The complementarian woman

If she had worn a scarf on her head, I would have expected the words that came out of her mouth. But she was a Christian, young and beautiful, working in a Christian bookstore.

I had stopped by a few months previous and left my book Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition for them to sell and take the proceeds. I wasn’t asking anything from the sale. So I stopped by to see if the book had sold. Of course I knew they would not even attempt to sell my book, or even read it. Which is exactly what the young woman admitted to.

She said she couldn’t get past the first few pages. I can see why. The first few pages explain the vast difference between egalitarian and complementarian beliefs. The complementarian view is so ingrained in her young life that she could not in good conscience even read that she might be wrong.

I suspect my book appeared as the serpent in the Garden of Eden to her. Unlike Eve, she would not be tempted.

You are either equal or you are not. She had chosen to believe that she was not. She had also chosen to believe that the Bible says so.

I was amazed and astounded at the conversation. I could not believe that young women are so willing to swallow complementarianism and its full expression of submission to all males.

She quoted Timothy and Titus and said that women are to be the housekeepers. I pointed out that she was working, and she said that women could work but still were to be the housekeepers. Then she said that women were not to have careers. I asked her what is a career? I have been a secretary for over 35 years and she is working in a bookstore. Are those careers? She said that a career was where you could “climb the ladder” to a higher job. I laughed and told her that I suppose that both she and I “could climb the ladder.” She could aspire to own the bookstore where she worked, and I could have been (it’s a little late for that now) like Carly Fiorina who began as a secretary and is now a presidential candidate.

Where is this young woman going? She has been told that she cannot have a career (and who decides what a career is?) and she has been told that all males are superior to her. Even though she is still single, she has been led to believe that her husband will support her because the Bible says men are to provide the bread for the family. She has been led to believe that she can work outside the home if she has to, but that in doing so, she is working outside the will of God.

She said “God created sex” which will make this young woman inclined to believe anything she reads by Timothy Keller (the glory of sex – Real Marriage), Mark Driscoll, Ed Young, Jr., (Fifty Shades of They), and a myriad of other sex preachers. She will believe Beth Moore when she says that women tempt men today like the devil tempted Eve (When godly people do ungodly things), which was the very way of thinking (that women listen to the devil) that began the witch hunts that caused women to be burned at the stake.

The serpent said, “you will be like God” and now it is men who have chosen to be like God, and they teach that all females are to bow down in submission before all males. Jesus does not teach that God has given males the right to have females bow down before them in submission.

Complementarians never quote Jesus when pushing their theology.

Paige Patterson, Dorothy Patterson, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and all others who began this complementarian indoctrination of our young men and women in church, and those who continue to teach it, owe all Christians, and society, an apology for their abomination of the gospel.

Its 2016. What do you believe?

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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11 Responses to The complementarian woman

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    I believe we have our work cut out for us. A whole generation has been indoctrinated to believe in Complementarianism as a central tenant of the Word of God and they’ve been taught to teach the next generation like-wise. I think most just don’t have the tools they need to question what they’re up against. I don’t always know how to use critical thinking to challenge the the army of Complementarians who always start with: “The Bible clearly says …”
    If anyone hears that small, still voice that says “Something about this is not right!” They’re told to distrust it as if Satan were at war with their hearts and minds for their very soul – so all the more they lean on the teachings of Piper, Grudem, etc. Because they can’t trust themselves to be their own spiritual leader.
    I think we have to find a way to teach an entire generation (or two) that they can be the ones behind the wheel of their own spiritual journey, they can decide which exit they will take to which theological towns, if they don’t then they’ll be at the mercy of the bus driver and they had better chose which bus wisely.


    • Welcome! Good to hear from you. I call myself the street evangelist for women’s equality, but rarely engage in such discussions with believers such as she is. So it was an eye-opener. That is the reason I work every day for women’s equality. That is also the reason we must demand an apology from Christian leaders who have turned these young women in submissive women who spout their dogma. Thanks for the comment.


  2. SJ Reidhead says:

    If that’s the reception you received, I suspect when I start marketing my books, I’m going to be banned, with garlic, wreaths, silver crosses, and holy water sprinkled around the doors! I just completed a murder mystery with a storyline similar to what the young woman told you. It is so sad, and they are so brainwashed. I just hope reality sets in before girls like this end up in a truly abusive relationship.


  3. Meagan Stewart says:

    This is amazing. I know this may sound like I only want to hear from people who agree with me, but I actually purposefully read a lot of things that are directly contrary to my beliefs. And sometimes I just need some affirmation that I’m not the only one who believes these things that are so important to me and foundational to who I am.


