The Gospel Coalition

[Note: "Debatable" is a new feature in which we briefly summarize debates within the evangelical community.]

The Issue: Is complementarianism another word for patriarchy? Egalitarians and many complementarians agree: It is indeed. But a recent debate attempts to determine whether this should be acknowledged as a timeless biblical norm or rejected as an outdated cultural standard.

Position #1: Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Seminary, recently said at the Together for the Gospel conference that complementarians should practice what they preach:
What I fear is that we have many people in evangelicalism who can check off "complementarian" on a box but who really aren't living out complementarian lives. Sometimes I fear we have marriages that are functionally egalitarian, because they are within the structure of the larger society. If all we are doing is saying "male headship" and "wives submit to your husbands," but we're not really defining what that looks like . . . in this kind of culture, when those things are being challenged, then it's simply going to go away.

Position #2: Rachel Held Evans, an author and blogger, agrees but says complementarianism is losing because it is "nothing more, nothing less" than patriarchy:
1. They are losing ground because more and more evangelical theologians, scholars, professors, and pastors are thoughtfully debunking a complementarian interpretation of Scripture and doing it at the popular level through books like The Blue Parakeet (by Scot McKnight), Discovering Biblical Equality (by Ronald Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Gordon Fee), How I Changed My Mind About Women in Church Leadership (by a who's who of evangelical leaders), through evangelical colleges and seminaries that celebrate women's giftedness to lead and are producing record numbers of female graduates, and through organizations like Christians for Biblical Equality.

2. They are losing ground because their rhetoric consistently reflects a commitment to an idealized glorification of the pre-feminist nuclear family of 1950s America rather than a commitment to "biblical manhood" and "biblical womanhood"---terms that many of us recognize as highly selective, reductive, and problematic. This reactionary approach often comes at the expense of sound biblical interpretation. . . .

3. And they are losing ground because, at the practical level, evangelicals are realizing that complementarianism doesn't actually promote complementary relationships, but rather hierarchal ones.

Preemptive Response to #1: As Denny Burk, associate professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, notes on his blog, Moore addressed the issue of patriarchy in a 2006 article, "After Patriarchy, What? Why Egalitarians Are Winning the Gender Debate":
If complementarians are to reclaim the debate, we must not fear making a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patriarchy. This claim is rendered all the more controversial because it threatens complementarianism as a "movement." Not all complementarians can agree about the larger themes of Scripture---only broadly on some principles and negatively on what Scripture definitely does not allow (i.e. women as pastors). Even to use the word "patriarchy" in an evangelical context is uncomfortable since the word is deemed "negative" even by most complementarians. But evangelicals should ask why patriarchy seems negative to those of us who serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob---the God and Father of Jesus Christ. As liberationist scholar R. W. Connell explains, "The term 'patriarchy' came into widespread use around 1970 to describe this system of gender domination." But it came into widespread use then only as a negative term. We must remember that "evangelical" is also a negative term in many contexts. We must allow the patriarchs and apostles themselves, not the editors of Playboy or Ms. Magazine, to define the grammar of our faith.

Scoring the Debate: Evans wins the debate---but only with the strawman version of complementarianism she created. For example, she asserts that complementarianism is like the "relationship between a boss and a subordinate"---an analogy that would strike most complementarians as offensive and absurd.

Evans also offers several non sequiters---such as that she and her husband share chores together and that she enjoys football more than he does---as evidence that her marriage is "functionally egalitarian." Many chore-sharing husbands and football-loving wives will be shocked to discover they've been engaging in egalitarian activities.

Evans's understanding of egalitarianism seems to be as confused as her view of complementarianism. In truth, "functionally egalitarian" marriages should more aptly be described as "dysfunctionally complementarian." A husband who refuses his male headship role is not creating equality in the marriage but transferring the headship role to the wife. Hierarchy is not removed, only replaced by an unbiblical reversal of the creational norm.

Evans claims that complementarianism is patriarchy, and here she stumbles upon the truth. She doesn't appear to recognize, however, that the patriarchy of marriage models the patriarchy of the Godhead. In contrast, the "functional egalitarianism" that Evans prefers models our culture's obsession with autonomy and disdain for authority. It is an ideology particularly suited to fulfill the masculine desire---first exhibited by Adam---to shirk our responsibility as servant-leaders and transfer our God-mandated role to our wives.

Of course, this debate is neither new nor likely to end anytime soon. Evangelicals can always find an authority who will provide them with an authoritative justification for shirking authority. Such poor exegesis, however, can become habit-forming---and therein lies the true danger. As John Piper has said, you don't have to be a complementarian to be saved. But, he adds, when you start resorting to "the kind of gymnastics" needed to find egalitarianism in Scripture then "sooner or later you are going to get the gospel wrong."

Defining the Terms in the Debate:

Complementarian -- An example of the complementarian view of marriage can be found in the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Faith and Message (2000):
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to his people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood notes that "Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission---domestic, religious, or civil---ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin."

Egalitarianism -- According to Christians for Biblical Equality, egalitarianism holds that "all believers---without regard to gender, ethnicity, or class---must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world."

Rachel Held Evans defines the term as: "Christians who identify as egalitarian usually believe that Christian women enjoy equal status and responsibility with men in the home, church, and society, and that teaching and leading God's people should be based on giftedness rather than gender."

(Image Credit: The Rooted Church)


Comments:

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

You believe that words in a text are true and you believe that they were written by a higher authority and you believe that the authority is the creator of the universe because the text you believe is true says so....

You believe that my inclinations to dominate are sinful because I am a woman and you believe that God will punish me for it.

Now, I was taught that the word fact implied vast evidence that provided little room for the contrary. Here's a fact. Belief and more belief doesn't make something a fact, especially when you admit you cannot prove it.

Now my bigger point is it is not fair that so many of us whom want nothing to do with patriarchy are still subject to it. Let us choose what you believe to be hell. This is still a patriarchal society and every aspect of society remains pretty much patriarchal today. Your men whom you teach from a young age are supposed to be leaders of women are the same men I have to work under, above, with and interact with in society. It is not fair that I be subjected to patriarchy when I want nothing to do with it especially when it is defended with nothing but your faith.

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Desley,

Since you quoted Rachel Held Evans at me, I took the liberty of checking her blog to see if there was anything there that should have clued you in to the heresies of religious feminism. You might want to check out the discussion thread under the post with Mimi Haddad of CBE. In that post you will find modalism, "The trinity is three ways one God shows himself" and gnosticism, "The earthly Jesus had a different will, but that was the flesh"

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Daniella,

Two basic problems with your understanding here:

First, *I* am not the one asking you to submit based on your sex. That would be a higher authority than me.

Second, your inclinations to domination are sinful. I believe you are honest about them, but the mere fact that you admit to them doesn't baptize them with a God'given blessing.

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Yes, but I am not the one trying to subject people to discrimination based on their gender. Do you not see the difference? You are the one asking for human beings to submit to others based on their gender so the burden of proof lies on you. I said I am just AS dominating and inclined to lead as any man or do you not see the difference between that and what you just said either?

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Daniella,

You make me laugh because, really, you "can't prove a damn thing" either!

Ahtough I believe you when you say you are dominating and inclined to lead ...

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Ok. As a black woman I can tell you that being discriminated against because I am a woman and because I am black feels the same. Every difference you describe do not apply to me in a way that should limit anything I do. I am just as good and inclined to lead, am just as dominating, just as logical, and just as intelligent as just about every man in my life. It is intellectually dishonest to say that the gender roles you prescribe just make sense with how I was created when they are in direct contradiction with my personality, desires, and abilities. Also the funny elephant in the room is you can't prove a damn thing.

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 11:22 AM

My point is that you have no proof for anything you are saying. Something being written down and you believing it, is not enough grounds in my eyes to subject people to a hierarchy. It would be different if your beliefs did not extend into the world and culture I find myself in. Patriarchy (of all kinds)is a constantly oppressive force in my life that I want nothing to do with. If men were just born naturally more inclined to lead, headship and biblical masculinity would not need to be constantly preached, habitually reinforced, and instilled since childhood. Again, since you are the one suggesting that this is how things are supposed to be the burden of proof is on you, which you simply do not have. Quoting text is not and will never be enough.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 09:53 PM

Kamilla, just to clarify, in none of these interviews does Rachel endorse the beliefs of the interviewee or certainly not the following discussion forum, which anybody could participate in! She even kicks of the interview with a disclaimer: "I should probably note that while I identify myself as egalitarian, I do not necessarily agree with every position/theological rationale of the CBE."

Furthermore, anyone can believe anything in a public forum. Certainly they do not speak on behalf of the whole. If this was the case, then I am justified in accusing you of believing women are more easily deceived than men since the Driscoll's say so.http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/148957-is-the-biblical-view-of-women-relevant-to-our-culture.html Or that women need to submit to verbal abuse for a season, and getting smacked on night because John Piper says so.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OkUPc2NLrM&feature=related Or that men beat their wives because their wives challenge their authority, because Bruce Ware says so. http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=12968 Or that all Complementarians share in Paige and Dorothy Patterson's advice on how a woman is to take a beating. http://archive.org/details/PaigePattersonsbcAdviceToVictimsOfDomesticViolence Or how Nancy Leigh De Moss disqualifies anything as abuse unless the woman's life is in jeopardy. http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/physical-abuse/#.T8L9LmZ6hhs.facebook

In case you haven't noticed, every coin has two sides. There are extremes (are they extremes?) on your side as well.

Travis Mamone

June 9, 2012 at 09:31 AM

Well, Adam, once you've been spiritually abused by Calvinists, you learn to read between the lines real quick.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 09:08 PM

I don't think my first two questions are absurd at all. I am under the impression that sovereignty precludes the existence of any external power or authority. It is, as some claim, the god-hood of God. He does as he wills.

A.W. Pink says, "What do we mean by [the sovereignty of God]? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, *doing according to His will* in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, *the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will* (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible" (emphasis mine).

Without exception, every dictionary I have checked defines "submit" as follows:

5.
to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
6.
to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
7.
to defer to another's judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.

It appears to me that the sovereignty of the Son and the submission of the Son are at direct odds if the Son's will is eternally subject to the Father's. But that is only the beginning of the problem.

The perichoresis necessitates a unity of will and desire. How is it possible for the Son to "yield" to the will of the Father when, in fact, they are one being with one will?

It seems to me that Philippians 2:6-8 actually proves that the Son was not subject to the Father eternally. Instead, part of the kenosis is qualified here as His "taking the nature of a servant" (Vv.7) and "becoming obedient to death" (Vv 8).
Although He was a Son (ie. equal with God, co-ruling with the other Persons of the Trinity as the One True God), He humbled Himself, taking the nature of a servant and became obedient. (I don't even like the word "co-rule" because God is one.
Anyway, I've of the mind that you really have to strain the text to suggest otherwise.

I am under the impression that any time a reference is made to the Son's obedience to the Father (ie John 14:28), or His inferior status, it is speaking to His incarnate state wherein he fulfilled a servant role. He had to become obedient because it was the suitable thing to do in order to "fulfill all righteousness"(Mt 3:15) and impute that righteousness in our stead.

I am not concerned right now with the implications this has on the equality of the Son to the Father, or how this plays out in the context of marriage. I am more concerned right now with making sense of this because it sounds off.

Travis Mamone

June 9, 2012 at 08:47 PM

BTW, you ever notice Ephesians 5:21 by any chance? "Submit to ONE ANOTHER?"

Adam C

June 9, 2012 at 08:14 PM

Delsey - Due to the nature (absurdity) of your first two questions, I'm not sure if your questions are rhetorical or real. Obviously, God the Son is sovereign and there is no conflict. I'm not quite sure beyond that answer what point you wanted to make...

Without getting into a dissertation of how the Son submits to the Father, the ideal is clear from Scripture (John 14:28). A whole host of other passages make this clear too (one for example, Philippians 2:5-8).

No Bibilically minded person is saying the Father is more valuable in nature, or superior in essence - just like no complimentarian says men have more intrinsic value than women. There are simply different God-ordained roles. The husband leads his family and the wife submits to his leadership. Paul doesn't root his argument in culture. He roots it in creation and eschatology, thus making it bearing on 21st century marriages (and inevitably Christian ministry).

loo

June 9, 2012 at 07:39 PM

Owen Strachan said "The ground is not cursed for women in Genesis 3:17, but for men, whose responsibility it was to work outside of the home"

Oh brother... Well, what does he make of Genesis 8:21?

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

I guess Owen forgot to take into account that Genesis 1 - 11 uses the literary Chiastic structure of Creation, destruction and recreation. Creation = Good, The 'Uncreation' = Bad, the recreation = Good. So, now the ground is no longer cursed, can women go back to work?

loo

June 9, 2012 at 07:22 PM

You Rock Daniella! Thanks for coming on here and not backing down from Kamilla. I loved your responses.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 06:58 PM

Boy, I have to reply to myself now...Where is the "reply?"

“When I said Patriarchy is what God wills and that it derives from God himself, I immediately showed you how God taught us that - through Paul's letter to the Ephesians.”

You did not show me that though. You showed me how *you* interpret Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that way.
For example, I find it odd that you would have invoked Ephesians 3:15 especially, since this particular passage actually emphasises the equality of each person (or each “family”) of human races though Christ. Paul here is speaking of his ministry to the Gentiles, and how, as Bilezikian explained so well, the new system changes and Christ “breaks down all forms of discrimination - racial, sexual, rank, and class. "...birth, fortune, and rank become transcended by the elevating power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, the old distinctions of race, sex, rank, and class pale into significance. What becomes important is the shared identity and the shared ministry of new-covenant believers."

To validate this, Spurgeon says of Ephesians 3:15:

“The keyword is ‘family.’
• A building sets forth the unity of the builder’s design.
• A flock, unity of the shepherd’s possession.
• The title of citizen implies unity of privilege.
• The idea of an army displays unity of object and pursuit.

Here we have something closer and more instructive still: ‘family’

• The same Father, and thus unity of relationship.
• The same life, and so unity of nature.
• The same mutual love growing out of nature and relations.
• The same desires, interests, joys, and cares.
• The same home for abode, security, and enjoyment.
• The same inheritance to be soon possessed.”

As you can see, this passage has been taken out of its context in this particular instance and has been twisted to justify patriarchy, when it actually lends more weight to the Egalitarian argument.

“God is eternally Father, Son and Spirit. We have human families and fathers because God is first Father.”

And your point is? I am not following through with the train of thought because you are leaping to conclusions and there’s a complete absence of a coherent argument.

Premise 1: God is the Father of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

Conclusion: Patriarchy is God’s will for the world.

What’s to follow? The conclusion does not follow from the premise. It is an illegitimate argument.

