Owen Strachan, former president of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, loves strong men. No, I don’t say anything about his sexual preferences. He loves them in the sense Marilyn Frye observed:
“To say that straight men are heterosexual is only to say that they engage in sex… exclusively with the other sex, i.e., women. All or almost all of that which pertains to love, most straight men reserve exclusively for other men. The people whom they admire, respect, adore, revere, honor, whom they imitate, idolize, and form profound attachments to, whom they are willing to teach and from whom they are willing to learn, and whose respect, admiration, recognition, honor, reverence, and love they desire… those are, overwhelmingly, other men. In their relations with women, what passes for respect is kindness, generosity, or paternalism; what passes for honor is removal to the pedestal. From women, they want devotion, service, and sex.”
Unlike most men, Strachan and his ilk elevate the attitude Frye describes to a holy command: For them, Imitating Men and Not Learning from Women are backed up by how they understand obscure Bible verses. See this Tweet of his:
God has staked everything on men.
Strong men are the foundation of a strong marriage.
Strong men are the foundation of a strong home.
Strong men are the foundation of a strong church.
Strong men are the foundation of a strong society.
God has staked EVERYTHING on men.
Strachan probably knows that this view is indefensible, as he set it up so that only people he either mentions or follows can comment. On his less controversial tweets, anyone can comment.
Even so, Strachan still got a lot of pushback. For example, Rohan Johnson replied:
I see what you’ve done here. I’ll fix this for you.
God has staked everything on Christ.
Christ is the foundation of a strong marriage.
Christ is the foundation of a strong home.
Christ is the foundation of a strong church.
God has staked EVERYTHING on Christ. Not you.
Other responses reference the hymn My Hope is Built on Nothing Less: “On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground, or men, or women, are sinking sand”, or reminds him of Mary, who gave the news to the church that Jesus rose from the death – the news without which the church would never have started.
A woman posting as Tzedakah Ministries asks Strachan:
Question – Do you believe I as a woman am equal to you in the eyes of God? Do you have the courage of your “convictions” to answer me?
By the time I post this, it is three days later and Strachan has not answered her. His silence speaks loudly to all who will listen.
(I don’t think anyone reminded him that there was a Bible woman who also had a stake in men: Jael. But I digress.)
Strachan doubles down:
“Another way of saying this:
Christ is the spiritual foundation of everything and men are the anthropological foundation of all these institutions.
In Christ, men hold fast to–and are head of–one wife & family; men lead the church as elders; men must lead in public …” Owen Strachan
My first observation is that changing a statement that does not refer to Jesus to one which mentions Jesus is not another way of saying the same thing. The second is that he is still idolizing males. But any Christian can see his idolatry. I assume I can move on to another topic, as his lack of respect for God/ Jesus is obvious.
So, for another topic: Do you see how Owen Strachan shows the fruit of complementarian religion? Complementarians claim women are equal but do not need to have their voices heard in the church, home, and society because men will speak up for everyone. But if this actually worked, then men like Strachan would match any statement about the importance of men with an equally strong similar statement, in the next or previous tweet, about the importance of women.
I looked up if he has any (in his mind similar) woman-glorifying tweets right before or after that one. Of course, he did not. He certainly does not – as an honest complementarian would do if they really believed complementarian doctrine as written* – honor women as equals, but who have another equally significant role.
And there is such a lot even a complementarian can mention! God has entrusted (I prefer that to Strachan’s unfortunate word choice, “staked” – his word calls God a gambler, who will lose if men fail), among others, these things on women and not men:
> the survival of Moses, several times
> the return to God in the time of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:14–20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22–28 )
> the birth of every single man in the Bible and since, including God-and-man Jesus
> the news of the resurrection
God has also given almost every command and promise in the Bible to people of both sexes, after creating both sexes to rule the earth (Gen. 1:27). If the comp interpretation didn’t have such serious implications, their prejudice would be almost comical: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” is never preached as: “…but hey, ladies (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), there is nothing in the Bible against coveting your neighbor’s husband!” Yet “an elder should be a one-woman man” is preached as: “See, elders should be men, not women!” “Fathers should bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4)” is never taught as: “Men, stay at home with your kids so you can teach them!”. Yet, mothers are asked to stay home with their children on lesser Biblical justification than that. These men’s blinkers make them miss all the women and exaggerate the importance of men – and then they say God is the author of their prejudice.
Strachan’s way of Bible reading serves only his group. In itself, this is a very human flaw, but Strachan’s theology means that the opposite group cannot correct him. Women, in his view, may not teach men. Complementarian Bible understanding exacerbates one-sidedness from a flaw anyone can largely overcome by humbly discussing your views with others, to an insurmountable obstacle to knowledge, kindness, and justice. If they actually believe in the Kingdom where many of the last will be first and many of the first will be last (Matt. 20:16), Strachan’s sort should really, deeply rethink leadership.
If a tree shall be known by its fruit, complementarianism is a poisonous tree that should be chopped down.
* Despite all my criticism of complementarian doctrine, the Danvers Statement does have: “Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons …” as the first part of the first affirmation. One could thus expect Strachan to pay at least lip service to equality.