CBMW: Christian Feminists, Complementarians, and Are Men Protecting Their Position of Privilege?

*     *     *

medium_1086008649

photo credit: deflam via photopin cc

*     *     *

Last year when I started blogging and connecting with other blogs/bloggers, there were two big words that meant nothing to me:  complementarian and egalitarian.   In fact, at first the words just plain annoyed me and I didn’t bother to look them up.  Pardon the brief break:   It is bugging me like crazy that each and every time I type that “c” word, a squiggly underline appears telling me that I have misspelled it.  Because those words were new to me last year, I’m not going to assume that everybody knows the meaning of those “c” and “e” words.  Now I know the “c” word it’s a made-up word.  That’s why my computer does not like it.

Truth be told, I am unsettled on this whole complementarian/egalitarian issue.  And I will explain why in a bit, but in case you are unfamiliar with these terms, here’s a brief overview and I’m pretty sure this is an unbiased source.  You can tell me if I’m wrong.

*     *     *

The Complementarian view of marriage maintains that gender-based roles and a husband-headship structure in marriage is biblically required.  A husband is considered to have the God-given responsibility to provide for, protect, and lead “his” family, while a wife is to collaborate with her husband, respect him, and serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Complementarians assert that the Bible instructs husbands to lovingly lead their families and to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, and instructs wives to respect their husbands’ leadership out of reverence for Christ.

The Complementarian position has been articulated and defended by several evangelical and reformed leaders in what is called the Danvers Statement. It is so called because it was prepared by several evangelical leaders at a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts, in December 1987.  Their understanding of the necessity for gender-based roles and authority structure in marriage and in ministry is based on their interpretation of scriptures such as Eph 5:21-33, Col 3:18-19, Tit 2:3-5, 1 Pet 3:1-7.

*     *     *

And here are a couple key paragraphs describing egalitarian viewpoint:

Egalitarians’ interpretation of Scripture brings them to the conclusion that the manner and teachings of Jesus, affirmed by the Apostle Paul, abolished gender-specific roles in both the church and in marriage. Accordingly, this view teaches that God calls believers to roles and ministries in the church without regard to class, gender, or race, and all have equal responsibility to use their gifts and obey their calling to the glory of God, with no limitations or privileges according to gender. They conclude that male headship is not biblically-ordained either in the home or in the Church.

Egalitarians teach that roles in the church and home are to be gift-based rather than gender-based. They advocate for mutual submission within marriage as well as the ordination of women as pastors, elders, and other authoritative teaching positions within the body of Christ. Egalitarians deny that any differences related to gender call for strictly prescribed roles. They argue that such distinctions are best utilized by including both women and men at all levels of ministry leadership.

Now let me explain why I have a problem with some of this.   If you were to take all of my tweets and look at them, you’d get a good idea about what I stand for:

  • I strongly dislike abuse of all kinds
  • I strongly dislike it when people who have the capacity to speak up about abuse do not defend the abused
  • I like meaningful words that heal
  • I like a good healthy dose of humor and sarcasm

In my Twitter feed, I am easily able to tell who is very concerned about complementarian issues and the church.  A few weeks ago, my Twitter feed exploded with tweets and retweets from Owen Strachan, Council for  Biblical Manhood and  Womanhood (CBMW),  Ligon Duncan, etc.  Owen Strachan recently accepted the appointment to the Executive Director position at Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  He along with many other people connected with CBMW had a media blitz about the new and improved website, reorganization, new announcements, new staff, etc.  These tweets lasted during the week.  If you were to look at some of these folks’ tweets, you will see that CBMW and “biblical” roles is very, very important to them.

*    *     *

CBMW1.17 PM    Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 12.56.52 PM

*     *     *

Are you familiar with Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood?   John Piper and Wayne Grudem were co-founders of CBMW following the release of the  The Danvers Statement.

Here’s a brief summary from the CBMW website.

In 1987, CBMW was established primarily to help the church defend against the accommodation of secular feminism. At this time many evangelicals were beginning to experiment with an ideology that would later become known as evangelical feminism. This was a significant departure from what the church had practiced from its beginning regarding the role of men and women in the home and local church. The effects of this departure have not been benign. As evangelical feminism continues to spread, the evangelical community needs to be aware that this debate reaches ultimately to the heart of the gospel.