You can go ahead and add all the passages that use metaphors of Christ and the church, and of God being the head of Christ, etc., but this still does not change the fact that there is no explicit biblical text that would indicate your conclusion is true, and you simply interpret more subjective passages to fit your presupposed system.
You need to remember that just because you can make something fit, doesn’t mean it was intended to. That is the problem with eisegetical interpretation. As someone correctly noted above, depending on your starting assumptions, you are going to interpret the passages accordingly. My starting assumptions come from both Genesis, the prophecies surrounding the nature of the coming community of believers, and the principles and teachings set forth by Jesus Christ. In my estimation, you cannot overshadow the ¾ of the bible with a handful of seemingly contrary teachings from a couple of the apostles – apostles who were also saturated in, and had to function within, a patriarchal society.

“Second, you can't simply equate hierarchy to subordination.”

Well, I am not sure how you would define hierarchy, but when one party assumes the fixed position of subordinate, and the other party the fixed position of authority, you have a hierarchy of power. There’s no sense in trying to mince words.

“What you, and many religious feminists…seem incapable of recognizing is that what we have is a paradox, not a contradiction.”

I don’t equate position with worth. I equate discriminating against a whole class of human beings on the basis of sex (which is irrelevant to what constitutes a good leader). To be sure, I have no ambition to be a leader in the church or anywhere else. I simply don’t agree that all my sisters should be pushed down under men when they have been gifted by God to teach and preach. What does it say about the status of women in the church when, apparently, only men need apply for positions of leadership? Women have vision. Women desire to serve and build up the body. Women take initiative. Women have wisdom. Women have the Holy Spirit and are empowered by God. So where is the logic here? This is not a paradox, it is discrimination and it negatively affects the whole church. This male-dominated leadership is unbalanced and we have stifled the vital voices of our sisters, who also bear the image of God and were given the commission of having dominion over the earth alongside their brothers.

In the Complementarian system, God’s highest agenda is to place all of us as actors on the stage of life, and the measure of our value becomes the extent to which we mimic God’s supposed intratrinitarian relationship for everyone to see. Yes, in this system the role of woman is of equal value as the role of men, because her value is grounded in her capacity to display this hierarchy. But the problem is the actors and actresses are not valued as people in their own right. God’s image in them has been reduced to an artificial role, not touching at all on who they essentially are as dignified human beings. And God is actually glorified when women fulfill their highest human potential because the potential He has built in woman reflects Himself. God's nature transcends this supposed hierarchy.

The other problem is that it is not biblical.

God is not hierarchy, God is love. And it is the love of God that needs to be the focus of all of our relationships, not a hierarchy. His love is the highest pursuit. John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:14; Romans 13:8; 1 john 4:7-12

“But the truth of the matter is that God in his goodness and sovereignty created men and women ontologically equal yet teleologically distinct.”

No argument from me, except that these differences are not marked by authority and submission, and these differences should not be understood to interfere with the full human potential of either men or women.

“I do not make the accusation of heresy lightly - it took me a number of years to have the courage to make the charge publicly. And I (as well as others) have repeatedly substantiated it. Whether or not you are willing to accept that is a different matter.”

Well, you given me one example, which I have not had the opportunity to confirm yet. But the example of Mimi Haddad aside, the beliefs of one person regarding the Trinity cannot be projected on to an entire group of people. That assertion is absurd! And it really has no bearing on the validity of the arguments being made.
Furthermore, there are plenty of hierarchalist people out there who believe in the Arian heresy of the inferiority of the Son to the Father. Would you find it honest if I were to label the whole Comp camp because of that?

I prefer to stick to the arguments than to try gain an advantage by caricaturing your position in an unnecessarily
negative light. Arguments speak for themselves.

I might just check out your blog, Kamilla.

Peace.

Amanda B.

June 9, 2012 at 05:08 AM

"Scoring the Debate: Evans wins the debate---but only with the strawman version of complementarianism she created. For example, she asserts that complementarianism is like the 'relationship between a boss and a subordinate'---an analogy that would strike most complementarians as offensive and absurd."

Could I ask what is so offensive and absurd about this? Speaking as someone who has spent time on both sides of this issue, I honestly don't see how this strikes too far from the ideal of complementarian marriage. To be sure, the husband is not to be a tyrant. But a good boss empowers his employees, thinks carefully about any decisions he hands down to them, invites their input, and won't order them to do things without regard to their capacity and feelings. I have heard many complementarians stress the need for having a head in the marriage by comparing it to a company. Is a boss/subordinate analogy really that far off? And does it have to be a bad thing if we're openly acknowledging patriarchy and hierarchy?

"Evans also offers several non sequiters---such as that she and her husband share chores together and that she enjoys football more than he does---as evidence that her marriage is 'functionally egalitarian.'"

As regarding sharing chores, this actually was a recent kerfuffle, where Owen Strachan maintained that it was not his job to do chores at home ("The 'Dad Mom' and the 'Man Fail'" - direct quote: "Men are not called by God to be 'working at home' as women are in Titus 2:5. The ground is not cursed for women in Genesis 3:17, but for men, whose responsibility it was to work outside of the home"). While of course he helps his wife at home "in some ways", he proceeded to debate with Laura Ortburg Turner at Her.meneutics that "Women, not men, are to work at home." He was clearly arguing for a gender-based distinction of chores (albeit with some wiggle room).

In short, even though this may not be something the Gospel Coalition sees as integral to complementarianism, it has been explicitly taught from a highly visible complementarian platform as part of God's plan for men and women. Thus, I feel Evans is justified in addressing it in her post on equality in marriage.

As regarding enjoying football more, I would call a misquote: Evans' full quote is, "We don’t impose gender-based absolutes on one another. (I like football more than Dan, and nobody’s particularly concerned about that...)" Again, while I don't in any way wish to imply this is what the Gospel Coalition believes, I have been in plenty of circumstances where parents and pastors treat women with worry if they are too interested in stereotypically masculine pursuits. I can think of at least one major evangelical figure who openly and frequently makes fun of men who have habits or interests that appear stereotypically feminine (including but not limited to hygiene, hair care, pastel colors, skinny jeans, being skinny in general, not liking MMA, etc.).

So while watching football is, in and of itself, a shoddy proof of an egalitarian marriage, I again think that Evans is justified in bringing it up. While men and women are different, to be sure, it's not quite as simple as going, "All men are like ABC" and "All women are like XYZ". Many complementarian authors are careless in their treatment of such matters, and Evans is responding to that sort of inaccuracy. The point is not really the football; the point is that there is not a prescribed, prefabricated image (aside from Christlikeness) that either partner is expected to attain.

Of course, I don't expect that this will change anyone's opinions on the overall debate, but I would hope it would help us speak of the others with greater understanding and less labeling.

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 03:54 PM

Desley,

Part of the problem you are having is not following through on the thought. When I said Patriarchy is what God wills and that it derives from God himself, I immediately showed you how God taught us that - through Paul's letter to the Ephesians. God is eternally Father, Son and Spirit. We have human families and fathers because God is first Father.

Second, you can't simply equate hierarchy to subordination. And I'm just not going to take the time to flesh that out further because you keep coming back to a false dilemma and a concept of subordination I have never subscribed to.

Your inescapable logic is faulty and stunted. What you, and many religious feminists (including my old friend, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis) seem incapable of recognizing is that what we have is a paradox, not a contradiction. And Christianity is chock full of paradox. This one is a particularly thorny one for our egalitarian age to work out because we do so badly want to equate position or function with worth. But the truth of the matter is that God in his goodness and sovereignty created men and women ontologically equal yet teleologically distinct. And this concept is vital, so vital to our understanding of God and the christian life.

I do not make the accusation of heresy lightly - it took me a number of years to have the courage to make the charge publicly. And I (as well as others) have repeatedly substantiated it. Whether or not you are willing to accept that is a different matter. As I believe I suggested, you can see the heresy for yourself on the comment thread at Rachel's blog. You are welcome to check my blog as well, even contact me via email - but much of it I already have written there and I don't need to reproduce it every time someone asks.

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 03:42 PM

Hahaha just one? I'm imagining half a dozen faces.

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 03:05 AM

Desley,

Now you're just making things up. I never said I subscribed to the eternal subordination of the Son. As for substantiating the charge of heresy and bothering to read works by religious feminists, well ...

As to the former, I have already done so on my blog. Since you insist on making things up, I won't bother to repeat all of that here. As to the latter, well there you haven't bothered to read my first response above in this thread. Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. I WAS a religious feminist. Knew Mimi Haddad, Cathie Kroeger and a host of others. Staffed the CBE booth at conferences. Read their books, studied the arguments, gave a paper at a theological conference which CBMW didn't much appreciate. I was even CBEs first message board moderator. Attempting to tell me I don't understand the arguments is just plain silly.

Finally, do you really want to hold that God was constrained to work within a patriarchal culture if He willed it otherwise? And you're accusing me of near heresy?

Sarah Flashing

June 9, 2012 at 03:01 PM

Joe, a sign of true submission is an ability to embrace the terminology. ;) But seriously, I think the flaw here might be that we aren't understanding patriarchy as the structure and complementarianism in terms of patriarchy's function.

Amanda B.

June 9, 2012 at 02:57 PM

Thanks for your comment--I do want to be clear that I'm not bringing this up to sling mud at any particular complementarian teacher, and certainly not complementarians in general. My overall point is that Evans' examples really are relevant to the conversation (as opposed to "non-sequiturs"), since the topics have been publicly and prominently included in the overall discussion already.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 02:40 AM

cont..

I understand that you feel my line of interpretation is not legitimate, but if you take the time to read some of the hermeneutic books on this issue you might understand better where I am coming from.

Good night.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 02:38 AM

"To each his own? It is most certainly not a question of to each his own (which would be clear if you read the following sentence of my response above). That is the whole point of this discussion. It is a question of what God wills. And God wills patriarchy - indeed it is woven into the very fabric of creation, deriving from God himself"

All of the above are assumptions. I would say that by making the God the Son subordinate to God the Father you are coming dangerously close to heresy. And no, the eternal subordination of the Son has not been consistently held by Christians throughout the history of the church. Nor does the Bible support such a doctrine! (Philippians 2:6-8 and Hebrews 5:8 are clear examples of this.)
All I am saying by "to each his own" is that if a hierarchy in your marriage is helpful to you, then all the power to you! But for some people it is not helpful, and to some it is destructive.

"Paul, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit again and again and again brings us back to this point - when he refers to Adam being created first and ties our death in sin to Adam. Again and again Patriarchy is established as God's good design for his creation - From his creation of Adam first, and then Even, to his sovereign choice to establish his people, Israel, as a patriarchy all the way on down to the wedding feast to end all weddings when our Lord and Saviour, the Bridegroom, comes to redeem his Bride the Church."

It's not as if you haven't heard it before, but again - God worked through a patriarchal culture. Peter and Paul give directions on how a believer might live out the Christian life within that culture. Much of the church metaphors were intended to dignify the low position of subordinates (slaves and wives) under the Greco-Roman household codes. It was also intended to shift the thinking of those believers at the top of the hierarchy and re-teach them how to live out the authoritative office that had been allotted to them via the culture.
Rachel has already addressed several of the passages you cited above.

"Your "different line of interpretation" is no legitimate line of interpretation. It is grown in the soil of gnosticism, deism and anthropological modalism."

Once again, another form of propaganda. Unless you can substantiate this, I suggest you be careful. Many would say the same about your view of the subordinate Son, tying it to the Arian heresy.
A good read on this topic is Millard Erickson's "Who's Tampering with the Trinity."

I am just going to sign off for the night with a quote a portion of Rachel's last blog post, "Is Patriarchy really God's Dream for the world?" http://rachelheldevans.com/patriarchy

"It was no accident that the first person charged with spreading the good news of Christ’s resurrection was a woman. Despite the fact that, by virtue of being a woman she would have been considered an unreliable witness whose testimony wouldn’t hold up in court, Mary Magdalene is charged with telling the world that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Talk about counter-cultural.

That’s because Jesus changes everything. With the resurrection of Jesus, and the inauguration of his Kingdom, the entire world is being made over! The old things have passed away, and “behold, new things have come"!

To participate in the Kingdom of Jesus is to participate in a whole new “system,” a whole new mode of being, in which the last is first and the first is last. Is it any wonder, then, that the early church included female apostles, deacons, teachers, and church planters? Is it any wonder that Peter and Paul’s version of the Household Codes broke with tradition by instructing men and women, slaves and masters to “submit one to another.” Even in a patriarchal culture, the early Christians were doing things differently.

“In your relationships with one another,” Paul wrote, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5–8).

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,” wrote Paul, “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This doesn’t sound like patriarchy to me. This doesn’t sound like hierarchy, and power, and “he will rule over you.” It sounds like dignity, grace, peace, and love. It sounds like mutual respect, mutual leadership, mutual support, and mutual grace.

It sounds like Eden.

For patriarchalists, the power struggle between men and women will only end when men win.

For egalitarians, the power struggle between men and women can only end when, like Christ, we both choose to lose."




I understand that you *feel* that my line of interpretation

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 02:20 PM

"The Son submits to the Father (in terms of authority/leadership) while not negating the equality in essence."

Okay, regarding your subordination the Son concept, do you not believe that God the Son is sovereign? Do you believe there can be a conflict of will within the Trinity although God is one? How can the Son submit to the Father other than in theory?

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 02:05 AM

Delsey,

It's not a question of my feelings so please don't apologize for what you think I feel. For my part, I apologize. I was sloppy and should have made a reference to the slavery arguments (which are often, but not necessarily linked to race).

To each his own? It is most certainly not a question of to each his own (which would be clear if you read the following sentence of my response above). That is the whole point of this discussion. It is a question of what God wills. And God wills patriarchy - indeed it is woven into the very fabric of creation, deriving from God himself. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family (patria) in heaven and on earth derives its name (Ephesians 3:14-15). Paul, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit again and again and again brings us back to this point - when he refers to Adam being created first and ties our death in sin to Adam. Again and again Patriarchy is established as God's good design for his creation - From his creation of Adam first, and then Even, to his sovereign choice to establish his people, Israel, as a patriarchy all the way on down to the wedding feast to end all weddings when our Lord and Saviour, the Bridegroom, comes to redeem his Bride the Church.


Over and over and over again, patriarchy is woven into the very fabric of Scripture and the most successful bait and switch in recent history occurred when the religious feminists got the Complementarians swindled into making it look like the argument boiled down to two passages - and not even two passages but two words. The biggest theological, exegetical and hermeneutical mistake of the second half of the twentieth century.

Your "different line of interpretation" is no legitimate line of interpretation. It is grown in the soil of gnosticism, deism and anthropological modalism. It is rank heresy, and I say that without apology though Joe Carter may not appreciate it.

That's not just my word on it, that's been the judgment of the church down through the ages. And I will stand with that, not with my own poorly formed conscience, scream though it may for it to be other.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 01:49 PM

Kamilla, I am going to respond to your last post here because for some reason I can't reply above. I am sorry if this seems a bit disjointed; I am a tad preoccupied right now with the kids scurrying about.

"Now you're just making things up. I never said I subscribed to the eternal subordination of the Son. As for substantiating the charge of heresy and bothering to read works by religious feminists, well"

I am sorry, perhaps I have misunderstood you. You said: "And God wills patriarchy - indeed it is woven into the very fabric of creation, *deriving from God himself"* (Emphasis mine).
If I have misunderstood you, I apologize. It just came across as if you believe in a Trinitarian hierarchy.

