Aside

50 Shades of Complementarian? Why We Should Lay Down the Labels, and Look at Our Common Purpose

Last week, a Twitter friend told me how shamed and berated many blogs made her feel for her complementarian theology.

That made me so sad.

I mean, I get it. Egalitarians are a minority in the evangelical world, and are often treated like theological scapegoats by their more traditional brothers and sisters. Women still lack functional equality in most churches, and many women and men have been deeply hurt by patriarchal attitudes and practices. As the underdogs, egalitarians are apt to defend their online spaces like fierce mama bears defending their cubs from spiritual, social, and even physical (through ideologies that empower abuse) threats.

But that’s no reason to be ungracious.

Part of the reason smart, godly women who self-identify as complementarian feel misrepresented can be traced back to the label itself. “Complementarian” is a trash-can term, eagerly claimed by everyone from Quiverfull moms who suggest women stop “whining” about their husbands holding knives to their throats, to world-famous female preachers who claim their husbands’ “covering.”

I mean, huh?

Egalitarianism is simple by comparison. There are only two types–those who believe in full functional equality in the church (women can fill any ministry role), and those who believe in full functional equality in the home (no hierarchy between the husband and wife). Many egalitarians believe both. Many complementarians live both.

The fact that some egalitarians are theological liberals and some are theological conservatives muddies the waters a bit. But the same can be said of complementarianism. True, the noisiest advocates for both positions tend to come from theological extremes. But I’m hopeful that as those of us occupying the middle ground begin to speak up, the spotlight will move from the mavericks on the edges, and spread out to illuminate the common ground most of us occupy.

And that common ground is that we want our lives and relationships to reflect our relationship with Christ.

Since talking about egalitarianism and complementarianism so often starts blood pressure soaring, verses flying, and heels digging into the dirt, I thought it might be helpful to take a step back and look at the differences from a more objective point of view.

We’re talking about two different controversies here: a theological one, and a sociological one.

Let’s tackle the theology first. Here are the questions, as I see them:

Theology of Creation: Did God mean for Adam to “rule over” Eve? Or was that a consequence of the fall? Do the words ezer kenegdo, “helper suitable,” imply a secondary or subservient role for women?

New Testament Household Codes: Were the household codes given by Peter and Paul meant to be universally prescriptive, a pattern for all people in all times to follow? Or were they socially descriptive, illustrating what Christ-centered relationships should look like in the context of first century Rome?

New Testament Teaching Prohibitions: Were the instructions Paul gave regarding women teaching and “usurping authority” meant to stand as a universal prohibition of women teaching or wielding authority? Or were they instructions specific to that context, perhaps even addressing a particular problem in the Ephesian church? If Paul did mean that women should not teach or be in positions of authority, where should we draw the line today?

It’s worth noting that while egalitarians tend to have a consistent interpretation of these issues, complementarians are all over the map on them. For instance, I grew up believing that the subjugation of women was a result of the fall (quasi-egalitarian), that male leadership and female submission was the biblical pattern we were supposed to follow (complementarian), and, in typical missionary style, that women had better darn well fill any ministry role God called them to (egalitarian). Complementarianism is a bit like a salad bar that way–different people use different combinations and amounts of different ingredients.

Honestly, if “complementarian” and “egalitarian” were extremes on a spectrum, most evangelicals I know would be somewhere around here:

Complementarian———————————————————X——————Egalitarian

But linguistically, this is what we get:

Complementarian Complementarian Complementarian X Complementarian Egalitarian

It’s rather confusing.

Because of this, it’s easy for complementarians get (understandably) defensive or hurt when they’re lumped in with complementarians of an entirely different stripe. No one likes to be misunderstood or misrepresented, based on some label that has been applied to them willy-nilly. (And I hope complementarians remember that next time some aging Christian leader tries to label egalitarians as raging feminist rebels who reject biblical authority and are pulling society down around our ears. Sheesh.)

Then there’s the sociological controversy.

What does it mean to be a woman or a man, and what roles should each gender play in society?

Honestly, this is not a complementarian/egalitarian controversy, although it does play into the conversation.

