This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Discuss Biblical and theological support for concept that Bible teaches equality between sexes.

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Gwarlroge
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Gwarlroge » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:43 pm

KR Wordgazer wrote:If he were going to lay down his life for his wife as Ephesians 5 says, and she's too tired or busy or whatever to do the dishes when he wants them done, he'd get his rear in there and do the dishes!
This has been my philosophy of marriage for a while. I wonder if it squares with complementarianism. :D
Look past all Wilson's pretty words
(am I the only one who doesn't usually find them pretty?)
and see what he's actually saying. A husband is insisting that his wife do a job that he won't lift a finger to help her with, and he gets to dictate the why, when and where, and if she doesn't comply, he can bring in the church!

The Scriptures that indicate that a wife is a glorified house servant-- where exactly are they? There is a passage that says that wives should be "keepers at home," but the word there means "guard and protect." It's the same word that was used for the "keeper" of the garden where Jesus was buried, whom Mary Magdalene treated like he had authority over the bodies and could take them and put them back. This is because a "keeper" has authority over the thing he/she "keeps," whether it be a garden or a home. The other place, where Paul says the younger widows should marry again and "guide" the house-- the word translated "guide" there actually means "rule." The wife has just as much authority in the home as the husband does. And yet Doug Wilson will have a woman dancing attendance on her husband's unreasonable demands like she was his slave and he her master.

Doug Wilson wants to make the man "responsible" because he wants the wife to have no power, and the husband to have all the power. It's as simple as that. But the woman in Proverbs 31-- the excellent wife-- has full authority and control over her own earnings, and she considers a field and buys it without apparently even consulting her husband. He doesn't mind because he "trusts" in her to make adult decisions for the good of both of them. The wife in Wilson's scenario is a child. Wilson's teaching is worded very humbly and prettily-- but read between the lines. It's insidious.
Aight. Wilson writes a lot of compelling blogs, and he's always fun for me to read. But I haven't read any of his books on marriage, or many of his blogs on them. I have read some of his wedding exhortations, and they seem reasonable, if complementarian. ... All that said: I'll be careful.

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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Metacrock » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:36 am

KR Wordgazer wrote:Gwalroge, I appreciate your open heart.

I would say, please don't get married if you think it should work something like Wilson describes:

If, for example, the problem is one of poor housekeeping, he should require something very simple, i.e. that the dishes be done after every meal before anything else is done.

The first time the dishes are not done, he must sit down with his wife immediately, and gently remind her that this is something which has to be done. At no time may he lose his temper, badger her, call her names, etc. He must constantly remember and confess that she is not the problem, he is. By bringing this gently to her attention, he is not to be primarily pointing to her need to repent; rather, he is exhibiting the fruit of his repentance.

He does this, without rancour and without an accusative spirit, until she complies or rebels. If she complies, he must move up one step, now requiring that another of her duties be done. If she rebels, he must call the elders of the church and ask them for a pastoral visit.


Where in the Scriptures does it say the wife is the household help? Where does it say he gets to tell her what her job is, and then (manipulatively, to my mind) "repent" to her for not making her do her job before, explaining to her that now she has to do it to his standards?

If the dishes are her job-- she's an adult! How the dishes get done and when the dishes get done is her call. If he doesn't like it-- he helped get them dirty, didn't he? If he were going to lay down his life for his wife as Ephesians 5 says, and she's too tired or busy or whatever to do the dishes when he wants them done, he'd get his rear in there and do the dishes!

Look past all Wilson's pretty words and see what he's actually saying. A husband is insisting that his wife do a job that he won't lift a finger to help her with, and he gets to dictate the why, when and where, and if she doesn't comply, he can bring in the church!

The Scriptures that indicate that a wife is a glorified house servant-- where exactly are they? There is a passage that says that wives should be "keepers at home," but the word there means "guard and protect." It's the same word that was used for the "keeper" of the garden where Jesus was buried, whom Mary Magdalene treated like he had authority over the bodies and could take them and put them back. This is because a "keeper" has authority over the thing he/she "keeps," whether it be a garden or a home. The other place, where Paul says the younger widows should marry again and "guide" the house-- the word translated "guide" there actually means "rule." The wife has just as much authority in the home as the husband does. And yet Doug Wilson will have a woman dancing attendance on her husband's unreasonable demands like she was his slave and he her master.

