CBMW brought to task for misuse of Scripture and demand for apology

July 24, 2010 — 57 Comments

sign on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Newsflash July 24, 2010

Today I was emailed a letter that was just FedExed to Dr. Randy Stinson and Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III on behalf of the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition which is demanding an apology for harm done to Christian women because of the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Freedom for Christian Women Coalition

July 24, 2010

Dr. Randy Stinson, President
Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
2825 Lexington Road, Box 926
Louisville, KY 40280

And

Dr. J Ligon Duncan III
Chairman of the Board of the CBMBW
First Presbyterian Church
1390 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Freedom for Christian Women Coalition met on July 24, 2010, in Orlando, Florida, and agreed and affirmed this Demand for an Apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood because of the concerns as listed in the following pages.

For the sake of all Christians, men and women, we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, make a public apology for the misuse of Holy Scripture as it relates to women, and cease to publish or promote The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

Sincerely,

Shirley Taylor
Waneta Dawn
Cynthia Kunsman
Janice Levinson
Jocelyn Andersen

Freedom for Christian Women Coalition

DEMAND FOR AN APOLOGY FROM THE COUNCIL ON BIBLICAL MANHOOD AND BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD

At a time in our church history that the main focus should be on winning lost souls and spreading the gospel to a hurting world, we fear for the future because the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood has placed a greater priority on women’s submissive role rather than on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is with that thought in mind that we make these statements.

  1. We are concerned that men are being taught that they are god-like in their relationship to women within the church and home. As the mothers, wives, and daughters of these men, it is our concern that this doctrine is setting them up for failure as Christian fathers, husbands and sons;
  2. we are concerned about the sin that evangelical church leaders commit when they deny the love of Christ fully to women simply because they were born female;
  3. we are concerned about the damage this causes to families when husbands and fathers are told that they have Headship over their wives and daughters;
  4. we are concerned about wife abuse, girlfriend abuse, and abuse to female children that takes place in many homes where evangelical men are taught that they have earthly and spiritual authority over women;
  5. we are concerned that the children who attend churches that subscribe to the principles of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood will grow up not knowing the full redemptive power of the blood of Jesus for both men and women;
  6. we are concerned for the mental and emotional development of girls and boys who attend churches that teach males have superiority over females;
  7. we are concerned that men who are taught that they have Male Headship over a home and church do not feel that they are accountable for abusive attitudes and actions towards women;
  8. we are concerned about the mistranslation of the scriptures by complementarian translation committees and by the false teachings propagated by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  9. we are concerned that pastors who teach and preach male domination/female subordination cannot relate in a loving, Christ-like manner to female members of their congregations because they have already judged them and found them lacking;
  10. we are concerned that the issue of wifely submission, promoted so heavily by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, is more about power and control than about love or obeying the Word of God.

It is because of these concerns that:

  1. We demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood acknowledge the harm that has been done to the church body by The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, confess it as sin, and denounce it;
  2. we demand that denominational leaders and all churches and seminaries which have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do the same;
  3. we demand a public apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, and from all heads of seminaries and Bible colleges that have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, for the inestimable damage this statement has done to all Christians whose lives have been influenced by it;
  4. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to promote the Biblical design of functional equality for all Christians, both men and women;
  5. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to speak out against pastors who continue to demean women and oppress Christians by the use of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  6. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood chastise pastors who claim that abuse of women is acceptable and justified because the wife is not submitting to the husband;
  7. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood make known to every boy and every girl who attend an evangelical church, that God is their head, and that authority over another human being can come only from God;
  8. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach men that they share equally in the burden of society’s ills, and that all that is wrong with society today cannot be blamed on women;
  9. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do everything in their power to teach seminarians to show the love of Christ to both men and women;
  10. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach pastors to be loving towards those Christian men and women who disagree with The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  11. and, finally, for the sake of all Christians, men and women, we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, make a public apology for the misuse of Holy Scripture as it relates to women, and cease to publish or promote The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

Shirley Taylor, bWe Baptist Women for Equality , Presented at the
Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women’s Rights Convention July 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida

AFFIRMED BY THE FREEDOM FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN COALITION AT THE SENECA FALLS 2 EVANGELICAL WOMENS RIGHTS CONVENTION
JULY 24, 2010 IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

 

For more information seebWE blogor Women Submit blog

Cheryl

Posts

57 responses to CBMW brought to task for misuse of Scripture and demand for apology

  1. I believe that the unrealistic demands in this letter, and its polemic tone will do more harm than good to the egalitarian cause.

  2. I have no idea what it will do and have more of a wait and see attitude.
    But I do know that CBMW needs to be taken to task for the violence they have done to the Gospel. And I’m pretty sure any reasoning on the part of egals will do nothing.
    It has done nothing so far.
    Perhaps it’s time for a more direct, in your face, approach.

    I’ll have to wait and see how this all works out.

    What else is there to do?
    Except agree with these ladies and state, point blank, that they are not exaggerating when the speak of the negative effects the Danvers and CBMW have caused.
    It is well past time for such faulty, unchristian garbage to be challenged, and challenged strongly.

  3. Demanding an apology is a waste of time. Rebuking them in love, is not.

  4. Lydia, I would suspect you are right. Perhaps another statement could be made in rebuke if CBMW does not respond to this one. A rebuke is not wrong when an organization has done things that are harming the church.

