Complementarianism is for dummies

What is complementarianism? Mary Kassian was one of those who coined the word and this is what she says is the meaning of it: 

A complementarian is a person who believes that God created male and female to reflect complementary truths about Jesus.That’s the bottom-line meaning of the word. Complementarians believe that males were designed to shine the spotlight on Christ’s relationship to the church (and the LORD God’s relationship to Christ) in a way that females cannot, and that females were designed to shine the spotlight on the Church’s relationship to Christ (and Christ’s relationship to the LORD God) in a way that males cannot.

Complementarians do not believe that men, as a group, are ranked higher than women. Men are not superior to women–women are not the “second sex.” Though men have a responsibility to exercise headship in their homes, and in the church family, Christ revolutionized the definition of what that means. Authority is not the right to rule—it’s the responsibility to serve. We rejected the term “hierarchicalism” because people associate it with an inherent, self-proclaimed right to rule.

I thank God that I was not born a woman, is the Jewish prayer.  In other words, Jews claim the meaning is that women do not get the privilege or responsibility to serve God and the Jewish men are thanking God that God in His wisdom did not create their little embryo body female.  I suppose the Jewish wife is praying (if she is allowed to pray) “I thank God that – what?” What is she going to thank God for?  Is she going to say “Thank God that God made men to serve because I am unworthy, or unfit, or too busy to serve?”  What the Jewish man is actually saying is exactly what we think he is saying: “You made me better than a woman and I can serve you while she can’t.”

Mary Kassian is saying the same thing when she says “Authority is not the right to rule – it’s the responsibility to serve.” In other words, Gentile Christians are now to be Jews in our thinking.  Oops! What just flew out the window?  Was it Galatians 3:28?

This woman who helped coin the word complementarianism goes on to say that men have the responsibility to exercise headship in their homes and in the church family, but she does not have a scripture one to back that up. 

She goes on to say that they (this privileged few who coined the word) rejected hierarchicalism because people associate it with an inherent, self-proclaimed right to rule.

Now we know who wrote the Danvers Statement and the silly wording they use.  Mary Kassian, homemaker, MCAOT was one of those women. Look back at that sentence.  She has just told us that men have the responsibility to exercise headship in their homes and in the church even though the Bible scriptures say no such thing, and then she has the audacity to say that hierarchicalism can be thought of as being “self-proclaimed.”

I have news for her.  Complementarianism is also self-proclaimed. That is why it promotes males selfs over female selfs.

I agree with her picture book “Complementarism for dummies.” Yes, Homemaker Mary Kassain, it is for dummies.

But 37,000 Southern Baptist Convention churches have bought into this flawed theology, and men are being told that they have authority over their wives, and preachers are preaching that women must submit, and women are giving up their new birth-right, because in 1987 a group of people devised a theology that won’t hold water.

If you don’t want to be a dummy, step over to the egalitarianism side.  The side where men are men, and women are women, and they are both equal in the sight of God, in the church and in the home.  Step over to the egalitarian side where Christ loved the church, both men and women, and gave himself for it. Step over to the egalitarian side where Christ and the Father are One, and men are not singled out to represent one side of God, and women are not relegated to represent the submission of the church to Christ.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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66 Responses to Complementarianism is for dummies

  1. tommy9999 says:

    The sad thing in SB life is the men rulers do not believe they have to have scripture to support their positions. They said it, they believe it, and if you are going to co-exisit with them you better go along with them.

    So many rules and regulations to follow which means someones have to enforce them.


  2. Temperance says:

    It’s a shame that people are being convinced to “dumb down” their internal warning systems, and to ignore the Holy Spirit, that this is not right. They are being told that it’s modern culture telling them it’s not right, and that they are to ignore what the “world” says. Its scary to think that so many people can be convinced to shut down their critical thinking skills.


  3. krwordgazer says:

    “Authority is not the right to rule—it’s the responsibility to serve.”
    This is certainly true, but complementarians know that this is not all that authority is about. It’s about making the decisions. That’s why they give husbands the “trump card” of the final decision whenever there’s disagreement. It’s about being the one who always takes the lead, while the other follows. That’s why they say husbands are to be the leaders of their homes.

