Practical Guidelines for Teaching Complementarity

Ligon Duncan, CBMW, Complementarianism, Egalitarian, headship


 

Practical Guidelines for Teaching Complementarity

by Kathi

 

Ligon Duncan stresses that if pastors do not regularly teach complementarity, then “we lose on this issue.”

 

 

Screenshot 2016-07-04 at 12.15.57 PM

Feel free to play along while you watch the video. You are guaranteed a black out!

 

In April, Ligon Duncan addressed pastors at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) pre-conference of the 2016 T4G conference regarding how to address complementarianism.


Duncan offered eight guidelines for pastors when teaching complementarianism. Three celebrate complementarianism, and five realizations as you practice this “Biblical” view.

You have to teach and preach complementarianism.

Duncan stresses that if pastors do not regularly address complementarianism, then congregations will be won over to the teachings of culture and “we will lose on this issue.” Duncan also stresses that pastors need to make sure that leaders in the church are equipped in this teaching as well.

This leads me to wonder: how often is he talking about addressing this issue from the pulpit? Every other Sunday? Every Sunday? Should it be taught in Sunday school classes and small groups? How about in children’s and youth ministries? If he is calling for equipping leaders, then it sounds like he wants the church to be infiltrated to follow complementarianism on all fronts.

The church needs to become a culture that honors women and loves people who struggle with same sex attraction.

Duncan states that when pastors teach on complementarity they will be labeled as misogynistic and homophobic. Yes, very true. So how is a pastor to combat that view? By publicly honoring women and loving people with same sex attraction.

It is this part of the talk where I get the feeling that Duncan is stressing that complementarianism requires an image make-over. Is he sincere about honoring and loving? I really hope so. However, he goes on to say that he hopes that women’s and gay’s testimony to complementarianism is that “we’re not treated like that.” So really, it seems more of concern about how complementarianism is portrayed than anything else.

As you celebrate “beautiful complementarianism” make sure men know that headship is a service and not a “tool for self-interest.”

Doesn’t this make you wonder why Duncan must tell pastors to address that women should be honored and men cannot use complementarianism as a tool of abuse? In relationships where each partner is treated as an equal, men do not need to be reminded that they are given a “unique responsibility.”

And, for good measure, I’ll throw this quote out to stand on its own:

When women realize that the Bible’s teaching on men being godly spiritual leaders in the home is something that is in their best interest, they are the people in local congregations that are loudly most for it.

Sigh. I haven’t realized what is in my “best interest.”

Moving on to the realizations…

Don’t assume the next generation agrees with complementarianism.

Gasp! And if they don’t?! What is a pastor to do?

Don’t panic!

A pastor must show the next generation the beauty of complementarianism by living it out in marriages and preaching it from the pulpit.

Polity is theology.

This is what it all comes down to. It’s not the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that dictates theology, but church policy and governance on complementarianism. A secondary issue becomes a primary theological issue.

Don’t overreact.

The goal here is to stay calm and carry on. Don’t restrict women’s ministries in the church and make sure that people understand that preaching/teaching of the church is to be done by “qualified men.” Apparently this is not a male/female issue, but an issue of making sure that a qualified man does the job.

Be firm in your conviction and winsome in your persuasion.

Make sure ardent feminists and gays are offended by your teaching yet are overwhelmed by the respect and love you show them.

None of this information is new. Duncan has been teaching about complementarianism for years. But I get the feeling that there has been a bit more push back toward CBMW in regard to their teaching. More women are telling their stories about suffering through abusive marriages that resulted from following strict gender role teaching. Aimee Byrd recently wrote a fantastic post about how CBMW has left complementarian women feeling betrayed by their silence.

CBMW needs to learn that showing respect and love to people, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, is what should be preached from the pulpit because it is how God commands us to live. That should be the primary issue on a pastor’s heart.  Any public display of honoring a woman or loving a gay person will only be seen as a facade if all you are doing is attempting to show that complementarianism is “not like that.”

