Quoting Quiverfull: Egalitarians Serving God of Self?

Quoting Quiverfull: Egalitarians Serving God of Self? March 23, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Johnathan Leeman of 9Marks – Complementarianism & the Local Church: Editor’s Note

Editor’s note: Magnificent Straw Man construction by this man. He doesn’t come right out and say that being an eglitarian is rooted in selfishness, but he dances around it with Christianese. Evangelical gobblety-gook.

Egalitarianism depends upon the worldview of individualism. That doesn’t mean egalitarians are all self-centered. It means that individual desires and talents trump any class or category considerations. So the rule-makers should never keep anyone belonging to the class of “female” from being whatever she wants to be. And complementarians, admittedly, limit what members of this class can be in the home and church. Based on the egalitarian’s sense of justice, this is irrational. It is 2+2=5. Complementarianism is not just a different perspective, it defies an egalitarian’s basic assumptions about what it means to be human and is therefore dangerous. How many of history’s grand exploitations and terrors have rooted in the systemic prejudice of one group over another!

As such, the emotions and the rhetoric run hot, as they always do in political contests where the two sides appear irrational to one another. Why? Because our rationalities always derive from our gods. Or rather, what you take to be “most reasonable” or “most rational” is your god. A god cannot be questioned. A god is the unmoved mover. A god is the word or logic who cannot be overruled. Emotions boil hot because one’s gods hold one’s universe together and gives it meaning, so we go to battle for them.

Precisely here, then, is where the complementarian, in all of his or her worldly folly, leans in toward the egalitarian and warns, “Be careful you are not serving an idol, at least in this one area of your doctrine. You’ll have a pretty good idea that you are if, in spite of the plain teaching of the text, you’ll find some justification for re-interpreting it because your sense of justice can imagine it no other way.”

Complementarians imagine a different kind of home and church than egalitarians. They are just as acquainted with authority fallen, but they can better imagine authority redeemed. They know that being in authority is no better than being under authority, because both are assignments given by God for the sake of serving him and his praise. They know that redeemed authority creates, enlivens, and empowers, and it’s a shade short of silly to argue over who gets to empower and who gets to be empowered in God’s kingdom. In fact, if there is an advantage to be had, it doesn’t belong to the person called to lay down his life, it belongs to the person who receives life because the first person lays his down.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


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  • Baby_Raptor

    They know that redeemed authority creates, enlivens, and empowers, and it’s a shade short of silly to argue over who gets to empower and who gets to be empowered in God’s kingdom.

    Then why do patriarchy types spend so much time talking about how the male is in charge and his every whim has to be satisfied to the point that his mate gives herself up completely?

    Also, hello projection! This guy is so wrapped up in his own beliefs that he cannot comprehend someone else not having a “god.” So he has to force a god on them no matter how he has to define “god” to do so.

  • Double-speak. Very Orwellian. “Subordination is empowerment.” Problem is that it just isn’t. Calling it so won’t make it so.

  • persephone

    I hear “The clock struck thirteen” every time one of these ijits opens his mouth or pounds his keyboard.

  • Rebecca Horne

    It seems very weird to me that they’d conclude that egalitarianism has to be motivated by self-centeredness.

    It seems at least equally true to say it’s motivated by concern and respect for others–you don’t want your partner to go along with what you want, if her idea would be better. You want to serve your partner to make sure that she meets her goals. You want you and your partner to both be serving the other, and caring for each other, and you want the full range of human behaviors available to both of you so you can both compliment each other as well as possible.

    For that matter…I get confused, too, when people talk about taking care of yourself as if it’s a bad thing. If I pick up my things when I leave a table, then I’m being responsible. If I don’t, then somebody else has to. If I take care of my own brain, then I’m going to be less likely to lash out at other people, or melt down at/around them, and put them in the position of having to deal with it. It’s responsible to take care of yourself, and it enhances your ability to take care of other people!

  • Allison the Great

    I don’t particularly care If I’m selfish for not wanting to be “under authority”. I don’t believe in the “order of creation” or anything else in the bible. I think it’s silly that as a female I have to be “under authority” because of myth.

  • Why did Christ center his ministry around women and treat them equally?

  • SAO

    He says, “A god cannot be questioned,” but that’s what complementarians say about husbands, so I lean in and warn complementarian wives, “Be careful you are not serving an idol.”

  • ShaLaLa

    My thoughts exactly. I mean, he’s correct that it’s rather silly to argue about who gets to be in charge. Too bad it’s not the egalitarians having that argument. I mean, that’s kind of the point: no one is in charge. Instead you get to be a team.

    Also, why the hell wouldn’t “individual desires and talents trump any class or category considerations”? One of these things is arbitrary and socially constructed, while the other positively impacts an individual’s ability to effectively complete a task.

    Guess that’s just my god-idol talking.

  • katiehippie

    “You’ll have a pretty good idea that you are if, in spite of the plain teaching of the text, you’ll find some justification for re-interpreting it because your sense of justice can imagine it no other way.”

    This is such a poorly written sentence. How can he take himself seriously? I think he’s talking more about himself than egalitarians.

  • But this particular religious tradition is full of examples of people questioning God. Starting with Abraham. “Shall the judge of all the earth not do right?” Gen. 18:25. And in any event, questioning the “plain teaching of the text” isn’t even questioning God– it’s questioning the religious authorities who claim this is the plain teaching of the text. And yes, when a reading of the text challenges the most basic principles of justice, it needs to be questioned. I agree that it’s also a good idea to question our assumptions about justice– but he’s got it backwards as to which should give way first.

    Abraham, as far as I can see, had it right. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do justly?” is the legitimate question in this case too, which question Mr. Leeman wants to suppress. Interesting that God didn’t try to suppress the question, according to the text, but was actually swayed by the human’s argument.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Egalitarians agree! That’s why we don’t have one spouse “in charge” of the other one. Thus, no arguments over the issue.

    Besides, didn’t Jesus himself say quite a lot about how “the last would be first”, and urging his followers to shun kyriarchal thinking?

  • Evelyn

    Oh, if patriarchs truly laid down their lives! My experience in CP was that they *say* they would lay down their lives, in the sense of jumping in front of the hypothetical mac truck bearing down on their family, and so they check that box and think they are good to go. The reality of laying down your life a zillion times a day, though? Getting up with sick kids/spouse, going without so that you can afford shoes for the kid who won’t stop growing, swallowing irritation and choosing to be kind when you’ve just had it? They make their wives do that, but they never do.