If you are going to make accusations of heresy then you need to give some evidence for this charge. That is a serious accusation, not to be taken lightly.

"Finally, do you really want to hold that God was constrained to work within a patriarchal culture if He willed it otherwise?"

I didn't say God was constrained at all. You are twisting my words. But unlike the ideas which Jesus' contemporaries held to, God's plan was not to start a revolution, but to subtly subvert the fallen systems by laying the groundwork for mutual submission, unity, reciprocity, humility, mercy, grace, and yes, equality.
This is why, though not endorsing slavery, He regulated it and defined how Christians should live as slaves or slave owners.

There is no partiality with God, and He does not discriminate with Spiritual gifts that are intended to build up the body. As Bilezekian points out, "the words of Joel quoted on this occasion [Peter's exclamation] have the force of both an explanation for the exhilarating occasion and a program for the newly born church...Peter gives to Joel's words the import of an inaugural speech." An inaugural speech that breaks down all forms of discrimination - racial, sexual, rank, and class. "...birth, fortune, and rank become transcended by the elevating power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, the old distinctions of race, sex, rank, and class pale into significance. What becomes important is the shared identity and the shared ministry of new-covenant believers."

But Paul and Peter both had to address the pressing issues of their own day, in their own cultures. These, unfortunately, were cultures that were structured by the Greco-Roman household codes. The fathers of the family had, by virtue of their culture, power and privilege. But Jesus explained in Matthew 20:25-28, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And Paul reinforces this when he addresses the Ephesian husbands and slavemasters. In the Chrisian system there is mutual submission, so wives submit to their husbands (as the law also states), however Paul dignifies this position using the church metaphor. And the husbands are also subject to the command of mutual submission. So the privilege and authority that husbands benefited from is to be defined by Christ-like servanthood and self-sacrificial love. The husband and the wife are one body and thus ought to build up, nourish, respect, and love one another.

And it is true that slavery is often addressed along with the roles of wives and tied together with conjunctive language. (And no - I am not implying that you endorse slavery.) So there is tension there for Complementarians.

You talk as if feminism is a bad thing when, in reality, the fight against this particular form of injustice was formed by the devout women of God, informed by their theology.
The fact is, the inescapable logical implication of suggesting male spiritual leadership is that men are ontologically more spiritually qualified for leadership than women. And this is the language many Complementarians use. For example, "design" and "at the core of femininity," etc. This is demeaning to women.

Desley

June 9, 2012 at 01:37 AM

"Aside from your creative re-imagining of Holy Scripture"

It is not re-imagining, but following a different line of interpretation. And I genuinely consider it to be more of a reform; a social justice issue.
Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to read things into certain passages. I firmly believe that we must, as good Bereans, assess what we are taught to see whether or not it flows with the biblical tide. One thing seems strikingly clear here: Defining leadership in terms of authority is a blatant contradiction to Christianity.

Books like Beyond Gender Roles and The Blue Parakeet have been profoundly helpful tools in developing a better understanding of biblical hermeneutics. What I have found is that Egalitarianism is, in fact, a Christian ideal. And this also resonates with my God-given sense of justice. We are commanded to live integrated lives - to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. I cannot persevere in the face of of a moral contradiction. I know, I have tried.

I must also say that I am beyond being affected by accusations which cast doubt upon my reverence for God's word. This is nothing but a classic propaganda tactic and it is highly manipulative. When the CBMW did this with their Appeal to Prejudice propaganda strategy (calling their interpretations "biblical" to the exclusion of other interpretations) I lost all respect for them.

"I am deeply offended at your equating racial differences to sex differences."

I don't think I have done that. But I am sorry that you feel that I have.

"before the Fall, we were created man and woman but not redd, yellow, black and white. Our differences run through every fiber of our being - our bone structure, our musculature, our biochemical make up and even our brains are different. These are differences which God intended, created and called very good. The same cannot be said of any differences between the "races"."

I agree that man and woman were created different. I simply do not believe that these differences are marked by authority of one over the other.

"And to reduce that privilege of being a woman to a mere meritocracy dependent on abilities and supposed gifts is utterly abhorrent to me."

To each his own. For myself, I believe my primary significance in being a woman is firmly grounded in the fact that I am created in the image of God, in that I am a daughter of the Most High King, in that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, and in that I am a channel through which Jesus Christ extends His grace and mercy to a lost and hurting world.

I find it abhorrent to suggest that my significance as a woman is tied into some arbitrary role that is neither just nor authentic to who God made me to be. I find Complementarianism to be dehumanizing to women. I realize you do not, but I personally cannot live in clear violation of my conscience.

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 01:20 PM

Patriarchy is not gravity. It is dependent entirely on the actions of individuals.

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 01:19 PM

Daniella,

It is pointless to continue so this will be my last response to you.

Reality doesn't change because our perception of it or way of speaking about it change.

Daniella

June 9, 2012 at 01:16 PM

That is not even an argument. Reality is subject to change. In fact your exact words have been used to defend every kind of subjugation mankind has ever known. The root and foundations of patriarchy are clearly visible and I have broken the boundaries in my own life just by daring to be different. Life is not fair, but I think that people should try to be. Honestly I don't understand your point.

I am black and I want rights.
Life is not fair said the white man.
I am a woman and I want rights social and federal.
Life is not fair says the defenders of patriarchy.
I work hard and don't get compensated enough.
Life is not fair says the owner of a company in the Industrial Revolution.

The oppressor has always said and will always say "Life is not fair". But having the advantage of equal ability, likeness and value somehow helps those who are subjugated change these realities and elevate those who do not get their fair share of power over their own lives and whose voices are literally subdued (the emphasis on the voice in complementarianism is really something else).

Systems of dominance are just that. SYSTEMS which must be habitually reinforced every hour of every day. Like anything else tangible and constructed they are subject to collapse when enough people stop playing the part.

James Rednour

June 9, 2012 at 01:11 PM

Excellent reply Amanda, particularly regarding Owen Strachan's truly misogynistic post. It seems that the complementarians at the Gospel Coalition can't keep track of what each other are saying or the arguments they are making. As for your "one major evangelical figure who openly and frequently makes fun of men who have habits or interests that appear stereotypically feminine", I think we all know who that is.

Kamilla

June 9, 2012 at 01:03 PM

Daniella,

(software is loading such that it looks as if I can't place this reply under your reply)

What ever gave you the idea life was fair?

The reason you, and everyone else, who want nothing to do with patriarchy are still subject to it is that patriarchy is the way the world is. That holds true whether you accept the facts and proofs or not. Because, well, neither you or I or anyone else gets to define reality.

Daniella

June 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

"A husband who refuses his male headship role is not creating equality in the marriage but transferring the headship role to the wife. Hierarchy is not removed, only replaced by an unbiblical reversal of the creational norm."

How does this work? I'm sorry you have to make illogical and ridiculous arguments to back up this notion. You simply cannot make the claim that a relationship in which neither person is more dominant is one where the wife has headship. That doesn't make any sense. Then you have to argue that headship is a state in which you are simply not submitting. Regardless of opinions this sentence is irrational.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

"Evans wins the debate---but only with the strawman version of complementarianism she created."

That's pretty funny, Joe!

Joe Carter

June 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I think that's a great point. And while there are some words that I think are still worth fighting to preserve (e.g., evangelical), I wouldn't have a problem with complementarians distancing themselves from the word "patriarchy" as long as the meaning is left intact.

By the way, does anyone else hate the terms "complementarian" and "egalitarian" as much as I do? They are such clunky, ugly, soul-less words that it makes it difficult to carry on a discussion in which they are used.

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

"And they are losing ground because, at the practical level, evangelicals are realizing that complementarianism doesn't actually promote complementary relationships, but rather hierarchal ones."

And the problem with hierarchy is... what, exactly? Hierarchy is part of the created order... and even part of the uncreated order.

Hierarchy is found in God himself. "The Father is greater than I." John 14:28. "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will but the will of He who sent me." John 6:38. "Not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42. The Son of God submits to his Father, not because of any inferiority of essence but because of his desire to please his Father.

There is nothing inherently wrong with hierarchy. That's only America talking when we rebel instantly against any form of intrinsic authority. The Father is in authority over the Son, NOT because the Father is essentially "better," but because that is how God works: And He created humanity, man and woman, in his image, so that in their union they, too, might reflect the loving authority and the joyful submission found in God Himself.

(Side Note: You can see the end result of this rebellion against hierarchy in "The Shack," when the large, black woman who is God denies any sense of hierarchy even between God and humanity.)

Hannah

June 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

While I am grateful for the articulate responses to Rachel Held Evans from the CBMW crowd, I think there needs to be at least a cursory awareness of the connotations of patriarchy amongst evangelicals. I'm not talking about the feminist use of the word--but the derogatory meaning it has taken among many members of RHEvan's readership who have come out of hyper-conservative segments of American Christianity. There are support groups and online articles that have gained a lot of traction, detailing the emotional abuse and theological error that resulted in their families from books like Debi Pearl's "Created to Be His Helpmeet," etc. In those segments of Christianity, "patriarchy" is used as a third option (there's egalitarianism, complimentarianism...and patriarchy). It's a system that (I believe) goes beyond scripture in the degree of male headship it encourages, limits the role of women to an unbiblical degree, and is emphasized in close relation to moralism rather than the gospel. While I didn't come from that background, I know many who did and would now count themselves in Evan's camp. I'm afraid they may never be able to receive the advice of men like Denny Burk unless "patriarchy" is given a clearer definition, and complimentarians acknowledge the confusion that our terms may represent to those who've only heard them in the context of scripture's abuse.

Kamilla

June 8, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Desley,

Aside from your creative re-imagining of Holy Scripture, I am deeply offended at your equating racial differences to sex differences. I am honored and privileged to be, not just a creature who lacks a penis, but a woman. In the beginning, before the Fall, we were created man and woman but not redd, yellow, black and white. Our differences run through every fiber of our being - our bone structure, our musculature, our biochemical make up and even our brains are different. These are differences which God intended, created and called very good. The same cannot be said of any differences between the "races".

And to reduce that privilege of being a woman to a mere meritocracy dependent on abilities and supposed gifts is utterly abhorrent to me. As it should be to every orthodox Christian believer.

Desley

June 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM

"A husband who refuses his male headship role is not creating equality in the marriage but transferring the headship role to the wife. Hierarchy is not removed, only replaced by an unbiblical reversal of the creational norm."

Wow. That is quite a leap. Men who don't exercise authority over their wives but instead relate to them as equal partners in a relationship of mutuality are actually being ruled by their wives? I'm sorry, I just don't see the sense in this statement.

Finding Egalitarianism in Scripture does not require any more gymnastics than it did to find the justification to free the slaves, admit the earth is not flat, permit women not to veil their heads, or to get away with not greeting others with a holy kiss. It requires no more gymnastics than to play down the spiritual authority and doctrinal authority that biblical women like Deborah, Phoebe, Huldah, and Priscilla exercised over men.

I think it is dishonest to make it sound like Egalitarian Christians shirk authority; we simply don't agree that positions of authority in the church are restricted only to those who possess a penis.

You are losing the debate because sexism is wrong, and almost everyone knows this intuitively.

Adam C

June 8, 2012 at 09:16 PM

I'm going to violate my own self-imposed rule of "not feeding the trolls", but your comment is simply too ridiculous to let slide. Here it goes:

Where does it even suggest that "it's God's will to have people dominate over each other"??? or that people would be "second-class citizens"??

If I were an egalitarian, I would be absolutely mortified to see a comment like this. It simply shows ignorance in it's purest form. You simply show your lack of integrity and understanding of the debate.

The complimentarian position represents to be one that can even be seen reflected in the godhead. The Son submits to the Father (in terms of authority/leadership) while not negating the equality in essence. If this is true, why is it so absurd to suggest a similar submissive-equality relationship cannot be seen in human relationships?

I don't even understand your final comment. It's nonsensical and arrogant. There are plenty of non-Calvinists who hold to a complimentarian position.

Adam C

June 8, 2012 at 08:15 PM

Don - I see people saying the same thing about homosexuality (maybe you are one of those, the logic is certainly there). We should not look to the tract record of man for our authority; we should look to God's infallible Word, which most people unfortunately tend to ignore in this debate.

JR

June 8, 2012 at 08:00 AM

This is an interesting debate, which seems to be riddled with strawmen on both sides. The tendency seems to convolute terms and comingle concepts. There IS a distinction between complementarianism, historical patriarchy and hierarchialism, and we do well to make those distinctions clear.

In my experience, the PCA (Ligon Duncan, et al.) has dealt much more in-depth with this topic than have most Southern Baptists. I see a tendency in a lot of Southern Baptists (who predominate CBMW) to revert to some of the strawman ideas that Held and other egals are opposed to. For instance, many in the PCA emphasize the concept of "Ezer", the necessity for mutual submission on a day to day basis, and the priority of servant leadership. Many of these nuances get lost in the discussion when Burk and other revert quickly to terms like patriarchy and hierarchy.

I'd like to see much more depth on the complementarian side (Carson and Yarbrough's discussions a couple of months ago provided excellent depth and insight into this topic. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/03/19/understanding-complementarianism-with-carson-and-yarbrough/)
Hopefully, comps will continue to go further in how we communicate our message.

Travis Mamone

June 8, 2012 at 07:42 PM

So, wait, are you saying it's God's will to have people dominate over each other? It's God's will for there to be second-class citizens in God's Kingdom?

Welcome to Calvinism: Fundamentalism 2.0!

Gary Simmons

June 8, 2012 at 07:19 PM

Really? No arguments at all could be made from Scripture for abolition? Uh... have you ever read Leviticus 25, or Philemon? 39 “‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. 40 He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers. 42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God."

OK. If that is part of "love your neighbor as yourself", then it means that it is wrong to ever keep a co-religionist serving the same God as a slave.

OK. Now, shouldn't Christians be trying to turn non-Christians into Jesus-loving, Spirit-filled Christians? If so, what is the point of having ANY slave, if you're seriously trying to put them in the position of "fellow believer", a position in which you may NOT have them as slaves?

And Philemon, well, is self-explanatory.

The Bible does not have both polar ends of pro-slavery and anti-slavery. It most frequently regulates slavery, but has more than hints about opportunities to release slaves. Plus, there's the general themes of releasing captives, etc.

Slavery is indeed evil, just as charging interest is evil. It creates a loophole in which a state of temporary servitude is made permanent. Antebellum slavery is a different, though related animal, and is far worse in that the concept of releasing the slave is unthinkable.

I'm sorry, but a guilt-by-association doesn't work. You know those vegetarians? HITLER was a vegetarian. Just sayin'. (See? Doesn't mean much if there are important distinctions being ignored.)

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 06:29 PM

I think it was as well, but the creation story and the Fall set up everything else the follows in the Bible. If you start with a faulty premise (women were created to submit to their husbands), it leads to faulty conclusions. As I stated, people see what they want to see in the Bible. If comps want to be the leader and the final decision-maker in their homes, that is between themselves and their wives. For some couples it works well and they are happy.

