Summary: Although detestable to many people and completely counter-cultural, God’s Word teaches that gender roles are not identical.
Paul, the Complementarian
1. A pastor said: “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” My friend replied, “I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.” Pastor questioned, “How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?” He whispered back, “I'm in the secret service.”
2. Well, the Kingdom of God is much more complex, in some ways, than an army. It is based upon the revealed will of God, not just getting a job done.
3. For example, Augustine was in favor of torturing heretics. Billy Sunday once punched out a man who wouldn’t repent until he would. These are extreme examples, but they make a point: the will of God is not just about competence, results, and what works.
4. This is true when it comes to gender role and leadership in the church. There are many women preachers out there, for example, and many are quite competent. They get the job done. But is this God’s will? Do we look at what works and make the Bible fit what works, or do we let the Bible over ride results or popular culture?
5. I am a complementarian. So of you might think that this means I enjoy complimenting people, and I do. But that is not what I mean. I use the term in reference to differing views on the role of women in the church. I believe women and men are equal in personhood, but different down to their souls; differing roles.
Complementarianism is the view that men and women, though equal in personhood and dignity, have differing roles in family and church, and advocate male leadership in both family and church, while usually acknowledging sameness in other social situations (work force, politics).
Egalatariansm is the view that men and women have the same roles in home life, church life, and all areas. Intelligent people on both sides, but important/clarity.
6. I have no doubt in my mind that Paul taught the complementarian position. Although contemporary social norms pressures many to strain texts, if we ask the proper questions of good interpretation, “What was in the mind of the author?” and “How would the original audience have understood this?”, I think we will settle on a complementarian viewpoint. We do not have to like it. Sometimes what the Bible teaches is distasteful to us: doctrine of eternal hell or salvation exclusively through faith in Jesus. This is not to say that the application of this is as clear as it could be. But the principles are. Agenda-driven interpretation is inferior interpretation.
7. Church meetings are never called “worship” in Scripture, although worship occurred in church meetings. The modern distinction between a church meeting with a lot of music sometimes being called a “worship service” while a Bible study or prayer meeting is somehow not “worship” is an extra-biblical concept and must not be read into the text. The text deals with a church meeting for any spiritual purpose.
Main Idea: Although detestable to many people and completely counter-cultural, God’s Word teaches that gender roles are not identical.