Tag Archives: egalitarianism


GRAND RAPIDS -- With one remarkably swift vote, the Christian Reformed Church made history Saturday by electing a woman as vice president of its annual meeting.

I am convinced now - more than ever - that the CRC will stand firm on NOTHING.  They have lost their way.

Next up...homosexuality.


A comment by minnowspeaks (an egalitarian):

"Then as now my greatest difficulty is with the notion that a loving Creator would purposely gift His creation in a certain way only to insist His creation NOT use the gifts. Such a notion goes against my belief in a loving God as well as the idea that our gifts are meant for the edification of the whole."

1) Complementarians do not deny that all members of the bride of Christ are gifted OR that they should be able to use their gifts within Scriptural limits.

2) Why is it that if a woman cannot use her gifts to teach or lead men, you do not consider her to be using her gifts?


...continue reading


No...that's not my question, but rather the question on ""Parchment and Pen."

"Why is it okay to think that men know so much, have so much insight, are so sensitive to all the nuances of a particular Bible passage that they can teach women in a way that women are able to learn and understand week after week but the insights and sensitivities of women are so inferior that men could/should never learn from them? Or how is this not what is being said?"

Since this is not what is being taught by most complementarians, it might be useful to note that complementarians are not monolithic (just as egalitarians are not).

It might also be useful to note that most complementarians do not teach that women are not insightful, that women are not sensitive to Scripture or that women are inferior.
Most complementarians do not teach that "men could/should never learn from them?"

From "The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:"

"Listen to how John Piper and Wayne Grudem summarized this answer to this question. "When Paul says in I Timothy 2:12, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,' we do not understand him to mean an absolute prohibition of all teaching by women. Paul instructs the older women to teach what is good, then they can train the younger women. And he commends the teaching that Eunice and Lois gave to her son and grandson. Proverbs praises the ideal wife because she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue. Paul endorses women prophesying in a church and says that men learn by such prophesying. And that members should teach and admonish one another with all wisdom as you sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. And then, of course, there is Priscilla at Aquilla's side correcting Apollos. It is arbitrary to think that Paul has in mind every form of teaching in I Timothy 2:12. Teaching and learning are in such broad terms that it is impossible that women not teach men and men not learn from women in some sense. There is a way that nature teaches and a fig tree teaches and suffering teaches and human behavior teaches. If Paul did not have every conceivable form of teaching and learning in mind, what did he mean? Along with the fact that the setting here is the church assembled for prayer and teaching, the best clue is by coupling teaching with having authority over men. We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching in leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore, we think it is God's will that only men bear the responsibility for that office."

Also from CBMW:

Also, I see no need to go be­yond Scripture, which does not prohibit (permits but does not mandate) prayer or testimony by a woman in the con­gregation nor forbid her interaction on biblical truths in a private conversation with a man (as Pricilla and Aquila with Apollos in Acts 18:26).

From another article by Wayne Grudem on CBMW:

Now regarding the question of women in the church, what actions should we put on this scale? On the left side of the scale we can put verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits a woman from teaching or having authority over men. Since I think it is very evident from the context that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation in this passage (see 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:15), and he is giving principles that apply to the entire congregation (see 1 Tim. 3:1-16), I think that the left end of the scale prohibits women from teaching or having governing authority over the whole congregation.

What shall we put on the right end of the scale? Here we would put verses such as Acts 18:26, where, in a less formal setting apart from an assembled congregation, we find that Priscilla and Aquila were talking to Apollos, and "they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately." This situation is similar to a small group Bible study in which both men and women are participating and in that way "teaching" one another. Another verse that we can put on the right end of the scale is Titus 2:4 which tells the older women to "train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."

We see from these writings that an across the board prohibition of women teaching men is not what is being taught. Rather it is the teaching that complementarians believe that Paul is teaching that women should not teach the congregation at large, or have authority in that context.


(With the name removed to make things interesting...but those who know...know)

"...is adopting a "literalistic" reading of the Bible when he takes Paul's 2,000-year-old words as proof for all time that the Supreme Being --!(#%&#)@*$(&%--.

"It's the same process of logic that leads to supporting slavery," -$*@$&%- said, noting that the apostle of Jesus also did not oppose slavery.

"It's important for people to understand that the holy scriptures is a very nuanced document. I think we need to allow people room to come to a new understanding,"

Not applicable for all time, same process that leads us to supporting slavery.

Question: is this an egalitarian supporting women in the pulpit? Or an Anglican supporting homosexual marriage?


I'm still reading in Genesis 1 and 2.

I read that man was created first - there is an order that humans were created in.  Whether that means anything may be debatable.

I read that it was to the man that God gave the directions to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (in the more detailed account in Genesis 2) - before the woman was even created.  Scripture does not record that the woman was present to receive the instruction.

I read that Eve was not present when Adam had the responsibility of naming the animals...she had not been created yet.

I read that when God declared, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.", it was before the fall.