My contention with comps is when they stipulate that the Gospel is predicated upon complementarianism and that egalitarianism is a non-Biblical view. You asked for exegesis that supported an egal view and I gave it to you. What I take offense at is someone like Piper questioning the strength of an egal's Christian walk. Priscilla and Aquila did not fit the complementarian definition. According to that model, she should not have been instructing Apollos. Would Piper argue her walk was questionable?

Either model can work in a Christian household although I would argue the superiority of the egal model.

Joe Carter

June 8, 2012 at 06:06 PM

Your contention seems to be that we can discount Paul's words since it was " an appeal to the culture of Paul's time" yet we should give more weight to Genesis because . . . it wasn't written for a particular culture in a particular time?

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 05:43 PM

Don, the Bible nowhere states that slavery is evil. It's not encouraged, but anyone reading the Bible to find an argument for its abolition will be looking for a long time. And yet, you won't find an evangelical who will argue on behalf of slavery for good reason. It's an evil and unjustifiable practice.

The same goes for the view of women being somehow less equipped to lead or teach the Bible on the basis of their gender despite whether or not they are gifted to do so. Priscilla instructed Apollos, one of the foremost apostles in the early church, and yet she would not be permitted to do so in the current world of evangelical Christianity because she did not have a Y chromosome. That's wrong and bigoted.

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 05:25 PM

Not really. Paul has not other context from which to make a comparison other than the culture in which he lives. Women had zero rights in the world in which he lived. What other conclusion is he going to draw? Leviticus 27 stipulates that a woman is worth exactly half of the value of a man. If complementarians and Biblical inerrantists want to be consistent, I don't see how they can argue from their position that woman are of equal value to men. The Bible clearly states that they are not. If you want to argue that that particular verse is no longer applicable to our day and age, I don't know why you can't argue the same here.

People see what they want to see, and complementarians interpret the Bible to support their positions. There is plenty of ammo on both sides.

If the effect of the Fall was that a man should over his wife, then God did not create man and woman in that manner originally. So how can you argue that the submission of woman is an eternal condition?

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 04:49 PM

So Christ is only the head of every man in Ephesus during the first century? And God is only the head of Christ in Ephesus during the first century? Paul ties the ideas together inseparably.

Paul is saying that in the SAME WAY that God is the head of Christ and Christ is the head of the husband (that is, by nature and eternally), the husband is the head of wife. To say that 1/3 of the command, located in the direct middle of the statement, is local and cultural, while the other two on either side of it are general and eternal, is foolish and inconsistent.

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 04:45 PM

No, but I'd argue that is an appeal to the culture of Paul's time. Are you going to deny that a woman's submission to her husband is a condition of the Fall? It's there in black and white in Genesis. Either Paul is telling us to model marriage after a fallen world or his is a command directed to a specific audience in a specific place (Ephesus) at a specific time (first century). Since I do not believe that Paul would direct believers to model their marriage after a fallen world, I believe the second option is the only one that makes sense.

Joe Carter

June 8, 2012 at 04:30 PM

So should we throw out 1 Corinthians 11?

"But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God."

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 03:57 PM

There is no indication that Eve was commanded to submit to Adam's authority prior to the Fall. That only occurred AFTER the Fall (Genesis 3:16). If comps want their marriages modeled after a fallen world, I guess that is their business. As for the rest of us, we will live in Godly humility with our wives, including them as equals in a holy union before God.

James Rednour

June 8, 2012 at 03:54 PM

These debates always amuse me coming from the egal side. Do comps live in a world where there is only one person ever making a decision about anything in their household? Is there any loving communication or give and take in a comp household or is it just a man making final decisions all the time for the family? In twenty years of marriage, I've NEVER had a situation in my household where it came to the point where I had to overrule my wife about some decision. We make decisions together about important things and we compromise about unimportant things. That's what husbands and wives who love each other do.

Amanda

June 8, 2012 at 03:46 PM

Joe,
There is evidence of exegesis that supports egalitarianism in the history of the Church prior to the 1960's. For example, in the Reformation Era, the writings of Marie Dentiere, Argula von Grumbach, Katharina Schutz Zell and Jeanne D'Albret. And that's not even counting the writings found in Anabaptist circles during the same time.
A good source for more info is Kirsi Stjerna's Women and the Reformation (Wiley-Blackwell 2008)

Don Johnson

June 8, 2012 at 03:45 PM

Does anyone else find it more than coincidental that the largest denomination (SBC) that teaches gender hierarchy formed over the slavery question, which was another form of hierarchy?

Read the arguments of the slaveholders, there are amazing in that they are very similar to many of the ones made by gender hierarchilists today. And what was shameful back then is shameful today.

AStev

June 8, 2012 at 03:11 PM

I don't find it embarrassing. Are you embarrassed that we don't follow the whims of culture more closely?

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 02:46 PM

As your comment is an embarrassment to internet commenters everywhere? Care to elaborate on your views?

Joe Carter

June 8, 2012 at 02:41 PM

***For example: the belief, so beloved by complementarians, that egalitarians are not doing proper exegesis and looking for 'an authoritative justification for shirking authority' is simply untrue and a shoddy and unhelpful summary of the egalitarian position.***

If this is true, then we should see a history of exegesis that supports egalitarianism throughout the history of the church. But why don't we see that? Why is it that egalitarian readings were only found after the 1960s?

saltshaker

June 8, 2012 at 02:37 PM

Wow, this website and this debate is just embarassing to Christianity.

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 02:14 PM

I have no need to create a hierarchy where there is none: The Bible is full of them. Humans, for instance, are at the top of the terrestrial hierarchy, merely by virtue of being human. Adam was (or was meant to be) at the top of a hierarchy consisting of Adam and Eve.

If we believe the Bible, there is even hierarchy in God, where there can be no question of inferiority of essence or purpose: The Son submits to the Father, because he IS the Son. This is, I think, a fairly good analog to your refusal to accept hierarchy "on grounds of gender."

Kamilla

June 8, 2012 at 02:08 PM

Of course.

I merely meant to point out the hypocrisy of the straw man cry on the part of religious feminists.

Please don't take this as self-importance because I know that I know that I know it is only by God's grace that I repented - but as far as I know, I am the only one to have been on the inside of CBE and gone public with my repudiation of that heresy.

Daniella

June 8, 2012 at 02:02 PM

I granted you that argument because I was curious to your answer. I do not agree with it. Also, when I disagree and just let a friend make a decision I am not submitting to their authority. that's me deciding that further fighting is not worth it. Your assumption of a dominant force being the cause of a decision completely eliminates tactics of societal interaction and pragmatism. Not all decisions are made out of an assumption and assertion of authority when there is a disagreement.

Daniella

June 8, 2012 at 01:59 PM

So you think it impossible for two people to come to an agreement based on mutual understanding and make decisions together? I do it all the time with all sorts of people! No I do not object to all hierarchy but I do dispute it on grounds of gender. I believe my genitalia should not determine whether I have to submit to another individual and thats the end of that. Furthermore, I believe it is the burden of those who discriminate and create hierarchies based on race, gender, sexuality to provide evidence for their claims (and no pure faith does not do it for me). If it did I would have to accept your claims just as much as Mormons who believe in hierarchies of race based on their faith book.

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 01:56 PM

I never assumed that it was the same reason. I was merely demonstrating that there is always a dominant force: There has to be, in a relationship between two people, or else every disagreement would result in nothing being done. In granting my argument, you admit that there is always a head: It just shifts.

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 01:54 PM

The claim was that if the male refuses headship, it passes to the wife. That is true. If the husband refuses to make decisions with authority, then, if decisions are to be made at all, they MUST be made by someone: The wife.

Even if you disagree with me, though, please answer me this: Do you object to ALL hierarchy, or merely hierarchy in marriage? On what grounds?

Daniella

June 8, 2012 at 01:52 PM

Wow, you definitely need to get out and see different kinds of relationships. You are speaking out of experience based on what you've seen. I am telling you that I have seen and experienced relationships that are in direct contradiction with your claims. Consider the nature of leadership and how it has to be habitually and consciously reinforced. Even if I humor your argument and grant you that in all situations one person is always taking the lead, your assumption that it is always the SAME person in that relationship does not make sense.

Daniella

June 8, 2012 at 01:48 PM

No they aren't because you are saying that by DEFAULT the woman is the head. If headship is as clearly defined Biblically as you make it out to be then the assumption that the wife is the head simply because she is not submitting fully does not make sense at all. I am not submissive towards my boyfriend in any strict way, and even if one of us is more dominant in nature it is not clearly defined enough or conscious enough for you to say one of us is the head of our relationship. Furthermore, in relationships where there is no clear head, people choose to take the reigns at different times depending on how passionate they are about a disagreement, they choose their battles, negotiate and in the end come to an agreement. Pretending that there is nothing short of headship in ALL relationships is intellectually dishonest. So yeah no it doesn't make sense to make your claim...

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 01:48 PM

While I broadly agree with you, we have to be careful when using anecdotal evidence. The hypocrisy (actual or perceived) of a community has no bearing on the actual correctness of the doctrines they hold to (and thank goodness for that!): The basis for discussion must be in scripture, not anecdotal evidence (anecdotal evidence which will only alienate those who did not share your experience).

Mackman

June 8, 2012 at 01:44 PM

I was thinking that as well. There is always a leader. If the man refuses to be the leader, the woman will take the reigns--out of necessity, if for no other reason.

Benjamin Pennington

June 8, 2012 at 01:41 PM

A truly non-dominant partner does not exist. Someone will always take the reigns to get things done or make the final decision. Therefore, these two sentences are completely rational.

Benjamin Pennington

June 8, 2012 at 01:37 PM

"all believers---without regard to gender, ethnicity, or class---must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world."

That ideology is not in the Bible. That is a direct descendent of the language we get from the culture: "We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, veteran status, or disability."

But Joe, you are right. Solid exegesis is the answer, for roles are not defined by the current cultural standard, which change moment by moment. They are rooted in something timeless, something eternal: The reverence of Christ pierces every relational illustration that follows after Ephesians 5:21: “As to the Lord” (5:22), “as Christ is head of the church” (5:23), “as the church submits to Christ” (5:24), “as Christ loved the church” (5:25), “just as Christ does the church” (5:29), “it refers to Christ and the church” (5:32), “in the Lord” (6:1), “instruction of the Lord” (6:4), “as you would Christ” (6:5), “as to the Lord and not to man” (6:7).

Paul tells us what it looks like for the household not be drunk with the wine of the world, but instead to be filled with the Spirit (5:18).

Al

June 8, 2012 at 01:34 PM

Complementarians are just as guilty as setting up strawmen arguments as egalitarians are and this article demonstrates this.

For example: the belief, so beloved by complementarians, that egalitarians are not doing proper exegesis and looking for 'an authoritative justification for shirking authority' is simply untrue and a shoddy and unhelpful summary of the egalitarian position.

Do complementarians want to be told their view of scripture is based upon sexist and outdated attitudes? That the women in the complementarian camp have been subject to decades of cultural brainwashing? No - I didn't think so.

Each view has a wide ranging variety of opinions and practices within it as well - we shouldn't assume the worst of each other all the time. Let's all resolve to be a bit more even handed in the way we discuss other folks's views.

For the record ALL of the evangelicals I know who have come out of the complementarian camp did it because of indepth exegesis of scripture and a desire to understand the mind of God revealed in the Bible - just because complementarians do not agree with their conclusions is no reason to suppose they don't hold as firmly to scripture as an evangelical complementarian or that their exegesis should be termed 'poor'.

One of the biggest hurdles to a proper discussion about this is the desire to belittle the other 'side' and that comes from both sides of the debate. Any article that doesn't acknowledge the nuances and need for mutual respect in what is a complicated issue perpetuates misunderstanding so is probably best not written at all.

Kamilla

June 8, 2012 at 01:22 PM

Joe,

I hate the terms with a passion. The term "Complementarian" is now being co-opted by the "Egals" in a manner I suggested more than ten years ago when I was a vocal "Egal" myself. They are now using it in the sense that men and women complement each other individually - but do not take it to mean that necessitates separate spheres of influence or ways of exercising authority.

But the biggest lie of all is that "Egalitarians" are egalitarian. I have never seen to much stratification and power-playing as I did when I was among them. One online "Egalitarian" community has over a dozen layers of authority, responsibility and membership. And I have never seen people used and ill-treated as I have among the "egalitarians". The other way they are inegalitarian is their sharp focus on ordained/pulpit ministry - which betrays their disdain for women's usual ministries and ways of exercising authority.

I prefer Patriarchy, simply because it's the biblical term. While it may have some cultural baggage (what orthodox Christian terms do not?), the baggage is not of its own making as with Complementarian (or is it Complimentarian?). As for the heretical view, religious feminism is the term I have used for some time now. "Egalitarianism" is merely the sheepskin the wolf of feminism cloaks itself in when entering the Church.

I have one last quibble - when religious feminists complain about straw persons, I have to laugh. Most often the straw creature they are complaining about is precisely what they say amongst themselves in private. One example is the way they only complain about being labeled "feminist" when that label is used by certain folks but embraced when it is used by others.

Thank you for this excellent analysis.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM

A good, short essay: Fatherhood: The Core of the Universe.

Desley

June 15, 2012 at 07:20 AM

Thanks for your comments Ben.

"5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear"

Sarah allowed Abraham to sell her to a harem twice. This is exactly where Comps get the idea women should stay the abuse and pray - She submitted to her husband and God protected her from sexual assault.

"We often focus on the wife's part to submit but fail to point out the husband's obligation to respect and cherish their wives, not forgetting that Christ loved the church by dying for her, and He, being God, willingly washed His disciples' feet."

I agree.

"It would be ridiculous to insist that the key should stay put while the lock goes places, in the name of equality. The church's one foundation ..."

The example of lock and key misrepresents the nature of man and woman. The biblical truth is that man and woman are one, not two. That they are both the same kind. You cannot hinder one without hindering the other. I feel like the statement "it would be ridiculous to insist that the key should stay put while the lock goes places, in the name of equality," is a bit of a disingenuous remark. Egalitarians don't think women should move ahead without the men, it is the exact opposite. Complementarians think men should move ahead and women should stay put. At least, that's how I've heard it.

Big Ben

June 15, 2012 at 02:22 AM

1 Peter 3:5-7
New International Version (NIV)
5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

I'll let the Bible speak for itself, but two points i wish to make.

Submission not= being a doormat. Instances of abuses does not negate biblical truths, it only accentuates human sinfulness to twist scripture and follow them imperfectly. It is just as "wrong" not to trust the husband's leadership due to fear.

We often focus on the wife's part to submit but fail to point out the husband's obligation to respect and cherish their wives, not forgetting that Christ loved the church by dying for her, and He, being God, willingly washed His disciples' feet.

The Bible makes it very clear that man, or woman, we are both heirs of God. Even though like lock and key, both are different but only work well when they come together. It would be ridiculous to insist that the key should stay put while the lock goes places, in the name of equality. The church's one foundation ...