  5. I suppose they could try a different approach. It does read strong I agree!

    They have been rebuked in love before(CBMW), and they never acknowledged it. They won’t acknowledge this either. They do have a habit or ignoring things that don’t go along with their doctrine.

    It should be interesting.

    I doubt if they reworded with the spiritual pixie dust that CBMW loves to use would change anything.

    I have to admit I have no clue what approach would work. How do you approach those that stonewall? I never have figured that one out personally.

  6. “I have to admit I have no clue what approach would work. How do you approach those that stonewall? ”

    You put out the truth. And you allow debate using scripture. CBMW does not allow serious debate. And they resort to ad hominem that if you question them you are a liberal feminist and rebellious. It is almost impossible to get past that with them. Their goal is to shut down debate on interpretations.

    In effect, we should not even be trying to change their minds. They will need a road to Damascus experience for that because they are too entrenched and this is also part of how they make their living and it is their identity…and they would have to give up their standing and authority.

    We should be engaging everyone else…encouraging them to study the scriptures on their own and to question everything they are taught. Jesus said He left us the Best Teacher. Let’s start reminding their followers of that fact.

    Let us remind their followers not to leave their FIRST LOVE.

  7. While I agree 100% with the contents of the letter (I personally am still dealing with the damage caused by such teaching), based on CBMW’s general approach to those who dare to disagree with them I have the feeling that they either will ignore it completely or turn it into an opportunity to turn the guns on those “evil feminists.”

  8. I have to go with the “more harm than good.” Personally, I’ve been praying for Piper…it seems that he has at least somewhat recognized problems in his own life from following a male-centered theology.

  9. I’m with Kay.

    I think it is important for egalitarians to keep getting their message across, and to keep substantiating that message with Scripture.

    However unless we PRAY for true freedom and equality for all believers, many of the following generations of leaders will hold to (and propagate) the same rigid, patriarchal views as our complementarian bothers and sisters.

  10. I agree with the approach in this CBMW case. There’s been too much damage done. I don’t think the letter is so much about the egal cause as it is about stopping what’s coming out of CBMW which has resulted and will continue to result in damage.

  11. Greg Anderson July 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    On 1 December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery Alabama.

    That’s what it took. Her courage set in motion a whole series of events that ultimately brought down the Jim Crow Laws in the old South. Maybe a demand for an apology from CBMW for the violence done to the Good News of Jesus Christ as Mara so aptly put it in comment #2, is what’s needed now.

    It will be read by many, and many will wonder what the big deal is. Wondering generates questions, and questions are the first steps toward changed beliefs. Wilberforce knew this well when he set out to abolish the British slave trade.

  12. @11 Thank you, Greg! Excellent thoughts! Just some of what I’ve been thinking!

    @2 Yep!

    These ladies know what they are dealing with, and I’ve noted also that they have expertise in abuse… I can only imagine that they have a good idea of what they are doing when it comes to such a problem as CBMW.

  13. What if CBMW says they apologize and then keep on doing what they have always done?

  14. From Martin Luther King, Jr’s, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:

    “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. ”

    Here’s a link to the whole letter:
    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

    The reason the “demand for apology” had to be worded as a “demand” was that other avenues for communication have failed. This one is likely to fail too, but that doesn’t mean it will have no effect.
    If the CBMW ignores the letter, then coalitions like this one must continue to cry out. If they answer with apology and don’t follow through, then the response must be formal rebuke. If (as I think will happen) CBMW answers with a dismissive and demeaning letter, then such a letter will work against CBMW– particularly if it can be brought home that they are dismissing and demeaning women who have legitimate complaints as victims of violence.

    Remember the African-Americans who were attacked with firehoses during their peaceful marches. This was one of the things that turned the tide of public opinion against them.

    It doesn’t matter whether a letter like this is perfect or not– it doesn’t matter whether or not we agree completely with its tone or manner of address. What matters is that people who are being oppressed in the name of Christ are lifting up their voices. I say let those voices be a catalyst for more tension, more non-violent confrontation– until organizations like CBMW HAVE to listen! More of us– especially men who support the cause of women’s freedom in Christ– need to speak up. If someone doesn’t like the format or tone of the letter, then let them add their own voice in whatever manner they think best. But the time for accommodation of abusive religion needs to be over.

  15. Sorry, what I meant to say was:
    Remember the African-Americans who were attacked with firehoses during their peaceful marches. This was one of the things that turned the tide of public opinion against the oppressors.

  16. To those who are posting graphic and disturbing comments off topic from the issue of women in ministry and who have been warned before not to do this, you will not have your comments go through. Please read my disclaimer tab at the top and follow the rules if you want any of your comments to show up. This is my last warning or I will permanently ban these comments so that they won’t even come through to me.

  17. Kristen: the other thing that will work in getting the complementarians to listen to us: loss of income. Has anyone ever thought of the money that is potentially involved in complementarian conferences/resources, and just how profitable those things might be? I’d love to see the financials on an organization like CBMW and see if my theory that they’re making money like nobody’s business is right. If it is, then that has to change.

  18. Kristen, in #14.

    I was moved by your comment. Reminded me of this:

    “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
    –Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin

  19. @Kristen: I love Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Ironically, I, too, had thought of that after I had posted my earlier comment, and while I’m still cautious (that is my nature), I think you (and MLK) may well be right.

  20. Kristen, You make some good points I had not considered.

    “I’d love to see the financials on an organization like CBMW and see if my theory that they’re making money like nobody’s business is right. If it is, then that has to change.”

