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

Posts tagged ‘egalitarian’

Does “the same things Jesus did and even greater things” contradict comp doctrine?

You know the comp claim that the marriage relationship is a symbol of the relationship between the church and Jesus, right? (From here on I will use the acronym SOREJAB for Symbol Of the RElationship between Jesus And his Body.)

And how, under their doctrines, women should stay at home and obey men and not preach, like the church stayed at home and obeyed Jesus and did not preach? Just kidding, of course. The church preached and did not stay at home, and spread the message of God as far as they went, and obeyed Jesus.

But here is the thing. Jesus, except for the hard part of dying to save us, which we could not do for ourselves, seems not to be so much into “roles” that is only for him or only for the church. Here are texts which make me believe he was not much into such “roles.”

2 Cor. 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – NIV

Christians become more like Jesus? Are women supposed to become more like men, then, by SOREJAB doctrine?

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – NIV

Is serving only the role of Jesus, not the church? Of course not!

John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (NIV)

If SOREJAB is good Bible interpretation, women should do the same things their husbands do and even greater things. Which is, of course, not a gender role. If men and women should picture Jesus and the church (Biblical Manhood and Womanhood doctrine), John 14:12 would blow gender roles (the prime purpose of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood doctrine) out of the water.

Why some egalitarians seem to disrespect stay at home mothers

Long ago and far away, there was someone who liked seeing colors like red, brown, and orange around him. He disliked seeing too much blue, green, and turquoise. He convinced people that the Maker God also likes reddish colors better than blueish ones. Preferring blue is a sign of wickedness.

Many people believed him. Soon, few people would even admit it if their favorite color is blue. Everyone said they like brown and red better than blue or green. Everyone, except for a few rebels who truly did not care about society’s norms, wore red and orange and brown.

That, of course, was evidence for the rumor: Blue and green shades are not meant for respectable people. Only the wicked wear such scandalous hues. Deep down, some people liked hues that remind them of sky, sea, and growing plants, but they never admitted it. (more…)

A symbol for egalitarians?


Shirley Taylor have posted a picture reminding her of equality, and it inspired a conversation that spilled over to the Equality Central Forum: The idea of a symbol for egalitarians, to show solidarity with their ideas.


I am not sure that it is wise to display such a symbol. It may scare off a hard complementarian visitor to an egal blog or site even before a word was said. And said complementarian may have benefitted from just seeing the egalitarian blogger as a fellow Christian, and then seeing that a fellow Christian could make a meaningful, but opposite case for women’s “roles” (I hate that word) in the home and church.


But, if some of us find it useful for identification, I came up with this little idea. Perhaps something in it could be used – executed a lot neater, of course!


Women and man. Equal. In Christ.

The plain meaning of the text?

Men-should-lead-women-should-follow proponents sometimes claim they take scripture at face value, while those who disagree ignore the Bible/ add to it/ re-interpret it. But is this true? Or do hierarchical complementarians (believers in “men should lead, women should follow”) ignore the plain meaning of scripture in favour of what they want to believe?

(Several comments below deals with the is/ ought distinction. To explain that in plain language, when I say “water run downwards” it is a claim of what is the case. We cannot go from “water run downwards” to “water ought to run downwards, so drinking straws are immoral, and dogs lapping up water is immoral.” “There were slaves in first-century Roman culture” does not mean: “There ought to be slaves today.”)


Hierarchical complementarians usually:

> Read God’s statement to Eve – “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” as ” thy desire should be to thy husband, and he ought to rule over thee.

> Read ought into the two verses which call man the head of the woman, although the verses use “is”, not “ought”.

Seemingly fail to read the plain meaning of Gal 3:2: “in Whom there is no Jew nor yet Greek, there is no slave nor yet free, there is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.”