Doug Wilson wants to make the man "responsible" because he wants the wife to have no power, and the husband to have all the power. It's as simple as that. But the woman in Proverbs 31-- the excellent wife-- has full authority and control over her own earnings, and she considers a field and buys it without apparently even consulting her husband. He doesn't mind because he "trusts" in her to make adult decisions for the good of both of them. The wife in Wilson's scenario is a child. Wilson's teaching is worded very humbly and prettily-- but read between the lines. It's insidious.

I agree. just reading that description is infuriating. He's not shouting, he's really nice, and yet he's acting like the father and shes' the kid. That's so totally degrading and being nice about it is just more patronizing.
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Gwarlroge
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Gwarlroge » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:45 pm

Aight. After reading more of Wilson's stuff (including blogs where he openly denounces "a patriarchal power play"), I thought that I should come back to this and comment. I've already written a long point-by-point reply, but it might be too nitpicky, so I'll say a few things in general.

First: I really don't think Wilson wants the husband to have all the power in a marriage. He explicitly states (though not in the NLQ-cited article) that women can have callings outside the home--and I think this would include "jobs" in the usual sense. Also, being somewhat familiar with Wilson's writings, I think he would advocate the wifely purchase of vineyards.

Second: The New Testament is very clear that wives are to obey their husbands. As far as I know, it doesn't say that husbands are to obey their wives. Although this doesn't imply that a husband has more authority than his wife, it does imply that she should act like he does. (Please understand--I don't want wives obeying selfish, unloving, or sinful demands. Scripture doesn't command that, and I doubt it supports it.)

Third: Assuming that "keeping house" really means "ruling over one's household," I can grant that a woman and her husband have the same authority over their home. However, I would say that husbands are to be leaders in marriage, and what they say about household cleanliness goes--within reason.

Finally (before I go back to work), I think the dishwashing situation illustrates something big. The whole point of "headship and submission" is to figure out who does what when both spouses are too tired to do the dishes. Who has the final say? Who does the dishes, if anyone?

Also, with regard to the church elders: if obedience to husbands is a Scriptural command (which it is), then husbands have the right to call the elders on rebellious wives. Likewise, a wife could call her church elders if her husband refuses to give up pornography--she has authority over his body.

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Metacrock
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Metacrock » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:48 pm

there no passage that says wives are to obey. the term they translate that way doesn't mean obey. I would have to go back and look at it to remember how that goes. But that's a red flag. there is something wrong with that idea.

do me a favor and go to Doxa and read all my women pages. I really want you to get a good understanding of he egal position.

http://www.doxa.ws/social/Women/women_index.html
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Gwarlroge
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Gwarlroge » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:09 pm

Metacrock wrote:there no passage that says wives are to obey. the term they translate that way doesn't mean obey. I would have to go back and look at it to remember how that goes. But that's a red flag. there is something wrong with that idea.

do me a favor and go to Doxa and read all my women pages. I really want you to get a good understanding of he egal position.

http://www.doxa.ws/social/Women/women_index.html
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KR Wordgazer
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by KR Wordgazer » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:38 pm

The verse in question is Titus 2:5 (which, since Metracrock's egalitarianism essays don't address it specifically, I will address). It says in the KJV that wives should "be obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." But Metacrock is right-- the word translated "be obedient" there is actually the word elsewhere translated "be submissive to." There is another word for "be obedient" which is used by Paul when he tells slaves to obey their masters and children their parents-- but neither Paul nor any other writer of the New Testament uses that word "obey" in the original texts, when speaking of wives' relationship to husbands. The KJV translators, living in a culture where women were expected to obey their husbands, translated the word as "be obedient to." But they were mistaken. In fact, pretty much all of the more modern translations do translate the word in Titus 2:5 as "be submissive to."

