The most common understanding of both Complementarianism and Egalitarianism goes something like this:

Complementarians: Do not let women be pastors over men.

Egalitarians: Do let women be pastors over men.

or…

Complementarians: The husband is the leader of the family.

Egalitarians: The husband and wife co-lead the family, with no priority.

or…

Complementarians: Wives submit to your husbands.

Egalitarians: Husbands and wives are to practice mutual submission.

While I think that these are characteristics of both groups, they are not foundational characteristics that define each group. In other words, I don’t think that they are helpful in defining what it means to be a complementarian or egalitarian and they serve to cause a great deal of misunderstanding that leads to emotional bias that is very difficult to overcome once set.

In fact, I am going to say something very radical here and then explain. Here it goes:

It is possible to be a complementarian and believe that a women can serve in the position of head pastor over men.

Did you get that? Reread it. Reread it again…

Complementarianism is not first defined by it view of the roles of men and women in the church, family, or society.

Here is what Complementarianism is:

Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have God given differences that are essential to their person. Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but often, functionally, take subordinate roles (like the Trinity). These differences complete or “complement” each other. Due to these differences, there will be some things that women are predisposed and purposed to do more than men. As well, there will be some things that men are predisposed and purposed to do more than women. Therefore, there are ideal roles for both men and women that should be celebrated, exemplified, typified, and promoted in the church, family, and society. To deny these differences is to deny the design of God and thwart his purpose.

Here is what Egalitarianism is:

The belief that God has created men and women equal in all things. Men and women are ontologically and functionally equal. The way the sexes function in the church, society, and the family is determined by individual giftedness, not role distinctions according to the sexes. Therefore, each person should be judged individually when being placed in a particular position. We should exemplify this reality by overcoming the stereotypical placement that has traditionally been a part of societies in human history, thereby giving freedom to individuals to follow the path that God has uniquely created them for, whatever that may be. In doing so, we should no longer educate or indoctrinate according to any of the former stereotypes, including those of basic masculinity and femininity.

These, in my opinion, are the foundational tenants of each position without giving examples on how this plays out in the family, the church, or society.

The case I am making here is that in order to be a consistent egalitarian, one must deny virtually all differences that typify men as men and women as women. It is not just about getting women behind the pulpit or the concept of mutual submission in the family. It is much more complex and, in my estimation, more difficult to defend with sensibility.

I had a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary who was an Egalitarian (he left because of this—I won’t mention his name). I loved this guy. Still do. Great teacher, thinker, and Christian. In fact, I had him come speak to our pastoral staff at Stonebriar to challenge us on why he became egalitarian and to defend his position. I wanted the staff to understand the “other side” from a very able defender. During his presentation, he painted himself into this very typical corner that I find most all egalitarians end up. 

He was advocating a foundational principle of egalitarianism: there are no essential differences between men and women other than reproductive stuff. We were all quite taken aback. Every example we brought up, he shot down by giving a counter-example in the form of an exception. His basic argument turned on finding exceptions to everything. Whether it was that men were less emotional, more aggressive, more one tracked in their thinking, less tender, more competitive, unable to nurture as well as women, or even liked the color blue more, he brought up exceptions that he believed neutralized the “pattern”. Finally, I thought I had him. I said “What about physicality? Men are stronger than women.” He would have none of that. He then brought up examples of German women who were stronger than men! We could not stump the guy!

The problem is that in order to defend egalitarianism consistently, he had to deny all of the common sense distinctions that people have made about men and women since the dawn of time. I won’t get into the science or psychology of this issue as there are many very good resources that do this. To me, it is rather bizarre that one would actually be inclined to produce evidence to prove that men and women are different!

I am of the opinion that many egalitarians would have been appalled by Peter who said that women are the weaker of the sexes (1 Pet. 3:7) siting every exception to this rule and bemoaning this stereotype until Peter cried “uncle.”

Complementarianism says that men and women are different by design. We are different and God did it. It is that simple.

However, most people would not be willing to go as far as my former professor. They realize that sustaining a proposition that men and women have no essential differences is a battle that cannot really be sustained in real life (only theoretical ideology). Men and women are different. Even most egalitarians that I know would give me this. Hear this again. Most egalitarians that I know would admit, when push comes to shove, that there are some essential differences between men and women. Most would even say that there are essential differences that go beyond reproduction and physicality. But I would argue that these people are not really egalitarians, at least in the way I have defined it. They would be complementarians because they would have given up what I believe to be a central driving tenant of egalitarianism and embraced the central tenant of complementarianism: men and women are different by design and their differences complement each other.

Now, having said this, I believe that it is theoretically possible to be a complementarian and yet not take a traditional complementarian stand on the issue of women in ministry. In other words, someone could believe that men and women are different by design yet not think that these differences have any bearing on women in leadership in the church. They may be convinced that the Bible does not really teach that women should not teach men, and yet be complementarian in other issues and, broadly, in their theology of the sexes.

I am interested and committed to complementarianism for more than just the women in ministry issue. This is just one application. But (and here is where I get in trouble with fellow complementarians), I don’t think that it is the most important issue in this debate. Neither do I think that it is the most “damaging” issue.

You see, when people are truly committed and consistent egalitarians, they have to defend their denial of essential differences. In doing so, they will advocate a education system in the home, church, and society which neutralizes any assumption of differences between the sexes. In doing so, men will not be trained to be “men” since there is really no such thing. Women will not be encouraged to be “women” since there is no such thing. The assumption of differences becomes a way to oppress society and marginalize, in their estimation, one sex for the benefit of the other. Once we neutralize these differences, we will have neutered society and the family due to a denial of God’s design in favor of some misguided attempt to promote a form of equality that is neither possible nor beneficial to either sex.

We will have troubled men and women groping to find their way and feeling pressured to repress their instincts and giftedness. We will no longer be able to train up men and women in the “way” they should go since there is no “way” they should go. Women can act masculine and men can be feminine. Men can retreat in the face of responsibility because, in truth, they don’t have any “responsibility” other than the one that they choose. This is to say nothing of the implications this has on the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage.

But in a complementarian worldview (even one that allows women to teach men in the church), men are taught to be men and women are taught to be women. They both have defining characteristics. Masculinity and femininity find their place and are exemplified and celebrated. Men protect women from physical danger and take their positions of leadership seriously, without trepidation or fear that they will be seen as power mongers. And women support this. Women take up their positions of nurturing and supporting the emotional well-being of the world. And men support it. No role distinction is seen as inferior because in a complementarian worldview both are seen as essential and of equal importance. Only in complementarianism do we not define the rule by the exceptions and bow to the least common denominator. Only in the complementarian worldview, in my opinion, can freedom to be who we are supposed to be find meaning.

The true spirit of complementarianism is that God has intentionally created men and women with differences and we are to celebrate this in every way. The true spirit of complementarianism is never domineering (that is a sinful corruption). The true spirit of complementarianism provides no shame only freedom. The true spirit of complementarianism speaks to God in appreciation.

When we attempt to neuter this design, we have lost much more than authority in the pulpit.

Complementarians, while I believe that the Bible teaches the ideal that women should not have authority over men in the church, let us promote the true spirit of complementarianism then simply defending its particular applications.

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C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    637 replies to "What Complementarianism is Really all About"

    • C Michael Patton

      Be sure to check out the new poll.

    • Michael T.

      Hmm,
      I find myself at points agreeing with you and at other points disagreeing. I guess from my perspective even acknowledging what you say about their being differences to be true, I don’t see how this changes the egalitarian position that everyone should be judged by their personal ability to perform a certain task regardless of gender, race, etc.

      To give an example outside of the pastorate it appears (I know someone will disagree with me here) that in general men have a higher PROBABILITY of being interested and drawn to the field of engineering. Now despite this I happen to know a women who is a excellent and gifted biomechanical engineer. Should she have been excluded from persuing engineering on the simple ground that women have a lower probability then men of making a good engineer??? Or should she be judged according to how well she performs the task as hand???

      I would of course say the latter, and would see the role of head-pastor, elder, etc. as no different. It may or may not be that men have a natural proclivity to make better head pastors, but even if this is true it shouldn’t change the situation. Each individual case (man or woman) should be judged according to that individuals ability to perform the task presented irregardless of whether or not natural proclivities exist.

      This is no different from my perspective then in the sport of sprinting where individuals of African descent tend to have a proclivity for running faster. Yet people of Anglo-Saxon descent are still free to enter the races and be judged according to the times they put up. Natural proclivity one way or another should never bar an individual from performing a task if they are up to the task.

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael, that is a great point and is a position that one could take. Now, of course, engineering is something that most people would say that natural abilities of men or women are not consequential therefore would not be an issue of divide.

      However, let’s say you decide that while there are differences, we should not celebrate these differences or even encourage them on an individual basis. We, as examples, parents, and educators, in essence, remain neutral as to the development of individuals. At that point, I would say you are an egalitarian.

      On the other hand, if you say that there will be exceptions yet we should, as a society, celebrate and encourage individuals to grow in ways that exemplify what males and females should. Now you would be leaning more in a complementarian direction.

      Complementarians recognize and encourage the the development of people according to their differences, according to the way that they feel will have a greater potential at “success” in contributing to the world, according to the way in which others will more readily respond, and according to the way that they will find greater fulfillment. As well, complementarians want the sexes to develop according to their differences so that they will represent the image of God more fully. In other words, complementarians do not remain neutral.

      But I do see what you are saying in that even though it seems that there is a greater degree of interest in engineering among men. Does this mean that this is a sign of “God’s design”? Where do we draw the line? Who determines what men should not be encouraged to do and what women should encouraged to do? Statistics?

      I would say no. All this type of thing does is tell us that men and women are fundamentally different and encourages us to capitalize on these differences. But in most areas, where the consequences are not there, we don’t put up serious road blocks.

    • Sue

      I think you have made the subordination function of women quite clear.

      Do you believe that World Vision is simply misguided? Do you want to educate the women of the world into the foundational characteristic of our difference – subordination? Here is what they teach,

      “World Vision recognises men and boys must be an integral part of the solution and that women and girls must participate in decision-making at every level: within the family, community, and society.”

      There is so much inequality still between men and women world-wide, that I simply cannot fathom why some men do not want to be part of the solution and support the equality of women in decision-making.

      Its tragic.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, you are right and the definition was not expressed well (I wrote it). I would not say that women are always subordinate to men in all things. In other words, there are certain roles that women, due to the way God made them, will find themselves in such a positions (but being ultimately subordinate to God like all people). However, there might be times when men take on a type of subordination to women, as to when the design of women predisposes them to superiority in certain areas. Men must submit to this. I do.

      Now, of course, most complementarians do see subordination of the wife to the husband due to how they interpret the Bible (but this does not include a submission to abuse at all). As well, there will be a natural subordination of all people in their local church to the authority of the Pastor or elder and most complementarians would say that this position is reserved for certain men.

      But this certainly does not apply to every circumstance. I was in subordination to a women boss at work at a bank. This is not against my complementarian ideology at all. As well, I have been in subordination to women instructors at school. With this, as well, complementarians have no problem. If they do, the are not complementarian, but are shrouding their partriachialism under a different name.

      Hope that clarifies.

    • bethyada

      You are redefining complementarianism, much in the way that some egalitarians have when they refer to themselves as the true complementarians. The acknowledge tendencies for some physical (strength), and mental differences between the sexes—and these are hard to deny, your friend notwithstanding—yet claim this means nothing when it comes to roles in the church and family. And there is now no term to describe the concept that God intends for men to lead in the church and family, irrespective of whether that view is true. Sure egalatarians can hold to differences in makeup and tendencies, and even think that men and women tend to complement each other, but this is not what complementarianism means, it is about roles.

      Related to this is your focus on the tendencies, masculinity and femininity. While I agree these exist, I do not think these are primary, though they are consistent with complementarianism and the fact of complementarianism is likely the reason for the differences. But what if these differences were less marked, either in creation or between a couple? Complementarianism still states that men and women have specific roles.

      Rather than approach church roles by masculine and feminine tendencies, identify the roles and see why men and women were given certain tendencies. Taking your example from your recent post, God doesn’t intend for men to teach (confront error) because they are more confrontational, God made men confrontational because he intends for (some) men to teach.

    • Sue

      Michael.

      Let me review two entries from your glossary,

      Complementarianism.

      “Theological position held by many Christians (contra egalitarianism) believing the Bible teaches that men and women are of equal worth, dignity, and responsibility before God (ontological equality), but that men and women have different roles to play in society, the family, and the church (relational distinct roles). For the complementarian, these roles do not compete but complement each other. Prominent modern complementarians are Tomas Schreiner, Wayne Grudem, and John Piper.”

      This is a fudge because it does not make clear that complementarians believe in the suborinate role of women.

      Egalitarianism.

      “Theological position held by many Christians (contra complementarianism) believing the Bible does not teach that women are in any sense, functionally or ontologically, subservient to men. Women and men hold positions in society, ministry, and the family according to their gifts, not their gender. The principle of mutual submission teaches that husbands and wives are to submit to each other equally. Prominent egalitarians include Doug Groothuis, Ruth Tucker, William Webb, Gorden Fee, and Linda Belleville.”

      Um, who wrote this? Do you agree that this defines egalitarianism but not complementarianism? Just wondering what to make of these.

    • bethyada

      I will add that I think the position that men and women are the same physically and emotionally (sans reproduction) is not a reasonable position for anyone to hold. General tendencies are easily seen, and biological data shows us this is the case. Men have heaps more testosterone than women, and testosterone is hugely anabolic to muscle.

      And we know that oestrogen and testosterone have effects on mental function, both at the development level (in utero and puberty) and day to day use.

    • C Michael Patton

      “Sure egalatarians can hold to differences in makeup and tendencies, and even think that men and women tend to complement each other, but this is not what complementarianism means, it is about roles.”

      It is not about roles FIRST is my point. Saying that there are essential differences will aways lead to implications that men and women may function better in specific roles. That is why roles come into play and this is why it is very hard for egalitarians to concede essential differences…they simply know the logical next step.

      Complementarians recognize this and attemp to capitalize on it through education, encouragement, and direction. Then there is also the Biblical principles which seem to support certian role distinctions which make perfect sense in the complementarian position.

      Sure, you can still say that the ultimate guide is the individual. Complementarians would respect the individual giftedness 90 percent of the time (so they would be very egalitarian in this sense!). But when it comes to the roles that the Bible seems to speak clearly about, complementarians default to the Scripture. Not saying Egals don’t…they just interpret differently, accounting in a different presupposition (i.e. in these cases, egals want gifts to cast the deciding vote because of the “significance” of these issues).

      As well, complementarians would usually be predisposed to have men as leaders in all areas of a certian type of high significance such as rulers of nations, but this is not always the case.

      In the end, that is the point of this post. The foundation is NOT about roles, but about differences by design and these differences have implications.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “This is a fudge because it does not make clear that complementarians believe in the suborinate role of women”

      I just explained that this is not a fundamental across the board characteristic of complementarians. It is an implication only in certian roles.

      I would just use the definitions that I gave above. They are more acute to my thoughts and presentation here.

    • Sue

      Michael,

      you wrote,

      “Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have God given differences that are essential to their person. Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but functionally subordinate (like the Trinity).”

      Is this what you mean? Do you mean that both men and women are functionally subordinate like the Trinity, or should this sentence be rewritten. I do not want to misunderstand you.

    • Sue

      “Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have God given differences that are essential to their person. Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but functionally subordinate (like the Trinity)” |

      Another difficulty is that C’s believe that women are ontologically equal to men, they are equal in their being and essential nature. Why are egalitarians criticized for the exact same belief?

      The only difference between egal and comp, is that egals believe that women are equal in their essential nature and that women should function according to their essential nature. Comps deny that women should function according to their essential nature.

      Egals also do not understand the trinity as a model for a binity.

    • C Michael Patton

      Just to be clear, there is no “official” spokes-person for either complementarians or egalitarians. They come in all breeds and I am trying to be fair here.

      Across the spectrum, from the most radical to the most radical on both sides:

      -matriarchalism
      -hard egalitarianism
      -soft egalitarianism
      -complegalitarianism (how’s that?—I do think there is such a position!)
      -soft complementarianism
      -hard complementarianism
      -patriachalism

      Most Evangelical complementarians that I know of are soft-comps. I do know that there are many of a more radical variety. I also know that men have the tendency to take liberties and misinterpret this as if all men, no matter what, are in priority over all women (more like a Muslim society). I also know that many husbands abuse their authority and “rule over” their wives (after all, this is part of the curse—the “rule over” in the curse carries very negative connotation). But abuses of good principles never nullifies the principles any more than the abuse of the office of a pastor (by men or women) nullifies the office.

    • C Michael Patton

      The Trinity is brought up to show how there can be functional hierarchy and ontological equality. It is in no way an argument for complementarianism, just an illustration of another relationship that exists in a somewhat similar way.

      I will change that since it is so early in the post to clarify.

    • bethyada

      Your combox is eating my comments. Arhhh!

      One cannot reasonably deny there are differences over and above the obvious reproductive differences. Other than the differences being seen and obvious to most people, we know that there are differential effects of hormones on physical and mental traits. Men have much more testosterone than women. Testosterone is significantly anabolic on muscle.

      And testosterone and oestrogen have different effects on brain function, both in the development phase (in utero and puberty) as well as day to day thought processes.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “The only difference between egal and comp, is that egals believe that women are equal in their essential nature and that women should function according to their essential nature. Comps deny that women should function according to their essential nature.”

      Because equality has to do with nature and personhood and does not necessarily have bearing on the giftedness of the individual or sex.

    • bethyada

      In the end, that is the point of this post. The foundation is NOT about roles, but about differences by design and these differences have implications.

      The Trinity is brought up to show how there can be functional hierarchy and ontological equality. It is in no way an argument for complementarianism,

      If we look at 1 Timothy 2 Paul mentions one of the reasons for his rule is that Adam was formed first, then Eve. God makes a man, then a woman to complement him. The roles are primary. The character traits of masculinity and femininity are given because they suit the roles. And in Ephesians 5 we see that husband and wife reflect Christ and the church. Analogies of within the trinity (uncreated) and God and the church (created) are perfectively valid as they are the likely, if not the only reason for complementarianism.

      Christ protects the church (or Yahweh protects Israel), men are therefore to protect their wives, therefore God gives protection qualities to men.

    • Sue

      “Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but functionally subordinate (like the Trinity)”

      My question is whether complementarianism is supposed to be defined by both men and women being subordinate, or just women. Your sentence does not make clear who is subordinate. Just wondering.

      “equality has to do with nature and personhood and does not necessarily have bearing on the giftedness of the individual or sex.”

      So nature and giftedness are unrelated. And women are gifted for subordination but are not by nature subordinate. Just trying to understand.

    • C Michael Patton

      Beth,

      But all we need to infer from these is that God created women with different characteristic which complement man and the implications of which, in some context about which Paul speaks, are that husbands are the head of the wife.

      In society, the principle will still holds true (i.e. different by design), but the implications will play out differently.

      As well, the priority in creation in Tim. may only be some sort of set up for Paul’s explanation about Eve’s deception conta Adam. Very difficult passage to interpret as far as the details, even though some of use see the main point as being pretty clear. That is what the last post was about…the “why?” question. I don’t think we can get clear conformation here.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, I don’t know if you read my earlier comments, but the subordination of women is not across the board. In fact, as I describe, depending on the role and circumstance, men may be required to submit to women. In these cases, it will have to do with position of giftedness. Therefore, in the definition, there is not meant be a suggestion of who is subordinating to whom in what area. The role will have to decide. But there are certian roles, as I said above, that will always have women being subordinate to men. 1) Husband/wife relationship (so long as it is not abusive). 2) In the local church, the people are to submit to the elders/pastors and this is limited to men.

      With this answer, your second question should be taken care of as well.

      OKAY! Really going to be now. Late, late, late. Kristie is MAKING me come to bed and she won’t obey me when I say “no”! 🙂

    • Sue

      I just checked your time zone and am stunned. Whew.

    • bethyada

      Michael, While I think Scripture suggests my point (though disputed by yourself), a problem that arises from your position is that if it can be shown that a particular woman has the specific qualifications that a man needs to teach, then she can teach. You can defer to Scripture, but as you see the role as secondary to the characteristics, the counter to such deferral is that Paul wrote such because these are generalisations, but this woman’s gifting and call does not fit that of a typical woman.

      This problem does not mean you are incorrect, but it remains an issue.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “As well, I have been in subordination to women instructors at school. With this, as well, complementarians have no problem. If they do, the are not complementarian, but are shrouding their partriachialism under a different name.”

      Ha, I love it! But our brethern who fall in the last 2 categories on your list (#12) would contend that for certain courses, it falls under the the purview of teaching scripture and therefore is exercising authority. What strikes me as odd about that position, is that we have Bible commentaries and other Biblically oriented literature written by women that also assist with teaching. This holds true also with the advent of parachurch ministries and the internet. I’m not clear what the difference is unless there are men who refuse to read publications written by women. If that’s the case, I’d say that would be in violation of a whole bunch of passages of scripture in order to protect just one.

    • Tony

      I’m probably going to get roasted for this, but here goes…

      Has anyone every considered that reserving ministry primarily for men is not a blessing but actually part of the curse? Eve was deceived, but Adam was not. Ultimately, Adam threw his wife under the bus to get what he wanted, and then blamed her for it. He failed to lead; he shrank from offering any form of spiritual leadership for his wife and, instead, sold her out.

      The tendancy to shirk from leadership and responsibility and to sell out our wives is, IMHO, one of the hallmarks of fallen men. How often do we simply wimp out rather than take a stand. Alternately, how many times are we complete jerks and then justify our actions in the name of “leadership?” How many men have simply abdicated leadership?

      God will have none of this.

      Have we considered that perhaps women really are better at leadership than men? This may be sorta’ counter-complementarian, but run with it for a moment. Maybe women are better at it. Polls show people are happier working for a female boss than a male boss. Is God’s refusal to allow women to lead the church part of the curse, part of God’s command to us men to learn to lead as He would have us lead because naturally we’re not very good at it? It might be part of God’s upside-down counter-intuitive approach in which the weak will lead the strong and those wretches in desperate need of forgiveness will be counted more righteous than those who need none.

      Church leadership should never be thought of as a promotion but as a demotion. It is servitude, not management. Too much of the issue of egalitarianism and women in ministry seems to treat ministry as a promotion instead of a demotion. The same could be said of leading a family; fatherhood is being a servant.

      My concern with both the complementarian and egalitarian is that too often both lack real humility before God or to appreciate God’s upside-down economy.

      Ok, roast away at me!…

    • C Michael Patton

      Beth,

      No, not really. The reason is because I would say that ideally the Bible teaches that men are always more qualified than women. See my last post about how men are more inclined toward the type of leadership that the pastorate/eldership requires and people respond better to men.

      However, in situations where this is not the case (i.e. there are no qualified men or men simply are not stepping up), yes, a woman would have to step up. This is the case, I believe, in the book of Judges, where men are not doing their job.

    • EricW

      Adam was formed first, then Eve. God makes a man, then a woman to complement him.

      Does the text in Genesis say that – i.e., that the woman was made “to complement” the man?

      Doesn’t it say that YHWH Elohim felt (the) Adam needed someone corresponding to him, not necessarily someone complementary to (i.e., completing) him?

      Was (the) Adam incomplete without the woman? Or was it that he was primarily alone/solitary/only?

      Was (the) Adam made “complete” by the forming of the woman?

      Or is it that a woman does not make a man “complete,” nor does a man make a woman “complete,” but rather “man-with-woman” is what is “complete”?

      But this indeed would mean that man complements woman, and woman complements man – not in the sense of completing each other so each one can then be whole and complete beings in their own selves and in their own right, but in the sense that neither of them is complete by themselves in relation to whatever they are to relate to (i.e., God, creation, nature, whatever). They can only function as “complete” beings when they are in a man-with-woman relationship. And then they are not operating as complete beings with respect to each other (i.e., a complete man vis-a-vis a complete woman) so much as with respect to what man (generically/collectively) as male and female is supposed to be.

      Maybe I’m just quibbling over or toying with words. 🙂

      But since Paul says that this man-woman thing is with respect to Christ and the church, what are the meanings/implications of complete man(kind) = man with woman for leadership and offices and roles and functions in the church – esp. since with respect the Christ we are all his female bride?

    • Borden S.

      You’ve hit on a very discussion-worthy topic!

      You’ve successfully defined me into the complementarian camp, which is fine with me. I wonder, however, what to do with a progressing scientific and psychological understanding that gender is not nearly so… binary as we have traditionally defined it. Masculinity and Femininity are, I think, recognizable and distinct qualities, but they are not very cleanly divided by male and female today. Is this because of a secular failure to teach men to be masculine and women to be feminine, or partially the result of not insisting that women limit themselves to a submissive form of femininity?

      I guess what I’m torn about is that the egalitarian camp has the advantage of knowing what to do with those who feel they were born of the wrong gender (some, genetically, are), or who strongly (and seemingly quite naturally) reject their gender status. It’s easier for the egalitarian to see gender as a spectrum, as the modern world would have us do with both gender and sexuality. What’s a complementarian to do? Do we insist on matching masculinity with the male gender without exception? If not, why would some women not be qualified to teach men, provided they the possess the requisite masculinity?

      – Borden

    • EricW

      (I was timed out while editing the last paragraph)

      But since Paul says that when he is writing about this man-woman one flesh thing, he is speaking with respect to Christ and the church, what are the meanings/implications of the nature of a “complete” man(kind) (= man with woman) for leadership and offices and roles and functions in the church – esp. since with respect the Christ we all – both men and women, or simply any man or any woman – are alike members of His one body as well as of one another (i.e., a man in Christ is just as much a member of another man in Christ as he is of a woman in Christ, and vice-versa) and together form His one female bride?

      What is the church on earth to outwardly express in terms of looking like the Body of Christ: A male-female differentiated society? One in which there are few if any distinctions between men and women, slaves and freemen, Jews and gentiles, etc.? Or what?

    • Kay

      “But in a complementarian worldview (even one that allows women to teach men in the church), men are taught to be men and women are taught to be women. They both have defining characteristics. Masculinity and femininity find their place and are exemplified and celebrated. Men protect women from physical danger and take their positions of leadership seriously, without trepidation or fear that they will be seen as power mongers. And women support this. Women take up their positions of nurturing and supporting the emotional well-being of the world. And men support it. No role distinction is seen as inferior because in a complementarian worldview both are seen as essential and of equal importance. Only in the complementarian worldview, in my opinion, can freedom to be who we are supposed to be find meaning.”

      It is not “freedom” when someone else is defining what that supposed “freedom” is for you.

      “The true spirit of complementarianism provides no shame only freedom.”

      Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the true spirit of complementarianism provides certain “freedoms” it chooses for you?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      “He was advocating a foundational principle of egalitarianism: there are no essential differences between men and women other than reproductive stuff. We were all quite taken aback.”

      I’d be taken aback too.

      The problem is that in order to defend egalitarianism consistently, he had to deny all of the common sense distinctions that people have made about men and women since the dawn of time.”

      It’s amazing the lengths that people will go to rationalize an unblblical agenda.

      Dallas Theological Seminary was correct in removing this leaven from their faculty.

    • Kay

      “Christ protects the church (or Yahweh protects Israel), men are therefore to protect their wives, therefore God gives protection qualities to men.”

      Bethyada,
      You fail to take into consideration that all men are not physically able to do such a thing. Your illustration does a great injustice to our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ. I can never imagine God setting up such a paradigm for failure for the men in that position. Imagine being a wheelchair bound husband hearing that as a sermon illustration?

      It would be more accurate to say that God gives protection abilities to some men.

    • Jon

      Michael,

      I find your definitions to be a bit too black and white.
      Few people live comfortably inside such a clearly defined box. To suggest that one must choose one and exemplify it to the hilt in order to be consistent is…well, a bit silly, I think.
      What is wrong with taking a hybrid approach that alllows us to more easily take the path of humility in walking out our beliefs (a more pragmatic approach)?

      as far as men being more inclined towards leadership in the Bible…The culture was patriarchal. Would we expect something different to be represented?

    • Kay

      “Complementarianism says that men and women are different by design. We are different and God did it. It is that simple.”

      I can agree with you on this. What I cannot agree with is complementarians defining exactly how each sex should be acting according to “roles” you have appointed to each.

      If this supposed “spiritual” concept does not work for all – then it cannot be a “spiritual” law – as is the case for our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ or our sisters who have no natural nurturing inclination or those unable to bear children.

    • Kay

      ” As well, complementarians want the sexes to develop according to their differences so that they will represent the image of God more fully.”

      c michael,
      What would you suggest that our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ or our sisters who have no natural nurturing inclination or those unable to bear children, do to develop themselves so that they may represent the image of God more fully?

    • Kay

      “Men protect women from physical danger and take their positions of leadership seriously, without trepidation or fear that they will be seen as power mongers. And women support this. Women take up their positions of nurturing and supporting the emotional well-being of the world. And men support it.”
      c michael,
      This is just not possible for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is setting up a paradigm for failure in your “role.”

    • Kay

      “Theological position held by many Christians (contra egalitarianism) believing the Bible teaches that men and women are of equal worth, dignity, and responsibility before God (ontological equality), but that men and women have different roles to play in society, the family, and the church (relational distinct roles).”

      c michael,
      I believe that the Bible teaches that men and women are of equal worth, dignity, and responsibility before God, no “but”s. Whether or not that person can lift one finger for themselves or “play” a certain “role,” they are fully representing God’s image.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      CMP: “When we attempt to neuter this design, we have lost much more than authority in the pulpit.”

      True, dat.

      Egalitarians defacing and marring God’s Divine Design for biblical patriarchy causes individuals, families, churches, and the culture to lose a lot.

    • Sue

      Tim Keller has a paper on the role of women. He explains at length that in society, power must be organized democratically although the ideal is a rule submission relationship, which would be like a monarchy. His reason for democracy in society is sin. He writes,

      “In summary, the pattern of rule-and-submission is greatly muted in society because of sin. People abuse authority, so politically, all authority must be elected authority—and all individuals must have access to places of authority.”

      But in marriage he affirms rule submission.

      Now my question is why he does not admit that there is sin in marriage. He does not want men to suffer the abuses of a non-democratic government and affirms that they must have access to places of authority.

      But in the home, where we spend so much of our time, there is no mention of abuse by Keller and no mention that authority must be elected.

      Given the reality, that spouses are abused all the time in the home, and this is the locus of the greatest amount of suffering in all societies, it seems callous to put women under men, and thereby assure women that the suffering they experience in the home is in accordance with God’s will for a rule submission relationship.

      Since the Bible always presents imperial power, or monarchy as a power which the Christian must submit to, I find it galling that men have ensured that they live in a democracy with access to the places of authority, and women live in subordination. Why are women uniquely asked to bear the greater suffering?

    • Kay

      “In the end, that is the point of this post. The foundation is NOT about roles, but about differences by design and these differences have implications.”

      c michael,
      O.k., so now you say it is not primarily founded on “roles”, so then are we to assume that our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ or our sisters who have no natural nurturing inclination or those unable to bear children are faulty by design?
      What are the implications of that?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      CMP: “Every example we brought up, he shot down by giving a counter-example in the form of an exception. His basic argument turned on finding exceptions to everything.”

      Dear CMP,

      You see this phenomena happening again in this very thread. You have the advantage of being experienced in dealing with this.

    • Kay

      “I also know that many husbands abuse their authority and “rule over” their wives (after all, this is part of the curse—the “rule over” in the curse carries very negative connotation).”

      c michael,
      You know this “rule over” is part of the curse, but want to keep women under it – so, for what did Christ come? To make the “rule(r) over” more benevolent?

    • Chris

      I think that you have a pretty good take on complementarianism, although I think it is in some ways commonsense, ultimately scripture and the nature of God point to roles, at least for certain positions of leadership. Also I think it is important to remember that Christ’s method of leadership requires the leader become a servant, be extremely loving and in a way submissive to the people being led, and is also accountable to God. So yeah, in general, men should be in leadership positions, as long as it is a biblical leadership model.

    • NDDC

      “Now my question is why he does not admit that there is sin in marriage. He does not want men to suffer the abuses of a non-democratic government and affirms that they must have access to places of authority.

      But in the home, where we spend so much of our time, there is no mention of abuse by Keller and no mention that authority must be elected.”

      How might the authority be elected in the marriage? Don’t you need a majority to elect? Thats why God gave authority in that area of our lives, to bless us not to curse us. Yes, sin has messed everything up, but that does not mean we get rid of the original intent.

    • Sue

      And a little less painful. If only it did.

    • Kay

      “If we look at 1 Timothy 2 Paul mentions one of the reasons for his rule is that Adam was formed first, then Eve. God makes a man, then a woman to complement him. The roles are primary.”

      bethyada,

      Genesis 1:27-28 says this: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
      God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

      Also, as c michael has acknowleged, Adam’s “rule over” is part to the curse, not part of the design.

    • cherylu

      Kay and Sue,

      Do you believe that all effects of the curse are reversed for the Christian while still in this body on this earth? That is the only way your argument will work. Or are there some aspects of the curse that will only be reversed when Jesus returns?

      I’m not trying to change topics here, just trying to clarify how your logic in # 38 and # 39 are working.

    • #John1453

      “It is not about roles FIRST is my point. Saying that there are essential differences will aways lead to implications that men and women may function better in specific roles.”
      Umm, no. I deny the premise that essential differences will always lead to implications that men and women may function better in specific roles. Since “head pastor” is a leadership role, let’s focus on leadership. There is no evidence whatsoever that men function better than women in positions of leadership. On an anecdotal basis I have met, and also know, many women who have made excellent leaders, so in terms of ancedotal evidence for male leaders it’s a draw (both sides can point to good and bad leaders of both sexes). But what about the science? In this post and the next I will present the evidence that supports the conclusion that the following is a fact: women are equally as good leaders as men, and likely better”.

      Caliper, a Princeton, New Jersey-based management consulting firm, and Aurora, a London-based organization that advances women, conducted a year long study in 2005 of women leadership. Caliper has assessed the potential of more than two million applicants and employees for over 25,000 companies around the world as part of its management consulting practice, and Aurora, a comprises a 20,000 member businesswomen’s network. The title of the final paper is “The Qualities That Distinguish Women Leaders”.

      The Caliper paper described its methodology as follows: “while much research has been published comparing the leadership styles of women and men, this study specifically focused on the personality qualities and motivational factors which are at the core of the underlying gender differences. This study included a valid and reliable personality assessment, the Caliper Profile, as well as a demographic analysis and in-depth interviews with 59 women leaders from some of the top companies in the United Kingdom and the United States . . .

    • Don

      The subtitle of “Discovering Biblical Equality” is “Complementarity Without Hierarchy”

      This is because many egals see the term Complementarian as obfuscating and NOT straight talking, something believers are NOT to do. This is because the term was invented by some male hierarchicalists as a way to try to better “sell” the idea of gender hierarchy. There are reports of those at those meetings where they were trying to come up with a term that did not have such negative connotations as patriarchy or similar.

      So most egals DO believe in the complementary nature of the genders, what they deny is the gender hierarchy. This is my position.

      One way non-egals try to push back against egals is to claim egals want “equivalence” of genders, that is, the claim that to be consistent, egals need to claim there are no distinctions between genders, except for obvious ones. This is a bogus claim by non-egals for the most part.

      My concern is that there seems to be a lot of smokescreen stuff that is put out be non-egals, to NOT discuss the dividing issue, which is whether new covenant believers are to be in a gender hierarchy or not.

    • #John1453

      “. . . These women came from 19 different business sectors; . . . For comparison purposes, the women leaders in this study were matched to a representative sample of male leaders drawn from Caliper’s database, representing similar job titles.”

      The study came to the following conclusions: “Women leaders are more assertive and persuasive, have a stronger need to get things done and are more willing to take risks than male leaders . . . Women leaders also were found to be more empathic and flexible, as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts. ‘These qualities combine to create a leadership style that is inclusive, open, consensus building, collaborative and collegial,’ according to Herb Greenberg, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Caliper. ‘We should emphasize that the male leaders in this study were also exceptional in these areas. But the women leaders set a new standard,’adds Dr. Greenberg.”

      The paper also concluded that, “The women leaders scored significantly higher than male leaders in ego-drive (persuasive motivation), assertiveness, willingness to risk, empathy, urgency, flexibility and sociability. The strong people skills possessed by women leaders enable them to read situations accurately and take in information from all sides. This willingness to see all sides of a situation enhances their persuasive ability. They can zero in on someone’s objections or concerns, weigh them appropriately, address them effectively and incorporate them into the grander scheme of things when appropriate. These women leaders are able to bring others around to their point of view or alter their own point of view— depending upon the circumstances and information they uncover. They can do this because they genuinely understand and care about where others are coming from. This allows them to come at a subject from their audience’s perspective, so that the people they are leading feel more understood,…

    • #John1453

      “They can do this because they genuinely understand and care about where others are coming from. This allows them to come at a subject from their audience’s perspective, so that the people they are leading feel more understood, supported and valued.”

      The Caliper study findings are summarized into four specific statements about women’s leadership qualities:

      1. Women leaders are more persuasive than their male counterparts.

      2. When feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an “I’ll show you” attitude.

      3. Women leaders demonstrate an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and decision making.

      4. Women leaders are more likely to ignore rules and take risks.

      In her book “Why the Best Man for the Job is a Woman: The Unique Female Qualities of Leadership”, author Esther Wachs Book examines the careers of fourteen top female executives – among them Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay – to learn what makes them so successful. What she discovers echoes the Caliper study, including a willingness to reinvent the rules; an ability to sell their visions; the determination to turn challenges into opportunities; and a focus on ‘high touch’ in a high tech business world.

