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).
Some Christians believe that being a leader is a man’s role, and that it is unfeminine for women to be in leadership. These Christians dismiss female leaders mentioned in the Bible as rare exceptions and anomalies. Does the Bible teach that leadership is masculine? Or that leadership is unfeminine?
“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?
In some churches, women are not even allowed to read the Bible from behind the pulpit, allegedly because the pulpit is a sign of male authority in the church. Do these churches realize that there were no “pulpits” in the New Testament, and that “church” often took place in women’s homes?
I am a single Christian woman who is working to support myself. What does the complementarian message say to someone like me?”
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.