Equal and different???

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Over here Dave is attempting the big task of discussing male/female relationship, and particularly the role of men and women in the church, over a series of short posts.

In one of these posts he says

As complementarians we often speak about men and women being “Equal but Different”, indeed a large women-led organisation here has that name. Here’s the thing, though. The “different” part comes across negatively. “Equal” is good, but then we say “but” and so communicate to some that there’s a contrary, negative assertion coming.

But we believe that the distinct complementary roles that God has designed men and women to have are a good thing! So, my friend encourages me, we should speak of Equal AND Different. Both are good things and we should give no cause to understand otherwise.

Good discussion to have. I particularly enjoyed reading Honoria’s thoughts as she comments –

Well, I’m not sure if I like “Equal but Different” or “Equal and Different”. Feels like we are letting someone else set the agenda. The categories are a hangover from another debate, from a different context at another time.

(Maybe it’s just me and another friend at college, but) “Equal” suggests striving to be counted to be the same. Christianity isn’t about asserting yourself, but humbling yourself, being last, a servant. Emphasising “difference” is okay, but what do we gain from that? And it’s not exactly winsome, is it?

I quite like the connotations of “Complementarianism”, because it recognises the wholeness and “good-fit” of both genders, as given by God. It emphasises the harmony and reciprocity of the two genders. Each sex needs the other for fullness, for oneness.

There is MUCH to gain in thinking hard about how the genders God gives us is a gift, which enriches the church body. It’s sad and bland to press the *Blend* button on gender then say: there’s no difference. So what’s so good about the differences between genders and the fact that we have both genders in unity?

Later she very helpfully points of the need for both men and women to be thinking this issue through.

Both men and women are needed to think about doing this partnership WELL.

Complementarianism can be done badly. Towards developing a fuller Complementarianism, it may be good to see the mutual, reciprocal dynamic of the male-female relationship. How one impacts and enhances the other. (As opposed to segregation, individualism.)

May be fruitful to ask TOGETHER: (Preliminary questions: What are the Biblical distinctives for men? What do women need to understand / know about men?) How can women help men to be more godly men and fulfil their roles as men? What are the gender specific ways that men impact on wider church body? etc.

Then ask the same questions about women, again in a mixed setting.

Well said.

My experience of college thus far is that women have thought this through much more thoroughly than men (massive generalisation, I know, and apologise to those men who have thought about this). This is an issue that needs much discussion involving both men and women.

Ironically, perhaps, we seem to hear mainly from men on this issue. As Dave helpfully points out

My point was that there’s a perception that when men write on this they are only “reinforcing their status/privilege/subjection of women”.

When intelligent and articulate women write on this topic it has a far more profound impact. Our opponents can write them off as “brainwashed” but it’s a far harder claim to make.

Since I am a woman here is my 2 cents – I believe that Genesis 1-3, 1 Corinthians 11 & 14, Colossians 3, Ephesians 5 & 1 Timothy 2 clearly show the complementary nature of men and women. I believe that  the egalitarian position is not only unbiblical, but it in fact takes away a woman’s right to be a woman (and a man’s right to be a man).

I am also more conservative on the issue of gender roles than most men I know. I recently got called a ‘crazy conservative chick’. It was meant as a compliment. I took it as one – proving that the statement is true.

Accuse me of hating women…. I dare you ;-)

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62 thoughts on “Equal and different???

  1. Ditto I’m not sold on it….too much white….and do you know what….I reckon too masculine. Let the boys have their white space and make yours equal, different and complimentary and go for something colourful!

  2. Well Katie, I reckon you’re great and crazy conservative chick! I reckon your generalisation about blokes and ladies amount of serious thought isn’t that far from the truth… And one other thing – as I’ve said a millions times, I’d love to poach you from Ould one day when I’m let loose on the world!

  3. I am egal and I also believe in the complementarity of the sexes, but I do not believe a husband is to have a trump card to enable him to overrule his wife. No matter how the trump card is phrased, I do not see it as being the Biblical ideal in marriage. The term “comp” was chosen exactly because the existing terms were seen as too negative in connotation, but complementarity is not the distinguishing characteristic of this teaching, rather gender hierarchy is. You need to ask yourself why the “comp” teachers are not plain speaking.

  4. Thanks for your comments Don.

    I think to say that the husband has a trump card is a misunderstanding of what the Bible says about the husband/wife relationship. Ephesians 5 says that a husband should love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her. Far from being a trump card, this calls a husband to love his wife with a sacrificial love. A wife then is to submit to this loving care, which (in an ideal world) should actually be an easy thing to do.
    I think this has been misunderstood as a negative thing – the trump card being an example of that.

    I also think that submission is often misunderstood – which means that the complementary position is seen a negative thing. A wife’s submission does not mean that the husband can dominate her, nor does it deprive her of an opinion and leave her helpless in her marriage. In other words submission does not equal subjugation. Rather it is a willing submission to a husband who is committed to loving his wife at his own personal cost, following the headship of Christ.
    Actually I think that the husband’s command to love his wife as Christ loves the church is a harder one than the wife’s command to submit to her husband.

    This order that exists within the marriage is a reflection of the order that exists firstly within the Trinity itself, and between the Christ and the church. The husband is to model his love of his wife on Christ. And the wife is to model her submission on that of the church to its head, Christ.

  5. A few warm and rambly thoughts…

    The idea that marriage reflects the Trinity is an idea that is found *outside* of Scripture. It’s often preached and taught as if it was a Scriptural principle (and I, when I was a firm comp, certainly believed it strongly and taught it to others), but…there is no verse to back it up.

    I agree that the ideal is that the husband would love the wife as Christ did. In that same letter, Paul describes Christ’s love for the church…how He raised the Church up to His level and had her rule and reign with Him.

    Wives in Paul’s day were required, by law, to be in subjection to their husband. So were slaves. Paul was not setting forth an eternal law when he told slaves to obey their masters. He was just advocating for not making unecessary waves in society…while at the same time, throwing in the quietly subversive bit about masters not being any better than slaves (a shock, to the original audience!)…

    How can we be sure that Paul’s words to wives weren’t much the same thing?

    Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands….that wasn’t some new decree—that was merely Roman law. But then, he tells husbands a new and radical thing: to think of their wives as their own bodies (as opposed to a lesser-than piece of property)…to love their wives as Christ loved them (the Christ who raised them up and seated them in heavenly places to rule *with* Him).