    The definition given by Mary Kassian is deliberately misleading. It only addresses authority in terms of serving, when authority is actually about decision-making and leading. But the thing is this– if all authority were, were really just serving, why would they object to women having it? They don’t mind women serving in the least. What they mind is if she makes decisions or leads. Egalitarians want men and women to make decisions together and lead the home together as joint partners. To say that women cannot and should not be joint partners is, like it or not, saying women are the second sex. To claim otherwise is self-contradictory.


  4. Sonnet says:

    “We rejected the term “hierarchicalism” because people associate it with an inherent, self-proclaimed right to rule.”

    So it sounds like she’s saying that the right to rule (lead) is not something that has been SELF-proclaimed by males but that it has been divinely granted by GOD to males. If that is the case, then wouldn’t terms like “manarchy,” “manarchist,” “manarchism” or “male-archy,” “male-archist,” “male-archism” better convey their belief system? Complementarianism is not an accurate term for their position. It’s just too misleading.


    • Retha says:

      Manarch is great!

      I used to call them not Christians, but manians. (Should that be maniacs?)


    • Michelle says:

      This quotation does admit that a hierarchy is intrinsic to the belief of complementarianism, though.

      I believe that what she said, specifically in terms of avoiding the term “hierarchy” was careless of her in light of the word gymnastics they do to avoid admitting any power differential in their system. To wit: “different in role” (rather than saying “equal in being, unequal in function” which is what they mean though equality is not possible in the way they also misuse the term “role”), “complementarian” (breaking the word “complementary” by inserting compulsory hierarchy), “equal” when women are considered nothing of the sort!

      But try using plain vanilla logic to explain why it makes no sense. I’ve gotten blank looks before when I tried. So I believe that Kassian was not careless: In her own circles, what she said makes complete sense. I think I am re-framing, but in the sense of not letting someone else frame the discussion for me. I need the practice.

      What is the term for thinking perfectly well, and rationally, but only within the boundaries that have been set up for you? There’s got to be some sort of term for that…


      • Sonnet says:

        Michelle, I don’t know the answer to that.

        While I want to be respectful of their right to self-name their position, I can’t in good conscience refer to them by the name they’ve chosen for themselves, because I believe that it’s too misleading…deceptive. So I end up having to qualify it: gender hierarchical complementarians, or complementarians with hierarchy, or sometimes even “comps” setting it within quotes, which, I think, signifies that I’m reluctantly referring to them by their given name but don’t fully agree that it is an accurate name.

        I feel like they have left us in a no-win situation with their particular self-branding. If I were to actually start calling them manarchists, which much more accurately describes their position, then I think that I would be seen as being disrespectful. To call them by their former name, patriarchalists, (former for some… that is, because some still proudly embrace it) then I would be accused of misrepresenting their position… particularly by the “soft comps” who believe that the REAL patriarchalists take certain Scripture passages too far/too literally and are misunderstanding/have misinterpreted other parts of Scripture to suit their beliefs. But at least here, egalitarians and “soft comps” share some common ground.

        Now since egalitarians are complementarians (without hierarchy) or non-hierarchical complementarians, then the distinguishing difference between what TYPE of complementarian one falls under boils down to whether or not you believe in a God-ordained authority structure (um, hierarchy) between men and women or in a God-ordained equal partnership of men and women. So why should “comps” get to use complementarianism as the default term to describe those complementarians who do believe in authority over/submission under (um, hierarchy) without qualifying it? And since it is the non-hierarchical complementarians who more accurately represent that name according to both common English usage and dictionary definitions, then the default term should go to the complementarians who do NOT promote a gender-based hierarchy.

        Hierarchical complementarians need to come up with a more accurate term for labeling themselves so that they will not be guilty of misleading others through their redefining of terms. This would also spare many of their egalitarian brothers and sisters in Christ from the dilemma of knowing what to respectfully call “comps” without having to go against their conscience in using the “comps” chosen, but misleading, name.