The above quote came from here where you can also find CBMW’s vision and mission statements.

Note the phrase “role of men and women.”  We will be discussing this more in future articles, too.

But why all the hype?  Why do we need a website dedicated to Christian men and women to tell us about our Biblical roles?  How many verses can we find in the Bible on this topic and why do those verses not suffice?  Do they really needed a whole organization with a team of people to take it upon themselves and inform us of our “biblical roles” and what we should and should not be doing?  This website is evidently a clearinghouse of sorts for you and me, church leaders, to gain very important information on the roles of men and women.  Are we all having problems understanding what God says about men and women?  CBMW apparently thinks so.

Stay with me – – – remember Kevin Swanson and the embedded baby comments he made in a radio interview in which he never provided sources to back up his claims?  His words were rhetorical, fear-inducing, and ignorant.  But he intentionally said them, without owning up to his fasehoods and now avoids the topic like a plague.  Why?  Because he has an agenda.  The agenda is part of the patriarchal Reconstructionist agenda.  It doesn’t seem to matter to him whether or not he has truthful information to spread, just as long as the information that supports his agenda is spread.  This is wrong.

It’s one thing to have a sermon on “Biblical” roles, but to have a whole website dedicated to it?  I’m sorry – – it just smells fishy to me.

Trying to understand where this drive is coming from, I think I stumbled across something from Albert Mohler’s article from 2006:  A Call for Courage on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  Keep in mind, Mohler has been a staunch supporter and board member of CBMW for years.

The fault lines of controversy in contemporary Christianity range across a vast terrain of issues, but none seems quite so volatile as the question of gender. As Christians have been thinking and rethinking these issues in recent years, a clear pattern of divergence has appeared. At stake in this debate is something more important than the question of gender, for this controversy reaches the deepest questions of Christian identity and biblical authority.

I must have had my head in the sand, then, because as far as I’ve been concerned,  I haven’t had any gender confusion.

Of course, the pervasiveness of this theory explains why radical feminism must necessarily be joined to the homosexual agenda. For, if gender is socially constructed, and therefore differences between men and women are nothing more than social convention, then heterosexuality becomes nothing more than a culturally-privileged form of sexuality.

And more:

The feminist argument is reducible to the claim that patriarchal forces in society have defined men and women so that all the differences ascribed to women represent efforts by men to protect their position of privilege.

Is there any truth to the above statement?  All I know is that my Twitter feed has far more tweets from men than women on this subject.  Why is that?

The last paragraph of the article perhaps captures the urgency that Mohler, Strachan, and others are feeling:

For too long, those who hold to the biblical pattern of gender distinctions have allowed themselves to be silenced, marginalized, and embarrassed when confronted by new gender theorists. Now is the time to recapture the momentum, force the questions, and show this generation God’s design in the biblical concept of manhood and womanhood. God’s glory is shown to the world in the complementarity of men and women. This crucial challenge is a summons to Christian boldness in the present hour.

Ok, so here is Mohler’s method:  force the questions on this generation about “biblical” manhood and womanhood.  This is their agenda.  Whatever happened to the agenda to spread the gospel, spread the love of Christ?  Where does “biblical” roles line up in this?

The following was posted on the CBMW site 1-1/2 yrs after the above article.  Mohler is still pushing this agenda and wanting others to join him in this effort:

Albert Mohler, CBMW Council Member and President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed the attendees at GodblogCon last Thursday, November 8, 2007.  This gathering for “God bloggers” issued a call for more Christians to engage culture through the new media options available on the Internet. (Source)

Here Mohler comments on Owen Strachan’s appointment as CBMW executive director:

Owen Strachan is one of the brightest lights among a cast of extremely bright and committed young evangelicals. He is exactly what the CBMW needs as it aims for the future and reaches out to a new generation. I am enthusiastic about his leadership and confident of the future effectiveness of CBMW and its vital work.” (Source)