      And what about men? The Caliper study found that ““The male leaders we’ve studied, on the other hand, have a tendency to start from their own point of view,” explains Dr. Greenberg. “And because they are not as flexible or willing to interact with others, the male leaders may tend to force their perspective and convince through the strength of their position…rather than actually persuading. The male leaders we studied run the risk of not necessarily convincing people to agree with them so much as pushing for their point of view.”

      The above establishes my premise that men are not naturally better leaders than women, and refutes the contradictory premise in the lede.

    • Kay

      “Church leadership should never be thought of as a promotion but as a demotion. It is servitude, not management. Too much of the issue of egalitarianism and women in ministry seems to treat ministry as a promotion instead of a demotion.”
      Tony,
      I couldn’t agree more!

    • EricW

      40. Kay on 18 Feb 2010 at 10:17 am #

      “If we look at 1 Timothy 2 Paul mentions one of the reasons for his rule is that Adam was formed first, then Eve. God makes a man, then a woman to complement him. The roles are primary.”

      bethyada,

      Genesis 1:27-28 says this: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
      God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

      Also, as c michael has acknowleged, Adam’s “rule over” is part to the curse, not part of the design.

      Kay:

      It seems that for the sake of his argument, the author of 1 Tim 2 is strictly referencing the Genesis 2-3 creation and fall accounts, and seems to be ignoring the Genesis 1 creation account, as well as any implications raised by the joint creation and joint rulership statements there.

      It would be interesting to ask the author of 1 Timothy: “But what about Genesis 1:26-30?” (Especially since 1:29 suggests that Eve was also given the instructions about what they may eat, contrary to some who suggest that only Adam was told these things by God, and he then told them to Eve, who went on to “add to” what God had said in her conversation with the serpent because she herself had not directly heard it from God, and this second-hand hearing was part of the reason for her deception.)

      Assuming that the man and woman in Genesis 1 are the same as the couple in Genesis 2-3, of course….

    • #John1453

      Is the type of leadership identified by Caliper welcomed by society and by the public and private sector?

      2008 Pew Research Publications (“A Paradox in Public Attitudes Men or Women: Who’s the Better Leader?”) made the following observations about women leaders:

      “Americans believe women have the right stuff to be political leaders. When it comes to honesty, intelligence and a handful of other character traits they value highly in leaders, the public rates women superior to men, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey.” Paradoxically, however, “Nevertheless, a mere 6% of respondents in this survey of 2,250 adults say that, overall, women make better political leaders than men.”

      “In the survey, the public cites gender discrimination, resistance to change, and a self-serving “old boys club” as reasons for the relative scarcity of women at the top. In somewhat smaller numbers, respondents also say that women’s family responsibilities and their shortage of experience hold them back from the upper ranks of politics and business.

      What the public does not say is that women inherently lack what it takes to be leaders. To the contrary, on seven of eight leadership traits measured in this survey, the public rates women either better than or equal to men.

      For example, half of all adults say women are more honest than men, while just one-in-five say men are more honest (the rest say they don’t know or volunteer the opinion that there’s no difference between the sexes on this trait). And honesty, according to respondents, is the most important to leadership of any of the traits measured in the survey.

      The next most important leadership trait, in the public’s view, is intelligence. Here again, women outperform men: 38% of respondents say women are smarter than men, while just 14% say men are smarter, and the remainder say there’s no difference between the sexes.

    • #John1453

      Further results from the Pew survey:

      Men and women tie on two of the next three traits on the public’s ranking of leadership qualities measured in this survey — hard work and ambition. Men prevail over women on decisiveness (their lone “victory” in the battery of eight traits), with 44% of respondents saying that men are more decisive and 33% saying women are.”

      Is this type of leadership needed in the world?

      Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, the World YWCA Secretary General, says attitudes toward leadership are changing, and what women offer is essential:

      “Domination as a leadership style is becoming less and less popular. There is a new growing appreciation of…those traits that women use to keep families together and to organize volunteers to unite and make change in the shared life of communities. These newly admired leadership qualities of shared leadership; nurturance and doing good for others are today not only sought after but also indeed needed to make a difference in the world….A feminine way of leading includes helping the world to understand and be principled about values that really matter.”

      And so where did the American archetypal myth about leadership and the allegedly “essential” qualities of leadership come from? Why was it culturally assumed until recently that men were naturally better leaders? Is this a Biblical or pagan archetypal script? Pagan.

      T. William Altermatt, Ph.D. conducted research and wrote a paper titled, “The Chivalry Script and Stereotypes about Women”

      He writes: “In my research, I examine a cultural script that I have labeled “chivalry,” characterized by themes of men protecting and providing for women. Chivalry as a cultural phenomenon is unusual in that it is possible to pinpoint its origins with considerable accuracy. In the 11th century, the medieval knights who had once protected Europe against Viking invasion jeopardized the social order through continuous warfare among themselves. In an effort to…

    • cherylu

      Kay and Sue,

      Since you haven’t answered my question, let me just make this observation. I see no evidence that the curse put on man has been lifted for a Christin male. He still has to work hard to make a living and if he is a farmer, the ground doesn’t automatically produce any better for him then the ground of his unbeliving neighbor does! So why do you assume that the curse given to women has automatically been lifted? And for that matter, Christian women still experience great pain in childbirth do they not? If that part of the curse hasn’t been lifted, why do you assume the other aspects of it have?

      I’m sorry, but I don’t think that part of your argument holds up at all.

    • #John1453

      [continuation of Altermatt’s research} “In an effort to control the knights, the Roman Catholic Church reconstructed the knight�s role to include the protection of women, the weak, and the oppressed. During the Crusades, the role of knight (who literally is chivalry, a word derived from the same root as cavalry) was transformed from brutal mercenary into, in the words of Pope Urban II, “the true soldiery of Christ.” Over the centuries, the military and equestrian aspects of chivalry faded and gave way to a script describing gallantry, bravery, and deference to women. Chivalry�s survival from the 11th to the 20th century can be seen in its employment as an explanation for sex differences in aggression (Eagly & Crowley, 1986), helping (Eagly & Steffen, 1986), and the sentences and conviction rates of criminal defendants (Steffensmeier & Kramer, 1982). Despite its invocation as a post-hoc explanation of sex differences, little research has been done to explore the chivalry script or to assess, quantitatively, its influence on behavior.

      Chivalry: Discrimination or Respect?

      The chivalry script leads men to behave toward women in a way that is different from the way they would treat other men � a pattern of behavior that fits the definition of discrimination. But does this discrimination have negative consequences for women? Perhaps chivalry is a gesture of respect that acknowledges the differences between men and women and affirms the positive traits associated with women. On the other hand, if chivalry is interpreted as assistance, then perhaps chivalry helps to perpetuate the stereotype that women are less competent and independent than men are.

      Research that I have conducted indicates that the chivalry script is related to both of these beliefs, which I separate into two stereotypes about women, one negative and the other positive: . . .”

    • Kay

      cherylu,
      How much of the curse should we hold dear? Hmm… So, how much of the curse should we go against? Should men be allowed to work without sweat on their brow? Should men be allowed to use weed killer on crops? Should women be allowed pain medication during childbirth?

    • cherylu

      Kay,

      I was not saying that we should “hold dear” any of it. What I am saying is that the basic realities of the curse are still there–God hasn’t automatically changed any of those facts of life for Christians since Jesus death and resurrection. So I don’t believe that you can say that He changed the part of the curse that you are referring to either. They are all basic realities that have to be dealt with on a daily basis by all of us in this life. Unless I understood you wrongly, you seemed to be saying that Jesus died to remove the curse at the present time so what CMP said no longer had any application.

    • Hodge

      “So nature and giftedness are unrelated. And women are gifted for subordination but are not by nature subordinate. Just trying to understand.”

      Sue, I think that you are jumbling up nature, personhood, and personality all into one thing: nature. The woman is equal in nature to the man (i.e., they are both humans). The woman is not the same in her personhood to the man, which stems both from her nature and her gender. The woman’s personality is based on beliefs, education, personal gifting, etc.

      I would argue that mental, spiritual abilities stem from her human nature, her personhood is expressed in her role, and her personality is to be used to express both. If she uses her personality (e.g. her personal gifting) to express the man’s role (and it will be one or the other, as I think is evident within our culture) then she loses her distinct personhood. This is why I don’t like egalitarianism. It destroys the woman, as a woman, and replaces her with a man.

    • #John1453

      [continued] “Research that I have conducted indicates that the chivalry script is related to both of these beliefs, which I separate into two stereotypes about women, one negative and the other positive: the belief that women are less agentic (less able to effectively achieve goals and wield authority) than men; and the belief that women are more “virtuous” (morally responsible) than men. The negative stereotype might explain why chivalrous behavior is required: men should take care of women because women are not able to take care of themselves. The positive stereotype might explain why chivalrous behavior is deserved: men should take care of women because women are angelic creatures who deserve to be put on a pedestal.

      . . . questions: 1) do chivalrous beliefs co-occur with these two stereotypical beliefs, 2) do chivalrous individuals discriminate in favor of women who conform to these stereotypes, and . . .

      Conclusions:

      1. chivalrous beliefs do appear to co-occur with the four stereotypical beliefs.

      2. This question . . . considers the possibility that . . . stereotypes . . . not only describe the way that women are but that also prescribe the way that women should be. . . . Violation of prescriptive stereotypes is likely to result in negative evaluations and a loss of the privileged status that chivalrous men afford to women. three studies provide evidence that the chivalry script is not for all women, but only for women who conform to expectations of high virtue and low agency. This finding is meaningful because it provides additional support for the hypothesis that chivalry is related to these two stereotypes about women and because it suggests that chivalry is not quite as “nice” as it is often made ouout to be. Chivalry is not indiscriminate politeness; rather, it is shown only to women who are “virtuous” enougenough to receive it and who do not exceed expectations for female agency.”

    • Hodge

      “It seems that for the sake of his argument, the author of 1 Tim 2 is strictly referencing the Genesis 2-3 creation and fall accounts, and seems to be ignoring the Genesis 1 creation account, as well as any implications raised by the joint creation and joint rulership statements there.”

      Kay,

      Why would Paul (I take it you don’t believe in Pauline authorship) use Gen 1, which has to do with the relationship of the man and woman to creation when Gen 2-3 has to do with the relationship of the man and woman to one another? The latter is his subject, not the former.

    • Hodge

      It’s good to know that the curse is reversed and we no longer have to work with stress and women no longer have pain in childbirth. The best is that no one has to die anymore. I wish it were true. BTW, I don’t think this is part of the curse, but a provision. That’s the dispute over this passage. Is God saying that the woman will seek the man’s authority (or is that not part of the curse conveniently), but the man will retain his God-given authority over her in order to save her life? Or is it saying that she will desire his power, but he will tyrannically rule over her? The word mashal doesn’t bear the latter out.

    • #John1453

      Thus far in this thread the evidence establishes the following facts:

      1. Women are at least as equally effective leaders as men
      2. In many respects women are better leaders than men
      3. Leadership is not a role that is more well suited to men than women
      4. Leadership is not role that defines either men or women
      5. The perspective that men are more natural leaders is a cultural phenomenom that can be traced to a specific historical period
      6. Americans admire the traits that are associated with women leadership

      The alleged facts in the lede, supported only by anecdotal evidence and dependence on pagan cultural stereotypes, have been disconfirmed.

      I conclude that nothing of substance remains of the argument set out in the lede.

      regards,
      #John

    • mbaker

      I’m wondering what to do with the scripture in I Corinthians 11:11-12 in relation to this post:

      “But in relationships among the Lord’s people women are not independent of men and men are not independent of women. For although the first woman came from man, all men have been born from women ever since, and everything comes from God”

      Paul does not seem to be making women unequal to men here, but seems to be making a point that we are dependent upon each other. His illustration here of both sexes being subordinate to God does not seem to make a clear case for the complimentarian definition, presently used by the church at least, but instead seems to make more for the case of God being more equal in his views of the sexes than we humans are willing to concede.

      I believe God’s word that women should not teach men in the church, but not for the reasons stated in this post. Practically speaking, a strictly literal application of it does present some difficult issues however. For instance, does women not teaching in the church apply to the children in Sunday School and Children’s Church, where we see women put in positions of authority over both males and females? If so, where is the cutoff?

      In our women’s ministry we often had husbands attend our functions with their wives. Were we, and are women who presently have similar ministries supposed to say to the guys : ” Sorry you can’t come, because women aren’t allowed to teach men in the church.” ?

      Are female missionaries in foreign fields then supposed to not hold church services for both men and women in their area?

      The thing is most of the church already makes exceptions. You may have a male pastor in the sanctuary and all female teachers in another part of the church teaching children of both sexes. This goes on every Sunday in most churches , so I think to claim literal translation of this as a spiritual guideline, but then in fact practice something else is hypocritical.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      John1453: “The alleged facts in the lede, supported only by anecdotal evidence and dependence on pagan cultural stereotypes, have been disconfirmed.”

      When someone is completely sincere and serious, and yet I still laugh and chuckle, I hope the other person understands.

    • C Michael Patton

      Kay,

      My point was that “rule over” is negative and part of the curse. You really read that I want to keep women under it? Really?

      If so, let me just say that I don’t want anyone acting sinfully according to the curse. In Christ, husbands should not “rule over” or “dominate” their wife. In Christ, the proper model of biblical servant-leadership should be restored.

    • Kay

      “So why do you assume that the curse given to women has automatically been lifted? And for that matter, Christian women still experience great pain in childbirth do they not?”
      cherylu,
      I’m not assumming that. I just don’t believe it is a sin to act remedially regarding the curse. If that were the case, then all godly men should be trying hard to sweat while they work and no godly woman should take pain medication while giving birth, no man should use weed killer, etc…

    • Hodge

      “I’m not assumming that. I just don’t believe it is a sin to act remedially regarding the curse. If that were the case, then all godly men should be trying hard to sweat while they work and no godly woman should take pain medication while giving birth, no man should use weed killer, etc…”

      This, of course, assumes that the ultimate fulfillment of the curse is physical rather than mental, emotional and spiritual. Of course, we should work against the curse in Christ. No question there. The real question is whether man’s headship is due to the curse. The question is then whether the NT indicates that it is, and what to make of the passages that seem to indicate otherwise.

    • C Michael Patton

      John, not sure how persuasive some random paper is going to be here. Of couse women have skill and ambition.Ambition is not the determining factor. In fact, it could certianly simply be used to illustrate one of the primary complementarian point that as a part of the fall women “desire” will be fore her husband. Broadly speaking, this could be talking about the woman’s desire to be to “usurp” the role of the man. Therefore, there will be plenty of drive and ambition.

      As a personal illustration, I have found the same. In various areas of my ministry, women were the ones who had the drive for leadership. They were the ones that were more available. They were the ones that did the word while I had to twist and break the arms of all the guys to do anything. I think we are existing in an increasingly neutered society.

      When this would occur, I would have women leaders. It was my Deborah situation. Many have this. However, my point is, as I have said many times, this is not ideal according to a complementarian model. We are about RESTORING biblical principles.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      CMP: “John, not sure how persuasive some random paper is going to be here.”

      Maybe for some, but not for me.

    • C Michael Patton

      Folks, their are only a certian number of characters available on each comment. This does not mean to post one post one after another to avoid the limits.

      I try to keep up with many of these threads and posting one after another does not allow me to do so. I don’t mind you posting multiple times on one thread or responding to many people, but don’t just keep on posting over and over again about the same thing. Get it said in one post.

      Read the rules.

    • Don

      Man has no “headship” that word is not found in the Bible. What IS found are metaphors, using head and body. What the metaphors mean can be discussed, but assuming it means “headship” without discussion is a FAIL.

      Alex wrote on the earlier thread: “The translation I am using, though some claim it is biased, puts 1 Tim 2:12 this way:

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.””

      What you cannot tell from this translation is that there is no direct object for “teach” so it is unrestricted in scope.

      Also, quiet/hesuchia is the attitude of a student in specifics and a believer generally, it is peacefullness. That is, hesuchia forms a inclusio which tightly ties together 1 Tim 2:11-12.

      Also, the verb in 11 is imperative, but in English does not sound much like a command, while the verb in 12 is indicative, but in English translations often sounds like a command, where is is valid to translate it as “not now permitting” for a point in time.

      These are some aspects which demionstrate that the translation you are using has made a lot of choices for you, and in the masculinist direction.

    • Don

      Deborah was selected by God and God does not make exceptions or mistakes.

    • C Michael Patton

      And please, interact with the post.

      I am noticing that those who do not agree with complementarianism are going in their default directions which do not engage what this post is about. It is interesting, but we are not going to be able to cover everything and the subject of the blog post determines the nuance of each conversation.

      Therefore, what I would like egalitarians to focus on this this:

      Do you believe that there are essential differences between men and women?

      Do you believe we should nurture and celebrate these essential differences or remain neutral to them?

      Do you believe that, many times, these essential differences will predispose one sex to be more qualified than another for certian jobs (and I am not saying “roles” here YET)?

    • C Michael Patton

      Again folks, way to broad here. Deal with the main point of the post.

    • cherylu

      Kay,

      Thanks for clarifying. I obviously misunderstood part of your comments above.

      That still doesn’t change the basic facts though that the curse(s) are still there for men and women. And no amount of remedial action is going to remove that completely on this earth. It may make things a lot easier to deal with, but does not make God’s pronouncements go away.

      And just a side note, some of those remedial actions you mentioned above can have some pretty far reaching and detrimental effects–weed spray isn’t a completely unharmful compound. It does get into the environment. And neither are pain killers and anesthetics completely harmless compounds. They can have very dangerous and sometimes very deadly side effects. Probably some times we don’t even know their effects on our bodies or the bodies of our child that is in the birth process. So, even our remedial efforts to get away from the effects of God’s pronouncements can cause us problems–the curse simply does not go away!

      Neither do I believe it goes away in husband/wife relationships. That doesn’t at all mean that I believe a husband should abuse the wife and rule over her tyranically. Specially not a Christian husband. But I also think there may very well be an inherent danger in saying, as some seem to, that they are on completely the same footing in the marriage without the husband being the leader/head. To do so, it seems to me, creates it’s own set of problems–kind of like the effects of weed spray do as a remedy for that part of the curse.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, God does not accomidate to the culture?

    • EricW

      Re: #43 CMP questions:

      Do you believe that there are essential differences between men and women?

      It depends upon what the meaning of the word “essential” is. I.e., are you referring to “essence” as in “ousia”? To be more specific, which definition of “essential” do you mean:

      • absolutely necessary; vitally necessary; “essential tools and materials”; “funds essential to the completion of the project”; “an indispensable …
      • basic and fundamental; “the essential feature”
      • all-important(a): of the greatest importance; “the all-important subject of disarmament”; “crucial information”; “in chess cool nerves are of the essence”
      • being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc; “essential oil”
      • necessity: anything indispensable; “food and shelter are necessities of life”; “the essentials of the good life”; “allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions”; “a place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained”
      • substantive: defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by which rights and duties are established; “substantive law”

      Do you believe we should nurture and celebrate these essential differences or remain neutral to them?

      Until you define what you mean by “essential,” I don’t think we can answer this question.

      Do you believe that, many times, these essential differences will predispose one sex to be more qualified than another for certian jobs (and I am not saying “roles” here YET)?

      Again, you first need to define/explain what you mean by “essential,” since per the dictionary definitions above, what YOU mean by “essential” may not be what WE think you are meaning. Hence, we may answer “Yes” when we in fact would really believe “No,” and vice-versa, because we may not mean the same thing that you mean by “essential.”

    • EricW

      I meant #73 CMP questions.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      It is essential to define the word “essential.”

      😉

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, essential characteristic differences that would predispose one sex in the way that they think, act, and grow physically.

    • EricW

      79. Truth Unites… and Divides on 18 Feb 2010 at 12:16 pm #

      It is essential to define the word “essential.”

      TUAD:

      That would be bullets/definitions 1-3 for “essential,” as far as this thread is concerned. 🙂

      I.e.:

      • absolutely necessary; vitally necessary; “essential tools and materials”; “funds essential to the completion of the project”; “an indispensable …
      • basic and fundamental; “the essential feature”
      • all-important(a): of the greatest importance; “the all-important subject of disarmament”; “crucial information”; “in chess cool nerves are of the essence”

      • being or relating to or containing the essence of a plant etc; “essential oil”
      • necessity: anything indispensable; “food and shelter are necessities of life”; “the essentials of the good life”; “allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions”; “a place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained”
      • substantive: defining rights and duties as opposed to giving the rules by which rights and duties are established; “substantive law”

    • EricW

      CMP:

      But you defined “essential” with the phrase “essential characteristic differences.” That still does not clarify it sufficiently, because you are using “essential” to define what you mean by “essential.”

      I’m not trying to be stubborn, but I think you have not yet defined what I consider to be an “essential” term in your argument/discussion.

      And until you do that, I don’t think you can move on to discussing what are the “essential” differences between men and women, as well as what men and women “essentially” are or do or whatever.

    • C Michael Patton

      Ok Eric. Maybe you will not be able to take part in that discussion. But it would probably be easy to just say “characteristics”?

    • #John1453

      . . . Females scored higher on verbal ability, compliance, nurturance, and empathy scales. Women tend to socialize more intimately with a few friends. Men are more apt to form larger groups. My purpose in this chapter is to demonstrate that these differences are not only real but likely have their roots in our unique biology as males and females. Furthermore, these differences are present at birth (and even before) and are amplified according to individual hormonal and genetic dictates. We are differently gifted as male and female not only in anatomy and physiology but also in behavior.”

      However, there is a difference between bare biology and behaviour. In this regard it is important to note that social scientists use the terms “sex” and “gender” to distinguish the biological differences between males and females (sex) from the meanings people attach to those differences (gender). As Brian Howell (Ph.D.; now associate professor of anthropology at Wheaton College) writes, “To even speak of “gender and culture” is, in this sense, redundant because the category of gender presupposes a particular cultural context.”

      The issue for egalitarians (I continue to use that term loosely and broadly) is not whether diffferences exist, but whether they ever have any theological or other significance at any time or in any circumstances (and if so, when, where and what). One might call this a teleological examination of sex differences—are there any ends to which the differences are directed, and if so then how are these ends served?

      The lede’s redefinition of complementarian and egalitarian is not only novel, it is unwarranted and contrary to both historical usage and the usage in the current debates on this issue. As such the redefinition leads not to clarity and forward movement on the issue, but to confusion and lack of understanding. For example, Rebecca Merrill Groothius (a noted and respected evangelical egalitarian) writes, “Biblical…

    • C Michael Patton

      Interesting. I was watching Dr. Oz today and the subject is transgenders.

      Even those who believe that we can be born with the wrong sex have to borrow from complementarianism to do so.

      Many of these people are saying, “Though I was born a female, I knew from an early age that I was a male.” No matter how you may feel about that (which I think it is very wrong), you have to see that these recognise that there are essential characteristic differences between male and female.

      What does it mean to “feel” male. This gal is saying that she felt like a male from the age 4! (Give me back my worldview!)

      Consistant Egalitarians, in my opinion, cannot say that they felt male or female. They just are who they are. No differences other than MAYBE a physical attraction to the other sex (but even that can be seen to have implication!).

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      I’ve greatly enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada this past week.

      I’m so glad that the Olympic organizers have historically and wisely recognized the *essential* differences between men and women in the various categories of sport.

      Men’s skiing, Women’s skiing.
      Men’s figure skating, Women’s figure skating.
      Men’s speed skating, Women’s speed skating.
      Men’s hockey, Women’s hockey.
      Men’s …….., Women’s ……..
      Etc….

      Complementarian Olympics!

    • Don

      CMP: Do you believe that there are essential differences between men and women?

      Don: Take away the word essential and I agree. I do not see what the word essential adds.

      CMP: Do you believe we should nurture and celebrate these essential differences or remain neutral to them?

      Don: Again, take away essential. We should celebrate the differences.

      CMP: Do you believe that, many times, these essential differences will predispose one sex to be more qualified than another for certian jobs (and I am not saying “roles” here YET)?

      Don: Again take away essential. As an example, some jobs require strength and as a group, men are strong than women, so I would expect MORE men to be able to do a job requiring strength. I know of very few tasks that require male or female genetalia, at least ones that believers should do other than mother and father.

      CMP: God does not accomodate to the culture?

      Don: Yes of course. God deals with individuals and peoples starting with where they are at, leading them into the Kingdom step by step as they let God do so. The culture of the OT and NT was patriarchical, this does not endorse patriarchy, it was dealing with the cultures where they were at, mitigating the worst abuses; repeat.

    • Sue

      It destroys the woman, as a woman

      I was destroyed as a human being. That’s enough.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Michael,

      I think this post improves on the previous article in that you provide definitions of complementarianism and egalitarianism. Also, while I agree with the complementarianism argument, I wasn’t sure your statements in the last post illustrated the “why” of it completely persuasively.

      I do think however that if one believes complementarianism to be the accurate biblical position, then one should see that as affecting specific roles of men and women, especially in the church, and that not to do so makes for an inconsistent complementarianism.

      I found this to be a very good summary of your views, “The true spirit of complementarianism is that God has intentionally created men and women with differences and we are to celebrate this in every way. The true spirit of complementarianism is never domineering (that is a sinful corruption). The true spirit of complementarianism provides no shame only freedom. The true spirit of complementarianism speaks to God in appreciation.”

      And you sound a needed alarm when you say, “When we attempt to neuter this design, we have lost much more than authority in the pulpit.” I think we live in a time when the idea that men and women can be anything other than “equals” and that all tasks/roles ought to be accomplished by whoever is best fitted for the task regardless of gender is the dominant thinking in the world system. But Christians aren’t to follow the way of the world, but the word of God. For example, John#1453 presents as “facts” scientific research/studies. He claims that your posts present merely “anecdotal evidence and pagan cultural stereotypes”. But you’ve presenting a view based on biblical truth, and if it is indeed truly biblical, then it is the standard by which Christians are to live. And this ought to carry much more weight with Christians than the conclusions of a few (or even a lot of) scientific studies. Supposing other studies can be presented that contradict the conclusions of the research John presents– then what? I am glad my convictions are being built on the solid rock of God’s Word, which is truth, not the shifting sand of man’s feeble thought. In any case, man’s research isn’t to be used to contradict and sit in judgment upon what God has spoken.

      Does not God, who made man and woman, know best what we are and how we should best function in the church and in relation to one another? Perhaps the subordination thing is what really bothers many. But did not Jesus, though equal to God the Father, subordinate Himself to the Father as He lived life on Earth, not doing his will, but the Father’s?

    • C Michael Patton

      Watching a multitude of doctors and phychologist citing studies and talking about the characteristic differences between males and females. On and on they are going with graphs of the brain and chemical evidences. It is funny because none of these are complementarian yet they have to borrow from a complementarian worldview.

      Those of us who have children find the idea that there are no essential differences between men and women about like arguments that the earth is flat. You can bring your studies and statistics, but common sense is going to win the day.

    • Don

      P.S. I was born a male and have always felt male. I used to be a non-egal as that was what I was taught by teachers I respected, until I studied both sides and became egal.

      There are some intersex people where the transition from default female bodyplan to male fails at some step. I find this very sad. That is, some XY people do not become fully male bodytype, those with androgen insensitivity syndrome become hyperfeminine, for example.

    • mbaker

      “Do you believe that there are essential differences between men and women?”

      Absolutely. I love being a woman. Physically, most women are the weaker sex. But I think there is a tendency because of this to translate the male’s spiritual role in relation to the woman and the church into a position which suggests a boss-employee type model, which the Lord never intended.

      I agree with someone here who said the servant-leadership model needs to be restored. This business of elevating leadership roles nowadays into a Godlike status is not complimentarism, but misplaced interpretation of scripture guidelines.

      “Do you believe we should nurture and celebrate these essential differences or remain neutral to them?”

      I do not see equality, as God intended it, to be about neutrailty at all especially not the kind of male ‘neutering’ you have spoken of, but rather what God is talking about when He says He is no respecter of persons. If anything, ‘neutering’ someone is taking away all they are meant to be. I think we would all have to admit that has been the more the case with women over the centuries than it has been with men. However, I think to expect women to serve in the church or the home because they are secondary to men, as some here seem to have interpreted the scriptures to mean is NOT true complementarism, but discrimination, pure and simple.

      Like most women I know, I serve others out of sheer love of the Lord, and obey Him in any way He calls upon me to do so. That’s what I find essential.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, you seem to be a complementarian as you have done away with most of the essential egalitarian characteristics. At least we are on the same soil here.

      Could it be that Deborah was an accomidation to a society which had neglected male leadership? That is the argument that we would make. We would not say that it was a “mistake” but an accomidation. In fact, the entire book of Judges emphasizes the weakness of men at the time as leaders. Bob Chisholm, an Old Testament scholar without any theological axe to grind has subtitled the book of Judges, “Where Have All the Men Gone”!

    • Kay

      “To do so, it seems to me, creates it’s own set of problems–kind of like the effects of weed spray do as a remedy for that part of the curse.”
      cherylu,
      I do understand where you are coming from, but somehow I can’t see that having me stay fully conscious during my two c-sections and with no pain meds would be God’s will for me or any other woman…sorry I can’t go there.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      CMP: “Don, you seem to be a complementarian as you have done away with most of the essential egalitarian characteristics. At least we are on the same soil here.”

      Hearty laughter.

      Good luck with that, CMP.

    • EricW

      The “essential” question is (and, Don, I think you’re right about removing the word “essential” from CMP’s questions as not being “essential”):

      Do these differences between men and women (and both comps and egals recognize that there are differences) support allowing only one of the sexes being in or exercising church positions or functions or offices or duties or roles or gifts other than those that for various reasons are best restricted to being filled/occupied/performed by one of the sexes in preference to the other (e.g., when baptism was nude, having female elders/deacons administer the baptisms to the females)?

      I also think the discussion needs to differentiate between church structure and meetings and operation, and family/married life. While persons can be 100% comps or egals when it comes to both these things, I think it’s also possible for a person to be egal when it comes to church meetings and structures and authorities and offices and gifts, but comp when it comes to family/marriage relationships and structures, because the relationship between a husband and a wife, while it may be the same as the relationship between Christ and His Church as a whole, is not the same as the relationship between the members within the body of the church to each other. Men and women in Christ are brothers and sisters of each other, not husbands and wives or parents and children to each other.

    • cherylu

      Kay,

      Don’t believe I would go there either! I am simply trying to say that no matter how hard we try, we can’t get away from the effects of the curse totally in this life. And that some of our best efforts to do so end up causing other problems. And that because of that we as Christians can’t just “zap” the curse and it’s effects away and try to make everything the same between men and women without causing other upsets to things in this world we live in.

    • Michael T.

      Hmm,
      Don actually brings up a question I wondered about awhile back while taking a class in college that got into genetics. How do we handle individuals who are not fully male or female due to genetic abnormalities (be it caused by androgen insensitivity, Klinefelter’s or other disorders???

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael,

      I would certainly say that there is no quick answer to that question. There is a right answer, but no quick way to deal with so many difficult issues involved.

      However!!! I don’t want the thread to go in THIS direction for sure, unless it is directly and seriously pertinent to supporting or overturning or even nuancing my propositions.

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, I agree. I think that every issue does not turn on some sort of preset idea of role. I don’t believe characteristics must give way to roles. I do believe that equality must be a part of the complemenarian worldview. I would simply say that there are certain things that we must instill within the sexes, preparing them to capitalize on these differences. Once this happens, the true spirit of complementarianism is affirmed and celebrated.

      Then, when it comes to those things that we think the Bible speaks to concerning this, we follow the Bible. The debate will continue here, but at least if we are on the same page on the foundational issues, there will be less problems and less hurt feelings and, most importantly, fewer abuses.

      Both sides, when abused, are terribly ugly. One neuterizes the culture, the other oppresses individuals.

    • C Michael Patton

      Someone (I think) earlier accused my post of being too black and white. I don’t see how this can be as I have qualified things so much.

      Nevertheless, let me repost this which shows the spectrum of belief on this issue:

      Just to be clear, there is no “official” spokes-person for either complementarians or egalitarians. They come in all breeds and I am trying to be fair here.

      Across the spectrum, from the most radical to the most radical on both sides:

      -matriarchalism
      -hard egalitarianism
      -soft egalitarianism
      -complegalitarianism (how’s that?—I do think there is such a position!)
      -soft complementarianism
      -hard complementarianism
      -patriachalism

      Most Evangelical complementarians that I know of are soft-comps. I do know that there are many of a more radical variety. I also know that men have the tendency to take liberties and misinterpret this as if all men, no matter what, are in priority over all women (more like a Muslim society). I also know that many husbands abuse their authority and “rule over” their wives (after all, this is part of the curse—the “rule over” in the curse carries very negative connotation). But abuses of good principles never nullifies the principles any more than the abuse of the office of a pastor (by men or women) nullifies the office.

    • Kay

      Michael T.,
      That’s another one of the problems I see with the complementarian paradigm – it leaves out the people born with some of both male and female reproductive organs, along with our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ or our sisters who have no natural nurturing inclination or those unable to bear children. Are they faulty by design? What are the implications of that?

    • C Michael Patton

      Spam comments (rapidly posting one post after another) are now automatically going to the cyber-space spam blackhole. Be careful here folks.

      So many comments, no matter what their persuasion, are going into spam.

    • Don

      I do not see Deborah as an accomodation. I see her as God’s annointed in a very patriarchal society that allowed polygamy. Furthermore, she was a judge prophet, in the company of Moses and Samuel. Israel had peace for many years, which is the summary evaluation. She was married, but there is no evidence at all that her husband ruled over her, as a judge, she would rule over him in making decisions.

      And God does not make exceptions to his rules. If you think God make exceptions, you have understood the rule wrong.

    • C Michael Patton

      Kay, again, these types of things are difficult for every Christian, not simply complementarians of egalitarians.

      Please, let’s not go in that direction.

    • Don

      CMP, I have already said I believe the genders are complementary, I just do not believe in gender hierarchy.

      This is one reason I see it as functionally useful to have the eldership having both genders represented. And there are some counseling things that are better done same gender.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, what is the difference between an accommodation and an exception?

      For example, God is against slavery, yet he allowed for it in Israel. This is an exception to his rule based on the culture (i.e. he does not overturn culture immediately, but accommodates within it). Even the greatest egalitarian out there William Webb will go with us here.

      In the end though, it is certainly not worth arguing about the nuances of accommodation/exception. Just realize that in our complementarian arguments, we are using them the same way.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, you are a closet complementarian? 😉 You only need to take the next logical step.

    • C Michael Patton

      OK, I am out for a while.

      Keep it safe. Read the rules. There is a link right above this under “Leave a Reply.”

      Some people are getting blacklisted who should not be. Just follow the rules…

    • mbaker

      “But abuses of good principles never nullifies the principles any more than the abuse of the office of a pastor (by men or women) nullifies the office.”

      Agreed.

      However, what many of us here are saying we often see the abuses in authority by both genders becoming the rule, instead of the proper interpretation of the scripture itself being equally applied.

      I give you for instance the insecure male who is always beating his chest about his wife needing to submit to him, versus the more Christlike example of him attempting to actually serve as a Godly husband. I also see too many Christian women who privately think all male authority is abuse, and to submit to any of it is weakness. Neither one is biblical, and but there certainly seems to be an over concentration nowadays in the church on each sex reading each other’s scriptural mail, so to speak.

      What is essential is our mutual submission to the Lord in ALL things pertaining to us. Therefore, if I’m concentrating on what I should be doing in my own life rather telling you what you should be doing in yours instead, then I’m going to be the one in the Lord’s will no matter which gender I represent.

    • Don

      CMP, I try to use the word complementary as the dictionary defines it.

      From m-w.com

      1 : relating to or constituting one of a pair of contrasting colors that produce a neutral color when combined in suitable proportions
      2 : serving to fill out or complete
      3 : mutually supplying each other’s lack
      4 : being complements of each other
      5 : characterized by the capacity for precise pairing of purine and pyrimidine bases between strands of DNA and sometimes RNA such that the structure of one strand determines the other

      I use 2 or 3 with people.

      There is NO HINT of roles or hierarchy in the term.

    • Hodge

      “Man has no “headship” that word is not found in the Bible. What IS found are metaphors, using head and body. What the metaphors mean can be discussed, but assuming it means “headship” without discussion is a FAIL.”

      Well, of course, I haven’t assumed it. I’ve studied this issue for the past 18 years. I just haven’t argued for it here. The woman is never said to be the body of the man. He is said to be her head, and that is with all likelihood a connection to rosh, which is used as the leader of a clan/group in the OT.

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.””

      What you cannot tell from this translation is that there is no direct object for “teach” so it is unrestricted in scope.”

      Actually, the oude connects the indirect object of the infinitive “over a man,” so it is limited by the object of the preposition.

      “Also, quiet/hesuchia is the attitude of a student in specifics and a believer generally, it is peacefullness. That is, hesuchia forms a inclusio which tightly ties together 1 Tim 2:11-12.”

      Nice spin here, but Paul is telling this to women, not the believer in general. It means to be quiet in relation to teaching over men. The overall attitude of the woman in the passage then is to be silent and learn when it comes to teaching men. Of course, the inclusio is there. It just supports the comp interpretation all the more, as it shows that the emphasis is on her being silent when it comes to these functions.

