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Much of the maligned predictions of those who see a theological difference between men and women are coming home to roost. When we fail to acknowledge a divinely intentional difference in the design of men and women, society begins to crumble and fumble at the most fundamental levels.

Those who have claimed that people are not unique by sex, only by their giftedness, set the stage for the current cultural crisis. Egalitarian theologians have asserted that the church should position people according to their acumen, passions, and abilities without regard to sex. In this situation, there is no such thing as teaching a man to be manly or a woman to be womanly. For fear of the perception of insensitivity, cultural irrelevance, and backlash, they have compromised the biblical precept and historic principle of the essential differences between males and females. Instead of recognizing, fostering, and, indeed, celebrating these God-given differences, they have attempted to erase the lines of distinction. With red faces, they apologize for the cultural compromises of the biblical authors and seek to stand in the gap between an angry mob of fallen humanity and God.

Unfortunately, slippery slope arguments are often true and practically valid, needing to be recognized rather than called out as a fallacy. Although this compromise is not heretical in nature (i.e., it does not keep one out of the gates of heaven), it is heterodoxical and has a profound impact on humanity’s ability to live in fulfillment of the Proto-Great Commission—subduing the earth as God’s images. We see today what was portended by complementarian polemicists: sex is now something we choose, not something we are. And the earthquake has not yet run its course. The salt of the earth lost its savor, and this is what it looks like.

This is not an angry “I-told-you-so” that is intended to gloat or claim victory. Far from it. It is a plea for us to be humble of mind and read the writing on the wall. The egalitarian and complementarian debate should be coming to a close in the evangelical church. There is a place of happy compromise, but it does not lie in any kind of denial of the fundamental distinctions between men and women.

Do not double down on this wrecking ball while the building is falling. Society is being neutered. But it can change. Whatever you call yourself, please come help us hold the building up and, as God’s image-bearing stewards of the earth. It is time to recognize this is not a political issue but has always been theological. The hour has come to find, not the winning team, but the right team and recognize the responsibility we have had in giving arms to the enemy by handing this over to Washington.

The phrase “We have met the enemy and he is us” originates from Walt Kelly’s long-running comic strip “Pogo.” It was used in a 1970 Earth Day poster that featured Pogo, the main character, looking at a littered and polluted swamp, reflecting on the human responsibility for environmental problems. The line is a play on a message sent by U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812: “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Walt Kelly adapted it to convey the idea that, in many cases, we are our own worst enemy, especially with respect to how we treat the environment.

We are responsible for the current social environment. We have been far too silent in the past. We have seen the enemy, and it is us.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon 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. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

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