    It is the speakers who make all the money. As a matter of fact, I heard through the grapevine (I cannot substantiate this at all) that donations to CBMW were down last year.
    Their mailing address is at SBTS which means the SBC is paying their rent. But I do know the big money is in speaking fees, books, seminars, etc. Just look at their website.

    I came to believe a while back that CBMW was established more to market a doctrine and make money for a select few.

  21. If (as I think will happen) CBMW answers with a dismissive and demeaning letter, then such a letter will work against CBMW–

    😉 😉

    the time for accommodation of abusive religion needs to be over.

    Preach it!!

  22. I came to believe a while back that CBMW was established more to market a doctrine and make money for a select few.

    I bet it’s true, Lydia along with some other things…

    Elastigirl,
    Rebel time! Woo Hooo! lol

  23. If (as I think will happen) CBMW answers with a dismissive and demeaning letter, then such a letter will work against CBMW–

    Either way, they are stuck. lol They’re in between a rock and a hard place. If they apologize it will hurt them, if they are dissmissive it will also hurt them. Too bad for them! They are not in a good position at all with this letter.

  24. They may claim in their paternalism that other aberrant groups and lesser individuals have distorted their teachings, but their “good” intentions do not exonerate them.

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/

  25. Andersen said she dedicates an entire chapter in her new book, Woman this is WAR! Gender, Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System, to what she called “mistakes” in the English Standard Version Bible translation due to “androcentricity” when she wrote the book. She said she now believes they weren’t mistakes, but were the result of “deliberate mistranslation” in the ESV Study Bible released in 2008, hailed by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as “unapologetically complementarian.”

    http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5370/53

  26. Andersen said one example of “misogynistic influence” in the ESV is Genesis 5:2, which reads, “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”

    Wayne Grudem, a member of the translation committee, used the verse in a book to make the point that “God named the human race ‘man'” and not some gender-neutral term, suggesting a leadership role belonged to man before the Fall.

    http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5370/53
    After I read the first paragraph above I immediately thought “Grudem was behind that” and then I went on to read the next paragraph an lo’ and behold LOL!

  27. Kristin@14,
    You certainly gave me pause to think (and after all, one of the major reasons I read this blog in the first place is to learn from Cheryl and all who comment here)…so, I’ve really been thinking about your perspective. Perhaps the time has come. I hope you prove correct.

    Alison@17,
    I really think they must be – because publishers grind out their books, etc… by the boat load. And publishers don’t do that if it’s not selling. “$$$” I’m not “Reformed,” but have friends who are and they tell me they are sick and tired of the materials offered for women’s studies. All roads on any subject they study somehow lead to “women submit and men lead.”

  28. @Kay (27): I’m Reformed (Presbyterian) and REFUSE to attend women’s Bible studies and/or read any sort of Christian books geared for women. Besides being total fluff and theology lite (the very accusations many Reformed folk lob at others!), those views of women come through loud and clear. *sigh*

  29. Oh, please, don’t even get me started on women’s Bible study materials. There’s so much junk (that’s the nicest word I can use) out there disguising itself as truth, and that junk, unfortunately sells. The only ones getting rich off this pablum are the authors, whose writings inevitably lead to the “man leads and woman submits” paradigm, as predictably as thunder follows lightning. There is precious little room for critical thinking in these fill-in-the-blank, “follow these 5 (or however many) steps and you’ll be a new woman in 6 months!” studies, and that leads me to question their value in truly edifying the sisterhood they’re aimed at. Their real value is in shoving the submission agenda down the throats of the already-convinced, so they can pat themselves on their collective back and air their superior virtue like peacock feathers. NO real learning (perhaps that’s a little harsh; maybe very little learning) is actually accomplished in the teaching and dissemination of this claptrap.

    I apologize for my tone if I’ve offended anyone. I simply can’t stand these things, nor can I stand the fact that people are profiting off of a doctrine that’s been linked to abuse, degradation and dehumanization of God’s precious creation in women. It’s disgusting, and CBMW sorely needed to be called out on it.

  30. (This is my first time commenting and the following is a re-post of a comment I left underneath an entry from the Wartburg Watch blog.)

    At the moment, my greatest problem with the Reformed community is the lack of prominent, public female leaders, speakers, and thinkers. They don’t have to be “pastors,” but why do only MEN get to speak at conferences such as “Together 4 the Gospel?” Why is it that only MEN are allowed to attend annual “General Assembly” meet-ups, where key decisions are made with regard to the direction of their prospective denominations? Why is it only MEN who are writing on subjects such as Reformed theology, church history, and culture?

    Why is that the women’s voices are only relegated to the subject of Titus 2 revivals and feminism bashing? It seems these days the only way for women to have a voice is only if they have an Oprah-like persona with an “expertise” on the subject of “Biblical Womanhood.”

    Why is that we aren’t considered valuable assets and contributors to the OVERALL theological, intellectual, and scholarly discourse as it relates to the church and its future?

    I notice too, ther’s a fraternity-inspired lingo that surrounds and characterizes these male-dominated conferences and settings. Speakers and pastors constantly make statements like “I enjoy the privilege to get to speak with these MEN,” or to “thankful to be around like-minded MEN” or “to study under great MEN of God such as…” —

    There’s this overwhelmingly constant referral to themselves and to their events as “MEN” events. So it’s very clear to me, that that’s part of their appeal!