64 comments on “Practical Guidelines for Teaching Complementarity

  1. “show the next generation the beauty of complementarianism by living it out in marriages”

    Hm … a lot of people say they think my marriage is pretty nifty. It’s not complementarian. What do comps do with the multitude of egal marriages that work, and work well?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I guess I don’t know what complementarianism is. I grew up thinking it was shoving who I was in a box and serving my wife. That didn’t work. I look at story after story where it’s the wife shoving herself in a box to serve her husband. That doesn’t work either.

    So, for all the beauty we’re all supposed to show in our complementarian marriages, I find it difficult to articulate the difference between that and my marriage, which seems to have become functionally egalitarian.

    My parents exhibited what I think of as a complementarian marriage. Nothing my mom did was ever rewarded. It was either what was expected of her, or it was not good enough. He bought whatever he wanted. Her purchases were nitpicked or subject to approval. It is precisely the exhibition of complementarian marriages that pushes me towards egalitarian theology. If complementarianism is the blessed apex of marital relationships, then why do egalitarian marriages seem so much more fulfilling, and not just in some “they’re going to suffer later” way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just don’t understand this obsession with authority and power! No matter how you present it, having one sex lord over the other creates a slippery slope towards elitism. Before the civil rights movement, the concept of “separate but equal”( when defending segregation) was not true in practice.
    I also noticed Duncan emphasized showing respect to women, which seems to contradict the common comp belief that women want love and men want respect. I guess they will keep trying to spin this message until they wear themselves out!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. That’s because you be a woman, Ann. If you ask those guys they (in their infinite wisdom & supernatural ability to twist scripture ) will explain it too you.

    Just don’t ask another woman because she is probably a radical feminist, lesbian or Jezebel if she is able to answer.

    Some day I’m going to have to tell you all about getting kicked out of a discipleship class as a new believer because a woman taught it. Literally they kicked out all the guys and we were all 18-21, just a bunch of kids.

    Like

  5. My initial thought was that the first ingredient for such sustained, vehement fighting amongst those who share so many of the same values and convictions is for the issue at hand to be elevated to the level of a First Class, heaven-or-hell issue, with only two alternatives. (In this case, compy or egal, and not room for nuance or ambiguity.) I don’t fit (totally) in either camp, and neither camp would have me.

    When a system feels like it has lost its center, balance, and power–as conservative churches have lost theirs in my culture (here in Portland), that system will often retreat to its most conservative, rigid models, so as to save what hasn’t already been lost, and to prevent instability. The contemporary complementarian movement is an appeal to go back to a rigid, compy church that hasn’t really ever existed, or at least not to the degree and settled doctrine and practice that the newest complementarians suggest. Things weren’t so clear in the 40’s, 50’s, etc., and certainly not in the centuries before that–of the gender roles in the church.

    The complementarian focus and obsession will go on and on, I think, as long as women remain in those churches where they do not feel welcomed or honored, and continue to approach the leaders of those churches, hat in hand, asking for the privilege of simply exercising their Spirit-given gifts and calling. If the leaders of those churches do not recognize a women’s gifts, I believe she can trust in God to help her find a church that does. Her exit may be their rebuke. (I’m not being trite–I know such a decision is huge, and often excruciating.)

    I know that some people are truly called to remain in bad church systems as reformers and to speak to the power of those churches, and there are certainly extenuating (marriage, kids, etc.) issues that are present; but most of the time, it seems to me that women should take their gifts, skills, money, influence, etc., where they are welcomed and valued. Heck, why aren’t there more women church-planters, anyway? But that’s probably another topic… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The contemporary complementarian movement is an appeal to go back to a rigid, compy church that hasn’t really ever existed, or at least not to the degree and settled doctrine and practice that the newest complementarians suggest.

    This is such a good point, Ken. I think complementarians are trying to convince everyone that what they are trying to achieve has always been. I don’t ever remember such rigidness.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. “CBMW needs to learn that showing respect and love to people, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, is what should be preached from the pulpit because it is how God commands us to live. That should be the primary issue on a pastor’s heart. Any public display of honoring a woman or loving a gay person will only be seen as a facade if all you are doing is attempting to show that complementarianism is “not like that.””

    Yes, totally agree. Jesus made it pretty clear and not that complicated.

    I have questions. How do they teach this in other parts of the world outside of the American evangelical bubble? Is that something they’ve addressed? Would this doctrine really fit in with all cultures? How have they taken that into consideration?

