Complementarian at Home, Egalitarian at Church? Paul Would Approve.

The biggest New Testament passages on gender roles may have more to do with marriage than ministry.

Christianity Today once featured a cartoon depicting the apostle Paul arriving at Corinth and saying rather meekly, “I see you received my letter.” Greeting him on the road is an angry mob of women holding placards reading “Women of Corinth unite” and “Paul the apostle is a male chauvinist pig.” It is an amusing picture, but its sentiment is far from the truth. For his time period, Paul’s letters were radically liberating and dignifying for women, who had few rights in eastern Greco-Roman culture.

Paul’s teachings about women have sometimes been misunderstood and misapplied in ways that are denigrating to women. For example, rather than giving attention to Paul’s emphasis on the husband’s obligation to put his wife’s interests well ahead of his own, people have often misconstrued Paul’s comments on wifely submission as a charge to husbands to make their wives submit; as permission for husbands to boss their wives around; or as justification for meanness, abuse, or even violence against women.

Related to their views on these and other texts regarding marriage, evangelical churches continue to be sharply divided on the question of the role of women in church leadership. They have often polarized on a spectrum, with complementarians (those who believe there are distinct, complementary roles for men and women in marriage, church, and sometimes society) on one side, and egalitarians (those who deny there are distinct roles for men and women) on the other.

Despite the regrettable divisiveness that has sometimes resulted from these differences, some evangelical churches have decided to respect the strengths of both views and focus on the deeper unity between complementarians …

Continue reading

Read More

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.