Why am I posting on this topic?  Because in my opinion, this agenda is going over the top.  What is all of this feminist agenda stuff and how does it relate to biblical roles?  It seems to me, the religious right have been telling me for years about a “feminist agenda” that ruins traditional family values.  I’m trying to make sense of what the big deal is.  Is it wrong for women to want equal pay for equal work?  Is it wrong for women to want to have voting rights?  Is it wrong for women to be able to get a job that they are capable of doing because they are a woman?  Are we all in agreement on these topics?   When reading people like Mohler, Stinson, Duncan, Piper, etc, we know that the word “feminist” is a negative word.  These lines are very blurry for me.
Oh, and one more thing.  I never would have been so familiar with names of people on the CBMW board except for the fact that many of them are the very same men who have defended C.J. Mahaney and allowed him to speak at their conferences.  And so I have to tell you, it is making this whole complementarian thing seem suspect to me.  You see, Piper (remember, he was co-founder of CBMW) is one who mentioned that wives should put up with smacking from their husbands:

If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church.  ~John Piper

 

We’ve read countless stories of abuse and even domestic violence among women and children at Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) churches.  Yet these CBMW folks hold CJ up high on a pedestal.  In fact, in one interview I listened to, the panel of men said that they could all learn a thing or two from C.J. to take home to their own churches in how SGM churches has seemed to grasp “complementarianism” so well.  They viewed CJ and his family of SGM churches to be the model of compementarianism to other churches.  This is where JA breaks to say ::::this creeps me out – – – these men hold CJ up as a model for his views of complementarianism, meanwhile, back at the ranch, SGM is being sued by numerous people for failure to report abuses, etc :::::::.    I’m sorry, but if there is abuse going on unchecked and church leaders are not dealing appropriately with those abuses, I do not think all is well at the CBMW camp.

And here’s the crux of the matter as I see it:

If those men who are presuming to tell me what my Biblical role is fail to protect those in harm’s way and fail to call for accountability among their peers, then how can I trust them to have my best interest in mind as a woman.  It makes their work at CBMW as rubbish to me.   I am far better off reading the Bible and learning for myself what my biblical role is, thank you very much.

Read this quote again from Mohler in light of the SGM abuse scandals and see if there is any merit to it.  Bolding done by me:

The feminist argument is reducible to the claim that patriarchal forces in society have defined men and women so that all the differences ascribed to women represent efforts by men to protect their position of privilege.

*     *     *

Disclaimer 4/2/13:  In the comments below, we have been discussing this topic and it was suggested that the type of complementarianism discussed in this article may be an extreme form of complementarianism.  This seems to prove my point that complementarianism is very difficult to define within even the CBMW camp.

178 comments on “CBMW: Christian Feminists, Complementarians, and Are Men Protecting Their Position of Privilege?

  1. Seth,

    I recoginize they often go hand in hand, but not always. I am recognizing much of the abuses described in within this site have been from Ministries embrace a heavy-handed form of Calvinism.

    My former Pastor was a Stealth 5 Point Calvinist who was Covert in how he was endoctrinating the Congregation by preventing his sermons from contradicting all 5 Points of “TULIP”. When some of us within the Congregation tryed to identify his “Methodology”, he became heavy-handed in way that would prevent him from having to disclose his Doctrine.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Like

  2. Mark, yeah that doesn’t sound like a good situation. Even though I’m a 5 pointer, I don’t happen to like any of the reformers and certainly think the whole bible should be taught, even the parts about people’s responsibility to choose.

    Like

  3. Seth,

    I wonder if you really are a 5 Pointer especially about the parts about “people’s responsibility to choose”. It sound’s like you may not totally embrace “TULIP” which is the Calvinist handbook that is authenticated in their view, by scriptures.

    My thought is if you refute any parts of TULIP then how can you really embrace TULIP? How is it possible to be a Calvinist and pick and choose what to believe in TULIP and what not to believe?

    I don’t think God has given me authority to refute parts of scriptures and be an accountable Christian.

    If you refute any parts of TULIP then how can you be an accountable 5 Pointer or even a Calvinist generally speaking?