I think this is more of an issue for people in their late forties and beyond, people who are old enough to have felt the sting of second wave feminism’s derision toward traditionally feminine roles. For the rest of us? I’m old enough to have caught the tail end of the “mommy wars” in the late nineties, but I truly think American women have managed to bury that axe. While there are exceptions, most complementarians have no problem with women having a career, and egalitarian mommies are just as likely to stay home snuggling babies and baking casseroles as anyone else.

What about the differences between men and women?

Okay, honestly? No one is saying that men and women aren’t different. Most of us figured that out sometime after diapers and before preschool.

The question is, how much power should we give gender norms over individual autonomy?

For example, women are typically more verbal, while men are more technically-minded. Does that mean we should think there is something WRONG with male English teachers, or snicker at the idea of a woman being an engineer?

Most of us wouldn’t go that far, of course. But a question many egalitarians (and complementarians, for that matter) would raise is whether emphasizing the differences between men and women is more likely to be helpful or harmful.

So, if you give a lot of weight to the presupposition that girls are verbal and boys are technical, are you going to buy your math-whiz daughter dolls instead of Knex? Is your son going to feel pressured to take physics, when he’d really shine in debate?

Our spoken and unspoken expectations of people shape their identity and their lives. That’s why, while most egalitarians readily acknowledge that there are differences between men and women, they are cautious about making a big deal out of them. Sure, it can be helpful to know what the “norm” is, especially if you’re struggling to understand someone of the other gender. But we can’t let the norm overshadow the individual.

Here’s what this all comes down to for me.

I believe that women should be encouraged to minister in whatever capacity God gifts them for and calls them to. To limit women’s ministry is to limit the pronouncement of the gospel. And that is not okay.

I believe that Christian couples should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, serving one another instead of using manipulation and power plays to serve their own agendas. And I believe we need to confront teachings that enable abuse, perpetuating sinful patterns in Christian homes.

Those are things that I will go to the mat for.

And those are things many of my complementarian friends will go to the mat for, too.

Let’s stop eyeing each other’s theological labels, like snotty teens trying to decide who to sit with at lunch, and work together toward our common goals and purposes, for the glory of God and the good of the kingdom.

 

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49 Responses to 50 Shades of Complementarian? Why We Should Lay Down the Labels, and Look at Our Common Purpose

  1. Kelly J Youngblood January 30, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Wonderful post. I asked the question the other day on another website “what if God calls a woman to do something that people don’t think she should do” and the response was that God would not call a woman to do something contrary to what is in the Bible. I expected that response, actually, but I still don’t understand it. The Bible is full of God having people do that which is unexpected, so why would it be any different now? Preaching to the choir, I know, but I just get frustrated by it.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      I hear you, Kelly. One of the things that frustrates me in this conversation is that so often, ideology is placed over reality, and people start twisting either reality or language to accomodate their ideology.

      I mean, it is one thing to believe something in faith that transcends reality as we percieve it–for instance, we don’t typically believe people rise from the dead, but we take Jesus’ ressurection and the other ressurections in the Bible on faith, as miracles. But in the gender conversation, we have to dismiss a whole lot of reality (and even biblical stories about female leaders!) to justify the ideology that women shouldn’t lead men. For me, it was the moral and intellectual dissonance that drove me to study the questions further. I truly believe the majority of modern American evangelicals experience that dissonance, if they stop to think about it–some people just stuff or deny it, for a wide variety of mostly well-intentioned reasons.

  2. Amy January 30, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    I definitely agree that at least in the theological sense we need to let some of this go. But the feminist in me says that the issues are far deeper than just where on the continuum one places oneself or the sociological differences between men and women. From what I’ve seen, the ways in which complementarian ideas are taught (even “soft” or closer to egalitarian) interact in unhealthy ways with societal norms for men and women. Not only that, women internalize some of the negative aspects. A good example of this was on Mother’s Day at our last church. We were told explicitly that men and women are not equal and that women are the natural nurturers and must act as such, even if it’s against our nature. One friend was hurt by those words, because it is actually her husband who is the more natural caregiver. When she and I talked about it and I suggested that it was okay for her family to interact differently, she replied by saying, “But it’s biblical.” Only it isn’t, and she ended up turning those words back on herself in the mistaken belief that she was in sin. When this view of men and women turns unhealthy, we need to speak up about it regardless of our desire to see everyone sit at the same table.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      I absolutely agree, Amy. Ideas have consequences, and these are things we NEED to talk about. No time for silence!