    I also wonder how many individuals who do struggle with same-sex attraction would feel safe/welcomed into a community that stresses this doctrine so much.

    I had never heard of this stuff until about 5 years ago or so. Been married 33 years, we have a solid/happy marriage without ever a mention of this doctrine so go figure.

    I really like bingo too ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was raised in an egal home where both parents were highly successful in their careers.

    My mom was brought up in a fundamentalist Christian family. My dad was raised moderate Christian family.

    Guess which side of the family has:
    1. More happy marriages?
    2. More marriages — period?
    3. More grandchildren who are gainfully employed? (Higher percentage.)
    4. More grandchildren who identify Christian? (Higher percentage.)

    Yep, the moderate Christian side of the family wins — for every one of those questions.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. “Polity is theology.

    This is what it all comes down to. It’s not the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that dictates theology, but church policy and governance on complementarianism. A secondary issue becomes a primary theological issue.”

    Often you can replace the word “gospel” with “new Calvinist church” in anything from CBMW. Polity is the gospel, in their eyes. Therefore, a strict family organization led by the church enforces the gospel, because the authority of the church is the gospel by their definition. It’s not a primary issue, it’s the primary issue.

    Like

  10. Have you forgotten one time when authority was widely taught in the Church? It was he crux of Bill Gothard’s teaching. He came in after the 60s rebellion with the “answers”–staying under the umbrella of authority. And look at the umbrella again–the wife belongs under her husband!

    Like

  11. Acts 1:14 – All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

    I think Ligon could of made this a lot easier if he would of said “Men if you cannot pray for your wife then you are the problem, it is our job as husbands to be in constant prayer for and with our wives it is that simple”. When you have an active dialog with God in love as he commands in the bible your your wife becomes a blessing not a burden. The interpretation I get as a husband the complimentary teaching of CBMW makes my wife a burden not a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “A pastor must show the next generation the beauty of complementarianism by living it out in marriages and preaching it from the pulpit.”
    Wow, I know I’m late to the game, but he really sounds like he is pushing this doctrine as important (if not part of) the Gospel. Isn’t that adding to the Gospel???

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Two points really stood out to me. The first was “polity is theology.” I couldn’t believe my ears. In all of my theology classes I took in school not once was church governance talked about. This phrase shows me that these churches are more concerned about rules than grace and love.

    The second was the stand along quote I did which talked about women women realizing that complementarian relationships are good for them. Phffftttt….!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. It’s getting extremely weird how they keep pushing this. It’s like they are trying to start some kind of fertility cult. Throwing in some Bible here and there does not make it a Christian concept.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Listen to the undercurrents. “The culture will not teach your people what the Bible says” – in other words, preaching is the ONLY means of grace in the congregation. Not scripture reading, not iron sharpening iron, but the angelic voice of the pastor.

    “Emphasize a culture that honors women…” What other view requires this? Do we go out of our way to honor people who file their taxes faithfully? I agree that the church should honor those less honorable, but are women really so much less honorable that we need to emphasize the honor?

    “Headship is a tool for service not a tool for self-interest. … Wives were dying for their husbands to take on spiritual leadership” – is it perhaps that creating a culture of complementarity created self-interested husbands who wanted to be served? 9 to 1 odds says so. This argument is screwed up because complementarity turns “self-interest” into “lack of leadership” instead of laziness.

    “Example, Prayer, teaching… Can’t say I know many women who love complementarity, except those who heap coals on their husbands’ heads by obeying them when they’re wrong.”

    “Polity” – yes. Polity teaches that leaders exist to serve themselves and bark orders. Polity teaches that those in leadership have zero confidence and trust in the members. (See culture above).

    “Qualified male elders” – but doesn’t God “qualify whom he calls”, and isn’t that call just the pastor sticking someone in an office with a congregational rubber stamp?

    I agree, polity is not theology, but the people who are elevated in front of the congregation are taken as examples of godly men. I find more and more that these so-called godly men have respect only for each other, and patronization/condescension for those beneath.

    Like

  16. “Polity is theology”… I have been saying for a long time that these guys’ religion is the pursuit of power. There you have it in a nutshell.