Seemingly fail to read the plain meaning of 1 Cor 14:31 “For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted,” and believe women are not part of the all.
> Read leadership into the two verses which call man the head of the woman, although not everyone agrees it is in the plain meaning of the text, and fail to see the things that plainly speak against that interpretation. *

> Quote Eph 5:22 without reference to 5:21 (everyone submitting to one another), even though 5:22 does not have its own verb in the original manuscripts of scripture and borrow from 5:21.

> Seemingly fail to read the plain meaning of “all submit” (If all believers should submit to one another, then submission do not place the Christian husband in a hierarchy over his Christian wife.)

> Ignore that 1 Timothy 2:12 say “I (Paul) do not allow…” and act as if it says “God does not allow.” (The meaning of exactly what is not allowed, and who – one woman, all of that congregation, or all women in the world, is not plain either and caused many scholars much debate. Hierarchical complementarians tend to “solve” this by simply ignoring all scholarship they dislike and just quoting their favourite translation – the plain meaning of other translations do not matter.)

> Do not take ” No servant can serve two masters”(Luk 16:13) at face value, but ask women to serve two masters, God and the husband.

> Seemingly fail to read the plain meaning of “Priscilla taught Apollos” (Acts 18:26)

They sometimes, although I cannot say if it is standard:

> Quote “the woman ought to have authority over her head “(1 Cor 11:10) with extra words inserted that is not part of either the original Bible languages or the King James. They read it as “the woman ought to have a sign of her husband’s authority over her head.”

> Read hierarchy (men over women) into the role of helper (Gen. 2:20), while the face value meaning of helper – God is also called a helper – does not require it.

> Read ought-ness into places where men are called rulers of the home (“oikosdespotes”, home=”oikos” in Greek, “despotes”=ruler)

> Read maleness into places where unnamed people are called rulers of the home. (That may be correct, seeing the culture the Bible was written in, but it is not the plain meaning of the text.)

> Read ought-ness out of the statement that remarried widows should rule the home (1Ti 5:14), (“oikosdespoteo”, home=”oikos” in Greek, “despoteo”=rule)

> Read “Eve was deceived, Adam was not” as “all women are easily deceived.

> Claim even though the Bible makes men the head of women by their “plain” Bible reading, this only applies in the church and home and not the rest of society. No verses, by the plain meaning, show women could step into leadership roles as long as it isn’t in the church and home.

> Seemingly fail to read the plain meaning of “For there is one God, one mediator also between God and mankind, Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 2:5) (They believe men are mediators between God and their wives/ children, that men will stand before God and give account for their families).

Of course, the men-should-lead brigade could give long answers of why they read some of these things into scripture, or why they under-play others. But giving long answers why you don’t take scripture at face value, is still not taking scripture at face value.

Will I blame them for not taking scripture at face value? Yes. Not because scripture should always be taken at face value (it should not – sometimes the truth is harder to find), but because “for with what judgment you are judging, shall you be judged, and with what measure you are measuring, shall it be measured to you.“(Mat 7:2) For that reason, I hold that even God will judge them for not taking scripture on face value.


Other egalitarians (non-hierarchical complementarians, really!) are welcome to add examples of scriptures that the men-should-lead brigade simply does not see the plain meaning of.


* See here, in the discussion of Eph 5:23 and 1 Cor 11:3, why I think those texts give plainly visible clues that man being the head of the wife does not make him the leader and her the follower.

Men should lead? Responding to Wbmoore (Foreword)

Wbmoore recently put together a men-should-lead post in response to this, which I commented on Wintery Knight’s blog:

How much Bible evidence can you give for husbands’ authority over wifes, or ruler of homes? To recap, verses telling slaves to obey DO NOT teach that God’s design is for masters to have authority as slave owners, and verses telling women to submit should be read in a similar fashion.If you want to develop a Bible doctrine of male authority being God’s plan from the “women submit” verses, it would be as much a fallacy, as to develop a doctrine of slave owner authority being God’s plan from the teachings to slaves. (more…)

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