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

Tim Challies just wrote an article “Why I am not an egalitarian” in which he, unsurprisingly, does not actually discuss egalitarian theology beyond a vague assertion of “I believe the position fails to withstand serious biblical scrutiny” and vaguely mentioning a few texts which he say is “challenges to the egalitarian position that [he] consider insurmountable.” Challies never actually mentions the egalitarian answers or why they fail.

His only other point is that complementarianism works in his marriage. One example of a complementarian marriage working does not mean complementarianism works. One example of a complementarian man being happy does not even mean it works for his wife.

Nevertheless, we could compare his assertion of how complementarianism works to his statement on what it is. Predictably, he defines complementarianism this way:

omplementarianism …holds the theological view that … men and women are created … to complement each other via different roles in life and in the church.” – Tim Challies

And then, Challies asserts seemingly good things about the husband’s “role”. Keep in mind that with gender role theology, this means a particular role would be off-limits for women – women have different roles, not the same ones:

…the husband’s leadership is … a matter of being the first to love, the first to serve, the first to repent, the first to forgive. The call to lead is the call to display Christ-like humility and Christ-like love. – Tim Challies

This is only complementarianism if the woman:

> is called to not love first. (You should not show kindness to a male who has not done the same to you before, as that is usurping the male role.)
> should not serve first. (Ever heard of a wife and husband both coming home after work, him to rest and she to prepare dinner? That, under this definition, is to usurp the male role. Women should refuse to serve if he does not start serving first.)
> should refuse to repent first. (Women, do not be the first to say sorry after an argument. That is his job.)
> may not forgive first. (You both said uncalled-for things in the heat of an argument? He should forgive first.)

Nobody, complementarian or egalitarian, actually asks wives to do that. Why? Because complementarian gender roles do not mean the man has to love, serve and forgive first.

Patriarchal, extreme complementarianism – what Challies seem to be “concerned” with when mentioning “those who misuse or full-out abuse [complementarianism]” – is a logical1 conclusion of gender hierarchy doctrine. Egalitarianism is a logical conclusion of another way of Bible reading. But advocating kindness, love and care, and calling it gender roles, is not. Kindness, care, forgiveness and the like is good for everyone. To do these things first (to “lead” in them, by Challies’ language) is too. It is good for husbands and for wives. For the unmarried. For bosses and employees. For church leaders and followers.



1 Note: If I call a conclusion logical, it does not mean I support it. It means I understand how people come to believe that.

Comments on: "Gender roles: What’s love got to do with it?" (7)

  1. Yes, I so appreciate you taking these complementation arguments to their logical conclusions to show how twisted and unbiblical this line of thought and doctrine can get!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cassandra Wright said:

    I am always amazed about how when we think of “being a woman,” we think of the Fruit of the Spirit. Men, on the other hand, seem more about having the Fruit of the Flesh. Churches seldom ever worry about teaching men to be peaceful, gracious, gentle, etc. It is always about being in charge. Women, on the other hand, are expected to exude the Spirit’s gifts, and are often taught how to use them. I often tell people that there are no “pink and blue” Christianities. We are all called to be like Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Churches ask why there are fewer men than women in church, but if the fruit of the Spirit is seen as less applicable to men, then it logically follows that men belong in Christianity less.

      (A similar argument can be made about the love God has for humans – if men, as Emerson Eggerichs claim, need respect more than love, God will not fulfil their needs as well as female needs.)

      Since the Spirit, and the indwelling and fruit of the Spirit, is actually for both sexes, this is a problem of culture and our contortion of the gospel, not of what Jesus and the Spirit offers in Christianity.


  3. I’m just reading this, but your logic is GENIUS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so spot-on. To me all Tim Challies’ arguments in favour of complementarianism are challenged simply by the fact that, in both his personal and professional capacities, he stands to benefit most from complementarianism’s wide acceptance. He’s in a position of privilege arguing for and from that privilege whilst staunchly maintaining that this privilege doesn’t bias him.

    Egalitarianism, on the other hand, seeks to empower both women and men.

    But yeah, Tim Challies sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Bible clearly defines gender and roles. Sadly the neo-evangelical thinking today has chosen not to trust that the Holy Spirit was intelligent enough to inspire the correct wording for our instruction how to live both in our homes and churches. I guess that the Holy Spirit did not mean what He gave to us in Ephesians 5. But then again like most neo-evangelicals, we can interpret God’s Word however it best fits our individual viewpoint and needs.


    • You who use a number instead of a name, the right column of my blog say: IF YOU COMMENT HERE … Please keep comments on-topic and avoid name-calling, personal attacks, or speculations on the character or motives of the blog writer or other commenters.”

      You are not on the topic of what Challies said, what it means, or how love is applied differently to men and women in comp doctrine. You are thus off topic.

      Thinking that people who disagree with you “chose not to trust the Holy Spirit” is speculations on the motives of others.


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