    What an odd message. I think it’s all a facade to manipulate other people. Why not just teach the things the Bible says are important? You know, love your neighbor, be kind, be faithful, be honest, etc. If you are putting on a certain persona to get other people hooked into your system of hierarchy, it’s dishonest at heart. And creepy. Very creepy.

    Like

  17. I thought hyper-complementarians didn’t believe in freedom, only in submission. So, like, do only men get a “free” space? Or is that “Submission IS freedom”?, in which case only slaves are truly free, so why would they be playing BINGO? So many conundra, so little time …

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What do people who struggle with same sex attraction have to do with complementary? Is complementarianism a new cure for same sex attraction now that gay conversion therapy has been thoroughly discredited? How’s that gonna work?

    “Hi, my name is Jennifer. Through my childhood and adolescence, I struggled (past tense) with feelings of attraction to other girls. But one day, I heard pastor Jim Bob preach a sermon on compliementary and my life changed. The idea of submitting to the spiritual authority of a hot muscular Evangelical man took my breath away and all my feelings of same sex attraction vanished over night! My father was a spineless gigolo which contributed to my same sex attraction, but pastor Jim Bob showed me what biblical manhood is all about.

    Forget gay conversion therapy. With Complementarianism you too can pray the gay away!”

    He did not say a word about single people. Or is he equating singles with people who struggle with same sex attraction?

    Like

  19. Seriously, a “real” man works hard to care for the needs of his family and the needs of those he encounters who cannot care adequately for themselves. He doesn’t beg for money and gifts from the flock who are called by God to provide for the poor, or proof text 2 verses to justify a title and a hefty “salary” (with benefits!). And then partner with Caesar to hide what he has “earned” behind a special tax status reserved for politicians and pastors. Ligon needs to look in the mirror and start working with his own two hands to even begin to exemplify the manhood he preaches. I don’t think any of these guys really believe they will have to give an account one day.

    Like

  20. I’m sure that Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter would be far from welcomed to speak to at these conferences.

    Actually, Mr. Carter left the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000. I believe he’s now a member of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. it seems to me that women should take their gifts, skills, money, influence, etc., where they are welcomed and valued.

    Indeed. #FormerSBC

    It’s getting extremely weird how they keep pushing this.

    It is. This is a side issue at best. When you make it into a primary one, you cause all sorts of problems.

    Like

  22. What do people who struggle with same sex attraction have to do with complementary?

    Respect for women is ‘liberal’. Respect for gay people is ‘liberal’. QED.

    (no, it makes no sense. Women are half the population. More than that in church, often. Being a woman is not a sin. I think they think it might be).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ccinnova – Yes, you are right. In my mind he’s still Southern Baptist because he addresses the issue of women within that denomination.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Had a thought listening to this that escaped me until just now. In all of the teaching of complementarity, there is an avoidance of the word “greater”. That is, women and men are equal spiritually, but have different roles. The problem occurs when dealing with certain passages:

    After Paul talks about spiritual gifts in 1 Cor 12, he lists out the offices “First apostles, second prophets, third teachers, …”(27) At the end of the chapter, he says, “But earnestly desire the greater gifts.” (31) So, some spiritual gifts are considered greater, and we are all (men and women) to pursue greater gifts, yet, somehow in all this women are apparently lied to. They are NOT to pursue those greater gifts, since women are not supposed to be apostles, prophets or teachers.

    So, there’s a conundrum here. You can’t argue both sides. Either women are not spiritually equal, and should not pursue greater gifts – the ones Paul enumerates, or women are spiritually equal and should pursue greater gifts – the ones Paul enumerates.

    Then, we go back to Joel. The new covenant involves the Holy Spirit being poured out on all mankind, including sons and daughters, who will prophesy. If prophecy is a greater gift than teaching, then how can one argue that women are spiritually excluded from teaching and yet not excluded from prophecy?

    Like

  25. If prophecy is a greater gift than teaching, then how can one argue that women are spiritually excluded from teaching and yet not excluded from prophecy?

    Excellent question.

    Of course, the men involved will generally tell you that prophecy is over or something…so that part no longer counts.

    Like

  26. @Lea, yes, but the ordering is still important. If prophets > teachers and women were prophets, then why couldn’t women be teachers, even if prophecy has ceased?