Chris

June 14, 2012 at 03:15 PM

"Many chore-sharing husbands and football-loving wives will be shocked to discover they've been engaging in egalitarian activities."

If this is trying to communicate that marriages who are complementarian can't have husbands who help their wives around the house when they need it or serve their wives in love by cooking a meal sometimes seems incredibly sinful and more like a master/slave relationship than a husband/wife relationship. It seems like that sort of position needs to be repented of because I don't see how that is faithful to Ephesians 5 and "loving your wife like Christ loves the church".

Megan

June 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

This strikes me as straining gnats and possibly explains why the divorce rate is so high among evangelicals.

If a couple is happy with the distribution of authority within their marriage, what right does the Church have to place a heavier burden on them? What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

Brian Reynolds

June 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

The quote from Rachel Evans is so typical of that unbiblical thinking that postures as "sound biblical thinking." She says:"They are losing ground because their rhetoric consistently reflects a commitment to an idealized glorification of the pre-feminist nuclear family of 1950s America rather than a commitment to "biblical manhood" and "biblical womanhood"---terms that many of us recognize as highly selective, reductive, and problematic. This reactionary approach often comes at the expense of sound biblical interpretation." Talk about strawman, she brings in the 1950's, (which is my generation and really wasn't too bad) but the question is (I believe) a matter of soundly exegeting Paul's doctrine and then (and this is key) - accepting it. All the arguing really comes down to this - if Paul is really saying what he seems to be saying, will you accept it? A few may interested in a post on my blog called: "Was the ApostlePaul a woman Hater" see:http://www.wordsofthislife.ca/2012/04/was-apostle-paul-woman-hater.html.

Desley

June 13, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Kamilla, one can be repent and be redeemed while serving time for his offenses. If that man was truly repentant, he would accept the full penalty for his actions without exception. Redemption and repentance, even if we could prove it were genuine, does not come at the expense of civil justice. Can you imagine a world where it did?

I wonder - are you not in favor of the death penalty? Most American pro-lifers are.

Eagle

June 13, 2012 at 09:36 PM

Don...I agree with you completely. The SBC was formed in defense of slavery, and thus in part a defense of the Confederacy. It's past is stained with suffering and pain by using the Bible to enforce hierarchy to keep others in bondage. Why...does the SBC want to turn back to those days to use the Bible to subjegate females? I agree with RHE on this topic. Common sense must dictate and I would suggest that the Bible has many difficult versus dealing with such topics as rape, genocide, incest, etc.. Should we use hierarchy in that sense? If you go that route by stressing hierarchy then Christianity can become similar to Islam. Christians first and foremost should be known for loving God, then their neighbors. This needless debate over a trite issue is contributing to the secularization of the United States. Many compliemtarians need to step back and see the big picture.

Ian

June 13, 2012 at 08:17 AM

@Kamilla - you sound like a thoroughly unpleasant female who is not able to engage with someone with an alternative view of your own with grace and dignity. I am sorry for you - you are doing yourself and your cause no favours at all. I am sure you will dismiss me but I urge you to show your responses to your husband if you are married or your pastor and see what they think.
@Desley - there are some people who will never learn and it is probably better not to waste too much energy or sympathy on them. I am signing off this post now - it really isn't edifying to witness these exchanges but, I hasten to add, that is not your fault.

Kamilla

June 13, 2012 at 07:55 PM

No repentance and redemption in your world, is there.

Desley

June 13, 2012 at 04:29 PM

And this is exactly what I meant about Complementarians. Instead of facing the problematic people (who are also prominent) in your movement, you ignore, downplay, or deny deny deny in the face of fact.

Desley

June 13, 2012 at 04:21 PM

http://federal-vision.blogspot.ca/2008/07/open-line-tuesday.html

Desley

June 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM

I have not lied about anything I said about Doug Wilson. Any simple person can see that the words "I am grateful that he will be sentenced for his behavior, and that there will be hard consequences for him in real time" are directly nullified by the words "At the same time, I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited."

No person - even a Christian - should get limited penalties for sexually abusing three children! Regardless of whether or not Douglas Wilson personally feels he had repented for his pedophilia.

And then to marry a barely grown young woman off to a convicted pedophile upon his release after only a year?? http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/2011-June/076772.html

This is sick. In the most negative sense of the word.

Kamilla

June 13, 2012 at 02:04 AM

Desley,

Your lies about Doug Wilson were easily exposed once I had a moment to do a teensy bit of digging:

http://www.dougwils.com/Moscow-Diversity-Cleansing/Joan-Opyr-Cub-Reporter.html

That combined with your utter and complete unwillingness to recognize the faults of religious feminism and ready willingness to ascribe any faults of patriarchalists/complementarians to that belief system rather than individual sin should be more than enough to warn the most patient of souls from trying to engage you in a reasoned manner.

Lastly, for an excellent talk showing the connection between religious feminism and abortion, conference audio is available here:

http://www.canonpress.org/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=523&idcategory=0

Kamilla

June 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM

TUAD,

She does promote abortion and population control advocates Kristof and WuDunn, listing their book "Half yhe Sky" as one of her top ten books on "mutuality" here:

http://rachelheldevans.com/mutuality-resources#disqus_thread

In that respect, she joins the company if Hybels/Willow Creek and Carolyn Custis James.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM

Complementarian Brian Reynolds, I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

Here's my favorite part which exemplifies the integrity and honesty of Complementarians:

"You may recall how in the Gospels that the women disciples were much more devoted to the Lord than their male counterparts, or I should say they had more spiritual intelligence. It was a woman who anointed the Lord in view of His impending death while the male disciples protested it as a waste, it was the women who remained with Christ at the cross while the men fled, it was the women who were first at the tomb. As another has written:
“The part that women take in all this history is very instructive, especially to them. The activity of public service, that which may be called "work," belongs naturally to men (all that appertains to what is generally termed ministry), although women share a very precious activity in private. But there is another side of Christian life which is particularly theirs; and that is personal and loving devotedness to Christ. It is a woman, who anointed the Lord while the disciples murmured; women, who were at the cross, when all except John had forsaken Him; women, who came to the sepulchre, and who were sent to announce the truth to the apostles who had gone after all to their own home; women, who ministered to the Lord's need. And indeed this goes farther. Devotedness in service is perhaps the part of man; but the instinct of affection, that which enters more intimately into Christ's position, and is thus more immediately in connection with His sentiments, in closer communion with the sufferings of His heart -- this is the part of woman: assuredly a happy part” (Synopsis of the Bible, J. N. Darby). But despite all of this devotion and spiritual intelligence shown by the women disciples, not one of them was chosen by the Lord to be of “the twelve.” When He sent out the twelve disciples they were all men. And as if to confirm this when the disciples sought a replacement for Judas after the ascension of Christ, a man was chosen. There were 120 disciples in that upper room and many of them would have been women but Peter says they were to choose one from “these men” who had accompanied the Lord in His ministry (Acts 1:21). So if we are going to charge Paul with misogyny we must also charge Peter and the Lord Jesus Himself."

P.S. Egalitarian Rachel Evans also supports same-sex marriage. I hope she also doesn't support abortion like so many other egalitarians do.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

"Junia is not a man. That is a fact."

Actually both Kamilla and I could get into an extended refutation of the egalitarian use of Junia as an argument for their defective case, but it would take the thread to an arcane area.
-------

o It's noteworthy that when examining the Protestant members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice that all of them are egalitarian in the practice of ordaining women to the clergy.

o As a corollary that's also worth noting, NO Protestant church or denomination that is Biblically-faithful to Scripture's teaching that clergy is male-only is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

It's also worth noting that the mainline liberal Protestant denominations who all ordain women as a practice of egalitarianism are losing membership, and some of them ordain active homosexuals to the clergy. The underlying seismic fault line of egalitarianism is the rejection of the Doctrine of Scriptural Authority. Hence you see egalitarians supporting abortion and the ordination of active homosexuals. Evaluate egalitarians by their rotten fruits.

In plain Biblical contrast we factually observe that NO complementarian churches/denominations support abortion nor do they knowingly ordain active homosexuals to the pastorate.

Faithful Complementarians hold fast to the Doctrine of the Authority of Scripture, unlike the liberal feminist revisionists aka egalitarians.

Desley

June 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM

"Thanks Al. It stands in such stark contrast to this statement from Desley:

'I am so disgusted with this movement [Biblical Patriarchy aka Complementarianism] I could honestly throw up right now as you attribute this horrendous evil [Biblical Patriarchy aka Complementarianism] to my good, just, merciful, Defender-of-the-weak God.'"

But it does not stand in stark contrast to this:

And yes, in so far as you hold to religious feminism, you are a heretic as well. I was a heretic, too. Kamilla, June 10, @ 5:40 PM

Or this:

“You'll have to pardon me for not accepting a heretic's protestation that she is not a heretic (as in Desley's response above). That's sort of like expecting all criminals to plead guilty.” Kamilla, June 10 @ 3:53 PM

Or this:

“Your "different line of interpretation" is no legitimate line of interpretation. It is grown in the soil of gnosticism, deism and anthropological modalism. It is rank heresy, and I say that without apology though Joe Carter may not appreciate it.” June 9 @ 2:05.

Way to be biased!

And yes, I am disgusted with this movement. Unlike Kamilla's example of an offshoot of egalitarian Christians who endorse abortion (which does not logically follow Egalitarianism, nor is it necessarily tied to it in any way), there is a direct tension between how Complementarians/Patriarchists fail to deal with wife battery effectively and how they perceive women to be more gullible, and their belief system around hierarchical gender roles. I mean, these teachers saying these things are not simply a random group of men and women who happen to associate themselves with Complementarianism; these are people at the very heart of the movement.

You can follow some of the tension from following Complementarian beliefs here: http://baptistsearch.blogspot.ca/2008/10/scriptural-advice-for-battered-wives.html
These people are not an offshoot group with their own agenda. These are people who are trying to live out these beliefs in real world situations - situations including wife battery.

So you know what? I am disgusted with this movement. Not even because the leaders of this movement do not value women as equals as men (as I see it), but because they will not retract dangerous, abusive statements that cause harm to women and children. And many of their disciples, when faced with the problem, would prefer to deflect off of the problem, deny it, and then downplay it rather than address it.

That is disgusting. And Jesus never took it lightly when pharisees (those who tended to elevate laws over people) used the law to hurt people. If you don't believe me, take another look at Luke 13, Mark 2, Luke 18, etc. Jesus said it in so many ways: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:3)

So yes - this movement (not all individuals within the movement) is disgusting to me and will be until it gets some integrity, gets honest with itself, and deals with the abuse it is often guilty of being complicit in.

Desley

June 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Junia is not a man. That is a fact.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Desley: "Furthermore, these are really the revisionist teachings; to the dismay of domestic Martha, Jesus Christ made it clear that He does not restrict women from stepping out of the role of homemaker and into the spheres that are typically occupied by men. (I am not saying being a homemaker is inherently wrong... if that's where you want to be. In fact, that's what I am!)"

Jesus Christ, 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, God Incarnate, The Living Word, transcends time, space, peoples, and culture. And transcendent Jesus who transcends culture deliberately chose and purposefully selected that all 12 of His Apostles be men. This is clear fact.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

"I very much appreciate the statement including this line: 'acknowledging the genuine evangelical standing of many who do not agree with all of our convictions'."

Thanks Al. It stands in such stark contrast to this statement from Desley:

"I am so disgusted with this movement [Biblical Patriarchy aka Complementarianism] I could honestly throw up right now as you attribute this horrendous evil [Biblical Patriarchy aka Complementarianism] to my good, just, merciful, Defender-of-the-weak God.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM

"It's noteworthy that when examining the Protestant members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice that all of them are egalitarian in the practice of ordaining women to the clergy."

As a corollary that's also worth noting, NO Protestant church or denomination that is Biblically-faithful to Scripture's teaching that clergy is male-only is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

God bless the faithful Complementarians aka Biblical Patriarchalists.

Ian

June 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

The manner in which this issue is debated by some really isn't a great advertisement for complementarian women. The snide remarks, chasing red herrings, personal attacks, deliberately stoking the fires - methinks the debate is already being won by the manner in which it's being debated.

Shame on them.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 12, 2012 at 09:53 AM

Kamilla: "Desley,

If you want to go down that road, let's also talk about all the children women have murdered. You do know the vast majority of children who are murdered are victims of their mothers, right?"


Abortion, which is murder for hire, is a horrendous, wicked evil. The safest place for a baby should be inside the mother's womb.

It's noteworthy that when examining the Protestant members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice that all of them are egalitarian in the practice of ordaining women to the clergy.

Shame on them.

Bridget

June 12, 2012 at 09:37 AM

Of course not, and that is not what I concluded. Abortion takes place because of sinful desires, not because someone holds an egal position regarding the spiritual life of believers. Others have already explained what I was trying to get at.

One thing I do notice is that you make assumptions about people ("are you so naive" to me) and often miss the main points of what they are saying.

Desley

June 12, 2012 at 09:15 AM

Kamilla, I want to apologize to you for the harshness of my tone in my last couple of posts. As you can probably tell, I am very passionate about this issue. My family has been personally hurt by it. Although I don't think my own sensitivity to patriarchy challenges the legitimacy of my arguments, I do know that I have to exercise more self-discipline and care in the way I am discussing it.

God bless you.

Al

June 12, 2012 at 08:57 AM

Bringing abortion into this is pretty unhelpful There are plenty of people of other faiths and none at all who hold very strong pro life views. Being pro life is not a badge that complementarians alone can lay claim to.

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 12, 2012 at 08:26 AM

About 33% of women sitting at church are post-abortive. Many of them had an abortion prior to conversion but some had an abortion while professing faith in Christ.

Abortion is a sin. It is not consistent with Christian faith, but Kamilla, there is no reason to believe that egalitarian churchwomen are more likely to have abortions than complementarians or patriarichalists. If they have one, their reasons may differ, but all of the above groups sin, and sin in this way.

Oh yes, the complementarian church deacon can command his daughter to have an abortion so HE won't be "embarrassed" just as easily as the egalitarian college girl can get an abortion so HER life won't be "ruined." Either way, it's selfishness and sin, but no groupo has a monopoly on that.

Let's discuss the positions on their biblical merits, and it's fine to bring in the logical consequences of a given teaching, but let's make sure the consequences that are brought up flow naturally from the teaching.

Abortion does not flow naturally from either a Christian egal, comp or pat perspective and I have no evidence that there is a higher rate of abortion in one of these camps than the other.

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 12, 2012 at 07:53 AM

J.R., Dr. Moore is an ardent defender of patriarchy. See my link near the top of the discussion. Patriarichalists like Dr. Moore believe that it is very theologically important to note that all of us, male and female, are "sons" of God, because only sons get the inheritance in a culture that accepts primogeniture, and he seems to argue that's the way the kingdom of God works.

