My Annual Futility Rant
You know what’s really ironic about the typical arguments used to support male supremacy (MS) in Christianity (I’m talking about the ones that say “All women are this or that, all women lack the other”)?
If it’s a matter of a “nature” that is lacking in an ability or quality, then why do MSers need to make up rules to keep women from doing what MSers say they can’t do?
For example, many MSers say that women lack the fortitude or wisdom or gifting to confront error as required to lead a church. But if women lack those things, then why order them not to do it? It would be like ordering goldfish to stop doing calculus; it’s utter nonsense.
Similarly, if men have to control women because women as sinners would be unable to resist “usurping authority”, then why is it that women are not likewise supposed to control men because as sinners they would be unable to resist “lording over” or abusing? To then argue that men can control themselves but women cannot is to say that women are an inferior class of beings or are perpetual children; there is no escaping this conclusion, though every MS would deny it anyway.
Egalitarians or “mutualitsts” have always argued that in Christ we are to do whatever the Holy Spirit has gifted us to do, and there is no hint in the NT that this gifting is based upon or divided by aspects of the flesh, social class, or nationality (Gal. 3:28). We see in scripture that there are certain qualities we can observe in anyone who feels gifted to lead or teach, but there are no explicit statements that would effectively negate Gal. 3:28.
This is the key distinction between flesh-based and gift-based theologies: the former judges an entire class of people by their genetic or social standing, while the latter only considers the individual’s gifts and abilities; the former judges by appearances while the latter judges the heart; the former shows favoritism (James 2:1) while the latter is impartial. If men are chosen or rejected as “pastors” based upon individual qualities and not classes or groups of men, then to reject all women as “pastors” is a completely different situation, in spite of the attempts of MSers to equate the two. You either judge people by the flesh or by the heart.
The “roles” MS teaches exposes the flesh-centric partiality of their theology. All the books, seminars, pledges, manifestos, blog articles, etc. would be completely unnecessary if women truly lacked what MS says they lack. Every time they say for example that women are “emotional” or men are “logical”, they’re saying men and women are two different kinds of beings, because if men and women are both equally human, then logic and emotion are matters of the individual, not the class.
But what good does it do to explain these things to MSers? What can be done to open the eyes of those who love hierarchy and thus reject the priesthood of the believer and Jesus’ teaching that we are all brothers and sisters? I try, I give up, I try again, I give up again. Maybe it’s time to heed that saying about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Given that there are many fine resources for mutualist teachings now, and given that so many are finally leaving “church” because of it’s legalism, mind control, and obsession with culture instead of the gospel, I think my time would be better spent simply teaching what scripture says instead of fighting against what it doesn’t say. I know, I’ve said this before, and I keep getting dragged back into a skirmish here and a battle there. But this lost world needs the gospel of freedom, and these entanglements with MS theology are slowing us down.
That’s where something like training materials or lesson plans come in. I’ve been working on a NT study tool (link) which includes links to my commentary, and I’ve written some books (link). I’ll still blog when I can (you know I can’t resist picking apart badly-argued articles), but I’m really tired of the “trenches”. I think that the more we all just spread the GOOD News the better.