Non-Affirming Egalitarianism Is Really Just Complementarianism

Non-Affirming Egalitarianism Is Really Just Complementarianism December 11, 2020

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A few weeks ago, I attempted to share a pro-woman article in a Christian Egalitarian Facebook group that I am in. If you aren’t quite sure what Christian Egalitarianism is, it is essentially this:

In theological spheres, egalitarianism generally means equality in authority and responsibilities between genders, in contrast to complementarianism. This entails women being able to exercise spiritual authority as clergy.

After a few hours went by, I got a message from one of the admins, which read:

Hi! I’m wearing my Biblical Christian Egalitarians hat. Our group rules prohibit any LGBTQ+ content or discussion, which is why we have to decline your requested post.

My response was as follows:

Oh, so you affirm women but not LGBTQ+?

To which, she replied:

We neither affirm nor deny, just liek [sic] with politics.

Now, imagine being an LGBTQ+ person and hearing this. Imagine having your entire gender and/or sexual identify allegorized to one’s politics. If you don’t see how crappy of an analogy that is, allow me to enlighten you.

You choose your political affiliation or choose to have no affiliation. You DON’T choose your sexuality or gender identity.

Also, imagine for a second how inconsistent and hypocritical this is. A group that affirms women in the same capacity as men won’t commit to applying the same rules for the LGBTQ+ community. Imagine hearing this as a woman: We neither affirm nor deny, just like politics.


Honestly, how is this any different than the complementarianism egalitarians rightly condemn? If complementarians believe that men are the only ones who can hold the office of clergy, how is it any different if an egalitarian believes that only straight people can do likewise? I don’t ask this rhetorically; I’m really curious how this all works.

You know, it’s really interesting to me that non-affirming egalitarians even exist. You think they would’ve learned by now. Is it not the same sort of ill-thought out, dude-bro theological work that has kept women down for too long that is responsible for keeping the LGBTQ+ community down? Can we not take the same sort of liberation approach to the LGBTQ+ community that we do for women? Are we not learning from our past mistakes? Sadly, the answer is “no” in many instances.

So, sorry for venting, and for not really having any answers for how we move forward. It just really bugs me when this sort of thing happens. It’s like, I get it. The LGBTQ+ question can be a difficult one for many Christians coming out of the throngs of bigoted fundamentalism. But so too is the “woman” question. And, at one point, the Church was having a discussion about slavery and interracial marriage. So, you know what? We need to have difficult discussions if we are ever going to move forward. And if the Church wants to be relevant ever again, it’s gonna have to catch up with the rest of the world. This whole thing about whether to affirm women or non-straight, non-binary folks is getting so damn tiring.

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I am an author, podcaster, social worker, and hip-hop artist. I have written multiple books on faith and spirituality, including Heretic! and The Bonfire Sessions series of booklets. Currently, I live in Northern California with my wife and daughter. In addition to writing and creating content, I enjoy European football, gardening, hiking, and biking. You can read more about the author here.
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