I read that when the serpent approached Eve, it was a very familiar approach..."Did God REALLY say...?"

(Around here we call them "serpent questions":  "Does the Bible REALLY say...?"  or..."Does it REALLY mean THAT?!?!"  or..."Does that REALLY apply to us today?"  Serpent questions.)

I read that after the fall, it was Adam that God questioned.

The all-knowing and all-seeing Creator of the universe would have known exactly what had happened...yet he went to Adam first.

In Ephesians 5, when Paul writes the segment of instructions to husbands and wives, (wives submit, husbands love) and refers to what God declared BEFORE the fall: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
I believe that the inclusion of the one-flesh declaration from BEFORE THE FALL into the "wives submit - husbands love" instruction, God was instructing His bride in the redemptive love of the bridegroom for the wife who lovingly and willingly submits to Him.

I believe that before the fall, Adam was created first, Adam received the instruction not to eat of the tree, Eve was created as a suitable helper (complementary even).  I believe that the order in which things happened was recorded that way for a reason - the husband leads, the wife helps.

I believe that part of the curse was that no longer would a wife tend to lovingly and willingly submit to the leadership of her husband.  Evil had crept in.

I believe that after the fall the temptation would be for a husband to deal harshly with his wife, denying her the love that she desires.  Evil had crept in.
I believe that Christ offers us the opportunity:  to reflect Christ and the church.

"The mystery is profound..."

I believe that in Christ, husbands have the privilege and responsibility of loving as Christ loves the church.

I believe that in Christ, wives have the privilege and responsibility of submitting as the church submits to Christ.

I believe that the wife has been the "helper" since the creation account.  That has not changed.  Woman is still the "suitable helper".  Complementary.  Half of the one-flesh.

I believe that the whole of Scripture leads to a reading of the husband as leader.  That has not changed.

From before the fall, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

From the writing of Paul's instruction to wives and husbands, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

Wives submit, husbands love.

What I read in Genesis 1 and 2 is that God created male and female differently and He treats them differently and (where instruction is given to specifically men or specifically women) He many times gives them different instruction.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is not mentioned in Genesis 1. In Genesis 2 we are told that Adam is given instruction independently of Eve - before she is even created. This infers that Eve was dependent on Adam for instruction. This was before the fall. The first recorded instance of a woman learning from her husband is from before the fall.

Also before the fall - God proclaimed: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Eve was created differently - out of man. Man and woman are created to be two parts of the whole.

In Ephesians, Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) writes,

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This reference to before the fall comes at the end of one of the longest passages in Scripture instructing (specifically) husbands and wives.

In that last sentence that I quoted, the word for "respect" is φόβος - phobeō. From which we get the word "phobia" - to fear. Strong's also gives the definition: c) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

Does the context of the word indicate that wives are to live in "fear" of their husbands, or that they should treat them with deference?

Especially give that a related word, φόβος - phobos is used in the same chapter of Ephesians.

...submitting to one another out of reverence (φόβος ) for Christ....

The "mutual submission" clause. We need to decide whether this statement rules out what follows, or whether this statement is explained by what follows. I believe that the statement is the instruction, what follows is the application.

We see that a general instruction of "submit to one another" is here, but then there are the specific instructions to husbands and wives that are different. Husbands and wives are instructed differently.


...it refers to Christ and the church ...


And a plea for logical thinking.

The bottom line (one) is:  Is Scripture sufficient?

The bottom line (two) is:  Is Scripture trustworthy?

The text for our Palm Sunday was one that I had not heard preached on Palm Sunday - Acts 14.

(3)So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.


(19)But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

When the truth is preached, people respond. Paul consistently preached the truth, regardless of the consequences.
Here is Acts 16:

(19)But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, "These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice." The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Paul was a man who preached the truth. Every chance he got, he preached the truth. He was beaten, imprisoned, threatened with death, beaten more, imprisoned more, threatened more.

And still he preached the truth.

He knew that he was going to be martyred

2 Tim. 4:6For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Peter watched James be martyred by Herod.

Acts 12:1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.

and Peter watched. Peter was also threatened and imprisoned.

So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.

We read of Paul being beaten, imprisoned, beaten more, threatened with death.

We read of Peter being imprisoned after watching James be martyred.

And yet they continued to preach the gospel...even under the threat of death...and the eventually DID die for the gospel; one was beheaded, the other crucified.

And yet...these are the same men who wrote PRIVATE letters to congregations and wrote

(1 Peter 3) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands (...) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.


(Col. 3:18) Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

These are men who suffered and died to preach the truth of the gospel. And yet, in private letters to congregations, we see not one specific instruction to (specifically) husbands to (specifically) submit to (specifically) their wives...because they were concerned about what the authorities would say?

It would seem that men who were willing to die for the truth would be willing to write to congregations in private letters what they were really wanted to teach.