      I think what I was trying to say with this rambling post is that becoming more specific about what, exactly, we are trying to address, would be more helpful in that process. The term “complementarian” is so broad that I can’t see how using it does anyone any good. If we could talk about the actual issues, instead of reacting to imprecise labels, we’d be WAY better off!

      • Amy January 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

        Well, that absolutely makes sense. Much like your 50 Shades reference–not really enough to say, “That book is bad!” Gotta explain what makes it so awful.

  3. Jessi January 30, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Oh, I just wanted to stand up and cheer while reading this!! I’m just launching a blog myself (after years of battling myself whether to do it or not…I kept thinking, “There are voices out there saying these things already, mine’s not needed”…but I’ve come to the conclusion, we will all be heard by different people, in different contexts, in different places…so EVERY voice is needed. So, I’m just starting to raise mine. But today, in reading this, I felt like it would have just been as effective to link to you and say “Yeah! What SHE said!!” :)

    Thanks for such an excellent post!!!

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks, Jessi! I’m so glad you did start a blog–it looks great! And you are so right–our personal context and relationships are all different, and are absolutely PRIMARY! Every voice is needed. I’m glad you’re raising yours. :-)

  4. Secret Disciple January 30, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Indeed Jenny, I think you are correct about how the labels don’t fit a lot of people. Although I would say I am way out on the egalitarian side of your continuum, I think that strong arguments from the edges of this debate are generally hurtful to people in the middle.

    The arguments from the ends of the spectrum tend to both be oppressive in some ways, and the big, society-wide ideas of gender relations cannot exactly be focused down into the lives of individual people. I have learned, in trying to apply sociological theory to people’s lives, that it inherently doesn’t fit at an individual level. Sociologists have often said this, but it seems to go ignored often times. Sociology must be “translated” through the particularities of context and person and perhaps informed by psychological theory before it can be useful for some social unit as small as a family. You usually end of with something that does not look so much like any sociological ideal.

    Amy. I agree that there is more to the story. Christianity has allowed the culture it has been immersed in to overwhelm certain foundational ideas. Sometimes I am incredulous that patriarchy has managed to dominate in spite of a clear doctrine of equal relationship to God. I think that this idea by itself should be able to bring about justice. Sigh. It doesn’t seem like it has though.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      “The arguments from the ends of the spectrum tend to both be oppressive in some ways.”

      Oh, that is SO true! Well-intentioned cultural crusaders are often so fervent that they are blinded to where people are actually at, and can cause a lot of damage by trying to change people/society too quickly. We want things to be perfect NOW, but in reality, there is a process that people have to go through to make healthy, lasting change. Ungraciously insisting on immediate compliance should be reserved for the most extreme circumstances. (“No–really–don’t kill those babies just because they’re twins–that really doesn’t mean that one of them was fathered by a devil!”) Sometimes, righting an injustice makes things even worse for the victims. Everything has to be weighed.

  5. Craig Ketchum January 30, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Thank you so much for this.

  6. Mabel January 30, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Secret Disciple: I am an active CBE member, and have started CBE Houston chapter with a few like minded people last year. I am super active in reading blogs on both sides of the argument. To this day, I have not found it to be true that “The arguments from the ends of the spectrum tend to both be oppressive in some ways,” . The misconception may be that Egalitarian means genderless. I do not know of any group of people, any website, any egalitarian, that believes we should be genderless. CBE is founded on the ideal of Gal 3:28. We operate on gift based, not gender specific guidelines. For this, every time I see people say “the extreme of egalitarianism”, I would like to see quotes. I spend hours every day on the internet learning about this, and I fail to see what damage would result from the belief that men and women can both be equally called by God to serve in any capacity and husbands and wives should have a mutual relationship without hierarchy. Please teach me.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Mabel! I could be wrong, but my assumption was that SD was referring to the sociological end of things–that forcefully insisting someone else accept your view and change can backfire, which is true. The problem is not with believing or teaching the “extremes” (and I, like you, don’t find any aspect of egalitarianism extreme), but in being extreme in the way we advocate for it.

