Monday, May 2, 2016

What Do Thin Complementarians Want?

Carl and Aimee






According to Aimee Byrd Denny Burk called her and Carl Trueman "thin complementarians." I suppose for sake of comparison John MacArthur is a "fat complementarian." The Bayly Boys (Tim and David) have seen so many Terminator movies, drunk so much Muscle Milk, and had so many testosterone/steroid cocktails that they find "complementarian" a girly word. They are real men - patriarchs of their families and churches who know where women belong.

I have decided to classify myself a libertarian complementarian. For two reasons: First, I don't want to anyone, including me, to be compelled to follow someone else's convictions about male-female roles. I am indifferent about who mows the grass, or loads the dishwasher, or changes the flat tire, or cooks supper at your house. I am also indifferent about who may read Scripture in worship at your church, and I have said before that I would prefer to hear the Gospel from a female preacher than heresy from a male one. Work these things out among yourselves. Second, as a libertarian, I mainly want to be left alone. Don't hand me a set rules about how to be a man. I'll work that out with the little lady at my house. And, if she suggests I watch a Lifetime movie, I want the freedom to say, "No," and if asked, "Why?" to reply, "I don't want to." 

But I digress.

Lately Amy and Carl are not happy with Kevin DeYoung's 9 Marks of Healthy Biblical Complementarianism. I know I'm dense, but when, because of Carl and Aimee's heartburn about it, I got around to reading it, I had to ask, "What's the fuss?" However Aimee wrote, A Response to Kevin DeYoung's 9 Marks which asks, "Why, if, as Kevin says, iron sharpening discussion is welcome on the subject of complementarianism and, if women are encouraged pursue theological interests, has nobody ever answered concerns I have expressed? Could it be because I am an XX person?" She followed up with Listening to Women in which she reposts a blog by Rachel Starke in which Ms. Starke seems to argue that the Holy Spirit meant by St. Luke's telling of the story of the witness of the women on Easter and St. Matthew's telling of the story Pilate's wife's warning on Good Friday to tell us to listen to women. (Again I am sure I am dense, but, just as I find a lot of the discussion of race by Reformed Blacks to sound like it comes out of an African American Studies Department, so I find some of discussion of sex/gender - you choose - by evangelical women to sound like it comes out of a Women's Studies Department.) Today Carl has posted Truly Biblical Complementarianism where he links to Scott McKnight's 9Marks of the Truly Complementarian.

You're all big boys and girls so you can read these things for yourselves if you wish. 

But Darryl Hart has put me in a Bible thumping frame of mind, so I want to ask (sincerely) the thin complementarians to tell me what these verses mean:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands... However... let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24,33).
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening (1 Peter 3:1-6).
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:33b-35).
...women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control (1 Timothy 3:10b-15).
Please take into account all textual and contextual material you find relevant and necessary to the right understanding of what St. Paul and St. Peter are saying. Just tell me me what these texts of Scripture say. To choose a hard case, tell me what "submit in everything" means for a wife if she is married to a jerk, who makes stupid decisions, and gives unreasonable directions. Tell me why Sarah should have called Abraham, who did some really dumb stuff, "lord." And, if you will,  explain to me what Kevin DeYoung said that was wrong - by commission and omission. I am listening. 

Now, I have Cornish hens to fix for supper. (Did you know that Cornish hens may be boys or girls?)



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