We have the same man who wrote that we ought to obey God rather than man...pandered to the culture and neglected to write that (in the face of impending martyrdom for the truth) (specifically) husbands should (specifically) submit to (specifically) their wives...because they were concerned about the authorities.

These are questions that egalitarians don't appear to like...at least I've asked it a number of times and I don't recall seeing it addressed when I've asked it.

1) Why would the same Pater who said, "We must obey God rather than men!" have obeyed the culture of those same men when teaching the truth of God concerning the submission of husbands to wives?

2) Why would the same Paul who was beaten, imprisoned, and martyred for preaching truth of God in the face of governmental persecution - why would this Paul have neglected a teaching about relationships between husbands and wives out of concern for what the governmental authorities might think?
3) If we believe the Scriptures are inspired by God and are "breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work"...why did "inspired" Scripture leave out this teaching (unless it isn't really a teaching)?

4) If Paul wrote what God breathed out, why was GOD pandering to the culture?

5) Paul preached Christ crucified (the equivalent of us teaching to follow a common criminal executed by hanging) - why would he have been concerned about what culture thought...when preaching such an UNcultural truth?
NOTE ON COMMENTS: stick to the specific questions or comments will be closed.

Back to the bottom lines:

(one) Is Scripture sufficient?  Or does it leave us on a "trajectory"?

(two) Is Scripture trustworthy?  Or does it leave out specific instructions in order to pander to culture?


I linked to the list of abuse patterns - the question arose whether or not the simple (and perhaps solitary) act of preventing one who you are in a relationship with from doing something that they want qualifies as "abuse".

I say "no." I believe that you must look at the motive behind that prevention. If someone prevents you (generic you) from doing something that you want to do for reasons such as the good of a group, or for your own good, I don't think that you can rightly call that abuse.

If you (generic you) are routinely kept from doing something that you want to do for the sake of control, then I think you need to exercise great caution in that relationship.

We should (I believe) recognize that some people really thrive on structure and when they have certain restrictions, kept from doing something that they want to do, have a feeling of safety within that close structure. That's not what I write about today and falls under the "if it works for you, go for it" category.

If a man follows you around when you're out with your sister, insists on driving you to work (or school) and goes through your purse to find your cell phone in order to find out who you've been talking to...that's controlling.

If, on the other hand, a man prevents you from eating chocolate peanut butter cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory (my absolute favorite) or butter-garlic mashed potatoes at Rock Bottom (they are SO yummy!) - you would have fallen for that temptation had you not had the accountability...and he knows that peanut butter is the fastest route to an asthma attack and potatoes make your knees hurt...that is not abuse.

Last semester I was sitting next to a young women in the computer lab.  She was talking to me while we were waiting for "stuff" to come up. She was talking about her current boyfriend that she's thinking about breaking up with. I recognized some from that list and (since we were sitting at computers) I brought up that website and showed her the "controlling" list.

"That is SO him!" We talked about patterns of abuse, patterns of control and what the signals might be that should send up red flags. Ultimately, she needs to make that choice, but what we need to do is to make sure the information is easily available so that every woman knows what it is that she is looking for.

The best way to prevent domestic abuse it to avoid being in a relationship with a person who will abuse you.

That was an easy statement. Implementing that could be one of the hardest things to figure out how to do.

Teaching girls young how to spot abusers before they have a serious relationship is one way.

***We teach about birth control in high school, we teach about HIV, drinking, drug use and smoking, diet and exercise. Why can we not teach young women how to identify young men who show those signs exercising the level of control that sends up red flags?

Teaching young men how to relate to young women in a healthy way is another.

***NLP teaches me that there are two angles to reaching a goal - a negative and a positive:

  1. Having a goal ahead of you that you want to reach for
  2. Having a bad thing behind you that you want to get away from

We can have the goal of "don't be an abuser" or we can have the goal of "be a Godly husband".

"Don't be an abuser" comes with a list of "don'ts"

  • don't hit your wife or girlfriend
  • don't be controlling
  • don't follow her around
  • don't be angry
  • don't be selfish

"Be a Godly husband" comes with a list of "dos"

  • do love your wife as Christ loves the church
  • do be ready to give up your very life for her
  • do be selfless
  • do be humble
  • do be kind, gentle, faithful, honest
  • do have Christ as your example of a husband
  • do be a servant-leader

There are three ways to come at teaching young men:

-We can give them a "negative goal", which does nothing to encourage positive behavior

- we can give them a "positive goal", which offers no solutions when abuse does occur

- we can blend the two.  People sin.  Abuse is sin.  As much as we attempt to teach that it is wrong, it will happen.  We need to teach young men that abuse is sin.  We need to make it clear that if they are abusers, the church will discipline the abuser and the law will be involved.

We need to make it clear to young women that Godly leadership is NOT sin, that there are very high goals set for men in leadership positions (and that includes husbands) and that it is sinful for that leadership to be perverted into abuse.  We need to communicate very clearly that it is a good and right thing to confront sin and to get the church leadership (and law if needed) involved.