Saturday, April 8, 2017

Complementarian or Egalitarian, God's Way or Our Way

Is 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

There is a right way to do things, and there is a wrong way to do things. There is no in between. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him, (John 14:6) so too are all things under His authority. (Col 1:15-18) The Bible says we will all give an account for everything we did and said. (Romans 14:12)We will all stand before the righteous judge, the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:5)

It is no surprise that the world today is doing what seems right in its own eyes. Unfortunately, the influence of the church has dwindled over the centuries to the point that one can hardly discern the difference between the world and the body of Christ. I have personally found that discernment on this issue is found in what a person or congregation believes about marriage. While I hear the Gospel is some congregations, and from the lips of Christians, it is what they believe about marriage and what they believe about the roles of men and women that tell the greater story. In fact, once you get a firm grip on what they believe about the latter, it will really tell the story of what they believe about the Gospel.

If a person believe that marriage is one man and one woman for life, then it is most likely they also understand the roles of men and women as they pertain to family, the church, and society. Those who disagree with God’s order of things as it pertains to the roles of men and woman are usually those who have caused the greatest threats to society. I believe feminism, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and gender identity are all results of people believing that the roles of men and women are equal. There is no mistake that the invisible war today is between men and women. 

Before I jump ahead, I want to make it perfectly clear that men and women each have specific roles under the headship of Christ. Therefore, both the man and the woman will give an answer to the Lord Jesus Christ according to their understanding of those roles. I believe these roles are complimentary to each other and work in accord to best glorify the Lord. Any deviation from these roles and there will be consequences. This is what I am talking about when I say that many of the worlds problem are directly related to a man not being the man according the role that God had made for him, and woman not being the woman according the role God has made for her.

The greatest tragedy in our society is the destruction of the father and his role as protector and provider for his family. Prisons are filled with fatherless men. The man has failed in his role and this is directly related to what happened in the Garden of Eden. The enemy of our souls is the spiritual force behind this attack, and it all started right after the first marriage. The serpent did not attack the man, he waited until after the marriage and went subtlety after the weaker of the one-flesh. (1 Peter 1:7) If he could persuade the woman, he knows that the woman would persuade the man….”Did God say?” (Genesis 3)

A man will find it hard to love his wife as he ought to, and a woman will find it hard to submit to her husband as she should. (Eph 5:22-33) Yet, husbands do not love their wives as they are commanded, and women do not submit to their husbands as commanded. This abandoning of roles has consequences. These consequences are more evident today than ever before. In fact, we see a total disregard for family and the covenant of marriage by feminist militants who are out to destroy the covenant of marriage, the roles of men, and gender roles all together.

If this started in the Garden of Eden, it is culminating in congregations and denominations who believe that is God’s plan. The facts do not lie, and it is not hard to discern that the current homosexual-affirming congregations were the first to allow women leaders and pastors. These women claim that the Bible affords them the same roles as men, and that there are verses to solidify their position.

A side note: I will admit that many of the “pastor” roles women do take are within the limits of their roles (teaching women and children) and the gifts the Holy Spirit has given them (Eph 4:11) , however the clergy/laity system is a whole other ball of wax and I have dealt with this elsewhere here.

The foundational verse of egalitarianism is Gal 3:28.

Egalitarianism is defined as men and women having equal roles in family, church, and society.

They say context is the key for solid biblical hermeneutics. If this is the case, Gal 3:28 is specifically referring to the salvation of believers and not the roles of women in family, church, and society.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

If we look at the verse as a stand-alone verse without context, where do we see that women are equal in roles of family, church, and society? Those who take verse out of context to appease their hearts are not seeking God's will.

Gal 3:25-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The specific verses for women are not hard to understand. Yet, they are in accordance to the roles of men and women under the headship of Christ.

Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

1 Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Gen 1:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

1 Cor 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

1 Timothy 2:13,14 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

It is important to note that the sorrow of mankind in sin was the fault of both Adam and Eve. Since they were one in flesh, they equally share the blame for not remaining in the roles God had for them.
The Matthew Henry Commentary describes it this way:

Matthew Henry Commentary –“The woman, for her sin, is condemned to a state of sorrow, and of subjection; proper punishments of that sin, in which she had sought to gratify the desire of her eye, and of the flesh, and her pride. Sin brought sorrow into the world; that made the world a vale of tears. No wonder our sorrows are multiplied, when our sins are so. He shall rule over thee, is but God's command, Wives, be subject to your own husbands. If man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love; if the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyed with humility and meekness. Adam laid the blame on his wife; but though it was her fault to persuade him to eat the forbidden fruit, it was his fault to hearken to her.”

Any man or women who believe that the roles of man and women are the same has stepped over the headship of Christ. It must be clear that whether the man or woman deviates from the roles specific to their gender, they are in direct conflict with the Lord Jesus Christ. God has made it clear that our ways are not His ways, and though we think it may be best to step outside His bounds on any particular occasion, we have called Him a lar and think that His ways are not best for us, for our family, and for society.

There are clear passages in scripture which speak to the roles of women in society. These are according to God’s ways and His designs so that He will be most glorified. Any man or woman seeking to supplant this order is causing division. Paul addresses this in the way women are to present themselves in the church. A woman is never to teach over the headship of a man. This often is ignored in many areas including social media. There is a fine line of prophecy, evangelism  and teaching a man, and women need to have great discernment when to remain quiet.

1 Timothy 2: 7-15 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

There also clear teachings on how a woman is to love her unbelieving husband, and they do not seek to undermine his role as husband, but instead they are witness to the humility and love of Christ.
 1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Finally is the roles of women as teachers and helpmeets for their husbands. Older women serve the Lord by how they teach younger women and children. This is an invaluable role for the love of Christ.
Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

The last verse is always great contention for many women. Those who want to teach over men must first ignore that they are not to teach over men. Thus, the very argument to teach over men is “teaching over men”. They blaspheme the word of God by ignoring their God given role. If they would only come to realize that their submission under the headship of Christ is the greatest witness of Christ.

As a man, it is much easier to love a woman when she is quiet in her submission to Christ. I am commanded to love as Christ loved me. There is no greater gift from God apart from the Gospel than a helpmeet in the Lord. The clear passages to love and provide for a wife will better exhibit the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and just as He loved us as a Bridegroom, so too must we under His headship remain obedient to the roles He has given us so that we will be a witness to a fallen world. We do this by submitting to Him as His perfect and spotless bride.

In conclusion, I pray that these words and verse would create a new heart in you if you are that man or woman who believes that the ways of the world are better than what the Lord has for us. The world is coming apart at the seams and it is directly related to the destruction of marriage and the destruction of those roles which make marriage so unique. We need spiritual discernment like never before, and the Lord has laid on my heart to preach the Gospel and defend the truth of marriage like never before.

Please join me in praying that eyes and ears would be opened to seeing the richness of God’s word and how the roles of marriage are a representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Complementarianism does not negate the quality, importance, and value of men or women, instead it creates a best was to represent the Gospel. Please pray too that all men and women would first seek the headship of Christ and in doing so would unite on the truth that marriage is one man and one woman for life...not for our sake, but for His glory.  

In Christ's love,