The actual Greek word there is "hupotasso," and it is used both in Ephesians 5:21 and in 1 Peter 5:5 to say that ALL Christians should "hupotasso" one another -- that is, yield to, defer to, cooperate with. However, Paul and Peter, who were also writing in times when wives were expected to obey their husbands, still refrained from using that OTHER word "obey" to wives at all.

However, the point is often raised that they do use that word "hupotasso" (submit") most often, to tell those of lower rank and authority in the culture, to yield to those of greater authority. Why would this be? When it comes to Paul, he actually tells us why.

Paul, in I Corinthians 9, speaks at length of what he believes his apostolic calling is all about. In verse 17 he says it is all because “the dispensation of the gospel has been committed to me.” He goes on to say that “unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews . . . to them that are without law, as without law. . . I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” We would be missing the point of Paul’s letters if we didn’t understand that he saw it as part of his mission to intentionally adapt his message to the cultures he was ministering to.

Paul’s teachings, therefore, about believers’ conduct in the church, in the home and in the outside world, must be viewed as practical advice for functioning in that culture, at that time, as a redeemed community (part of the great story of redemption) in such a way that they would be good witnesses of the gospel to the surrounding cultures in the time they were written. In the first century, for example, that would mean that slaves were advised not to harm the witness of Christ by rising up against their masters. But this doesn’t mean Paul was setting forth God’s approval of the institution of slavery itself. Neither can his message be read as setting forth God's approval of husband-rule over wives.

Paul took certain cultural factors for granted in his letters, and assumed his readers would do the same. The message, after all, was first of all God’s word to them, not to us. (The words at the beginnings of his letters in which he specifies his audience, are also part of Scripture and are there for a reason-- that we might understand that his letters were INTENDED to be read within a certain cultural/historical context.) What were the cultural understandings of his society? They included slavery, male domination, the rule of Caesars, circumcision as a religious practice of devout Jews only (and never by non-Jews as a simple medical procedure), and so on. These assumptions should not be turned into commands to us to follow the same cultural practices. Rather, within those cultural norms, Paul’s teachings regarding practical Christian living must be viewed in terms of principles– the chief one, according to Paul, being "what will be best for the spread of the gospel in this time and in this place?”

Therefore, Paul said in Titus 2:5 that young wives were to be taught to be “obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” What does that mean, "that the word of God be not blasphemed?" Does it mean that the Bible is somehow "blasphened" if women don't, in all cultures at all times, obey their husbands? This is what complementarians would have us believe. But in the same passage, in verses 9 and 10 of the same chapter, Paul tells slaves that if they are obedient to their masters, this will "adorn" the message of Christ. Should we return to slavery in today's culture, that the obedience of slaves might adorn the gospel? No-- surely Paul was talking about the way the message was received by the people surrounding them, who were watching the way Christians conducted themselves. Other translations say, "that the gospel not be hindered."

This was the purpose– Christians going against the accepted cultural norms could actually work against the message God wanted them to preach. Therefore, for the sake of the reputation of of the gospel, Christian wives should be submissive, and Christian slaves obedient.

But what about today? Does it help the Christian message today to insist that the husband-wife relationship is to stay within that first-century cultural norm? How many people today are against Christianity because the message complementarians teach --that wives must obey their husbands, that husbands are intended by God to be in authority over their wives-- is morally abhorrent to them? How many people still blame Christians for the reluctance many of them showed, to end the evil institution of slavery?

I have talked to quite a few.

With regards to Doug Wilson's views on this matter, a Proverb comes to mind. "One man's testimony seems right, until another comes and cross-examines him." I have cross-examined Wilson and found his testimony incomplete.
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ZAROVE
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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by ZAROVE » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:14 pm

Given that I place no Value on Equality, and see it as a Modernist Fascination, and have obvious Jacobite sympathies Politically to prove it, I’d have to rest my argument on Scripture and Biology. There is Sexual Dimorphism, and the brains of men and women simply do not work the same way.

