My appeal to complementarians – Stop telling me to calm down

My appeal to complementarians – Stop telling me to calm down September 11, 2012

I am getting a bit frustrated with my complementarian friends and their propensity to want to suggest that egalitarians are not respecting scripture.

I have been in several debates and found that as soon as I raise a decent point they either claim that they are trying to be scriptural or that we need to agree to disagree for the sake of unity (which is almost like saying ‘calm down’)

In particular I am bemused at the way complementarians do theological gymnastics with 1 Tim 2:12 and 1Tim 3:2

On the one hand they totally contextualise the first by allowing women to teach in certain circumstances; whilst on the other they refuse to accept that Paul may not have been addressing the gender of elders in 1Tim 3 but dealing with men having licence to have multiple partners (something that was not common for women).

I remember hearing Wayne Grudem at a Newfrontiers conference trying to navigate his way round the fact that Wendy Virgo had written a book (and by implication acted as a teacher).

His answer ‘I prefer to think of reading a book by a woman as having a chat over a coffee than as teaching’

The above is compounded by the constant references to respecting scripture as if the only way this can be done is to hold a complementarian position.

Let’s get a couple of things straight shall we:

1) Everybody contextualises. Even the most serious defenders of Calvinism do.

2) Some things are too important to not raise an objection to.

So complementarians let me appeal to you: Admit you contextualise and stop asking me to calm down.


Thanks to my good web friend, Al Molineaux for this challenging guest piece. Connect with him on Twitter.

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