    If there is any authority being spoken of in this passage, it is authority for the purpose of *sharing* it, as Christ did with His bride, not authority for the purpose of ruling over another.

    I’m a former comp who was badly hurt by comp teachings. I firmly believed comp teachigns and married a fine upstanding man that I met in Bible College. Everythign looked great…on the outside…but instantly, after the honeymoon, everythign changed… Suddenly, I was “property.” Me and my personal things (my car, my guitar, etc)…were now his, and he did what he wanted with them…kindly, but firmly, did whatever he wanted.

    It was the most confusing thing….I struggled to understand it…good nice times, mixed with horrible times…and all through out, the constant reminder of my role to submit and the dangers of rebelling against a spiritual authority…from him, and from the church world around me, and from the books I would get to help me understand how to help my confusing marriage..

    Short story, I then spent years married to an abusive comp minister, who never hit me, never made me “sin,” just hyper-controlled any and ever aspect of my life that he wanted to…if I put my shoes in the wrong place, I was in rebellion and God was displeased with me (so I was told)…everything, every little thing…..and when I went to comp books and teachers for help and advice, confused, not sure, nervous….they backed him up.

    Think about it. The only way you’re allowed to disobey your husband, in the comp framework, is if he is asking you to sin. So…well… If your husband gives you a list of how *exactly* you must clean the kitchen every night before you’re allowed to go to bed, well, that’s not a “sin,” persay, and so…if you want to please God and not rebel against Him, you must obey your husband. If your husband tells you that you must have child after child, even after your body has been broken from too many, too close together, and you’ve had surgery to fix it and are told that you can’t have more without more surgery…then, well, that’s not a “sin,” persay, so you must obey your husband if you want to give God glory. If your husband tells you you’re not allowed to turn down one driveway but must turn in another, well, that’s not “sin,” persay, so you must obey.

    A woman goes crazy in an environment like that. She begins to be destroyed. And the comp camp has no help for her, other than to remind her sweetly that marriage is for holiness, not happiness, and that if she will only submit more, more sweetly, more kindly, then he will be changed.

    But that works about as well as sweet submission to an angry toddler does: it only makes him worse. The very problem is that he is being submitted to….submission only feeds the beast. It makes for no fighting…because no one ever tells him no…so in a sense, it “solves” problems, in that there is never any conflict….but he just keeps getting his way, and like the toddler, it does horrible horrible things to him (and that, in turn, makes things even more worse for the woman). These are basic well-known facts to professionals who counsel abused women…but unfortunately,

    So then the comp camp says, “Well, you’re suffering for God. Don’t worry, you’ll get your reward in heaven…” So your kids get to grow up watching Daddy disrespect Mommy (in fact, Daddy says that Mommy’s aren’t supposed to need to be respected—that only men are respected, see, cuz the Bible says so), and the kids grow up and repeat these behaviors in their own marriages…and that glorifies God how…?

    The wife, in a comp marriage, is only allowed to have the boundaries that her husband allows her to have. So if she is married to an abusive man, to a mentally ill man, to an angry man, she will probably be allowed no boundaries at all. I mean, think about it. Her church tells her that she can’t even say no when it comes to her own body! He can demean her and mock her and not allow her to see what is going on in their bank account….and yet *she* is the one in sin if she doesn’t happily and eagerly perform in the bedroom that night.

    He gets all of it. She doesn’t even have the right to say no to him using her body for his own will, much less her heart, her dreams, her will, her thoughts, her days… She is told, over and over, that this is the way she must glorify God—-that if she says, “No,” or if she says, “Enough, I will go no further,” she will be in sin against God.

    Oh well. She doesn’t even know she can say no, so it doesn’t matter…she’s long forgotten how to trust her own self, plus, she is so confused by all the things he tells her about how awful she is… Thanks to her comp church and the comp books, she is taught that a man listening to a woman was what caused the downfall of the human race. She learns, from CBMW’s comp handbook, that the first sin was probably a wife acting on her own, without first getting her husband’s permission.

    She is also taught that the correct interpretation of Gen. 3:16 is that a wife will always try to rebel against her husband’s rightful authority, so a wife shouldn’t trust herself if she thinks her husband might be wrong….when in doubt, trust the man, because the woman is probably just in rebellion…. All of this only confirms what her husband tells her…

    And so, these wonderfully heralded “complementarian” teachings that everyone claims will set her free, that everyone around her claims are godly and good and right…actually only serve to bind her up tight and hand her to an abusive man, on a platter, with a ribbon…and, out of obedience, she smiles and is sweet in the process….because she just wants to serve God, she wants to love God…

    That was me. That was also many many other women I have known. Comp teaching is always nice, in theory. In practice, married to a sinful man, an abusive man, a man who will take advantage of the weaker party…? It is a slow and painful death. The comp camp has nothing to offer these women…I know…I lived it.

    To me, that says a lot about whether or not comp theology is accurate or not. Because God, in His Word, has a *lot* to say about what He thinks about those who abuse the weak, who take advantage of their power.

    I became an egalitarian, slowly, carefully, when I began analyzing Scripture to see if the egalitarian argument had any merit to it. I started with the egal arguments for Gen. 1-3 and…was pretty much blown away by how much force was there. I’d been reading comp interpretations into Gen. 1-3 for so long, I had no idea they were even interpretations…I thought it was straight Scripture. Ah, how much I’d been reading into the text, as opposed to actually getting from the straight text…

    But I’m rambling. Just wanted to throw my own two, or maybe three, cents in here. I was an ardant fan/crusader/defender of comp teachings. I didn’t just talk, either. I lived it out. And, thankfully, I also lived to tell the tale. That was, perhaps, a miracle.

    Thanks for patiently reading through this… :)

  6. I don’t feel complimentarian is the correct way of understanding the Bible. And sometimes I really do feel a lot of hate from complimentarians towards women who don’t believe in female only submission.

  7. “Equal but different” is what the segregationists said about black people and white people. When what it means is, “we are free to be doctors, senators, CEOs of corporations, and you are free to be porters, janitors, chauffeurs,” that’s not equality. When it means, “we get the nice bathrooms and the clean drinking fountains, and the front of the bus, and you get the dirty bathrooms, the broken drinking fountains and the back of the bus,” that’s not equality.