    If you think the whole bible should be taught,then why the need to embrace TULIP using it as a reference to your faith?.

    Like

  4. http://www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/free-articles

    Historically speaking due to the increase in domestic violence and child abuse within the church and the frustration felt in women being held back from exercising the gifts God gave to them due to a patriarchal church structure, a Christian Feminist Movement took root to counter these things. They initially joined forces with the many of the feminist secular supporter to wade through issues that was common to them both in being able to have a voice and to be heard in society and in the church. In time, the Christian Feminist Movement became organized and able to stand on its own. But within the ranks, as in churches there were also members who were more liberal in their thinking regarding scripture and homosexuality.

    When bringing these issues to the table, those who adopted this mandate for the Complementarian position quickly grabbed a hold of dismissing the egalitarian viewpoint by equating homosexuality with feminism. in turn the word, feminist or feminism became a household curse word to anyone that would argue for biblical gender equality in the home and church.

    Now, when the Christian Feminist became a free standing organizations, they also were having conferences nationally and internationally as most organizations do to establish a united agreement on who they are and what they are about, including membership. However, there was a subgroup within this organization that could not agree with including those who supported the homosexuality.

    That group of men and women formed another group called: Christian for Biblical Equality. The link has been provided for you in the above. Although this group used to be or rather originated from a the much large Christian Feminist group, it no longer identifies with them, yet holds to an Egalitarian relationship between the genders.

    Many people have the notion that to be a man or to be a woman means certain ascribed tasks and positions ought to be held by one or the other gender. They also think that if that line is cross then somehow that takes away from one being male or female. This in itself is very telling in understanding how society has played a role in the mindset of what constitute each gender. This has served to enable those who desire to have certain entitlements to be able to maintain controls that virtually places the other gender in an oppressive and subservient position. It also weakens society and the church as half of those made in God’s image are being silenced and literally turned into man’s image instead. In turn, the female gender is virtually objectified, sexualized, and severely oppressed, no matter what language may be, being used to give an appearance that this is not so. All one need to do is look at the stats on divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual addiction, and the rampant adulteress behaviors that are openly permitted within the church and even practiced among pastors and others in leadership roles. Why, because the cultural and societal norms were brought into the church and applied to interpreting scripture through a need to control women in order to feed ones pride and ego instead. You may want to do a research on quotes made by the ‘early” church fathers on their opinion of women, then follow what their teachings were concerning biblical roles and how they defined a woman and the man’s rights in ordering her about and lording over her.

    Christian for Biblical Equality helps the person to understand that the egalitarian position has nothing to do with homosexuality, nor is distinctly feminist either.

    Instead, its whole purpose is to enable the body of Christ to become stronger by enabling both gender to be all that God has called and made them to be in His image. He has called and equip men and women to stand side by side to rule and have dominion over all that He has made available to them. Not for one gender to rule over the other in such a way that she is not able to determine who she is as a woman in Christ and apart from her husband. But as a co heir in Christ on this earth, rather than the notion that this does not take affect until she is home with the Lord.

    Genesis 1:27-28
    King James Version

    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Perhaps the real issue that underlies the complementarian position has far more to do with men need to repent of their lust and fleshy desires instead of scapegoating upon the female population (by carving them out to fit into their fantasies) to justify their need to control and to meet the ungodly and unbiblical standards that defines what a man is, but feeds into their pride and ego instead. Hmmm.

    Like

  5. Mark, where am I contradicting myself? It’s been a while since I looked at the tulip parts, but I certainly believe in predestination the way reformed ppl do and happen to think the bible teaches it too. But the bible also talks about ppl changing, repenting, choosing, etc. I think we ought to teach the whole bible and not try to force it into a system. Right?

    Like

  6. Seth said:

    I think we ought to teach the whole bible and not try to force it into a system. Right?

    When the system becomes someone’s god, we’ve got big problems. I think that is why we have so many problems.

    Like

  7. Mark said:

    If you refute any parts of TULIP then how can you be an accountable 5 Pointer or even a Calvinist generally speaking?

    That’s a good question, Mark, but I know a lot of people who call themselves Calvinist, but do not hold to the full 5-pt system.