      For example (moving from egalitarianism for a moment), take the movement to eradicate female genital mutilation. Most of us would agree that FGM is morally wrong, and should be shut down *yesterday.* And yet, while we have pressured governments to make the practice illegal, it hasn’t done much to stop the practice. And uncircumcised girls still struggle in their societies. However, the anti-FGM movement really started becoming more effective when we stopped insisting on having things done OUR WAY RIGHT NOW, started listening more, and collaborated with tribal leaders on how to best phase this practice out of existence. That’s dealing with people where they are at, even if it doesn’t make us feel as good about our progress on the issue, or quench our moral outrage, or make us feel like we’ve “done our duty” by condemning the practice.

      Anyway, I could be wrong, but I think that’s what SD was saying. There’s definitely a time to draw a line, hard. But sometimes those lines just make it harder for people to cross over to the other side.

      • Secret Disciple January 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

        Hi Mabel,

        It sounds to me like you are in the productive middle of the discussion. I do happen to have friends and acquaintances who actually do advocate genderless society and female superiority. Not very many of them, but a few. Paula brings this issue into the conversation further down the thread, and I am sure you have read that part of the discussion.

        And Jenny, I agree with how you interpret my post.

        I do think any viewpoint can be applied in a way that oppressive. My grandparents became ideologically egalitarian sometime in there 70’s, but I don’t think they ever managed to change all of there behavior and language to reflect that belief. I don’t think it is fair to condemn there incomplete attempt though. To say they were bad egalitarians because they didn’t manage to function in complete accordance with those ideas is to ignore there humanness out of idealism, which is a trap any of us idealists are prone to fall into.

    • Sara February 3, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      In many ways, our extended family was living both extremes of the spectrum over the last ten years. My husband and I were members at an evangelical church that was theologically complementarian and cuturally even more conservative when it came to mens and womens roles. My sister and brother in law, on the flipside, were extremely egalitarian, to the point of rejecting gender differences.

      I do think both extremes were oppressive. On one hand, our family was surrounded by a culture that said women had to submit to men, could not lead in church, could not have careers after marriage and motherhood, etc. This was oppressive to me (phew…I said it!). After almost 10 years, our family moved overseas and I’m only now beginning to figure out what the heck I do believe about men and women’s roles in the church and family. On the flip side, my sister and brother in law had a little girl. They were trying so hard to be egalitarian that they wouldn’t let her be a little girl. They wouldn’t let her wear pink or dress up like a princess or watch disney movies. While I understand their reasons (and agree with some of them), I think this refusal to see men and women as actually different was oppressive to my niece. I remember one particularly funny picture of her dressed like a bee at a princess party – she looked pretty sad.

      • Jenny Rae Armstrong February 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

        Oh, that’s tragic!!! Poor little bee. 😀

        To me, the whole point of letting go of restrictive gender roles is so that you CAN be the unique person God made you to be–even it that’s startlingly traditional. I loved dressing up as a little girl (in fact, I had several showdowns with my mother in my preschool years because of my insistence on wearing dresses, instead of pants–I distincly remember rolling down a grassy hill to intentionally destroy pair of jeans), it would have broken my heart to have had to work outside the home when my kids were babies, and–I’ll say it–I ADORED my Barbies. Played with them All. The. Time.

        But I also had a hard-core Hermione edge–I could never keep my mouth shut about what I knew or believed to be true, and couldn’t pretend to ignore intellectual or moral dissonance. Which doesn’t fit well into the quiet, submissive follower routine.

        I just don’t see why a person shouldn’t be free to express all of who God made them to be. Bring on the ball gowns! Bring on the geeky books! Why should anyone find that threatening?

  7. Tim January 30, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Great call for standing in the common ground as we look into doctrinal matters, Jen.

