Lately I have been tipping my head back a little and laughing along with the Proverbs 31 Woman without fear of the future. I hope my laugh is not snarky as I do like to be right; but rather, a natural, non-anxious type of laugh that is irresistible and contagious.
As a gal who was called to be a teaching, preaching, writing minister at the ripe age of 13-years-old, I find Complementarian theology to be offensive to say the least. I am certain I will spend the rest of my life finding godly ways to refute it as I consider it to be one of the most devastating and false teachings the church has to offer.
As a woman, I have sat under the teachings of many Complementarian men without even knowing that I was submitting to a church that stood against me and believed my calling to be a figment of my imagination at best and even sin in some circles.
When I was in Bible School in Dallas, TX, I traveled over an hour to Flower Mound, Texas each week with my friends to hear a new preacher in town by the name of Matt Chandler. He was relevant. He was brilliant. He was witty. The church building was dimly lit with a post-modern feel and Shane & Shane led worship sometimes.
At that time, his church was made up of mostly 20 somethings and they didn’t even take a formal offering. Everything about Matt Chandler and his church was impressive. You can imagine my dismay when I found out that the guy I looked up to as a young minister in training actually stood against my God-given dream. I still love and respect him as a brother in Christ and feel my time learning under him was valuable, but how I pray that Matt would truly reconsider his position and allow called-women in his pulpit someday.
To be clear, this is not a battle against Matt Chandler, any specific denomination, or really even Complementarian thought within itself; but rather, this is a spiritual war and one of great importance and intensity. I believe that the enemy of our soul, Satan, has a unique hatred for women. Perhaps because He thought He outsmarted her in the Garden of Eden and then she turned around and gave birth to the Son of God who set her free from the curse that man would rule over her (Gen. 3:16) and redeemed the world.
It is my belief that women have been continuously oppressed and suppressed within the church because their power to bring about the fullness of redemption greatly threatens the kingdom of darkness. What better way for Satan to slow down His ultimate demise but to wire shut the mouths of half of the church of Jesus Christ?
Complementarian teaching will not go down without a fight since those who subscribe to it truly believe their theology to be 100% biblical, but it will slowly lose traction and here are five reasons why I predict they will ultimately render themselves defeated.
1. Their Army is Weakened in Both Numbers and Power:
Complementarians find fancy ways to tell their women that they are to take secondary or assisting roles in the church while the men take on the primary leadership roles. Complementarian women do get around this rule to some degree by leading both men and women in worship, teaching both boys and girls in Sunday school, and writing material that both men and women read and learn from.
Since women are taught one-way submission very early on, they grow to be less out-spoken and often mistake quietness for humility. In other words, they are taught to know their place and often find great contentment in being taken care of. Therefore, the front line of Complementarian thought is made up of males only. While this may be ideal if this was a physical battle, it is not. It is a battle of spirit, intellect, and words (things in which females generally thrive in).
Their own theology weakens their army tremendously in both numbers and power. Their army is essentially cut in half as the men head off to “theological war” and the women stay home where they are safe and comfortable. In a way I don’t blame these women, but I do believe that some of them are missing out on their higher callings to lead both men and women to a deeper knowledge of God.
2. The Egalitarian Army is Complete:
Biblical Feminists are not too proud to admit that they need their brother’s help in engaging this theological war. They recognize that together, men and women reflect the whole image of God and both gender gifts and abilities are needed to fight in any spiritual battle.
Although it is clear that women are in the front line of this battle to a heavy degree, we are seeing many brave soldiers rise up along side of us and we are both happy and grateful to share the front lines of leadership with them.
3. The Women in the Front Lines are Dangerous Women:
A dangerous woman is one who knows she is loved and supported unconditionally and she finds this in Jesus Christ. Egalitarian women are joining forces, letting go of back-biting, gossiping, and wanting to be first. We are crossing denominational barriers, state-lines, and theological differences and giving one another room to think for ourselves and still be accepted.
We are made up of professors, teachers, preachers, stay-at-home-mothers, business women and social activists.
We are more educated than we have ever been before. Perhaps the greatest and most satisfying irony of us not being permitted many platforms in the church is the fact that we are creating our own platforms online, setting ideas on fire, and watching them spread across the global internet while tending to our children and folding the laundry.
As a cherry on the sundae, our husbands, fathers, and sons are proud of us and helping us mend our broken wings and get back our lost voices.
4. Egalitarian Thought is Rooted in Biblical Truth and Redemption:
Christian feminists are not willing to compromise biblical truth and greatly respect every word of the Bible as God-breathed and authoritative for our lives. We do not present straw man arguments rooted in emotion or experience alone.
Our books, blogs, articles, and teachings do not ignore controversial Bible passages; but rather, seek to explain their appropriate meaning through responsible exegesis and historical analysis. We are confident that our side of the story must be equally heard in order for God’s redeeming work to continue to move forward and for this reason we will not back down to what we believe to be a form of gender discrimination in the name of religion.
We believe we are right in the center of God’s will and that it is time for women to rise up and take their place of equal authority among our brothers in Christ. We are an army of love for the Lord; His warrior princesses if you will. We fully embrace our womanhood, but are willing to give up comfort for the sake of our daughters, sisters, and friends who are called to leadership in the evangelical church.
5. Patriarchy Always Leads To Mistakes:
Patriarchy, even in its purest form, always leads to mistakes. Why? Because men and women balance each other out and there are some areas that female leaders are naturally more equipped to handle (Ex://a woman who has been raped). God did make men and women to compliment one another as co-leaders in this world.
As churches that practice patriarchy grow larger in numbers, their mistakes will be made more public. Stale doctrines that leave no room for the female voice will always go south when actually practiced. It is a blessing in disguise that megachurches are taking their patriarchal views of scripture seriously. Their errors will only show the world how unfruitful their interpretation is and it won’t be long before millennials and younger generations start to incorporate women as pastors, elders, and leaders in all positions in the home and church.
Don’t worry my friends. God will not abandon His daughters who have been called.
Redemption is near.
For biblical evidence please see my master’s thesis: HERE.
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