    Like

  8. I agree with that JA. Systematic theology can be helpful to understand how the bible’s different pieces fit together. But there are many paradoxes that dont seem to have an easy answer. When ppl try to force an answer on a paradox (like God’s sovereignty vs man’s responsibility) then we end up with lop-sided results

    Like

  9. Seth,

    I didn’t suggest you were contradicting yourself. I’m taking at face value that you proclaim to being a 5 Pointer.

    I have an issue about embracing “salvation before faith” theology. And I think you were suggesting the same, which to me isn’t a contradiction.

    We start emphasizing or in some cases practicing “Predestination” or “Election” Theology the same way the Pharisee’s did on the Sinner, the Tax Collector and even on Christ when he administered to them, we become like the Pharisee.

    There are Biblical Academics that have countering interpretations about “salvation before faith” I have a tendency to lean against believing “salvation before faith”.

    Like

  10. Mark, I certainly don’t think salvation before faith should ever come to our minds when talking to others about Christ. I think it could be helpful to think about for an individual on a personal basis to prevent one from feeling he/she earned salvation through faith, but never used or thought of in regards to evangelism. You’re saying you know lots of Calvinists who think that way?

    Like

  11. JA, I never responded to your comment on April 1, at 4:08. What do you mean by where do we draw the line?

    Like

  12. Seth – on where do we draw the line. As we’ve seen on this thread – complementarianism looks different for each couple and where one couple might feel freedom to “let” the wife have control over one area, another complementarian couple might balk at that. And then we have people at CBMW who are trying to define that line as well, but have been unable (as far as I can see) to be clear on that. I just don’t have in my mind how this works out in a couple’s life as decisions are made.

    Like

  13. Seth,

    I’m not sure where you read that I suggested knowing “lots” of Calvinist that believe in “salvation before faith”. (I know of 3 that I have run across, but I don’t spend much time seeking them out)

    I will add that there is nothing in my words that have suggested you are contradicting yourself. The only thing that I suggested was wondering how devout of a 5 Pointer you are, because of “people choosing” in your language, which makes me wonder how strong you embrace and practice “Election Theology” on others. (I’m under the impression you don’t practice it)

    I have made an attempt to answer your questions but you either are skimming through my answers, suggesting things that I never insinuated or you are simply being argumentative in defense of being a 5 Pointer.

    Like

  14. Sorry Mark, don’t mean to make this harder than it should be. All im saying is I believe the bible teaches both predestination and mans responsibility to choose. I know there are some hyper Calvinists that error in not caring about evangelism. But most of the Calvinists I know are very passionate about evangelism and yet fully believe God ordains every aspect of salvation. I see it as a paradox, not a contradiction.

    Like

  15. Arce-

    I’m late getting back to this post, but obviously can’t check and respond all day. 🙂

    You may be right about the head being thought of as the “source.” I can see how that could make sense in some aspects. But when reading in context with the rest of the passage in Ephesians 5, the passage seems to be talking about leadership more than a husband being the “source” of the wife, which doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I haven’t fully studied the passage, and I’m not trained in Greek or an expert in ancient Jewish culture or ideas such as this, so I must rely on how others interpret the passage. I learn bits and pieces here and there, as the ancient church and Jewish culture are a growing fascination of mine. I do realize though, that the letters of Paul were written to specific people or groups of people at a specific time. One must take into consideration the culture of the audience at that time. When Paul was instructing them, was what he was saying somehow meant only for that audience, or was it meant for everybody in all places and all times? With many other passages, it is pretty clear that the teaching is meant for everybody in all places and times. With the passage concerning women as having authority over men in the church (i.e. being a head pastor), I’ve heard good arguments going both ways, with both ways being Biblically supported. This is not an issue of applying a 20/21 century mindset to the Bible, but realizing that the Bible was indeed written in another time and culture, and trying to see how exactly the author meant what he wrote, and how those principles still apply today. I see that as very good exegesis.

    Because I see this particular issue as secondary, and really, when it comes to women being head pastor, I see it is not only non-essential, but as not terribly important either, only slightly so, I do not hold to firmly one way or another. I am still slightly …*SLIGHTLY*… more convinced that women are not supposed to pastor a church.