    It’s not that there’s a problem with brothers-in-Christ fellowshipping at all…but why can’t they make fraternities and old boys clubs out of “male-geared” events and conferences on “male-specific” subjects such as “Fatherhood,” and “Marriage from a Husband’s perspective? ”

    Yet the “women-geared” conferences are only on such things!

    I don’t appreciate that only MEN are considered the torch-bearers and passers of the “general” subjects like theology and the very GOSPEL itself!

    And don’t even get me started on the utter lack of attention devoted to celebrating the great WOMEN of church history who did not exactly fit into the established “complementarian” mold…

  31. Great comments Radiance, and welcome to my blog!

  32. Radiance,
    I too am amazed that gender specific male conferences are on things that are not male specific like the gospel. To keep women out of these meetings. But the gospel and doctrine does not apply just to men. You were very articulate on your comments, and I thank you for sharing!

  33. The greatest weakness of the CBMW apology demand is that no men were signatories. Perhaps I am prejudging, but I believe on that fact alone, prominent complementarian Evangelical leaders will dismiss the document as a mere “feminist rant.”

    Which leads me to my next thought, which is a continuation of my previous post:

    The complementarian camp’s idolatry of their Titus 2 interpretation leads to this implied assumption that because women are primarily called to be “keepers at home” they’ll have no other insight to offer the church except “homekeeping” advice – for other women of course.

    Okay let’s say for a second then, all women are truly called to be full time “keepers at home” in the way the complementarians understand it.

    What about the “keepers at home” who spend hours and hours of their day (at home) reflecting on Scripture, studying theology, reading about current events, and examining the state of the church? Why aren’t these women allowed to have a public voice on these matters? Why can’t a homemaking “wife and mother” be allowed to represent her denomination and the greater church in debate with a prominent atheist in a public forum? Why does there have to be an emergency meeting of the Sanhedrin to discuss whether a such a woman can lecture seminary students about the lives of early female martyrs?

    I read a quote the other which said, “Dissatisfaction with the status quo is not a vision.” I believe that rather than attempting to engage in back and forth debate with the staunchest of the patriarchalists, dissatisfied believers must take action:

    *If seminaries and theology schools discriminate against women, women must found and start their own.
    *If patriarchal churches are on the rise, egalitarian men and women must plant their own, do the most evangelism and reach out to the lost by giving them a new sense of what “church” looks like in practice.
    * If women are dissatisfied with their frilly, dumbed-down Bible studies, they must start their own.
    * Parents must raise their children to value Biblical equality and warn them of the dangers that befall the church and society whenever equality is not cherished, fought for, and preserved.

    All this must be done without the need or expectation of validation or affirmation from the leaders we disagree with–validation, affirmation, agreement, and RESPECT which may never come.

  34. There is so much in this declaration by the Freedom for Christian Women that is so true and right on, I could not help but be moved by it. Though I do agree with Radiance that it would have been good if FCW had gotten other groups, with significant male membership, to join them, confirming this to be, not a “feminist ranting,” but a clear prophetic call to erring Christians to return to a truer and deeper knowledge of the Gospel Faith they profess to affirm and guard. And perhaps such a coming together of like-minded Christians, we can pray for, hope for and encourage?

    And when I refer to a prophetic call to confront erring Christians who are blind to their departure from Christ and his Word, calling them back to a truer and deeper knowledge and practice of the Gospel Faith, I have in mind what Timothy Keller wrote in THE REASON FOR GOD regarding Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil rights movement:

    David L. Chappell demonstrates that it was not a political but primarily religious and spiritual movment. White Northern liberals who were allies of the African-American civil rights leaders were not proponents of civil disobedience or of a direct attack on segregation. Because of their secular belief in the goodness of human nature, they thought that education and enlightenment would bring inevitable social and racial progress. Chappell argues that black leaders were much more rooted in the Biblical understanding of the sinfulness of the human heart and in the denunciation of injustice that they read in the Hebrew prophets. Chappell also shows how it was the vibrant faith of rank-and-file African-Americans that empowered them to insist on justice despite violent opposition to their demands. Thus Chappell says there is no way to understand what happened until you see the Civil Rghts movement as a religious revival. When Martin Luther King, Jr. confronted racism in the white church in the South, he did not call on Southern churches to become more secular. Read his sermons and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and see how he argued. He invoked God’s moral law and Scripture. He called white Christians to be more true to their own beliefs and to realize what the Bible teaches. He did not say, “Truth is relative and everyone is free to determine what is right or wrong for them.” If truth is relative, there would have been no incentive for white people in the South to give up their power. Rather, Dr. King invoked the Prophet Amos, who said, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). The greatest champion of justice in our era knew the antidote to racism was not less Christianity, but a deeper and truer Christianity (pp.64-65).

    In our struggle to win our erring brothers and sisters back to what the New Testament really teaches about the true unity and equality of men and women in Christ; of our mutual support and partnership in Christian ministry, based on the gifting and calling of the Spirit; of our having equal Kingdom privileges and responsibilities to rule and reign with Christ because we are all citizens of heaven and God’s royal heirs, as Paul teaches in Galatians, Romans and Ephesians; we must do so in the power Spirit, using rigorous, tough-minded argumentation that exposes the false and shallow foundation on which their view rests, while at the same time showing them love and compassion and expressing a true desire for reconciliation. And here again, Dr. King and his followers give us a Biblical model to follow.

