Posts Tagged ‘Complementarianism’

Birdbrained Thoughts of Saddleback

The SBC recently voted to disfellowship Saddleback Church, their second largest congregation, because they have a woman on staff with the title ‘pastor’. The denomination affirmed their commitment to complentarianism and many of the hot takes on Twitter from both the left and right have been weak. Here are some thoughts on the topic:

  1. A woman doesn’t have to hold the office of elder/bishop/overseer/pastor to participate in the work of the Great Commission. Claiming that forbidding a woman to hold that office silences or sidelines them is demeaning to the many great woman who have worked to advanced the kingdom without having that title.
  2. Pastor, elder, overseer, and bishop are all the same office and therefore have the same duties, authority, and qualifications. Trying to make ‘pastor’ to be something other than an elder is not helpful.
  3. Complementarianism does not hang on one word in 1 Tim. 2:12 which only appears once in the Bible. It is a theme throughout the course of redemptive history.
  4. Paul’s prohibition in 1 Timothy 2 is not rooted to a situation unique to Ephesus. He grounds his argument in creation in 1 Timothy 2:13-14.
  5. Though Miriam and Deborah and Esther and Mary Magdalene and Priscilla and Junia and Phoebe had important roles in redemptive history, there is not a single woman called an elder/bishop/overseer/pastor in the Bible.
  6. Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or “well known to the apostles” but that does not make her an apostle on par with The Twelve. “Apostle” could have been what they called missionaries in the first century or she and her husband Andronicus could have been disciples known to the apostles.
  7. You can be a born-again, Bible-believing, inerrancy-affirming Christian and an egalitarian. Claiming that inerrancy is on the line in ordaining women is a bad take. It equates your interpretation with inerrancy.
  8. There is more said about women’s behavior in church than just 1 Tim. 2:11 and 1 Cor. 14:34-35. They prophecy (1 Cor. 11:5) and pray (1 Cor. 11:13). Therefore, they can speak in church.
  9. Contra some Puritans, “prophecy” in the New Testament is not just preaching a Sunday morning sermon.
  10. Contra some charismatics, “prophecy” is not an authoritative word from the Lord.
  11. “Sunday school” is not a category of teaching detailed in the Bible. There is no Biblical authority given to an adult Sunday school teacher who is not an elder. When we get squeamish about a woman teaching an adult Sunday school class with men and women, know that our squeamishness comes from an inference, not a command. That doesn’t make it right or wrong.