Thursday, December 06, 2007

Principles and Respect

The man/woman issue of authority and submission is one of the two or three controversial topics in the Christian faith about which I feel very strongly. I believe that an important principle is threatened by those that disagree with me. Like those that disagree with me on this issue, I am frustrated by those who attempt a compromise to avoid controversy or debate. There are two choices: women are to submit to the God ordained authority of men, and thus should not hold positions of authority, as least not within a marriage or within the church; or women and men are to submit to each other, and each can hold positions of authority as God has gifted them through the Holy Spirit.

I intentionally wrote the above paragraph so that any complementarian could agree with at least one paragraph of my blog.

My grandparents and parents were civil rights activists. I have a heritage of fighting injustice and institutionalized inequity. The definition of "feminism" that I was taught was akin to, "...the radical notion that women are human beings."

My other grandparents and many of my ancestors were members of the Reformed Church in America, and I owe much of my knowledge of the faith to the teachings of Tom Stark. Indeed, outside my family there are few people I respect more than Pastor Stark. Thus, I also have a heritage of teaching and positive examples of non-abusive men as authorities in their homes and churches.

I point this out to show that I understand both sides of the argument, both in my head but also deeper in my experiences and my heritage. It is hard to discuss the issue with respect. But we must try.

4 comments:

John Boy said...

You wrote:

“There are two choices: women are to submit to the God ordained authority of men, and thus should not hold positions of authority, as least not within a marriage or within the church; or women and men are to submit to each other, and each can hold positions of authority as God has gifted them through the Holy Spirit.”

I agree with the second choice, women and men should share authority in homes and churches. They both have equal access to all the gifts God chooses to give them. Does Complimentarity necessitate some amount of differences in how each may choose to live out their lives with the gifts they're given? If we were the same in every role, wouldn’t we cease to complement one another? Perhaps I don’t have a broad enough sense of the issue at hand. Please continue blogging.

John Boy said...

You wrote:

“There are two choices: women are to submit to the God ordained authority of men, and thus should not hold positions of authority, as least not within a marriage or within the church; or women and men are to submit to each other, and each can hold positions of authority as God has gifted them through the Holy Spirit.”

I agree with the second choice, women and men should share authority in homes and churches. They both have equal access to all the gifts God chooses to give them. Does Complimentarity necessitate some amount of differences in how each may choose to live out their lives with the gifts they're given? If we were the same in every role, wouldn’t we cease to complement one another? Perhaps I don’t have a broad enough sense of the issue at hand. Please continue blogging.

Pcrucifer said...

I agree that men and women are different, and that they complement each other. I do not think that many folks would argue that, on either side. Complimentarians would argue that while women are equal in value, their role is to be always under the authority of a man, and that men always have a role of authority over women.

John Boy said...

Sorry about the double-post above.

I have been reading your blog with a wrong idea of what I was guessing a complimentarian was. I am not a complimentarian. It doesn't seem to jive with the numerous authoritative roles women have held throughout time.