    Like

  16. Seth,

    Both the 5 Point Calvinist and 5 Point Hyper Calvinist use TULIP to authenticate their stand, one apparently embraces people choosing and the other doesn’t.

    Most of us know that God is all knowing, we don’t need to convert to Calvinism (who unable to come up with a consensus to what they believe) to figure that out to become a christian.

    We already have the Old Testament and the New Testament to me that is sufficient.

    I think being disciple of John Calvin who was born 1500 years after Christ is risky.

    And judging by the majority of abuse reported in this web site, the abuse are coming from organizations and churches using their Calvinistic abusive interpretations of Scriptures as way to authenticate their existence.

    Like

  17. Mark, I can agree to disagree. It’s not a theological issue important enough to me to fight to the death on. 🙂

    Like

  18. JoeJoe, Thanks for sharing where you are at as you investigate this issue further. It is much deeper than just an issue of if a woman can or cannot preach or teach in a local church or if they should or should not be called to be the lead pastor. It is a far more core issue about gender that is essential to understand.

    It is important to get back to the Creation story of God’s design for Adam and Eve, pre-Fall, and to factor in the cost to Christ to redeem mankind, male and female. Christ’s victory has restored what was lost. Christ and the Father poured out the Holy Spirit and a new age was ushered in. This is the time that we are now in. The issue of gender equality and mutuality in the home and in the Church is foundational to our belief in what Christ has redeemed.

    Yes, it does take some study to do personal research on sticky passages and come to some resolve. Even more important is to consider the core beliefs of what Christ has done to reconcile Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, as well as male and female. God has destroyed barriers. Unity is the theme. These are all the benefits of Christ’s finished work on the cross, his resurrection and Lordship, and are found in the message of the Kingdom.

    Like

  19. Seth,

    Yeah, I know what you mean. If the Calvinist can’t even find a consensus in what they believe they are going to find it difficult defending their Doctrine to the Non-Calvinist Christians.

    Our dialogue has been minimal regarding Doctrinal Indifference, (other than you proclaim to be 5 Pointer and I don’t follow Calvin’s teachings)

    We never dug deep enough to discover anything that is meaningful, that we disagree on. I would rather not debate.

    What I would prefer is for the Calvinist, Hyper Calvinist, 1 Point, 2 Point, 3 Point, 4 Point, 5 Point Calvinist, The Reformed persuasion and the Reformed Calvinist to come up with a Consensus. Then find a title they can agree on and make it stick.

    To make things even more complicated, Stealth and Covert Calvinist who are Low or High Point TULIP’ers aren’t even calling themselves Calvinist anymore.

    Like

  20. Seth,

    I didn’t mean to deny the “New Calvinist” being my list of Calvinist School if there are any other forms of Calvinism that isn’t on that list let me know.

    Like

  21. Barb-

    You are quite welcome. This whole debate and dialogue on gender equality in general within the church is certainly an important one. Holding to a complementarian or egalitarian view is by no means essential to salvation. I am quite certain we will see both in heaven. It is still an important issue however, as it relates to how members of a family interact with one another (which can in turn influence how those members interact with the rest of society). My mentioning of my beliefs of women as head pastors was relating back to a couple of portions of spread out comments. The issues do run deeper than that. You can get an idea of some of my other beliefs on the matter by looking at my first couple of comments on this article.

    Ultimately, this whole tension between complementarianism and egalistarianism, especially as it relates to the extremes of each position, I think goes back to the question of, “What is the value of a person?” It is something that has been an issue from nearly the beginning of time. Adam devalued Eve by trying to cast blame on her and not accept his own responsibility. Cain devalued Abel by committing the first murder. The Egyptians devalued the Hebrews by forcing them into slavery. The Jews devalued the gentiles in the early days of the church by trying to force them into their own customs to accept them as fellow believers. In the comp/egal debate, the extreme complementarians and Patriarchal model followers devalue their wives and children by placing the husband and father over them in an authoritarian position. The extreme egalitarians devalue everybody by not recognizing the uniquenesss and differences in the genders.