      • Sonnet says:

        Michelle, maybe the term you are looking for is “doublethink” first coined by George Orwell in his book 1984. Doublethink is “(t)he power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them,…” from where it is quoting from Orwell’s novel.

        Though if you genuinely believe that the lie is the truth, then I’m not sure how you would be deliberately telling lies… except that somehow you know that there is a contradiction. But I’ve heard some hierarchical comps try to get around this blatantly obvious contradiction by saying that “God’s ways are higher than our ways” so our finite human minds are just unable to see how these contradictory beliefs can make complete sense, like how they teach that women are equal with men, but also simultaneously not equal with men.

        Also from the wikipedia source: “doublethink means being able to falsify public records, and then believe in the new history that they themselves have just rewritten.” A couple of examples that come to mind are when the words “a sign of authority” were added to some Bible translations of 1 Corinthians 11:10, which is a lot different than saying “a woman ought to have authority over her own head” as translated in the TNIV and the more recent NIV, or changing the apostle’s name, Junia, to the masculine name, Junias, in Romans 16:7, which has occurred in many different Bible translations.


      • Sonnet says:

        I’d also like to give a plug here to Retha’s blog post that highlights how many different types of hierarchical complementarians fall under the catch-all phrase of “complementarian.”


  5. Mara says:

    Complementarianism is of the dummies,
    by the dummies,
    for the dummies.
    At least that’s the way I see it.


  6. tommy9999 says:


    It is so sad how the leaders of the SBC have misintepreted scriptures to support their preconceievd notions of what is in the Bible and then force others to go along with them or else. There is one word for that–SIN!


  7. Temperance says:

    Great link Mara

    I agree that complementarianism is the “other gospel”


  8. Jason says:

    I find that when one aide of a discussion results to name calling they have run out of reasonable arguments.

    Stooping so low as to name calling is pretty sad and does not reflect the gospel you say you embrace.

    How about coming up with a reasonable discussion? Is it because your argument is week? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But one thing is for sure, all name calling does is make you look foolish.


    • Welcome, Jason. Name calling. That is interesting. As an egalitarian, I have been called many names by preachers, pastors, and others who will not leave their names on emails or blogs. I have been told that I don’t have salvation, that I wear the pants in my family, that my husband is weak, and that I am more than likely a lesbian. I have been told that simply because I am a woman, then I am lower in my Creator’s grand design than every male that was ever created.

      If you want a reasonable discussion, please read the comments. These people who comment on my blogs give more scripture, wisdom, and Bible knowledge than you will find in my words.

      If it is discussion you want, ask a question. They will answer. What is your first question?


      • Jason says:

        Well… I left my name and my email address, I don’t know you, have not questioned your salvation or sexuality.

        My theology would fall under the complementerian umbrella but I do not believe that a women is less than a man. In fact it is because of my beliefs that I see woman as the capstone of Gods creation, far better than I at demonstrating many of the characteristics of God.

        I am a complementarian because I believe men and women have different roles because that is how we can best put the glory of God on display.

        You may disagree with me but to call me dumb is just as foolish as the person who questioned your salvation because they disagreed with you.

        My question: are a fine china tea cup and 5 gallon bucket the same thing?


      • tommy9999 says:

        Jason: Maybe I missed it but where were you called dumb? Also to your question–please give us the answer.


      • This is the answer to your question: No. A fine china tea cup and 5 gallon bucket are not the same thing. Jason, I hate to be a name caller, but this was a dumb question. If you are trying to relate it to men and women serving equally, it doesn’t make sense. Both hold water and if the same water is poured into a clean bucket that is poured into a clean teacup, the water that they pour out would be the same. The vessel is not the same, but whatever is poured into them is the same going in and coming out. Next question?


  9. Jason says:

    “I agree with her picture book “Complementarism for dummies.” Yes, Homemaker Mary Kassain, it is for dummies.”

    You are saying that complementarism is for dummies.

    I am saying name calling is foolish and doesn’t accomplish anything good.

    I can tell you are angry. Not sure why. I have not wronged you.