Nor do their bodies.

Both are “Equal” in terms of worth, and both are needful for a properly run society, but while there is overlap in what they can do, and such is considerable, there are distinctly male attributes women cannot possess, and strictly female attributes men cannot possess.


The Ministry is not for Women, for it is a reflection of Jesus, and of the Father, and how the Minister does assume a Spiritual Fatherhood over those he leads, which is not what Women can ever hope to accomplish.

And, the Scripture is still clear that women are not to preach.

Let them be judges. Let them own shops. Let them have a say in Governance. Let them be Queens of Nations. But the House of God is built upon its sacred tenets, and some roles reserved.

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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by runamokmonk » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:20 pm

I'm not sure how much I can post here. I'm not a huge fan of posting on the internet at this time.

I agree there's differences between men and women and I don't find it horrifying to think it's possible there are biological differences between nations or "races". I personally think equality only means no differences to some people, maybe on the left, because they may fear what they'd think, or others would, if there were differences. That's how I see it.

I like quotes and post them often when I post because it always amazes me to read so eloquent moving words and wonder how they do it. This quote doesn't move me though. I once found it quoted in some other work but I found it in a work call "revolutionary catechism". And in quote this I in no endorse all that may be said or the author. Especially since I haven't read the whole work.
A. Equality does not imply the leveling of individual differences, nor that individuals should be made physically, morally, or mentally identical. Diversity in capacities and powers – those differences between races, nations, sexes, ages, and persons – far from being a social evil, constitutes, on the contrary, the abundance of humanity. Economic and social equality means the equalization of personal wealth, but not by restricting what a man may acquire by his own skill, productive energy, and thrift.

B. Equality and justice demand only a society so organized that every single human being will – from birth through adolescence and maturity – find therein equal means, first for maintenance and education, and later, for the exercise of all his natural capacities and aptitudes. This equality from birth that justice demands for everyone will be impossible as long as the right of inheritance continues to exist


I've personally wondered, why, if we are so naturally bound by our inherent biological differences, must some use force or even God to put others in an unequal position in a political pr economic structure. Why aren't differences so inherent and "organic" that we are all simply in our positions just as the laws of gravity throw me in my position, on my butt, when I lose my balance? Why do these religious and philosphical laws speak as if they were the same voice of gravity and yet depend on men to balance out the laws of nature, or of God, and tell people where they must stand or fall?

I think equality comes from the notion of the golden rule and imagination. Treat others as you would have them treat you in similar circumstances. This requires one to excersize their imagination which expands our vision for "equality".

But equality doesn't move me. It sorts of nauseating in some ways. What moves me is liberation. I think God breaks into our world and disrupts into our lives with visions of the future breaking the chains of our past and transcending what is.

There's this one scripture that I recall from somewhere in the bible where it says God will obe turn our hearts into flesh. Who knows where that, I don't. I don't think our hearts will be turned into flesh by following words and laws on paper but by looking into our hearts and finding a passion for a passion for the world's liberation of domination and full expression and actualization of each person according to how best they feel like doing so. I can trust that, and I have to.

As for the dish washing and such. If I were in such a position as that wife I would feel humiliated and my blood would boil. I don't feel God has ever truly treated me in such a way. As for thinking of God as Father. I don't. God is like a lover to me. Why do people think of God as ruler, ruler Father above, and not passionate lover?

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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by Gwarlroge » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:16 am

runamokmonk wrote:There's this one scripture that I recall from somewhere in the bible where it says God will obe turn our hearts into flesh. Who knows where that, I don't.
Ezekiel 36:26?

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Re: This is the real issue: Egalitarian v. Complementarian

Post by ZAROVE » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:49 pm

I have to agree with Runamok, I don’t think Equality can be an ideal we can follow logically as it doesn’t exist in Nature. Its more of a Dream that promises something that in the end enslaves us, not something that promote sour welfare.

In the end Nature will be served, regardless of our high minded talk of Equality, and that won’t change no matter what we say.

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