Although, male sons are more important than female sons because, even though we all get adopted because of Jesus, only the male sons get to rule - at least on earth. Maybe in heaven too, though, as one CBMW author once argued.

Marisme

June 12, 2012 at 04:54 PM

"Dear Desley,

You are not alone. Thank you for being willing to lend your voice to this debate. I appreciate your courage and your heart and your convictions. Thank you for throwing yourself into the fray. You are not alone.

Love in Christ,
A Sister"

... and I stand with my sisters!!!

Marisme

... A Brother who thinks that the discussion between male and female should center on justice, not subordination. The injustices against women through all of time should be met head on by Christian males who witness against injustice by extending GRACE instead of LAWS of HIERARCHY toward women in the Church. What covenant is leading us - GRACE or LAW? This debate shows us that we are a lot more legalistic than we would ever have imagined.

Al

June 12, 2012 at 03:59 AM

As a convinced egalitarian I have just read the Danvers Statement and I could also sign and affirm it. But I am pretty sure that I would come up with a different interpretation of what 'the noble Biblical vision of sexual complementarity' actually means!!

I very much appreciate the statement including this line: 'acknowledging the genuine evangelical standing of many who do not agree with all of our convictions'. It is not easy to have a respectful discussion about this when each side thinks the other is not even a Christian let alone evangelical and yet we should be known for our love for one another and a peaceful way of dealing with differences. Instead we set ourselves up time and again to show our very sinful and fallen we are in the very way we converse with each other. So peace to all my complementarians and egalitarian friends today - may we yet surprise each other with our respect and graciousness towards each other! :)

Kamilla

June 12, 2012 at 01:29 AM

Bridget,

Are you really that naive that you think Christians don't have abortions?

Bridget

June 12, 2012 at 01:17 AM

Kamilla at 11:28 pm -

You have now switched to an apples to oranges comparison. Delsey was speaking of Christians who have said and done horrific things in light of their complementarian view. In bringing up abortion you are now comparing the unbeliever (in most cases) to a Christian, unless you are suggesting that someone who holds to an egalitarian or mutuality position is the same as an unbeliever, and people supporting those positions must therefore support abortion. (That would be quite a leap.)

I am not surprised at all that unbelievers have no problem with abortion and give little importance to another human life, but it is because they are unbielevers NOT because they are feminists. Her examples of comps. can more easily be connected to a low value of human life (mainly women's) than an egalitarian's (Christian of course) can.

I can attest to every example she gave, btw.

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM

And I forgot to even mention Paige Patterson! (Name sound familiar? It should. His wife sits on the board of the CBMW...the same CBMW that wrote the wonderful blessing to women - the Danvers Statement.)
Well, Patterson`s advice to abused women is awesome!

http://archive.org/details/PaigePattersonsbcAdviceToVictimsOfDomesticViolence

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Loo: "You Rock Daniella! Thanks for coming on here and not backing down from Kamilla. I loved your responses."

Dear Kamilla, precious daughter of the King, lovingly submissive servant to the Holy Trinity, and faithful to His Divine and Transcendent Design for Biblical Patriarchy, ... THANK YOU for coming on here and not backing down to Daniella and the other liberal revisionist feminists. I loved, adored, and cherished your genuine Biblically-faithful responses.

Daniella

June 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Zilch,
Regard is not enough especially when you look at Complementarianism. Women can never be regarded as true equals in society as long as it is deemed that the man in a relationship is the head, regardless if they are happy. I agree with your over all point however, the problem is complementarians think they ARE regarding women as equals because apparantley all that is necessary for equality is someone calling it equal, and believing that people are equal in spirit LOL. They have completely changed the definition of the word to fit their theology and argue that it does not need the necessary tangible manifestation in order to exist.

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 11:45 PM

``If you want to go down that road, let's also talk about all the children women have murdered.``

No doubt. It`s just...not many of them claim to be Christians and tell others how in the name of God they should beat their children to death.

``You do know the vast majority of children who are murdered are victims of their mothers, right?``

Completely missing the point but, okay. And you do know that the majority of women who are murdered are victims of their husbands right?

`` And what about all the men whose ex-wives have falsely claimed abuse of themselves or the children in order to gain a more advantageous divorce settlement?``

You mean, what about you trying to twist the facts in order to push a dangerous agenda. You show me some empirical evidence that proves the majority of women who claim abuse are lying. And then...do they do this in the name of God and God`s so-called design for the sexes? Didn`t think so. This is also missing the point.

``And then let'd talk about all the precious babies whose mothers have paid to have them murdered in the womb."

Yes, let's. And then let's talk about how many men force or otherwise coerce women to murder their unborn babies. Of course, I also do not think they mostly do it in the name of God. But okay, if it makes you feel better.


``after that we'll talk about the other precious souls flushed down the toilet because their mothers took "Plan B" or were on abortifacent birth control.``

Yes, let's. Although it has nothing to do with egalitarianism. I am pro-life.

``And finally, I'd like to talk about what documentation you have to back up all these claims of evil deeds and teaching by these pastors and others.``

I backed up what I could on Rachel`s blog under Mimi Haddad`s interview. Please, go read and get educated about the slippery slope of your beliefs.

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Final comment: I clicked thru and read the original article that quoted Dr. Moore and other comps. Wow. Evans and Burk have both completely misread pretty much everything these guys were saying.
Evans created some strawmen that weren't there. That's true.
But Burk went way, way out into left field with his comments and the fuel that he threw on her fire. Burk is NOT helpful in any of these discussions. I read that Dr. Moore is now the chairman for CBMW and I hope and pray that when he gets back in country from leading his trip that he will set things right with Burk and the other YRRs in the CBMW that have spun this so far out of proportion.

Appreciative for RHE

June 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

"I had a mother. I have a wife, three sisters and a daughter. I don’t need a Bible verse to tell me what is right or wrong in God’s eyes for them. I know it in my heart."

Marisme, thank you. In my opinion, this "heart knowledge" gets pushed to the side when comps discuss these matters. There seems to be an underlying distrust of the heart (Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately sick; who can understand it?"). But ironically, God's Spirit and His Word penetrate it. We believe in Him not just with our minds, but with our hearts. And there are some things we just, well, know from the heart to be true.

Thank you for sharing from yours. I'm so grateful for a voice like yours in this debate.

Kamilla

June 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Desley,

If you want to go down that road, let's also talk about all the children women have murdered. You do know the vast majority of children who are murdered are victims of their mothers, right? And what about all the men whose ex-wives have falsely claimed abuse of themselves or the children in order to gain a more advantageous divorce settlement?

And then let'd talk about all the precious babies whose mothers have paid to have them murdered in the womb. after that we'll talk about the other precious souls flushed down the toilet because their mothers took "Plan B" or were on abortifacent birth control.

And finally, I'd like to talk about what documentation you have to back up all these claims of evil deeds and teaching by these pastors and others.

Are we done yet?

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Or perhaps you think telling women that they are more easily deceived than men (as the Driscolls do) is just really upholding the value and dignity of women.

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Also, I have heard men like Kevin Swanson(Generations Radio, state that educated women are less faithful to husbands. Implication: women do not need educations.

Doug Wilson, at the last Desiring God pastor's conference, claimed that the pursuit of philosophy, theology, science, etc., are MALE pursuits. The pursuits of women then, I guess should be helping men pursue these things at the expense of their own necessary pursuits.

John Piper said women should submit to verbal abuse for a season, and endure being smacked on night and then seek help, not from the police or a woman's shelter, but from the church.

Nancy Leigh De Moss claims that anything that does not jeapordize the life of a woman is not abuse and therefore the woman should not leave.

Debi Pearl tells women to suffer abuse.

Bruce Ware blames women for their own abuse (because men are simply responding to the woman's lack of submission).

Doug Wilson and company defended a repeat, convicted pedophile to the judge, asking for a light sentence, and then arranged one of the young women in his congregation to marry the pedophile upon his release.

Shall we talk about all the patriarchal child-rearing books that are involved in all the brutal beatings and deaths of children?

If you want to endorse patriarchy, be my guest. But please do not insult my intelligence by telling me that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it's really a pretty unicorn. I am so disgusted with this movement I could honestly throw up right now as you attribute this horrendous evil to my good, just, merciful, Defender-of-the-weak God.

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Sarah, You are applying your own definition of Patriarchy and then agreeing with it. Patriarchy goes against Christianity in that it emphasizes a strict male rule in ALL spheres of life. Christianity only acknowledges male headship in the ordained offices of the church and in the roles of father and husband in the home. Complementarianism should not be confused with blanket, universal male rule. In addition, patriarchy includes inheritance from father through first born son, which is obviously contrary to almost everything that the New Testament discusses in regard to Sonship and Adoption.
Pomos want to redefine words and then co-opt them for their own uses and agendas. In this particular case it goes against everything that long time complementarians have been advocating for.

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM

"What I see is the absurdity and futility of trying to communicate the gross aberration of liberal feminist revisionism to you."

Okay, so now I am not just a feminist revisionist. I am also a LIBERAL feminist revisionist.
How can you say that when you know nothing about me at all?

You can't pretend that patriarchy is something that dignifies and values women because I am in the midst of it right now. I see firsthand how it treats women. Maybe not all the time, but still, women are being mistreated at the hand of patriarchal Christians. Their voices are being stifled in many, many cases. I have a dear sister who was shunned by a baptist pastor because she had the gall to be a woman and walk up to him, thank him for his sermon, and shake his hand. On another occasion I was conversing with a pastor over a Bible study date and time, and he then took the trouble to email the conversation to my husband, as if my husband needed to give me permission not just to go to Bible study, but also to talk to another man about me going to Bible study. My husband was insulted (as he was there with me as we conversed) and he thought the man was he was off his rocker. Needles to say, my husband doesn't believe he is my boss. He is secure enough in himself and his identity in Jesus Christ that he does not feel the need to keep me under thumb.

I had invited a unbelieving friend to church only to have a Christian man "joke" to her that the best thing about Christian women are their husbands.

As I explained before, some women can't even have the freedom to breastfeed their babies, or choose not to go to another country alone for another woman's conference.

These teachings are unhealthy, dangerous, and ugly distortions of God's intent for marriage.
Furthermore, these are really the revisionist teachings; to the dismay of domestic Martha, Jesus Christ made it clear that He does not restrict women from stepping out of the role of homemaker and into the spheres that are typically occupied by men. (I am not saying being a homemaker is inherently wrong... if that's where you want to be. In fact, that's what I am!)

Al

June 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Agreed - Desley's 2.01am comment really nails it for me. Very well put.

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

And you are absolutely correct in doing that, Amanda.

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 11, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I know, JR - I had hoped for more nuance and mutual respect, too. We'll see - God is able.

Desley - your 2:01AM post was just excellent!

[...] theology of mutual submission. Mutuality drew responses from Denny Burk (at his blog) and Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition, who both made their cases for [...]

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 11, 2012 at 09:50 AM

Daniella is correct. There does not have to be an overall leader in a small organization, such as a small business or family. The larger the organization gets, the more there is a need for direction and leadership from higher up (though even in larger organizations, there can be a decision to encourage collaboration and cooperation, and this tends to be productive).

In a small business partnership or a marriage, it is perfectly possible for each person to provide a level of direction and input consistent with their level of gifting or skill for a given task, without one person being THE LEADER. It is totally possible to make decisions together. In a crisis situation, there may not be time to consult and in that case, someone may have to make a quick decision. But there is no reason why the same person always has to make the final decision even in those cases. In my marriage, we trust each other enough to make the necessary decision if an immediate decision is required - and we discuss the rest and decide together.

EMSoliDeoGloria

June 11, 2012 at 09:40 AM

I appreciate this "Debateable" feature on TGC and I really don't expect to convince anyone with comments here as I know I'm talking to heavily patriarchal / hierarchical complementarian crowd.

Russell Moore has a tendency to overstate his case - whether it is a good case in my view or a poor one. Although he is intelligent and articulate, this tendency makes me reluctant to recommend his writings to anyone. In his book on adoption (where I agree with his overall premise), he claims that anyone who isn't ready to care for a severely disabled child shouldn't get married. In his talks on complementarianism (where I tend to disagree with his position), he is prone to equally polemical statements - such as claiming that functional egalitarian relationships are "same-sex" marriages (see: http://www.9marks.org/audio/feminism-your-church-and-home-russell-moore-randy-stinson-and-cj-mahaney).

At any rate, my marriage is an unapologetic Christian partnership of life and love and mutual decision making, and mutual honoring, serving and respect. But we hardly have a "same-sex" marriage - we just fight the tendency to place each other in stereotypical boxes and then complain when the other doesn't meet our expectations.

I suppose my concern with Joe Carter's analysis of this debate - and I do respect Joe's perspective - would be that the "strawmen" he sees in RHE's perspective exist in my world. The boss / subordinate relationship was used as a marriage analogy in my hierarchical complementarian church. Patriarichalist Doug Wilson frequently uses the even stronger military chain of command analogy. Piper's own analogies are frequently equally absurd (a female umpire at a baseball game violates the basic nature of masculinity and femininity according to him - see "What's the Difference"). I have friends who frequently make decisions without consulting their wives but who would be outraged if their wives made a decision without them. These men are not monsters or awful people - they are just operating within their theological assumptions.

Is it really a strawman if a more three-dimensional version of it exists and if that version flows naturally from the theological concept in question? Perhaps that's what we are discussing here...

Kamilla

June 11, 2012 at 07:02 PM

JR,

I have to thank you for one thing. Thank you for confirming (as have others) something I have contended since I was a religious feminist myself, working the CBE both at conferences and hanging out with Mimi Haddad, Linda Bellville, Cathie Kroeger, etc. I ha r contended for a good fifteen years that Conplementarianism exists because they ate afraid of the perfectly good biblical word - Patriarchy .

Kamilla

June 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM

JR,

I think that is called a non sequitur.

Being from Colorado and having the connections I do, I am more familiar with Promise Keepers and John Eldredge than I'd like to be. What I am referring to bears no resemblance whatsoever to PK and a host of other ministries that make a splash and then fade into oblivion. The article has nothing whatsoever to say about the phenoma I'm talking about - aside from the allusion to Doug Wilson and Christ Church, etc.

I'm talking about pastor quietly working in and with their churches and the families that make up those churches. People who understand and act on the knowledge that babies are a blessing. Pastors and elders quietly training men for the ministry and sending them out to plant churches. People who move to these places to be part of a church family that exists as a family and not a once or twice a week social club.

That's the sort of growth to which I refer. It happens outside of the limelight and not surprisingly off Horton's radar.

[...] to the egalitarian v. complementarian debate. (Definitions here [from Evans, an egalitarian] and here [from The Gospel Coalition, a complementarian perspective].) I went on to New York University, [...]

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM

Q: "J.R., Would you sign and affirm the Danvers Statement?"

A: "Yes."

Very, very good.

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 06:02 PM

Yes.