    • Kay

      “I also know that many husbands abuse their authority and “rule over” their wives (after all, this is part of the curse—the “rule over” in the curse carries very negative connotation). But abuses of good principles never nullifies the principles any more than the abuse of the office of a pastor (by men or women) nullifies the office.”
      “My point was that “rule over” is negative and part of the curse. You really read that I want to keep women under it? Really?
      If so, let me just say that I don’t want anyone acting sinfully according to the curse. In Christ, husbands should not “rule over” or “dominate” their wife. In Christ, the proper model of biblical servant-leadership should be restored.”

      c michael,
      It appears to me that you say the “authority” is both a “good principle” and is also a negative part of the curse.
      So, to answer: yes, it reads as though you want to keep women under. Really.
      Maybe you can clarify.

    • Hodge

      “Also, the verb in 11 is imperative, but in English does not sound much like a command, while the verb in 12 is indicative, but in English translations often sounds like a command, where is is valid to translate it as “not now permitting” for a point in time.

      1. The verb is aspectual, so it doesn’t translate into a present progressive by itself.
      2. If Paul wanted to say “now” he could have used nun, but didn’t.
      3. The indicative is an imperative by implication: I do not allow this, i.e. you are not to allow this.
      It is also the way one can express a command. See Rom 12:1-2; 15:30; 16:17; 2 Cor 2:8; Eph 3:13; 4:1; etc.: present indicative with infinitive in order to convey a command.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, was that a theological dictionary you just used? (This is a theology blog!) Try looking up anthropology and you will find that it mentions nothing about a study of the fall either. 🙂

      My definition on the orginal post will do better than that dictionary for our purposes here.

    • Hodge

      “I do not see Deborah as an accomodation. I see her as God’s annointed in a very patriarchal society that allowed polygamy.”

      Whether I was comp or egal, I would have to say that this is wrong. Deborah is actually a signal of the low quality men that are in the culture in the Book of Judges. To ignore this is to ignore the argument of that book. Samson, Gideon, Jephthah, etc. are bottom of the barrel, and thus, showing the need for a noble king instead of “every man doing what was right in his own eyes.” The story of Deborah actually turns on this because she herself is not a judge. She is a prophet. We think that the actual judge will be Barak. Instead, it ends up being Jael. So the women end up being God’s chosen as a curse due to the low character of the men. This would have been understood in Israelite culture (Isa 3:12), though it is lost on us.

    • Don

      ESV Jdg 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

      There is no requirement to read an indicative verb as a requirement for all time.

      oude only chains direct objects if it is one thing being discussed (in a hendiadys), not 2 things. The point is there are various valid ways to understand 1 Tim 2:12, only some of which restrict women. It is perfectly fine to read it as restricting one woman at Ephesus while she is being taught, this is how I read it.

      Paul was writing to Timothy about a specific problem, false teachers at Ephesus. He was not writing a letter giving church order or other things, all that he did say, he was saying to counteract the false teachers and give encouragement to Timothy. That is, it was an occasional letter, not a sermon.

    • EricW

      Hodge wrote #115:

      3. The indicative is an imperative by implication: I do not allow this, i.e. you are not to allow this.
      It is also the way one can express a command. See Rom 12:1-2; 15:30; 16:17; 2 Cor 2:8; Eph 3:13; 4:1; etc.: present indicative with infinitive in order to convey a command.

      2 objections:

      The verbs used in these verses have the nature of being a command or request (I exhort, I request), whereas epitrepô (I permit) does not seem to as much (though it can, of course).

      The verbs in these verses are directed to the readers, e.g., “I exhort YOU….” whereas in 1 Tim 2:12 Paul is telling the men and women readers/hearers what he does (or, rather, does not), not directly telling THEM what to do or not do. Thus, I don’t think these verses/examples are syntactical or grammatical equivalents of 2:12, whether or not 2:12 is a way of expressing a command.

    • Don

      It is false to say that Deborah was a curse, she was a blessing to Israel.

      And there is no hint in the text about Deborah that God looks for a man but could not find him, so he settled on Deborah. That claim is a crock.

      Non-egals want to spin Deborah something fierce, but God denies their claims.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, please be more respectful on this blog. You may not agree with things, but you can respect others opinion and engage the arguements without using words such as “crock.”

      Again, you may not like the rules, but the are to be followed. This goes for people who argree or disagree with me. This is a safe place to have discussion without conversation stoppers or emotional outburst, no matter how small they may seem to you.

    • Kay

      “Kay, again, these types of things are difficult for every Christian, not simply complementarians of egalitarians.

      Please, let’s not go in that direction.”

      c michael,
      That’s the point. Are you refusing to acknowledge the problems it creates for the complementarian position?

    • C Michael Patton

      Kay, not at all. As I said, it is a problem for everyone, not just complementarians. Egalitarians don’t have an easy solution to it either, unless you are a non-Christian egalitarian.

      Again, no reason to go there. Please respect this as I attempt to keep this important topic on a very particular track. It is too valuable to get off on such tangential issue that, while important to the broader issue, are not relevant here.

    • Don

      CMP, sorry, I got carried away.

      ESV Jdg 2:16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

      Jdg 2:18 Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.

    • Kay

      “It is too valuable to get off on such tangential issue that, while important to the broader issue, are not relevant here.”
      c michael,
      I’m sorry, but it hardly seems like tangential issue when it alienates disabled men, or anyone, who doesn’t fit the complementarian design protocal for fending off robbers and physically protecting your wife – as though that physical “design” protocal was part and parcel of what gives one authority to preach in a “head pastors” position. I’m sorry you don’t see that.

    • JasonM

      CMP,
      I am a complementarian. I have always thought that to mean that Calling comes before Compentency (logically in God’s mind, not chronologically in our lives). God’s Teleos for His glory (esp. as to be displayed in marriage) comes before and gives purpose to our Ontos. I do believe that men and women are equal yet different by God’s wise design. The question I have for you is… could it be that the reason why every man is ontologically designed to lead his wife is because it fits God’s structure for marriage which came logically, not chronologically before the creation of male and female?

    • C Michael Patton

      Jason, you bet! I think that God’s purpose is the ultimate cause for all characteristics, roles, and expressions. Good clarification that may not be present so explicitly in the original post.

    • C Michael Patton

      Kay, the problems with the situations you describe so so much deeper than the surface issues you have described and cause us to get way off track. Please respect what I have said there. Even as an egalitarian you can understand that I am directing the course of the conversation 🙂

    • Joe Horn

      Wow, Michael. You sure know how to kick up a windstorm. It seems to me that the central issue comes down to one of hermeneutics. It does not come down to “Are there really differences between the sexes?” It is both obvious to all but the willfully blind, and, it seems to me, irrelevant. The point is not “why” God said this or that, but “that” God said what he did. And it seems to me that since Paul bases his argument for women not teaching men in Timothy on the order of creation (a pre-fall situation), male leadership is neither the result of the curse nor a localized situation having localized, temporary application. Therefore, in Paul’s mind, role distinctions are part of the original, good creation, and not a result of sin. Furthermore, it seems to me that Ephesians 5:22 is redemption of Genesis 3, not a continuation thereof. Husbands loving their wives and wives submitting is Paul’s attempt to teach God’s original design rather than Paul repeating cultural biases. And 1 Corinthians 14 seems to me to be speaking specifically of the public use of the gift of tongues by women (since that’s the context). Of course its possible that I could be wrong about all of this. But all of these things come down to hermeneutical rather than physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual distinctions. The question we have to answer is: “What did Paul mean when he said…” When we look honestly at the evidence, it overwhelmingly favors the complementarian position. People may not like that or think that it makes them uncomfortable with what the Bible teaches. But isn’t at least part of the point of the Bible to cut cross-grain with our natural or cultural assumptions? Why should we in the West assume that our cultural presuppositions (about what biblical equality means, for example) will never be opposed by the biblical text?

    • gengwall

      Hi C Michael – I’m late to the part y and to your blog, but your post intrigues me. I have not read all 125 comments to this point so I may be treading covered ground. I will say this, then, from a personal perspective.

      I agree with your general premise in many respects. But I think your definition of Egalitarians is quite narrow. You seem to be saying that all true egalitarians must be feminist “sameness” adherants and that anyone who isn’t, can’t call themself an egalitarian. That is simply untrue. (me being a case in point)

      I don’t want to derail the discussion any further, although I am having a hard time trying to figure out what exactly is the “very particular track” that you are trying to maintain. I’ll read a little more and try to catch up.

    • EricW

      Joe Horn wrote:

      And it seems to me that since Paul bases his argument for women not teaching men in Timothy on the order of creation (a pre-fall situation), male leadership is neither the result of the curse nor a localized situation having localized, temporary application.

      Actually, Paul seems to base his argument on BOTH the order of creation (the man being formed first) AND the fall and result of the curse (the woman being deceived and having come to be – perfect tense – in transgression).

      When we look honestly at the evidence, it overwhelmingly favors the complementarian position.

      Maybe when you look honestly at the evidence. It’s not so clear when I honestly (yes, honestly) look at the evidence. 🙂

    • gengwall

      Jason – please provide your evidence for the claim that “every man is ontologically designed to lead his wife”. What in the masculine design makes him unequivically a good leader of women and his wife unequivically a bad leader of men? Do you have scripture or biology to support this? Do you believe this ontological difference is in effect in every leadeship scenario in life or only in certain ones?

    • cherylu

      Joe,

      Just a thought. I agree with you l00% that Paul’s whole statement goes back to creation. However, that statement also says that it was also because Eve was deceived, so I don’t know we can get around the fact that it also has something to do with the fall–if not indeed the curse itself.

      And my whole argument above regarding the curse was in no way meant to say that I didn’t believe Paul’s statement didn’t go way back to creation. Just clarifying for anyone who may have gotten that idea.

    • Don

      Both sides believe that when all the evidence is examined, what they themselves believe is correct.

      I am egal because I believe that is what the Bible teaches for new covenant believers, and going further, that Jesus, Paul, etc. were egals. I study both sides and try to learn from both.

    • Kay

      “Please respect what I have said there. Even as an egalitarian you can understand that I am directing the course of the conversation”

      c michael,
      Certainly, I will. What is the direction of the course of the conversation? I will be glad to go there – but apparently it alludes me. If it’s not a physical quality, but it only belongs to males and is somehow a spiritual quality…hmm ???

    • Hodge

      “ESV Jdg 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.”

      My point was that she is not the judge in the end. Jael is. The reader would be shocked that she was the judge, only to be relieved that it was Barack, only to be shocked again that it was Jael. It is clear that choosing of Deborah as judge is a slap to the men and a commentary on their low character and “non-Israelite” beliefs. That’s the argument of the book.

      “There is no requirement to read an indicative verb as a requirement for all time.”

      I didn’t say there was. I said you can’t tell what the time period of the indicative is from the verb. So your translation is bogus if it is coming from the aspect of the verb.

      “oude only chains direct objects if it is one thing being discussed (in a hendiadys), not 2 things. The point is there are various valid ways to understand 1 Tim 2:12, only some of which restrict women. It is perfectly fine to read it as restricting one woman at Ephesus while she is being taught, this is how I read it.”

      oude only chains direct objects? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Of course that is not true. oude can chain the two infinitives, otherwise there is no active verb for the second infinitive. Paul doesn’t repeat epitrepo. If you assume the verb, then you are assuming the link made by oude (i.e., ouk epitrepo INFINITIVE oude INFINITIVE andros). If this referred to one particular woman, then the article, a name, and an example that did not appeal to the role of women in general would exist here, and it doesn’t.

      “Paul was writing to Timothy about a specific problem, false teachers at Ephesus. He was not writing a letter giving church order or other things.”

      Of course, this begs the question on two fronts: the question is whether it is general or specific (“in every place” sounds general to me) and whether a specific based in the order of creation is not to be universally applied.

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      “The verbs used in these verses have the nature of being a command or request (I exhort, I request), whereas epitrepô (I permit) does not seem to as much (though it can, of course).

      The verbs in these verses are directed to the readers, e.g., “I exhort YOU….” whereas in 1 Tim 2:12 Paul is telling the men and women readers/hearers what he does (or, rather, does not), not directly telling THEM what to do or not do. Thus, I don’t think these verses/examples are syntactical or grammatical equivalents of 2:12, whether or not 2:12 is a way of expressing a command.”

      My first statement goes with the second. Paul tells his recipients, and Timothy here, to follow his instruction. He states that he is an apostle (v. 7) who has been appointed to teach faith and truth. To follow him is to follow the teaching of Christ.
      The second is that commands don’t have to be imperatives. They can be indicatives with infinitives “I do X you to do Y.” Here Paul is talking to Timothy about, not what he allows Timothy to do, but what he allows a third party to do (i.e., women). So it takes upon the “I do not X to do Y.” The command/exhortation is softer without the second person direct object, but in this way it emphasizes the instruction as being primarily for women. He does not allow them to do X. Therefore, they are not allowed to do X. Therefore, Timothy ought not, by implication, allow them to do X.

    • Hodge

      “ESV Jdg 2:16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

      Jdg 2:18 Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.”

      Don, I think you’re reading me superficially, as you have the Book of Judges here. I said nothing that Deborah wasn’t a blessing. I said her appointment is a rejection of the men. It says something about their lack of qualification to lead. We see this play out in their constant syncretism with Canaanite culture, whether it is discerning through omens, intermingling with Canaanite women, or sacrificing children. If you want to use the Book of Judges to support your egalitarian claims, just know that you’ll have to bring along the rest with you. Judges is not normative. It is a condemnation of Israelite leadership. Hence, a king is needed.

      So her appointment is a type of curse/condmenation of the men.

    • C Michael Patton

      Kay, this isn’t really a forum, so it is not dependant upon conversations here. However, if you have a comment about the post, anything is fine. I just don’t want there to be “debates” that are tangental to the post. Yours was. But you are welcome to discuss about anything about the post. I will let you know if it is off or has a potential to lead things in a wrong direction. I have been at this for a long time so I know how to discern what directions are going to be profitable and on track and what will get us off track.

      It is great to have you posting and reading BTW!

    • Hodge

      “Just a thought. I agree with you l00% that Paul’s whole statement goes back to creation. However, that statement also says that it was also because Eve was deceived, so I don’t know we can get around the fact that it also has something to do with the fall–if not indeed the curse itself.”

      A few people have said this, but it misses something major: Eve being deceived does not have to do with the curse or the Fall. Her deception is prelapsarian. So Paul’s argument is that the messing up of the roles in the pre-Fall state led to the Fall, not vice versa.

    • cherylu

      Hodge,

      Obviously, technically her deception preceded the fall. However, it was certainly very much related to the fall and the fall would not have occured, in this context at least, without it.

      I’m not sure I understand how you draw the conclusion that Paul’s argument is the messing up of roles that caused the fall and that is what he is talking about here?

    • Kay

      “Even as an egalitarian you can understand that I am directing the course of the conversation”

      c michael,
      “Even as an egalitarian” I can see when someone is being condescending. Something I was not expecting from you. I apologize if anything I’ve asked you or commented seemed condescending toward you or deserving of that – it was truly never my intention.

    • Hodge

      Cherylu,

      His argument is in this order:

      1. God created Adam and Eve in order. Adam was created first.

      2. Eve was deceived, but the man was not. However, the man sinned anyway by following the woman (I realize I’m supplying some of that from Gen 3, but I think that is Paul’s context).

      3. After the Fall, the woman will find her way back to redemption through childbirth, i.e., her role.

      Only one of these is postlapsarian. The others are pre-. Number 2 led to the Fall. So Paul’s argument actually doesn’t have anything to do with the Fall, except that 2 caused it and 3 is the way back from it. He’s not saying anything like the roles exist because of the Fall. That’s not there in his argument.

    • cherylu

      Thanks for clarifying, Hodge. It seems to me there is maybe some eisegesis there in pt # 2 that I am not so sure about. But you may be correct. At least I understand what you meant.

      I have never understood the part about her being redeemed through childbirth. There is certainly more to her role in life from the time of creation on then child bearing, after all. That is a statement that makes no sence to me at all. Not all women are even able to have children and no one is saved by something that they do–like have a baby.

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      You apparently missed my point, which was that your examples are not grammatical or syntactical equivalents of 1 Tim 2:12, so I don’t think they are good examples for comparison. Your ultimate point may be correct – i.e., that epitrepô can be treated as a 2nd-person command even though its surface structure is an indicative with a complementary infinitive, like the examples you gave. But I think those are poor examples for the reasons I gave – i.e., the nature of the verbs in those other examples compared to epitrepô, as well as the fact that in your examples the verbs are indeed directed to a second person (“you”), whereas in 1 Tim 2:12 epitrepô is syntactically directed at/to a third person (“a woman”).

    • EricW

      Hodge wrote:

      So Paul’s argument actually doesn’t have anything to do with the Fall, except that 2 caused it and 3 is the way back from it.

      Except that it appears that part of Paul’s argument for why he isn’t permitting a woman to teach or assume authority over a man is that woman as woman has come to be in transgression (εν παραβασει γεγονεν) – a resultant state of the Fall.

      Thus I think his argument indeed has something to do with the Fall.

      cherylu:

      Many argue that dia tês teknogonias in 2:15 means “through the birth of a/the child” – i.e., a reference to the birth of Christ, not simply the act of bearing children.

    • cherylu

      EricW,

      Thanks. At least that would make some sense if it is the correct interpretation. I have never seen any sense at all in what Paul said with the other understanding.

    • Don

      My reading is that there were men and women at Ephesus involved in the false teaching. 2 men were kicked out of church, some men were fighting and some women were showing off. The 2 men were sinning deliberately, they knew what they were doing, satan will teach them. A woman or women were deceived and the process is difflerent for her/them, they are to be taught the truth with a goal of restoration. As Paul is acting long distance, he tells Timothy that they cannot teach while they are being taught. Timothy would know that once they know the truth, they can teach truth, so it is temporary. And the saving is from a special childbirth, Jesus. Paul uses this strange phrasing as it is similar to the false pagan teaching in Ephesus, with fetility goddess Artemis promising saving in childbrith.

      And the “for” clause in v. 13-14 is a direct counter-teaching to the part of the false teaching that claimed Eve came before Adam and was not deceived, but had special knowledge, ala Gnostic or pre-Gnostic teaching.

    • EricW

      147.Don on 18 Feb 2010 at 6:41 pm #

      My reading is that there were men and women at Ephesus involved in the false teaching. 2 men were kicked out of church, some men were fighting and some women were showing off. The 2 men were sinning deliberately, they knew what they were doing, satan will teach them. A woman or women were deceived and the process is difflerent for her/them, they are to be taught the truth with a goal of restoration. As Paul is acting long distance, he tells Timothy that they cannot teach while they are being taught. Timothy would know that once they know the truth, they can teach truth, so it is temporary. And the saving is from a special childbirth, Jesus. Paul uses this strange phrasing as it is similar to the false pagan teaching in Ephesus, with fetility goddess Artemis promising saving in childbrith.

      And the “for” clause in v. 13-14 is a direct counter-teaching to the part of the false teaching that claimed Eve came before Adam and was not deceived, but had special knowledge, ala Gnostic or pre-Gnostic teaching.

      In other words, a “plain reading/meaning of the text” by an uninformed 21st-century English reader may lead to some erroneous understandings, because a lot of background cultural and language information is assumed by Paul but not conveyed/stated/explained in the letter.

    • Michael T.

      Comment from the peanut gallery,
      I love watching the back and forth between Sue, Hodge and others about the syntax and grammatical issues. Both sides essentially see the other side as giving false information or just flat out being wrong in their understanding of the language. To someone who doesn’t know Greek this is quite amusing and makes me wonder slightly as to how much we can really know about what the Bible is really saying if two people can’t even agree about the meaning of a single verb.

    • EricW

      Michael:

      Howdy Doody!!

      My disagreement with Hodge isn’t regarding the meaning(s) of the verb(s), and I also concede/agree that epitrepô in 1 Tim 2:12 could be viewed as a 2nd-person command with a surface structure of an indicative verb that seems to simply make a statement. My primary problem is that I don’t think the examples he gives of comparable verses to support his statement are in fact truly comparable/equivalent examples.

    • Don

      Another possibility for the “for” clause is Paul is doing a mapping. He is mapping Adam to the 2 disfellowshipped men (as they all deliberately sinned), and himself, Eve and the woman/women at Ephesus together (as they were all decieved and sinned, yet could be redeemed by hearing the truth).

    • cherylu

      Don,

      Those are two of the most innovative approaches to a passage of Scripture that I have ever read!

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael, believe it or not, but my graduate work was in Greek. That is what I am most formally trained in. Studied with Dan Wallace and Hall Harris III. One of the things that I have found is that, while emmesily helpful sometimes, it can turn into a type of “over-exegesis” and wrangling about words. I used to get into such debates all the time, especially with syntatical nuances until I realized that one can push the author way too far and make him say just about anything with and sound like you know what you are talking about. Normally it does not really prove anything much.

      (Not to say anything about the current conversation as I have not been watching. But that was the case, in my opinion, in the last post between some people…I think it was Sue.)

    • Rebecca

      So, If I understand correctly…and I probably don’t but complementarians believe that women normally/generally are not qualified/gifted to lead…by design? Now, when there is a female with leadership gifts and talents, she is regarded as an exception, a sort of fluke and she is, being a qualified woman, allowed to lead in study, worship,etc? However, if there is a mediocre male leader available, the position falls to him and the more qualified female becomes an alternate….unless the church finds another mediocre male to be the alternate? Boy, I know I sound sarcastic but I am seriously asking. In other words, here she stands with all her intelligence and gift of biblical applications and interpretations and communicating and here he stands, terrible grammar and talks in circles with a monotone voice but he knows applications as well, is it a no brainer? Comps will go with this guy? Is it,”We’ll let her teach if we can’t find a guy to volunteer?

      Now that said or asked, one of my pastors said something to me recently when I was talking about my church and the giftedness there and how I was concerned I might moan and groan if God called me to relocate to another church. He said,”Remember church is for worship. It’s not about how gifted the speaker is or how entertaining he is. We come together to worship.”

      So maybe if we get stuck with a speaker that does not convey the message as well as a more qualified female, that’s OK. Because it’s about worshipping our Creator! Yes, no? Moses, he must have been a nightmare …like a broken record! And yet, God expected the people to listen to Moses. So qualifications mean nothing…perhaps? Other than knowing scripture and knowing God and being spirit led. But you can be boring and lead.

    • C Michael Patton

      Forgive me Rebecca, but I need to correct a misunderstanding.

      You said:

      “So, If I understand correctly…and I probably don’t but complementarians believe that women normally/generally are not qualified/gifted to lead…by design?”

      This is not my argument. I would say that complementarians are not innately qualified for certian types of leadership. The Bible does not exclude all types. There are many many things that a complementarian would believe that I women would be better, because in particular areas they are more skilled and able.

      Again, complementarianism simply says that BOTH sexes are uniquely qualified for different things. As well, complementarians, more often than not, would say that individual giftedness is the guide. The two main areas that people have problems with women leadership is in the pastorate over men (btw: I do, like Dr. Harold Hoenher and Aubrey Malphers, believe that women can be pastors and ordained—just not over men) and in the home between husband and a wife.

      That is why, in my last post, I was intent on illustrating how there are certian areas in which men will command more respect and a following. But this does not exend to all areas by any means.

      That is what this blog post is about.

    • Sue

      it can turn into a type of “over-exegesis” and wrangling about words.

      Michael,

      This appears to be a slur against me. I claim that there are no occurences of authenteo which can be construed as “to lead in church.” Nobody is prepared to offer one. Its that simple.

      If you studied Greek with Dan Wallace you probably know this already and have long ago abandoned any attempt at defending the “women may not lead in church” from exegesis and have decided to “assume”it is correct anyway, and then you seek to focus the discussion elsewhere.

      Instead you claim that men and women are “complementary”. As a linguist you know that complementary means “non-overlapping distribution.” There is only one way that humans are complementary, and that is in their reproductive capacity.

      All other differences, although there are many, are not absolute or essential, since the sexes share all other abilities and attributes to a varying degree.

      Name one thing that an individual woman can do other than bear a child, that an individual man could not do, or vice versa.

      Men and women are not identical but our abilities overlap for the most part.

      In seminary, what is it that women can do and men not, or vice versa?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Joe Horn: “When we look honestly at the evidence, it overwhelmingly favors the complementarian position. People may not like that or think that it makes them uncomfortable with what the Bible teaches. But isn’t at least part of the point of the Bible to cut cross-grain with our natural or cultural assumptions? Why should we in the West assume that our cultural presuppositions (about what biblical equality means, for example) will never be opposed by the biblical text?”

      Well said, Joe!!

      He who has ears to hear…

      They who want their ears tickled… won’t like to hear what Joe’s saying.

    • Rebecca

      I was speaking with regards to women leading and teaching men as well as other women. Guess I didn’t make that clear. So considering that, do I have the understanding of comps correct? They do not believe that even tho she might be the best qualified, only men should teach and lead other men? The exception is when there are no other men to lead? Then she may teach? Tryig to dumb it down here. I’m not blond but I am female…OK that was just a joke. Come on, have a sense of humor!

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, believe me. It is not just you.

    • EricW

      I have ears and they’re not ticklish.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebbecca, not really. Some, yes. Me, no. I am what you might call a “soft-complementarian” or an “evangelical-complementarian.” I believe that there are times and cultures where all the men are drifting and don’t take responsibility (like in the book of Judges). At these times, I think that women must lead. As well, I do think that there are individual times when there are simply no able men available.

      But when all things are ideal and we are functioning the way we are supposed to, I know that there will be plenty of men available and plenty of women available to do what they are meant to do. As well, they will be encouraged to do so.

      They only time it is a sin for a women is when they are, out of personal ambition, attempting to usurp the the authority from men in these particular positions.

      It is never a sin when there are simply no men available and women serve as the Deborahs of the world. As well, it is never a sin, in my opinion, when we have women educators, writers, teachers, bloggers in academic settings since the type of authority that Paul is exhorting in Tim is not directly related (i.e. a teacher-shepherd).

      As you can see, I take somewhat of an idealic interpretation of Paul’s prohibition against women teaching in the church. In other words, I don’t think Paul is saying that there will never be exceptions. And I think the exceptions are well illustrated both in the Bible and in history.

      This is why we need to train people well and encourage them in a complementarian worldview. The more we fail, the more the society will suffer and mirror the situation in Judges.

    • Rebecca

      Help me understand again, comps do what with women that are the exception and have the gifts to lead men? If it’s a no go, it’s a no go. As I previously said one of my pastors told me, it has nothing to do with gifts by either male or female…church is about worship. So if we leave gifts out of the equation, in the matter of leading and teaching males, male trumps female. Right?

    • Dana

      Hodge –

      “3. After the Fall, the woman will find her way back to redemption through childbirth, i.e., her role.”

      What do you mean by “find her way back to redemption”?

      A woman’s role redeems her? A woman’s role doesn’t redeem her, but she cannot be redeemed if she is not fulfilling a particular role?

      I don’t understand.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebbecca, I don’t know how to explain it any better than I just did. I am sorry. 🙁

    • C Michael Patton

      “I have ears and they’re not ticklish.”

      Mine are 🙁 And Kristie does not care.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, I actually have something else in mind when I speak about this. It was a big deal at one point in my training. We actually had a prof who continually warned against “over-exegesis” and how this become a danger of Greek (much more than Hebrew) since it has some many nuances that it can take.

      I could give you some illustrations, but it would very much offend someone that I am very close to. All that to say, you would not serve as the primary illustration when I talk about this 🙂

    • Rebecca

      Michael, really? Does that mean when I explain it my way, it’s wrong or you don’t get it? A counselor told me once I have the ability to simplify matters…or he said I was a simpleton…can’t remember which.

    • C Michael Patton

      LOL Rebbecca. All it means is that to respond, all I know to do is repeat what I did in my last response.

    • C Michael Patton

      Oh also, to all:

      I remember reading a comment earlier today where someone thought I was speaking down to them when I said something like “Even though you are an egalitarian, you can respect the rules of this blog.” I may have forgot to place the 🙂 after it. It was tounge in cheek. Sorry I did not make that clear and if it offended you (whoever it was).

    • Rebecca

      Well, Michael, if that’s all you can do, then that’s all you can do. It’s not like you won’t get to lead anymore!

    • Sue

      Michael T.

      I will frankly admit that I do not know what some of the Bible means. It was really driven home to me when we did a blog party on Psalm 68. There are 13 words in that psalm for which we have no meaning.

      Regarding authenteo, the complementarian scholary position as I understand it from Kostenberger is this, —

      1. There are only one or two other occurences of authenteo in the same time period as the NT. The one we are sure of occurs in a hostile environment.

      2. Other time periods are ruled out.

      3. Since there are so few occurences, we can assume that we don’t really know what the word means from lexical studies.

      4. Therefore we are free to reconstruct the meaning of the word from syntactical or grammatical studies.

      5. From context we know that it means that “women cannot lead in church,” so that is what it means. —

      This, however, directly contradicts the only other two translation traditions.

      Jerome translated it as dominari “to dominate” or “be the master.” And Erasmus translated it into Latin as “autoritatem usurpare” from which we get the KJV – to usurp authority and Tyndale got “to have authority.”

      That’s about it. There are very few words which are doctrinally important that we know so little about. The only other one that comes to mind is in Gen. 3:16, that a woman shall ______ her husband.

      So the meaning of these two verses 1 Tim. 2:12 and Gen. 3:16 is dependent on human interpretation.

      Therefore, when women are told that they are not to lead in church, or that they desire to control their husband or whatever – this is the voice of a human speaking. I too am human. But I don’t want to indoctrinate anyone into their own subordination.

    • Hodge

      “I have never understood the part about her being redeemed through childbirth. There is certainly more to her role in life from the time of creation on then child bearing, after all. That is a statement that makes no sence to me at all. Not all women are even able to have children and no one is saved by something that they do–like have a baby.”

      Well, Paul does couple it with faith, love and sobriety, so it’s not just motherhood alone. Not all women are able to have children, but all women can be mothers. I believe the fulfillment of this is both literal and spiritual, and can be spiritual alone if the physical is lacking due to a decision made by God.

      Eric, I understand your point, but I think the construction here is unusual, so there aren’t any other exact parallels to it. Instead, since we know that Paul argues according to the pattern of his ministry and that he uses non-imperatival verbs to express volition, I wouldn’t take this as a possible expressive statement with no volition. Quinn and Wacker, who are no friends to the comp position, also note the uses of epitrepo as instructive in both the NT and early Patristic literature (200).

      Actually, the text more likely says that the woman was deceived by/in transgression (i.e., the stepping over of boundaries set for her). So I would once again state that this does not refer to the postlapsarian condition or curse. However, my point wasn’t that she did not come into transgression, but that Paul’s argument begins before and stops at the point that she does. He does not make use of the curse of the Fall itself. The Fall instead is a result of the woman being deceived (and I would argue having stepped over the boundaries set for her).

      I deal with the childbearing issue in my book. It is not likely, for a few reasons, that the childbearing refers to Christ.

    • Hodge

      Don,

      “My reading is that there were men and women at Ephesus involved in the false teaching. 2 men were kicked out of church, some men were fighting and some women were showing off.”

      Then why the prohibition of women over men? Once again, the definite article would be needed here. AND why in the world does he give the reasons that he does? Why not say, “Because this woman is teaching heresy and is deceived like Eve? And who is the “they” who will be saved if they continue in faith and love and sobriety? His argument is a priority argument, which means he intends it to be universal. Otherwise, there would not be an appeal to creation (Cf. the author of Jubilees, Jesus, Paul in 1 Cor 11, etc.).

      The statement of childbearing is a connection to Gen 1-3 as well, not the pagan cult. Been reading Kroeger?

      The problem with assigning a background to a text is that Ephesian culture is almost as diverse as American culture. If you want to bend a Scripture to your liking, you only need to pick which element in the culture you want to use in order to do it. The point is that if this were a cultural and specific command, the appeal to creation, a priority argument, would not have been made.

    • Hodge

      Sue, I answered this in 203 and 269 of the other thread. Maybe you missed it because it was pending authorization. 🙂

    • […] Patton has taken it upon himself to define both complementarianism and egalitarianism and I think he gets it almost completely wrong. Now I must note that I really like reading Michael […]

    • EricW

      Hodge wrote:

      Actually, the text more likely says that the woman was deceived by/in transgression (i.e., the stepping over of boundaries set for her).

      So, you would translate 2:14 as:

      “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman has come to be deceived in transgression.”

      Would it be normal to couple a perfect active indicative verb with an aorist passive participle to indicate a state? Wouldn’t it be more likely for him to have used the perfect passive participle of exapataô with a form of eimi instead of using an aorist passive in combination with gegonen?

      If what you write is what Paul wanted to say, wouldn’t he instead have written:

      kai Adam ouk êpatêthê, hê de gunê exêpatêthê en parabasei

      “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived in/by transgression”

      and omitted the gegonen at the end?

      Your suggestion seems awkward to me. Which commentators translate it that way, or which translations render it that way?

    • cherylu

      Hodge,

      Please, as somebody said on another thread, telling us that you discuss an issue in your book is really no help to us here. It doesn’t give us a clue what you think about the issue. And I am sorry if this offends you, but it starts to sound like an advertisement for your book.

    • Hodge

      BTW, to comment on the over-exegeting: I do think that there are good linguistics that can be applied to grammatical and syntactical study. I too have had profs that find something in every grammatical detail, but I have been attempting to show what is what by how it is used. There are rules from usage. They may be able to go in three different ways, but not the fourth way, and that is when they become helpful. The same goes for lexicography. I really don’t know if authenteo is meant to mean “absolute authority” in order to contrast it with submission (i.e., no authority), or “to have authority,” or “to strive for authority” etc. But I do know what it does not mean in and of itself from its uses. So I agree with Michael to some degree, but obviously, as one who uses a lot of exegesis, I also think it’s more cut and dry than many may think. I remember thinking that the Greek could mean anything when I first started learning it and took my first exegesis class, but once I took Advanced Greek Grammar with Carson, and started really looking at uses, I realized it’s not so open. A little Greek gave me the illusion that it could mean numerous things. A lot of Greek and linguistics gave me the understanding that the context and other elements within a text bind the meaning more than I had previously thought. I guess that’s why profs always refer to those who know some Greek as those who know enough to be dangerous. 😉

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      The construction is awkward as it is. Most translations, and commentators, don’t translate it as it stands.

      I actually think mine is least awkward and closer to what is said:

      Having been deceived by having been in transgression (if you want the old translation of the Perfect).

      “Wouldn’t it be more likely for him to have used the perfect passive participle of exapataô with a form of eimi instead of using an aorist passive in combination with gegonen?”

      No, because the perfect part. almost always conveys an antecedent, and my interpretation is that the deception follows the stepping over the boundaries. And a perfect part with an eimi verb is used often to create periphrastic part.

      I would look at John 12:49 for an Aor Part and a Perfect Act Ind that shows the first action following the second. The Father sent (Aor Part) having given (Perf Act Ind) commandment. Now, this isn’t a passive, and it may be disputed that the commandment is given before the sending, but I think John 17:4 might offer a solution there.

      To me, this makes sense. Eve’s stepping over the boundaries led to further chaos in deception, but she will be restored by returning to those boundaries in her submissive role as mother.

      I admit that it’s extremely difficult for everyone. It could be that I can’t do this with the Greek. Since I don’t have an exact parallel for you, it may be that I can’t. I can’t verify it right now, as I’ve not studied this particular clause in detail, and my Gramcord is not cooperating at the moment. 🙂 Of course, I’m not willing to die over it. My point is simply that the curse of the Fall is not apart of Paul’s argument. The deception that either is a result of the stepping over boundaries or resulted in stepping over boudaries. Either way the emphasis is on the woman being deceived, the man not being deceived, and the chaos that ensued because the woman took the lead and the man followed.

    • mbaker

      Hodge says:

      “The Fall instead is a result of the woman being deceived (and I would argue having stepped over the boundaries set for her).”

      But couldn’t have the Fall been immediately stopped had the man stepped up to the plate and done what he should have, and said to the woman “No, this is a total disobedience of God”?

      Yet he did not, but blamed the woman instead. Did God accept that excuse? We all know that He didn’t. Seems to me that you want to fall upon NT exegesis using OT principles, saying that Adam had no choice when in fact he did.

      That blows the whole complementarism argument right there as far I’m concerned, because as you are arguing it, it absolves the man completely.

    • Hodge

      But Cherylu, all of your problems would magically disappear if you would just read it. 🙂

    • Hodge

      mbaker,

      I’m lost. I never said Adam didn’t have any choice. My point was that it’s primarily his fault for not taking the lead. He shunned his role. The woman stepped up to the plate. She was deceived. He wasn’t. But he followed her lead anyway. I don’t see where we disagree.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      I guess those comments were held back. I did not see them. Let me address them,

      1. “And I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but 1 Tim 2:12 is the case of the positive meaning in our time period;”

      Okay, I don’t know what to say. I have never seen anyone make this argument before. Aren’t we trying to figure out what it means, rather than assuming what it means.

      2. “The reason why people dispute this passage, and ironically it is usually cited as a support for the positive view of authenteo, is because kamna has to be added in order for it to have the connotation of coercion. I’m not sure why it’s translated “I domineer.” Is that your’s or Grudem’s or Payne’s? It should be “building authority.” In fact, I would translate it “building a rapport (lit. building authority) with him.”

      I translated it “domineer”, but I think “force” makes more sense given the tone of the rest of the letter. I put in the question mark to indicate that it was just a filler word.