    When it means “we get to lead the churches and you get to work in the kitchen,” it’s not equality. When it means, “we always get to have the final decision in the marriage, and you always have to accept that,” it isn’t equality.

    When an entire group of people are always, in every situation, in the lower place with the lesser authority, then there isn’t equality. No matter how much we call it that.

  8. @ Molleth – thanks for being willing to share such a personal story. It sounds like you have lived through a lot of pain and hurt and didn’t have people around you who were loving you well and I’m sorry about that.

    Based on what you write, it sounds like your husband failed to love you like Christ loves his church. His behaviour to you sounds like it was not self-sacrificial but controlling and domineering. This isn’t the example that Christ gives us. He does not dominate and control us, but lays down his life for us.

    2 things I would like to respond to.
    First is about male/female relationships and the Trinity. I think we see a glimpse of this in 1 Corinthians 11:3. This verse shows us the headship of Christ over mankind, the headship of a loving husband over his wife, and the headship of God the Father over Christ. The fact that these relationship are mentioned together in this way seems to imply that they are relationship which are the same in some way (although I do think that like all analogies it has limits in similarity). This chapter is particularly focused on headship so it seems to me that the similarity in headship is what Paul’s is displaying here. Having said that this is something I probably need to think harder about – but this is my current thinking on it.

    Secondly – regards to your comments about Paul responding to Roman law and that he is not setting down an eternal law. As Paul outlines the order of male/female relationships he points to reasons that are outside of the culture of his day and that still exist for us now. In Ephesians it is the headship of Christ – wives are to submit to their husband because he is the head as Christ is the head of the church. In 1 Timothy 2 as he discussion gender roles he appeals to creation and Adam and Eve. He doesn’t give reason that relate to the culture of the 1st century.
    Both the headship of Christ and the events of creation are beyond cultural issues and continue to be relevant to us.

    @jlp – I’m sorry that you feel that complementarians hate you as a women. I think these are important issues to discussion and I pray that everyone who endevours to do so will speak with love and compassion and a true desire to speak and live faithfully, and in accordance with God’s word.

    I don’t believe there is any sense in which the Bible places move value on men than women. In fact it clearly states that our salvation and status are equal because in Christ we are one and are all heirs according to the promises of God. (Galatians 3:23-29). Any complementarian who believes women are of less value has misunderstood the position.

  9. @ KR – I’m sorry that you feel like I hold a position that is equal to racism. I can only assume that you don’t understand my views fully. As a woman, I can tell you that I don’t believe I am of lesser value to society or to my church, nor do I believe that any other woman is.

    To say that someone is of lesser value because they work in kitchen rather than leading the church display a thought process that says ‘your value comes from what you do’. For someone to say I have less value because I do not preach at church offends me. My value is not based on what I do, but on who am I. I am a child of God, equal to any other.

  10. Katierae,

    I appreciate the kind tone of your response– but I’m not talking about value. I’m talking about equality. They are two different things. My children’s value is not less than mine– but they are not my equals. They don’t have my rights or privileges in society.

    They will be my equals, when they grow up and are able to exercise the full privileges of adulthood.

    Except that even when she is grown up, my daughter will not be treated as equal to my son in the church. He can go work in the kitchen if he wants to– but she will not be allowed to preach if she wants to. In fact, she will be told she is wrong even for wanting to.

  11. Ok – sorry, my bad.

    I think that the term ‘equal but different’ has value and status in mind. We are equally valuable and of equal standing – but we were created for different roles within church. Sometimes we will want to supersede those roles but that doesn’t necessarily mean its ok to do that. This is something we see in situations outside of this issue as well.

    E.g. In keeping with your example of your kids – you say they will be your equals when they grow up and are able to exercise the full privileges of adulthood. My guess is that they will WANT to be your equal long before that. But there are particular roles between parents and kids that are ultimately best for the sake of both parties.

    I have preached (to women) a few times over the last few years and I have to say I love it. And so I understand that there are women who desire to preach, because I am one of them. However I believe that God’s created roles for men and women are that men are to be the spiritual leaders of the church and of the household. And so, trusting that God knows better than I do and that he loves me, I willingly submit to his word. So I will joyfully take the opportunities I can to preach to and teach women and children – a task which is enormous in responsibility and importance.

  12. Pingback: Character is displayed in actions « kt-rae

  13. katierae,
    yes…I know those arguments. They once were mine. I really don’t care to go into them, but they have some holes. Maybe later, maybe another time, if you are ever interested in reading some egal positions on those verses (there really are some very astute observations in the egal camp regarding passages such as 1 Cor. 11), I’d recommend checking into some egal books on the subject…even if you don’t agree, at least you will be aware of some alternate views from people who highly respect Scripture but see it saying something very different.

    I just wanted to say, regarding your comment that my husband wasn’t loving me…..that, um, yeah, I think he wasn’t representing Christ, too…

    That’s just the point. He was human. How can he love with the selfless love of Christ? How can any human? And even more so, how can an abuser, or a mentally ill person?

    They can’t. They can’t and they aren’t capable of it. …But what does complementarian teaching tell the women? Keep on submitting—that will change him, and if it doesn’t, well, you’re obeying God so it doesn’t matter—-your submission pleases Him, even if it causes you suffering. (Meanwhile, the children are watching…and learning…and losing a mother as she slowly succumbs to a shell of who she used to be).

    That’s nice that you and so many others can say, “Well, yeah, but he did it wrong.” Neat. Again, back to the theory of the thing. Yes, theoretically, he did it wrong. But that doesn’t help the women and the children who are living in these situations. Theory sure didn’t ever help me.

    That’s just it—-complementarianism is a nice theory, but when it’s *applied*, who suffers?

    The weak.

    How does that represent God’s kingdom? Putting in place a hierarchy that causes the weak to suffer? Because, let’s face it… When a good man is a complementarian husband or an egalitarian husband or a whatever-arian husband, he’s still a good man. He will do a fine job being a husband and father. He will do a fine job, in whatever philosophy he is in, because he is a good healthy person.

    But when a not-so-good man is a complementarian husband, taught that he is the leader, that he gets the final say (because that’s all they hear, the abusive man—-they can’t hear the parts about service, because they’re not capable of hearing that, and plus, the part about them being in charge and stuff, it’s in plenty of the books—I have almost all of them, I can give the quotes), he will use that as a tool to harm his wife and their children. He will use it as a tool to keep her in a position of submission to his abuse.

