“Although I still cannot put myself 100% in the egalitarian camp, situations like this reinforce for me the fact that the egalitarian view makes the most sense biblically in so many ways,” says Sallie Borrink in her post “Doug Wilson, Jared Wilson, the Gospel Coalition, and the Logical Conclusions of Complementarianism.” Great post and you must read it.
I couldn’t help but wonder what percentage was remaining out of the less than 100% in the egalitarian camp. And I couldn’t help wondering what principle of the egalitarian camp she could not agree with. Her blog post lays it out clearly how the complementarians don’t have a clue as to what they really believe. So what is it about egalitarians that she can’t accept?
Wade Burleson, a great champion for women, gave this comment to her post as quoted above. “Excellent post! The comment above echoes my sentiments precisely! I would much rather be biblical than identified with any camp! Keep up the superb writing, Sallie! You are a blessing to many.” So what is it, Wade, about egalitarians that you can’t accept?
All we know for sure that complementarians believe is that women are EQUAL-BUT. That’s all. Only that. No more. They believe any and everything negative about women that they choose to believe.
Egalitarians, on the other hand, believe that women are EQUAL.
Equal means equal. We don’t have to qualify that. The Bible said it first.
Either you believe women are equal or you don’t. It’s like being pregnant. You either are or you’re not.
Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Sallie Borrink over.
Red Rover, Red Rover, send Wade Burleson over.
We’re glad for what you’ve done, but we can’t wait to see what you will do when you come to the egalitarian side.
I think the biggest stumbling block for many “complementarian” (term used under protest, it is false advertising on their part) is that they equate equal with sameness. I saw the term “neutered christianity” in a comment Jonathan Aigner received on facebook. The commenter criticized Jonathan for describing complementarianism as patriarchy. He thinks it is inflammatory. Well, the commenter obviously had not understood that “complementarianism” is patriarchy. So he countered with “neutered christianity”. That’s the problem with a lot of people: they think we want to have a unisex society. “Complementarians” believe there are differences between individual men, why would they now say egalitarians do not believe in differences? We just do not believe in differences that says men always lead, and women always follow, at all times and in all places, and that Christianity must have a “masculine feel”, etc. etc.
Excellent observation. To me it is so silly to even say that men and women are unisex. We all know that men and women think differently, have different emotions to situations, etc. I don’t want to be a man! I had rather use reason than strength, caution rather than aggression which I think men generally do. We need both kinds of reactions – those usually typified by females, and those we ususally associate with males. So where are they getting this idea that we equate equal with sameness? You know what I think? I think they are stuck in the past, and do not recognize today’s Christian woman. Thanks so much for explaining that.
> Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 12:19:57 +0000 > To: email@example.com >
What part of NEW (Hu)Man/Covenant/Creation don’t they understand?
Genesis 1:26 And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.” 27 So God created humankind in his image, in the likeness of God he created him, male and female he created them.
Isaiah 9:6 For a child has been born for us;
a son has been given to us.
And the dominion will be on his shoulder,
and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 ⌊His dominion will grow continually,
and to peace there will be no end⌋
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and sustain it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.
Jeremiah 31:31 Look, the days are coming,” ⌊declares⌋ Yahweh, “and I will ⌊make⌋ a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I ⌊made⌋ with their ancestors on the day of my grasping them by their hand, bringing them out from the land of Egypt, my covenant that they themselves broke, though I myself was a master over them,” ⌊declares⌋ Yahweh. 33 “But this is the covenant that I will ⌊make⌋ with the house of Israel after those days,” ⌊declares⌋ Yahweh: “I will put my law in their inward parts and on their hearts I will write it, and I will be to them God, and they themselves will be to me people. 34 And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor, or each one his brother, ⌊saying⌋, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for all of them will know me, from their ⌊smallest⌋ and up to their ⌊greatest⌋,” ⌊declares⌋ Yahweh, “for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember.”
Acts 2:16 But this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it will be in the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
and your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 And even on my male slaves and on my female slaves
I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun will be changed to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
21 And it will be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’
1 Corinthians 10:17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share from the one bread.
1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, 5 and there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord, 6 and there are varieties of activities, but the same God, who works all things in all people. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for what is beneficial to all. 8 For to one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another a word of knowledge by the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another ⌊miraculous powers⌋, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing of spirits, to another kinds of tongues, to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But in all these things one and the same Spirit is at work, distributing to each one individually just as he wishes.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of the body, although they are many, are one body, thus also Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free persons, and all were made to drink one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many…. 19 And if they all were one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body….