Al

June 11, 2012 at 05:51 AM

Egalitarians don't have a problem with patriarchy when it's God who is the one in authority. The issue is with the teaching that men represent Christ in a specific way ie the ones who have authority and that women represent the Church so are not to have spiritual authority. We are ALL under the authority of Christ; egalitarians do not have a problem with the gospel. They just disagree with the idea that gender should determine the exercise of spiritual leadership within the family or church.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 05:26 PM

Desley: "Can you not see the absurdity of this?"

What I see is the absurdity and futility of trying to communicate the gross aberration of liberal feminist revisionism to you.

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM

"Questions: Did Satan resist limitations to the "angelhood" and/or "role" designed by God for Satan, and did God treat Satan's rebellion as not being sinful?"

Yup. Women desiring to be authentic to who they are is equivalent to Satan wanting to overthrow God. Says the man who wants to maintain control over women so he can feel secure in himself. And didn't the white southern baptist man use the same manipulative approach to try to shut up the abolitionists? Yes, I think he did.

Can you not see the absurdity of this?

My womanhood is not rooted in a role, friend. It is rooted in the God who created me in His own image, the same image He created in man who is my co-heir in the grace of life, not my super-heir.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM

J.R.,

Would you sign and affirm the Danvers Statement?

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 05:16 PM

Patriarchy should be attacked. I see nothing in the Danvers Statement that specifically defends patriarchy. In fact, I think the YRRs could learn a considerable amount about real complementarianism by studying it regularly - especially the purpose:

Purposes
Recognizing our own abiding sinfulness and fallibility, and acknowledging the genuine evangelical standing of many who do not agree with all of our convictions, nevertheless, moved by the preceding observations and by the hope that the noble Biblical vision of sexual complementarity may yet win the mind and heart of Christ's church, we engage to pursue the following purposes:
1. To study and set forth the Biblical view of the relationship between men and women, especially in the home and in the church.
2. To promote the publication of scholarly and popular materials representing this view.
3. To encourage the confidence of lay people to study and understand for themselves the teaching of Scripture, especially on the issue of relationships between men and women.
4. To encourage the considered and sensitive application of this Biblical view in the appropriate spheres of life.
5. And thereby
– to bring healing to persons and relationships injured by an inadequate grasp of God's will concerning manhood and womanhood,
– to help both men and women realize their full ministry potential through a true understanding and practice of their God-given roles,
– and to promote the spread of the gospel among all peoples by fostering a Biblical wholeness in relationships that will attract a fractured world.

The public rhetoric right now is WAY out of proportion with these stated purposes.

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 05:07 PM

Growing? Not so much.
http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1355&var3=issuedisplay&var4=IssRead&var5=124

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM

Desley: "But the inclination is really to resist limitations on personhood, and it is not sinful."

Questions: Did Satan resist limitations to the "angelhood" and/or "role" designed by God for Satan, and did God treat Satan's rebellion as not being sinful?

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM

"finding your identity and value in roles and performance rather than in God." = Strawman Version of Danvers Statement."

Referring to a truthful statement as a strawman does not in any way mitigate the reality of that statement.
I make this charge because I lived it, unfortunately. Amd the Danvers Statement itself is inaccurate. It makes the claim that "[sin] inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries." But the inclination is really to resist limitations on personhood, and it is not sinful. So if anyone is setting up a strawman here, the CBMW can consider themselves guilty along with everyone else.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM

Desley: "The Danvers Statement: finding your identity and value in roles and performance rather than in God."

Brings to mind Joe Carter's truthful remark:

"Evans wins the debate---but only with the strawman version of complementarianism she created."

"finding your identity and value in roles and performance rather than in God." = Strawman Version of Danvers Statement that Desley created.

zilch

June 11, 2012 at 04:08 AM

I hope no one minds if I put in a bit of secular opinion here. First off- there's no doubt that men and women are different, on the average, in many ways, and that a lot of this has to do with our genes. Second- while men tend to be bigger and (physically) stronger than women, they're not any smarter on the average. Third- who cares who's "dominant" in a relationship? If everyone's happy, and the relationship works, what's the problem? As Hannah points out, there are other ways of looking at a relationship, or coming to decisions, than simply asking "who is dominant".

In any case, this is certainly a problem among atheists as well. I think the only resolution is to regard one another as equals, and apply love, and see what works.

cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM

The Danvers Statement: finding your identity and value in roles and performance rather than in God.

Truth Unites... and Divides

June 11, 2012 at 02:31 PM

"Truth, are you defending patriarchy, too?"

Yes, J.R. Liberal revisionist feminists are attacking Biblical Patriarchy.

Here's something that true, good, and edifying:

The Danvers Statement: Biblical Distinctives Between Males and Females.

Kamilla

June 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM

TUAD can speak for himself, JR.

I'm just here to tell you how utterly offensive your Stockholm Syndrome reference is.

Do you really suppose that those of us women who embrace God's creation order are victims of a disordered coping mechanism, that we have ho minds or wills to call our own?

If that's the sort of condescending crap to be expected from those who defend the neologism "complementarianism" and get their definition of patriarchy from the dictionary and not the Bible, then it's small wonder Complementarians are losing the battle and the numbers of those who embrace patriarchy (given us in Ephesians 3:15 and elsewhere in the Scriptures) are growing.

Sarah Flashing

June 11, 2012 at 02:16 AM

Patriarchy does not imply inequality! Wow. Perhaps the discussion is too nuanced for you. As a woman I'm not offended by the term and, in fact, I prefer the term as it seems to offer more precision. I view patriarchy as the framework and complementarian the way it works out. The term patriarchy is to remind us of Christ as head of the church and his bride will never be equal in responsibility or authority. Christ took upon himself the penalty for sin, the greatest act of cosmic chivalry imaginable. Can the Bride ever be equal in authority to Christ the head? If you have a problem with this vision of patriarchy, your problem is with the gospel.

J.R.

June 11, 2012 at 02:15 PM

Truth, are you defending patriarchy, too? I can understand the stockholm syndrome that might compel someone women, but what about you? How do you defend patriarchy, in light of the gospel and the teaching of the New Testament. (I consider myself complementarian, but grieved over the YRR slant that is now promoting patriarchy).

Desley

June 11, 2012 at 02:01 AM

What makes you think I and other patriarchalists don't [value women as equal to men in practice]? Because we don't hew to your particular definition of equality (which is utterly foreign to the Church)?

My definition of equality is two-fold:

1) That each man woman and child is fully created in the image of God. -Genesis 1:27

2) That each person is grafted into the family of God and made a "citizen" with God's holy people. -Ephesians 2:19

These are two primary principles guiding my definition of equality and then how that equality works itself out on the pavement of real life in a Christian family and community.

Each man woman and child is fully created in the image of God:

Each person (man, woman, child) is fully created in the image of God as a person in his or her own right. Not merely in relation to men. As someone else has said here, God's divine imprint is stamped on the heart of man and on the heart of woman. And it doesn't mean that the stamp of God on man is different than the stamp of God on woman. That is not what the Bible says. The stamp on man is the same stamp as on woman: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).
But Complementarianism assumes the right to reduce the stamp on both men and women in order to squeeze them into different spheres in a system of patriarchy. They do this by redefining that stamp. It once was defined as a likeness to God mentally, morally, and socially, which set man and woman apart from the animals and fit them both for the co-dominion they were to have over the earth. Now that likeness has been reconstructed and there are two dynamics at play:

1. The stamp is no longer simply seen to be on the hearts of man. It is now said to be on the man-woman relationship, reflecting a hierarchy of authority. This is seen as the major point of the divine imprint.

2. The stamp is divided between the two (man and woman): Whereas the major imprint is the hierarchy, there are more specific divine imprints on men which do not belong to women, and on women which do not belong to men. For men, this imprint includes, but is not limited to, qualities such as initiative, sacrifice, and mission. Women, as they would have it, bear the counterparts to these qualities: response, acceptance of man's sacrifice, and helping him fulfill his mission. (As well as "softness" and "creating a space," as Nancy Leigh De Moss would have us belief.)

So even within this narrow definition of her womanhood, the woman is further restricted at the whims of her husband. She must submit insofar as he does not lead into sin. Hence, the story below:

A woman at my church was a first-time mother of an 8 month-old baby. She was happily nursing and cherishing the bond that she had with her son, as well a sense of accomplishment and pride as a mother in that she could provide her son the best nourishment she believed she could offer him.
But her husband thought she needed to go to a pastor's wife conference that happened to be located in other country. She pleaded with him not to make her go and leave her baby and stop nursing, but he insisted. For her own good, of course. So she submitted, hesitantly, and when she got back her son no longer wanted to nurse.
To this day - 33 years later - she remembers no blessing from that conference. She only remembers being forced to leave her son and have her nursing relationship with her son abruptly cut off against her will.

So when even a woman's breastfeeding and ability to make her own decisions around whether or not she wants to travel to another country alone for her own personal spiritual "growth" is subject to the desires of the man, is she really valued as equal to the man?

I don't think so.

Then there is the church.

I'm thinking of a particular woman who is profoundly wise, disciplined, biblically literate, highly spiritual, educated, humble, and articulate. She works her fingers to the bone being a nursing instructor by day, and by teaching the Bible to some of the underprivileged public school children in the evenings. She also leads groups for teens girls, contributes to creation seminars and conferences, and facilitates annual vacation Bible schools. If she were a man, she would definitely qualify as an elder. Her husband is an elder and there is no difference between them whatsoever apart from sex. If this were not bad enough, she restricts herself from speaking or offering too many opinions or input in church settings or settings where there are men present. Why? because she does not want to emasculate the men.

How foolish! Her opinions and insights are only valuable to other women? Nonsense. She has gifts that could and should be sued to edify the entire body, not just women. Are Christian men so insecure? But more importantly, her opinions and insights are a part of who she is! So to the degree that she is restricted from being herself by these gender barriers, *she* is not being valued as equal to the men in the congregation.

And these are not isolated situations. These are precisely the ways Complementarianism translates into every day situations. And that is without getting into abuse situations and how the Comp church tends to deal (or not deal) with those.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's not patriarchalists and complementarians who have a problem with women's equality. It's religious feminists who, by their razor sharp focus on certain forms of authority, show their utter and complete disdain for the forms of authority women have always exercised."

As Sarah Moore Grimke stated so succinctly, “I ask no favors for my sex... All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks.”

I do not disdain any of the other forms of authority women have exercised. You are dodging the issue. Nor is this simply about authority; it is about people being free to be who they are and to freely move in their own families and churches, as I pointed out above. It is also about granting all *citizens* in God's kingdom the liberties, rights, privileges, and responsibilities due a citizen.

As in any other context, denial of any of these citizenship rights is oppression and injustice.

zilch

June 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM

Daniella- well said. You need more than just "regarding" men and women as equal, you need to ensure they have equal rights. This is like the 1954 decision of the US Supreme Court, Brown vs. the Board of Education, where it was ruled that "separate but equal" schools for blacks and whites were inherently unequal. I'm just saying that different couples should be able to come to different agreements about rights and duties, as it suits them, as long as both are happy with them.

loo

June 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

For some odd reason, this blog won't let me reply under your comment:

Since you quoted Rachel Held Evans at me, I took the liberty of checking her blog to see if there was anything there that should have clued you in to the heresies of religious feminism. You might want to check out the discussion thread under the post with Mimi Haddad of CBE. In that post you will find modalism, "The trinity is three ways one God shows himself" and gnosticism, "The earthly Jesus had a different will, but that was the flesh"

By this line of argument (Mimi being a heresy, therefore RHE's blog being a heresy) you would have to also say RHE's blog is part of TGC's blog, as Mimi and Justin Taylor (a TGC contributer) are both featured in her "ask a..." series, along with: an atheist, a wiccan, a muslim, etc.

In each of these guest posts, Rachel makes clear these aren't her views, just the guest's views. She does this series so people have a chance to hear the other side. No one is saying Mimi's views line up with Rachel's, she is simply introducing other people's points of view to her readers, and allowing her readers to ask the guests questions.

Maybe she should do an Ask A... Complimentarian too. Just so you can stop accusing her (Rachel) of heresy.

Al

June 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

@Joe - I'm struggling to see what point you are making with that question: 'we should see a history of exegesis that supports egalitarianism throughout the history of the church. But why don't we see that? Why is it that egalitarian readings were only found after the 1960s?'

First of all, this has been a matter of concern for far longer than the past 50 years. Examples off the top of my head: the Anabaptists of the 17th century and the English Baptists who ordained their first minister in the early part of the 19th century. Pre Reformation there were women in leadership positions within the church with authority over men - the first one who springs to mind being Hilda of Whitby. There are plenty other examples of this - including the women identified in the New Testament itself.

Let's be very clear about this - egalitarians are seeking not only the establishment of the original created order pre Fall but also a return to what was practised in the New Testament church itself and evident in scripture itself.

In any event, even without this history, even if there had been no issue with women in positions of authority at all, it does not devalue in any way at all the exegesis provided in such quantities since the 1960s. Biblical scholarship has moved on considerably in recent years with greater understanding of the ancient languages and history increasing all the time so what would be peculiar is if exegesis of any part of the Bible isn't more informed than it could have been in the past. The fact the exegesis you may have seen largely originate within living memory is very much in its favour.

For someone from an orthodox or Catholic background who holds tradition being on a par with scripture then your question would be relevant but I'm assuming that is not the case for you.

loo

June 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yes, the Son submits to the father, just like we should submit to the heavenly father. Don't forget, we aren't supposed to submit that much to human authority structures anyways (a little, since the world has them, but in our hearts we are to call NO earthly man father- a patriarchal term for "master"):

From Matthew 23:8-9;
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Given this, applying Christlike authority to a human (husband, slave master, etc.) obscures the true meaning of submission. What is applicable through time is: Christ is our leader, what is not applicable through time is who (on earth) has authority. We can show some outward sign of following their lead, whether it be their government position, company position, etc., but in our hearts, they are nothing more than a temporal authority - our hearts and minds belong to Jesus' leadership, so we are really followers of Christ who will often go against the grain of earthly authority and lifestyle.

For example, my boss would love it if we would give extra hours at work to build "his" little empire. I am part of a bigger, stronger union, and I have three kids. I don't have to do what he wants, and I have other, more important responsibilities. I go home to be with my kids. I do my job, then I leave. If I felt he had any more claim to me than his prescribed "boss" role, then I might think I have to bend my will to him. But I don't. So, in this world, I do what I must at work, then I go do what I believe is the thing I am called - by Christ.

Al

June 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Then why are we told, as to submit to each other 'out of reverence for Christ'? Eph 5: 21 When is that going to apply? There doesn't always have to be a dominant partner in a friendship or a marriage or a group. It may be the default position that someone will revert to but it seems that in the kingdom of God, this is something to be resisted not rubber stamped. Also you are assuming that the same person should always be the one to take the lead, make the decision, submit to the other. That doesn't have to be the case.

Daniella

June 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM

I'm sorry but discrimination and dominance already have definitions and complementarianism fits those. Saying that one sex can only have certain leadership positions is discrimination by sex......Having men in all the highest ranking leadership positions in the church IS dominance. Seriously saying that it is not discrimination is a simple denial of fact and laughable. It is a type of discrimination that you deem warranted by God but it still discrimination by definition.

