Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

( I mention same-sex child molesting in one example in my “examples” point because a church that accepts their leaders doing it is obviously accepting same-sex acts, even criminal ones. This is not something all, or most, people with same-sex attraction do, nor does the article imply it.)

slippery-slope-sign-2“Every figure, church and denomination that has publicly endorsed homosexuality — ‘gay Christianity’ — and transgenderism has without exception been egalitarian. This does not mean that every egalitarian endorses these sins, but it does mean that embracing egalitarianism puts you in tension…” – Owen Strachan

It is commonly asserted by complementarians that egalitarianism is a slippery slope to endorsing same-sex acts, transgenderism and the world views of the LGBT community, while complementarianism is a safeguard against it. I do not agree with them. Note that, for the sake of this article, I need to focus on people who endorse female subordination and accept same-sex activity/ LGBT community views, or who are egalitarian and does not. This does not say what your views should be, and except on transgender theory, not even what mine is. It asserts that the alleged tension is not there for an egalitarian who does not endorse ‘gay Christianity’ (Strachan’s word choice, Strachan’s quotation marks).

 The two issues depend on:

1) Different words to explain:

Egalitarian/ complementarian debate focuses on the meanings of words like ezer (helper), kephale (head), and hupotasso (submit). The former two are used in the Bible to describe God himself. The gay debate focuses on terms like eunouchos (eunuch), arsenokoites (literally a combination of man + bed as a verb) and malakos (effeminate/ soft). None of these describe God in the Bible.

2) Different Bible Passages:

Two of the about 5 texts that (seems to) speak against gay acts are in the ritual law of the Old Testament, while none of the primary texts on female subordination are. The three New Testament texts used for discussing gay relationships are mostly about seriously sinful behavior and attitudes, and the issue is exactly what it is that those texts see as wrong.

Womanhood texts start at the creation purpose and the prediction of what effects sin will have on society. (Genesis 1-3) Other such texts are found in advice on Christian relational living.

In the case of homosexuality, the theological and cultural questions are what those who “lie with a man as with a woman” and the “effeminate” did, that would be seen as so terrible, and why it would be seen as bad. In the case of women, it is what implications the Bible’s messages have for our creation purpose, how sin affected the world, the effect these commands would have had on relationships; and how it fits in with Jesus’ command to not lord it over another, and with the clear message that we should rather obey God than people.

3) A different capacity for drawing from all over the Bible for examples and practices:

There are women all over the Bible, and the overwhelming majority of them are recognized as women in every Bible translation. How they were treated and how God responded to them could be part of both the egalitarian and the complementarian argument. But most texts that are alleged to imply gay characters n the Bible have seldom – if ever – been understood to refer to gays before.

While not all slippery slopes are a fallacy, accepting gay acts and women with authority are on two different parts of the mountain. The one does not “slip” towards the other. Do you need some examples?

Examples of how egalitarianism does not always precede acceptance of same-sex activities.

Let us draw up a diagram with women having equal authority (1) on the left, and men having more (2) on the right. And with groups who accept it when their leaders engage in same-sex acts (A) on top, and groups who do not (B) at the bottom. Liberals who believe in women’s equality and accept gay acts as right are in A1.

Not all the same

Neither the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (B2) nor Christians for Biblical Equality (B1), accepts gay acts as right.

The first-century Roman world, the world around Jesus and Paul, was very accepting of gay acts, molesting slaves both male and female, and male prostitution. It was also a very patriarchal world. (A2)

The Catholic church has covered up a lot of disproportionally same-sex child molesting, and kept the molesters employed. The Catholic church is not egalitarian. Women have no say at the Vatican. (A2)

I have, up to last year, been in the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, the biggest Afrikaans church. As recently as 2013, I tried protesting a pastor that gave an entire sermon on female submission in the home, and a male headship sermon the week after that. Last year, I had problems with a complementarian Sunday school leader who undermined the Sunday school. (There are egal preachers in the NGK too, but the church does not make a stance.) Yet this year, with the church not making any stance on women’s equality yet, they chose to accept gay people in civil partnerships as pastors and full members, allowing pastors to confirm gay civil partnerships. Civil partnerships is a concept in South African law that gives a couple about the same rights a married couple has, but it is not called marriage. (A, border-between-1-and-2)

People clearly appear on both sides of gay-related issues whatever their way of thinking over women’s place in society.

A better question is perhaps who can offer a practical Christian world view to a gay man or lesbian who wants to accept Christ. Of course, gay-affirming Side A has no difference between what they offer gay and straight people. So we only have to discuss what side B can offer.


>> Part 2: What can a comp/ egal church offer the gay who wants to convert? And is egalitarianism a slope towards transgender acceptance?

Comments on: "Why egalitarianism is not a slippery slope to endorsing homosexuality: Part 1" (2)

  1. Don Johnson said:


    The basic point as I see it is that these are different subjects and there is no necessary relation. However, there is one way in which what the comps claim is true, in order to study a subject one must do a deep dive in it, just doing a surface reading on both subjects, especially when done in the context of one’s respected teachers all saying the same thing that agrees with the surface reading and mean that one does not think they need to do a deep dive, after all, that is what the expects are for. If one only reads the experts that already agree with one’s own position from doing a surface reading, then one will not hear the argument other’s make in their own words.

    In other words, if one is not willing to break out of their own self-created echo chamber, then one will never ever change. It takes hard work to consider the other positions on a subject that one does not currently agree with.


  2. Ok find a counter example then. Find a church that supports gay marriage that is not egalitarian. This is a pride issue, plain and simple. Not all are suited for church leadership/teaching positions, including many men, including myself. Yet we are all called to serve and submit to one another. Pride comes before the fall – it came before the first fall!


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