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members ⌊of it individually⌋,
1 Corinthians 15:45 Thus also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, made of earth; the second man is from heaven. 48 As the one who is made of earth, so also are those who are made of earth, and as the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one who is made of earth, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Corinthians 5:16 So then, from now on we know no one ⌊from a human point of view⌋, if indeed we have known Christ ⌊from a human point of view⌋, but now we know him this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.
Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition, the enmity, in his flesh, 15 invalidating the law of commandments in ordinances, in order that he might create the two in himself into one new man, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in himself. 17 And coming, he proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to the ones who were near, 18 because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 Consequently, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are built up together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:4 one body and one Spirit (just as also you were called with one hope of your calling), 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Ephesians 4:11 And he himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers 12 for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to a measure of the maturity of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be infants, tossed about by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of people, by craftiness with reference to the scheming of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow into him with reference to all things, who is the head, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined together and held together by every supporting ligament, according to the working by measure of each single part, the growth of the body makes for the building up of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard about him, and you were taught by him (just as truth is in Jesus), 22 that you take off, according to your former way of life, the old man, who is being destroyed according to deceitful desires, 23 be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man (in accordance with God), who is created in righteousness and holiness from the truth.
Colossians 2:18 Let no one condemn you, taking pleasure in humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about the things which he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by the ligaments and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Colossians 3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, because you have taken off the old man together with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free, but Christ is all, and in all.
The Lexham English Bible. 2012 (W. H. Harris, III, E. Ritzema, R. Brannan, D. Mangum, J. Dunham, J. A. Reimer & M. Wierenga, Ed.). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Thank you, Eric. In the game Red Rover, Red Rover there are two lines of kids holding hands tightly facing each other. One line calls out to the other “Red Rover, Red Rover, send so-and-so over! That person runs and tries as hard as he can to break through the line. If he can’t break the line, he is now on your side against his former line.
With all these scriptures, you have made the line so tight that nobody can break through. The scriptures are on our side and they give us strength.
Thank you! I have printed out this list for future reference.
> Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 15:03:09 +0000
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for linking to my post. My lack of 100% is that I am not fully convinced about the pastors/elders thing. I can clearly articulate my views about women deacons and equality in marriage. Until I can clearly articulate why I believe that women can also be senior pastors and elders, I don\’t feel comfortable saying unequivocally that I\’m an egalitarian. So it really isn\’t anything sinister. Related to that is I\’ve been thinking through the whole idea of hierarchy in the local church and church polity so it is all related.
I wish I had more time to study these topics as much as I want whenever I want, but being a wife, mom, homeschooler and business owner keeps my plate pretty full. 🙂
I keep plugging away at things as I have time, but right now I\’m consumed with getting ready to start school with my first grader tomorrow. 🙂
Thanks again for the link. 🙂
Welcome, Sallie! You really had an excellent post, and I could see you thinking through all this. When I felt the call to start speaking up for women’s equality, all I really wanted was for my Baptist church to accept women as deacons and see them as fully the new creation as men are.
But that changed when I looked at the name I chose – Baptist Women for Equality. I realized that equal means equal. No restrictions on salvation, church membership, or relationship with God.
God bless you and keep up the good work.
Hi Sallie, I read your post and can identify with it completely. I have wrestled with everything you are wrestling with, but can now happily say I am 100 percent egalitarian.
I can’t find anything in scripture that specifically says that a woman is not to be pastor. If 1 Timothy 2:12 is saying that, then it should rule out any kind of teaching or authority over men, not just pastor. Seems to me the men are just picking and choosing what women can do based on emotion and not reason.
Part of the problem, as Baptists, is that we see women preachers as being Pentecostal or faith healers, or African Americans. We have very few women pastors that we can look at and identify with. Most Baptist women have never in their life heard or been to a church where a women preached, or who was the pastor. When I had to leave my church when I started this ministry, my husband and I sought out a church that had a woman preacher just to see what one looked like. Women pastors are foreign to us. We have an image in our minds of what a pastor should look like, and I guarantee you that the image is male. That is conditioned learning. Many Baptist women tell me they had rather hear a woman speak to them. But even they have a hard time imagining the woman as the pastor.
> Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2012 16:18:20 +0000 > To: email@example.com >
“But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. ” Matthew 23: 8-11
Jesus would be surprised that we have “senior pastors”, Sallie.
There is an excellent article by Philip Payne in CBE’s publication Priscilla Papers, Summer 2012, in which he says: “However, apart from Jesus Christ (Heb 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25;5:4) the NT does not identify any man or woman by name as an overseer or pastor…..The only person named with an explicit title of local church leadership is not a man at all, ut a woman:” I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is deacon of the church in Cenchrea…(Romans 16: 1-2 )”
If you have a chance, read him.
Also, this is for your reference, written by Margaret, who is a great teacher.
Happy reading, Sallie. Hope you come to a greater understanding of how dividing church ministries ( I don’t like the terms leader, nor church offices. There are extremely few NT verses that mention leadership. There are 900+ mentions of being a servant.)
I did not complete my last sentence: it should be “…how dividing church ministries….. by gender is not biblical.”
I have seen Wade Burleson completely identify himself as an egalitarian, on his own blog. I think all he meant was that he didn’t care about being identified with any particular label, or being put in a particular box, or “camp.” He just wants to affirm the full equality of women because he fully believes the Bible supports it. No matter what anyone calls that.
At least, that’s my understanding based on everything I’ve read of his.
With regards to the charge of “sameness,” it seems to me that complementarians want more “sameness” than egalitarians do– just within each gender. They want all men to be leaders of women, and all women to be followers of men. They want all women to have the traits they consider “feminine,” like nurturing, and all men to have the traits they consider “masculine,” like protecting. Egalitarians want each individual woman to be who God made her to be, and each individual man to be who God made him to be. We don’t want “sameness.” We are not the ones putting all people of one sex in square holes and all the people of the other sex in round holes. Egalitarians say that God may have made some people octagonal, and that they should let God find them the octagonal holes that He made just for them. That’s not “sameness” at all.
With regards to the charge of “sameness,” it seems to me that complementarians want more “sameness” than egalitarians do– just within each gender.
Well said!!! Exactly.
You wrote: “He just wants to affirm the full equality of women because he fully believes the Bible supports it. No matter what anyone calls that. ”
Couldn’t have said it better! 🙂 Thanks.
Welcome, Wade! Thank you for joining in the conversation.
There are only two camps. Those camps are named Complementarian and Egalitarian. I’ve heard many people say they don’t like being called egalitarian. But we don’t have a better word for it. Egalitarian means equal-no buts. Complementarian means equal-but.
I hate to argue with such a great champion for women as you are. I appreciate everything that you have said and done for women. I still ask you, “Wade, come on over – where we are all equal -no buts.”
Scott McKnight of Jesus Creed prefers the term “mutualist” over “egalitarian.” I have no problem with that. And as has been said several times here, “complementarian” isn’t actually a very accurate name for that position, because egalitarians also believe the sexes are complementary. Also, complementarians will usually claim they believe the sexes are equal. But complementarians don’t believe relations between the sexes are mutual, which is defined as “equal give-and-take.” And egalitarianism used to be a term that meant being anti-aristocracy and for the full participation of all persons in civic life. So I can see why some would think another term would be more accurate.
The problem, of course, is that the terms “complementarian” and “egalitarianism” are now the established terms for these positions– so I can see, Shirley, why you’d want people to just identify with one camp or the other and not fudge about it. 🙂
I understand what you are saying. Words do matter, and I understand the equal part. What I am up against is a number of men in the SBC who believe only liberal, Scripture-deniers (their words, not mine) affirm the equality of women. I believe the Bible and afffirm the infallibilty of the Scriptures and am simply attempting to get leaders in the SBC to see that they have misinterpreted the Scriptures in their affirmation of patriarchy. That’s why I don’t like camps (egal or comp) and much prefer discussions of the sacred text.
Thanks for your work!
Wade, I work day and night for women’s equality. Tomorrow I will be at a Christians for Biblical Equality Houston Chapter meeting where I am heavily involved. We are trying to make a difference for women. Women should be able to walk into their church and not feel that their church holds it against them that they are women. The Southern Baptist Convention is going to have a lot to answer for some day. I am trying to hasten that day. Together we can make a difference.
> Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 20:19:55 +0000 > To: firstname.lastname@example.org >