    A tea cup and a five gallon bucket are both vessels that can hold the same contents. The contents flow in and out. But they do both serve different purposes. The tea cup is more predacious and worth far more. The bucket is more utilitarian.

    So it is with men and women.

    Can a man give birth? If not then we are not the same.


    • Michelle says:

      But complementarianism mandates hierarchy. Men have authority over women, or specific men have authority over specific women, throughout a female’s life.

      The word “complementary” was broken in order to create the misleading term, “complementarianism”.
      Whether we are talking about the field of math or the field of color theory, there is no hierarchy in things that are complementary. So yes, I agree with you: Women and men are different, and are complementary.

      I will disagree with you that the situation of being complementary necessitates definition of abilities, temperament, personality traits, or strengths vs. weaknesses. I will agree with you that yes, females’ ability to bear children does mark a difference from men; further, there are other biological (and biochemical) differences between females and males that merit further study in the medical and psychological community so that everyone may receive appropriate medical treatment. An example of the way this manifests is that up until recent decades, women were thought to rarely suffer heart attacks, which turned out to be a major killer of women, because the manifestation of heart disease and indeed the symptoms of a heart attack are different in women than in men (who were the only group studied, and Caucasian men at that, if I recall correctly).

      All of the complementarians I know would say that they don’t think less of women than of men. Somehow the word “equal” has also been divorced from its meaning. I don’t see women and their contributions to the church, family, and society valued as much by complementarian men as by men who do not self-identify as complementarian, typically (though I admit sexism is the norm in secular society in the United States, despite the claims of complementarians who say they represent a movement that is countercultural to a feminist society). I have yet to experience or to witness a complementarian man treating a woman as his equal. As for name-calling, I do not appreciate being compared to a tea cup, told I am worth more than something that is described as utilitarian, and being placed on a shelf to serve an ornamental purpose. I am as human as you are, and I deserve to be in the fray.


    • Oh, common, Jason, you’ve got better sense than that. You’ve let the complementarian view take over any common sense you have. 1. Yes, I am saying that complementarianism is for dummies. But she said it first. 2. What is name calling? Mary Kassian lists “homemaker” as her accomplishment in life. She should be proud to be called homemaker, since that is what she calls herself. 3. You have wronged me. Just as you are wronging every woman in your sphere of influence, and in your family, home and church. Not sure why I am angry? Well, it is something that you will never, never have to face. You are a man. The church tells you that God chose you to speak his word, to lead women, and to tell other women what to do. What if you had to listen to how inferior – oh, how precious you are but you are not good enough – in blogs, from pastors, in books, in church and in society? 4. The tea cup is more precious and worth far more? The bucket is utilitarian? And exactly what does that have to do with complementarianism? Are you the cup or the bucket – and what difference does it make if you are filled with the Holy Spirit?


  10. Jason says:

    Obviously we see the purpose of a tea cup differently.

    I’m trying to show you an example of a man just as you described that you’ve never met.

    It sounds to me like you just want to be mad and are unwilling to accept any common sense points.

    Perhaps it’s not your fault. Perhaps you and I were predestined to disagree and neither of us have a real choice in our oppenions either way.

    At any rate it is clear you are not interested in real discussion but rather nay-saying… The tea cup is an example if you take exception with that there are thousands of others.

    If you want to enter the fray. Get to it. You, unfortunately, are missing the big picture.

    Fair thee well.


    • Good bye, Jason. I don’t believe in predestination (Calvinism) so I can’t agree with you there, either. This was a real discussion. You brought in the teacup, which has to be the most ridiculous analgy given on this blog anywhere. Just because you didn’t agree with what I said about the teacup doesn’t make it wrong. Mad? I am not mad. Actually I am having fun at your expense. I called you on your little game and you didn’t agree with it. Did you want a sermon? Did you want me to quote, and quote some more, the same scriptures? Why? We all know the scriptures. What we don’t all know is what a teacup has to do with anything.


    • Michelle says:

      And there you go: Dismissive of me when I was up for a spirited discussion. I prefer directness over analogies, but rather than engage me, you write me off supposedly because of my anger. Are you never angry? Have you never respectfully engaged in a spirited discussion while angry? I’ll admit it can be tricky. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t feel up for it.