    It’s hard enough for abuse victims to get out, in any situation… But when you add God to the mix, wow. You’ve got the perfect storm. One trapped woman, coming right up, on a platter.

    This is where the rubber meets the road. Nice theory… but in practice, where’s the proof? How does complementarianism help hurting families? It doesn’t, because it can’t. It only helps destroy the families that needed the most help.

    When Jesus came, He wasn’t a nice theory. He was a real, live, tangible practical *change.* The weak and the suffering, WOW, they knew it. They could taste it, feel it, and they followed Him becasue of it. He didn’t just talk—He literally changed lives. I think that a mark of His presence is just that: changed lives. When a doctrine or a position is of Him, I think it speaks, not in words, but in actual practical tangible realities. The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame are made whole again…

    Complementarian theology doesn’t really hurt healthy famlilies, because they were already healthy…so of course, they do just fine with it. They are “complementarian,” but in practice, you couldn’t tell them apart from an egalitarian family: there is an atmosphere of mutual respect, mutual submission, care, honor, love in the air. It is a beautiful thing, a family like that, whatever label they may call themselves.

    But what of the blind, lame and deaf families, figuratively speaking? What of the families where the husband isn’t a healthy person? How does complementarianism set those families free, show them God, glorify the Lord?

    It doesn’t, because it can’t. It does the opposite. It feeds the destruction, tightens the prisoner’s chains and puts out the eyes of those who were trying to see.

    If you are looking for a perfect, air-tight case, don’t look to egalitarianism. Egalitarian theology is not perfect. Neither is comp theology. That’s what the end of my own personal (long time spent) honest researching discovered. I personally found holes in both…some unanswered questions in both, some seemingly conflicting verses in both that had less than perfect answers… They came out pretty equal, as “mostly-tight” ways to view Scripture, as equally valid lenses through which to read and intrepret Scripture. (I was shocked, because I’d always seen egalism as such an UNscriptural viewpoint, but, truly, when you try to see Scripture through the eyes of the egal argument, it shockingly does make a lot of sense, as I already mentioned when I carefully studied Gen 1-3 with an egal lens on instead of the comp one I’d always worn)….

    Anyways, they both came out as fairly consistant ways to view Scripture… So in the end, I had to pick a way of interpreting Scripture that most fit Jesus.

    I knew then that there was no way I could be complementarian again. It just didn’t fit what I saw of the Christ who walked in the Gospels. Any system that works great for the healthy, but hurts those who need a doctor, is not something that fits what the Christian is called to proclaim.

    (((hugs)))) to you, and, again, apologies for your pain at what you read over on the other forum. I want to re-iterate that I think there was a big misunderstanding…what you heard to be a mocking comment was not that, not at all. I’m fairly sure it was a comment born of deep sorrow and regret. :( There’s a lot of pain, for those of us who were once complementarian, and that’s something that many comps don’t want to hear, don’t want to acknowledge, and, in a way, can’t really acknowledge… Regret for zealously following “God’s ways” and then discovering that they weren’t God’s ways and you’ve been destroyed because of your obedience to something God never wanted you to do in the first place… well, it’s just not an experience for the faint of heart…. I hope you don’t ever have to experience what many of us have…but if you do, then, years from now, I think you’ll understand so much better where that comment came from.

    Thanks again for letting me ramble. I have yet to discover the gift of being concise, as is evidenced here… I appreciate your time and your patience.

  14. thanks again for such a detailed and personal response. And thanks for your graciousness and apology

    It makes me sad to hear more of the hurt your husband caused you. If I had a friend in a marriage like that I would encourage her to remove herself from that situation. My complementarian view doesn’t mean that a husband can be abusive to his wife.

    If there is a particular book on Egalitarianism that you recommend I’d be happy to read it

    Isn’t it great that we have a God who loves and cares for us in our weakness, and whose love and grace heals us

  15. My dear sisters,

    I just want to say thank you for all of your responses. They are from the heart, which I truly appreciate.

    I must admit – I am a complementarian. Have I used it to abuse my role as husband? Yes! Have I repented? Everyday! Have I seen husbands who abuse their role? Yes! But I think such a abuse can come from either sides of the argument, whether complementarian (which can lead to domination on behalf of the male) or egalitarian (which can lead to laziness of the male).

    Are we all equal? Yes. Are we different? Yes. At a very simplistic level, I am happy with that – just as long I don’t dishonour my King with the way I treat my wife and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    *End of Rambled thoughts*

  16. If you want to read an egal book, here are some:

    1. Familiar Leadership Heresies Uncovered by Bruce Fleming. The title is a little offputting, but it has great insights into the familiar list of gender verses.

    2. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy (edited) by Pierce, Groothuis, and Fee. This is the comprehensive overview.

    3. Why Not Women? by Cunningham and Hamilton – on women leaders in the church being free to do anything a man can do.

  17. P.S. There is no term “headship” in the Bible, regardless of what some teach. There is a term kephale/head which is used in various ways, the primary meaning is the blob of bone and tissue on top of your neck, all the other meanings are metaphorical and WHICH metaphor is being used is a part of the debate.

    But a problem is that in the 21st century the term head used as a metaphor is almost always seen as boss, but one does not read Scripture as if it were written in the 21st century to us, it was written FOR us but not TO us, the NT, for example, was written to the various 1st century churches and people each book was addressed to. We need to do our best to understand the way THEY would have understood it.

  18. Don wrote “but I do not believe a husband is to have a trump card to enable him to overrule his wife. No matter how the trump card is phrased, I do not see it as being the Biblical ideal in marriage.”

    KT wrote “A wife’s submission does not mean that the husband can dominate her, nor does it deprive her of an opinion and leave her helpless in her marriage. In other words submission does not equal subjugation. Rather it is a willing submission to a husband who is committed to loving his wife at his own personal cost, following the headship of Christ.”

    I just listened to the audio teaching on the CBMW website called “Trinity and Gender: a Panel Discussion.” Wives are told by Bruce Ware that they are expected to obey husbands in exactly the way that Jesus obeyed the father. There are no exceptions unless the husband is asking her to sin. All wives are to obey all husbands in this way, if they desire to please God.

