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Are complementarians or egalitarians right?

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Nothing like a little early morning conflict to warm up the day.

Both, and neither, but leaning toward complementarian. Absolutism in either direction is a recipe for disaster.
What I would love to have is a discussion where everyone really considers the opposite position .... after all, this is not a condition for salvation, and sincere believers in Christ and lovers of Christ are found on both sides of the argument.

What I have found is that people just expound their own position (and get quite agitated), but have no intention of trying to see the opposing point of view .....

You see, in my opinion, while it is easy for me as a woman, to understand why men would want to uphold the complementarian position (why on earth wouldn't they?) .... yet it is a rare man who ever tries to imagine himself in a permanently subordinate position .... for no reason except for something intrinsic in his being, over which he has absolutely no control.

I must say, the whole long drawn out battle has given me a real appreciation about how other minority groups feel.

Does anyone want to explore this without bashing me over the head screaming "I'm right, I'm right, submit, submit" ?


Historically, there are lines drawn on the roles of men and women in church. I guess that puts me more on the complementarian side of it.
Charis you will find some of the most avowed egalitarians are male and complementarians female. I think the men on this board understand full well what it is to put themselves in a subordinate role due to nothing but something intrinsic in them. Accepting that you are a poor miserable sinner in need of the blood of Christ does that. Perhaps you need to drop the preconceived notions you have already painted the men of this board with. They are not a bunch of knuckle dragging brutes. Even the complementarian ones.

Actually I have noticed that this type of discussion often goes something like an abortion debate; many men feel they can't say anything about it unless they are going to support the woman's opinion. And if they do otherwise they are trepidatious. That is not always so, but I find it very common.

I also do not believe statistics will show that women are a minority group. I know in canada there are slightly more women overall.

I was once asked to leave a church because my wife expressed a complementarian view that was different from the accepted one.

Both views deny Scripture. Consider this, the Proverbs 31 woman took care of her husband's household. Clearly a complementarian role. But once she left the house, she answered to know one. Instead, men answered to her. She had an outside job and separate investments from her husband.

I dare say, such a relationship is illegal for a married couple in the United States.


you said

"Perhaps you need to drop the preconceived notions you have already painted the men of this board with. They are not a bunch of knuckle dragging brutes. Even the complementarian ones."

now I have just read my post again carefully, and nowhere have I implied that the "men of this board" are anything at all!

I have just joined this board .... how could I make any such assessment?

What I am reporting is my experience both in the churches I have attended and other boards I have participated in ..... and yes, I agree that some women are quite as aggressively complementarian as some men are (notice I am saying "some").

That is why I ended my post "hopeful" .... because I really would like to discuss this properly .... that is to look at both sides .... as I mentioned, very reputable scholars are lined up on both sides of this fence.

JL Vaughn

take pity on a confused Aussie .... why "such a relationship is illegal for a married couple in the United States." ???

I began as a complementarian ..... but it was more a matter of believing what I had always been taught without thinking about it too much. My pastor told me that is what the Bible said, so who was I to argue with him?

It is only as I have studied, and learned, that I began asking questions .... only to be told "don't you worry about that" ... I didn't need to understand, just obey. .... why? ..... didn't women need to know? Mind you, I was in a strongly complementarian dioscese ....

I would be interested to know why you think both views deny scripture?


In the US, a husband is legally responsible for his wife's financial dealings and vice-versa.

To the extent that the wife is to run or take care of her husband's household, the relationship is complementarian. Elsewhere, she has no authority over her husband. I Tim 2, says that the way it is outside the church, don't place a woman over her husband inside the church. (This passage says nothing about men in general. It only addresses the woman's relationship in the church with respect to one man, her husband.)

A woman's relationship with all other men is egalitarian. Contrary to what churches often claim. It is not, all men in authority over all women. As I mentioned, the Prob. 31 woman had her own male servants.

I am sure you read the rules of engagement here Charis. Given what they say there was no need to issue a specific request that men not beat you on the head. This said to me that you felt they would do so given the first chance. Most of the posters here do take the charge to be irenic seriously and we have had good discussions about this in the past. There is no need to think they will be uncharitable.

JL in the city of man, what you say is correct. But in regards to this issue there are two components usually discussed; a woman's relation to her husband and authority and order in church meetings.

*edited to sound less mean*
Egalitarians___________________________________________________________ Complementarians

In relation to the line above, I fall definitely right of center. To do determine just how far would, I think, require narrowing the question into specific areas and drawing conclusions based on the particulars.
Vince, don't think the link you posted is working.
Here are two articles I put together looking at the 2 great controversial passages of 1 Tim 2:11-15 and 1 Cor 14:33-35. You can click on the links below.

Women in Ministry (Part 1)
Women in Ministry (Part 2)

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