    @Monique, yes, the technique I’ve seen is deny, deny, deny. I heard a sermon where a pastor nitpicked Deborah to claim that she wasn’t REALLY a prophet, that somehow prophet = office/spiritual gift and prophetess = non-inspired woman who guessed right every once-in-awhile. Needless to say, it requires a lot of scripture butchering to defend that.

    Like

  27. Lea

    Respect for women is ‘liberal’. Respect for gay people is ‘liberal’. QED.

    Those things are also “politically correct.” QED.

    Depressing to see what Christian culture has become.

    Like

  28. Mark, are you sure that complementarians teach that women can’t have the gifts? I think I remember that we were told women could have the gifts but were to exercise them in different situations (esp. with other women and children) and in different ways (esp. with gentleness).

    I am so glad to be out of this box!

    Like

  29. @Irene, the passage in 1 Cor 12 is speaking about spiritual gifts in the context of church offices (apostle, prophet, teacher). Either this passage is talking only about men, and only men should desire greater spiritual gifts, or it is talking about men and women, and both should desire that. I don’t see any way to divide the gifts and the offices that exercise those gifts, although that seems to be what complementarity teaches.

    It seems screwed up to say that God gifts men with the gift of teaching so that they can benefit the church by being a teacher in the church, but God gifts women with the gift of teaching so that they can teach their children. If that is true, then only women with the spiritual gift of teaching should homeschool, right?

    It’s also critical to understand that gift. For men, “teaching” is preaching, baptizing babies, officiating weddings, officiating communion, judging cases and resolving doctrinal disagreements. For women, “teaching” is… running a Bible study for women only?

    I actually argued this in a former church – what Duncan said briefly – that the difference is not between men and women, but between “qualified men” and all others. I didn’t feel comfortable being asked to do something as an “all other” that women were excluded from, like leading a Bible study.

    Like

  30. If prophecy is a greater gift than teaching, then how can one argue that women are spiritually excluded from teaching and yet not excluded from prophecy?

    Excellent question.

    Of course, the men involved will generally tell you that prophecy is over or something…so that part no longer counts.

    A Cessationist would say prophesy has ceased or may say when they are expositing scripture from the pulpit they are in a sense ‘prophesying’.

    Some Continuationists (non cessationists) would say when someone is prophesying he or she is communicating something directly from God by the Holy Spirit so the person isn’t teaching but prophesying.

    The bible does say “I do not permit a woman to teach…” but it obviously says woman prophecy.

    Like

  31. David C – I think the main issue in regard to same sex attraction is in regard to marriage equality. If gay people marry, that goes against God’s natural order.

    Like

  32. Monique said: How do they teach this in other parts of the world outside of the American evangelical bubble?
    Suddenly my brain conjured up that scene from the movie Airplane where the young couple join the Peace Corps, I think, and go to… Africa? And she is holding a Tupperware party for the women, and I think he is teaching basketball to the men. Probably about as good a fit as American complementarianism.

    Mark, I have had patriarchal believers tell me that Deborah was only a judge because it was a part of God’s curse on Israel. They explained it to me over and over and I never did understand what they were saying. I kept saying things like, “You mean…? (what I thought I’d heard them saying)” and they’d say, “No, that’s not what we said, what we said was…”

    JA, Why does my browser have a yellow caution light by your website in Google search? It says something like I might find malicious links here.

    Like

  33. προφητεία (prophēteia)
    Strong: G4394
    GK: G4735

    prophecy, a prediction of future events, Mt. 13:14; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; prophecy, a gifted faculty of setting forth and enforcing revealed truth, 1 Cor. 12:10; 13:2; prophecy, matter of divine teaching set forth by special gift, 1 Tim. 1:18

    Even if one is a cessationist, the gift of prophecy is still active.

    Like

  34. Refugee, I’m curious if you’re using some kind of safe browsing add-on like mcAfee site advisor or web of trust? What is giving the caution warning?