      There was hostility, and the author of the letter made the other guy arrange for the transport of the cattle, within the hour! This does not sound like a rapport building exercise. Can you cite anyone at all that thinks that this letter is about building rapport, rather than about a disagreement between two men in a financial transaction.

      Anyway, Payne and Grudem agree on “compel” on page 680 of Ev. Fem Biblical Faith. Can you cite someone who suggests “building rapport?”

      I will proceed with Philodemus in my next comment.

    • mbaker

      Hodge to answer your question, you seem to be making it more a matter of what side we fall upon regarding the larparsian arguments. To wit:

      “Actually, the text more likely says that the woman was deceived by/in transgression (i.e., the stepping over of boundaries set for her). So I would once again state that this does not refer to the postlapsarian condition or curse. However, my point wasn’t that she did not come into transgression, but that Paul’s argument begins before and stops at the point that she does. He does not make use of the curse of the Fall itself. The Fall instead is a result of the woman being deceived (and I would argue having stepped over the boundaries set for her).”

      I’m not exactly clear on what you mean by that. Perhaps you could clarify it for the rest of us.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      BGU 1208 is cited as a negative use of authenteo because it is followed by pros,

      καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐθεντηκότος πρὸς αὐτὸν

      So some people have ventured that maybe it is the use of “pros” that makes it negative. No one that I have ever heard of has suggested that it means something positive like “building rapport.” Have you read the letter?

      Unless you cite someone on this, I will have to disregard it.

    • Sue

      προς τους ἐπιφαν[εσ]τατους εχαστοτε διαμαχονται και συν αυθεντ[ου]σιν αν[αξιν]

      “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”

      Hodge,

      Here is the problem. You have somehow provided a translation for the citation which has nothing at all to do with the citation. The Greek that I have cited occurs in line 15 of the fragment, and the piece you refer to where it mentions “hated by both gods and men” occurs in line 35.

      What it says is that “they fight every chance they get with authentousin lords.”

      Who knows what the lords were like – but in any case we know they were lords only because we assume that the fragment can be reconstructed to say αναξιν. That is the word which is translated “lords.”

      There does not seem to be any underlying Greek word which was translated as “those in authority.”

      I really don’t think that this kind of citation can support a positive connotation.

      Nowhere are church leaders to act as Greek or Roman lords. They are told not to lord it over their flock. They are told to be the servants, to be different from Greek lords, the opposite.

    • Sue

      You mention that church members were told to obey. There is a good argument that πείθω (passive) means to trust in Hebrews 13:17.

    • Sue

      PS The two citations above for authenteo can be googled by writing

      – philodemus fragment suzanne’s bookshelf

      – bgu 1208 suzanne’s bookshelf

    • Minnow

      CMP–
      My comment with regard to your POV is this: If we simply train INDIVIDUALS in the way the individual should go without first trying to figure out how a man VS how a woman “should go” we would end up, if YOU are correct, with women behaving like women SHOULD and men behaving like men SHOULD. But, if my POV is correct yet we FUNCTION as though your POV is correct we end up with all sorts of contrived ways men VS women “should go” that are in reality based on prejudice, culture, habit, and tradition. If we function according to my POV all the “exceptions” to the rule are covered and all the non-exceptions to the rule are covered because we take the time to look at individuals rather than stereo-types or some person’s best guess.
      To answer directly the questions you said this post was meant to deal with:
      “Do you believe that there are essential differences between men and women?”
      Yes, I believe there are differences between men and women.

      “Do you believe we should nurture and celebrate these essential differences or remain neutral to them?”
      I believe we should nurture and celebrate these differences only to the degree that the individual reveals those differences.
      “Do you believe that, many times, these essential differences will predispose one sex to be more qualified than another for certain jobs (and I am not saying “roles” here YET)?”
      No, I do not think that these differences will predispose one sex to be more qualified than the other. I do believe one sex may bring certain qualifications while the other might bring other qualifications and that these differences when used together will get the job done at a higher quality.

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      While I think I now better understand your translation of 1 Tim 2:14, a problem I have with it is 2:15. Paul has said about the woman that:

      2:13
      she was formed after Adam,

      2:14
      a. she was deceived in/by her transgression (your translation), or
      b. she is in a state of transgression after having been (or because she had been) deceived, and

      2:15
      she will be saved through childbirth or the birth of a/the child.

      I think 2:15 best follows from 2:14 option b. – i.e., the customary translation – rather than your translation, for:

      Woman does not need to be saved from being formed after Adam.

      Woman does not need to be saved from having been deceived.

      BUT…woman does need to be saved from being in a state of transgression, since the salvation procured by Christ is most often related to saving a person from their sins or trespasses or transgressions. Since I think most commentators reject treating “will be saved” as speaking strictly of the physical protection of being preserved or kept whole during the act of childbirth, then the salvation spoken of here refers to Christian salvation – which, as I said, is the remedy for persons who are lost or dead because of sins/trespasses/transgressions.

    • C Michael Patton

      Minnow, so you are assuming some sort of gender neutrality from the part of the mentors? That is fine, but even most Christian Egals would not go there. You are being consistent though.

      No more men’s conferences maybe to? Or womens? Because they assume too much about the masculinity and femininity which cannot assumed?

      Peter’s statement about how men should treat women as the “weaker” sex is presumptive on his part?

      I guess you can see where I am going with this and why your thoughts would seem very off to so many Christians. In a real sense it would seem to neuter society.

      Whereas my proposal presumes that God created the sexes with unique gifts and abilities that must be recognized and nurtured preemptively. Not out of fear that they won’t eventually become boys or girls, but because we have a responsibility to disciple them in such a way as leaders.

      Boy is this relevant in my house. We have two boys and two girls. If we did not presuppose and help shape their bents uniquely, we would be way behind. So would their school system, Sunday School class, and the like. We prepare them for the UNIQUE challenges that they will face as older teenage boys and girls. We prepare them for the unique opportunities that they will have as boys and girls. That is how a complementarian worldview leads.

      We don’t force them into a mold, but we guide them down the path of wisdom where they will be able find their most potential.

      However, I assume that you do many of the same things in practice.

    • Hodge

      “BUT…woman does need to be saved from being in a state of transgression, since the salvation procured by Christ is most often related to saving a person from their sins or trespasses or transgressions. Since I think most commentators reject treating “will be saved” as speaking strictly of the physical protection of being preserved or kept whole during the act of childbirth, then the salvation spoken of here refers to Christian salvation – which, as I said, is the remedy for persons who are lost or dead because of sins/trespasses/transgressions.”

      Yeah, I think the contrast is with the transgression as well. I just see it differently. My point there is that the transgression is the stepping over the boundaries set in the roles. She will be saved (I think it is better here to take this as sanctification, which is the act of restoration) by taking up her role again. The woman being formed after the man is Argument 1. Argument 2 is in v. 14 and remedied in v. 15 when accompanied by faith, love and sobriety.

    • bethyada

      bethyada a problem that arises from your position is that if it can be shown that a particular woman has the specific qualifications that a man needs to teach, then she can teach.

      Patton No, not really. The reason is because I would say that ideally the Bible teaches that men are always more qualified than women. See my last post about how men are more inclined toward the type of leadership that the pastorate/eldership requires and people respond better to men.

      However, in situations where this is not the case (i.e. there are no qualified men or men simply are not stepping up), yes, a woman would have to step up. This is the case, I believe, in the book of Judges, where men are not doing their job.

      I don’t think you quite addressed my point. I can cope with your example of Deborah. Rather I was addressing the claim that because you see characteristics first and role secondary, one could argue that even if qualified men are available, a woman could still claim she has particular characteristics that allow her to also fill the the role of elder; ie. she could acknowledge gender differences in general, but claim that she is confrontational (or whatever trait).

    • bethyada

      Bethyada Christ protects the church (or Yahweh protects Israel), men are therefore to protect their wives, therefore God gives protection qualities to men.

      Kay You fail to take into consideration that all men are not physically able to do such a thing. Your illustration does a great injustice to our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ. I can never imagine God setting up such a paradigm for failure for the men in that position. Imagine being a wheelchair bound husband hearing that as a sermon illustration?

      It would be more accurate to say that God gives protection abilities to some men.

      I was showing how role is primary. And this antedates the fall (God’s decision on what masculinity means). A broken world does not refute this.

      But I think much still holds in a broken world: many men who are unable to protect may still have a desire to do so, which may make the disability harder to bear. But the desire is a large part of the characteristic.

    • C Michael Patton

      Beth, no, this is not the case because in these circumstances when you have one qualified woman and one qualified man, the man will always be more qualified because of his innate characteristics which are a primary determining factor in the qualification process. Again, this is the point of my first post.

      In other roles that lend themselves to females, although men CAN do what women can do, women are de facto much more qualified all things equal.

    • Michael T.

      “And I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but 1 Tim 2:12 is the case of the positive meaning in our time period”

      Alright I’m no Greek scholar but this is just erroneous reasoning. I had to laugh when I read this.

    • Hodge

      “Okay, I don’t know what to say. I have never seen anyone make this argument before. Aren’t we trying to figure out what it means, rather than assuming what it means.”

      Yes, we are . . . through the context rather than through a foreign context, which will not give you the nuance here.

      Sue, this is Kostenberger’s summary translation off or your website. I realize it isn’t a direct translation, but it sums up what is most likely in the passage. So I got it from you in the first place. I wasn’t quoting the Greek, which does not negate summary translation in my mind. Something bad is clearly being said about those who contend with those in authority, whether it says they are worthless men or not. The argument I was also making was against what you said on your site, i.e., that authenteo was not visible enough here to come to know if it was really used. It is clear enough to know that. It is also most likely a positive use, but as I said, if we don’t agree, that’s fine. What else do we have to work with? 1 Timothy or Patristic data.

      You can translate peitho as “trust” as long as you understand that it means “to entrust yourself” or “be persuaded by,” which in conjunction with the word hupeikete “submit,” “yield to,” “do not resist” conveys an even stronger idea of “obey” than akouete would. The Auctor then is describing authority and submission to us without using the word authority. I think this text is difficult to get around for anyone who believes that people are never given authority over other people.

      BGU 1208: I realize Grudem agrees with you. I acknowledged such. My point is that there are others who don’t. I don’t necessarily agree that a negative is warranted here. But as said many times before, I have already provided positive uses of the word, and hence, if it can be used positively or negatively, then it is neither inherently positive or negative in its base meaning. The context must mold it one way or the other…

    • Michael T.

      Hodge,
      Are you suggesting that women who reject “traditional” gender roles are unsaved??

    • Hodge

      “Alright I’m no Greek scholar but this is just erroneous reasoning. I had to laugh when I read this.”

      I’m sorry, Michael, I don’t understand what you’re saying. Let me try and figure it out through foreign contexts.

      “Alright” has an etymology of all and right. It is used in medical terminology to define the condition of a sick patient that is now better. So what you seem to be saying here is that you’ve been ill and now you’re better.

      “Greek” is often used to refer to fraternities in college and therefore you must be saying that you do not belong to a fraternity.

      The word “laugh” is associated with comedy clubs, which means you must be at a comedy club as you write this.

      How is it erroneous reasoning to say that context determines the meaning of a word? We know that authenteo has something to do with authority. If that is the case, then what kind is going to be determined by the context. We have three texts, two in dispute, that contain the word before the Patristic era. So that leaves us with one text, positive or negative, to determine the meaning. That’s 1 Tim itself. It is in contrast to its polar opposite “complete submission,” it precedes a discussion concerning the election of elders, and it is part of an argument that defines why a woman cannot be an elder. It is further in a context of a text delineating ecclesiastical authority and the various authoritative duties that correspond to it. I think the last laugh is mine. 🙂

    • bethyada

      Kay comment #45. I don’t understand what your response to me is saying.

      cherylu That still doesn’t change the basic facts though that the curse(s) are still there for men and women. And no amount of remedial action is going to remove that completely on this earth. It may make things a lot easier to deal with, but does not make God’s pronouncements go away.

      I realise you wrote this to someone else, but I think that the created order and the fall offer different arguments. I am not fully certain how the Fall speaks to the egalitarian debate, but I think the response that people are allowed to ameliorate the effects of the Fall is a legitimate argument. We have to understand the what and why of the curse. Post-fall work is toilsome, but the curse is not an argument against making work less toilsome.

      I mentioned recently that Paul uses 2 arguments in 2 Timothy. One appeals to creation and surrounding the Fall. But as I mentioned, the argument relating to the Fall may be due to the curse, or may be due to the created characteristic that tempted Eve (a pre-Fall condition).

    • Sue

      This is directly from my blog.

      “In the footnotes, Köstenberger provides the only two pieces of lexical evidence which he thinks are relevant. He says,

      41These two references are: Philodemus (1st cent. BCE): “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”; and BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.” For full Greek texts and translations, see Baldwin, “Appendix 2” in Women in the Church, 275–76. (in the PDF page 13)

      The first citation is a reference to Philodemus. However, authentein is definitely not translated as “those in authority” but as “powerful lords” or something of the kind. Several lines later, there is a reference to “those in authority” but not in connection to authentein. It seems there has been a mix up.

      The second citation it the one that Grudem suggests should be translated as “compel”. Therefore, in spite of Köstenberger’s footnote, neither of these two citations gives the obvious meaning “exercise authority”. Whatever the meaning is, I would like to see it properly cited.”

      I thought that I had made clear that Kostenberger’s quote for Philodemus is NOT a translation of the line which includes authentein.

      Hodge,

      What gives? Anyone can see that the two passages are no match and that the English translation is from further down in the Greek. It is not that hard to spot if you look at lines 15 and 35 in the Greek and see the mixup.

      And please cite for me one scholar who thinks that BGU 1208 is a reference to authentein with a positive connotation.

      So far the only positive occurrence that you have mentioned is 1 Tim. 2:12. You have not demonstrated to me that you have read the other two references in Greek.

    • C Michael Patton

      Hodge is right. Context take the word usage and allows it to be nuanced. Often this will cause it to find a new place within a larger semantic domain. If the context is clear enough, even when there are no other examples of this word carrying a certian connotation, this new usage serves as the example. If this were not the case, then words would be unable to find any sort of semantic domain (wider usage) since they would be in the prison of its initial usage.

      Context is a large part of determining meaning and, more often than not, takes priority.

    • Sue

      We know that authenteo has something to do with authority.

      We know that it has something to do with control. The only two other occurrences are tranlated as “compel” and “powerful.”

      Chrysostom forbade a man from ever authentein his wife. It was a tyrannical thing to do.

    • Michael T.

      CMP
      RE: 201

      Again I’m no Greek scholar. However, I’m having trouble following your logic. If a word means one thing in every other example in which the word is used (as argued fairly convincingly by Sue and not heavily disputed by Hodge accept to point to the verse in question) and that meaning can plausibly be applied to the passage in question (even if it may seem that another meaning is more likely) then shouldn’t that meaning prevail??? It seems to me as an outside observer that the passage is at least somewhat ambiguous as to meaning which would in turn lead me to believe that building such an important doctrine off this passage would be ill advised. Yet then again I’m just an outside observer not an expert.

      Again I’m just scratching my head here and if this reasoning if wrong (and I’m open to it being wrong) I’d like to know why.

    • Sue

      “Context is a large part of determining meaning and, more often than not, takes priority.”

      Of course it does, because you can twist it anyway you like. You can never nail it down.

    • Hodge

      Sue,
      It’s getting a little frustrating to have to rewrite what I’ve written before. Knight cites BGU as positive, Liddel and Scott cite it as positive. If I actually had the energy to go through my library right now, I’m sure I could find you more, but who cares what others have said? We have the texts don’t we?

      My point about the citation is that it conveys the point of the passage with authenteo. These men are set against society. Are you saying that their fighting with authentousin is seen as a good thing in the passage. After all, if authentousin are tyrants (which you earlier said you didn’t believe it was), then why are these men seen in a bad light?

      BTW, I wasn’t translating the Greek sentence. You placed that there. I was quoting the summary provided by Kostenberger.

      Honestly, Sue. I just gave you the references from Lampe. Do you not own Lampe or something? Why can’t you just go read it? Why make me reproduce the examples I gave of God and man having a positive authenteo/authentia?

      I’ve read Philod before. I re-read it on your blog before I posted any of this. I argued to you from the context that these men are bad men who oppose those in authority.

      BGU 1208 is a dispute. You assume that because the heated dispute was settled by the owner “authenteo-ing” the man to take his stuff across, then that means that he did so by force. pros indicates something relational more often than not, so I don’t think my nuance is that far off. I obviously would say that rapport carries with it the weight of respect and authority, but don’t see how you’ve provided any evidence to the contrary. I would not say that pros makes it negative.

      I’m going to bow out of this conversation, Sue. I have a feeling that your next statement will be that you never received any positive use of authenteo, ignoring the occurrences I cited. I need to get some writing done, and this has been a fun distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael,

      “If a word means one thing in every other example in which the word is used (as argued fairly convincingly by Sue and not heavily disputed by Hodge accept to point to the verse in question) and that meaning can plausibly be applied to the passage in question (even if it may seem that another meaning is more likely) then shouldn’t that meaning prevail???”

      Sometimes. But often the semantic domain will allow for other nuances to take place if the context suggests such. In many cases, however, we lack much information from within the Scripture itself (synchronically). And sometime there is very little information in the outside resources (diachronically). When all the majority of our other examples come diachronically, we have to be very careful as words can nuance themselves greatly over a short period of time.

      In our present case, they data is greatly lacking. We have the general semantic domain. So the context does take a high priority. This is why most all translations of the Bible translate the way they do. It is significant that both conservatives and liberals alike agree on this issue. The only debate comes in when people have other theological commitments which are driving the interpretation of the data. Hence, what you are witnessing here.

      Again, those books I suggested are very readable and I highly recommend the chapters on word studies. They don’t presuppose much knowledge of original languages.

    • Hodge

      I do want to end by saying that I don’t agree with your lexicographical methodology and your views that cause you to use it; but I do always appreciate the respectful and civil tone with which you conduct our conversations, knowing that you’ve been through something that should make you very disrespectful. So I can argue with everything else, but I can’t argue with the manner you conduct your conversations. Thanks again. 😉

    • C Michael Patton

      Yes, this conversation about “authority” does not need to continue. Very interesting but the point of this post does not turn in any way on where one stands here.

    • Hodge

      One last thing: Michael T,

      A good example for what we’re talking about is epilambano. The word always refers to a physical deliverance in the NT, but in Heb 2:14, the context molds it to refer to spiritual deliverance instead. Context is king and all words must bow down to it.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      They don’t fight with authentousin, because authentousin is not a noun, it is a participal qualifying the noun anaxin.

      I put Dr. Kostenberger’s quote on my blog to demonstrate that it does not line up with the Greek in question. His citation is not, and never was a translation of the line which has authentousin in it.

      That is why on Justin Taylor’s blog, Dr, Kostenberger said that there were only “one or two” occurences of authentein prior to the NT. Because he was not sure that there were two.

      And no, Baldwin does not include BGU 1208 as a positive example of authenteo. And I don’t find any respect and authority in BGU 1208 It is one pissed off citizen to another. There is no mention of any authority.

    • Michael T.

      I think I see where you are coming from, but I remain skeptical for no other reason then I lack the knowledge to be anything else. At the very least it seems to me that this would be a thin thing to base a important and essential doctrine off of (I know you don’t consider this an essential doctrine, but Hodge and others appear to).

    • Sue

      And no I am not going to argue that you never gave the examples. I am going to argue that somehow the comments with your examples were withheld on the preceding post and this delayed the continuance of this discussion.

      You have posted so many misunderstandings that I know longer know what to make of our conversation.

      Anyway, on page 677 of Evangelical Fem and Biblical Truth Baldwin lists BGU 1208 as an example of “compel, to influence someone.” Neutral perhaps, but not positive.

      I argue that since the greatest physical danger a woman will ever experiene is at the hands of her intimate partner, this partner should not be given an unfair advantage over her, to tie break, to compel, or for her in any way to go against her own better judgment.

      A wife should never ever give over any of her God given responsibility for her children. She has equal responsibility and equal authority and it is immoral to suggest otherwise.

      I grieve for this entire and very sad situation in the church.

    • Sue

      This is why most all translations of the Bible translate the way they do. It is significant that both conservatives and liberals alike agree on this issue.

      Michael,

      Bible translations do not agree on this at all. Those in the King James tradition say “usurp authority” but you use the verse as if it said “lead in church.”

      You cannot pretend that there is agreement on the meaning.

    • Sue

      Michael P.

      The conversation on authority would not be here in this thread if some comments had not been withheld from the previous post, and Hodge repeatedly asked me to respond to them. I know that nobody really wants to know that we don’t know for sure what this verse means and that all restrictions on women are purely speculative, but that is the case.

      In any case, thank you for not shutting it down.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, you are quite a bit of fun and a joy to have a conversation with.

      I am not even saying that I necessarily disagree with you about much of this. I remain somewhat agnostic to some of these details. But as more of systematic theologian, my thinking goes much broader and will certianly influence how I begin to put the individual peices of the puzzle together. It helps me to be able to make some decisions on the more obscure details.

    • C Michael Patton

      BTW: I just posted an introspective peice that, I believe, helps to see why people argue differently and approach the data differently.

      I am finally off the gender issue stuff! (for now). See it here:

      http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/02/three-types-of-christian-scholarship/

    • EricW

      Sue, Hodge, CMP, et al.:

      FWIW, I believe Payne tackles the meaning of authentein in his book (Man and Woman, One and Christ), and demonstrates the problems with the lexical entries in BDAG and LSJ and what Kostenberger and others write about it by not only giving more examples, but by also showing what those lexical entries fail to say or show, or why their citations are problematic.

    • Johnfom

      After reading the incredibly long discussion I’ve gone back to the original post to look again at the definitions proposed.

      By those definitions I believe there would need to be another (or even multitudes of other) definitions to cover most of the people I interact with. I, and they, would be neither complimentarian nor egalitarian, or both.

      Complimentarian.
      That men and women are generally different in essential ways is accepted. That they are equal (but not equivalent) is accepted. That the differences mean they are generally predisposed towards different tasks, and therefore towards different roles is accepted.

      Egalitarian
      But it is also accepted that ‘The way the sexes function… is determined by individual giftedness, not role distinctions according to the sexes. …each person should be judged individually when being placed in a particular position.’

      We would celebrate and encourage the masculinity and femininity found in each individual, regardless of their genetic makup.

      If the differences are ‘essential’ then they do not need to be taught, they are already there. They merely need to be celebrated where they are found, even if they be macsuline in a female, or feminine in a male.

      The generalisations of gender should NOT be imposed on the individual. To do so would be to invite that (supposedly egalitarian) problem of ‘troubled men and women groping to find their way and feeling pressured to repress their instincts and giftedness’, this time towards conformity.

      The distinctives as classically argued are not as you have presented, but whether a heirachy should be predicated on the characteristics and imposed universally based on genetic generalisation.

      The debate IS about roles, not ontology. Changing the definition of each position in this way will, unfortunately, probably serve to exclude many from the conversation for being supposedly inconsistent.

      At the moment I am classical egalitarian, Patton complimentarian 😉

    • Kay

      “Kay comment #45. I don’t understand what your response to me is saying.

      cherylu That still doesn’t change the basic facts though that the curse(s) are still there for men and women. And no amount of remedial action is going to remove that completely on this earth. It may make things a lot easier to deal with, but does not make God’s pronouncements go away.”

      cherylu,
      That wasn’t my comment you’ve quoted here – sorry I can’t help you.

    • Kay

      c michael,
      Your type of complementarianism is in reality no different than “hard compism.”
      Although you’ve couched it in gentler terms, the basic fact remains: it is man directed, not Spirit directed – because until the male who has the position of authority makes a decision, either by abdication or by invitation, that a woman can act, then “men” keep her in her place.
      When the Lord leads His servants in their tasks, it is not directed by the will of man.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Kay, your last comment (#23) supposes that women have no input or influence. That is a mistaken representation of the complementarian model.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      “I’m going to bow out of this conversation, Sue. I have a feeling that your next statement will be that you never received any positive use of authenteo, ignoring the occurrences I cited. I need to get some writing done, and this has been a fun distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.”

      Don’t quit, Hodge! Nothing more fun than banging your head against a wall.

    • cherylu

      Kay,

      It was Bethyada that questioned your comment #45, not me! Perils of long threads I think.

    • Kay

      “Kay, your last comment (#23) supposes that women have no input or influence. That is a mistaken representation of the complementarian model.”

      Doesn’t matter – that would simply make it it “man and woman” directed. Either way, it’s not the Spirit’s work.

    • Susan

      Sue, you always seem to equate submission with ‘suffering’:

      “Since the Bible always presents imperial power, or monarchy as a power which the Christian must submit to, I find it galling that men have ensured that they live in a democracy with access to the places of authority, and women live in subordination. Why are women uniquely asked to bear the greater suffering?”

      My question is this? Do you consider it suffering to submit to God? Do you personally consider it important to submit to God….in your own life. Are you submitted to God?

    • Rebecca

      I was thinking about love languages. The “professionals” tell us that men are wired to want and need respect. Women are wired to want and need to feel loved. Now we each need both but one we need more than the other. maybe not a lot more but still more….so…the “professionals” tell us.

      Also, there are rights and there are needs, desires that we hoot and holler about, depending on the conversation at the time. For example, if I feel my husband is controlling, I might demand my rights! If I feel he is neglecting me, I morn is lack of affection.

      If our primary need is not met, wheteher it be respect or love, it stings. Why? Because it just does? I don’t think so. Any way to attach this respect/love phenomenon with explaing the “why” factor? Oh no, that was the other post! But with either post, it seems we all need to express the “why”. Sorry.

      Now, how much have I been wired to lead and how much have my circumstances, life history, cultural change in society taught me, encouraged me to lead? How much of my leadership is a reaction to what I have learned and observed? And have we, male and female showed the capacity and ability to learn what did not come natural to us and in all our fervor lost our authentic selves so that we don’t even recognize who we are anymore? I think it shows how we humans can be wired one way but can be shaped or perhaps transformed into something else. And who tells us our transformation is a better you? … “search my heart Oh, God” for it should never be self serving. It should be to His Glory no matter the gender.

    • Hodge

      BTW, I did want to mention, for those who are interested, that the uses of authenteo are listed by Baldwin (as someone I think mentioned before), both in Greek with an English translation, in Anreas Kostenberger et al., Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995) 269-305. He also interacts briefly with a few of Payne’s arguments that were given in an ETS paper presented.

    • EricW

      Hodge, et al.:

      There is a 2nd edition of Women in the Church that came out a few years ago and revised the original edition (some of which Payne mentions – e.g., changes Moo made to some of his statements/claims in the first edition).

      Also, I suspect that Payne’s 2009 book contains more up-to-date or additional info on authentein than what Kostenberger interacted with in 1995.

    • Sue

      See Linda Belleville in Discovering Biblical Equality. In the first half of her article she demonstrates why the Philodemus fragment is out. See kostenberger’s interview on Justin Taylor’s blog July 2008 on 1 Tim. 2:12.

      The books cited above are not current with this. The philo fragment is too uncertain and the BGU 1208 cannot be proven to have anything but a negative or hostile aspect.

      I believe Payne has dealt with all of this. This is just not the way to interpret the word of God.

      Susan

      You excommunicated me last year on the same point. Am I suddenly going to say something different?

    • TL

      This has probably been addressed a few times already. 🙂

      ”if you say that there will be exceptions yet we should, as a society, celebrate and encourage individuals to grow in ways that exemplify what males and females should.”

      The problem with that is that when people are going to add requirements and incentives to do and be things that are extra biblical, then we are interfering with God’s influences on people’s lives. God uses whomsoever He Wills in whatever ways He decides. And He does it from the moment of conception in their mother’s womb. Who are we to interfere by deciding that men SHOULD like blue, women SHOULDN’T think of being an engineer (or pastor, teacher, evangelist, church planter, life guard, policeman, fireman, etc.), women SHOULD like lots of children, boys SHOULD like sports and girls shouldn’t and so forth. We have done this for many years only to find errors later. One error was to teach that women were not as good as men in math. When the schools stopped discouraging girls from math, they were somewhat surprised that the young girls are just as good as the boys. This created a backlash to the boys who thought there must be something wrong with them if there were so many girls who excelled in math.

      Men and women, as fellow humans, have the same brains. There are just some differences in connections. These differences make neither superior and neither inferior. It only changes the approaches to handling problems. There are benefits to the different approaches. Both however can handle the problems brains were created to handle.

    • Susan

      Excommunicated? As I recall your answer was evasive. If a person does not see the need to submit to God then why would such a person see any reason to submit to others as God has ordained it. It’s very helpful to understanding ones argument to know the persons foundational understanding of their relationship to God and His word.

      I don’t think I ever asked you this question: Do you believe that the Bible is the word of God?

    • TL

      Come on Susan. This is such an old political tactic. Please stop with the condemning harrassment and personal attack of Sue. She’s a long time Christian, who loves the Lord God dearly and as well deeply believes in the Word of God, and desires to honor God by rightly reading and interpreting it.

      Now, let’s get back to the discussion and leave our personal dislikes out of it.

    • Susan

      TL, sorry…I’m not brilliant enough to employ political tactics. My questions are 100% sincere.

      Do you know Sue personally? Face to face? How do you know these things about her?

    • TL

      Then perhaps a personal email would be more appropriate. It really is distracting from the discussion, even if you don’t mean it to be. You may not be aware but several of the hierarchalists who’ve been debating for some years, put together a particularly offensive tactic of accusing those who disagreed with them of not being Christian or of not being Christian “enough”, or of not respecting God’s Word. It was all aimed at discrediting the reputation and veracity of their opponents. It’s called an ad hominem. An ad hominem is when someone attacks an opponents character or his motives for believing something, instead of disproving his opponents argument on its own merit.

      I’ve been reading Sue’s blog and comments around for several years. I’ve nothing but the highest respect for her and her walk with God.

    • Susan

      Well then, I guess, by your definition I wasn’t making an ad hominem attack. Truth is I wasn’t attacking, I was asking a sincere, straight-forward question. At this point I’m beginning to think that it’s more you who are attacking me. You are accusing me of things I haven’t done. I didn’t attack Sue’s character, I simply asked a question….which she could have answered in a simple straightforward way…but chose not to. I noticed that she asked Michael a lot of questions…..

      Furthermore, Sue accused me of excommunicating her, Silly.

    • Sue

      Susan,

      I did not quite remember that correctly. What happened was that another blogger, not present here, but who was at that time, emailed me, and said,

      “Oh, I see you were just excommunicated on Parchment and Pen!”

      He was refering to your comments.

      Your comments are ad hominem. They are about me as a person.

      What I am discussing is not a matter of faith but fidelity to objectively observed facts. I do think that Hodge, Michael P and Dr. Kostenberger, and Dan Wallace all agree that we lack lexical evidence for the meaning of authentein.

      I realize that the question remains, is context enough. This would be a new conversation which I would be happy to engage in, now that the situation regarding lexical evidence is clearer.

      There are many possible meanings for 1 Tim. 2:12. I would suggest these for a start.

      1. In general, all women should not dictate to men.
      2. These women in Ephesus should not dictate to men.
      3. This particular woman should not be dictating to a man.

      Maybe it means women should not be controlling or taking over. It simply does not say “Women should not lead in church.”

      Gen. 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:12 and 1 Tim. 2:15 all contain phrases or words that are difficult to translate. And men, in their wisdom, and by using the priority of context, have determined that all of these verses mean that women should not go beyond their “boundaries.” I smell a fish.

    • C Michael Patton

      Hey, there have only been seven people in the history of Parchment and Pen that have ever had the priv of being excommunicated from here! And none are present here (obviously!)

    • Susan

      I see. I’ve never excommunicated anyone. In fact I’d be more than happy if you were ever to visit or attend our church. I didn’t insinuate anything about you as a person….I simply asked a question. I would absolutely appreciate a sincere answer. You can accuse me of attacking your character but it simply isn’t true, and you can’t support such a claim.

      I quoted you and made the observation that you always seem to associate submission with suffering, as if the two go hand-in-hand. If that is your view of submission then I suppose you will always be of the opinion that any call to submission is wrong. Are there any realms in which you think that it is the right thing for one person to submit to another? Do you think that you and I should submit to God? Do you think that the Bible is God’s word. I really just want to know how you really feel about these things. Short, straightforward answers will due.

    • C Michael Patton

      I know that we are so far down on this post that no one will read this far. Nevertheless, I feel a bit of tension here raising.

      Keep it safe.

    • TL

      Here’s something of how it works Susan. We are all Christians here (to my knowledge). Sue is an avowed Christian, for many years, although I don’t know how long. We are discussing the Bible because we consider it the written authority that God has provided us. We all want to understand it correctly. And we are in the middle of a discussion about some subjects in the Bible.

      Then somewhere comes the idea/assumptions that one of these long time Christians doesn’t believe in submitting to God AND is questioned whether they believe the Bible IS the Word of God. Neither of these points has anything to do with the questions at hand, and they are personal and can both be answered by reading the blog of the person in question. When we start drilling someone about their personal walk with God in the middle of ‘testy’ Biblical discussions, it is considered trying to question their character so that one doesn’t have to consider their viewpoints.

      Also, the assumption that because someone questions one aspect of the doctrines of submission, means they must question all aspects of submission is not proper logic. Just because one cow is brown doesn’t mean all cows will be brown. That is jumping to a negative conclusion without enough facts to support it. Lots of assumptions, seems to, supposing, etc.

      So how about we just leave that be for now. Comment #239 has some thoughtful points.

    • TL

      -matriarchalism
-
      hard egalitarianism
-
      soft egalitarianism
-
      complegalitarianism (how’s that?—I do think there is such a position!)

      soft complementarianism
-
      hard complementarianism
-
      patriachalism

      I pretty much disagree with this list. While it is true that there are two opposing poles of patriarchalism and matriarchalism, egals are not connected at all with matriarchalism. However, complementarianism is birthed from patriarchalism and all its foundations are solidly rooted in patriarchalism. I consider egalitarianism to be the balancing middle between the two. I also consider soft comps to be very close to most egals although I admit I don’t know what a soft egal would be like. I suspect ‘hard egals’ would be non Christian egalitarianism. Christian egals are all of a gentler nature. 🙂

    • Susan

      Well Tl, I guess you’ve got me all figured out then! You’ve incorrectly judged my questions as “drilling someone about their personal walk with God in the middle of ‘testy’ Biblical discussions, it is considered trying to question their character so that one doesn’t have to consider their viewpoints.” You don’t know me and you have misjudged my motives.

      Sue could clarify things very easily by simply answering my very basic questions. I don’t have time to read her blog. She could answer my simple questions in three minutes or so. I’m just wondering what her basic beliefs are, and I think that for me anyway, it would help to understand where she’s coming from.

      I’m guessing she can speak for herself 🙂

    • mbaker

      Susan,

      Just asking here, and not trying to be confrontational. But your very questions raise doubt about Sue’s Christianity, IMO.

      I don’t know Sue, but have no doubt that she is a Bible believing Christian because of her comments. That is strictly all I have to go on with anyone here, because I don’t know any of you, and only have your word to go on.

      So why such questions? They just don’t seem appropriate in light of the discussion here.

    • Lisa Robinson

      The questions that Susan are asking are honest and reasonable, IMHO. Submission is at the heart of Christianity. Jesus submitted to the Father’s will and a brutal death to offer a sacrifice for sins. Placing faith in Christ involves submitting to God’s authority – our lives are not our own. Paul tells Christians in Philippians 2:3-8, that just as Christ gave up his position in heaven to take on humanity with all its frailities, so we too ought to have the same attitude. That would be an attitude of giving up our rights and what we think is owed to us for the sake of Christ and his program. We submit to God, we submit to his word, we submit to earthly authorities and we submit to each other. That is the Christian life.

      If one expresses a hostility towards submission and authority, it begs the question why that position is so.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Susan: “My question is this? Do you consider it suffering to submit to God? Do you personally consider it important to submit to God….in your own life. Are you submitted to God?”

      Reminds me of the Pomotivational poster titled “Belief.”

      Belief: It can’t be true if I don’t like it.

      ……

      Analogizes to:

      Biblical Patriarchy: It can’t be true if I don’t like it.

    • mbaker

      Lisa,

      If we are just generically asking questions about submission to Christ, that’s one thing. But if we are questioning another’s Christianity to get our point across, that’s quite another. I.e. in asking such things: As do we really believe in the Bible for an example? I think that it has already crossed the line here, and gotten completely off the original subject, and become not about the original issue but about one person’s beliefs, which does a disservice to the rest of us here.

      In that aspect, we also do a major disservice in the original intent of this blog. That’s all I am saying.

    • Susan

      mbaker (I used to be sbaker BTW), if Sue simply answered these basic questions then there would not have to be any doubt….would there? I’d be happy for doubt-clearance!

      Lisa has said it better than I could. All true… Thanks!

      …and what TUnadD points out is true of so many. People often jump to the conclusion that something can’t be true if they don’t want it to be true. I love my mother-in-law dearly and we have a great relationship, but she will say that she is a Christian and yet holds to many views which are antithetical to Christianity. She is very pluralistic in her beliefs. I don’t know Sue, so I don’t assume this of her.

      If someone asked me the questions I asked Sue, I would be happy to answer them. I just don’t think such a big deal has to be made of this.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Mbaker, yes I understand. But asking where one stands with regard to submission to Christ does provide clarity to the issue of submission to earthly authorities. I won’t speak for Susan, but I think she was simply asking in order to understand better Sue’s opposition to submission and authority. Now it could be that the opposition is just confined to the topic of husbands having any authority. But, there could be a broader opposition to authority that transcends the topic at hand. If so, that would shed light on the position being espoused. I don’t think Susan is asking to accuse but asking to clarify.

