The purpose of this blog is to share what I’m studying in the Bible in relation to the differing positions of complementarianism and egalitarianism. I am coming at it with the view that reading the Bible with a complementarian view is demeaning and oppressive to women. It is my view that God does not support a “Divine Hierarchy” in which women are subordinate to men by the very nature of their woman-ness. I will approach the Bible as a whole(rather than picking out one or two verses out of context to prove a point), which I think can give me a better picture of God’s intention for the relationship between men and women.
I believe that complementarians’ attempts at hyper-defining gender roles is wrong. It causes men and women to put expectations on themselves that are unrealistic and unreachable. It causes them to be preoccupied with acting like a “Biblical” woman or man, even though the Bible doesn’t actually define these things. We are called to pursue Jesus, holiness, and the fruits of the spirit. The Bible never tells us to pursue Biblical womanhood or manhood. These false definitions distract us from what’s true and real.
I named this blog “A Profound Mystery” because of Ephesians 5:32. Ephesians 5 is the chapter in the Bible that is used to teach women to be submissive to their husbands, and to tell husbands to lead their wives(although it doesn’t actually say anything about leading). In verse 32, Paul says this is “a profound mystery”, and that he is talking about “Christ and the Church”. I think what he is saying is the oneness in marriage between a man and a woman is not easily defined, but it will be used somehow to represent the relationship between Christ and the church. It is a good thing to study God’s Word and to try to understand what this “profound mystery” means for our lives practically. But to hyper-define what is means to be a man or woman by assigning them a permanent place in a hierarchy and forcing them to perform “roles”, like actors in a play, is oppressive to men and women alike.
This blog is about searching for truth from the Word of God, with a focus on gender. I do not claim to be a teacher of the Word, and I am fully aware that my study and interpretation may sometimes be incomplete or mistaken. I am in no way claiming to know all the answers. My intention is to pursue God through His Word, to draw closer to Him along the way, and to share what I learn with others.
I do consider myself a feminist, but I need to clarify what I mean by the word feminist, as there are very different types of feminism. The concept of feminism is highly misunderstood, especially in the Christian subculture. Lynn Japinga, in her book Feminism and Christianity, defines feminism ~
~ “…as a commitment to the humanity, dignity, and equality of all persons…their ultimate goal is a social order in which women and men of all races and classes can live together in justice and harmony.”
I want to make a few things clear:
~ I do not hate men.
~ I am not angry at men.
~ I believe the Bible is God’s Word.
~ I believe abortion is sin, and do not support it at all.
I feel the need to clarify the above points because they are often associated with the word “feminist”. The most important worldview I am interested in is a Biblical one. However, I think history proves that God’s Word has been interpreted through a patriarchal lens, for the most part. That’s where the idea of feminism come in, as in justice and equality for men and women as opposed to male privilege. This doesn’t mean I think there are mistakes in the Bible, but human beings have made mistakes in their interpretations of the Bible(like using the Bible to condone wife-beating and the slavery of blacks in early America). But I won’t go on about that here….that’s for future blog posts. Enjoy reading and learning with me, and if you disagree that’s fine, but please be respectful in your comments. Thank you,
~ Stephanie, also known as “creativehomeschooler”