    Everybody wants to know that they are of value. Everybody wants to know that their life is important and means something. I see the extremes on either side of the issue as both devaluing and unbiblical. I do believe there is a place somewhere in the middle, however, that is both Biblical and upholds the value of everybody, while still recognizing the beauty in our uniquesness and differences. Even if we figure out exactly what that is supposed to look like, we still have the challenge of living it out.

    Here is some of how I try to live that out. I try my best to do what I believe God wants me to do and lead my family in a Godly way because I believe that is my responsibility and that God will hold me accountable for it, and because I believe that everybody has great value to God. My wife and I try to work together in making decisions, and I try to always seek her input and take her thoughts, ideas, feelings, and convictions to heart and deep consideration. We don’t have children yet, but when we do, the ultimate responsibilty falls onto me to see that they are brought up in God’s word. The choice is ultimately up to them whether or not to put their faith in Christ, but it is my responsibility to see that they know what faith in Christ is. When they grow up, I will have to trust in God that my wife and I made the right decisions and let them go out into the world to be their own people and find their own way. I will certainly be there for guidance, but they must make their own choices. And even if they make choices I don’t agree with, I must honor those choices as they are their own people, capable of making their own choices. And when I am old, I can look back and know that I played a part in raising a God-honoring, respectful, and independent son or daughter. In a nutshell, that is the kind of family I believe America, and the rest of the world, need.

    Like

  22. Thank you for sharing more about yourself and your desires for a godly family. I was making the comment about deeper issues when it comes to gender since the focus is often only on what women can/can’t do in the church so I re-emphasize the point when there is an opportunity. Yes, how we view gender takes us back to core beliefs about humanity and life on planet Earth.

    A helpful tool in doing personal research on this topic is a book entitled: ‘Women in the Church’ by Stanley Grenz with Denise Kjesbo. This book considers foundational beliefs and gives a thoughtful look at the historical, biblical, and theological considerations.

    Here is a brief excerpt from the Introduction:
    “What, then, can be said about contemporary evangelical divisions over the issue of women in ministry? Many complementarians conclude that the time is simply not ripe for women in ministry. They caution the church to wait for a more opportune season. Some offer an even more pointed rejection of the push toward women’s ordination, claiming that it reflects the dangerous inroads of contemporary secular culture into the church. . . .

    Egalitarians, in contrast, are convinced that the time is ripe for changes in the church. They believe that rather than being the result of unwholesome secular ideas invading the church, the push for women’s ordination represents the work of the Spirit. And empowering women for ministry could possibly revitalize the contemporary church.” (p. 33-34)

    Like

  23. Joe: I really appreciated and agree with so much of your 10:42 comment. Thank you. And I agree 100% that the comp/egal should not be a primary focus. I think this is a distraction (which you can read about in the article I just posted).

    Like

  24. Julie Anne

    Much agreement when you write…
    “the comp/egal should not be a primary focus. I think this is a distraction…”

    Yes – “comp/egal” takes our eyes off Jesus and puts them on “Mere Fallible Humans.”

    If Egals are looking for equality in “the church of God?” The Body of Christ?
    They are more then welcome to become Equal with me. 😉

    Of course, I have NO titles, I’m NOT a leader – NO pulpit – NO power – NO pay.
    Trying to figure this thing out. Wanting to be a “Servant.” – One of “His Disciples.”

    Jesus said, “If any man “Serve me” John 12:26. But – In My Experience…
    NOT many comp/egals are interested in being a “servant.” A low place.
    NOT many comp/egals want to “Deny Self,” and “Forsake ALL,” to be “His Disciple.”
    Forsaking ALL – Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Recognition – Reputation…

    For me, gender is NOT an issue. And comp/egal is about gender – NOT Jesus. Where, and who I fellowship with – gender is NOT the issue. The issue is – Who knows Jesus? Who has revelation from Jesus? Who has a teaching from Jesus? Who is being “Led” by the Spirit? Who is “Hearing His Voice” and Following Jesus?

    NOT following a bunch of Man Made Rules – A bunch of Man Made Traditions.