    • Susan

      TL and mbaker, I admit that I never assume that everyone present in a discussion at this site is a true child of God. I’m always aware that even some of the most biblically knowledgeable commenters are not Christians (and of course some will claim to be Christians who actually aren’t…by God’s own assessment…not mine). As Dan Wallace testifies, fewer than half of the scholars who are official members of the Society for Biblical Literature are true Christians (believing in the bodily resurrection of Jesus etc.).

    • mbaker

      Maybe you girls aren’t listening, but I have already gotten that. I think it it is because she disagrees with popular opinion that she is being attacked personally. And it’s not because I agree or disagree with her. Sorry despite your protestations to the contrary, IMO, what you are espousing, on a personal basis, is not not aN equally Christian perspective on this paricular issue as whole, but a personal opinion/

      Many a good discussion here has already been shut down because of this very thing, so let’s please get back to the point of the original ssue, While I sometimes disagree with CMP for shutting down some of these, posts, I wouldn’t disagree with him here at all. Either we either attack the issue or we attack the person. I’m for dealing with the issue, or shutting up.entirely Otherwise we all compromise.

    • TL

      “If one expresses a hostility towards submission and authority, it begs the question why that position is so.”

      I must have missed that. Can someone please quote where this was done, with comment number so that I can see it for myself. Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • mbaker

      Sorry for the all the typos, friends, in #253. Been a long day and I’m tired, but they don’t change my original meaning.

      And my blessings upon all of you, agree or disagree.

    • C Michael Patton

      Folks, we are done with this conversation. I understand that the question might have been a legitimate attempt to find out where she stands, but either she has not seen this yet or does not want to answer. Either way, please, no more talk about any of this.

      Move along…nothing to see here.

    • mbaker

      ‘Move along…nothing to see here.”

      My sentiments exactly. Let’s move on with the subject of the post itself.

    • Susan

      No problem, Mr. President.
      It’s time for me to get dinner on the table. It gets a little tricky trying to respond between making mashed potatoes….meatloaf…beans…
      Sorry! Off topic.

    • Susan

      ……but just for the record I’m bummed that Sue didn’t answer. I really wanted to know…. 🙁

    • mbaker

      Sorry ,Susan, I think the answer should already be self evident. But whatever, let’s get back to the real substance of the post.

    • Susan

      Yeah…..what was the substance of the post again? I forgot. 😉

    • mbaker

      Then maybe you are the one of the ones here that constantly needs to be reminded by CMP. 🙂

      Getting back to the substance of the original post itself, (before this one gets closed down too, because it is totally off the subject) exactly what is your stand on this issue, unrelated to your personal opinion on Sue’s comments?

    • Susan

      I am a complementarian, favoring the straightforward reading of the biblical text. Our church is essentially complementarian (of the ‘softer’ variety). None of our pastors are women, but women sometimes teach adult mixed-gender classes. I believe that a wife is to submit to her husband, but that an atmosphere of mutual submission is ideal. A wife should submit to her husband when there is an impasse and a decision has to be made. He will be responsible before God for that decision. I don’t believe that a husband should ever use this as an excuse to lord-it-over his wife, nor to treat her with distain or disrespect.
      Why just today I handed my newly-retired husband the toothpaste he ordered me to get, and made it very clear that he was not to give me orders again…..and he’d better get that straight!

    • mbaker

      Then on those points we are in complete agreement.

      God bless.

    • Susan

      Good 🙂
      ….and I’m hoping my newly-retired-at-age-50 husband will get a job….so that I’m not quite so challenged by the submission issues! Once a sergeant, always a sergeant.

    • mbaker

      Let us just not hope that once we are privates, then we are not considered always privates then, huh ? 🙂

      Even in the army they give promotions, right? Wonder if that happens in the church?

    • Lisa Robinson

      I agree with Susan (if I were married of course ). I find it interesting that with all the railing against the supposed subordination of women, the other side of the equation gets overlooked or dismissed – “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church”. If submission is giving up our right to lead, the husband has to essentially give up his life for the sake of his wife. That means he has to put the needs of his wife above his own. That is love. That is sacrifice. That is protection. Color me stupid, but I don’t find that oppressive at all.

    • PamBG

      The Original Post sets up a rigidly dualistic construct which, it seems to me, (please correct me if I’m wrong) makes the matter of being a complimentarian or an egalitarian a matter of an either/or choice with no nuance permitted.

      From where I stand inside an egalitarian tradition, there is no need to be defensive about taking the position that an individual women might have been given the gift of leadership. Since I am not on the defensive – as was your “convert” to egalitarianism – I don’t have to make ridiculous statements like “men are not physically stronger than women” or “there are no observable behavioral differences between men and women”. Of course there are. That’s common sense.

      For me, the main issue is that complimentarianism sets up a hierarchical structure and denies that there is any hierarchy. At least the male-headship people were honest and transparent about this.

      The debate is NOT about whether or not men and women are ontologically different in the physical and emotional realms. The debate is about whether or not, in the realm of the Triune God and his Kingdom, there is something about a woman’s ontology that renders any spiritually gifted woman unfit for leadership over half the population. Or, looked at from a different perspective, is there a “male spiritual ontology” that requires him to assert spiritual authority over any and all women? As an egalitarian, my answer to both of these ontological questions is “no”.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Kay,

      I was not going to respond to your last comment (#227) but changed my mind.

      I find it interesting that you would say that submission is a man-woman directed work or that the Holy Spirit is not involved with the idea of a woman submitting to her husband. And yet the instruction to submit in Ephesians 5:22 proceeds from Paul’s command to be filled with the Spirit in 5:18.

      As I noted in my comment #247, submission is at the heart of Christianity and it is only by the Spirit’s work that we are able to do so – first to Christ and then to each other.

      I am very puzzled how you can say the Spirit is not involved in submission.

    • C Michael Patton

      Pam,

      “The debate is NOT about whether or not men and women are ontologically different in the physical and emotional realms. The debate is about whether or not, in the realm of the Triune God and his Kingdom, there is something about a woman’s ontology that renders any spiritually gifted woman unfit for leadership over half the population. Or, looked at from a different perspective, is there a “male spiritual ontology” that requires him to assert spiritual authority over any and all women? As an egalitarian, my answer to both of these ontological questions is “no”.”

      And my point was that Evangelical Complementarians would all agree with this statement. No one would ever say that there is ontological inequality any more than they would subscribe to the heresy of subordinationalism in the Trinity.

      Complementarians would just normally take the next logical step to admitting differences and say that there are certain areas that men are more qualified for and certain areas that women are more qualified for. Some of each of these will involve leadership. As well, complementarians would say that when it comes to the family and the pastorate, the Bible ideally sets these positions of authority.

      The post is about the foundational points of each system, not giving the “across the spectrum,” which I certainly agree there is.

    • TL

      -matriarchalism
-
      hard egalitarianism
-
      soft egalitarianism
-
      complegalitarianism (how’s that?—I do think there is such a position!)

      soft complementarianism
-
      hard complementarianism
-
      patriachalism

      I strongly disagree with this list. While it is true that there are two opposing poles of patriarchalism and matriarchalism, egals are not connected at all with matriarchalism. However, complementarianism is birthed from patriarchalism and all its foundations are solidly rooted in patriarchalism. I consider egalitarianism to be the balancing middle between the two. I also consider soft comps to be very close to egals although I admit I don’t know what a soft or hard egal would be like.

      The nature of Christian egalitarianism is freedom in Christ. We are all free to be whomever God created us to be. Thus, it is fine if some husbands like to cook and iron. It is fine if some wives like to leave major decision to their husbands. It is fine is some husbands like to lead major decision to their wives. Ministries, Christian services, and social vocations are between individuals and God, not to be determined by churches. We’ve no problems with Paul’s admonitions on submission. All are to love sacrificially (Epe. 5:1-2) and all are to be of a submissive attitude and nature to one another (Ephe. 5:21) this includes wives to husbands. I personally believe that this submission is an attitude and behavior that seeks to promote the good of the other. In this way real harmonious unity can occur. I believe this frees us from human created forumla’s that only some fit into.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “All are to love sacrificially (Epe. 5:1-2) and all are to be of a submissive attitude and nature to one another (Ephe. 5:21) this includes wives to husbands. I personally believe that this submission is an attitude and behavior that seeks to promote the good of the other. In this way real harmonious unity can occur.”

      Here, here! This also is at the heart of true complementarianism. It bears repeating that we focus so much on the wife’s submission, that the husband’s command to love the wife sacrificially is equally as submissive. Leading the wife in actuality is serving her and putting her needs above his own. Both are called to defer to one another. That is at the heart of what Paul commends in Phil 2:3-8.

    • C Michael Patton

      An important note: if someone reduces what we are talking about to cooking and ironing, they are seriously approching this from a purlely cultural basis. Those two “activities” have no real substance as they are neither roles nor necessary actions of any roles.

    • Kay

      “I find it interesting that you would say that submission is a man-woman directed work or that the Holy Spirit is not involved with the idea of a woman submitting to her husband. And yet the instruction to submit in Ephesians”
      “I am very puzzled how you can say the Spirit is not involved in submission.”

      Lisa,
      I think you must have my comment confused with that of someone else. Glance back, I said nothing like that. I believe in mutual submission.
      I agree -“It bears repeating that we focus so much on the wife’s submission, that the husband’s command to love the wife sacrificially is equally as submissive.”

    • Kay

      “We’ve no problems with Paul’s admonitions on submission. All are to love sacrificially (Epe. 5:1-2) and all are to be of a submissive attitude and nature to one another (Ephe. 5:21) this includes wives to husbands. I personally believe that this submission is an attitude and behavior that seeks to promote the good of the other. In this way real harmonious unity can occur. I believe this frees us from human created forumla’s that only some fit into.”

      TL,
      I agree with this as well.

    • EricW

      Across the spectrum, from the most radical to the most radical on both sides:

      -matriarchalism
      -hard egalitarianism
      -soft egalitarianism
      -complegalitarianism (how’s that?—I do think there is such a position!)
      -soft complementarianism
      -hard complementarianism
      -patriachalism

      I, too, disagree with this list. While matriarchalism is the opposite of patriarchalism, egalitarianism by definition is the center. Thus, the list should be:

      – total matriarchalism
      – hard matriarchalism
      – soft matriarchalism
      – total egalitarianism
      – soft patriarchalism
      – hard patriarchalism
      – total patriachalism

      This is one reason why “complementarianism” is a misnomer, IMO. All sides or positions, whether matriarchal or patriarchal or egalitarian, regard males and females as being complementary in some ways, even if only at the most basic way – i.e., sexual reproducton. It’s how they define or restrict or play out the subordinate/superordinate positions of one sex versus the other in terms of hierarchies and power and control and decision-making – which is what patriarchalism/matriarchalism mean, i.e., power and superordination of men (women) vis-a-vis subordinate women (men) – that dictates where on the above spectrum a group or organization falls.

      Which is again why I think the so-called “complementarians” are improperly redefining themselves, because they are for all intents and purposes patriarchalists. I.e., they believe that certain roles, functions, offices, decisions, positions of authority, etc., are best or only to be held by men, whereas those same men can do anything in terms of functions, offices, decisions, positions of authority, etc. – apart from sexual activities – that women in those organizations are allowed to do. Note that I am only speaking with reference to the church and the body of Christ, NOT the family/marriage relationship. I think the two need to be kept distinct/separate in this discussion.

    • C Michael Patton

      “Which is again why I think the so-called “complementarians” are improperly redefining themselves, because they are for all intents and purposes patriarchalists.”

      The problem with these type of discussions is that people have their categories that the other is going to automatically gravitate toward. No matter how much I have tried to look at it from a different perspective which changes things (much more accurately), we are going to continue to see things from our vantage point.

      Therefore, you criticism and comparison of the “misnomer” of complementarianism does not work unless you stay within your system.

      Oh well…such is the life of teaching theology!

    • Susan

      The thing I thought of after reading this blog was how this played out in my dating (single) years. While dating lots of different guys in our church college group I soon became aware that I strongly gravitated toward the guys who came with a definite date plan and executed it, versus those who had the “Well…what do you want to do?” approach. Furthermore, i liked the guys who were generally strong decision makers. I remember there was one guy I was really interested in…but he was dating someone else. I thought that if I ever ended up with him I would want to marry him. Finally he asked me out. i lost all of my attraction for him on the first date because it bugged me that he was not really a leader, initiator, decision-maker. Incidentally, I learned that he had been raised by his mother without his father present (maybe he had died?). Believe me, I had no preconceived litmus test for what kind of guy I favored in this regard. This was just a discovery I made about guys and what I was naturally drawn toward. Some years later I remember a girl I knew who’d been married for about five years commenting that it bugged her that her husband wasn’t much of a decision maker. I think that God intended for men to be leader oriented, and it’s a good thing…which doesn’t preclude women from being able to demonstrate leadership abilities. I want my sons to be leader-ish and capable decision makers. I love seeing these qualities emerge in them. On the other hand it concerns me at times that my daughter is so extremely headstrong and demanding. I’m concerned that that might be a real problem if she marries. I’m not saying that I see strict roles either way, I’m just saying that I see God’s mandates as being rooted in how he created us…and it is GOOD!

    • EricW

      CMP wrote:

      Therefore, you (sic) criticism and comparison of the “misnomer” of complementarianism does not work unless you stay within your system.

      CMP:

      My statement that it’s a misnomer is based on the secular Random House Webster College Dictionary definitions. I.e., the “system” I operate in and “stay within” for defining and using these terms is the English language:

      Patriarchy: 1. a. a form of social organization in which the father is the head of the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line. b. a society based on this social organization. 2. a. an institution or organization in which power is held by and transferred through males. b. the principles or philosophy upon which control by male authority is based.

      Matriarchy: 1. a family, society or state governed by women. 2. a form of social organization in which the mother is head of the family and descent is reckoned in the female line.

      Egalitarian: 1. asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, esp. in political, economic, or social life. 2. one who adheres to egalitarian beliefs.

      Complement: 1. something that completes or makes perfect. 2. the quantity or amount that completes anything. 3. either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart.

      To put egalitarianism at the opposite end of patriarchalism/”complementarianism” instead of in the middle between patriarchalism and matriarchalism is to abuse/misuse the language and create a system that fails outside that system.

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, yes, I could agree with you about the chart but you would have to go this way:

      Matriarchalism
      Feminism
      Egalitarianism
      Complementarianism
      Chauvinism
      Patriachalism

      But since others were not using Matriarchalism, but trying to label complementarianism as “patriachalism” I was putting patriarchalism in its place and contrasting it with the one closer to Egalitarianism, “matriarchalism.”

    • PamBG

      And my point was that Evangelical Complementarians would all agree with this statement. No one would ever say that there is ontological inequality any more than they would subscribe to the heresy of subordinationalism in the Trinity.

      I have certainly seen people arguing Jesus’ “functional but not ontological” subordination to the Father precisely to defend complimentarianism.

      Complementarians would just normally take the next logical step to admitting differences and say that there are certain areas that men are more qualified for and certain areas that women are more qualified for. Some of each of these will involve leadership. As well, complementarians would say that when it comes to the family and the pastorate, the Bible ideally sets these positions of authority.

      Then I’m afraid that your argument is so nuanced and finely tuned, that I don’t understand it. From previous posts, you clearly object to the idea of a woman being a “senior pastor” (I presume that the epithet “senior” has some congruence with a theological point that you deem is extremely important?). Yet, from your definition above, as an ordained woman (who would not feel compelled to reject a “senior” calling on the grounds of my sex), I would fit your definition of a complimentarian.

      At the end of the day, though, we obviously disagree. So I’m genuinely trying to understand what you think that the point of our disagreement might be without caricaturing your point of view as badly as I feel mine has been caricatured.

    • C Michael Patton

      Pam, I would appreciate you not caricaturing my argument as a caricature 🙂

      I am not sure what you are missing. It is very basic soft or evangelical complementarianism. Women cannot be in leadership over men in the church or in the family, but this does not mean that women cannot be in leadership over men period or that all women submit to all men at all. There will be many times when males, based on biblical principles, will have to submit to women.

      The point is that if there are essential characteristic differences in males and female and, therefore, we are to instill and celebrate these differences, these will often predispose one sex above another in certian areas.

      Not sure if you read the previous two posts, but they illustrate and explain this.

    • TL

      Michael,

      ”An important note: if someone reduces what we are talking about to cooking and ironing, they are seriously approching this from a purlely cultural basis. Those two “activities” have no real substance as they are neither roles nor necessary actions of any roles.”

      It is good that you pointed that out, as there ARE segments of patriarchal hierarchalism that would disagree. I’m glad we agree on this point as well.

      ”Therefore, your criticism and comparison of the “misnomer” of complementarianism”

      Perhaps, you are not aware of the roots of the movement called complementarian. Several of the old time egals, myself included, were around when CBMW was formed and coined the term, complementarian. The original gang were patriarchalists who wanted a different title that seemed softer. This is where the phrase “equal but different” (different in roles, equal before God)” was coined as well. Things have changed as time has gone by and some of the original gang have left because they thought the ‘misnomer’ of complementarianism was too soft on the hierarchal considerations. They were just patriarchalists (we’d say hard core patrearchalists) at heart and couldn’t let go an inch. The interesting thing is that they snatched the term from the Christian egals before they could think to use it in this way. Christian egals have always been about complementarity. Thus to us, we’re the ones really about complementarity and comps are really about a softer form of hierarchy. Confusing, eh! But that means there is a place where softer comps and egals join hands. 🙂

    • PamBG

      The point is that if there are essential characteristic differences in males and female and, therefore, we are to instill and celebrate these differences, these will often predispose one sex above another in certian areas.

      Forgive me, but I’m not really aware of all the nuances of the complimentarian position. I grew up male-headship with claims such as “Women are obviously not meant to be in leadership because they are unreliable and less intelligent than men” (It WAS the 1960s!) So, they pulled no punches. To me, complimentarianism looks a lot like “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”

      I will probably now engage in what you consider to be a caricature so that will make us even. 🙂 It seems to me that you have some Scriptural passages that you think close your case and that must be adhered to; “the bible says it, so we can’t go against that”. I don’t really see a philosophical point that stands up (by the way, IMO, you have been using the concept of “ontology” slightly differently for the complimentarian and egalitarian point of view.)

      As someone who never fit the stereotypical sex roles – although I’m neither a “tomboy” or “butch” by any stretch of the imagination – what you call celebrating gender differences feels to those of us who are not “sufficiently” feminine or masculine, as being told that we are spiritually and psychologically deficient. I can’t speak for being in a complimentarian environment as I was never in one. The exhaustion of being in a male-headship environment was that everyone was always trying to “fix” me because I liked to think and I wasn’t sufficiently brainless for their liking. I have male friends who felt inadequate in their masculinity because they also liked to think. Ironic, really.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      That IS very interesting is is something that I was not aware of. I will have to look into that more as I certainly don’t want there to be a continually stumbling block by a guilt by association from those, like you, who are more familiar with a former expression of the movement. There are a lot of differences in “younger evangelicals” such as myself and we find that we often presumptuously take on associations that stack the deck against us, understandably.

      All of that to say, “Thank You.” It may be a linch pen to the conversation, unity and understanding that would otherwise be possible!

      I have been aware that there are some very good evangelical complementarians that are not comfortable with an association with CBMW, but was not sure why.

      However, I hope that any institution, movement, or representation that starts as radical can morph and balance over time. Maybe that is the case with CBMW, maybe not.

    • C Michael Patton

      Pam,

      Thanks. And that is the point of this series…to help people understand how most evangelical complementarians do not adhere to a fundamentalistic variety which look a lot more like patriarchalism.

      About those who do not “sufficiently” display there characteristics, without getting into examples, there are all types of traits that people have that are a result of the fall. One example is those men that are predisposed to femininity, this does not make carrying out actions in accordance is right. We would say that they should not follow through here, especially when it violates principles which sometimes end in males dressing as females and homosexuality.

      Therefore, to say that there are built in characteristics that are wrong is not a problem with me. We should do all we can to correct and shape these things, not approve of them in our passivity.

    • EricW

      CMP:

      I, too, had heard that the so-called or now-called “complementarians” (i.e., the CBMW folks) used to be “patriarchalists,” but felt they needed a more acceptable and less “the man is the boss” term to call themselves. So they adopted/coined the term “complementarian.”

      That is one reason I continue to believe that they should be honest and call themselves “patriarchalists” (whether soft, medium, or hard) and that “complementarian” is a misnomer in regards to them, because their “opponents” (so to speak) – i.e., egalitarians – are also complementarians. I.e., it’s not a case of complementarians versus non-complementarians, but of patriarchalists (again, whether hard, soft, or medium) versus non-patri-matri-archal egalitarians.

      If you want to use the term “complementarian,” you in fact have patriarchal complementarians versus egalitarian complementarians (I don’t know of any Christian matriarchal complementarians). And since the term describes them both, it’s redundant and meaningless to use it.

      When it comes to one sex being or not being superordinate over the other sex strictly because of the sex/gender of the other person, you have three terms: patriarchalism, matriarchalism, and sexual egalitarianism. The fact that there are two sexes involved means that all three groups hold to some view of complementarity, even if it’s the most basic one that says that it takes a male and a female to be a complete human race.

    • C Michael Patton

      I might agree with you Eric but for the arguments that most of the egalitarians are making in my latest post. Well, it is more than that. I have studied and read on this for a while. The essential characteristics that are necessary to be present to be complementarian are both affirmed and denied by egals. Even those that affirm them really back off when pushed to take it to its logical conclusion, but you will have to read the latest post to see where I am going with this.

      So, we are going to talk past each other here to some degree as what Egals often aspire to, they are not in actuality.

      But, either way, this is a really good process of working some of this out and I appreciate the way that many are truly attempting to understand…I will continue to do so as well.

    • EricW

      I guess it depends upon what the meaning of the word “complementarity” is.

      The fact that egalitarians do recognize a difference between men and women – even if for some or many it’s largely around only the major difference (i.e., the sexual/reproductive one(s)) – coupled with the fact that no egalitarians I know of believe that humans can be humans with only one sex, means to me that they believe in male-female complementarity in at least some form or fashion, even if it’s only biological complementarity.

      So when you suggest that some egalitarians deny “the essential characteristics that are necessary to be present to be complementarian,” I don’t understand what you mean by “complementarian.”

      I.e., what characteristics are necessary to be present for a person to view males and females as complementary in at least one or some sense? Is holding to biological complementarity not enough for a person to be able to say they are complementarian with respect to males and females? What things must a person believe or profess beyond this for them to be able, in your judgment, to say that they view males and females as complementary when it comes to the description of the human race or male-female relationships?

    • PamBG

      About those who do not “sufficiently” display there characteristics, without getting into examples, there are all types of traits that people have that are a result of the fall.

      I know this is not a theological argument, it is more of a testimony.

      I spent approximate 15 years – from age 15 to 30 – asking God to make me content not to study theology, asking forgiveness for being more intelligent (and prideful) that I ought to be as a woman, even asking forgiveness for being good at math.

      What I learned in those 15 years of prayer was that God created me the way I am, with gifts to be used to his glory. Rather than it being a sin for me to love studying theology, I came to understand that it was a sin not to do so.

      I no longer buy the argument that what is admirable in a man can be sinful in a woman. If something is admirable, it is admirable. If something is a gift, it is a gift.

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, all I mean is essential characteristic differences that go beyond strength and reproduction.

    • C Michael Patton

      Pam, I know of no substantial complementarian would would even be in the country of saying that women should not study theology.

      That is terrible and not complementarianism!

    • TL

      Eric #289

      “So when you suggest that some egalitarians deny “the essential characteristics that are necessary to be present to be complementarian,” I don’t understand what you mean by “complementarian.”

      Agreed. Christian egals believe in the dictionary definition of complementarity and always have. Modern day comps have changed the meaning of the word to fit the ‘movement’ of benevolent male dominance hierarchies.

    • EricW

      So, we’re back to using the word “essential” again, eh?

      http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/02/complementarianism/#comment-26186 (and some of the following posts)

      😀 😀

      “I love words. They can be used in so many different ways….”

    • Lisa Robinson

      Pam,

      Why do you suppose the complementarian model supports a man being more intelligent than a woman or preclude her from studying or even instructing in theology? It is not sinful to be more intelligent than a man. A number of women are just as smart or even smarter….complementarian, seminary educated women who use their gifts amply.

      In fact, I have heard at least 2 of professors at DTS state that women out-test the men. And I believe it was my current greek prof who was one of them.

      No, the issue has nothing to do with intelligence.

    • TL

      Michael,
      “Eric, all I mean is essential characteristic differences that go beyond strength and reproduction.”

      It would be good if you spelled that out since pretty much no one knows what differences you are alluding to. My guess is that you will not be able to substantially prove any other hard wired differences other than physical (includes hormonal and cellular) and reproductive.

    • C Michael Patton

      Lisa could “out-test” us all here!!!

      As well, please notice that I, as a committed complementarian, have Lisa posting on this blog with me…and she is no “token” poster. I believe that men and women can learn from her!

      • Lisa Robinson

        Pam, here is an example of a woman that I think is kicking some big time evangelical hiney. And there are others, who I know hold to a complementarian position

        Kay Arthur, Precept Ministries
        Priscilla Shirer
        Dr. Karen Jobes, professor New Testament studies at Wheaton College

        I’m sure there are many more but these are some that rise to the surface for me. So you see, the argument that women cannot use their gifts to impact broadly, just doesn’t really wash, I’m afraid.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL, well, everything that we are is physical or chemical in some ways (from the standpoint of scientific proof). The characteristics result from these things doing they?

      Do hormonal traits tend one sex toward certian characteristics more than the other? Ways of thinking? Disposition? Emotion?

      This is why I said other than “physical strength” and reproduction.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Michael, if I could post a blushy icon I would. 😛

    • TL

      “Do hormonal traits tend one sex toward certian characteristics more than the other? Ways of thinking? Disposition? Emotion?”

      Not ways of thinking! Well, men and women’s brains are hardwired differently as a result of hormonal influence in the womb. This does not however, preclude them toward any particular activities but rather influences how we problem solve. Hormones do influence disposition and emotions. However, both men and women can, should and do control their disposition and emotions.

      I don’t think this will help you paint anyone into a corner of restricting the allowed activities of women though.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL, I did warn at the outset what my intentions were here. 🙂

      You said:

      “Not ways of thinking!” So NO.

      But wait…

      “Well, men and women’s brains are hardwired differently as a result of hormonal influence in the womb.” So yes?

      Not sure…

      Not dealing with implications yet.

      I’ll ask it again…

      Do you think that there is a timeless way to define “masculinity” and “femininity”?

    • PamBG

      Why do you suppose the complementarian model supports a man being more intelligent than a woman or preclude her from studying or even instructing in theology? It is not sinful to be more intelligent than a man.

      I’m not supposing that, necessarily.

      I said that I didn’t fit stereotypical gender roles and that I found it difficult to be shoe-horned into them. Michael responded by saying – as I understood it – that not fitting these roles was a result of the fall.

      Stereotypical gender roles in male headship in the 1960s most certainly did include the idea that men were more intelligent than women, that women were “emotional” and therefore unreliable in most things (theologically defended by the argument that Eve lead Adam astray) and that women were to submit in all things to their husbands. This included the teaching of enduring physical abuse from one’s husband, if that was the lot that God had given to a woman. Being intelligence was not considered a sin, but using that intelligence was seen as the sin of pride; women were to be silent.

      I’m assuming that you will say that this is not the same as complimentarianism in the 21st century.

      But if we see gender stereotypes as “godly” and if we see not fitting gender stereotypes as – let’s say – “deficient in holiness”, then who determines the gender stereotypes? The pervading stereotypes don’t seem wildly biblical to me as there are many strong women in the bible and we even have instances of women leading men. So our current gender stereotypes seem entirely subjective to me. In a male-led community, it will be the men who determine what the gender norms are to be.

      I continue to see “soft complimentarianism” offering no other argument than “Fortunately, or regrettably, the bible says woman may not lead the faith community, and the faithful disciple will follow that rule, like it or not”.

      [1] It goes without saying that I don’t agree with this, but I understand that…

    • Sue

      In fact, I have heard at least 2 of professors at DTS state that women out-test the men. And I believe it was my current greek prof who was one of them.

      Okay then. Women are restricted in the very areas where they demonstrate a greater predisposition. Women test better than men in seminary but are not to have leadership in a seminary. Why not make a woman the head of the seminary in view of her greater disposition?

    • Lisa Robinson

      Pam, I don’t think its fair to confuse the Biblical model as complementarians propose with how society has treated those roles. If you indicate we take our cues from culture then that makes us just as guilty of the same accusation levied against egals.

      I also think you are overlooking the point of what Michael is try to get at. He is simply offering a possible explanation for reason that Paul makes the statement he does in 1 Timothy 2. I don’t see the need to classify gender differences as stereotypes nor is the complementarian position supported because of them. Rather, it is supported due to the belief that there does seem to be a mandate for submission and this for the sake of order in the home and local assembly. Now by order, that does not preclude a mutuality of respect, love and deferment to the other. Nor does it mean that mean women are deficient, or less intelligent or unable to use their gifts or share in the leadership of the faith community, although that leadership may not take the form of the person ultimately in charge.

      I gladly uphold a complementarian position because I am convinced by scripture for male headship in the home and local assembly and for the mandate to submit to God’s authority. I am not my own anyway and for me to make demands to use gifts that were given to me because I believe I should have that right, cuts across the grain of why we were given the gifts in the first place.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Sue, that comment was directed at Pam’s assertion that women should be less intelligent. The comment should be considered strictly in that context and not misapplied to the broader conversation.

    • Sue

      Lisa,

      No problem, and personally, I just don’t have it in me to ever agitate for a leadership position although I fully support those who do.

      I do challenge the comp position which acknowledges women’s somewhat greater disposition in languages and does not promote a woman to be head of the exegesis dept. on the basis of that predisposition.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, in all honesty, I would not have a problem with a women being the head over an exegetical dept. Why would I? It is not the local assembly where the woman is carring the responsiblility of a pastor and all it implications nor that of the head of the house in a two parent family.

      Simply put, it goes against nothing that I have argued in this series…in fact, I have reiterated this many times.

      In fact, if I remember correcty, DTS does have a wonderful women prof in the the Old Testament dept teaching Hebrew.

      http://www.dts.edu/about/profiles/Dorian_G_Coover-Cox

      If DTS is seen as a bastion of conservative Evangelicalism, let this serve as an illustration that no one misses least they continue to attack straw men cultural perceptions.

    • Sue

      It is not the local assembly where the woman is carring the responsiblility of a pastor and all it implications nor that of the head of the house in a two parent family.

      Michael,

      Please. What is it about the two parent family that requires a male leader, while the one parent family does not require a male leader. Is the two parent family intrinsically more difficult to lead?

      Clearly most families in NA function as at least nominally on the egal model and they survive at least as well as comps. There is no measurable difference in divorce rate.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Michael, yes Dorian Coover-Cox is the OT prof and she is such a sweetheart. Since we are focused on service this semester in Spiritual Formation, our group invited her to our session last week as the voice of experience. She talked about her journey and provide some words of advice. Two things she said stuck with me and I think are especially pertinent to this discussion. I can’t remember vertabim, so I quote loosely.

      1) While she vaguely mentioned discrimination, she indicated she doesn’t concern herself with those kinds of attitudes since they will have to answer to God.

      2) She does not restrict the use of gifts to how she think she should use them or impose upon God how she should use them. He does not even owe her the job she has and maintains gratitude at his hand in having her there. She stressed the importance of using the gifts in whatever capacity God so deemed

      I’ve also had the opportunity to have lunch with her and other conversations. A very admirable woman.

    • PamBG

      To Lisa, part 1

      Pam, I don’t think its fair to confuse the Biblical model as complementarians propose with how society has treated those roles. If you indicate we take our cues from culture then that makes us just as guilty of the same accusation levied against egals.

      Lisa, you know what your “Biblical model” looks like, but I honestly have no idea. I don’t live in a complimentarian world. I’ve not lived in a male-headship world since about 1975. These are not models that I’m familiar with.

      Give me a concrete example. I am an ordained minister whose denomination sends me where it discerns that my gifts may be best used. We don’t have “senior” and “junior” pastors. My denomination and I regard my being sent as a matter of discipline, as it would be for a male pastor. I presume that I’m not behaving in line with complimentarian values. So, in your view, would I resign from the denomination and look for a denomination, church or assembly where I would visibly place myself under the rule of a man in order to give a good example of womanhood? Or not? I honestly have no idea.

      I also think you are overlooking the point of what Michael is try to get at. He is simply offering a possible explanation for reason that Paul makes the statement he does in 1 Timothy 2.

      Yes, I understand that he is trying to offer a possible explanation. What troubles me is that he appears to believe a lot of the stereotypes. Again, it just looks like a more politically-correct version of what I grew up with. To be honest, his argument would appear a lot stronger to me if he’d not offered this explanation.

    • PamBG

      To Lisa, part 2

      the complementarian position … it is supported due to the belief that there does seem to be a mandate for submission and this for the sake of order in the home and local assembly.

      Since I have had the experience of many years of orderly egalitarian situations in both home and church, this argument simply does not stand up for me.

      I am not my own anyway and for me to make demands to use gifts that were given to me because I believe I should have that right, cuts across the grain of why we were given the gifts in the first place.

      Hmm, that’s not particularly subtle! 😉

      In an egalitarian context where everyone, men and women, assume that a woman who has gifts of leadership should use them, women don’t “make demands”. I left a very successful secular career because men and women in my congregation and my denomination told me that they thought I was being called to ministry.

      I too would be suspicious of someone who said “God wants me to lead and everyone get out of my way who doesn’t agree with me.”

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, I was simply correcting what you had said about complementarians and my arguments. You said that my arguments would not allow a woman to lead in the exegetical dept. That was not true.

      If you don’t think that the traditional two parent, male and female, family is superior, that is a different issue and I don’t want to turn that direction, but your opinion is noted.

      One parent families, whether male or female, are not ideal at all. And I would not say that a one parent family with the father being the one parent is superior either. In fact, I don’t know of any complementarian who, in divorce situations, would believe that the child is better off, de facto, with the father than with the mother. In fact, I would be bias in this case and go with the mother because of their unique ability to nurture in the home. I believe that the type of nurturing that mothers provide is more important than the type of leadership men provide. So let that be clear, leadership does not equal “more important” in any way.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Sue,

      It’s interesting that you should say that and I agree in part. I am a single mother (widowed since 2004) and responsible for raising my 12 year old son by myself. I consider the situation a real deficiency as I often struggle to serve both roles, particularly as it relates to my son. I believe boys need male guidance; I cannot teach him to be a man. So I often feel like I’m serving in a role I was not designed for. And I do feel the sting of not having a proper head – for the household, myself and my son. It is a situation where it behooves me to learn contentment but one I will always consider deficient. God’s grace is sufficient and he has, does and will provide.

    • Sue

      My concern is that bible.org published wedding vows that established women as those who receive, follow, submit, surrender responsibility, obey and respond. It features women as the empty vessel to be filled with masculinity, women who cannot bear full responsibility before God for their children.

      As a benficiary of this teaching, I truly wish it were against the law. I really don’t think the scope of suffering is ever truly considered for women who are made to receive, follow, respond, obey, etc etc to sinful men. And I add that ALL men are sinful. May God forgive this teaching of the descration of women in their own home, where they should most rightly find shelter and support.

      I know women who sleep in the garage, one who put up a shed for herself and her dogs in the back yard, women who see a psychiatrist once a week. Women who survive on medication. Women who live to die.

      Is there any kind of morphine that will dull the pain of this doctrine?

    • C Michael Patton

      And, just to make it clear one more time:

      I believe in the ordination of women. I also believe that women can be pastors.

      Three conservatives that agree with me here:
      1. Aubrey Malphurs, professor of Pastoral ministries at DTS (Yes, they let him be on staff!)
      2. Harold Hoehner, former chair of the New Testament Dept at DTS!
      3. Mark Young, President of Dever Theological Seminary and former elder at Chuck Swindoll’s church!

      All of them, like me, believe that women cannot be in the position of “head pastor” or elder in authority over men in the sense that they are carrying the primary responsibilities for these men of discipleship, leadership, reproving, exhorting, and instructing. See my first post to help you understand why (i.e. inclination toward the type of leadership involved and response from the people).

      In fact, when it comes to the area of specific discipleship that involves the type of intimacy that is necessary, in many cases, I as a pastor, do not allow a man to be in a position of authority over a woman. (Put that in your pipe!)—but that would be unique to me.

    • Sue

      Lisa,

      Perhaps you feel the sting of not being part of a couple, of not having a male co-parent. I feel that sting also. I do believe that parents are intended to be male and female.

      You must consider that the man who loses his wife, and is the parent of a girl will feel the same deficiency.

      The feeling of missing the opposite sex parent, has no relation to missing the so-called leader of the household.

      If your theory that the family needs a male because it needs a leader, then the single mother would be far worse off as a parent than the single father, because we know that a family needs a leader.

    • Sue

      It breaks my heart that some will even agree with the ordination of women as long as women are subordinate in the home.

      You don’t actually agree that the restriction of 1 Tim. 2:12 is only for women. You agree with women leading in the workplace and church.