    How does this differ from Don’s trump card? If a husband and wife disagree over any decision at all, a husband at any time can declare “I am male” and in that way secure his own way in the disagreement.

    How does this system not equal domination or subjugation? If a husband can overrule any and all decisions, how does this not leave her helpless? It seems to me this system does not work even in healthy relationships because this system itself is unhealthy.

    Do complementarian women believe that they are always every minute capable of showing sacrifical love to their husbands at great personal cost? Why do they place such expectations on another human because they are male?

    It never ceases to amaze me that men can continually teach women that they are not being dominated, subjugated, or trumped when they are! Such double speak!

    How wonderful that Don could see this self-serving system for what it is! I personally thank God for a wonderful 33 year marriage to a Godly man who claims no special privileges for himself because he happened to come into the world as a male! And for a husband who taught our two daughters that they are no less favored in the sight of God than our son is!

    My heart breaks for all of the women who are hurt deeply by these teachings. The hurt that comes out of these teachings is inevitable, yet it is done in the name of God.

  19. Katie, you seem to be a very nice person, and I’m aware I have been being blunt. I was simply trying to show why I disagree with the statement “equal but different,” in that I don’t think it truly means “equal,” the way most people use the word “equal.”

    I highly recommend “The Blue Parakeet” by Scot McKnight. It’s a fun, fast read, and the main theme is not egalitarianism (which McKnight prefers to call “mutuality”) — it’s about reading the Bible in a way that is consistent on the question of when we are to follow the literal meaning of a passage, and when we discern that cultural factors need to be taken into account.

    Even if you don’t agree with it, it will be an eye-opening read. :)

    For the rest– my children will not always be children, true. I’m sure they are very thankful they can anticipate someday being allowed full adulthood. But it seems very clear to me that when I believed the comp view, I was forever stuck in some no-man’s-land (literally! lol) between childhood and full adulthood. Because of a factor completely outside my control (my sex at birth), I was always and forever denied what any man simply takes for granted. That’s not equality. If my kids were to remain always and forever in child-status, they would never enjoy equality either.

    Once my husband and I agreed that we have equal authority in the marriage, we’ve *both* ended up acting more like responsible adults. I don’t get to be childish in letting him take responsibility for our marital decisions, and he doesn’t get to be childish by knowing in the back of his mind that when push comes to shove, he’s going to end up always getting his own way.

    I’m glad you believe men and women have the same value before God. I’m sure that the nice word “equal” helps complementarian men and women feel better about women’s restricted roles and lack of authority, but it’s only a euphemism. The church never used to even employ it. 100 years ago, women were not men’s equals, and no one pretended they were. Saying women are “equal” now, without changing the way women are ultimately viewed in terms of status, authority, etc., doesn’t change anything.

  20. “As a woman, I can tell you that I don’t believe I am of lesser value to society or to my church, nor do I believe that any other woman is. ”

    I am a woman. I don’t believe that you see me as important as a male human being, even though you say you do.

  21. @ Don – you disregarded the headship use of κεφαλὴ without giving an alternative

    @sdd – I won’t comment on what someone else says for 2 reasons –
    1. I didn’t say it
    2. I haven’t heard the talk and therefore don’t know the context in which it was said

    @KR – thanks for your kind words. I haven’t found you to be blunt (actually I’m enjoying engaging in this even though I am dramatically out numbered – lol)
    I guess the fundamental difference between us is that I don’t believe that to be equal men and women must have the same roles/abilities/level of authority.
    I don’t believe that a husband and wife have the same authority in a marriage, but I also don’t believe that makes the wife less than the husband. It just makes them different. If a husband is properly loving his wife he will be putting her needs above his own and her role of submitting to that loving leadership will be easy.
    I know that you will say that’s an ideal and when sin comes into the equation and it doesn’t work it can go horribly wrong – but we will in a world with its very foundation coming from the ultimate example of ‘when sin comes in it goes horribly wrong’. This will always be the case in everything.

    @jlp – I’m sorry that you feel that way. I can only tell you what I think, I can’t make you believe it

  22. Katierae, to me the issue has to do with whether the difference has to do with an accident of my birth, or due to my own choices.

    I am not “less than” my boss in terms of equality, even though he is in authority over me. Why? Because if I had chosen a different career path, made different choices, I might be boss. He has no rights which are given to him by birth, which I don’t have. We are equal.

    But under complementarianism, though I might not be “less than” my husband in terms of value before God, I am less than him in equality. There is nothing I could ever do, no training that would ever avail, to make me have the kind of authority that is given him in marriage, purely by virtue of his own circumstances of birth. Not only that, but my boss’s authority over me ends when my shift is over. Not so for the husband– he is my authority from the time we get married to the time we die or are divorced. Nor can I get out from under this system by marrying another– because I would still be under my new husband’s authority.

    Inequality that is caused by circumstances of birth is real inequality. To go back to my racism analysis– if there were never anything a black man could do, no training he could take, to rise to a certain position in life– if it had to do with the person he was at birth and nothing else– then he would be unequal to those who by birth were allowed to rise to such a position. Whether anyone said he was equal or not.

    Fifty years ago they tried to make African-Americans believe that they were still equal, even though “separate,” or “different,” but the African-Americans weren’t buying it. Nor should they have.

    Nor do I buy the “equal but different” words of the complementarian.

  23. “to me the issue has to do with whether the difference has to do with an accident of my birth, or due to my own choices”

    I agree that your gender role is not your choice but its not accidental either. God chose you to be who you are in accordance with his will and created order for the world.
    There are times when I wish that I could do some of the things that I see the men in church do so well, but I know that God loves me, and so its to HIS authority that I willingly and joyfully submit, trusting that he knows better than I do. I don’t think that ‘I don’t like it when it goes wrong’ or ‘I didn’t get a choice’ are good enough reasons to disregard the roles I believe God has for me.

    Also – it hasn’t gone unnoticed that this is the second time you have likened my view to that of horrific acts of racism – I think its an unfair comparison and I find it offensive.

  24. Katierae, I am not likening your view to “horrific acts of racism.” I am using the racism analogy to illustrate that I don’t believe the word “equal” doesn’t mean what you appear to think it means. I am not calling you a racist or equating you with one. But because I know that you will understand how “equal but different” doesn’t work when used in that context, I am hoping you will see that this context is equivalent, and that it doesn’t work here either.