    I looked up spiritualsoundingboard.com on the few that I know of and it has a good rating on all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. One thing I struggle with is how much of this teaching is plain white middle class culture. So many people who follow complimentarianism look back to the 40’s and 50’s as a template as to how life should be led. They worship at the idol of “stay at home moms” and 9:00-5:00 working dads.
    However, this totally ignores huge segments of society. How many black women had to leave their own children and sometimes even live with a white family, clean their homes and help raise the children in order to be able to feed their own kids? Didn’t their own children miss them? Cry when they left for work, while resenting the hugs and kisses given to the “white kids”? The 50’s weren’t great for everyone.
    How many immigrants who sought a better life for their children sacrificed time with their loved ones, because they could only afford one ticket to the “promise land”?They hoped to earn enough to later send for their wife and children.
    Do these so called leaders recognize how much time they waste on secondary issues and miss the call to preach Christ? Do they see how temporary their power and authority are on earth as they twist the role of Jesus in the Trinity to justify their abuse of power? So many question, but I guess their world is not big enough to include all of God’s people.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. @refugee, I got really angry with a pastor (and seminary professor) who preached on Deborah. He said she was “the best man for the job”, and then proceeded to rip her to shreds. She was a “small p” prophet. Her song was not inspired, but was merely recorded. She was not listed in the hall of fame, but Barak was, so apparently God was just using her as a stepping mat to win Barak over.

    I realized at that point that if someone takes their preconceived misogynist bias and applies it to scripture, then that sort of crap makes sense. But, that bias has greater problems. If a Reformed pastor argues that God was forced to choose Deborah, because she was the only one who was willing to serve God, then he’s given up “Unconditional Election” and “Irresistible Grace”, so now he’s a three point Calvinist just so that he can put women down.

    I’m not saying that it isn’t inherently difficult to understand passages of scripture within their context – if men and women are equal, then why should women keep silent? If women not exercising authority was a temporary thing for pagan converts, then why does Paul appeal to the created order as justification?

    Remember that Joel was not pronouncing a curse when he included women and slaves in the pouring out of the Spirit, so I can’t accept that Deborah’s ministry was a curse. Perhaps it’s the opposite – God giving a foretaste of the new covenant by spiritually gifting women within an oppressively patriarchal society.

    Like

  37. All these complementarians just sound stubborn and silly when they try to explain away and ignore all the exceptions where women are shown to teach men or prophecy in Scripture. They’re just hurting the Body (and their own churches) by not recognizing all women (!) have gifts for the Body. And they’re just getting in the way of women being fulfilled in their lives. The Spirit gives gifts, not according to gender, but as He wills. (1 Cor 12:11-13).

    Like

  38. Folks like Duncan totally misrepresent what the Bible has to say about men and women. IMO from Genesis through Revelations God uses the person he wishes to use Male or Female.

    Like

  39. Great Comp bingo card. Kathi did you come up with that?

    We’ve been posting over at The Wartburg Watch, for months, about coming up with Comp bingo cards.

    Like

  40. “The bible does say “I do not permit a woman to teach…” but it obviously says woman prophecy.” – Q

    Actually manipulative translators changed this text from the Greek texts. Paul wrote Timothy about “the woman” (singular, specific person) teaching one man error. Paul wanted her to stop and learn correctly. The issue wasn’t her being a woman, the issue was error. Paul never issued a decree to all women for all time. Paul didn’t even mean to humiliate this sincere woman who just got it wrong.

    Additionally, other passages that anti-woman Biblical translation committees have conveniently changed:

    *the Childbearing, a noun which refers to Mary giving birth to Jesus and that salvation would be through Him, was changed to a verb “childbearing” by Biblical translation committees. Thus there’s the strange passage that women will be saved by “childbearing” (verb) instead of “the Childbearing” (noun). Big difference!

    *Also when Paul addressed women in the church how to dress, not all fancy, he wasn’t addressing all Christian women for all time. There was a pagan temple in that community dedicated to a goddess. As part of that pagan tradition, they dressed up. Paul didn’t want those pagan influences in the church and these women had to be taught not to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Sorry, but I can’t seem to let go of the point about making women realize that complementarian relationships are in their best interest.

    That would be like me trying to convince you that a poo scented laundry soap is what you really need to get your clothes clean. In the end, you’re still walking around with clothes that smell like crap.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. I can’t seem to let go of the point about making women realize that complementarian relationships are in their best interest.

    Yeah. No sale.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Kathi, LOL. I scratched my head at the “in women’s best interest” thing as well.