      But in the home, you preserve the domain for the leadership of men.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      And I know men who would rather live in the corner of an attic than deal with the sinful tendencies of their wives then to stay married. These are abuses that we all know both sides have and we all do our best to respond by ultimately submitting to the will of the Lord. In the garage or in the attic, egalitarian or complementarian, marriage is not easy.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      Yes, that is right. The ideal leadership position in the home is the male. Does this mean that they always do it? Not at all. Does it mean that the women is in sin if she assumes it do to their husbands passivity? Absolutely not. If the woman is being mentally of physically abused, does she have to submit? Not at all. (Although, mental abuse is very real, it is also something that I am much more careful with—like, “My husband won’t let me paint the bathroom pink” does not qualify for mental abuse.

      I have seen mental abuse of the husband before. It may have hurt you pretty bad, but it drove my sister to suicide.

    • TL

      Michael, yes, I remember well your rather hidden intentions. I’m not worried. I’m enjoying waiting for you to pounce. 🙂

      ”Do you think that there is a timeless way to define “masculinity” and “femininity”?”

      Other than the fact that men are masculine and women are feminine, No! Human beings are far too unique and complicated to be able to shove the two genders into big and little boxes of any sort.

    • Sue

      Yes, that is right. The ideal leadership position in the home is the male.

      You are saying that us single gals are less fit than single men to lead in the home.

      And I know men who would rather live in the corner of an attic than deal with the sinful tendencies of their wives then to stay married.

      Yup, me too. I wrote this ealier,

      “If a couple disagree about every single thing including how the wife sneezes – all is good because, guess what, the husband is the tie-breaker. If you think I exaggerate, no I don’t. Some men and women live this life, whether egal or comp, Christian or not.

      But Christians destroy the soul if they teach that God uniquely wants women to experience this kind of life. It is the spiritual skewer with which the woman is attacked that makes this kind of abuse a spiritual hell, and not just general misery available to all who marry, men or women.”

      I acknowledge that abuse can be in any direction. But why is the greater suffering reserved for women?

    • TL

      “like, “My husband won’t let me paint the bathroom pink” does not qualify for mental abuse”

      True. However, the husband demanding to paint the bathroom dark blue might be. 🙂 I’ve a friend that happened to. Humans are very interesting sometimes. Mutuality in major decisions is definitely the kinder way to go for both of them.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      That is another, yes/no answer!

      “Other than the fact that men are masculine and women are feminine, No”

      So, yes, because there are fundamental characteristics that we see in men that are masculine and fundamental characteristics that we see in women that are feminine.

      I am not sure what the “no” would be about then since all we have to do is pin point what you mean that men are masculine and women are feminine. Then, the next step is to ask Do you think that masculinity can predispose someone toward one thing and femininity toward another.

    • TL

      “The ideal leadership position in the home is the male.”

      IMO the ideal leadership of the home should be a partnership of husband and wife. Really leadership is for the children. Wives don’t need a leader. Can you cite any Scriptures that say women need to be lead about and have decisions made for them. I’m very aware of the usual ones hierarchalists cite, and none of them say such.

    • Sue

      I have seen mental abuse of the husband before. It may have hurt you pretty bad, but it drove my sister to suicide.

      Michael,

      I am assuming that you mean that your sister was mentally abused by her husband. Please correct me if I am wrong.

      This is what I don’t understand. The teaching of male leadership, of the submission or the wife, of the shame of divorce, is an unbearable cruelty. It is true that I did not commit suicide. I cry for your sister.

      Why do Christians put women on the cross? You tell me.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “You are saying that us single gals are less fit than single men to lead in the home.”

      To lead, yes. To nurture, no. What is more important? In my opinion and the opinion of most complementarians, nurturing. That is when when all things are equal in divorce cases you will normally find that complementarians say to give the child to the mom.

      And you know what, I have not stats to back this up, but I bet that complementarians would be more inclined to go in this direction than Egalitarians. I believe that Egals would be less partial about who the child goes to. If I am right, it would show that while complementarians support male leadership in the home, they more highly value nurturing than Egalitarians. Egals love leadership. Comps love nurturing. That is, if I am right.

    • TL

      “I am not sure what the “no” would be about then since all we have to do is pin point what you mean that men are masculine and women are feminine. Then, the next step is to ask Do you think that masculinity can predispose someone toward one thing and femininity toward another.”

      Men are masculine because they have heavy bones and denser muscles, and more testosterone. How they express that other than the sexual aspects is just too different from man to man to be able to say all men do this and not this. Doesn’t work.

      Since you seem to think you can, why not share?

    • Sue

      To lead, yes. To nurture, no.

      Michael,

      We provide and protect. We pay the bills, we exert authority. The appropriate single mother is the authority over her children just like Lydia over her household.

      Authority is really responsibility. We are legally obliged to bear full responsibility for our children.

      While boys will identify with male models for masculininity and girls female, the single parent, either male or female MUST bear full responsibility.

      Women are designed to be the authority over teenagers and young adults. Just look at schools. Are women teachers less leaders than male teachers, less authoritative.

      Please indicate in what particular way a single women are less fit to lead a family than a single man is.

    • TL

      “To lead, yes. To nurture, no”

      Nurturing is not peculiar to women. Nurturing babies with one’s own body is. But nurturing is something husbands are to do as well. Nurturing is caring for, protecting, providing for, feeding, and more.

      Ektrephei. Husbands are to ektrephei their wives as they do their own bodies and as the Lord does the church. Ephe. 5:29

    • Sue

      If I am right, it would show that while complementarians support male leadership in the home, they more highly value nurturing than Egalitarians. Egals love leadership. Comps love nurturing. That is, if I am right.

      Never heard such bunk! Egal women are motherly and nurturing. I work with a group of them, and they nurture like any other woman. They sometimes foster children and adopt in additon to being teachers. I do not for one minute believe that leadership and nurturing have to exist in two separate parents.

      You have some stereotype of an egal woman. The egal women I work celebrate each baby born to a member of the staff. We have a strong Roots of Empathy program with a mother and baby coming into the classroom to develop the nurturing trait in all children.

      Atheists, fundamentalists, Buddhist, agnostics, there is absolutely no difference in how nurturing these women are.

    • C Michael Patton

      Men are more aggressive, competative, less emotionally accute.

      Girls develop right side of brain faster than boys: leads to talking, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading earlier, often better memory.

      Boys develop left side quicker: visual/spatial/logical skills, perceptual skills, better at math, problem solving, building and figuring out puzzles.

      Women use both hemispheres of brain; corpus callosum almost always thicker in women.

      These differences are found in different types of loyalty in the families, men are more risk takers, women are more social in their thinking, men are more individualistic.

      Just to name a few…

    • C Michael Patton

      It is legalism that drives people in sane. It is the abuse that kills spirituality. It plays out in all sorts of abuses in the church. But this does not make the principles wrong, just the application.

    • C Michael Patton

      And, yes. That is what I meant about my sister. But you know what? I have been on the cross quite a bit myself. It is never good and spiritual, physical, and emotional abuse is always something the church should preach against. However, the cross that we all have to bear is our lot and is a necessary part of following Christ. But to act as if complementarianism is responsible for this is simply an emotional response in my opinion. One that I have every reason to make, but refuse to do so because I believe I have an understanding that goes beyond my particular bad experience.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, that gets back to the “Why” question that is hard to answer. I would jsut refer to my first post on this issue.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      Of course men can, do, and are supposed to nurture. Women are to lead. We are all called and able to do these things. The point is that most complementarians see the women as more capable in this more important area. They are, generally speaking, less capable in a less important area, leadership in the home.

      Just because we interpret the man as being the head of the wife and family does not mean that this alleviates the woman of leadership responsibilities, as a co-leader, nor does it mean that she lacks these abilities or inclinations in total.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “Never heard such bunk!” NEVER!??? Never, ever??? Wow.

      I did not say that Egals don’t value nurturing. In the context, I was saying that it seems that Egals value leadership more than nurturing, while Comps value nurturing more. That is why, if I am correct, comps support, when all things are equal, giving the child to the mother in a divorce situation and egals are more nutral.

      However, I don’t have any studies to reference on this. It is just an assumption so I don’t want to hang on this too much.

      But my main point needs to be clear. I believe that women, no matter what religion or race, are, generally speaking, better nurturers. AND, I believe that nurturing qualities are more important than leadership qualities in the family. Therefore, in this case, I am bias toward the gifts of women and the hierarchy goes a different way! Women are actually above men in importance due to one of their essential gifts contributing to a role of such importance.

    • TL

      “Egals love leadership. Comps love nurturing. That is, if I am right.”

      Doesn’t make sense. The whole comp movement is about men being benevolent leaders in pretty much all areas of life. That’s what hierarchies and roles are all about. There isn’t any real way to soft peddle that.

    • TL

      “Therefore, in this case, I am bias toward the gifts of women and the hierarchy goes a different way! Women are actually above men in importance due to one of their essential gifts contributing to a role of such importance.”

      Perhaps you are biased for WOMEN to have all the nurturing gifts, so that the MEN can have all leadership gifts. You didn’t really expect us to buy that did you?

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      My point is that I, as a complementarian, believe that the gift of and inclination to nurturing is more important than that of leadership. Therefore, in this “hierarchy” of what I value more, the woman is ahead. It is all a matter of perspective.

      Egals are always fighting for the “chair” of leadership giving the impression that it is more important than the “chair” of nurturing. Concerning the “chair” of nurturing, in my estimation, Egals devalue it in their pursuit to sit in the leadership chair (which, ironically, is not as important or vital 90 percent of the time).

    • EricW

      “Leadership”?

      All egals want is a little respect.

      R-E-S-P-E-C-T 😀

      They want women to have the same respect as men, and vice-versa. The same rights. The same opportunities and ability (not physical, but legal/permitted) to do a job, fill a position, perform a function, hold an office, be a teacher, leader, pastor, bishop, elder, deacon, etc., commensurate with their gifts and abilities and calling, and not have such denied them or force them to be subordinate to the other sex simply because their own sex trumps (in a negative way) everything else about them.

      Christ is the male. The church is His bride, the female. Christians are members of one another and members of His body. They are all “female” in relation to Him, and are brothers and sisters of one another. One is their Teacher. One is their Lord. In Christ there is not male and female. All have clothed themselves with Christ and are complete in Him. They no longer want themselves or others to be under a yoke of slavery or to be treated as anything less than adopted children of God. They are no longer slaves.

    • TL

      ” The point is that most complementarians see the women as more capable in this more important area. They are, generally speaking, less capable in a less important area, leadership in the home.”

      That is patronizing doublespeak. Although I doubt you mean it to be. It’s the – the one who rocks the cradle rules the world – kind of patting on the head. The pretense is that of course the homemaking role that we men don’t want is very important. Of course it’s important. No woman would ever deny it. But that fact has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with privileging men with control and direction of their home to which women are supposed to yield.

    • C Michael Patton

      “Perhaps you are biased for WOMEN to have all the nurturing gifts, so that the MEN can have all leadership gifts. You didn’t really expect us to buy that did you?”

      I don’t know if you are serious. But please trust me when I say that I am not fighting for men to have all leadership gifts (I have even argued against this over and over). It could be in some cases, but I assure you that there is not any motivation in me (that I know of) that seeks such. I truly believe that men and women are of equal importance and that leadership is not as important to the world as nurturing.

      I have no ambition for “men” in general of to fight for my sex. I love, respect, and appreciate all women. I actually grew up in a complementarian home where my father was almost completely absent all my life and my mother had to step in to all relevant leadership roles. That along with growing up with three outspoken sisters is something, in this case, I can say helps me to have a unique perspective here that can be alleviated of temptations to accuse me of power mongering for men.

    • TL

      “Egals are always fighting for the “chair” of leadership giving the impression that it is more important than the “chair” of nurturing. Concerning the “chair” of nurturing, in my estimation, Egals devalue it in their pursuit to sit in the leadership chair (which, ironically, is not as important or vital 90 percent of the time).”

      I disagree. It’s clever thinking, I’ll give you that. But it won’t fly. The one who denies that ‘chair’ and holds it for himself is the one who is in pursuit of the leadership chair. And that in my opinion, is the cornerstone of compism.

      Egals want to yield that chair to those who are truly gifted.

      I like what Eric said. We don’t need false honor. We just want individuals to be respected for who they really are.

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, I appreciate what you have said and understand that.

      My belief is, though, that men and women are not equal. There are many things that women are much better than men at. And there are many things that men are better than women. That is why we complement each other.

      However, in Christ, we are all equal. We are equal in dignity and importance. We are equal in God’s affection. We are equal partakers of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong or demeaning about saying this, especially when the gifts that women have, in my opinion, are more often than not, more important than that of men.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      The very fact that you believe that it is patronizing demonstrates how different our perspectives are and simply serves to demonstrate my point that Egals simply do not value the gifts of nurturing the was comps do (although, in truth, it is just you and I right now! But I still think it is safe to say that is true).

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      And we want God’s design as we see it to be capitalized on so that we don’t neuter society on a fight for the wrong thing. You see it as a fight for the right of leadership, we see it as a fight for God’s design to be acknowledged celebrated in every area that we are different so that we can capitalize on these things. To stand neutral and not instill God’s design is to make all of society less effective and is counter productive to the world, whether one is a Christian or not.

    • TL

      “I don’t know if you are serious. But please trust me when I say that I am not fighting for men to have all leadership gifts (I have even argued against this over and over). It could be in some cases, but I assure you that there is not any motivation in me (that I know of) that seeks such. I truly believe that men and women are of equal importance and that leadership is not as important to the world as nurturing.”

      If you are serious, then why are you vying for men to have all the leadership responsibilities in church, home and society and denying those to women. Just saying that nurturing (children) is more important isn’t a good reason to deny women from other pursuits they are gifted for. Women are capable of doing more than raising children. Just like men are capable of doing more than raising children. Not all women want to teach, preach, and do other ministries in the church. Nor do all women want to be corporate leaders in society. But for those who do, what good does it do to try to prevent them from doing so.

      Have you ever tried putting yourself in women’s shoes. Consider the idea that because you are a man and have more muscular strength in general than women, women decided that all men would be consigned to the very important jobs of farming, building, and other things hugely important to society….. and women would do the lesser job of leadership responsibilities in society, home and church since they didn’t have the strengths as men.

    • Sue

      AND, I believe that nurturing qualities are more important than leadership qualities in the family.

      You don’t understand. Leadership can shut down all nurturing completely. How can I nurture my son when he has run away from home to another continent.

      He changed his name, he gave up his passport, he gave up his family, language, country and his whole identity.

      I had to establish a home with myself as single parent, and eventually he did come home to be nurtured, a year and a half later. There is no nurturing without providing safety first. Do you understand?

      My daughter was in the hospital, seriously ill, undiagnosed, and I was told that I had to go home and was not stay and sleep in her room although the nurse had asked me to.

      I had to defy that. There was no other way. The email that our son was gone and that night in the hospital happened about two weeks apart.

      I had to repent of a life in which my nurturing was shut down by male leadership.

      There is no proper nurturing without having authority also. This is impossible. If the wife does not have authority to nurture she cannot nurture.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      This is probably where I will have to call it quits with you. You said:

      “If you are serious, then why are you vying for men to have all the leadership responsibilities in church, home and society and denying those to women.”

      This makes me think that you have not even been reading anything I said or that you are so intent on arguing from the stereotypes that you have in your mind that you are not able to learn together with me on this. I did not say that men should have all the leadership responsibilities in the church, home, and society! I have made it a point to qualify this so much. I know that it is hard to you to keep up on this so I am not blaming you. I just don’t have time to say the same thing over and over only to get back into the same rut that the original post was designed to correct!

      Either way, good talking to you. Always too to work out thoughts through conversation in real life, not just books.

    • Sue

      Unlike others on this blog, it is because my feminine soul and my mothering was shut down by subordination that I protest. I don’t care about pastorship or outside leadership for myself. I have non-Christians to value my skills. Piffle on recognition and church leadership, but give women the right to be the mothers of their children. What burdens you put on women!

      I do support women in ministry, but it is not my concern that women gain recognition, rather that they can provide protection for other women.

    • C Michael Patton

      First Susan,

      “Leadership can shut down all nurturing completely.” This does not mean Leadership DOES or MUST shut down… Just because something can go wrong does not mean that it is wrong.

      Second, nuturing (since we seem to be on this subject) is first with one’s immediate family, but extends far beyond this. I used to give lectures to single women about this, showing how their nuturing drive is not simply to be put into action if they have a family, but it is for the world. Women nurture the world, society, and in every relationship that they are involved in. I am sure you think of yourself as nurturing in you ministry to people you don’t even know. I sure do.

    • TL

      ”And we want God’s design as we see it to be capitalized on so that we don’t neuter society on a fight for the wrong thing. You see it as a fight for the right of leadership, we see it as a fight for God’s design to be acknowledged celebrated in every area that we are different so that we can capitalize on these things.”

      First I’d like to say thank you for allowing us to really talk. I appreciate that.

      I do not see it as a fight for the right of leadership. I see it as hierarchalists withholding opportunities for women that they should not be withholding. I see it as putting individual women in bondage and chains hindering them from pursuing dreams and goals that God has gifted them for. We are not talking just about leadership. I appreciate that you seem to like the idea of husband and wife sharing leadership in the home. So that isn’t the problem. It’s the rest of life. Women’s lives should be free just like men to enjoy the world and not be confined to a home. Allowing women to be individuals with dreams and gifts and skills they can pursue is NOT neutering society.

      I do not buy your idea that such is God’s design. God loves His people, all of them. It is not love to tell women that they cannot do this and this and that because men think they do it better. What is so scary about a woman loving to teach the Bible and doing it well, maybe even better than some men? What is so scary about a woman preaching and being really good at it. Joy Dawson was an awesome inspiring speaker. Ann Graham Lotz is also…. And many more women. Why would men be afraid to learn from her.

    • TL

      ““Leadership can shut down all nurturing completely.”

      Perhaps this is true when people think of leadership as all about authority and control. But Jesus gave us the example in Matt. 20 that true leadership is about serving and service. Jesus came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for others, to bring life.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. Believe me, I do understand in more ways than I can express here on the blog.

      However, it seems that your personal experiences have tainted you from being able to see the issue in a way that is balanced and helpful. I am sure that you could nurture those who are in need and experiencing similar circumstances with tenderness, love, and support, but I don’t see that your approach here is productive from an education standpoint. I am not saying that experience always taints or is always a deterrent to objectivity (which none of us really have), but yours, being the driving force of your view (as you admitted above), seems to be.

      I say that with as much love as possible from one who really does not know you other than interactions here and there on the blog.

    • C Michael Patton

      “Joy Dawson was an awesome inspiring speaker. Ann Graham Lotz is also…. And many more women. Why would men be afraid to learn from her.”

      Again TL, I don’t think you have been reading me at all. You are talking about someone else here.

    • Sue

      Michael,

      You contribute you own personal experiences in other areas. Are your ideas tainted? How can you point the finger like this?

      When you know that male leadership can destroy female nurturing, that this is a fact, how can you continue to support this view?

      I also want you to know that this does not in any way affect my scholarship any more than being make affects male scholarship.

      You now seek to discredit me, and you somehow think that God honours those without emotional commitments.

      If male authority is causing women to create blogs where they raise money to help women leave their husbands and Christianity altogether, how can it be justified. You cannot undo these things. You could make a difference by acknowledging reality.

      I will have to go, but if you think that suffering disqualifies people from having a voice, please remove the Psalms and many other books from your Bible.

      I am like a mother of a child killed by a drunk driver who wants to prevent drinking and driving. Is she to be disqualified because of her suffering?

      Should we shut the mouth of every black person ever suffered from racism because they are too emotional. Does God really say that the person who suffers must not be allowed to reveal the conditions of injustice.

    • TL

      Then please explain this….

      “”And we want God’s design as we see it to be capitalized on so that we don’t neuter society on a fight for the wrong thing.”

      What is going to neuter society?

      As for the ‘fight for the wrong thing’, you’ve incorrectly labeled egals as fighting for leadership. Is there anything else you think is fighting for the wrong thing?

      What I am gathering from you, and I may be wrong, is that you think women should be steered toward nurturing roles in society, home and church. And men should be steered toward leadership roles in society, home and church. But yet, it’s OK for women to teach men sometimes, and maybe even OK for women to be pastors. But you don’t really encourage it. Is this correct?

    • Sue

      Typo.

      I also want you to know that this does not in any way affect my scholarship any more than being make affects male scholarship.

      Any more than being MALE affects male scholarship.

      Do you realize how damaging it is to suppress the truth on these things. Because women do not speak out, other women are not aware of the danger. I had never heard of spousal abuse. I had no idea. I did not know what to do, and felt like I was the only woman in the world that this had happened to.

      This is wrong. If I am shamed for telling my story then other women are discouraged from telling the truth about their home life.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, that was an overstatement about my comment. I qualified this quite a bit, expressing my belief that your view might be motivated primarily because of your experiences, not simply your passion about your view. This was based on your explicit comments concerning this.

      “Unlike others on this blog, it is because my feminine soul and my mothering was shut down by subordination that I protest.”

      It is very hard to take this in another way. I really thought that it was somewhat of a concession on your part. Why else would you say this in such a way? You are against (i.e. “protest”) subordination because you were hurt by it.

      Maybe you just meant that your experience has fueled your passions. Other characteristics, though, have made me think this as well. However, I certianly don’t want to act as if I am disqualifying you (or the voice of your experience). I appreciate it nonetheless.

    • C Michael Patton

      We neuter society when we don’t bring up men as men and women as women which is, as I have said over and over, so much more than leadership.

      I have limited the leadership talk only to the home and in the church. I even limited it in the church to that of a head pastor. Women, I believe can be leaders in many many areas. I believe they would be less desirable in other, generally speaking. Same thing with men. Men can be leaders in many areas, and would be less desirable in others.

      I am sorry, it is just hard to say the same things over and over.

    • Sue

      Perhaps that comment of mine was misunderstood. I meant that subordination destroyed the very thing that you, as a complementarian, are praising.

      I meant that I am not upset because complementarianism kept me from being a pastor, or from having leadership, which is what I heard you saying.

      I meant that in contrast to those egals who, you claim, want leadership, all I ever wanted was to be a mother. And subordination ruined this for me.

      This is why women don’t want subordination, because they want to be women, as God created them.

      Subordination can neuter women just as easily as anything else. This is what Christian women fought against in the 19th century. They fought for women to be the mothers they were intended to be.

    • C Michael Patton

      BTW:

      I rarely get involved in my blog comments at all, much less as much as I have over these last few posts. It goes to show you how important I personally believe this is.

      Thanks for you all for hanging in their. I am very sorry if there has been some offense taken.

    • Sue

      Michael,

      I have not taken offense and I too believe this is important. Okay, I am upset that the subordination of women is as important to you as the equality of women is to me.

      But I know you for a very tender person, and I do trust you. But somehow I come here to relive grief. This is a part of my grieving process. I am able to stay away from these arguments for more time than I used to.

      The scholarship is real. I used to write about other things before with as much detail and care as I take in studying the history of interpretation.

      I am working on a paper to set straight a criticism against some of the early male translators, at this moment. I do not restrict myself to promoting the female view, whatever that would be. I believe in honesty in scholarship above everything and I have sometimes been at odds with other egal exegetes.

    • Sue

      Remember, whenever you preach the subordinate role of women, remember that it could be worse that alcohol, or cigarettes, or many other things that you would never introduce into the home. It is a powerful weapon that you give to men.

    • TL

      “We neuter society when we don’t bring up men as men and women as women which is, as I have said over and over, so much more than leadership.”

      Well, I can agree with that for the plain words. 🙂

      I’ve commented on this Blog today more than I have anywhere all week. I’m exhausted. It’s understandable that there would be some confusion. But this is of incredible importance to the body of Christ.

      My estimation of you is raised by your patience.

      many blessings….

    • C Michael Patton

      Thanks Sue… It is nice and I do appreciate your time and spirit.

      One thing though:

      You said: “Okay, I am upset that the subordination of women is as important to you as the equality of women is to me.”

      “Subordination of women.” I do wish that you would attempt to concede at least that this is not my foudation at all. There are only two areas that I have discussed the subordination of women and even then I qualified. I have also discussed the subordination of the role of men being of lesser import.

      But most importantly, my passion, I pray you have seen, is for us to recognize, promote, and celebrate gender differences so that we might be able to more fully represent the image of God. My passsion for this is in no way based on some love for superiority or womens subordination. That is one application in a very limited area that is of less concern to me than others in this same area.

      Anyway, please just try to understand me, even if you do not concede, as I do, that this is a true representation of Evangelical Complementarianism.

      That would be one area of integrity that you are lacking right now and it keeps me from endearing myself to you in others. Represent the people AND issues well.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “Remember, whenever you preach the subordinate role of women, remember that it could be worse that alcohol, or cigarettes, or many other things that you would never introduce into the home. It is a powerful weapon that you give to men.”

      I agree. People justify about everything they do by twisting truth around their sin. That is why Paul spent much more time explaining to husbands how to love their wives than he did to women about submitting to their husbands.

    • C Michael Patton

      TL,

      Well, paitence is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and knowledge is not. So in my book, that is a very kind comment!

      God bless.

    • Sue

      There are only two areas that I have discussed the subordination of women and even then I qualified.

      The home and the church. Home is everything. Not just some little portion of life.

      But most importantly, my passion, I pray you have seen, is for us to recognize, promote, and celebrate gender differences so that we might be able to more fully represent the image of God.

      I cannot think of anything that I have ever said or hinted that does not celebrate the difference between men and women. But subordination closes down those in subordination. It does not celebrate them.

      If a woman is afraid that displaying a difference from masculine traits will mean that her leadership is called into question, then she may suppress her femininity just because of this teaching. That is one way that this teaching suppresses femninity. And women want leadership so they can fulfill their God-given responsibilities and nurture those around them.

      Having equal authority is the foundation of developing and fulfilling the differences, the characteristics of both sexes. It may have been that one thread of feminism rejected feminine traits because they were taught that females were not fit for leadership. But this is not true any more. Women know that they are fit for leadership and they want to be feminine leaders and thus fulfill and celebrate difference.

      I concede that I do not understand you. I can pretty much guess that while you believe in the subordinate role of women you don’t practice it. But if you teach it, then you put it out there for other men who will practice it. That is the danger.

      Also I do not feel that being egal in any way neuters me, and I do not feel at all comfortable with this suggestion. I have worked so hard to regain my femininity, to celebrate it. I never write as if I were a man. I always celebrate the fact that I write as a woman. This is a trade mark for me. Do you find me masculine, or neutered?

    • Sue

      Michael,

      I don’t know why difference is so important. There is not even one scripture in the Bible which teaches that men and women are to have different qualities. Men and women alike are to be strong, brave, mighty, nurturing, tender, sober, faithful, non-combattive, submissive to leaders.

      I have searched the entire Bible and asked many people to defend this doctrine of difference from the Bible and I don’t remember one verse which supports it. Not even one.

      I like the difference. I am rather glad that I am not like a man, but I cannot find this doctrine of different qualities in scripture.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, no reason to go in circles here. All I was saying was that this statement misrepresented my arguments and, more importantly, my position:

      “Okay, I am upset that the subordination of women is as important to you as the equality of women is to me.”

      Try to have integrity in the way you represent people and truth.

    • Sue

      “Okay, I am upset that the subordination of women is as important to you as the equality of women is to me.”

      Right, sorry ’bout that. It seems that it is not accurate.

      I hope that you too can see that egals do not neuter people. Perhaps some day you will be able to nuance that and offer egals integrity as well on this issue.

      It is time to go – midnight for me and much too late for you. Thanks for the chat. Unfortunately there were a couple of misunderstandings since I wrote too fast with too few edits, but I think overall you have a lot of patience.

    • Hodge

      “Wives don’t need a leader.”

      Said the Serpent to Eve, in front of Adam, as he handed her an apple. 😉

      TL,

      That’s where you don’t get it. Comps are about nurture and preserving the motherhood of the woman. That’s what this is all about. The fact that you don’t understand the difference between the comp view and the patriarchal view tells me that your lost on the subject. Let those who believe it define it.

    • Hodge

      Let’s be real honest here. There is no such thing as a neutral human. Hence, there is no such thing as a neutral role. There are male and female humans, so there are only male and female roles. So if we are going to make roles equal via sameness, then we are really choosing one of the gender roles as the standard for certain behavior and practice (at least in certain areas). So what we’re really talking about here is making the woman into a man, which is really what pop-feminism is all about. What we identify as “neutral” is simply the masculine “privileges” that come with the duties of that role, and are honored in our culture.

    • Sue

      What we identify as “neutral” is simply the masculine “privileges” that come with the duties of that role, and are honored in our culture.

      So single mothers ought to have these privileges also since they bear the same duties as a male for protecting and providing.

      Comps are about nurture and preserving the motherhood of the woman.

      And I experienced compism as the denial of the motherhood of the woman. It is whatever the male leader in the home makes it out to be and there is no referee.

      As I said, there is a quite a significant blogosphere of women leaving compism in order to become responsible mothers to their children.

    • PamBG

      All of them, like me, believe that women cannot be in the position of “head pastor” or elder in authority over men in the sense that they are carrying the primary responsibilities for these men of discipleship, leadership, reproving, exhorting, and instructing. See my first post to help you understand why (i.e. inclination toward the type of leadership involved and response from the people).

      I think that the communication disconnect here is that I don’t even understand this description in terms of my denomination.

      I have no idea what a “head pastor” is. That does not exist in my denomination. One is either an ordained pastor or one is not. Period, end of story.

      And I have no idea what “carry the primary responsibility for these men of discipleship, leadership, reproving, exhorting and instructing” means. In my denomination, the pastor is the Chair of the Church Council; I do not view chairmanship as being an autocrat and neither do my male colleagues.

      Yes, I have “primary” responsibility for conducting reproof and there have been occasions when that has been necessary. But if you are going to tell me that God doesn’t want me telling a man that his adultery is sinful or that his spreading of malicious information about another person is sinful, then what is the point of having an objective standard of behavior in the first place?

      Perhaps the major disconnect between egalitarian denominations and complimentarian denominations is the idea of how an organization should be run? You model seems authoritarian and I do not think an authoritarian form of governance is particularly godly.

      And my mind boggles at the idea of any pastor micro-managing all these areas of life for his or her parishioners. This seems like “helicopter pastoring”.

    • Lisa Robinson

      TL,

      I think these comments here not only misrepresent the complementarian position, but contradict what Michael has repeatedly said.

      “Can you cite any Scriptures that say women need to be lead about and have decisions made for them.”

      Women are very much influencers 😉 The comp position is not about having decisions made for them or not contributing to the decision making process. Leadership is about taking responsibility and at the end of the day, the buck has to stop somewhere. And what you say here is important in that task for the husband and the pastor.

      “Perhaps this is true when people think of leadership as all about authority and control. But Jesus gave us the example in Matt. 20 that true leadership is about serving and service.”

      “But nurturing is something husbands are to do as well. Nurturing is caring for, protecting, providing for, feeding, and more.”

      Yes, I agree – Ephesians 5:25-28; I Peter 5:2-3

      And with these comments,

      “What is so scary about a woman loving to teach the Bible and doing it well, maybe even better than some men? What is so scary about a woman preaching and being really good at it.”

      “Just saying that nurturing (children) is more important isn’t a good reason to deny women from other pursuits they are gifted for. Women are capable of doing more than raising children.”

      Have you even listened to what Michael said? Go back at look at those links I posted in 299. That is only a speck compared to what is out there.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Here is a thought, and primarily for TL, Eric and Pam

      I wonder if we are confusing gifts with office. There have many comments indicating that if one is gifted they should use those gifts freely. However, the comp position does not deny this. Pastoring and teaching are gifts, not offices. If one is gifted to do this they should do this. But the offices of overseer/bishop/presbyter/elder is reserved for men because this is the office that governs the church. In this sense, not because of gifts, but because of headship, which is why authority is tied in to the creative order (1 Timothy 2, 1 Cor 11). It’s why I believe that women can be pastors and fulfill their gift of pastoring but subjected to the order of the office. Same with the home. In a sense, the husband holds an office.

      Now if you say that neither the church nor the home need a head, that is a different story.

    • EricW

      Hodge wrote:

      The fact that you don’t understand the difference between the comp view and the patriarchal view tells me that your lost on the subject. Let those who believe it define it.

      Let’s be real honest here. There is no such thing as a neutral human. Hence, there is no such thing as a neutral role. There are male and female humans, so there are only male and female roles.

      Lisa Robinson wrote:

      I wonder if we are confusing gifts with office. There have many comments indicating that if one is gifted they should use those gifts freely. However, the comp position does not deny this. Pastoring and teaching are gifts, not offices. If one is gifted to do this they should do this. But the offices of overseer/bishop/presbyter/elder is reserved for men because this is the office that governs the church. In this sense, not because of gifts, but because of headship, which is why authority is tied in to the creative order (1 Timothy 2, 1 Cor 11). It’s why I believe that women can be pastors and fulfill their gift of pastoring but subjected to the order of the office. Same with the home. In a sense, the husband holds an office.

      Now if you say that neither the church nor the home need a head, that is a different story.

      I don’t think either side accepts the other side’s (re)definitions or categorizations. And because of that, though we may get close to each other on some things even to the point of total agreement, both sides are still at an impasse with each other.

      Re: the offices & charismata in the church, including those of apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, teacher, elder, overseer, deacon, tongues, prophecy, healing, administration, helps, etc., I don’t think egals think “male” or “female” have or should have anything to do with roles, positions, leadership, source, headship, superordination, subordination, gifts, functions, positions, abilities, etc.

    • EricW

      (cont’d)

      (Repeated from the previous post) Hodge wrote:

      The fact that you don’t understand the difference between the comp view and the patriarchal view tells me that your lost on the subject. Let those who believe it define it.

      And a complementarianism that allows men to have and do all these things, but restricts a woman re: some of these things – either forbidding her to hold or do some or all of them, or requiring that there be a male “head” over her with respect to some of them – IS a form of patriarchalism.

      I.e., there is NO “difference between the comp view and the patriarchal view” if the comp view does this. The so-called “comp” view is just a softer or less restrictive form of patriarchalism, but it IS patriarchalism. I supplied the dictionary definitions many posts ago. My dictionary hasn’t changed.

    • Sue

      Leadership is about taking responsibility and at the end of the day, the buck has to stop somewhere.

      If you mean that the buck stops with the husband and not with the wife, this is against the law. The buck stops with both parents. Both parents are legally responsible for the children. If something goes wrong, the mother is not exempt from responsibility. Nor is she exempt before God. “The buck stops here” teaches women that they do not have FULL responsibility, but, in fact, they do.

      If a mother knows of something illegal happening and does not stop it, then she is also liable. Likewise in the lesser things, if she abdicates her full responsibility in little things, she is also responsible. Gender-based authority is at odds with doing what is right regardless of the gender of the decision-maker.

    • PamBG

      I wonder if we are confusing gifts with office.

      I don’t know what your mental model of church is here. I am ordained a Presbyter in my denomination. All Presbyters in my denomination – male and female – are under the denomination’s discipline which includes major points of doctrine (but we are not a confessional denomination) and the obligations of presbyters, deacons, lay leaders, church councils and members. These disciples are laid out in a document called The Constitutional Practice and Discipline of The Methodist Church (in Great Britain, not to be confused with the UMC). The disciplines are determined by Conference which meets annually and is comprised of elected lay and ordained men and women.

      No male Presbyter has the option of taking Church authority upon himself. No female Presbyter has the option of taking Church authority upon herself. Both male and female Presbyters are subject to the discipline of conference. It is their responsibility to apply this discipline to their congregations (who are subject to corporate, congregational discipline) and to members (who are subject to the discipline of members).

      Now, as I understand it, you would say that it’s illegitimate for me, as a female Presbyter, to apply the discipline of the Church to a male member of the Church? If your answer is “yes”, then I ask why there is an objective standard in the first place. Can we not assume that, having promised to accept the disciplines of the Church in becoming a member, that this member would expect anyone “in authority” to apply that discipline to him?

      If your answer is that may apply this discipline because it has been decided corporately rather than by spiritually-inappropriate female me, my answer is that I think I probably don’t agree with your model of church. Because I don’t think that any individual male Presbyter ought to be determining disciplinary standards for a congregation or for a denomination.

    • Hodge

      Sue,

      I think I can fairly say, from the numerous posts I’ve read where you describe your relationship, that you DID NOT experience a complementarian relationship. Your situation sounds like patriarchal abuse, where the man overshadows the woman. I realize that this was an awful experience for you, but please note that any comp you speak with is not going to think that you were in a similar relationship to what they are describing.

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      “And a complementarianism that allows men to have and do all these things, but restricts a woman re: some of these things – either forbidding her to hold or do some or all of them, or requiring that there be a male “head” over her with respect to some of them – IS a form of patriarchalism.

      I.e., there is NO “difference between the comp view and the patriarchal view” if the comp view does this. The so-called “comp” view is just a softer or less restrictive form of patriarchalism, but it IS patriarchalism. I supplied the dictionary definitions many posts ago. My dictionary hasn’t changed.”

      Eric, I didn’t say anything before, but getting a definition of patriarchy from Websters is like letting Websters define the word man. Patriarchy has specific connotations in religious circles. It sees the woman as less of a human in ability, worth, etc.