  35. The greatest weakness of the CBMW apology demand is that no men were signatories. Perhaps I am prejudging, but I believe on that fact alone, prominent complementarian Evangelical leaders will dismiss the document as a mere “feminist rant.”

    I believe the same thing. But I also believe that the document will have served it’s purpose in the end.

  36. Radiance,

    The greatest weakness of the CBMW apology demand is that no men were signatories. Perhaps I am prejudging, but I believe on that fact alone, prominent complementarian Evangelical leaders will dismiss the document as a mere “feminist rant.”

    Unfortunately I think that is how CBMW will see the demand for an apology. Why do they even need to consider answering when there is no one “worthy” who is on their level who needs an answer. I suspect that they see women wanting the wrong interpretation corrected for the health of the body of Christ as mere pests biting at their ankles.

    What do you think would happen if a godly group of men created a document to complement the women’s demand for apology letter? That would certainly get more attention and maybe even make the annoying little pests have an appear of a much taller opponent.

  37. Radiance,
    You quoted:

    *If seminaries and theology schools discriminate against women, women must found and start their own.
    *If patriarchal churches are on the rise, egalitarian men and women must plant their own, do the most evangelism and reach out to the lost by giving them a new sense of what “church” looks like in practice.
    * If women are dissatisfied with their frilly, dumbed-down Bible studies, they must start their own.
    * Parents must raise their children to value Biblical equality and warn them of the dangers that befall the church and society whenever equality is not cherished, fought for, and preserved.

    I agree with this advice to move ahead. We need to grow where we are planted and unfortunately we cannot always expect our brothers in Christ to open any spiritual doors for us. That is their responsibility. If they fail, that doesn’t mean that we are meant to fall behind too. Our Master is Christ and we obey Him foremost and His marching orders have already been given to us.

  38. Frank,
    You also have excellent comments!

  39. Greetings!

    I have just found your DVD and teachings and am very excited and blessed to see from just the previews that we seem to be on the proverbial same page. Praise Yeshua Messiah!

    Having just returned from a trip to Kenya to see our brothers and sisters there, in Yahweh’s Set Apart Ministries, I was just doing some additional research on the question of head coverings for women, when I found your material. I have ordered the DVD and suspect it will be a great help to both us and them. There has been no end to the concern expressed that I should “not be doing” what I am to which I have replied that the questioners need to take it up with Yeshua since I am His bond servant and just seeking obedience.

    I am just several months in to a large study regarding the “Two Becoming One” pictures I am seeing from Beresheit through Hitgalut/Genesis through Revelation. I already see many connections with what I have seen thus far of your material. If you might be interested, I would love to share what I am seeing thus far for any feedback you might offer. There are several articles so far, a basic explanation of the format using mindmaps, and a (second draft only of the) historical narrative of how the Ruach has led me through increased understandings.

    In any case, may you be blessed and strengthened as you continue on the path of rightly dividing the Word!
    watching and praying in Messiah

  40. Dear all,

    I am from Singapore, i am a male and i serve in a local church here. I would like to share my point of view having studied what everyone said here and what i’ve garnered in my learning. In love and gentleness, i would like to say that i am for both men ministry and women ministry. however, i would also like to share that God created man and woman separately, differently for a reason. i am for Federal Headship not because i am like what most people here say “alpha male theorist” but rather, i would like to take after what God said in the bible paraphrased “the woman ate the apple, but sin entered the world through the man.” how is it so? if both roles are the same, then eve could’ve have taken the rap… but why “sin through adam” then to us? obviously, man – represented his people, and in this case eve. Adam represented the entire world and eve along with it. It was God who gave Adam the position to name all animals ahead of woman being created.

    Over time, as generations degrade and degrade on further… family integrity social fabrics are torn as families no longer are Father, Mother and children but rather ‘man-man & children’, ‘woman-woman and children’ or simply ‘woman-children’ or ‘man-children’. These children grow up without vital perceptions of family intact or having their spiritual, emotional, physical and social side nourished. They grow up impaired and join with other impaired children building upon errors of errors to form our society today… Today, man are weak, wimpy, chauvinistic and dominating for the wrong reasons. I, in church am doing my best to portray manhood in its biblical manner… while working along with woman to win as many souls as we can for Christ. But when man fail to do their role, God will arise other beings to replace it, even Donkeys!

    Both man and woman are responsible for their own walk with God. Of course men do not open door for women! The only person who opens door is God and the Son Himself and the Holy Spirit. But we didnt design the family system, it was God. Our ‘singlehood’ is in preparation of our ‘familyhood’. In my church, and majority in asia, majority churches have more woman strongheads and leaders than man… it is very worrying because this spills over to life examples and their life outside church.

    In Love of Christ and His ever Glorious Church
    Jeremiah (Acts 20:24)

  41. Jeremiah, there are other ways to explain sin coming through Adam than “federal headship.” Such a concept is never explained in the Bible. Genesis 3 and 1 Timothy 2 both say, however, that Eve sinned through deception, while Adam sinned even though he wasn’t deceived. Was not his eyes-wide-open, fully aware sin more culpable than Eve’s? Paul said that the woman “has come to be in the transgression” through being deceived.” This would mean that the transgression was Adam’s through his fully aware choice.