    It reminded me of Doug Wilson’s pamphlet on southern slavery. Gotta love hearing from a white man who knows what is in black people’s best interest. Now we hear from stodgy old men what is in women’s best interest. They also know what is in gays’ and lesbians’ best interest.

    If you all would let me indulge in a man to man conversation with these guys for a moment, I would like to tell these guys what is in their best interest (WARNING: language. Sorry Julie Anne, but I can’t think of anything else that conveys my feelings). Follow the link below, men.

    For your best interest

    Like

  44. They are desperate to rebrand. If you love cognitive dissonance, this is the group for you.

    They are also trying to co-op the Same sex issue and rebrand as compassionate. They do focus groups at LifeWay, too. They have access to all sorts of polls, demographics, psychographics, etc. They are losing too much business on this issue but their core is authority/submission. Rebrand it.

    Like

  45. “Polity is theology.”

    Frankly, that is the sickest statement in the entire talk. The reason he says this is that polity is where they enforce Authority/ submission. Once you agree to their polity you’re done, they own you.

    Like

  46. I’m not so offended by “polity is theology”. The impression I get is “actions speak louder than words”. So, if he teaches about being a kind complementarian and honoring women, but his church leadership goes out of its way to keep women from any sort of leadership positions and treat women who want to understand theology like dirt, then we rightly see that there is gross hypocrisy.

    My problem with it is that they are coupled the other way, too. It is not simply that unloving men use authority/submission to gain power and control, but that the theology takes men that might otherwise be honorable and turns them into control freaks. I’m still trying to get to the heart – because the leaders I talk to are so deceived that they think the actions we see as “lording it over” are actually being fatherly and loving and protecting the flock.

    Like

  47. Shy1, I guess it’s my antivirus that’s giving the “yellow flag” warning. Don’t know why.

    No Name, thanks for your thoughts on Deborah and more. Good food for thought.

    Velour, I had never heard that about Bible translations. More food for thought.

    Kathi, the poo-scented laundry soap made for a vivid word-picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. “Actually manipulative translators changed this text from the Greek texts. Paul wrote Timothy about “the woman” (singular, specific person) teaching one man error. Paul wanted her to stop and learn correctly. The issue wasn’t her being a woman, the issue was error. Paul never issued a decree to all women for all time. Paul didn’t even mean to humiliate this sincere woman who just got it wrong.”

    That’s conjecture, that is not supported in the context or grammar.

    Like

  49. @Q – appreciate your thoughts, but could you point me to something that clarifies the issue? I find in issues like this people go back and forth either assuming everyone knows all of the arguments, or potentially just asserting their view with enough authority to silence the opposition. I’ve heard too much of the latter, especially talking about women/complentarianism.

    Like

  50. Hey Mark,

    I think this article by Wade Burleson explains part of the egalitarian side and may be what Velour was eluding to?
    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/09/the-woman-of-error-in-i-timothy-212.html

    Matt Slick has an opposing view that is pretty easy to follow.
    https://carm.org/1-tim-29-15-woman-specific-individual-paul-had-mind

    I don’t agree with Wade Burleson on this topic and a lexicon doesn’t either.

    Matt Slick is a calvinist and I do not agree with him on his soteriology or Reformed Theology but he is a good source on many topics.

    The New Calvinists (Piper, Grudem, Dever) have taken up this issue in a manner I do not believe is helpful but it does need to be addressed. They do not represent me on this issue and many others.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Like

  51. Q, the comments on the Wade Burleson post are pretty interesting. I have issues with Matt’s post, not primarily because of that post, but because he paints all women throughout the Bible in broad brush strokes in a post covering the same verses.

    Wade says that no woman was ever a “P”rophet, or apostle. If you take the same hermeneutical approach, you could argue that no Gentile was ever a prophet or apostle, and could probably point to a lot of prooftexts that show that the Jews have preeminence. If you follow that to the logical conclusion (as it has been done with women), you could end up theologically that only Jewish males may teach or have authority in the church.

    I don’t find it helpful for someone to take a specific lens (women are inferior) and then use that lens to color all women in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t qualify Deborah, yet every complementarian scholar has to shove her somehow into the “inferior” box. She and Barak were a “team”. She prophesied “privately” to Barak. God couldn’t find a man to fill the office.

