Time after time, I’ve read complementarian literature that seems to misunderstand what is meant by biblical equality for women and men. The heart of the misunderstanding appears to be a misperception of what is meant by the term “equality.” Very often, the complementarian literature I’m familiar with assumes that egalitarians are advocating for the “sameness” of men and women in the church, rather than for their equality. For example, in her book, “The Feminist Mistake,” Mary A. Kassian uses the terms “equality” and “sameness” interchangeably (p. 37). She also wrongly assumes that Christian egalitarians want women to be “just like men” (p. 38).
“Governing,” according to this document, is exclusively a man’s role. This begs the question, if you are a complementarian man, why do you believe women need you to govern them? How is this a service?
Is the doctrine of male authority in the church “God-ordained,” or does it have a more human origin? To answer this question, I’d like to explore relevant evidence found in the writings of key philosophers, theologians, and modern-day complementarian leaders. Then I’ll follow up with an examination of key verses about men and women found in […]
Every few weeks we get a comment protesting that the claims we make about the complementarian view are not what most complementarians believe, even though most of the points we choose to refute are espoused publicly by prominent leaders of the movement. This has led us to think that perhaps many complementarians don’t know what […]
“The church has not been kind to women.” That is perhaps the most profound understatement I have ever made about any subject in my life. Jesus liked women. More than that, He loved them. He treated them with dignity and respect. The same could not be said, I thought, for the religious leaders of his day.
It’s probably true that nobody disagrees that men and women are different. It’s how these differences are perceived that becomes a potential source of controversy. When we consider gender roles, let’s be careful not to project onto God and the Bible assumptions that we have internalized from our own social history.
Husband and wives or masters and slaves? Today’s theologians do not continue to justify racial slavery on the basis of Canaan’s curse, yet in some corners of the church, however, the subjection of women to male authority remains.