“A complementary angle is two angles that add up to 90 degrees.”
After last week’s explosion over at the Gospel Coalition and Jared Wilson’s article consisting of that dreadful quote by patriocentrist Doug Wilson from Credenda Agenda, it is interesting to see the slurs flying every which way. I see patriocentricity pouring into mainstream evangelicalism and wonder how much flood damage will occur before one of the self-proclaimed leaders of complementarianism will speak out. I am not holding my breath. It is difficult to write about something so nebulous, especially if you make your living having an opinion that plays well to your sycophants. At this point, I am hoping beyond hope that Mary Kassian will address the teachings of Doug Wilson and now the ideas that have been put forth over the weekend by the Bayly brothers. It would take a lot of stamina because these guys are just plain mean bullies but if anyone in the original complementarian camp could do it, it would be Mary.
Religion researcher, George Barna, startled the evangelical world last summer when he reported the latest findings on the changes in religious activity in the lives of women during the past twenty years. He found that church attendance had dropped 11%, meaning that for the first time in American history, the majority of women, 56%, no longer attend church services during any given week. He discovered that 10% less women read their Bibles during the week with just four out of ten now doing so. This comes as no surprise since the number of women who believe the Bible to be a reliable resource for life and practice has dropped to 42%. And though Barna says women “have traditionally been the backbone of volunteer activities in the church,” there has been a whopping 31% reduction in the non-paid female work force in churches!
What does this all mean?
A friend of mine and I have been discussing this subject for months now. This is where we both are:
We are born again Christians who trust in Christ alone for our salvation. We believe that God’s word is inerrant in the original manuscripts. We are conservative and pro-life. We are homeschooling moms. We adore our husbands and are recipients of that same adoration! We purpose to daily practice the one anothers in our relationships. We have a heart for those who struggle and know the Gospel is the only means for life and godliness. We both have experienced spiritual abuse at the hands of legalistic patriocentrists. We both have chosen grace over man-made rules. We are both are strong, articulate women who speak and write with passion and have been gifted in many areas, including leadership and administration. So what is the problem? We are conservative so the churches and denominations that are inclined to open their doors to women and these sorts of gifts also are pro-choice and some are now even opening their arms to homosexual relationships. Conservative churches typically straight-jacket women and even the good, solid evangelical ones are slip-sliding further down the patriarchy/patrioentricity path.
Where do we fit into the body of Christ? The Barna research tells me that we are not alone in asking that question.
Last week this story was left on my FB page where I linked to my article on which view of complementarianism is correct and the more I have thought about it, the more I think it needs to be discussed! The writer, my friend, Ilene, asks if her parents were complementarian? What do you think?
Very interesting blog post. So what is it? Anyone’s guess (opinion). My parents were complementarian, in that Dad was the head of the household, but Mom was the neck that turned the head, or so they used to joke. In the church, my parents were both licensed ministers, and Mom acted as Dad’s assistant. She ran the children’s, mission’s, and women’s ministries. She played the piano and directed music in churches where that was a need, and she also sang special numbers and played the accordion. No one had to be hired for those jobs, because she ministered at Dad’s side…two for the price of many, a real asset in times of a tough economy. She frequently spoke from the pulpit, and I have a book of her sermon notes. She also went with Dad on most hospital and pastoral calls. Pastoral calls, what were those? They were visits to the homes of all the parishioners. I didn’t like those pastoral calls because I had to go along, and I was taught appropriate behaviors for those situations. I remember that I could not ask for candy from a candy dish unless it was offered, and I recall looking longingly at many a candy dish. I became an avid reader, as I most often went “calling” with a favorite book under my arm. If the weather was nice, I got to stay outside and play. Mom never had a paid job outside the home but never criticized those who did. She took joy in her service to family and church, and Dad joyfully whistled his way through each day. “Whistling girls and crowing hens will always come to to some bad ends,” he used to laugh, while teaching me to whistle. I still whistle, and recognize that the rhythmic breathing required has a calming effect. They grew churches differently back then, but they did grow and thrive under that form of leadership. Do you think they were complementarian?