    I think we see, instead that God is limited “because of the hardness of their hearts”. That phrase is repeated throughout scripture. The Israelites die in the wilderness because of the hardness of their hearts. Jesus doesn’t perform miracles in certain cities because of the hardness of their hearts. Divorce laws were given because of the hardness of their hearts. So, doesn’t it make sense in a society where slaves and women are considered worthless property that God’s work through them would be limited by the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts? Then it becomes circular – we reject the work of the Spirit in women because we don’t see women gifted by the Spirit in the Bible, and the Spirit doesn’t gift women because we men have taught women to reject the work of the Spirit.

    One thing I picked up in recent weeks is that God talked directly to Eve. If complementarity is correct, then God would have told Adam how to deal with Eve, and would not have talked to Eve directly without her mediator, even though Adam throws her under the bus, because that would have been circumventing Adam’s authority. Remember the husband is the prophet, priest and king of the family.

    Like

  52. FWIW I’ve also read/heard this apparent prohibition against women teaching explained because most women in that culture were not educated, couldn’t read/write. So how could they teach correctly if they hadn’t had a chance to learn?

    Like

  53. @Monique, Matt Slick (comp) claims that the men Jesus picked to be apostles were mostly non-educated, so that is not a valid argument.

    I would iterate that it is a valid argument that God did interact mainly through societal standards, and the societal standards of the day were misogynistic and authoritarian.

    Consider that the apostles reiterate that we should not eat meat sacrificed to idols. We probably would still hold that if it weren’t for Paul’s explanation that, while there is nothing wrong with that meat, there are many coming out of a pagan worship culture where that would be a significant stumbling block. Thus, we recognize it as a temporary restriction, based on the cultural norms of that day. We hold the same position about slavery, although there is nothing negative about slavery throughout scriptures.

    Like

  54. Mark, I guess I’m confused by your answer and apologize for not being more clear on my part as well. I don’t follow Matt Slick or read him, but apparently I disagree with him. What I was relaying was the fact that most (not all) women at that time were uneducated. If we’re discussing the 1 Timothy 2: 11-12 regarding women in the church in Ephesus, then it makes more sense to me that Paul is referring to women potentially spreading false teaching, so let them learn before they teach. In Ephesus, with the Temple of Diana and Diana worship (where the leaders and priests were all women), this could be a concern to Paul.

    I don’t see how this prohibition is a universal principle given that Paul allowed women to teach elsewhere. This scripture appears to be culturally relative. I think we agree there.

    Anyway, I really don’t have a “horse in this race”. I just think this whole egal/comp debate is a distraction.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Monique, I was just saying that complementarians already have an answer for that. I’m not disagreeing. I thought you were joining in with my discussion with Q, who referenced Matt Slick.

    1 Tim 2:11-12 is the only verse that I don’t have a good answer for in my searching. I think that women in authority is parallel to meat sacrificed to idols. There is Christian liberty, but because of the Gentile converts from temple worship and the role that “authoritative” women would play there, Paul recommends that women in those churches take a passive role. However in Timothy, Paul seems to be referencing created order in saying that women should not have authority, which he never does with meat sacrificed to idols.

    Like

  56. Mark, sorry for the confusion. I hadn’t seen Q’s reference to Matt Slick.

    Jon Zen’s wrote a book entitled, “What’s with Paul and Women?” which has helped me a lot. He deals with that weird created order verse (among others). He (obviously) explains it better, but here goes. Maybe you’ve already heard this?

    So, the context of the verse is in the Ephesus Diana/Artemis worship culture where the women in this Artemis cult pretty much kept the boys in line. They taught that Zeus and Leto had twins of which were Artemis (who came first) then Apollos, so Artemis was “created” first before Apollos. Since Paul is bringing the Gospel with these new ways of thinking/relating about male/female roles, including encouraging the women to learn, a false belief of a created order might lead to women again trying to dominate the menfolk. This mythology of Artemis created first was being addressed by Paul in these verses.

    Also, when Paul uses “first…then” it doesn’t imply superiority or importance. It is describing the order/sequence of events.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

    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