    The rest of what you talk about appears to be a blaming of all modern social problems on the disruption of some assumed social order that you believe was God-planned and God-ordained. But there is actually nothing in the Genesis stories (especially if you read Genesis 2 in light of Genesis 1) that shows that the man was designed by God to be in charge over the woman. That state of affairs didn’t happen till Genesis 3, when the Fall resulted in the man starting to rule over the woman. In the beginning it was not so.

    Nor is there any evidence that female functional equality is what has brought about modern social problems. Surely you are aware of all the historical social problems that female functional equality has addressed? Women used to be treated as mere chattel, property to be used by men and to serve men. Married women used to have no personhood in the eyes of the law– they were mere appendages of their husbands. Fathers were distant and removed from their children because interacting with children was “women’s work.”

    Modern social problems are not all women’s fault, any more than Adam had any right to blame Eve for his own actions. But that is what Adam did, and that is what the sons of Adam continue to do.

    Your comment about God using women just like He uses donkeys, because He can’t find a good man to use, is more than insulting. It’s unScriptural. There’s nothing in the text that says God raised up Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Esther, Abigail, Priscilla, Euodia, Syntyche, Chloe, Nympha, Lydia, Phoebe or Junia because He couldn’t find a man. He gifted and designed these women for the callings He gave them, just as He does men.

  42. Also, both Jesus and Paul indicated that singlehood in Christianity is not just a preparation for family-hood. Some people are called and gifted by God to remain single– men and women alike. Our high calling is not to form families, it’s to help bring the New Covenant Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is like a spiritual family with God as our Father, Jesus our Eldest Brother, and the rest of us equal-status siblings. See Galatians 4. We are all to become “as little children” when entering the Kingdom– when Jesus spoke those words, it meant to his original audience that we were all to give up any status based on fleshly considerations, like race, wealth or gender, and enter the Kingdom with no status– only to be given the new status of “adopted sons.” Gal. 4:5. That was a term referring to the full status of an adopted person as having all the rights and privileges of a male, freeborn Roman heir. We all have that status, whether male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free. Gal. 3:28.

    It’s time for men to let go of their male-privilege interpretations and become “as little children” too.

  43. Hi Jeremiah,
    I am trying to follow what you are saying but it would be helpful if you could clarify something.
    You said
    “eve could’ve have taken the rap”. You seem to imply that she could have been held responsible because she ate the fruit first, but Adam was held responsible because we are told that “sin came through Adam”.
    You later said
    “Both man and woman are responsible for their own walk with God.”
    Just checking whether you believe Adam was responsible for Eve’s sin or were each responsible for their own actions?
    Thanks Jeremiah.

  44. Jeremiah,
    Welcome to my blog!

    You said:

    i would also like to share that God created man and woman separately, differently for a reason.

    May I respectfully say that while male and female are different in some obvious ways, God did not create them separately but created the woman from the man and as one who was meant to shine forth both God’s glory and the glory of the man.

    As far as the sin of Adam, there are a couple of posts here that will share a different viewpoint http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/05/03/7-paul-adam-accountability/ and http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2006/12/21/why-was-the-sin-of-adam-more-serious-than-the-sin-of-eve-part-one/

    As far as “manhood” and “womanhood” these are not biblical terms and the example for both men and women is Jesus.

    I hope this help.

  45. As one who is not yet decided on this particular topic, I truthfully believe that Complementarians are winning this battle. Why? They don’t say things like, “they need to be taken to task” because “they are mistranslating scripture” and other things.

    The complementarians almost always back up their statements with Scriptural support. All I hear this letter saying is that complementarians have messed up, but I never hear why. At least from complementarians I hear why.

  46. Hi Maxwell. You say that you are not yet decided on this topic, and you seem to be wanting to find out what the scriptures teach. This was the same situation I was in a year or two ago.
    Are there any particular aspects of this subject that you are thinking about at the moment and wondering whether complementarians are correct or not? I am sure that there are some people who contribute here who would be willing to discuss the scriptures with you. I have personally found them very helpful.

  47. Maxwell, my own experience is that many complementarians have said much worse things to me and about me. I’m sure Cheryl, the author of this blog, has had similar experiences. In the eyes of some complementarians, I’m a reprobate feminist and not even saved.

    If you’re looking for scriptural backup, please view the other articles here. Scripture is all over the place. All you have to do is read. :)

  48. I am a complementarian but am a Christian first and feel compelled to express myself in the Spirit of Christ because I believe it matters even more than the subject we are addressing. I am a woman who has been married to an unbeliever for 30 years. I came to faith after my marriage and had no teaching about any of this and had lots of advice from all fronts! I tried lots of ways to live (happily) with my husband but it was stressful and painful until I heard a well-respected Christian woman uphold the teaching of Ephesians 5, Titus 2 and 1 Peter 3. When these Truths were expounded on the way she did it, the scales fell from my eyes and my heart (even though my will was still very stubborn), and I chose, by God’s grace, to obey what the Holy Spirit laid out before me. The result was a gradual healing of the tension between me and my husband and, while he is not yet a believer, the beautiful change in him is unmistakeable and I am reaping wonderful benefits.. Praise God!! God is blessing me and us through, not submission to my husband ultimately but, submission to the true interpretation of God’s heart and Word. Ladies (and gentlemen), I have found that it always comes down to our attitude. Is it a yielding, giving, surrendered Spirit or is it an angry, hostile, resistant spirit. I look at the highest calling Jesus gave, which was to love one another and keep His commandments. I look at the fruit of the Spirit and examine my outlook based on those characteristics in my life. Is my viewpoint making me more loving, joyful, peaceful, long-suffering, gentle, good, meek, faithful and self-controlled? Am I becoming more of a servant or more of a tyrant? The complementarian model is not a threat to women. It elevates women. Our problem is that we so easily look at this issue through the lens of our sin and become convinced that men are using this for their benefit (and, like always, it’s the few who do that ruin the beauty of how God meant it to be) when those who aren’t are trying to demonstrate to women, especially their own wives, how this is meant to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church. For the men, it’s a high, high calling to “lay down their lives” for their wives. The trouble is that many men haven’t gotten that far and besmurch the true, Biblical picture of a godly marriage. Anyway, sorry to have gone on so long but I wanted to help shine a light on this because I understand where you all are coming from and have been introduced and experienced the blessings of complementarianism in my own home and life enough to know that it is, truly, God’s way. It has nothing to do with inequality but everything to do with roles. Only one person can be President of the United States. Only one person can be a husband, a Father. God has distinct and divine purposes for each gender and when accepted and embraced, the functions of the family and church operate so much more smoothly. God bless you all.