  11. Temperance says:

    I don’t think anyone on the egalitarian side is disputing that there are some differences between men and women. What we do dispute is being confined to a “role” and being told what we are to do and how to be. My belief is that each individual’s personality,temperament and talents is God-given and is what determines his/her purpose in life. Not gender.


  12. tommy9999 says:

    Shirely and others:

    Jason sadly just appears to be a troll. Not willing to engage in discussion but trying to use the oldest game in the book transferance. How sad!!


  13. Jason says:

    My point was and still is that calling names hurts the message of Jesus Christ.

    Obviously you are more interested in calling names.

    I’m not a troll. I’m a real person who hoped to have a real conversation. Unfortunately you are more interested in missing the point.

    I’ve done what I stopped by for which was to plant a seed. The seed of doubt. It’s not my job to make it grow… That is another’s responsibility.

    I truly am interested and would say that we agree more than you would choose to believe.


    • Michelle says:

      Yet you continue to ignore my valid statements. I am unsure how you intended to plant seeds: You shared nothing truly new here (I have even heard specifically the teacup analogy before).

      You continue to refuse to engage. You continue to condescend. You continue to indicate that you are not coming back.

      Your follow-through could use some work.


  14. Temperance says:

    You know, come to think of it, there’s not just teacups and buckets. There’s also coffee mugs, coffee pots, milk jugs, soda bottles, and so on. Hmm what will it be today? I think I’m in a diet pepsi kind of mood right now.


    • Michelle says:


      Great point! I enjoy my hot tea in a hefty mug, actually. But yes, there are SO many other sorts of containers that can hold liquid. The Holy Spirit is not to be limited by the sort of container that holds it.


  15. krwordgazer says:

    I can see why Jason would think that we were calling complementarians “dummies,” even though Mary Kassian started it by subtly implying that anyone who doesn’t understand complementarianism needs it dumbed down for us so we can finally get it,

    I do think we have to be careful not to come across as name-calling, even unintentionally. It doesn’t untimately help anyone listen to our point of view.

    The thing is, though, that despite what Kassian implies, the reason we see contradictions in complementarianism is that they are actually there. It’s not because we’re too simple to understand it. Why do complementarians have to keep insisting they don’t think women are inferior? It’s because everything else they say, every policy they espouse, put women in a position of inferiority. It doesn’t help to insist, “No, you’re not inferior” while at the same time saying, “but you were born to follow and be under male authority, and males were born to lead and have authority over you.” And don’t give me that bit about “Jesus is equal and yet submits to the Father.” The book of Hebrews specifically says that Jesus was made “for a little while lower than the angels.” For a little while. Now He is highly exalted with the name that is above every name, and the Father has given all authority on earth to the Son. In other words authority is something the Father and Son share, at different times in human history and for different purposes. But when authority is always in the hands of one gender, which is born to it– and never in the hands of the other, which was not born to it– then there is an actual, permanent state of superiority and inferiority, and claiming it isn’t there doesn’t make it go away.


    • Temperance says:

      ” Why do complementarians have to keep insisting they don’t think women are inferior? It’s because everything else they say, every policy they espouse, put women in a position of inferiority. ”

      This is the one thing that has made me learn, not to trust people by their words, but by their actions.


  16. tommy9999 says:


    You can say what you want but you did not come here for conversation, but just to tell others they are wrong–that to me is certainly a tenet of FUNDAMENTALISM! I guess you will have to go to other places where others feel the same way you do to have a “conversation.”

    We learned so much from you by your dropping by–sarcasm intended.


    • Mara says:

      This is true, Tommy. If all he wanted to do was plant a seed of doubt then the assumption is he is right, we are wrong, if we can’t see that then we aren’t worth his time.

      I don’t mind lively discussions either.
      I’ve has some great ones with some comps where we both came away still disagreeing but at least respecting one another. It was fulfilling and felt like actual Christian fellowship rather than someone coming in to try to set me straight.

      afa name calling…
      Yeah, we probably shouldn’t do it.

