). Early in the book, she repents of that.

This former feminist lesbian professor, now a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom and author, speaks as someone who knows the goodness of being created female. She has experienced both the bondage of rebelling against God’s design, and the joy of being saved and set free to embrace it. Such freedom requires replacing worldly wisdom with God’s Word and submitting to it in its entirety.

Obedience isn’t a dirty word

Butterfield knows how costly discipleship is. For any who read her testimony and wonder if they’d be able to do anything half as hard, consider: Did Jesus call only some of His followers to take up their cross and follow Him? She writes,

It is not enough to say that you have a high view of Scripture. Faith is not measured by what you affirm or how you identify. You can affirm that you are a Christian, but if you do not obey God’s requirements as revealed in the Bible, then you are proving your affirmation false. Obedience does not make you a legalist or a fundamentalist. Obedience to the word of God reveals that you are a Christian. We can only help our lost loved ones if we ourselves stay tethered to God’s word by grace. (p. 296)

She continues by saying that, tragically, not everyone in the broad evangelical church believes this anymore. Many “fell for Satan’s bait and endorsed gay Christianity” either at the level of practice or identity. The first group “reject[s] the Bible as inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative.” The second “reject[s] the biblical doctrines of sin, repentance, and sanctification” (pp. 66-67). All of this leaves us in what she describes as a “confusing mess.”

Are you struggling to answer a friend’s or relative’s demand that you accept her new identity? This book can help. Are you unsure if those five statements are lies? This book is clarifying. Butterfield writes for women young and old, married and single, “who aren’t ashamed of the Bible and its teachings — or who are and want to change.” Her aim is a Titus 2 exhortation. She is blunt, candid and smart. Her words pierce because they are true; they flow because she is a gifted writer; and they nurture because they are spoken by a godly woman.

The five lies of our age may seem new, but they’re wrapped in the ancient temptation to resist God’s boundaries. I’ve often been frustrated by those limits and burdened by the consequences of trying to push past them. But like gravity, they remain.

God’s creative work in men and women

Take gender, for example. God made us male and female, assigning worth and value to both, equally made in His image. In His wisdom, He also gave distinct roles and responsibilities to each. When it comes to gender roles, we’re encouraged by the world, the flesh and the devil to despise constraints and recast them as nothing more than social constructs. The Bible, says Butterfield, reveals otherwise:

An unbreakable biblical logic connects God’s design for men and women, God’s standards for sexual behavior, and the Bible’s teaching on sex roles in the family, church, and world. God created men and women in marriage to do different and complementary things: husbands lead, protect, and provide, and wives submit, nurture, and keep the home.

Because Satan would like you to think that my previous sentence is conspiratorial hate speech, strong Christian women need to know what the Bible says on this matter rather than what some famous almost-Christian feminist blogger says on Twitter. (p. XVIII)

What if you agree but you’re not married? That doesn’t diminish your high calling:

The covenant blessing that God gives to married women with children extends to unmarried or childless women in the church who support this high calling. We are the body of Christ, under the covenant of grace, and if our priorities are in order, God will bless us, all of us, with no second-class citizens or people left out or passed over. This does not mean that all Christian women will be married; it does mean that all Christian women who value biblical marriage and childbearing and rearing will be blessed. (pp. XVIII-XIX)

What does it look like for Christian women to steward their gifts and talents and calling in light of God’s design? For starters, it means asking God to show you in His Word how He intends you to live as a woman — whether you’re a nanny or a CEO. Of women with responsibilities beyond the home, Butterfield says,

When our obligations give us public positions in the world, we seek to conduct ourselves as godly women in these public spheres (as did the famed Proverbs 31 woman). But some of us believe, as I do, that God’s design for women determines our roles and our priorities. The Christian family matters, and its neglect is deadly. (p. XVIII)

Different by design

For decades we’ve been told a lie that the way to be a strong woman is to be like a man. Transgenderism is one conclusion of such thinking. But the strength of femininity is utterly unlike the strength of masculinity. To try to always be like the other is to erase the former.

In a related book titled “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” author Abigail Shrier says, “We need to stop regarding men as the measure of all things — the language they use, the kind of careers they pursue, the apparent selfishness of which we are so endlessly envious. We blame men for this obsession, but really, it is our doing.” (p. 217)

Our obsession with male achievements and striving to be like them has echoes of truth and of the curse: “Your desire shall be toward your husband, but he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). We are different by design. And those differences were given before the fall when everything God made was “very good.” The problem isn’t in our design, but in our fallen nature.

When we are redeemed by Christ, putting our faith in Him, the Holy Spirit begins His work of sanctifying us to become what we were created to be: not merely strong women, but women who are strong in the Lord. Jesus is restoring His people by transforming them, male and female, into His image. When we resist God’s ways, life is hard. When we embrace His commands, there is rest and joy and flourishing, even amid trials.

God made us and has the right and authority to command us how to live. He has not made His commands confusing, hidden or burdensome. He has clearly revealed what is reserved for men and has equally declared what is unique to women. It was so from the beginning. But Satan tempted Eve to question God’s goodness. “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” We know the opposite was true. God was lavishly generous, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden…” (Gen. 2:16, emphasis added). Only one tree in all of Eden was off limits. From the first, Satan was deceiving her (John 8:44).

Not only did God provide abundantly, He also warned Adam strongly and clearly: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). The consequence of disobedience was no secret. To disobey God was to choose death. So it remains today.

The truth will set you free

The stakes are that high. Our fight is not against the people around us, but against spiritual forces. Our weapons aren’t tangible or snarky barbs on social media, but loving words that are sharper than a two-edged sword. If we’re to love our neighbors well, we must have God’s Word in our hearts. We must know what it says and be able to call it to mind when we’re pummeled with lies on the internet or in a phone call with a friend. Then we can respond gently but firmly that it is not love to live a lie.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. (Hosea 14:9)

Copyright 2023 Candice Watters. All rights reserved. 

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About the Author

Candice Watters

Candice Watters is the editor of, a weekly devotional blog helping believers fight the fight of faith by memorizing Scripture. She is the author of Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen. In 1998, she and her husband, Steve, founded Boundless.


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