Proverbs 31

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

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Gwarlroge
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Proverbs 31

Post by Gwarlroge » Sun May 16, 2010 10:33 pm

Now, I don't think I am an egalitarian, thus far in my Christian walk. However, I do have egalitarian sentiments lingering from our culture, and blah blah.

I noticed that in Proverbs 31, the "virtuous wife" earns her own money, buys her own land, and starts a vineyard with it. This seems OK to me, and it seems compatible with a complementarian view of womanhood.

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KR Wordgazer
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Re: Proverbs 31

Post by KR Wordgazer » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:54 pm

One thing that many Christians don't notice is that in preaching against modern cultural biases, they themselves often have a counter-cultural bias. That is, many Christians are ready to toss out any modern understanding of morality purely for the reason that it is modern. This includes the moral value that men and women are meant to be in fully functioning equality. I find this to be a Biblical, not just a modern, understanding of morality. I find that the cultural bias against women's full Christian freedom, came into Christianity somewhere between the first and third centuries and has stayed until now. In fact, it is currently seeing a resurgence as a backlash against the gains women have made in the last two centuries-- gains that were largely championed by Christians.

Gwarlroge, I agree completely that men and women are meant to "complement" one another. But what complementarians usually mean by the term is that women "complement" men by remaining in restricted, subordinate, limited roles, while men's roles are free, authoritative, and unrestricted. In complementarianism, if you look at it full in the face, it is women who complement men-- as their assistants and sidekicks-- and never men who complement women. But the words used in Genesis 3 to describe the woman's relationship to man was "ezer kenego," which DOES NOT mean "sidekick" or "assistant." God is called the "ezer" (Helper) of Israel. It's the same word; it cannot, therefore, mean "assistant" or "sidekick." And the word "kenego" literally means "facing him" and refers to side-by-side partnership.

Men and women truly complement one another when neither is restricted and both are allowed to fully function in all of their gifts and callings-- not when one is eternally in a restricted and subordinate role, with the other in authority over her.
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Gwarlroge
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Re: Proverbs 31

Post by Gwarlroge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:32 pm

KR Wordgazer wrote:One thing that many Christians don't notice is that in preaching against modern cultural biases, they themselves often have a counter-cultural bias.


I have one, and I think Doug Wilson has one.
That is, many Christians are ready to toss out any modern understanding of morality purely for the reason that it is modern. This includes the moral value that men and women are meant to be in fully functioning equality. I find this to be a Biblical, not just a modern, understanding of morality. I find that the cultural bias against women's full Christian freedom came into Christianity somewhere between the first and third centuries and has stayed until now. In fact, it is currently seeing a resurgence as a backlash against the gains women have made in the last two centuries-- gains that were largely championed by Christians.
In what sense are men and women equal, then? In terms of their rights, I suppose, but is there another sense, IYO?
Gwarlroge, I agree completely that men and women are meant to "complement" one another. But what complementarians usually mean by the term is that women "complement" men by remaining in restricted, subordinate, limited roles, while men's roles are free, authoritative, and unrestricted. In complementarianism, if you look at it full in the face, it is women who complement men-- as their assistants and sidekicks-- and never men who complement women. But the words used in Genesis 3 to describe the woman's relationship to man was "ezer kenego," which DOES NOT mean "sidekick" or "assistant." God is called the "ezer" (Helper) of Israel. It's the same word; it cannot, therefore, mean "assistant" or "sidekick." And the word "kenego" literally means "facing him" and refers to side-by-side partnership.

Men and women truly complement one another when neither is restricted and both are allowed to fully function in all of their gifts and callings-- not when one is eternally in a restricted and subordinate role, with the other in authority over her.
I agree with all of this! :idea: :?:

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KR Wordgazer
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Re: Proverbs 31

Post by KR Wordgazer » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:37 pm

Gwarlroge wrote:
In what sense are men and women equal, then? In terms of their rights, I suppose, but is there another sense, IYO?
They are equal in the freedom to be who they are in Christ. The Holy Spirit is poured out on "all flesh," on His "sons and daughters." Each individual person has gifts and callings that they were designed individually by God to fulfill. God didn't make "pink" gifts and callings and "blue" gifts and callings. A Christian woman who feels called to full-time leadership in the church, and who is gifted and competent, and who has the character to serve and lead, should be permitted to serve and lead. In a Christian marriage, a wife may have talents and gifts in one area that the husband does not, and vice versa. She should be free to take the lead in that area, and he should be free to yield/defer to her-- and vice versa. I am much better than my husband at handling the finances. When I tell him how much we can spend on something, he submits to my judgment. My husband is much better than I am at managing family travel. He decides what is the best road to take, and I submit to his judgment. We are both free to be all we are in Christ, as a married couple.
Gwarlroge, I agree completely that men and women are meant to "complement" one another. But what complementarians usually mean by the term is that women "complement" men by remaining in restricted, subordinate, limited roles, while men's roles are free, authoritative, and unrestricted. In complementarianism, if you look at it full in the face, it is women who complement men-- as their assistants and sidekicks-- and never men who complement women. But the words used in Genesis 3 to describe the woman's relationship to man was "ezer kenego," which DOES NOT mean "sidekick" or "assistant." God is called the "ezer" (Helper) of Israel. It's the same word; it cannot, therefore, mean "assistant" or "sidekick." And the word "kenego" literally means "facing him" and refers to side-by-side partnership.

Men and women truly complement one another when neither is restricted and both are allowed to fully function in all of their gifts and callings-- not when one is eternally in a restricted and subordinate role, with the other in authority over her.
I agree with all of this! :idea: :?:
Then in what sense are you a "complementarian," as they themselves usually define it?
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Re: Proverbs 31

Post by Gwarlroge » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:56 pm

KR Wordgazer wrote:Then in what sense are you a "complementarian," as they themselves usually define it?
I guess I assumed that your definition was the way all (or most) complementarians would express it. :|

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Re: Proverbs 31

Post by KR Wordgazer » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:12 pm

I'm sorry. This part is my understanding of what complementarians actually believe, according to what they themselves express:

But what complementarians usually mean by the term is that women "complement" men by remaining in restricted, subordinate, limited roles, while men's roles are free, authoritative, and unrestricted. In complementarianism, if you look at it full in the face, it is women who complement men-- as their assistants and sidekicks-- and never men who complement women.

This part is my use of Scripture to refute the idea that "help meet" means woman must be man's sidekick or assistant:

But the words used in Genesis 3 to describe the woman's relationship to man was "ezer kenego," which DOES NOT mean "sidekick" or "assistant." God is called the "ezer" (Helper) of Israel. It's the same word; it cannot, therefore, mean "assistant" or "sidekick." And the word "kenego" literally means "facing him" and refers to side-by-side partnership.

And this is my own, egalitarian view on the subject:

Men and women truly complement one another when neither is restricted and both are allowed to fully function in all of their gifts and callings-- not when one is eternally in a restricted and subordinate role, with the other in authority over her.

You see, egalitarians feel that complementarians have commandeered that term as a way to soften and euphemize what they actually believe, which is patriarchy. Egalitarians say that no matter how they soften it, complementarianism is all about restricting women; it's a belief that men are supreme and women are designed to "complement" their supremacy, rather than men and women actually "complementing" one another.

If you believe that for men and women to truly "complement" one another, neither one should be subordinate and neither one should be in authority, but both should be fully free to both lead and serve the other in mutuality -- then you're not a complementarian, as I understand it.

Does that make it more clear what I am getting at? Feel free to disagree, but every "complementarian" I've ever talked to believes in limited, subordinate roles for women, and only gives lip service to the idea of "equality."
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