      Comp sees the woman as a full human in ability, worth, intelligence, etc.; but wasting the specific vehicle she has been given to display that humanity by attempting to display it as though she were a man. It has nothing to do with restricting because she is not good enough. It has everything to do with telling her to take up the divinely gifted vehicle through which her humanity is expressed (i.e. motherhood instead of fatherhood).
      So there is a vast chasm of a difference between patriarchy, which exists primarily for the man, and comp that exists for God, the man, the woman, children and community/family. One is tyrannical and one seeks the best for the other. You’re not going to get that from Websters.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Pam, I was meaning to ask if you were Methodist and lo and behold, you answered it for me. To be honest, I think the Methodist model gives some legitimacy for women pastors simply because of the structure you described. I do want to do some more research on it and will as we have been discussing this in my church history class that is primarily focused on American denominational and evangelical development. So at this point, I would say I don’t know. You do raise some good points.

    • Sue

      I think I can fairly say, from the numerous posts I’ve read where you describe your relationship, that you DID NOT experience a complementarian relationship. Your situation sounds like patriarchal abuse, where the man overshadows the woman

      But you need to understand that the teaching and the framework were complementarian. This is one of the possible results of comp teaching. The internet is full of women like me, decoupling and trying to restore basic health. There is a site that collects money to help other women leave.

      I don’t think you understand that because of pressure to not talk about it, like I have experienced here, that this is a relatively common problem.

      Now, I admit that anyone can abuse anyone, man or women, egal or comp. But this kind of abuse in the name of God is a particularly cruel and destructive kind of thing. You cannot prevent it from happening. You teach the comp line and leave women to fend for themselves. You place an unbearable burden on women, while ensuring that you yourself live in a democracy, have the opportunity to vote, to change jobs, to change churches. You are not bound by a lifelong vow to hell itself, but you see no problem with putting women at risk. It is the sheer lack of empathy for a fellow human being.

      How I feel sometimes, is that we are like a fish. The suffering is just shrugged off because people think that fish don’t have as intense feelings of pain as a person does. I am not against fishing per se, but I find it hard to believe that it causes no pain to a fish to be caught by a hook.

      You see that some women are going to dangle by this hook and you carry on with your beliefs as if some of us are just write-offs. The comp doctrine will never fit us again. Are we then outside the grace of God?

      We will never come back to the comp fold, and many will never darken the door of a church again. Their testimony will not be heard, and the cycle will continue.

      I won’t bore you by mentioning the worthy comp scholars in this neck of the woods, but I attended a mainstream church full of mostly normal people who simple taught a dangerous doctrine and did not set up a safe house for those for whom it did not work out.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Hodge: “Sue,

      I think I can fairly say, from the numerous posts I’ve read where you describe your relationship…”

      It would be helpful, although perhaps unobtainable, to hear from the other side. As currently stands, it’s just one-sided reporting.

      Given how Sue (mis)represents complementarianism or Biblical patriarchy, I, for one, would find it immensely helpful to hear the other side’s perspective.

    • Sue

      TU..AD,

      What does it matter? Are you saying that these things never happen.

      If you want to deny something, then deny spousal abuse in general. Deny that it happens.

      But I agree that both men and women, comp and egal are abused. And I would never give one spouse authority over the other. I would never say, “Okay, let’s solve this by telling one of you that the other person has decision-making power for the next 50 years.”

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      While that may be true re: some discussions of patriarchalism – i.e., it has specific meanings within a religious discussion – my original (IIRC) reason for bringing up the dictionary definitions was to support the idea that CBMW had in some ways misappropriated the term “complementarian” for themselves, or perhaps had even outright invented it, primarily to give a different impression about their kind of patriarchalism to their opponents or to those who would cringe at the term “patriarchalism.” A kinder, gentler patriarchalism, if you will. Compassionate patriarchalism. Etc.

      But a theological or ecclesiological organization which lets its ultimate authority reside or rest in males only, even if lower positions can be held by females to “complement” the males’ strengths, gifts, etc., is a hierarchically patriarchal organization. They can call themselves “complementarian,” but they’re still patriarchal. A rose by any other name, etc., etc.

      I see no problem with using Random House to define the terms. But I do think it’s a problem when complementarians like CBMW and those who refer to themselves as such, vis-a-vis egalitarianism, claim that theirs is not a form, however hard or soft, of patriarchalism. Because it is. One cannot make sour milk cream and cream sour milk simply by calling sour milk “cream” and cream “sour milk.” Groups can define some things for themselves, but it confounds language when they call black white and white black simply because that’s what they want to do.

    • PamBG

      I do want to do some more research on it and will as we have been discussing this in my church history class that is primarily focused on American denominational and evangelical development. So at this point, I would say I don’t know. You do raise some good points.

      Thank you for your honesty and thoughtfulness.

      I do think that there is an underlying issue here and it’s the issue of hierarchy. I would be totally opposed to a church structure where any one person – male or female – either had total responsibility for church discipline or had an ultimate veto or ultimate ability to dictate (bad word but the only one which springs to mind at the moment). Leaving women out of the equation entirely, I am totally opposed to the kinds of church systems where some men are deemed to “give covering” to other men.

      My foundational objection is to the idea of “the buck has to stop somewhere”. I have decades of experience that tell me that a more mutual system of marriage and church works just fine when individuals practice mutual submission.

      Just as an aside, within British Methodism, a person who thinks they are called to ministry doesn’t just go off to seminary and then apply to a church. You have to be accepted by the denomination before you even begin to study; the denomination pays your education but a person is told what theology college (seminary) to attend and a person is told what specialty they are going to study for. I studied a specialty I would not have chosen and went to a college I didn’t really want to attend. Your first appointment is made by the church and you don’t really have the ability to say no (unless you think you’d be so completely miserable that you’re willing to wait another year for your first appointment). My bet is that our women ministers (as well as our men ministers, of course) have probably accepted more discipline than male ministers in congregational systems who imply that we are self-centered and lack…

    • EricW

      Actually, now that I think about it without wading through nearly 400 comments, I first brought up the Random House definitions because I had problems with CMP’s spectrum which placed egalitarianism opposite patriarchalism instead of midway between patriarchalism and matriarchalism, per standard definitions for the terms.

      And since we are using most of the words in our posts here according to standard dictionary definitions of those words – whether “essential” or “characteristic” or “egalitarian,” etc. – it eludes me why we have to give a special dispensation to complementarians who want to say that they are not in any way shape or form patriarchalists such as to let them define who they are by using words in ways that defy the dictionary definitions of those words.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Pam, thanks. I would like to highlight your point here

      “I would be totally opposed to a church structure where any one person – male or female – either had total responsibility for church discipline or had an ultimate veto or ultimate ability to dictate.”

      The comp position does not place the weight of decision on one person. As I mentioned in the other thread (Question for Egalitarians), the bishop/overseer/elder should meet the qualifications of as outline in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Moreover, I do not believe the prescription is for one person to be in charge of everything but for leadership to rest in a plurality of elders.

      And as you point out, affirmation of the elder by the community is a very important part of the process. Otherwise, it would be a dictatorship and that is not what the comp position is promoting.

    • mbaker

      Lisa,

      I am in agreement with you and Pam when you say it should not be a matter of one person acting in a position of absolute authority. The church model presented in the Bible does not automatically grant someone monarch status strictly because they are male. Ideally, all church leadership should have a democratic process in place where there is egress if things are not being run properly, or if someone is overstepping their authority.

      However, we know in the real world, people being what they are, this does not always play out that way. In fact, in many smaller churches, the pastor is it. Even in larger churches this can come into play when leadership doesn’t lead by example but by authority.

      For example, my husband and I stopped going to a church we really liked in every way, when we found out that in order too be accepted as members, we were expected to sign a pledge (patterned on the one from Rick Warren’s church) where we could not question the pastor or the elders, or vote against them. Needless to say we knew it was not biblical to ask that of members, so after much consultation with the pastor and the elders we decided to move on.

      Our church now is small, but run much more democratically. Men and women alike are asked to do such ‘womanly’ things as keep the babies in the nursery and do Children’s Church. Youth groups are commonly taught by both men and women. Our pastor who is very Bible based, (think preaching verse by verse), teaches that we all need to develop a servant’s heart, not patterned upon roles, but out of mutual love for Christ and desiring to serve as He served.

      Under this model, I see none of the heirarchy here I saw in the other church, who also prided itself on being complementarian, that is until it came to authority.

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      According to the logic you’re using I could argue that both atheists and Christians agree that man is a human animal. Hence, Christians are essentially atheists.

      The little problem is that specifics define the term, not generalities. Yes, both patriarchy and complementarianism place the man as head of the family, domestic or ecclesiastical. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. Egalitarians and matriarchy agree that man is not to be in the leadership role as well. Does that mean you agree now that egal and matriarchal feminism are the same? Of course you don’t, because the distinctions separate the two, not the similarities. Whatever CBMW did or does is not relevant to the average comp, but I highly doubt the situation is as it is presented by conspiratorial egals. I’m sure there is some dark room where they all met and said, “Hey let’s redefine this in order to make it more palatable.” Please, this is nonsense. I guess you, as an evangelical/emerging/etc. are a fundy because you have roots in and similar beliefs to fundamentalists. We can do this all day. It’s bad logic, and it simply amounts to the genetic fallacy, and further, an ad hominem. Websters doesn’t get to define religious terminology. They define generics, not specifics, and we are certainly not bound to their generic definitions. I would find a different line of argumentation here.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Sue,

      Are you familar with the case of a prostitute falsely accusing the Duke lacrosse team of rape? One would not know that it’s a false accusation if only the alleged victim was allowed to say anything.

      The general point being that it’s helpful to have as complete a perspective as possible on a situation. That’s not to say that what happened in your situation did not happen as you describe it; it’s merely to say that we have not heard what your former husband says.

    • PamBG

      Are you familar with the case of a prostitute falsely accusing the Duke lacrosse team of rape? One would not know that it’s a false accusation if only the alleged victim was allowed to say anything.

      The general point being that it’s helpful to have as complete a perspective as possible on a situation. That’s not to say that what happened in your situation did not happen as you describe it; it’s merely to say that we have not heard what your former husband says.

      “Interesting response”.

      Not: “Well, if you husband was abusing you, as a complimentarian (or whatever), I utterly condemn such behavior.”

      But rather: “You might be lying, and the possibility that you might be lying precludes me having an opinion on whether or not spousal abuse is wrong.”

      Can I say that this thread is filled with “little tidbits” like this from a number of people that make me think there is less respect for women among many in your community than I believe is godly. “Some of your best friends might be women” but I, for one, would not turn to many of you in a crisis.

      Sue has pointed out that the “process of doing relationships” is fundamentally flawed in complimentarianism. All the responses here have made it clear that complimentarianism’s only recourse is “our process works if it is carried out in the way that it is meant to be carried out”. Women or men who are abused by their spouses in egalitarianism DO have a recourse to the belief that all abuse is wrong, period, end of story.

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      Go right ahead. Use your perception of my logic any way you wish. Find a different line of argumentation if it works for you. Call Christians atheists and atheists Christians. Whatever. It’s a free country.

      I have nothing new or different or additional to say about the matter than what I’ve already said about it. That’s my position on the terms and meanings of the terms.

      The first rule of Complementarianism is that you do not talk about Complementarianism.

      The second rule of Complementarianism is that you do not talk about Complementarianism.

      Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.

      I am Jack’s laissez faire attitude.

    • C Michael Patton

      I have not been able to keep up on the responses today. However, I have seen a couple.

      One thing that seems to be (for some unknown reason) assumed is that complementarians think that women or ANYONE who is under abusive leadership should submit. That is simply not the case and continues to equate complementarianism with a radical form of partriachalism (not even normative patriarchalism). You can argue against any position so long as you are intent on creating strawmen and false stereotypes, but it does not help anything.

      I have continually attempted to define what is meant and what the main issues are and so many of you go back to the same old false descriptions. Can good responsible conversations really take place here?

    • TL

      “but I highly doubt the situation is as it is presented by conspiratorial egals. I’m sure there is some dark room where they all met and said, “Hey let’s redefine this in order to make it more palatable.” Please, this is nonsense.”

      Actually, it was online discussion in a private yahoo list. I’m not privy to their conversations elsewhere. And they did in fact desire to come up with a more palatable name than patriarchalism. I was there listening in (so to speak) on the conversations. I don’t know their motivations. There were a few others who now consider themselves egals who are aware of this. You obviously don’t have to believe me. But IMO it is a pertinent point of truth.

    • TL

      “One thing that seems to be (for some unknown reason) assumed is that complementarians think that women or ANYONE who is under abusive leadership should submit. That is simply not the case and continues to equate complementarianism with a radical form of partriachalism (not even normative patriarchalism).”

      First, I think I confused the issue on that a few times. Because I was around and actually saw a teeny bit of the beginnings of complementarianism, I do sometimes have difficulty separating that with the form it has taken with people who identify with the concept of complementarity more than they do the foundations of the movement. I apologize for my part in that. And am working on understanding the softer form of complementarity complementarianism.

      But the patriarchalism thing….. Normative patriarchalism is quite harsh. I lived it through the Shepherding Movement. I am still on private lists and aware of their doctrines. Main stream patriarchalism is radical, period. I don’t even think there is a soft patriarchalism except for the incomplete face that is put on for observers. Anything less than the norm get’s moved over into the realm of complementarianism which IMO has one side that leans toward the heavy hierarchies of patriarchalism and the other side that leans toward the mutualities of Christian egalitariansim.

      Hope that helps some….

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      PamBG,

      It’s not surprising that you badly miss the point.

      The point is that all we have is Sue’s description of what happened in her marriage. We don’t have her former husband’s account. I merely said that it would be helpful to have his perspective as well.

      Sue then turns this observation into a general statement about abuse and denying abuse. So then I simply make a general statement about false accusations and whether folks will deny that false accusations are made.

    • cherylu

      Pam,

      I haven’t commented on these threads for some time now but I have been following the conversations on them.

      You commented that, “Sue has pointed out that the “process of doing relationships” is fundamentally flawed in complimentarianism.”

      Until I am convinced that complimentarianism is not what the Bible teaches in several places regarding issues in the home and in the church, there is no way I can agree with that statement.

      However, I will also have to say that there is no way I can agree with the way many men treat their wives or by the high handed authority in some church situations. They are in no way the response that we should expect from Christian leaders and husbands. Men who handle authority this way in the church or treat their wives the way many men do, are totally going against the Biblical instructions for them.

      I was just told about an incident in a church that I was once a member of where a woman was recently kicked out of the church because she had told the pastor that she had, “no confidence in the elders.” For that she she was accused of, “sinning against the elder board,” and told she could no longer attend there.

      And I have a relative that claims to be a Christian but is extremely
      patriarchal–the way he treats his wife is terrible. She is less then a second class citizen in his book.

      So I know that there are problems–sometimes very severe ones. But what is the solution? To eliminate part of the teachings of the Bible surely is not the proper answer. The only answer that I can see is for both men and women to start behaving in a Christ like way and start obeying their part of the instructions God has given us. Only then we will have no further problems in this area.

    • Sue

      Perhaps encouraging the subordinate role of women should be put on the back burner until those who have been hurt are helped out, men or women. Why put more talk into making sure women function in the subordinate role than in keeping people safe.

    • Sue

      Cherylu,

      start obeying their part of the instructions God has given us

      In an abusive situation, this increases the abuse. If a spouse either way, gives in in any way at all to the controlling attitude of the other, then that control will increase. That is just how it is.

      I do know of women who lived with abuse all their lives and then they died.

    • cherylu

      Would it not be helpful if in every discussion of complimentarianism the woman AND the man’s role were equally emphasized and it was taught how those roles are to be played out? It seems to me in almost all conversations or teachings on complimentarianism that I have heard, the emphasis is on the man being the leader in the church and in the home and the woman not teaching in the church and being submissive in the home. The emphasis seems most of the time to be on the fact that women are excluded from certain areas. Wouldn’t a lot of the problems being discussed here simply go away–assuming they were obeyed–if church leadership was taught the qualifications given for it in Scriputre and if they were always held accountable to those standards? And wouldn’t it help tremendously in marriage situations if the man was told that he was to, “Love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her”? And another real gem, husbands are to “live in an understanding way” with their wives! If these things were taught more consistently and if men were held accountable to obeying these instructions, it seems to me there would not be the abuse there is today.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “Perhaps encouraging the subordinate role of women should be put on the back burner until those who have been hurt are helped out, men or women. Why put more talk into making sure women function in the subordinate role than in keeping people safe.”

      This is the same type of argument that Brian McLaren makes concerning the issue of homosexuality and the church. Because, as many see it, the church does not handle it well, we should call a moratorium on all discussion and prohibitions against homosexuals in the church.

      Would you agree with this as well?

    • cherylu

      Sue,

      Did you notice that I said, “If BOTH men and women” were to start obeying these instructions? I did not say that the solution is just for the woman to obey her share of them.

    • PamBG

      It’s not surprising that you badly miss the point.

      The point is that all we have is Sue’s description of what happened in her marriage. We don’t have her former husband’s account. I merely said that it would be helpful to have his perspective as well.

      Sue is not asking us to arbitrate between her and her husband. She is asking for an explanation of what the mechanism is in complimentarianism whereby a woman can find safety from her husband.

      The point you are badly missing is that, for those of us who think that complimentarianism looks like male-headship gone politically correct, where is the safety mechanism in the concept of “the buck stops with me” supposing (think of one of those math “Suppose” signs) that “me” is the person engaging in the abuse?

      Those of us who grew up in male headship have plenty experience of badly beat-up wives who were inexplicably “lying” about their “very Christian” husbands abusing them. So attitude will raise red flags. Women are told that the male elders will deal with their husbands if they are abusive, but the elders don’t.

      I was just told about an incident in a church that I was once a member of where a woman was recently kicked out of the church because she had told the pastor that she had, “no confidence in the elders.” For that she she was accused of, “sinning against the elder board,” and told she could no longer attend there.

      Certainly consistent of my experience in male-headship long ago.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “And wouldn’t it help tremendously in marriage situations if the man was told that he was to, “Love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her”? And another real gem, husbands are to “live in an understanding way” with their wives! If these things were taught more consistently and if men were held accountable to obeying these instructions, it seems to me there would not be the abuse there is today.”

      Cheryl, I agree. All we see is the woman being asked to submit but overlook what the husband is ask to do – the giving up of himself for the care of his wife. Quite frankly, I don’t know which is considered the more sacrificial but definitely needs to be considered in context of Paul’s commandment to be filled with the spirit (vs. 18) and mutual submission to each other (vs. 21).

      The same goes for church leadership. They are actually servants (1 Peter 5:2-3)

    • C Michael Patton

      Amen Cheryl,

      Especially since the heart of complementarianism is not about submission or leadership.

    • C Michael Patton

      “She is asking for an explanation of what the mechanism is in complimentarianism whereby a woman can find safety from her husband.”

      Well, from this complementarian, the wife does NOT put up with abuse. While it is not always that simple, we need to teach, preach, exhort, and instruct that submission does not mean that one has to be in an abusive situation. Then you have some other complementarian male come beat the tar out of the guy 🙂

    • mbaker

      “Especially since the heart of complementarianism is not about submission or leadership.”

      This is also what some of us on the egalitarian thread were trying to point out in our concept of raising Godly children.

    • Rebecca

      The Pharisees saw an opportunity to accuse Jesus if He would heal the man on the Sabbath, and they raised the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?” Matthew12:10.
      He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?” Matthew 12:11. He then asked them if they didn’t think a man was worth at least as much as some dumb lost sheep?

      Jesus didn’t argue The Law with them there scholars. Jesus understood the Pharisees had knowledege of The Law but didn’t have the sense that God gave a goose! This has been sliced and diced so many ways when I didn’t think it could be sliced and diced anymore. It’s about to get tissue paper thin making it harder and harder to slice and dice. It’s turning into “As Seen on TV” infomercial! I can’t wait to get my steak knives and mini slicer/dicer for the smaller debates!

      If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be with Jesus relaxing in a boat on the other side of the lake. Don’t even think about it!

    • PamBG

      “She is asking for an explanation of what the mechanism is in complimentarianism whereby a woman can find safety from her husband.”

      Well, from this complementarian, the wife does NOT put up with abuse. While it is not always that simple, we need to teach, preach, exhort, and instruct that submission does not mean that one has to be in an abusive situation. Then you have some other complementarian male come beat the tar out of the guy 🙂

      Michael, you lost my heart totally at post 407.

      If a woman in my church comes to me terrified out of her wits, my first job is to say “Let’s find you a safe place to be away from your husband”.

      My first job is NOT to say “Well, this will make a very interesting arbitration case for the church. At this point, until we’ve heard a lot of evidence from both sides, who is to know if you are telling the truth or not?”

      Nor is my first job to judge the husband as guilty and go ’round and admonish him, excommunicate him or punch him in the face.

      My first job is to offer the woman a safe place and I don’t have to judge anyone in order to do that. She might not accept that offer. A lot of abused women need to pluck up courage to leave their husbands. But she will know that her physical safety is my first priority and the my first priority is not to treat her situation as an intellectual exercise for our congregation’s Church court.

      So you teach that the man must not abuse the woman. But you don’t think that your first priority is to get the woman to safety. I don’t want to be a member of a community run in that way.

    • C Michael Patton

      Pam,

      How did I lose your heart? Because I said that because there are abuses this does not mean we forget about searching for the truth?

      And I agree completely with getting the woman out of this situation. What did I say that would make you think otherwise?

    • Hodge

      “Actually, it was online discussion in a private yahoo list. I’m not privy to their conversations elsewhere. And they did in fact desire to come up with a more palatable name than patriarchalism. I was there listening in (so to speak) on the conversations. I don’t know their motivations. There were a few others who now consider themselves egals who are aware of this. You obviously don’t have to believe me. But IMO it is a pertinent point of truth.”

      I’m sorry, TL, it’s not that I think that you’re making it up. It’s just that I don’t trust the disposition or interpretive skills of just anyone. I highly doubt someone was just trying to advertise patriarchy differently. It is far more the case that many comps have a different view of familial hierarchy than patriarchy and therefore wanted a different name for it—i.e., a name that described it more accurately. If you’re privy to the discussion, and have it, then I would like it. Otherwise, it’s a hearsay accusation without evidence.

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      Hence the fundamentalist dogmatism of egalitarianism comes out. You don’t want people to define their systems as they are accurately distinguished from more monstrous ideas because you want to equate them. That is a sad commentary on our times and the lack of ability to address views as they are stated, My Friend.

      In any case, it is the person who holds the belief who can tell you what he believes. And it is the responsibility of the mature listener to attempt to understand rather than pigeon-hold a view with a definitional ad hominem.

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      *sigh*

      EricW is from Mars, Hodge is from Venus.

      I’m off to rescue Dejah Thoris. I hope you find Duare.

    • Sue

      Did you notice that I said, “If BOTH men and women” were to start obeying these instructions? I did not say that the solution is just for the woman to obey her share of them.

      I noticed. How are you going to enforce this. Of course, if there was no sin in the world, then this would not be a problem. I don’t find this kind of thing helpful.

      Nor do I find it helpful that a complementarian guy offers to beat someone up. That is actually disgusting to me. This is the problem. Complementarians really despise the guy in this situation because it shows how bad their system is. This attitude is all wrong. Both parties need to be helped but the contact between the two must end completely, and they should be helped by two completely different groups of people so there is no second hand information going back and forth.

      The process is completely different from Michael Patton signing up for boxing lessons. LOL.

      First, the wife must realize that she is entitled to make decisions for herself. Often the abuse is psychological and not necessarily physical. It is complex. Usually a mix of things keeps the wife silent until after she has arranged to leave by herself.

      The wife has to come to grips with being a single mother, dealing with custody, where to live, how to raise the kids. etc. etc. She has to deal with the shame of divorce and all the nasty things that people say, like “oh, I guess you don’t have much self esteem” and, ” why did you put up with it” and “you are just another wimpy codependent”

      Believe me, this is endless. A huge psychological shift must take place. The wife has to completely divest herself of all notion of male leadership and take the reins of her own life. She has to get herself out.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      PamBG,

      It’s not surprising that you not only badly miss the original point, but that you wish to compound your error by persisting in missing the original point.

      So sad.

    • Rebecca

      I’m still waiting on my “As Seen on TV” scripture slice n dice kit and the steak knives I was promised too. Maybe I’ll cancel my order and just wait until Walgreen’s carries it and can avoid the shipping and handling. But then I won’t get my steak knives or mini slicer. What to do, what to do? Sigh……..

    • PamBG

      Michael: How did I lose your heart? Because I said that because there are abuses this does not mean we forget about searching for the truth?

      Maybe we’re not reading things in the same way. This is one of those conversations that gets complicated on the internet and is almost too difficult to explain. I read Sue’s post as a response to the statement “We should not automatically take the woman’s side if she accuses her husband of abuse because she may be lying.” I read her response to be “Act first to protect the woman, worry about discussing things later.” I read your response as “No, we should discuss the matter first and not take action”. My point is that taking action to protect a woman doesn’t mean we need to automatically judge the husband as guilty but her safety should come first.

      Truth Unites: It’s not surprising that you not only badly miss the original point, but that you wish to compound your error by persisting in missing the original point. So sad.

      This is a personal remark directed at me, not a substantive point. I discuss substantive points.

    • Sue

      I am only an example. It doesn’t matter at all what my story is except that this kind of thing happens. And somehow, most of what I read is about male and female differences, but this is not discussed in any way that is useful if there are problems in a marriage.

      To simply say men are better at this, and women at that, will simply mean that whoever the stronger and more abusive person in the marriage is, that person will box the other person into a corner or the attic, as you say Michael, in the name of God. Then what? The person boxed in, often rejects Christianity altogether because this is all it means to them. This kind of teaching of difference will exacerbate any marriage that had real problems.

      There is some work done by a few psychologists which scientifically test the differences and run long term studies. John Gottman. But he is adamant that, in spite of all the differences, and the way they work out, there must be power sharing for there to be intimacy. It cannot be up to the husband to decide if he shares no power, or most of the power, or all of it.

      In fact, appearances can be very deceitful, because abusive spouses often make sure that the public view is quite opposite to the reality.

      I think one of Gotmann’s (sp?) points is that men are more emotional. They cannot process information in an emotionally charged conversation as easily as women, so women need to understand this weakness, and display patience and respect and so on for the husband to be able to listen.

      This is not about “women respect your husband as leader” This is about women learning that husbands have a weakness in the area of language processing and women have to take this into account in order to have a conversation.

    • Rebecca

      I love communicating over the Net…get to meet so many people that otherwise you’d never get to meet. But guys…and gals, you have to know that since it’s all in print and since you can’t see body language or facial expressions or hear inflections in the voice, you can read the text several different ways…from sincere to not so sincere and everything in between. It’s becoming impossible to back track and sort thru all the comments and re explain. It’s an Etch A Sketch. Time to pick it up and give it a good shake and start over…anew!

      If you were writing a novel, you’d have the liberty to be graphic and so expressive……”and just at that moment, her eyes filled with tears but they were tears of joy as she ran down the stairs nearly tripping over her own feet because her black mascara was running in her eyes”…and so on and so on. We could all imagine what everyone is trying to express. You could have a picture now and then to make it even more obvious and what about the narrator of the story to help explain the mood, to set the tone? But this isn’t a story. It’s comments and none of us have those advanatges and so we can assume the worse of our Christian brothers and sisters or….or the best!

      Somewhere is Proverbs, I’m pretty sure it says,”Clean your Etch A Sketch”!

    • Don

      From an egal perspective, if you can override the will of another and they must obey, they are your servants. You may be a benevolent master, this is what is supposed to be the case with kids, or a harsh master, but they are your servants. And ANY master will make mistakes and sin, have blind spots, etc.

      This is why the terms of husband having the final say, a trump card, 51% of the vote or similar terms sound so dangerous and unhelful to egals. This is where the rubber meets the road in the home in the egal/non-egal debate. As an egal, I throw away any supposed trump card I have as I am not Jesus, God is still working on me.

      I can agree that my wife is different than me, this is obvious. She has different aspirations than me, some coincide and some do not. I believe the genders complement each other but there is NO gender hierarchy. She may defer to me in any specific circumstance or I may defer to her; do not the non-egals see that just the fact of having the final decision distorts the process of decision making?

    • Susan

      mbaker, “Our church now is small, but run much more democratically. Men and women alike are asked to do such ‘womanly’ things as keep the babies in the nursery and do Children’s Church. Youth groups are commonly taught by both men and women. Our pastor who is very Bible based, (think preaching verse by verse), teaches that we all need to develop a servant’s heart, not patterned upon roles, but out of mutual love for Christ and desiring to serve as He served.”

      You’ve just described our complementarian church. It seems that many egals here characterize comp churches in such a ridiculously negative light. Of course there will be comp churches which are more extreme, and egal churches with problems related to roles as well. Some here continues to assume the worst about complementerianism, and aren’t really hearing us on so many points.

      Sue, and other egals,
      My husband used to be entirely patriarchal and verbally abusive. We attend a comp church (such as described above by mbaker). I can tell you one thing for sure: my husband NEVER heard any teaching at our church which would lead him to think that his behavior and treatment of me was OK. In fact, he was hearing exactly the opposite….Sunday after Sunday! So his sinful behavior was in no way influenced by the complementarian, biblically faithful, position of our church.

      I’m so tired of those in this discussion who constantly insist that abusive husbands who attend complementarian churches are being given license for their abusive, domineering ways. In most comp churches that simply is NOT the case. Last time our pastor read a passage about the submission of wives he made a big point of emphasizing mutual submission, and there was no license there for a husband to be authoritarian.

      Please stop assuming that comp churches are to blame for the abuse of church-going women! I assure you that the opposite is true in our church and most others. It often seems like you are thinking…

    • Sue

      Susan,

      Thank you for sharing this. I understand.

      I have tried to make clear many times that abuse can happen to anyone regardless of teaching. It can happen in egal churches. But in complementarian churches the teaching associates the submission of the wife with God’s will in our lives.

      In our church it was not mutual submission but final decision-making that was preached, and although the husband may know he is doing something very wrong, he can always say it is because the wife does not submit that he has lost control.

      The teaching in the church implied that it was the wife’s fault that things were the way they were, if she did not obey. So of course, it was made out that it was all my fault.

      In any case, the wife, since she is going to end up on her own, must be prepared to be the provider and protector, and the leader of the family.

      It seems what you hung onto was the teaching of mutual submission, lacking in our church. If mutual submission is taught, this looks more like an egal doctrine and at least gives the wife something to hang onto, that it was the responsibility of BOTH of you to submit, so it was not all your fault.

      What I cannot understand is why there is not a whole lot of attention given to what makes men and women suffer so much, rather than all this “men this and women that” teaching which really doesn’t help.

      What do you think would be helpful?

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      Lucky for us, the laws of logic are universally applied in every possible world. May the force be with you. 😉

    • EricW

      And may the schwarz be with you!

    • TL

      “What I cannot understand is why there is not a whole lot of attention given to what makes men and women suffer so much, rather than all this “men this and women that” teaching which really doesn’t help.

      What do you think would be helpful?”

      Good thoughts as always, Sue.

      Understanding that God gives strengths to serve those less strong, would be helpful. The sin in the world gravitated to an attitude of the strong will dominate the weaker instead. This I suspect is at the heart of many of the problems in relationships.

    • PamBG

      Understanding that God gives strengths to serve those less strong, would be helpful. The sin in the world gravitated to an attitude of the strong will dominate the weaker instead. This I suspect is at the heart of many of the problems in relationships.

      If I’m taking a page from the Original Post, this would make you a closet egalitarian since this is the principle upon which egalitarianism is based. 🙂

      It is complimentarianism that is saying that we need additional spiritual (?) moral (?) or ethical (?) guidelines between the sexes in order for our behavior to be truly godly.

    • EricW

      Hodge wrote:

      Whatever CBMW did or does is not relevant to the average comp, but I highly doubt the situation is as it is presented by conspiratorial egals. I’m sure there is some dark room where they all met and said, “Hey let’s redefine this in order to make it more palatable.” Please, this is nonsense.

      TL responded (re: the origins of “complementarian”):

      Actually, it was online discussion in a private yahoo list. I’m not privy to their conversations elsewhere. And they did in fact desire to come up with a more palatable name than patriarchalism. I was there listening in (so to speak) on the conversations. I don’t know their motivations. There were a few others who now consider themselves egals who are aware of this. You obviously don’t have to believe me. But IMO it is a pertinent point of truth.

      Hodge responded back:

      I’m sorry, TL, it’s not that I think that you’re making it up. It’s just that I don’t trust the disposition or interpretive skills of just anyone. I highly doubt someone was just trying to advertise patriarchy differently. It is far more the case that many comps have a different view of familial hierarchy than patriarchy and therefore wanted a different name for it—i.e., a name that described it more accurately. If you’re privy to the discussion, and have it, then I would like it. Otherwise, it’s a hearsay accusation without evidence.

      Hodge: Until one can find the Yahoo list and look for the posts via Google’s caching function (assuming Google was caching it then), from my searching for the origins of the term “complementarian” and its relationship to the Patriarchal/Traditional/Hierarchal view, it appears that what TL is saying is supported by others re: Gruden’s coining of the term. So at this point she has the evidence in her favor, even though to you it’s hearsay.

    • Kay

      c michael,

      cmp:”Especially since the heart of complementarianism is not about submission or leadership.”

      I found this statement totally puzzling, since all along you’ve maintained that the defining ingredient for “head pastor” is a male’s essential innate leadership quality. What, then, is the heart of complementarianism?

      cmp:”when you have one qualified woman and one qualified man, the man will always be more qualified because of his innate characteristics which are a primary determining factor in the qualification process.”

      So, why all the statements about “innate differences” and “essential differences” being such necessary qualifications if “leadership” isn’t at the heart of complementarian theology?

      I am still curious as to how you arrived at believing “leadership” is the defining factor that makes a person better suited for pastoral ministry?
      Consider that Jesus told Peter to “Feed My sheep,” not “lead My sheep.” He also said not to use the hierarchial model of world, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He said to be servants, not exercise authority over one another. I can’t find anything called a “head pastor position” in the Bible.

    • Sue

      Patriarchy – no voting

      Complemenatarian – democracy in which the husband has final say, 51% of the vote

      What is the difference? It seems that it is up to each husband to give the wife as much or as little say as he likes.

      Frankly, it is discouraging to be able to have your say, and then be overruled. As the wife of one famous complementarian theologian is quoted as saying “I felt as though I had no voice.”

    • Kay

      cmp:”Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have God given differences that are essential to their person. Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but often, functionally, take subordinate roles (like the Trinity). These differences complete or “complement” each other. Due to these differences, there will be some things that women are predisposed and purposed to do more than men. As well, there will be some things that men are predisposed and purposed to do more than women. Therefore, there are ideal roles for both men and women that should be celebrated, exemplified, typified, and promoted in the church, family, and society.”

      c michael,

      Why do you continue to define those “essential differences” in terms of social roles while at the same time acknowledging that gender roles are culturally derived?

      Are you saying that you, as a man, have somehow determined exactly a precise cut-off point that separates your ideal “feminine” woman from your ideal “masculine” man?

      “To deny these differences is to deny the design of God and thwart his purpose.”

      I’m assuming from this statement that you believe God had a another purpose in mind when making humans male and female besides the multiplication of the human race in order for the Savior to come “in the fullness of time”?

    • EricW

      Kay wrote:

      c michael,
      .
      Why do you continue to define those “essential differences” in terms of social roles while at the same time acknowledging that gender roles are culturally derived?
      .
      Are you saying that you, as a man, have somehow determined exactly a precise cut-off point that separates your ideal “feminine” woman from your ideal “masculine” man?
      .
      “To deny these differences is to deny the design of God and thwart his purpose.”

      We already know from this feature-length (almost-needs-an-intermission length) discussion that the terms "essential" and "characteristics" have not been properly defined or explained or explicated. Hence, many remain in the dark re: "What Complementarianism is Really All About” re: what it is about a woman that precludes her from doing or being in the church what a man can do or can be, and why.

    • Susan

      Sometimes my main frustration with these discussions is that it seems that the majority of it centers around whether a woman is as capable of leading as a man….and we can agree that they are….so then the conclusion is that women should be permitted to take on any and all pastoral and home headship roles. I really think that the essence of the conversation should always be focused on trying to bow to God’s authority and how He has established lines of authority, as laid out in His word. Why is it that generally speaking God’s word isn’t given the priority trump in all arguments? And, the truth remains that traditionally, through the centuries, this issue wasn’t debated, but rather both genders accepted the straight-forward reading of the text. As there has been a cultural shift in the past century…everything has changed, so we are then to try to see God’s word differently to fit what seems right to us now? I don’t think that it is oppressive to women to have male headship in the home/ nor to be excluded for top pastoral positions. Just because some stupid husbands use their ‘God given position’ to sinfully domineer their wives is not a reason to throw our the God ordained order. I’m sure there are plenty of men who claim to be egalitarians who are equally guilty of this sort of behavior….because they are sinners too. Some men are just naturally bossy and controlling (as are some women).

    • EricW

      And, the truth remains that traditionally, through the centuries, this issue wasn’t debated, but rather both genders accepted the straight-forward reading of the text.

      And, the truth remains that traditionally, through the centuries, the belief that the blood and wine of the Eucharist really were and really became Christ’s body and blood, and the belief that the act of baptism really forgave the sins and caused the spiritual regeneration of the baptized, and the belief that the gift of the Holy Spirit was imparted by the laying on of hands and anointing by the properly and apostolically-traceably-ordained priest or bishop weren’t debated, but rather both genders accepted the straight-forward reading of the text.