    • Welcome! I read your comment and it can be taken two ways: You agree with me, or you are a complementarian woman. I think you mean you are a complementarian woman. I am sure you would first describe yourself as being a Christian woman. Since I believe that, I am going to refer you to Christ and to look at what he said to women. Nowhere do we find Jesus telling women – nor men – that women are to be submissive to their husbands or other males. The women Jesus spoke to had no male present when he spoke to them: Mary of Bethany, welcomed at his feet to learn from the Master; the Gentile woman, told that Jesus was also the Messiah for the Gentiles; the woman at the well, told that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah for the Samaritans; Mary at the tomb, the first to see him in his resurrected body – the first Christian! actually. When Paul places restrictions on women it is contrary to what Jesus said or did. Since Paul cannot contradict Jesus, then when we think he did, we must look to Jesus. Jesus is our standard, and since Jesus placed no restrictions on women and did not tell women they were to be submissive to males, then we in good stewardship of the gospel, cannot do so either. My dear friend, the very essence of who you are as a Christian is because of Christ. Do not be led astray by complementarian teaching which came into being in 1987. Jesus is about freedom, not submissiveness to another human being.(my gut feeling is that the comment was Spam, but my answer stands).


      • You’re so right Shirley. Jesus never told women to be submissive to males. Jesus always told his followers to do the will of God. He said, “Whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50). Over and over again Jesus told His followers to do the will of His Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10, 7:21, Mark 3: 35) Never once did Jesus ever tell women to do the will of men on earth. And Jesus followers also taught that believers are to do the will of God. (John 9:31, Acts 5:29, Acts 21:14, Romans 12:1-2, Hebrews 10:36, 13:20-21) Unfortunately, there are some mistranslations of Scripture which make it appear that Jesus followers are telling women to do the will of their husbands and are telling believers to do the will of earthly governments. But these are mistranslations and confuse what Jesus Himself taught. Believers should always do what Jesus said, to do the will of His Father who is in heaven, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


      • It is so simple, isn’t it, Kristen? Yet, women have been sold a bill of goods and they don’t realize that when they buy into complementarianism, they have changed the picture of Jesus. Can you imagine Jesus telling any of those women they must submit to the males in their life?


  4. pnissila says:

    Hello, Shirley! I think you are right that the letter from Ms. Stewart was either spam or from a so-called complementarian woman (or man).

    Like you, I am sad that this girl has been so influenced by men who would regard themselves as some kind of demi-gods in their relationships with their wives and children. Sadly, many young and impressionable girls have also been brainwashed by their mothers, too, who are either caught up in (or simply caught) in such relationships of their own volition, or out of fear, obligation, and/or guilt.

    Of course there are those women who do enjoy the good life spreading the gospel of male dominance and female submission…as in book and conference sales…notoriety in their growing numbers…and so on.

    Hopefully, as this girl is still young and does not yet have a husband who would impede her maturity and spiritual growth (whether intentionally or unintentionally as a dangerous product of his own indoctrination), she will yet pick up some critical thinking skills and seriously begin to do the “Berean work” of studying the Scriptures–original languages and culture.

    That is to say if she has not already been brain washed to believe that women are not to interpret the Scriptures (as at least one church around here teaches), but that men, husbands and fathers and the male church hierarchy, must do that for them.

    There is always hope for her.

    And thank you for reminding us that Jesus didn’t teach this stuff. Indeed, were He around today, and these men were in his company, they would likely have reacted exactly like the early disciples and religious leaders who criticized Him back then for how He treated women.

    For example, modern day male religious leaders (as they esteem themselves) would no doubt have chided Jesus for talking with the woman at the well and giving her, first, the teaching on the Holy Spirit (and, as He noted, she didn’t even have a current husband!).

    For another example, the modern sadducees and pharisees would likely not have approved of Jesus telling Martha that Mary had chosen the better place learning at His feet rather than serving in the kitchen.

    For another example, and I think this would really have made our contemporary self-appointed religious rulers most angry, they likely would NOT have approved of Jesus revealing Himself post-resurrection first, to a woman, and then commissioning her as the first Gospel preacher.

    And these are no minor revelations.

    For Jesus to have been in the company of a Samaritan woman of such ill repute, let alone to have taught her a core Christian truth, was unthinkable. For Jesus to have elevated Mary to the status of “student” over “homekeeper/cook,” if you will, was shocking. For Jesus to have chosen a (mere) woman to preach the Gospel message on which THE foundational truth of Christianity rests (“He is risen”) must have rocked the male world to ITS foundation, back then…

    And I am glad that Jesus is still the same “yesterday, today, and forever,” the teachings of the modern day male dominance movement notwithstanding.

    What makes it hard is the cognitive dissonance: but those guys seem so NICE…and may well be….which, of course, has nothing at all to do with subjugating one half of the Body of Christ to the spiritual equivalent of the curse, again, for which Jesus, our real Savior, hung on the cross..for both male and female, Jew and Greek, slave and free man… Jesus, the One and only Savior, by the way, another core Christian truth that becomes dangerously obfuscated in the modern day re-invention of the church to promote gain for those who would deem themselves demi-gods.

    I hope the young lady will soonjoin us at the feet of Jesus…


  5. pnissila says:

    NOTE: my reference to the “girl” in my previous post was to the girl in the bookstore. Not Ms. Stewart. I wish WordPress had an edit option :).


  6. Pingback: Engaging in a Black Market of egalitarian books | bWe Baptist Women for Equality's Blog

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