    In Christ’s love,
    Cindy

  49. Hi Cindy and welcome to my blog!

    You said:

    God’s way. It has nothing to do with inequality but everything to do with roles.

    The Bible never mentions “roles”. In fact we are told that we are all to submit one to another and that submission is to be the characteristic of a Christian following Christ. This means that the things that you learned about your attitude as a wife were correct in that you are to respect your husband and to serve him as unto Christ.

    The problems come when husband is told that he is not to submit to his wife and that his “role” precludes submission. The comp message is one-sided even though they preach that the husband should sacrifice for his wife. How can sacrifice not include submission to her needs?

    If you read through my blog you will see that I preach mutual submission and that submission is what we are all called to. It isn’t just women who are to submit to Christian men, but Christian men are also to submit to their Christian sisters. This is a submission that is Christ-like, but it foreign to the comp message. They just don’t go far enough so that they have watered down the Word.

    I hope this helps!
    Cheryl

  50. How can sacrifice not include submission to her needs?

    Good point. Not even adding to God’s word that the husband is the “leader” can change this fact. Though there are many comps who say that they submit to their wives also, but not in the same way as the wife is to submit to the husband.
    So what makes the submission from a leader different from the submission from a follower? Is submission submission or can submission ever not be submission if a “leader” is doing the submitting?
    Doesn’t matter who is doing the submitting, submission is still submission, and can be nothing other than submission. Maybe there’s a glorified way of submitting by the husband/leader/boss and an unglorified way of submitting by the wife? I dunno. Can’t wrap my mind around that one.. lol

  51. The comp position has made my head spin and caused confusion many a times in the past as it don’t add up.

  52. Maybe there’s a comp out there who believes that the husband should submit to the wife but that his submission is different than the submission of the wife, and who’s reading this post and the following comments and can explain to me the difference between when a husbands submits to his wife and when a wife submits to her husband?
    I’d like to know the answer to this mystery.

  53. The egalitarian’s real issue, I believe, is one of the heart and its unwillingness to take God’s word regarding the woman’s subjection as literal. How do you square the passage in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 that says, “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.” or 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 where it says: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” I don’t know how you get around the passages of Scripture that speak of some kind of “pecking order.” A submission to a higher authority. It’s not that the husband doesn’t have to submit. He does!!! To Christ!! (As do we) The same Christ Who also, ALWAYS, submitted to His Father in heaven!! Submission has become a “dirty” word in our sinful world. The Trinity has a beautiful submissiveness within it, one to the others. And, it is this same kind of heart that has been given to each of us, male and female. We all are called to submit to SOMEONE!! It’s the way of life!! Within a godly marriage, yes, there is a mutual submission. The Bible speaks in some places of submitting, one to another but it speaks about exclusive submission in other passages like Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18. The general framework for a God-centered family is: children submit to parents; wife submits to husband who submits to Christ Who submits to God. Husband is NOT to be a dictator, but is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and died for the church. The husband has the higher responsibility to make sure he is hearing from God for the true direction of his wife and family. But, because of sin, this doesn’t always work perfectly. But, the husband is to take into account the frailties of his wife, the “weaker vessel.” (I know some women don’t like that very much) In all things, there is order. It’s when one person within that order starts bucking against it, wanting a different or higher position and begins to fuss and fume and find fault and reason to get their way. (And, maybe, it’s just that they believe strongly that their belief is, truly, right.) I urge you to really look at those hard, unmistakeable passages that speak of obedience to husbands and not try to find ways around them or make them say something other than what they say and mean. I’ll finish with this:
    1 Peter 3:4-7 “..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 you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” For the most part, Sara knew her role as Abraham’s wife and obeyed. But, look what happened when Abraham “obeyed” Sara and slept with Hagar. We’ve been paying for that mistake for thousands of years!! We can’t blame God or man’s abuse of what God’s Word truly says and means for what brutally sinful men have done to women. These men, wrongly, use God’s Word to support their sinful hearts and deeds. Unfortunately, that will always be with us. These kinds of men will behave that way with or without the Word of God. It has always been the work of Satan to twist what God has said to hurt both God and man. In defiance of Satan and his tactics, let’s be courageous women and dare to surrender our wills to the will of God and His beautifully ordered picture for family and church and resist believing the lying devil who still accuses with these words: “Has God REALLY said?”

