Monday, July 07, 2008

A Nonhierarchical-Complementarian Viewpoint

Here is an article by Alan Johnson which presents A Christian Understanding of Submission: A Nonhierarchical - Complementarian Viewpoint. Its a good read for anyone, lots of interesting historical stuff. I don't agree with everything in it but overall it is a good piece of writing.

I want to cite a couple of passages. First, here is a note of appreciation for the statement that wives should submit. This is just a humourous aside. More from this article later.
    Shortly after the Southern Baptist Convention’s revision of its “Faith and Message” statement, which appears to embrace a patriarchal social order, a Jewish law professor at Northwestern University wrote to the Chicago Tribune
    and said,

      Though I yield to no person in my commitment to the accepted tenets of gender equality, I actually took some satisfaction in the Baptists’ pronouncement since it implicitly repealed their controversial 1996 resolution to preach conversion to the Jews. What, after all, is more likely to drive Jewish females away from evangelists than raising “submissiveness” to a religious requirement. I do know a thing or two about Jewish women (including the one to whom I have been happily married for 20 years). And while she is extraordinarily gracious in many situations, you can be absolutely assured that “submission” is entirely absent from her behavioral repertoire. . . .

      My good, assertive, outspoken, forceful Jewish wife will simply never be fodder for conversion to a creed that expects her to be submissive, graciously or otherwise. There is no submission in our family and not much “servant leadership” either. What we have instead, in a tradition dating back to our matriarchs, is debate, disagreement, dialogue and then more debate. I always thought that approach made our marriage happier, stronger, and certainly more interesting. Now it has the added benefit of making us immune to proselytization. (Steven Lubet, 6 September 1998)


Bill Heroman said...

hahahahahaha (lol)
nice excerpt!

Gem said...

The quote from Plutarch "a pagan writer in the middle of the first century" struck me as a more satisfying form of marriage, a more edifying use of the word "submission" than what I have read in many modern day Christian books.

Sad that the doctrines regarding marriage in modern Christendom are so warped as to make not only marriage unappealing (and divorce rates sky high), but Christianity itself unappealing.

Peter Kirk said...

Wow! If complementarianism destroys Christian witness to Jews, it must do all the more to the non-religious majority in western countries who probably even more strongly committed to egalitarianism. I suppose I am not sorry that complementarianism has sowed the seeds of its own decline (which it just might stave off by forcing its women to breed a lot), but I am sorry that in the process it has managed to spoil the witness of the rest of the church.