      Ah, the elusive one-size-fits-all straight-forward reading of the text. That’s why all Christians believe and agree on the same things. ‘Cause the text is so straight-forward.

    • Susan

      cont……
      I realize that there are plenty of Bible scholars who have (in the past 40 years or so) worked hard to demonstrate from scripture that saying women are excluded from any and all headship is not scriptural. Dan Wallace, being one of the top five Greek grammarians in the word says that one has to do an awful lot of ‘exegetical gymnastics’ to come to the egalitarian position….although I think I know his thoughts on the subject enough to call him a ‘soft complementarian’. To me, the MOST IMPORTANT issue is that we seek to know GOD’S intent, and that we humbly bow to that even if it doesn’t always fit how we would arrange things if we we God. I fail to see this as an issue of oppression, and it bothers me that some always make it out to be that. I don’t feel oppressed by my husbands headship…unless he abuses that position (which is sin)…not God’s intent. I’ve been asked (in my complementarian church, to teach a mixed gender adult class….but I will never be asked to be a pastor. I’m totally OK with that. I don’t see any oppression in women being excluded from that role. God has reasons, and I might not understand them 100%, but I know that He is a loving creator….and we are the created, who ideally will submit to his infinite wisdom.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Dear Susan,

      You have given us a most outstanding trifecta of comments in #427, #438, and #440.

      The best 3 comments in the entire thread in my opinion.

      Thank you very, very, very much.

    • EricW

      Congratulations, Susan. You just won or were awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals from TUAD for this marathon of a thread. 🙂

    • mbaker

      Susan,

      I agree that both sexes do not bow enough to God’s concept of mutual submission. We often read each other’s scriptural mail, so to speak. Men glom on to the submission verses, and women object when they are treated more like employees in the home and the church. Women miss it when they insist all male authority is bad.

      Not to get too far off the topic of the post, but I think this is an important point. I do think a lot of this current day problem is not providing our youth with enough training in Godly relationships in the church when they are young and unmarried. In my mind, that is the time to head off what could be a big potential problem later on by explaining what God intended marriage to be for both sexes.

      Instead we give them pizza and stress entertainment, rather than teaching them usable life skills. I think this is going to have to change because more and more Christian marriages are breaking up, and we are hearing more about spousal abuse.

      Still think an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 🙂

    • TL

      Susan,

      IMO what really matters is what is the truth. And as Eric has pointed out truth is not so easy to find. Christians for centuries found it acceptable to have slaves and we even warred about it with some Christian churches supporting the wrong side of the argument. Now we ‘get it’.

      I have come to view the argument of “the plain text” as an invitation to helicopter hoist a section of Scripture (sometimes even a piece of a sentence) out of it’s contextual home and use it to support something not the original intent of the authors. To seek original intent is sometimes a complicated search. As Peter said in 2 Peter 3, there are things in Paul’s writings that are difficult to understand. So, we should seek to be as the Berean’s and diligently study all of the Scriptures to grasp the full import, rather than hoisting a few words and make them say what seem’s good to us.

    • Susan

      Thanks tu&d, that is a nice thing to say…..and Eric…although I realize you don’t agree with the judging….you made me laugh!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Susan: “And, the truth remains that traditionally, through the centuries, this issue wasn’t debated, but rather both genders accepted the straight-forward reading of the text. As there has been a cultural shift in the past century…everything has changed, so we are then to try to see God’s word differently to fit what seems right to us now?

      I realize that there are plenty of Bible scholars who have (in the past 40 years or so) worked hard to demonstrate from scripture that saying women are excluded from any and all headship is not scriptural.”

      Susan, the late Dr. Gordon Clark agrees with you and he wrote the following: “The Protestant Reformation, for all its opposition to Romanism, never questioned the practice of ordaining men only. Now, if this practice has continued from the time of Abraham down to 1960 or thereabouts, those who are innovators surely must bear the burden of proof. The Westminster Confession indeed says, ‘All Synods…may err, and many have erred.’ Therefore it is theoretically possible that the Reformed Presbyterian Church is in error. But when the agreement is worldwide over 4,000 years, it is, I repeat, extremely improbable. Therefore a mountainous burden of proof rests on those who advocate the ordination of women.

    • Susan

      TL, I hear you, and I’m not a scholar, but I defer it Dan Wallace because I know his heart, and that he has studied this from the Greek long and hard. I know that he would have welcomed seeing the more egalitarian perspective in the text if he could have found it. There was a part of him that wanted that, because he certainly holds women in high esteem…and trains many a female seminary student. I know that his heart is always to bow to finding God’s intent as much as is humanly possible…praying always that God will lead him to His meaning. I respect that. I feel comfortable with his conclusions in this area.

    • cherylu

      I have been following the conversation resulting from these threads over on Sue’s website. Someone over there listed all of these Scriptures that refer specifically to this issue:

      ‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.’ (Eph 5:22)

      ‘For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church’ (Eph 5:23)

      ‘Now as the church submits to Christ, so also should wives submit in everything to their husbands’ (Eph 5:24)

      ‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.’ (Col 3:18)

      ‘train the young women to.. be.. submissive to their own husbands’ (Titus 2:4-5)

      ‘Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman…for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.’ (1Cor11:3,9)

      Even Peter agrees, ‘wives, be subject to your own husbands’ (1 Pet 3:1)

      ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; rather she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.’ (1Tim 2:12)

      ‘As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission as the Law also says… For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.’ (1 Cor14:34-35)

      (These verses were copies and pasted directly from there and I haven’t double checked to be sure all of the references were listed correctly.)

      These instructions were given to the Ephesians, the Colossians, the Corinthians, to Titus, to Timothy and Peter also gave them.

      Sounds pretty straight forward and “plain reading of Scripture” to me. To be stated so many times to so many people by more then one writer of Scirpture–seems to me it takes some pretty heavy gymnastics of some sort to get around them!

    • Rebecca

      My view: At some point, you have to know when the other is not going to concede to your point. Each & everytime one tries to explain what he/she meant in a prior comment, someone else comes along & issues a new challenge to what you (plural) just claimed. In other words, the more you break it down, rather than being complete & thorough in your explanation which, of course, is your intent, the more someone takes issue to your new words That’s because everyone here is intelligent & in addition to their beliefs and understanding, has the gift of debate. I am concerned this is becoming a competitive war of the words rather than seeking God & all His righteousness. I’d like to see a show of hands from the egals and comps on this: Egals if God Himself gave you a vision and showed you the correct & intended interpretation is how the comps understand it, would you publically admit, confess it? I’d ask the comps the same question. Show me your hands. Who would humble themselves & step forward and be glad to settle it once and for all? Who would choke when they learned from the Master Himself that women indeed are encouraged to pastor if they had the gifts to do so? Who would choke if the Master Himself revealed that the comps were right and that the order they explain is His divine order? Could either of you live in harmony with no resentment with the opposing view and serve The Master with your whole heart? Because, Friends, somebody is right….but somebody is wrong. What matters most to you? Being right, winning or seeking God & His ways? Because God can judge our hearts and we may never have a 100% answer for this. He is watching and listening for our intent. He is watching to see if we place His comfort above our own and submit in faith to that which we do not understand. If we ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts in regard to this matter & we are sincere, He will put us on the right path. He may not answer the “why” question but He will place uwhere we need…

    • EricW

      Is God a patriarchalist, a complementarian, or an egalitarian?

      Is God a Calvinist or an Arminian?

      Do you have to be baptized to be saved?

      Do the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper become Christ’s body and blood?

      Is/was Mary perpetually virgin?

      Is light a wave or a particle?

      Did Keyser Soze actually exist?

      Show me your hands.

    • Rebecca

      The Holy Spirit has HIS hand held high. I’d call on HIM if I were you. He’s sitting in the front.

    • EricW

      Yes, I see that She does. And is.

    • Don

      If God says something once or 5 times, does the 5 times allow one to ignore the one time?

      No egal I know says a wife should NOT submit to her husband, what they say is that a husband should submit to his wife, per Eph 5:21. And they also point out that submit is not the same thing as obey, there is a potential partial overlap, in that obey may at times be an example of submission.

      I see Eric is referring to the Spirit using the grammatical gender that Hebrew uses, which is feminine.

      What there are are competing scholars, Fee, Payne and a LOT of others are egal. One should always study both sides in a debate such as this, in their own words.

    • Don

      On the straightforward meaning, Rom 16:7 has a primary meaning in the Greek that Junia was an apostle; it is only by talking a secondary meaning (for at least 1 of 3 words) that one can deny that she was an apostle. And some early church fathers said she was an apostle. So the non-egals have to argue against both to believe what they do.

    • EricW

      Don:

      I requested my comment noting the Spirit’s gender be deleted because it didn’t add anything to the discussion. ruach in Hebrew is feminine (Hebrew has no neuter gender), pneuma in Greek is neuter, but paraklêtos in Greek is masculine – which explains the masculine pronouns for the Spirit in John 14-16 (i.e., the antecedent for each of these instances is paraklêtos, not pneuma).

      I suppose since it was the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary that caused her to conceive (i.e., the Holy Spirit performed the male part of Jesus’ conception), and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God/theos, who is otherwise referred to as the Father and never the Mother, it is probably most likely that the Spirit is male (rather than female), if He/She/It even has gender. I tend to refer to the Spirit as “It.” After all, when we refer to our own spirits, we refer to them as “it.” I.e., men don’t refer to their human spirit as “he” and women don’t refer to their human spirit as “she” (at least not that I’ve noticed).

    • Rebecca

      I guess Eric deleted his comment. I was wondering how long it was going to take before someone picked up on that. Eric won! I think he responded in a heartbeat…literally!

      Don, I think both sides have studied the subject well and presented it in excellence. I do believe that it can be debated long enough to lose sight of the original intent…the true heart of the matter. After so long a debate, I think there can be risk of getting so lost that it becomes more about egos than truth.

    • Don

      God confronted me a while back that I wanted to win even over love, and I asked him to change me. But it is hard to change, I used to be non-egal, as that was all I had been taught, AND I thought it was so obvious, until I studied both sides in their own words.

    • Don

      P.S. Grammatical gender has no necessary relation to physical gender; I mention this as some do not know it.

      And yes, God the Father uses masculine grammatical gender, but it said to have a womb and breasts, but never male genitals. My point is that these are analogies, not physical facts.

    • EricW

      So, God is a tranny? 😕

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      And I know a former egalitarian who used to run in the upper circles of CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) as that is what she was taught, AND she thought it was so obvious, until she studied both sides in their own words… and studied Scripture and prayed for wisdom and courage to act upon that wisdom…

      And she joyfully submitted and became a Biblical Patriarchalist.

      And I also know a pastorette who renounced her ordained status in order to joyfully submit to God’s Word that she was not to be in that office.

    • EricW

      Which proves… what? That people on both sides of the issue can diligently study the issues and change their understanding of God’s Word and joyfully and fearlessly (or with a measure of fear and trembling) embrace what they’ve discovered about God and the Scriptures?

      I know of many people who have studied the Scriptures and church history and have left Protestantism for Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as Catholics and Orthodox who have done the same and become Protestant.

      I know of Jews who have studied the Scriptures and have become Christians, and of Christians who have studied the Scriptures and the New Testament and have left Christianity to become Jewish.

      I used to be a confirmed Coca-Cola-onlyist until one day I was forced to buy a Pepsi and realized then and there that I preferred Pepsi, and have ever since.

    • Rebecca

      To die is to live. To surrender is to win.

      You just need to be careful and know whom or what you’re dying for and to whom or what you are surrendering.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Don, meet EricW.

      Don, #456: “God confronted me a while back that I wanted to win even over love, and I asked him to change me. But it is hard to change, I used to be non-egal, as that was all I had been taught, AND I thought it was so obvious, until I studied both sides in their own words.”

      EricW, #460: “Which proves… what? That people on both sides of the issue can diligently study the issues and change their understanding of God’s Word and joyfully and fearlessly (or with a measure of fear and trembling) embrace what they’ve discovered about God and the Scriptures?”

    • JohnO

      Probably a distracting tangent that will be ripped to shreds, but on the ‘plain meaning of scripture’…
      OT relationships, even of leaders, were polygamous and not condemned.
      NT, the instruction was for one spouse.
      Cultural context?
      Pragmatism in the face of high infant mortality?
      Or simply a indication that things move on and that relationships/statuses are very socially contextual and that to suggest that we are hidebound by 1st century social constructs totally misunderstands God’s ‘rules’. Why should the social norms of the time dictate our interpretation of God’s word for today?
      OK, asbestos underwear now on. Flame away.

    • TL

      cherylu,

      Cutting and pasting snippets of sentences does not a truth make. With a little ingenuity anyone can take pieces of thoughts and reorganize them into a form that supports one’s own thinking.

      For instance, 1 Cor. 14:34-35 is either a quote from the local Judaizers in an epistle to Paul to which he is replying or it was something added by the early transcribers. It was found in different places in original copies, including on the side of the page and not in the actual body of the letter. It could be both. But they are not Paul’s words. 1) there is no OT law that says it is a shame for women to speak in the assembly. But there is an oral Mishnah (since written down but not at that time). Mishna’s are Pharisaic writings and not Word’s God authored. 2) Paul just finished saying a few chapters ago in the same epistle, that when women are prophesying (preaching) and praying publicly they need to judge for themselves their attire so that they do not bring shame on their heads. Thus, your helicopter hoisting of the verses has Paul disagreeing with himself in the same letter. There is more to it, but the point being that snipping out those two verses, one can make them sound quite different.

    • TL

      “And I know a former egalitarian who used to run in the upper circles of CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) as that is what she was taught, AND she thought it was so obvious, until she studied both sides in their own words… and studied Scripture and prayed for wisdom and courage to act upon that wisdom…

      And she joyfully submitted and became a Biblical Patriarchalist.”

      Appearances can be deceiving. I know of whom you speak.

    • EricW

      TUAD: “And she joyfully submitted and became a Biblical Patriarchalist.”

      TL: “Appearances can be deceiving. I know of whom you speak.”

      Food fight!!! 😀

    • TL

      Rebecca,

      “After so long a debate, I think there can be risk of getting so lost that it becomes more about egos than truth.”

      Well said.

      And interestingly, even after all this, many can rightly bemoan that their words were not ‘heard’ or understood, and that they’ve not yet made their point.

    • TL

      ERic…..

      yes, yes. Food fight!!! jumps in delight!!! 🙂

    • TL

      “After all, when we refer to our own spirits, we refer to them as “it.”

      Eric, not so long ago, as nearby as the 1800’s, one soul was always referred to in the opposite gender. I’ve a beautiful collection of copies of William Blake’s illustrations to a poem “The Grave”.

      🙂

    • cherylu

      TL,

      OK, CHOP–there goes that verse from Scipture.

      How do you disqualify all of the rest of them?

    • cherylu

      I agree the Bible says we are to “submit to one another”. Did you ever wonder, however, if husbands are to submit to wives in the same way that wives are to submit to husbands, why it is that when referring to the marriage relationship particularly, it is only the wife that is told to submit? If the husband is to submit to the wife in the same way, why isn’t he told to do so every time the wife is?

    • JohnO

      Cherylu:

      OK, CHOP–there goes that verse from Scipture.

      How do you disqualify all of the rest of them?

      It doesn’t remove the verse from scripture, merely preclude you from using it the way you’d like to.

    • cherylu

      But John O, TL said these are not Paul’s words. So how do you remove the force of what he said in all of the other Scriptures quoted above?

    • TL

      LOL cherylu,

      I didn’t DISqualify it, I qualified it’s true meaning. Paul was not disagreeing with himself saying that women must be silent. Rather, he was disagreeing with the Judaizers who wanted to impose a Jewish oral law on all the women in order to silence them. Paul wants women to speak publicly (1 Cor. 11:5), pray publicly and bring their gifts to church (1 Cor. 14:26), a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation, and bless the church. He just wants there to be order in the doing.

    • TL

      cherylu,

      I’m gathering that you do not understand the force of snipping pieces of sentences together. Haven’t you ever seen a whole letter made by cutting out words and groups of words from a newspaper and pasting them onto another page to form a message?

      That is what has been done here. If we take each bit and put it back into it’s respective letter and read before and after it, taking into consideration obscure word meanings, the cultures of the times, etc., we don’t come up with the same conclusions.

    • Rebecca LeDuc

      FOOD FIGHT? YES!!!! I’ll throw the roles! (rolls, I get it 🙂 )

    • TL

      “why it is that when referring to the marriage relationship particularly, it is only the wife that is told to submit?”

      Why is it that only the husband is told to love sacrificially, or it appears so. Do you think that means that the wife is not to love sacrificially?

      In actuality, IF YOU WILL READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER, you will find that in the same chapter EVERYONE is told to love sacrificially (vs. 1-2) and EVERYONE is told to submit one to another (vs. 21). Thus, Paul emphasizing one of those to each spouse does not negate the importance of what was said in verses 1-21. In actuality, if you will read them together, everything Paul says in verses 1-21 should be carried forward into all our relationships.

      (bolded for emphasis, not shouting!)

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Cherylu,

      Have you ever noticed how egalitarians misuse and abuse Galatians 3:28?

    • EricW

      Misuse and abuse are sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

      I am sure that some egalitarians misuse/abuse the verse, as well as other verses, and that some complementarians misuse/abuse the verse, as well as other verses.

      TUAD: What is the true/correct meaning and application of Galatians 3:28 in light of the entire chapter, the entire book, the entire corpus of Paul’s writings, the entire New Testament, and the entire Bible. Please support your interpretation in each of these contexts with ample proofs and explanations, as well as valid disproofs of other or alternate or contrary meanings and explanations for the same.

    • Rebecca

      Cherylu says”I agree the Bible says we are to “submit to one another”. Did you ever wonder, however, if husbands are to submit to wives in the same way that wives are to submit to husbands, why it is that when referring to the marriage relationship particularly, it is only the wife that is told to submit? If the husband is to submit to the wife in the same way, why isn’t he told to do so every time the wife is?”

      Cherylu, because that would be nagging silly.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Sue (and other Egalitarians who constantly speak about abuse), meet EricW.

      EricW: “Misuse and abuse are sometimes in the eye of the beholder.”

    • cherylu

      TL,

      Of course I understand the force of snipping things together. The point is, I have read these verses before many, many times in the context of the whole chapter, and I have not seen them to say anything different then what is said by the verses as given above.

      The only one that I might take a different meaning from is the I Cor 11 one which is speaking of coverings, etc.

      By the way, speaking of chapter 11 of I Cor, it speaks of women praying or giving a prophesy. That is different then the issue of a woman teaching a man or the context he seems to be speaking of in chapter 14.

    • cherylu

      Of course everyone is to love superficially and of course everyone is to submit. THE POINT IS (emphasis–not shouting) the emphasis in the marriage is given here–the woman submit and the man love sacrificially.

    • TL

      Cherylu, There is a lot more to be said on each and every one of the verses cited. Whole books have been written about understanding each one. Much research has been done into the original words, history, cultures of the times, etc.

      “By the way, speaking of chapter 11 of I Cor, it speaks of women praying or giving a prophesy. That is different then the issue of a woman teaching a man or the context he seems to be speaking of in chapter 14.”

      Prophesy is preaching as well as foretelling. Prophesy is also explaining, unfolding, revealing the mind of God. I recommend that you do some research on the Jewish understanding of prophesy.

      1 Cor. 14 has nothing to do with a woman in particular teaching a man in particular.

      specifically all are admonished to bring teachings….

      26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

      One cannot teach, or share a revelation, or an interpretation, or sing without opening one’s mouth and speaking. Do you see the problem there?

    • EricW

      TUAD:

      Have you ever thought of working for eHarmony?

    • Don

      The reason a wife is told to submit is so the word of God is not mocked, that is, so pagans do not reject the gospel implied is because they look at the believer’s marriage as out of order. Recall that there was a pagan cultural assumption that was codified into Roman law somewhat that the husband/paterfamilias RULED the household, including wife, kids and slaves. Believers should always seek to advance the gospel and may decline to exhibit the freedom we have in Christ in order to do so, when that freedom might be seen (incorrectly) as disorder or liscentiousness.

    • TL

      “Of course everyone is to love superficially and of course everyone is to submit. THE POINT IS (emphasis–not shouting) the emphasis in the marriage is given here–the woman submit and the man love sacrificially.”

      The words Paul speaks about the marriage relationship do not cancel out the words that Paul speaks to everyone. When one is married, the husband is still a brother in Christ and the wife is still a sister in Christ. Thus, the husband is still to submit to his wife as his sister in Christ and the wife is still to sacrificially love her husband as her brother in Christ. It is not a matter of emphasizing one to the exclusion of the other which is what you suggested by saying that the husband was not admonished to submit, only the wife. Rather, Paul is likely speaking of what was lacking in attitudes. What Paul said regarding all the interpersonal relationships was a smattering of concerns, not a full list of responsibilities.

    • Don

      What is Paul doing, he is emphasizing some aspects of a normal Christian life, to a wife, she is to submit as her temptation might be to not submit, even tho ALL are to submit; to a husband, he is to love sacrificially (nowhere is it said to lead) as his temptation is to not do that, this was a radical idea, as the pagans told him he was boss and Paul tells him to love, with nary a word about bossing.

    • EricW

      And I ask again: Why do comps assume that the marriage relationship commands/instructions/etc., regardless of whether such instructions tell the wife to submit to the husband, etc., are supposed to be transferred to or imposed upon the relationships between men and women in the church?

      Since when are men and women in the church told to relate to each other as husbands with wives? The CHURCH as the whole Body of Christ is to relate to Christ as a wife to a husband, but in the church, men and women are brothers and sisters of one another, not spouses in a marriage relationship.

      Or so I think.

    • cherylu

      TL,

      “Cherylu, There is a lot more to be said on each and every one of the verses cited. Whole books have been written about understanding each one. Much research has been done into the original words, history, cultures of the times, etc”

      Rant Alert…..

      You know what, I guess I will simply just quit trying to read the Bible and have it say anything to me about anything because if I listened to all of the arguments given on this site, it is simply not possible to draw any conclusions that are reliable in any way, shape or form from reading the Bible as we have it in what are recognized as good translations from Greek to English. We all, it seems, need to have our own personal Greek scholar available to us at all times–to of course argue endlessly for days at a time with the Greek scholar down the road on the nuances of one particular verb on which evidently turns the understanding of the whole doctrine in question. Besides that, we need to read all of the scholarly works available by everyone on both sides of the issue. And of course we can’t read it and understand it all if we don’t know the culture of the day it was written in and, of course, understanding the whole ANE thinking thing–which takes years of study to accomplish. And then to top it all off, we can’t assume that anything that was said in the NT applies to us today in our totally different cultures!

      I suppose I should be sorry about the rant, but that is honestly how I am starting to feel about the whole thing.

    • Rebecca

      Cherylu, I feel your pain. You have no idea how much!

    • EricW

      cheryl:

      If you think that something is lost going from Greek to English, wait till you try going from Hebrew to English. 😀

      E.g., did you know that the Hebrew word for “serpent” and “brass/bronze” sounds and is spelled the same, except for minor vowel points (nachash)? And that the word for “bite” is nashach? Look at Numbers 21. Do you realize how much of the intrinsic-to-the-meaning-of-the-text wordplays are going on in the Hebrew text which are lost in English translation?

      And when you compare the LXX with the Hebrew text, you find a whole ‘nother group of interesting things going on re: what and how the Greeks translated the Hebrew. Some of Paul’s arguments/points can’t be clearly seen unless one is looking at the LXX he’s quoting or the Greek text of his writings.

      While I agree that it can be frustrating when Greek and Hebrew scholars can appear to be in disagreement with each other, there really is no substitute for grappling with the original text if one wants to read WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS and not simply trust what some translation says it says. Interpretation is still required, but at least one removes one layer of interpretation by reading or interlinearing one’s way through the original, even if one then has to deal with the sometimes-conflicting scholarly and linguistic discussions of what the words and texts mean.

      I guess one can just ask the Holy Spirit what it means and forego learning what the text in fact says. [/rant]

      We all can get frustrated in similar ways. You’re not alone. But what choice do we have, if we don’t want to just give in and give up? 😀

    • JohnO

      cherylu,
      Good rant! You’re absolutely right in a sense. We need to take a step back, use the Spirit to guide us in our reading, test our understanding in our interpretive community… and then not presume to impose our understanding on everyone else.
      I sometimes think we forget, particularly when embroiled in discussions such as this one, that God’s grace is considerably broader than sometimes we’d like. I can’t help but feel that when we are standing before God, He’ll shake his head, say, “Well I tried to allow you as broad an understanding as I could.” And then He’ll say, “But that’s OK. I forgive you.”
      (Except TU..AD, who’ll have a private audience because he’d be desperately upset if he thought any of the rest of us were there 😉 )

    • TL

      “I have been following the conversation resulting from these threads over on Sue’s website.”

      Could you give the weblink for this. Couldn’t find where you were referring…. thanks!

    • cherylu

      EricW,

      Sorry, but not everyone is a professional Greek or Hebrew scholar or has the time or money to spend reading all of the latest scholarly material on any given subject in the Bible. And I don’t think God intended us to be either. After all, the world would be quite a place if all Christians ever did was study Greek and Hebrew day after day and read what the other scholars had to say! There would be no good works and no fulfilling of the great commission.

      At some point, do we not simply have to accept on faith that God has told us what He wants us to know in His Word and we can read it and follow what it says and not have to spend innumerable hours researching every single nuance of everything and then still having the sholars disagree on the meaning of it all?? Which just leaves us confused in the end and wondering if the meaning of the Bible is truly knowable at all.

    • cherylu

      For Sue’s website, I just scrolled back up the page to her last comment. Her name is a hyperlink to her site.

    • TL

      Cherylu,

      I really DO understand your rant. Been there, done that, and do it again from time to time. I’m a retired senior and have been studying Scripture on and off for 40+ years. Some of the things going on in the church 40 yrs. ago were both awesome, deeply inspiring and horribly abusive. How does one sort that out as a new Christian. I’ve spent at least 30 of those years grappling with these questions while studying the whole of Scripture. I’ve watched the demise of the Shepherding Movement (where this movement got its roots), seen the whole demonology stuff come and go (everything was blamed on demons), watched in amazement as women started speaking up all over the place on this issue when I thought I was the only one seeing a problem…. and so forth. Only by the grace of God do we all survive and make meaningful contributions to society and the church.

      Hang in there!

    • JohnO

      cherylu,
      I think you’re quite right – not everyone can be, or even needs to be, a Greek or Hebrew scholar. By the same token, I don’t believe we can properly understand the Bible in isolation, reading only from a translation. We either engage with scholars, or with others within our Christian community. That’s, arguably, why we are called into community.
      The problem with scholars, in my experience (and I’ve had this argument with professors at my uni), is that they are generally much too focused on the meaning of the text; and for them that means the historically-critically extracted meaning, because that’s the only academically solid ground that can be argued from. Everything else is too open to interpretation. Yet that’s not how scripture was ‘used’ throughout its interpreted history.
      And, with all due respect, you fall into the same trap when you say it “just leaves us confused in the end and wondering if the meaning of the Bible is truly knowable at all”. Why not allow for the Bible to be less restrictive than a meaning?

    • TL

      sorry to bother you Cheryl, I don’t see anything like that on Sue McCarthy’s blog. Susan’s is Reclaiming the mind.org and I’ve no idea where to look to find the list. Could you please do me the favor of finding the link and posting it?

    • EricW

      cheryl:

      Jews in Israel and Greeks in Greece don’t have to spend all their time learning Greek and Hebrew (though admittedly Modern Greek differs enough from Biblical Greek that the NT can stump Modern Greeks, or so I’ve been told). They speak, write and read it because they know it.

      It’s not God’s fault that anglo-saxon people decided to learn and stick with their barbarian tongues and not learn to speak and read and write the languages of the prophets and the apostles who they consider to be speaking and writing the very words of God.

      Students of medicine need to learn medicine and its languages of biology, anatomy and chemistry, etc. Students of math or physics or astronomy need to learn the necessary math and formulas. Students of music need to learn to read and use notes and scales and chords, etc. Why shouldn’t students of the Scriptures make at least some efforts to learn the “language” of the subject they’re studying, esp. since they consider it to be the most important subject or object of study in their lives?

      Or so I think.

      And so did Luther:

      http://faculty.tfc.edu/juncker/GRK453LutherOnLanguages.pdf

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      EricW asks: “TUAD:

      Have you ever thought of working for eHarmony?”

      I suppose “eHarmony” could stand for Egalitarian Harmony. And I’m doing a good job matching up compatible Egalitarians.

      For example, Don was sharing in #456 how he had studied both sides in their own words and then because of it, he became an egalitarian.

      So a good match for Don would be fellow Egalitarian EricW in #460: “Which proves… what? That people on both sides of the issue can diligently study the issues and change their understanding of God’s Word and joyfully and fearlessly (or with a measure of fear and trembling) embrace what they’ve discovered about God and the Scriptures?”

      One vexing eharmony challenge was Sue and her regular discourse on abuse and appeal to abuse. Lo and behold! This was solved again by the warm and consoling nature of her fellow Egalitarian EricW in #479:

      Misuse and abuse are sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

      Ahhhhhhhhhh, yes. Nothing like Egalitarian Harmony, aka eHarmony.

    • cherylu

      TL,

      Here is the link: http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/

      Probably you didn’t find it because it was in one of the comments quite a ways down in under her article “Male Voices”.

      It is Sue’s blog and she call’s it “Suzanne’s Bookshelf.”

      Hope that helps.

    • Susan

      Gosh, everyone’s getting a bit punchy at this hour. No surprise I guess, and better than edgy!

      Cheryl I also agree with your rant. I believe that God wanted to make His communication with us generally understandable to all of His children, and that no scripture is of ‘private interpretation’.

    • Rebecca

      Everybody…time to stand up and stretch and clear your Etch a Sketch! It’s the first lyric of my new rap song!

    • cherylu

      EricW,

      I guess maybe all of the folks that have spent many hours translating the Bible into the languages of people all over the world so that folks could have ready access to it have maybe made a huge mistake, huh? Maybe they should of just spent all of that time teaching everyone to read Biblical Greek and Hebrew!

      Don’t think I will tell that to my friend that spent many years of her life in Africa helping to translate the NT into the local language of one of the people groups there!

      And by the way, seems to me like I have heard it said recently on this site somewhere that there is a saying about knowing just enough Greek to be dangerous! So how much effort do you think we all need to put into this anyway?

      I’m sorry if I sound frustrated–the fact is I am!

    • Hodge

      I think this is exactly what Schreiner meant when he commented that egals are trying to win the argument by sheer volume. This conversation has been one bombardment of false information after another. Importing ideas into texts and then claiming that Cherylu was somehow snipping the text because she didn’t import all of the false data into it as well, claiming that prophecy is the same as teaching, adopting a Bultmannian Hermeneutic when it comes to this issue. This is a game to try to win, ironically, through power. Making comments about how the Hebrew and Greek don’t transfer to English to someone who doesn’t know them is dishonest. That fact has absolutely nothing to do with this issue. And having read scholarly journals for some time, they often obfuscate more than clarify, because you have so many people with so many agendas, many of whom are simply trying to argue for their preferences and cultural biases. There is one glaring issue that has not been discussed and that is the solo Scriptura idea prevalent in this discussion. Both sides can make exegetical conclusions (although I don’t see a whole lot of linguistics applied very well—most of the egal stuff is a regurgitation of older stuff that ignored appropriate uses of lexicography), but the real issue is which side can bounce their idea off of the collective of Church History. One fulfills the priestly prayer of our Lord by being united to Christians of all ages on this issue, and one counters it. Perhaps, they were all wrong, and the paganized Western mind of the late twentieth cent is correct instead; but that, My Friends, will be a matter of belief, not argument. The presupps determine the conclusions, and apparently, the evidence is not enough to sway a person one way or another. So what is left but to believe and trust the Church or to believe and trust the current culture in which we have been indoctrinated.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Hodge: “I think this is exactly what Schreiner meant when he commented that egals are trying to win the argument by sheer volume.”

      And that’s …

      What Egalitarianism Is Really All About.

      😉

    • EricW

      Hodge, you’re more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

    • Rebecca

      Hodge, I feel your comment directly above supports what I was trying to convey in #49, 61 & 67. It does feel to me that few respond to the “mere” Christian on here who is not a “scholar”. I’m glad Jesus wanted to sit it out with folks like me. I say the trees are beautiful and someone else says perennial woody plant and insists that is more correct. What is more correct, that the technical name is perennial woody plant or that they are beautiful? But the “expert” gets lost and never sees or remarks on the beauty that I noticed. I noticed the trees! And I’m glad I did.

    • minnow

      CMP #340 “Egals are always fighting for the chair of leadership” WRONG.
      They fight for the sharing of that chair and the sharing of the nutruing chair which in my experience most male comps don’t want to be bothered with for whatever reason, but most would say it’s not their “gifting/bent”.
      Susan #438 The problem is we do not agree on the “straightforward reading of the text”. If I ignore the cultural/situational context of 1 Timothy 2:12 and ignore other examples in scripture where women indeed are allowed to speak and lead and simply take a word for word (English translation, of course) reading of this verse not only can women not be senior pastors (which CMP seems to think is our only real beef) but they may not even speak. It’s all right there in the very same sentence and so far no one has been able to show or tell me why we need to adhere to one part of the sentence but not the other. Personally, I prefer to notice the other examples from scripture where women are allowed to lead and speak and say to myself, “hummm, must be something off about how we have “always” interpreted this particular verse. Maybe I should try and understand why.”

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Hodge: “Making comments about how the Hebrew and Greek don’t transfer to English to someone who doesn’t know them is dishonest. That fact has absolutely nothing to do with this issue.”

      DISHONEST!

      Why don’t you say how you really feel, Hodge? Don’t mince words this time. 🙂

      “So what is left but to believe and trust the Church or to believe and trust the current culture in which we have been indoctrinated.”

      I’ll choose the Church, thank you very much. The egalitarians can put their trust in the current culture for their indoctrination.

      As the late Professor Gordon Clark said:

      “The Protestant Reformation, for all its opposition to Romanism, never questioned the practice of ordaining men only. Now, if this practice has continued from the time of Abraham down to 1960 or thereabouts, those who are innovators surely must bear the burden of proof. The Westminster Confession indeed says, ‘All Synods…may err, and many have erred.’ Therefore it is theoretically possible that the Reformed Presbyterian Church is in error. But when the agreement is worldwide over 4,000 years, it is, I repeat, extremely improbable. Therefore a mountainous burden of proof rests on those who advocate the ordination of women.”

    • Rebecca

      Minnow, I do have to disagree on that. How many male pastors have started new churches? This does not silence females. It might silence them in one church. If you feel that is incorrect theology and it is something that is a deal breaker, you can go to a church that agrees with you or start your own. Churches have been started for all sorts of needs and no reason why this not be one of them. If, however, anyone insist that it be in the church they currently attend, then the motive is wrong and a waste of precious time. It is about taking up your cross and spreading the gospel, not getting hung up in church politics.

    • Sue

      I believe that somewhere in the last 50 comments, Susan (Sorry Susan I can’t find it) said that abuse is not a good enough reason to do away with headship authority.

      However, this is directly contradicted by C.S.Lewis and Tim Keller who cited him in his paper on Women in Ministry.

      Keller said that because of sin and abuse we must live in a democracy. We must have access to places of authority, and leaders must be subject to the vote, but only in society and not in marriage. In marriage, Keller teaches rule and submission.

      So, my question is why have authority structures become democratic for men in society, but in the home, women cannot live in a democracy. Why do men claim one thing for themselves and offer women something else. This is directly against the teaching of treating others as you want to be treated.

      Men who teach that women have to live under a non-democracy in the home have sinned against women. I can’t see how to interpret this any other way.

    • Don

      The agreement is NOT worldwide for 4,000 years or even 2000. That is just propaganda.

      The RCC says that only males can be priests, this is contra Bible, as all prots know. Furthermore, they say this is true because the priest represents Jesus. No prot I know agrees with that.

      Prots agree that the institutional church made mistakes, the question becomes when did they start? Was it in the 16th century or before. I think it was as early as the 2nd century with the gentilization of the church and the loss of Jewish context to the Scriptures.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Sue: “However, this is directly contradicted by C.S.Lewis and Tim Keller who cited him in his paper on Women in Ministry.”

      Did Tim Keller cite this paper by C.S. Lewis titled “Priestesses In the Church?”

    • Don

      P.S. The 2nd century church were all believers, and were doing their best, but that does not mean they did not make some mistakes. And by the 4th century with Constatine the church became a way to seek power in the state, so the members were not all believers.

    • Sue

      Wow, just because we haven’t had decent dentristry for 4000 years, that’s a good thing!

      Hodge,

      (although I don’t see a whole lot of linguistics applied very well—most of the egal stuff is a regurgitation of older stuff that ignored appropriate uses of lexicography)

      Let’s just admit that we don’t have an occurence of autenteo in a positive context near the time of the NT. And Schreiner does not supply one.

      Now, shall we begin the conversation called “Is context enough?”

      Because you seem to think that something has been established here.

      My position is that we cannot provide a word-for-word translation of authenteo because we are not quite sure what the word means. And if we don’t have the “literal words of God” we will have difficulty proceeding with a foundational doctrine.

      When I found out all these things about authenteo, it was clear to me that these details had been hidden in all the basic books on the issue. Does Schreiner reveal the facts on this. He goes into endless detail, but is less than completely honest about the occurrences of authenteo while I have them on my blog.

    • Sue

      Di