  54. Cindy,

    You said:

    The egalitarian’s real issue, I believe, is one of the heart and its unwillingness to take God’s word regarding the woman’s subjection as literal.

    Not at all. I believe that egalitarians who are like myself want to respect the whole word of God so that God’s Word can be respected in the way it was written. Take Ephesians 5:15-6:9. So many comps are tempted to leave out the full extent of what Paul has said in this passage. Probably the best sermon I ever heard explaining this entire passage (the passage doesn’t end with chapter 5 but goes onto chapter 6) is found in a recent sermon preached on October 23, 2011 at a Baptist church with the audio found here:
    http://fbc2010sermons.posterous.com/spirit-filled-relationships-part-iii

    I commend this pastor for a fine job of giving us a huge picture to see from the passage and I would really recommend people listen to the audio and see how well the pastor brings out everything in context that leads to true Christian submission.

    You asked:

    How do you square the passage in 1 Timothy 2:11-14…or 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

    I would also recommend that you have a look at my DVD set that goes through all of these passages in depth. You can click on the DVD tab at the top of the page to order, or to see free clips of the DVDs or to read reviews of the DVDs. There is also a lot of material on this blog that will answer your questions.

    You said:

    The Bible speaks in some places of submitting, one to another but it speaks about exclusive submission in other passages like Ephesians 5:22

    That isn’t true. In fact the Greek word for “submission” is not even in verse 22. The only way to pick it up is to go back to verse 21 where the term is mutual.

    You said:

    Submission has become a “dirty” word in our sinful world.

    I agree and it should not be a dirty word. In fact it should not be a dirty word for anyone including men as Christ Himself set the example on how to put others first and to show respect and honor. We are all to follow Christ and when we understand what submission truly means, we will willingly give honor, respect and hold up others for the sake of Christ.

    In all things, there is order. It’s when one person within that order starts bucking against it, wanting a different or higher position

    The Bible does not talk about authority within the marriage union except for mutual authority over each others bodies. When God made the man and the woman there was no ordering of the relationship and no hierarchy. Both were given the responsibility to rule the world and neither was given the responsibility to rule the other.

    You said:

    But, look what happened when Abraham “obeyed” Sara

    I believe that we must not be selective when we quote Scripture. It wasn’t always a good thing when Sarah obeyed Abraham and on the other hand God Himself told Abraham to do what Sarah told him to do:

    Genesis 21:12 (NASB95)
    12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.

    God told Abraham to submit to Sarah’s decision in this case. That doesn’t mean that Sarah was a boss of Abraham, but that mutual submission is a God-ordained mandate found even in the marriage of Sarah and Abraham.

    You said:

    I urge you to really look at those hard, unmistakeable passages that speak of obedience to husbands and not try to find ways around them or make them say something other than what they say and mean.

    There is no need to find ways around the passages. The passages are inspired in their context and they are for our learning and our Christian character and for righteousness. The church has often not gone far enough in following Christian instruction in the Bible including the passages on submission.

    I would commend to you my DVD set to see the full picture of what you may have missed out on that will fulfill the entire passages in a way that goes beyond what you have seen. We need to honor the Word of God so that none of it is disregarded and none of it will contradict other parts.

    We also need to remember that we can only have one master in our lives and we are not under two masters. Honor, respect and uplifting is godly. But must never make our husbands our master as the Bible is very clear that we are under one Lord and one master and that is the Lord Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

  55. Cindy,

    The husband has the higher responsibility to make sure he is hearing from God for the true direction of his wife and family.

    I have heard this before but it’s not a biblical teaching. It actualy comes from church culture in the comp world. Where is this recorded, prescribed or taught in the Bible?
    How does one go from “a servant position/sacrifical postion” in Eph 5 to being the one exclusively “to make sure he is hearing from God for the true direction..?”

  56. Ladies: Let me ask you this: When an issue is raised in a marriage that needs a decisive response and there are heated differences between husband and wife, how is it finally resolved?

  57. Cindy,
    When a dispute comes into a marriage where one partner pulls for one decision and the other partner pulls for the other decision, this is an opportunity to bring it to the Lord and to work out His will in the marriage. The Bible gives no recommendation for one partner to take authority over the other partner to force the partner underneath their will. It is always easier to “pull rank” to get one’s way feeling that the “role” they have taken entitles them to force a decision on an unwilling partner, but this is not God’s way. Working out a one-flesh union between two very different people can be a challenge, but I believe that Scripture shows us that we are to model the way of the Master. Working hard for resolution or one partner willingly submitting their own will for the good of the other is the best way. Seeking pastoral help or the help of a godly friend is another good way to come to a compromise. But taking authority over the unwilling is not an option.

    When Jesus showed his servant attitude by washing the disciples feet, he bent down and washed each one of their feet including the feet of Judas. But when He came to Peter, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet. Jesus did not take authority over Peter and go against his will. Instead Jesus, in a loving and respectful manner convinced Peter of the necessity of Jesus’ servanthood so that Peter became willing of his own free will to allow Jesus’ purpose to happen. Respectful dialog can go a long way and sometimes we need to sleep on a decision for a time. Other times we need to set aside the decision for the time being and revisit the problem later. But when one partner lords it over the other partner by practicing the worldly way of dominating another person’s will, it will inevitably result in hurt feelings and resentment.

    I hope this helps!

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