      Jason: “How about coming up with a reasonable discussion? Is it because your argument is week? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But one thing is for sure, all name calling does is make you look foolish.”

      Well, here’s the thing. There are tons and tons of reasonable arguments that guys like Jason don’t want to engage. But, if in a moment of frustration, we slip up and retaliate against the name calling that is freely thrown our way, then WHAMO (said Steve Erwin style) the Jasons of the world are right there like vultures on road-kill to point out our faults.

      So, Jason, if you are still around. I concede that, yeah, name calling probably isn’t the best. But why don’t you actually engage any of the reasonable arguments that are here rather than only focusing on this one area. There are plenty of places to sow your seeds of doubt if indeed your position is really that strong.

      I simply don’t think your position is that strong.

      One reason I don’t is because I’ve been there done that and seen the fall out that the deficient gender gospel of complementarianism produces in the lives of men and women.


      • tommy9999 says:


        I agree that name calling is not helpful and I know that I am guilty of it at times.


      • I am missing something here. Who is name-calling? The picture “Complementarianism for dummies” was Mary Kassians. It was taken from her website. She is saying that she has a book written so even the dumbest can understand complementarianism. I simply played on her own words. I don’t apologize for that.


      • Mara says:

        I, for one, name called by say of the dummies, by the dummies, for the dummies.
        Sure, I springboarded off of something Kassian said and then you said. But I own that I said it.
        I don’t feel all that bad since I’ve been accused of rebellion, hating men, hating families etc by people who don’t know me, don’t know that was a homeschool mom and a pastor’s wife at one time. All they saw was that I didn’t agree with their interpretation of scripture and because they just knew that their version was right, they shut their ears, opened wide their mouths, and started pointing fingers.
        I’ve been name called.
        Here’s a recent sample of some of the terrible things said to me by a raging comp in the comment section on this blog (not mine)..
        So, please. What I said is nothing. There are some really mean people who hate me who say much worse.


      • It is so strange that they can call us anything they want to and then tell us we are not Christlike.


      • Mara says:

        Yep, Shirley, Jason, and everyone.
        The double standard is ridiculously thick.
        Here is John Piper, complementarianist extraordinaire, calling people dumb.
        When John Piper does it, it’s cute, cleaver, and deserving of a covert fist bump from the other ministers there. If you don’t have time for the full three minute video start at the one minute mark:


      • Mara says:

        And check out the terrible responses my friend Hannah got on her blog just for reporting on IFB Pastor and neo-patriarch* Jack “It will be a cold day in hell before I get my theology from a woman” Schaap.
        And Hannah said she recieved worse comments than these. They were so bad she didn’t approve them.

        (*neo-patriarch-what you get when you take complementarianism to it’s logical extreme.)

        So please, Jason. At this point, I’m really not trying to be snarky. Just in case you really wanted to dialog with reason and Christian charity I’m laying this stuff out for you so that you can see what we deal with when we try to dialogue with others from your camp of belief. If we are a little reactionary and if we meltdown into a little name calling (like I did) please know that we have been subject to much worse than anything we have dished out.


  17. Jason says:

    My intent, although we see the debate differently was not really to debate complementarism. The truth is most people have come to a conclusion on things like these and are unlikely to change their minds based on argument. My intent was to say hey, whatever side you are on, let’s not resort to name calling.

    The title of your post says it all. Is that how you really feel? If someone has different oppenions from you you can call them whatever you want? That is not from the Christ I read about in the new testament. I don’t think it is wise from either side.

    I told you I was a complementarian just so I wouldn’t be hiding anything or coming across disingenuous. Then after prompted I tried (unsuccessfully) to explain my understanding. Truth is I shouldn’t of even made an attempt.

    But, my original point stands intact. Name calling is not winsome and nothing is gained from it. Honestly, it seemed like a sad attempt to get some traffic on your site, which, I guess worked because I stopped by.

    It would be nice if if there could be mutual respect.