    That is what I meant by being “blunt.” I am aware I am doing it; I believe I am doing it for valid reasons. But it is not to be considered an indictment of you.

    I don’t think the Bible says, or God intended, me to be unequal to other human beings just because of who I was born to be. I believe this is a misapplication of the text. As far as I can see, a God who would do this, would not be a just and merciful God who is “no respecter of persons.”

    When Genesis 1 says God created us “male and female” both *together* to “rule over the . . . earth,” and when Paul said, “In Christ there is not male and female,” I believe that’s exactly what was meant. Reading other passages to contradict those truths, just doesn’t fly with me. I apologize, though, for the unintentional, implied insult.

  25. For the uses of kephale/head in the NT that are metaphorical as they do not refer to the thing on top of one’s neck, one first needs to agree that they ARE metaphors and then one can discuss what the metaphor might mean. By use of the word “headship” the decision on what the metaphor is has already been made and so one can easily thing there is no discussion to be had (as its just obvious), when there actually IS a range of possible metaphorical meanings in 1st century context. If you wish to discuss the possible range of meanings of kephale, I am willing.

    Also, the submission of wives to husbands in Eph 5:22 is TIGHTLY coupled to the submission of all believers to each other in Eph 5:21, this is because the inspired Greek has no verb in v. 22, it must be inherited from v.21. As a believer, a husband is to submit to his wife and this is explicit in v.21, v.22 is providing an example of the mutual submission principle established in v. 21 as are all the following examples.

    Because a wife is told to respect her husband, does this mean a husband need not respect his wife? Of course not.

    Because a husband is told to sacrificially love his wife, does this mean a wife need not do the same for her husband? Of course not.

    A Biblical marriage is to be a partnership, not a hierarchy; altho it is possible for a minimalist hierarchy to act in practise like a partnership.

  26. @ KR – Genesis does say that God created male and female in his image, together having rule over the earth – they are equal. It also tells us that it was not good for man to be alone, so he made a helper for him in woman – they have different roles while maintaining equality.

    Galatians 3:28 – there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. To take this and apply it to gender roles is removing it from its proper context. Paul is speaking here of the status related to our salvation in Christ. It comes in the midst of a chapter (or book in fact) speaking primarily of the law which previous separated people in regards to their standing before God. In contrast to the separation of the law, in Christ we are all one, of equal status in salvation. This isn’t a comment on gender roles.

    @ Don – I agree that the submission of wives is linked to the governing instruction for Christians to submit to one another in vs 21. The instruction in vs 21 is given, then expounded. 5:22 – 6:9 show us what that submission looks like in different relationships – husband/wife, children/parents & slaves/masters
    The fact that there is no verb in vs 22 and that the verb is inferred from vs 21 doesn’t diminishing the meaning in any way.

    Also – I don’t believe that partnership and hierarchy are mutually exclusive ideas. In fact I believe that the leadership/submission roles in a marriage require a great deal of partnership

  27. Katie,

    The word translated “helper” in Genesis 3 is “ezer.” It is combined with the word “kenego,” meaning “face-to-face.” The word “ezer” is used throughout the Old Testament, and is usually used to refer to God being humanity’s “helper.” Thus, the word does not imply in the least a position of subordination.

    As far as the passage in Galatians is concerned, the context includes salvation, but the main emphasis is unity. Here it is in full: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis mine.)

    The point is unity. Paul develops it throughout the letter. The greater context of the letter has to do with whether Gentile converts have to observe the entire Jewish law. Paul speaks of how he opposed Peter to his face for treating the Gentile converts differently from the Jewish ones, in Chapter 2:11. You could say that Peter was treating the Gentile converts as “equal but different,” in letting them be part of the church, but choosing to separate himself from them. Paul called this “hypocrisy.” The point was not “There is neither Jew nor Greek– but only in matters of salvation. In other matters, like who we eat with and associate with, we can make distinctions.” Paul instead insisted that Peter treat the Greeks as if they were “all one” with the Jews. I don’t believe he meant any differently when it came to male and female, or slave and free.

  28. Peter’s hypocrisy was that privately he ate with Gentile converts as Christians, and publicly (at least in front of the circumcision party) he separated himself from them as though they weren’t fellow Christians. It wasn’t a case of ‘equal but different’ – it was that in once circumstance he treated them a different way for the sake of appearance in front of his Jewish friends.

    If you are right in your way of understanding 3:28 we must follow this through completely. If we are ‘all one’ in the sense of our roles and responsibilities regardless of gender then we must deny any gender differences. We must relate the same to one another despite our genders, we must have the same emotional reactions to situations despite our gender, there can be no difference between the role of a mother and that of a father etc. If this verse removes some gender differences, it must remove all of them.

    I do agree that unity is also a theme in Paul’s letter. Being complementary doesn’t deny unity, it promotes it.

  29. “If you are right in your way of understanding 3:28 we must follow this through completely. If we are ‘all one’ in the sense of our roles and responsibilities regardless of gender then we must deny any gender differences. We must relate the same to one another despite our genders, we must have the same emotional reactions to situations despite our gender, there can be no difference between the role of a mother and that of a father etc. If this verse removes some gender differences, it must remove all of them.”

    No, we must not do that. :)

    In Christ we are all one, born into one Holy Spirit. But by no means does that mean we are now all the same. Biblical equality does not mean sameness. That’s a rumor meant to confuse.

    The term ‘role’ is a more recent French term for the part an actor plays. We don’t need to play at parts in Christ. We are set free from bondages so that we may grow and mature into the fullness of Christ and all do the works that He did.

    Men and women don’t need to major on our differences in order to get along in marriage. If we rather major on loving one another as Christ loves us, serving one another, bearing one another’s burdens, praying for one another, and so forth, these Biblical principals will help us find a godly unity that frees each to become who they were meant to be as individuals in Christ , instead of trying to become what someone else thinks we are to be. We can do all that and still rejoice in being male and female.

  30. “Biblical equality does not mean sameness.”

    Exactly. What I hear from a lot of the comments made is that unless men and women are the same in authority and actions then we are not equal. But Biblical equality does not mean sameness.

  31. “What I hear from a lot of the comments made is that unless men and women are the same in authority and actions then we are not equal. But Biblical equality does not mean sameness.”