    And tossing labels? Yes, please! Did you see Karen Swallow Prior’s piece at her.meneutics last week? She touched on the hazards of a binary mindset, albeit in the context of the abortion debate.

    This whole idea that people can be divided into categories can lead to such hurtful marginalization.

    Blessings,
    Tim

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      I just read Karen’s piece now. Very good! Thanks for linking to it–I’m definitely behind in my blog reading lately!

  8. Paula January 30, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Delicately written! :-)

    Regarding the continuum, I think the extremes are male rule/ female rule, with equality the fulcrum between them (see http://www.fether.net/2008/08/22/a-false-dichotomy/ ). Equality is, by definition, the lack of extremity, the midway point, the neutral position. By framing the debate between that midpoint and one end, the game is rigged; no matter who moves in what direction, the male supremacy side wins.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Oh, what an interesting point, Paula! I never thought of it that way.

  9. joanne January 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Hear, hear!

  10. Mabel January 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    “Equality is, by definition, the lack of extremity, the midway point, the neutral position. By framing the debate between that midpoint and one end, the game is rigged; no matter who moves in what direction, the male supremacy side wins.” AMEN. EXCELLENT.

    My motto is: Educate, Agitate, and Advocate. I believe there’s a place for agitation. Demonizing, no, but agitation, yes. I agitated at my church, asking pointed questions and so far no-one came forward to answer. I hope pastors and elders do look behind their backs when they talk. Last Saturday, during small group leaders meeting, someone said how he started reading the bible everyday and came across verses that his wife should know: esp. about submission. It was tongue in cheek, but the senior pastor IMMEDIATELY stopped him. He knows such jokes won’t be looked kindly on by me, sitting there. I don’t know if it would have happened had I not agitated. There are many such instances. I know I do agitate too much in the early part of my journey and I have mellowed since. But my position is 100% egalitarian. How can you hurt anyone by saying: there is NO gender specific HIERARCHY, Jesus had leveled the playing field.

    I do hear you, Jenny. There are extreme rhetoric, maybe. But we are the underdog and constantly being attacked, mercilessly. It is frustrating to see how many follow Piper, buy Mark Driscoll’s book, and listen to Mary Kassian. How many comments on internet blog take for granted that God created men and women and give them different roles, that it is crystal clear in the bible that women should have no authority over men, etc. etc. If we do bark, forgive us.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      Absolutely, Mabel! I totally agree with you on this. And this is not ONLY a theological or sociological issue–this is, truly, a matter of oppression. The question is not whether we speak out, or “agitate” (although I REALLY hate that term!)–it is *how* we do it, and where our hearts are at as we do. And I don’t want to overlook the fact that there are people within the complementarian camp who can move people toward freedom and change because of their place in the spectrum, or dishonor the validity of their contributions. Even if I don’t agree 100% with their conclusions, or don’t think they go far enough down the road toward equality, I can still acknowledge they are ON the road, and that many of them do tremendous good.

  11. Don Johnson January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Here is how I see it, I see Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc. teaching the full equality of all people, of course they did it INSIDE the cultures that they found themselves in at the time. And I see the establishing of equality as a issue of justice, so I cannot just watch from the sidelines.

    As Paula pointed out, equality IS the moderating middle claim, that neither males nor females should be in charge just because of their gender.

    However, I do recognize there are different flavors of masculinism and I applaud any and every move towards equality. There are some who think of themselves as ultra-soft comps, that is, essentially egalitarian except for some symbolic difference. I have no exegetical argument with those types. But as the potential for systemic abuse increases depending on the amount of deference to gender hierarchy is taught (so, no way to sugar coat the reality) I get increasingly concerned.

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      That’s a great way to look at it, Don. And yes, certainly, Jesus taught equality and challenged the powers-that-be, and yet, social reform was not his highest priority. Finding that balance–not shrinking back in fear, not being cowed into silence and acceptance, while not charging forward out of well-founded outrage–is crucial. I think of it kind of like the difference between MLK and the Black Panthers–MLK spoke up, he called people to something better, but there were certain things he would not resort to, and he seemed more focused on creating allies then eviscerating “enemies” of equality.