    • Jason, surely you are not that touchy! My goodness. You are not the only traffic on my website, so don’t get puffed up. You find it reasonable to insult me. You say that I have to name-call or else nobody would read what I write. If that is not name-calling, then I don’t know what is. Winsome, now that is a cute word. Not used much in todays world. Comes out of the Danvers Statement Rationale #10 “And behind all this is the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which in the power of the Holy Spirit may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture.” (This sentence, like most of the others in the Danvers Statement does not make sense.) Also, I would refer you to Matthew 23. Jesus does some really strong name calling there. He uses words such as snakes and vipers. Dumb is mild compared to that.


      • Michelle says:

        I’m glad you explained that: Thank you. Neither Jason’s nor the Danvers Statement’s use of “winsome” makes any sense to me. I study words and language, am not *so* young, and am fond of the archaic meanings for some words. But still–this use of “winsome”, or these uses of “winsome” are novel to me.

        winsome (ˈwɪnsəm)

        — adj
        charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile

        [Old English wynsum, from wynn joy (related to Old High German wunnia, German Wonne ) + -sum -some 1 ]

        before 900; Middle English winsom, Old English wynsum, equivalent to wyn joy ( see wynn) + -sum -some1

        Related forms
        win·some·ly, adverb
        win·some·ness, noun
        un·win·some, adjective

        Jason, what do you think “winsome” means?


      • Jason was quoting the Danvers Statement and he is sure Mary Kassian knows what it means. She helped draft it, after all. Maybe the explanation is in her book Complementarianism for dummies. Actually I am not even sure there is such a book. It may have been her joke.


    • krwordgazer says:

      Jason, yes– it would indeed be nice if there was mutual respect. I appreciate the way you, at least, have not been insulting and name-calling yourself–but I agree with Mara that it’s a little hard to hear “don’t call names” when we get called so many things and accused of so much. Think about it– it isn’t complementarians whose commitment to Christ is questioned. It isn’t complementarians who get told they are twisting the Scriptures to suit themselves, or that they just don’t want to obey God or the Bible. It isn’t complementarians whose churches get disfellowshipped because of the pastor they choose. It isn’t complementarians who get told they may not even be saved.

      Is the word “dummies” really even equivalent to any of this?


    • tommy9999 says:

      Jason, you will probably take this as name calling, but you come accross as a whiny child,


  18. James says:

    “My intent, although we see the debate differently was not really to debate complementarism. The truth is most people have come to a conclusion on things like these and are unlikely to change their minds based on argument.”

    I stumbled across this and was reading the exchange with some amusement, but that comment really struck me. How sadly true that is. It is so difficult to remain humble before Scripture, to allow our minds to be changed, especially as we get more involved and entrenched in debates.

    In principle, (I hope) we are all shooting for the same thing, to understand the Bible and submit ourselves to it. All the pettiness and name-calling (yes, on both sides) and anger over different understandings probably do not help anything, and indeed probably contribute to exactly that problem, the difficulty of admitting one was wrong and changing one’s mind.

    What saddens me is when people on either side of a debate are unwilling or unable to honestly engage with the other side, to try to honestly understand how someone could read Scripture and come to a different conclusion. And this entry did have that tone — a tone of mocking and insulting, of holding up someone’s statements as self-evidently foolish without any attempt to actually consider or argue against them. This is neither charitable nor intellectually honest. Perhaps the target audience of this blog is only those who already agree, but even so, I am not sure that entries like this have much of a constructive purpose. Ah well.


    • James, I welcome you and are glad that you joined in this conversation. I know from the tone of your letter that you are complementarian. You see, it is so easy to spot. You want us to submit to the Bible, but there is an unwillingness for complementarians to even see that they, too, must submit to God’s word. No matter how entrenched they are in their beliefs, complementarians need to look at this with an open mind. Instead, we are the ones who are told to look at this with an open mind.

      Did you understand where Jason was coming from about the teacup and the gallon bucket?

      Mocking and insulting goes both ways, as you saw from this exchange. Actually, it is welcomed. We are serious Bible students, serious in our calling, and firmly believe that women are equal. We put up with a lot of stuff that men do not have to put up with. Allow us some fun! If we stuck to seriousness, this blog would be like most others – and that is the last thing I desire from my blog.

