Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Complementarians: Answers to These Concerns?

Sam at Unrelated Ramblings recently posed some critisicm to complementarian thought (please read the full post here).

To sum them up in my own words, his two main thoughts are:

1. What purpose does it serve to have women as inferiors in a spiritual/church/home hierarchy when they appear to be quite capable of leadership in every other area?

2. Upon deciding on hierarchal gender roles, doesn't the then required "practical details" list (regarding the specifics of what women can and can't do in the church and home) seem a little more like the old covenant and less like the new?

When I was a complementarian, my answer to the first question would have been that it doesn't matter if women are or are not capable---that's not the point. The point is that Christ and His Church must be exemplified in our lives. That we may have to sublimate parts of ourselves in order to do that is a small sacrifice compared to what He did for us. God's word is to be obeyed, when we feel like it and when we don't, and the Bible clearly says that women are not to be leaders in the home or the church. Whether or not it "makes sense" from our vantage point is beside the point.

My former answer to the second comment would have been that it only feels like "law" if you don't grasp the liberating spirit of it.

My answer now to Sam's post is something along the lines of, "Good post, brother." I think the criticisms are valid points worth talking about, primarily because I think that the complementarian interpretation of Scripture is one optional interpretation, not the only one, therefore questions like Sam's have a lot to do with how a person like myself gauges which interpretations are more likely to be accurate. It's an interesting thing---looking at optional interpretations and judging them. Worth discussing.

Also, especially in the interest of fairness, it would be nice to hear other complementarian responses to Sam's questions besides the ones I imagined myself giving. Thoughts?