Is There a Third Option in the Comp/Egal Debate?

I expanded my last post and published it on Parchment and Pen. Interestingly, it got little notice. But the post also pointed to an article I wrote three years ago on why I don’t get into the gender debate.  Unfortunately accusations of self-serving motives quickly arise at the mention that there might be an injustice of women’s value according to scripture. On one hand it is good to just quietly work out your gift and align with ministries that match your theological conviction. But on the other hand, there is so much strained and distorted thinking out there with respect to gender roles that it does compel some challenging.

I’ve come to reject the polarization that has occurred over the past few decades. While I identify myself as a Complementarian, I find the practical aspects of this position as it has been traditionally espoused to not be very complementary at all. Restrictions on gifts and contributions does not really serve the body well or the husband at home.  I think we’ve made much more of headship and submission than is warranted in scripture.  On the flip side, I cannot justify the complete obliteration of male headship since that would be dishonest to scripture. There is a place for male headship and for submission. That screams for a third option. In the end it is about the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the word, faith, family and the church’s mission. Can’t we find a solution that takes care of business, reflects the imago Dei and just respects each other?

4 thoughts on “Is There a Third Option in the Comp/Egal Debate?

  1. Ray Nearhood July 21, 2012 / 1:05 am

    Man, I love quoting smart people. This on the complementarian view that is neither the “women are to be seen not heard” crap that is so often the caricature of complementarianism (probably as a right reaction to crappy not-complementarians that identify themselves as complementarians) nor a ceding to the egalitarian view. This quote on the home –

    “[A]uthority in a Christian home is to be found in Christ — not in the husband, not in the wife, and not in the two [of] them together. The masculine perspective is not normative, and the feminine perspective is not normative. Both the husband and the wife are to submit to Christ. That means submitting to His Word, which means that, under Christ, the husband is the head of his wife.

    • Ray Nearhood July 21, 2012 / 1:06 am

      BTW, Lisa, it’s your fault that I even found that quote.

  2. ljrobinson July 21, 2012 / 1:13 pm

    Who said that, Horton? I really appreciated his article in response to the crazy machismo driven insanity that does nothing but fuel the caricatures. And sure, I’ll take blame for where you’re inquiring mind led you, lol.

  3. Laurie M. July 22, 2012 / 12:20 am

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Lisa. I spent over a year reading whatever egalitarian literature I could get my hands on hoping with all my heart to be convinced, mainly because what I’ve seen of so-called-complementarianism is so NOT what it says it is. Book after book after book failed to convince me that headship in the home does not imply some measure of authority. Nor was I satisfactorily convinced that there is scriptural basis for female pastorates. Beyond that, though, I found no biblical basis for the rest of what is calling itself complementarianism these days.

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