      Come here to see a difference. Come here to hear a different angle. All scriptural. But come and have a little fun, too.


    • krwordgazer says:

      Some of us have come to a conclusion based on thoroughly studying the topic and all the arguments, and we are unlikely to change our minds because we have become convinced based on serious research, reasoning and analysis.

      Those who have not done so, but are just going on “what pastor says” and what appears to them to be the “plain sense” of a handful of texts, need to do more study and reasoning.


      • Michelle says:

        Specifically, and just to state it in a way that is absolutely clear (limited, of course, by my own ability to express myself when I feel passionately about something: in this case, my passion for intellectual honesty):

        Spend some time researching a view that is not your own. Do NOT, do NOT, rely on the materials or authors that are mentioned to you or “recommended as examples of the opposing view” by the teachers in your own tradition or belief system. Relying on only readings provided by a group or individual who agrees with your view would be even worse. This will not be an unbiased sampling. Further, is it the way you thoroughly research any secular issue? Or a political issue? Or are you careful to read a survey of the schools of thought on both sides?


    • Michelle says:

      If you check out other entries, entries before this one, you may find a different tone. Humans are like that. If you prefer to judge this blog by reading only this post, that also is a choice that is yours to make.


  19. tommy9999 says:

    James: Who put you in charge of deciding what blogs are constructive or not? Your spirit reads loud and clear.


  20. Ronald Gogan says:

    Maybe use scripture next time to support your arguments?


    • You can read my books which are very heavily laden with scripture. They are “Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition,” Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source,” and “Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood.”

      But I am glad you wrote and will be glad to explain certain specifics which you did not ask for in your comment.


      • Ivan Sawal says:

        You rant on this website, then when someone asks you for Scripture Arguments you tell them to buy your book and read it?

        1 Timothy 2:12
        But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet.

        -These are the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy, in short, a pastoral counseling to Timothy

        1 Timothy 2:13-14
        For Adam was formed first and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression.

        -Next is the reason why, it is not cultural, but Paul goes back to the Creation Narrative to state his reason why he would not allow a woman to teach and exercise authority.


        Qualifications of an Overseer or Pastor from Paul to Timothy

        1 Timothy 3

        Verse 2. The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher,

        Verse 3. not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money.

        Verse 4. He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity.

        Verse 5. But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God?

        Verse 6. He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact.

        Verse 7. And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.

        -Addressed as a “He”, and in Verse 2 “a husband of one wife”, can a woman be a husband of one wife?


        Now these instructions above are also in agreement with the Qualifications of an Elder or Pastor that Paul gave to Titus

        Titus 1

        Verse 6. An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion.

        Verse 7. For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain.

        Verse 8. Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled.

        Verse 9. He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it.

        -There it is again in Verse 6, “the husband of one wife”


        You can tell me “well how about Paul? He is single”… Well that does not invalidate the Qualifications but adds to it actually.

        Do you have any examples of Women Pastors in the Bible? Will love for you to post it here. Thanks


      • Rant, do I? You gave yourself away in your second word. I won’t try to reason with you. Believe what you will.


  21. Mara says:

    Ivan, I have a couple of scriptures for you. And I will use them the exact same way you use yours.

    Psalm 116;11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars!”
    Psalm 62:9 Men of low degree are only vanity, and men of rank are a lie;
    In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath

    So, Ivan, according to scripture, interpreted as narrowly as you like to interpret it against women, you are a liar.
    But the real question is, are you also vanity, or a lie. Either way, you and all other men are lighter than breath.

    (Yes, I know. These were taken out of context and do not apply to all men for all time. I am simply displaying your absurdity by being absurd. The smattering of scriptures you quote are nothing compared to the volumes of scriptures that soundly support women in ministry. This is why Shirley says to buy the book. All the support that overthrows you few misunderstood and misused verses cannot be contained in one little comment. Go by the book, Ivan. Go buy the book. Then see if you can refute all the scriptures and evidence given in the book.)


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