    No one is the same in authority. No one is the same in skills and abilities. But the American belief is that as humans we should all have equal opportunities according to our skills and abilities. And I believe that is Biblical.

    Marriage isn’t about authority. Marriage is about love and working together for common goals. It really doesn’t matter how couples arrange their daily lives as long as it works for them and their family, and helps them mature as human beings.

  32. “the American belief is that as humans we should all have equal opportunities according to our skills and abilities”

    Again – Biblical equality does not mean sameness. I don’t believe that we have to be offered the same opportunities to be considered equal.

    I believe that Biblically we have different responsibilities to fulfill using the skills and abilities God has given us.

    And I’m not American so American beliefs don’t govern my conscience.

  33. American beliefs don’t govern my conscience either. :) But I am blessed to live in a country that makes concerted efforts to treat people as if they do have equal value. I believe that is because the foundation of our constitution was the Bible. Even though we have strayed from that in many thing, in some things one can still see the influence of Scripture.

    The concept of equality is not simply in saying that all have equal value but in treating them as if they do.

    “I don’t believe that we have to be offered the same opportunities to be considered equal.”

    If people are divided into groups (classes) in which some are offered more opportunities and other groups are denied these opportunities, then the divisions are indeed about lacks of equality. One cannot with good conscience say to one group that of course they are of equal value, but nevertheless I am going to deny you opportunities because of who you are.

    “I believe that Biblically we have different responsibilities to fulfill using the skills and abilities God has given us.”

    Yes, of course. We all have responsibilities according to our choices in life: married or not married, the kind of work we choose or don’t choose, and the life styles we choose. But none of this requires that certain people be denied opportunities for kinds of work, ministry, education, and so on. There is nothing in Scripture that suggests that women should be denied things because they are women.

    Although, we all know that there are some Scriptures that have been helicoptered out of their context to support ideas that are contrary to the whole of Scripture. And I believe that is our problem here.

  34. Katierae,

    You say women are equal to men, but that this doesn’t mean women should have the same opportunities as men. You have also said that in certain important areas of life, women are meant to be under male authority, and men are to be in authority over women.

    What I have been trying to do is show how contradictory this kind of thing sounds when it is applied to other groups or classes of people. I understand that the race analogies are offensive to you. So what if we tried plugging two other kinds of groups into the above sentences?

    Commoners are equal to noblemen, but this doesn’t mean commoners should have the same opportunities as nobles. Also, in certain important areas of life, commoners are meant to be under the authority of nobles, and noblemen are to be in authority over the commoners.

    Or:

    Left-handed people are equal to right-handed people, but this doesn’t mean left-handers should have the same opportunities as right-handers. Also, in certain important areas of life, left-handers are meant to be under the authority of the right-handed, and the right-handed are to be in authority over the left-handed.

    It doesn’t make sense to say “equal” and then qualify it like that, does it?

  35. On Peter’s hypocrisy:

    ESV Gal 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong.
    Gal 2:12 For until some men came from James, he was in the habit of eating with the gentiles, but after they came he drew back and would not associate himself with them, being afraid of the circumcision party.
    Gal 2:13 The other Jews also joined him in this hypocrisy, to the extent that even Barnabas was caught up in their hypocrisy.
    Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, “Though you are a Jew, you live like a gentile and not like a Jew. So how can you insist that the gentiles must live like Jews?”

    Peter STOPPED eating with gentiles, that is, he failed to continue in table fellowship with them, this was his hypocrisy, as he knew that in Jesus they were in unity.

    On Gal 3:28, IN CHRIST, we are in unity and there are no differences IN CHRIST, that is, spiritually. Of course there are still physical differences, but that is what they are, physical. And if someone says there is something spiritual that is not IN CHRIST, then I do not want it, and I doubt anyone here would either.

  36. “If people are divided into groups (classes) in which some are offered more opportunities and other groups are denied these opportunities, then the divisions are indeed about lacks of equality. One cannot with good conscience say to one group that of course they are of equal value, but nevertheless I am going to deny you opportunities because of who you are.”

    @TL – this paragraph points out that your definition of equality is to do with value. How can you define a person’s value based on the opportunities they are offered in life? The Bible denies a single woman the opportunity to be a mother – does that me she has less value?
    To say that our value is about what we do, or what we have the opportunity to do, denies that we have value in WHO WE ARE.

  37. “The Bible denies a single woman the opportunity to be a mother – does that me she has less value?”

    I’ll have to disagree. The Bible points out that sex outside of marriage is sin. It is sin for both men and women.

    “To say that our value is about what we do, or what we have the opportunity to do, denies that we have value in WHO WE ARE.”

    And I agree with that. Who we are is human and for those who have accepted Christ, believers. This has nothing to do with denying women opportunities and personal choices in life and giving men all freedoms of choice (outside of sin). The minute you say that because a person is female they are to be restricted from the freedoms that men have, you have lessened women’s value and their equality.

  38. @KR – the situations in which you describe are really nothing more than straw men
    You can’t deny that there situations in which authority and equality work well together. For example – as you have said yourself – your boss has authority over you and yet you are equal to him. Thats because a work place has an order of how things work best – without this order there is chaos.

    Exactly the same thing applies to us. The world hsa a created order. God made man to rule the world together with his helper, women. And Genesis 3 shows us the chaos that comes from the reversal of this order.
    The very nature of how the world was created shows us that God is a God of order. There is order within the Trinity itself – order which includes headship and submission.
    How can we say that submission is bad when it was our Lord’s acts of submission that saved us?

    @Don – yes spiritually we are one in Christ. Galatians 3:28 either has nothing to do with gender roles, or it must deny them all – you can apply it just the things you want.

    Also – I not suggesting that men and women discontinue table fellowship with each other – so I’m not sure of what your point is with Peter’s hypocrisy

  39. “The minute you say that because a person is female they are to be restricted from the freedoms that men have, you have lessened women’s value and their equality.”

    How does it lessen her value?

  40. When we prefer men over women, we lessen the value of women. God is not a preferer of persons. We shouldn’t be either. God loves all people. He died for all to offer all a way for true salvation. Not all accept.

    Jesus came to set all people free, if they will accept.