      • Paula January 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

        I think we need to recognize the conditions of a given confrontation. Certainly in the general Christian community we aren’t going to accomplish anything by marching up the sanctuary isle with picket signs. But on the other hand, there are many aggressive, slanderous blogs and message boards where genuine believers are being called lost, Satanic, or subversive; lives are being ruined; teachings such as “suffering for Christ” are being twisted into the right of some professing believers to abuse others.

        It is in such situations that we cannot play nice. Those who engage in such appalling rhetoric see any and all restraint from their opponents as weakness and capitulation. They fight dirty; they have control of the playing field overall (seminaries, book sellers); they have the money and prestige to keep the majority on their side. “There is a time for everything”, and we must allow those egals who enter the unfair arena to fight hard, without tying their shoelaces together and telling them to be sure and hold up one pinkie finger while wielding a sword. 😉

        • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

          Fair enough! Although sometimes the best way to fight is just to model something better. Sometimes all the swashbuckling really is needed, and sometimes it’s just a distraction. That’s where discernment comes in!

  12. erin a. January 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I really like this post, Jenny. I have only recently come to see how egalitarianism is firmly rooted in scripture. Prior to that, I was very hesitant to apply that term to myself, even though my husband and I have never had hierarchy in our marriage. I thought I was going against the Bible, to except egalitarianism.
    The labels are extremely unhelpful, most of the time. I understand why people feel unfairly picked on, during this debate, like your friend on twitter.
    My background is being in a fairly strong patriarchal culture. As I grew up, and saw the darkness and hurt within many of the families, I could see the inherent harm in the male hierarchy ideology. When followed logically, it is usually harmful.
    I think so many good people feel hurt by the attacks to their ideology, because, there are many really good people in the “Comp” camp. But, I tend to think, they don’t really follow the logic of their own doctrine. There are many people who are confused by attacks to complementarianism, because they can honestly say, “But, I do respect my wife! I do love her like my own body! I consider her voice and needs above my own!”
    I tend to believe that many of these people aren’t really in as much agreement with their ideology label as they may think. They may be, like I was, afraid to have any other label. They still want to believe the Bible, and have never heard a sound argument for the other side.
    So, yes, grace and understanding in the discussion. Look for points of agreement for a good starting point.

    Also, loved the comment thread on this one!

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong January 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Erin. There are SO many people who consider themselves complementarian because that is all that they have been taught, and they want to be biblically faithful. But they don’t live according to hierarchical ideals because they know in their heart of hearts that it is not honoring to God or to their partner. Living in that space can create a tremendous amount of moral and intellectual dissonance, if you’re the sort of person who spends time pondering those issues. It certainly did for me! Yes–grace for the journey!

  13. Elena Johnston January 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for this fantastic, grace-filled post!

  14. perfectnumber628 February 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    “Sure, it can be helpful to know what the “norm” is, especially if you’re struggling to understand someone of the other gender. But we can’t let the norm overshadow the individual.”

    Yes! This is exactly how I feel about the differences between men and women- we shouldn’t force people into certain roles just based on gender, but at the same time it is really helpful for me, when I have a disagreement with my boyfriend, to know that the way he sees things is actually really common for men- it’s not because there’s something wrong with him. :)

    • Jenny Rae Armstrong February 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      “It’s not because there’s something wrong with him.” Ha! As a woman who lives in a houseful of rammy boys, I hear you!

  15. Gina February 10, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    I love the Scriptures, but they are not inerrant, and do not reflect the fullness of God, who is not male.

    I don’t care if you’re nice about it. I don’t care if you don’t “intend” to hurt women, or misogyny is just a “misinterpretation” of a “perfect” verse. If a verse gives the reader an opportunity to hurt women and restrict their voice/role/authority/sexuality in society, then it is wrong. I am tired of the Bible being used to hurt women.

    • Tim February 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Gina, doesn’t every verse in the Bible give the reader the opportunity to hurt others? That is, mis-use of Scripture is always a possibility. Satan did it to Jesus himself in the wilderness. That doesn’t mean the Scripture itself is wrong.

      Blessings,
      Tim

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