God, how will we defeat such a stronghold in the Church? How will we bring down the massive religious walls that surround the church in the area of patriarchy? How will we break such a strong spirit of legalism that lurks within our homes and is justified by “biblical doctrines?”
I find myself asking all these questions late at night, heavy hearted, unable to fall asleep.
I strongly beleive that Satan Himself has a hand in complementarianism. How conniving the Prince of Darkness is to convince intelligent, loving Christian men and women that females are of lesser authority or power than males. It truly baffles me how long He has gotten away with this in the face of so much biblical and historical evidence against complementarianism presented by an abundance of conservative scholars.
Egalitarians have proved their case over and over, using the Bible in its original context and languages, as their primary source. Yet this mountain seems to be barely moving. How many times do we have to give the same lecture, write the same book, address the same scriptures, write the same post, have the same conversation, tweet the same tweet and preach the same sermon before we will be heard?
The problem is that we continue to be ignored because our voices have been determined to be of less authority and therefore of less value. Complementarians are quick to argue that men and women are equal in value, but when one gender is stripted of power, while the other holds all the power, “value” becomes a patronizing word.
How grateful we are for the few men who are writing and speaking out for our cause, but we need MORE who are willing to fight. I have mentioned this before, but this is not a battle against flesh and blood, but against evil that has tried to oppress women since sin plagued humanity.
It is not that we need men or women to win this theological war, but we do need the whole image of God which is found when males and females operate together – mutually loving and mutually submitting to one another in Christian humility.
I am encouraged as I think back on our historical roots of slavery here in America. At one point in this country, men and women alike justified the evil of owning another human being based off their skin color in the name of the Bible. This lasted for hundreds of years and at the hands of Christian brothers and sisters. How it makes my insides shake just thinking about the endurance of those who walked through such horrors in the name of God.
Can you imagine if churches nowadays held it within their doctrines that black people could only serve in assisting roles in the church? Would we not boycott such establishments, even if they could somehow manipulate the Bible to prove their case?
Yet, the enemy is much more sly about this battle. He has to be. Women recognizing their God-given authority is extremely dangerous to the Kingdom of Darkness.
Complementarian theology focuses on treating women really well and with much “value” but little to no respect. Many would argue with me about that, but I receive emails weekly from ladies who are caught up in both marriages and churches that say they “value” them, but silence their voices, leadership gifts, and attempt to mold their personalities to someone more “biblically suitable.”
It crushes my soul as I read these women’s stories. I want to tell them to run for their lives, but their greatest suppressors are their greatest loves – their husbands and their churches. I know it is not that easy. I know that it is painful. I have been involved in situations like this and there are costs to deciding you have had enough.
So we stay; we accept being treated as inferiors. I mean at least they are teaching our husband’s to man-up, right? But what if this is not enough anymore? What if no one is listening to our voices because we are not bold enough to act?
Another thing that amazes me at Satan’s brilliance is that Complementarian churches often times have the best programs – especially women’s programs! They often offer their ladies wonderful luncheons, amazing pampering, top-notch child care services, and just all around beautiful experiences.
But think about this for a second with me – the reason for this is because the women in these churches are not permitted to do anything else but other things for women and children. Women are the ones creating these beautiful experiences!
Imagine if the women in the church were permitted to operate on all levels of leadership; how exceptional would the whole church function and how many more souls would come to know Christ?
Perhaps you feel that women in church-leadership is not your battle, but it is every Christian’s battle if we believe in the fullness of redemption and that both men and women are called to share the gospel in hopes of Christ’s soon return.
Humor me for a minute; if you just had to think this through without the pull of either doctrinal side, would you really tell a woman who feels called to share the good news by becoming a pastor that she is heading towards bad things? Do you not see how crazy this is? Why are we still blind? Why are we telling women to only preach the good news to other women and children? It makes no sense to limit women in whom they share the Bible with!
We are blind because Satan has made us blind. Let us remove our blindfolds and see the truth. Once we see the truth, lets put our faith to action! If you really beleive what I am saying here then why are we still supporting churches that hold this doctrine? Words are no longer enough because Complementarians are not listening. It is time to lovingly walk away.
If your spouse still wants to support this sort of church, then graciously let him or her. Be your own person and stand up for what is right! Break free today. Shake off the bondage. Run for your life!
If we continue to financially support Complementarian churches and volunteer to operate their programs, we are directly supporting and strengthening patriarchy – the very system that is enslaving girls and women all over the world.
Complementarianism is going down sooner or later because it is not biblical; nor is it part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. It is time to join the front lines of this battle, refuse to look the other way any longer, and choose to support full equality among men and women in both value and authority. If we don’t, we are choosing to allow patriarchal legalism into our homes, which will ultimately damage our families and our churches.
Words alone are no longer enough; it is time for peaceful protest.
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