    It’s “Christ in you the hope of Glory.” Col 1:27. It’s Christ in – Males – Females – Young – Old – The least of these – Those who we think are less honorable – the hope of Glory. When we come together – ALL can, and are expected to, participate. God NO longer dwells in temples made with the hands of men. Jesus dwells in believers, His Church, His Body. You and me…

    IMO – It’s supposed to be about Jesus – NOT about – Male or Female.

    Because it says in Gal 3:28 – “there is neither male nor female.”
    Does this verse say – Male and Female are equal?
    Or – Does this verse say – Male and Female do NOT exist – In Christ Jesus.

    Gal 3:26-28 KJV
    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
    “there is neither male nor female:”
    for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Looks like – In Christ – there are NO males and NO Females.

    So – If folks are debating gender – are they “In Christ?”

    Yes – “the comp/egal should not be a primary focus. I think this is a distraction…”

    Like

  25. Barb

    You write…
    APRIL 2, 2013 @ 3:57 PM
    “Amos… …I believe that you have short changed the egalitarian view.”

    That’s possible – How so? – Could you be a little more specific?

    Like

  26. Arce

    Thanks for the response – You write @ APRIL 2, 2013 @ 5:11 PM…
    “So it was not hierarchical in operation, but that took a studious effort by the pastor to avoid being lured into a situation where he would have the final say. He was truly a servant of the congregation, and believed his position was at the bottom of the chart, not the top.”

    Wow – What a wonderful experience – Kinda hard to find servants like that today.

    The problem I still have is…
    I do NOT find “church governance,” in the Bible. – But – I cudda missed it. 😉
    And, I do NOT find “church governance,” run by humans, in the Bible. Where is that?

    Seems, “church governace,” by man, takes place in a church NOT found in the Bible…
    The 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporations, the IRS calls church.

    Sould Disciples of Jesus call an IRS Corporation – “the Church of God?”

    Seems, In the Bible, the Church of God – Is Never – A Building, An Organization, An Institution, A Denomination, A Business, An IRS Corporation. The Church of God, in the Bible, is always people, Called out ones, called out of someplace into an assembly.

    I do find in the Bible – Jesus – Governing the Church of God – the Body of Christ.

    Col 1:18.
    He is the head of the body, (The Ekklesia, The Called Out Ones), The Church.

    Isa 9:6-7
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
    *and the government shall be upon his shoulder:*
    and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
    The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
    **Of the increase of his government** and peace there shall be no end.

    Is – *the government shall be upon his shoulder?*
    Do we really believe Jesus when He says… They shall be ALL taught of God? John 6:45
    There is “ONE” Leader? – “ONE” Shepherd? – “ONE” Teacher? – Jesus?

    And, In the Bible, the only one I can find with the “Title” Shepherd is – Jesus…

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  27. Pingback: CBMW, John Piper, Women Drill Sergeants, and Biblical Roles | Spiritual Sounding Board

  28. JoeJoe–
    I think “head” can be understood in the verse of the husband being the head of the wife as “source” by looking back to creation. A rib was removed from the human’s side to create a woman. So, in a sense, it could be understood that the man was the source of the woman, and this could be to what the verse is referring.

    Also, I have read of word studies that find the word translated as “head” rarely used in ancient sources to mean “authority”. We must be cautious in order to not read our current US understandings of words back into the English language translation of Bible.

    In general– I don’t find complementarianism (if you look up “complementary” in the dictionary, there is not a hint of hierarchy in the original word) and egalitarianism to be two extremes. I believe the opposite end of patriarchy (which “complementarianism” is, though white-washed since feminism created a more hostile attitude toward simply stating that God created females as inferior to males) is matriarchy.

    I would prefer to not focus on this issue, which is one of the reasons I am not now in a church that is familiar with either of the terms in their specialized, evangelical senses (and so they don’t know the term “complementarianism” at all since it was created for the reason I alluded to above). So long as girls and women, and boys and men, are expected to be a certain way and do certain things based on their sex rather than their God-given talents and gifts, I do have to do what I can to help change that situation.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s