"Our own opinions aren't the authority. The Word is."

Your opinions about a text you read are the authority and everyone is in disagreement with how to follow that word. You don't get to just take all personal responsibility out of the equation magically. Your opinions have no influence in how you interpret Scripture? Really?

Al

June 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The issue isn't about hierarchy - it's about how hierarchy should be applied and specifically whether gender alone should determine one's place in the hierarchy:
ie Should the right order of things look like God - husband - wife - creation? Or God - man - woman - creation? Or God - humanity - creation?

Marisme

June 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM

Yesterday, the day after I starting reading this specific blog, I found two articles relevant to the discussion in the June 4 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

The first article focused on the difficulty Saudi Arabian women faced in being allowed to participate in the Olympics for their country. It reads:

“The official and societal resistance stem from concerns that female participation in sports will erode Saudi norms, including modest dress and segregation of the sexes. Sheikh _____, a member of the country’s Council of Senior Religious Scholars, went so far as to describe the push for women’s sports clubs as “steps of the devil,” according to a recent Human Rights Watch report. The report also summarizes a statement issued by anonymous religious scholars in March 2010, which concluded that participation in sports is ‘among the greatest tools of the project to corrupt women.’ While such resistance is spearheaded by religious figures, it appears more rooted in tradition than in religious law.”

And then another statement included in the ‘in pictures’ section, a statistic was highlighted regarding Afghan women … “under Taliban rule, fewer than 50,000 girls were in school. Today, 3.2 million attend”.

In light of the dark side of male-dominated authority and the ubiquitous injustices towards women that accompany such carnal rule, it is time for the followers of Christ to put off the old and embrace the new covenant that truly honors women.

I am to the point of recognizing Scriptural sabre slashes that attempt to define female personhood, their proper roles in society and religious communities or their acceptable ministries as demeaning to women. The true equality of women, and the respect that is their due, is written on the heart – imprinted by the Father on the hearts of His sons. And, in this case, His sons should not need a Bible verse to tell them what is right and what is wrong. Shame on the boys for seizing upon Bible texts to support their claim to authority when just as many texts can be claimed to include women.

We are the people who should always err (if that is what it is) on the side of freedom, not restriction. If Christians insist on claiming to be ‘counter-cultural/counter the world’ than a perfect place to start is by males casting off their claims of power (that is how authority stays in authority) and proclaiming a century of Jubilee for women of all races, creeds … and especially of all Christian denominations. In fact, we should be shunning an identity of patriarchy. What is most troubling is that (as seen in the articles quoted above) it is religious thought leaders who perpetuate such allusions of authority by quoting from holy texts, whether the Quran or the Bible.

The history of the world is a record of injustice against the less powerful (those not in authority), including women. Holding up manhood as the mantle of legitimate authority is not counter cultural – it is worldly. The world shows us … our government shows us … the corporate world shows us … that those in authority never want to give up authority.

I had a mother. I have a wife, three sisters and a daughter. I don’t need a Bible verse to tell me what is right or wrong in God’s eyes for them. I know it in my heart.

Kamilla

June 10, 2012 at 08:39 PM

"In addition to this, there are numerous Christians who believe that valuing women as equals to men, not just in theory but also in practice ..."

What makes you think I and other patriarchalists don't? Because we don't hew to your particular definition of equality (which is utterly foreign to the Church)?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's not patriarchalists and complementarians who have a problem with women's equality. It's religious feminists who, by their razor sharp focus on certain forms of authority, show their utter and complete disdain for the forms of authority women have always exercised.

Desley

June 10, 2012 at 08:05 PM

First of all, I have tried to maintain a respectful demeanor toward you, Kamilla, because I believe we were commanded in the Bible to treat one another in a way that we ourselves want to be treated. I could be wrong, but you seem not to be bothered to maintain the dignity of others, and I`m afraid that is a very unchristian way to present your position. Sometimes I think that God allows disagreement and differences in the church for a reason: the way you treat your brothers and sisters who you disagree with may be more of a measure of where your heart really is with God than even your commitment to uphold a certain system which you believe He designed. I really do believe that you are genuine here. I think you are misguided, but genuine. But if you are genuine in what you believe here, then why do you alienate people with your sarcasm and rudeness? If anything, I am more turned off of Complementarianism by the snarky attitudes and accusations than the position itself.
I understand that things can seem harsher than intended on the net. But I really don`t think I am mistaken here. You might want to think about that.

Secondly, I just can't see how pointing to the beliefs of a random person who also happens to hold egalitarian values is proof of anything. I don’t believe feminism is inherently sinful. There are many waves of feminism and several variations of each. For example, you know how to read and write, which, in a patriarchal world, would not be a priority for women and thus not a privilege necessarily afforded to you. We see this play out in patriarchal countries all the time. I am not convinced that you don`t think women should have a right to vote, own property, earn equal wages, find safety from abusive husbands, etc. So I think it would really add more weight to your position if you could find a more balanced way to approach the issue of feminism.

In addition to this, there are numerous Christians who believe that valuing women as equals to men, not just in theory but also in practice (just how I see it), is completely biblical. Some of us honestly believe that before God. Romans 14 asks, ``Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand…You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.``
Patriarchy has never been an essential of the faith. It is not in the Gospel message, and it is not a prerequisite for salvation. I agree with everything on this page: http://carm.org/essential-doctrines-of-christianity
So how am I a heretic?
Through Jesus Christ I have a relationship with God and if I sincerely believed that patriarchy was His will, I hope I would repent. But I do not sincerely believe that. That may make me mistaken, Kamilla, but it does not make me a heretic.

You are my sister. You know the same Father. You must believe that He has the ability to change my heart if I am wrong, no? I know He does. He chastens me, corrects me, humbles me, convicts me, and softens my heart all the time when I am going astray. But He does not typically do it through the harsh and accusatory words of other people. Nor does He use my arrogant and proud words to build others up. It is the kindness of the Lord that leads people to repentance. I think there is a lesson for us in that.

Suffice it to say, I think there is a way to lay out your argument and stay true to what you believe the Scriptures say without compromising the most important biblical principle of all, which is to act in love.

Adam C

June 10, 2012 at 07:32 PM

Daniella -

Good thing we don't have to worry about that scenario. The Word is "living and active" it's not a dead, archaic book that has no bearing on our life today.

If you think complimentarian proves a "dominance" or inherently "discriminates" you really don't understand the positions of complimentarians at all! Your position goes against the culture of the bible and against 2000 years of church history. If you are right, you should probably try and make a sound argument from Scripture (instead of your own personal logic and reasoning) to convince fellow Christians. Our own opinions aren't the authority. The Word is.

James S

June 10, 2012 at 06:49 PM

I miss the 33 things on Fridays. That was my favorite blog item and I looked forward to it each week.
The only thing similar is Dan Phillips' Hither & Thither on Fridays at his blog, so if anyone else is missing the 33 things, check out Dan's website.
http://bibchr.blogspot.com/search/label/hither%20and%20thither

Kamilla

June 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM

Sigh. Same song, 72nd verse. Once more with feeling ...

I pointed you to the comments on Rachel's blog because of your quote. With me so far? I pointed you there as one, just one, current example. I also pointed you to my blog where I document other heresies. Still with me?

Further, it is a blanket statement against religious feminists because religious feminism itself is heresy. That case I have made on my blog as well. Did you read anything there as I think you indicated you were going to?

And yes, in so far as you hold to religious feminism, you are a heretic as well. I was a heretic, too.

The only difference between us is that I have repented and embraced God's good design and created order between the sexes. Not anything prideful on my part in that, but deep, deep gratitude for the grace of God and the prayers of faithful men in bringing me to the point of repentence.

Whatever you posted on Rachel's blog, you are welcome to post as a response on my blog as well - which you should do if you want me to answer anything.

Desley

June 10, 2012 at 05:25 PM

“But, as I did point out, *in the comments* of Mimi's response post, there is ample evidence to prove the heresy charges against religious feminists.”

I think making a blanket statement against Egalitarian Christians simply because of some random person commenting on a public forum is highly negligent, Kamilla. And I will refer you back to that particular post where I responded to that charge since I could not respond here.

“You'll have to pardon me for not accepting a heretic's protestation that she is not a heretic (as in Desley's response above). That's sort of like expecting all criminals to plead guilty.”

I’m sorry, I really am not understanding you here. Are you accusing me of being a heretic? I am not following you. :(

Scottie

June 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM

Adam C, check your arrogance before you do your clicking.

J.R.

June 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM

Definition of PATRIARCHY
Encarta/Bing
1.Social system in which men dominate: a social system in which men are regarded as the authority within the family and society, and in which power and possessions are passed on from father to son.

Come on. Is this really how we want to define ourselves?
Even traditional complementarians like Dr. Moore understand that the Bible does not explicitly state that men should "rule in all of society". Plus, the Christian idea of inheritance and adoption rules out the old line of possession being passed down to the first born son. We as reformed ppl sure should understand at least as well as others!!! Dr. Moore certainly has taught this very clearly in his elaborate work on the doctrine of adoption.

Is Dr. Moore now going to undo his previous work to defend "Patriarchy"?? Really?

J.R.

June 10, 2012 at 04:00 PM

Owen also said this:
“Now, if you will excuse me, I must be off. I have a full day ahead: from 9-5 I need to provide, from 5-8:30 I must plug in with my wife as a Christ-shaped, self-sacrificial leader, and then I must rest..”

My real beef with the YRR comps is that they have twisted and contorted the complementary position and as a result have actually delegated all of the responsibility of the home to their wives while still trying to grasp and maintain the authority (note: authority without responsibility is always a bad thing).

AND these men further seek to relegate their wives to the home only, as if they as Christians could never possess an actual, legitimate calling and role to serve as real, partipating citizens and church members.

A true patriarchy supporter extends the concept of male headship to the workplace -- and this runs contrary to historical church position. A true complementarian is not a patriarch. Moore surprises me with this new trist, especially after he correctly wrote previously that not all women must submit to all men. Now, he seems to be back tracking.

Kamilla

June 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM

Loo,

Sigh. Where to begin?

Your line or argument is NOT my line of argument. It would be nice if you, or Daniella, or Desley could just stick to what I wrote and not make up your own version of it.

I never said, nor did I imply, that Rachel endorsed or held the same beliefs as all those "ask a" respondents or her commenters. But, as I did point out, *in the comments* of Mimi's response post, there is ample evidence to prove the heresy charges against religious feminists. End of argument, period.

That does *not* mean that every thing on Rachel's blog, whether by her, guests or commenters is heretical.

Understand me so far?

Now, Rachel hosting an "Ask a Complementarian" post changes *nothing* Rachel stands for herself so why would that relieve me of the duty or warning unsuspecting souls about the blasphemy and heresies Rachel does hold to and promote? You'll have to pardon me for not accepting a heretic's protestation that she is not a heretic (as in Desley's response above). That's sort of like expecting all criminals to plead guilty.

J.R.

June 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM

Well, you may be glad, but ppl like me are extremely saddened by it. I and few others I know had hoped that the recent TGC discussions by Carson, Piper, Keller and Moore would have netted a nuanced approach to complementarianism that would stop feeding into the gross caricatures that egals have painted. Instead, we have moved from complementarianism to patriarchy now. Sad, very sad, indeed.

Daniella

June 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM

Last question. Do you people honestly believe that if the writers of the Bible stood in front of you right now that they would agree wholeheartedly with your specific interpretation of the Bible? After all the edits, translations, cultural differences, different eyes reading, and subjectivity? You honestly think so? My college English class can't even decide on a consensus about 2 lines in a poem. Now the problem is that you are defending discrimination with your interpretations OF A TEXT. Sorry if the sane ones don't think that that is enough reason to discriminate and subject the masses to the continual dominance of one sex over the other. I mean crazy right?

Daniella

June 10, 2012 at 02:11 AM

My guess is that it has a little thing to do with keeping power and subjugation being much more appealing than going against what this culture REALLY stands for and giving up the comfort that comes with a consumerist lifestyle. Idk why I just have a hunch...... -_-

Daniella

June 10, 2012 at 02:08 AM

Question. If true believers are really supposed to be so counter cultural why is the belief of male headship (something that is still the dominant idea in culture) and which was the system already in place before the Bible, followed with such severity in comparison to a message Jesus repeated over and over and over which was to essentially give up all your things and give your whole life to the poor and suffering (literally). As you all know the nature of consumerism and this capitalist society don't exactly go hand in hand with these teachings. I'm not arguing for a Socialist society or even making a critique of capitalist systems. My question is, why do you hold so steadfast to a doctrine which was obviously the view held in place and practiced before Jesus and (aka something not counter cultural) and yet don't apply that logic as fully to something that was actually counter cultural and still is. Did Jesus emphasize male headship or literally giving up your stuff (all of it) more? Why do you choose to take literally the thing which was not a challenge for people to apply (and still isn't for most people around the globe b/c the world is still a patriarchy) and yet refuse to commit wholeheartedly to something Jesus says over and over and over again?

Adam C

June 10, 2012 at 01:54 AM

Travis - ever read the NEXT VERSE?! Because of the literary context, we must take it to mean (as the ESV study bible indicates, it should be taken as "submitting to others according to the authority and order established by God")

Never in the Bible does it say that a man "automatically" has more privileges than a woman. Your obnoxious tone is quite apparent and you don't seem to want to deal with the issues in integrity. Please think before you click "post comment".

Desley

June 10, 2012 at 01:22 PM

Actually, I read through Mimi's interview and she said nothing heretical. I think that came from a random person in the forum underneath.

Yeah...pretty ridiculous.

Gina

January 8, 2014 at 06:52 PM

Yes, truthfully, complementarianism is patriarchy dressed up, shined , made pretty and palatable for strong and empowered contemporary women. Engendering continued acceptance of the old world, that will soon pass away.

It''s a distortion of the Truth of equality. I am looking forward to the new world, in which our inherent and rightful equality is no longer debated because it will be obvious to all.

Tony

August 13, 2012 at 08:56 AM

I certainly don't expect people to alter their views based on what I as a representative of the whims of culture believe... however its worth noting that yes, people who are honestly evaluating what this thing called Christianity is (from outside it) are interested in this conversation.

Is this thing called complimentarianism just patriarchy? The idea of a natural hierachy with men above women in the same way as say a human might be above a dog is just wrong surely. Yet that's patriarchy as historians would recognise it.

Is that Christianity? Really? Why then does God send first knowledge of Jesus coming to a woman (Mary) ? Why then does Jesus provide first testimony of his resurrection to women? Why is the only person to beat Jesus in an argument a woman? What womanly roles to preach and teach are shown there?

So if complementarianism is different to patriarchy then I think that should be made clear for the outsiders who are listening. Even if it is a different type of patriarchy (or patriachy + something else) that ought to be distinguished. Otherwise you do a disservice to the Gospel as I understand it.

But hey, I am just an unbeliever. If you want to know what one of us make of this debate you can read http://www.humblewonderful.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/complementa-whatsit-ism-just-patriarchy.html

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