    Isa. 61: 1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
    Because the LORD has anointed Me
    To preach good tidings to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives,
    And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

    Part of the good tidings is that we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us mature into the fullness of the man Christ Jesus and to do the works that He did and more. Patriarchal thinking proclaims falsely that only the men are to mature into the fullness of Jesus and do the works that He did. In their thinking women are to be men’s diminuitive assistants as they do the work of the Kingdom. This devalue’s women.

  41. “Patriarchal thinking proclaims falsely that only the men are to mature into the fullness of Jesus and do the works that He did. In their thinking women are to be men’s diminuitive assistants as they do the work of the Kingdom. This devalue’s women.”

    I don’t agree with that.

    I believe that men and women both mature into the fulness of Christ and yet serve him in different, but equally important and valuable, ways.
    How does that devalue women?

  42. “I believe that men and women both mature into the fulness of Christ and yet serve him in different, but equally important and valuable, ways.
    How does that devalue women?”

    Because you choose the “equally important and valuable ways” and not the HS. You decide that women’s work is to be such and such and men’s work is to be such and such. This divides the body of Christ into two groups: those who can be used of God in any ways that God choses, and those who can only be used by God in those “equally important and valuable ways”.

  43. On Peter’s hypocrisy, you either miswrote or misunderstand what Paul’s concern was, I was just trying to clarify.

    On gender roles, the word “role” is not even found in the Bible, just like “headship” is not found. By using those terms, you show you have “bought into” the additions to the Bible that non-egals typically make. So I ask you, is the Bible sufficient for faith and practise or not?

    If it is (and I think it is) can we please stick to using terms actually FOUND in the Bible? This can avoid pre-judging things in biased ways.

  44. Katierae, if you think I’m arguing straw men, you are, I’m afraid, completely missing the point I was trying to make. I’m talking about what the word “equal” means. To quote from my favorite movie, The Princess Bride, “Why do you keep saying that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.” *grin*

    If you are going to claim men and women are equal, then their “equal” roles should be either equally restrictive, or equally free. Instead, the men get freedom, and the women get restrictions. And to be equal, authority doesn’t run one way– only from men to women and never from women to men. I would grant your “equal” roles if they really were equal, but they’re not.

    As for the boss-subordinate authority structure, I made it clear that the reason it doesn’t result in inequality is that I had the freedom, at one point in my life, to take the path that would have made me a boss. And my boss could have chosen a path that would make him my subordinate. Neither of us was restricted from choices that could have reversed our roles– but complementarian male-female roles can never be reversed. This makes them unequal.

    Finally, I do not accept that there was authority-submission with the Trinity before the Son took on human nature. It was in his human nature that the Son “learned obedience” to the Father. To say that the Son “submitted” to the Father before the Incarnation implies that the Son’s will was somehow different from the Father’s. And two wills implies two separate gods, not one Godhead in two persons. Relationships within the Trinity are not like human relationships. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. I disagree with the reading of 1 Cor. 11 that would compare this to marriage. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts.

    We are just going to have to agree to disagree. I think we have come to the point where there isn’t any point continuing to talk past one another. So I’ll respectfully sign off now. I wish you well.

  45. @TL – God gives us free will to act inside the boundaries of his word, and a conscience to help us adhere to it. You will disagree with this but in my opinion his word shows us male/female relationships that function in terms of authority/submission and we are free to act within the boundaries of that.

    @Don – the word Trinity is not found in the Bible either…. shall we cease to use it as well??

    @KR – I agree we are at that point too. Thanks for keeping the discussion polite over here :)

  46. “@TL – God gives us free will to act inside the boundaries of his word, and a conscience to help us adhere to it. You will disagree with this but in my opinion his word shows us male/female relationships that function in terms of authority/submission and we are free to act within the boundaries of that.”

    OK, let’s discuss those Scriptures. Perhaps, we can start with you providing a Scripture that says a husband has authority over his wife, to which she must submit.

  47. Ephesians 5:23-24 – “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

    Colossians 3:18 – “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

    1 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”

  48. I am a non-creedal believer and accept the Bible as the revelation of God, my point is simply that if you wish to be a Bible-believing believer, the less you use words never found in the Bible, the less you risk adding or subtracting to the Bible. Jesus said that human traditions can negate the Bible and using words not in the Bible are classic example of human traditions. They may or may not negate the Bible, but why take that risk when you do not need to do so? That is, I really do believe that the Bible is sufficient for faith and practise, do you?

    On your recent verses, 2 of them use a head metaphor, are you interested in discussing what it might have meant to the original readers?

    And in terms of submission, both the husband and the wife are to submit to each other per Eph 5:21, one always should seek the full counsel of God, it is possible to sin (miss the mark) by just taking a partial counsel.

  49. From the portions of the relevant Scriptures you posted it seems evident that you are assuming something that isn’t there. Where is authority mentioned? Where does it say that the wife must submit to authority? And where does it say that a husband must be an authority to his wife?

    Also, Don is correct that two of the Scriptures are portions of “head” metaphors. Ephe. is a head – body metaphor and we need to view the whole metaphor in context. 1 Cor. 11:3 is a bit more difficult to follow but is a chronological listing of events.

  50. P.S. The word “obey/hupakouo” implies authority, this is used for children obeying parents and for slaves obeying masters in Eph 6, for example, but this is NOT what Paul writes wives are to do, or husbands for that matter.

    Another word use is “authority/exousia” in 1 Cor 7:4, but there the authority is symmetrical and therefore mutual in marriage.

  51. Yes, Don. This is true. But even then, not everyone a person chooses to obey the request of is someone who has authority over them. We may obey/heed the request and direction of someone we trust or someone we fear or someone we thinks has more knowledge about something.

    Life does not revolve around authority and submission, leaders and followers. More important life among believers does not revolve around those things. Our life should revolve around Christ and our learning to become more like Him, living as He did, treating each other as He treated the disciples.

  52. Don – I do believe the Bible is sufficient for faith and practice.

    Don & TL – I believe the use of ‘head’ is a metaphor for authority. I’m not sure that there is any point discussing the different metaphors because on this point we will continue to disagree.

    At this time – like KR – I am going to graciously bring the conversation to an end before we start going in circles.

    Thanks for being willing to share your views. I’ve enjoyed engaging with you.

  53. Pingback: Review – The Blue Parakeet « kt-rae

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  56. Complementarianism is patriarchy, pure and simple. And it is driving women away from the Church. I was a pagan for several years because of comp teachings. They destroy both women and men

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