Question of the Week

Question of the Week: Where do you stand on gender?

question-week2Each Week on Saturday, I’ll be asking a “Question of the Week.” I’d love your input and discussion! Ask a good question in the comments and it may show up as the next week’s question! I may answer the questions in the comments myself.


It’s no secret on this blog that I support egalitarianism–the view that men and women should serve God through giftedness instead of by gender (read on this topic here). However, I’m curious to see what spectrum my readers have on this important topic.

What do you think is the correct biblical view of the relationship between the genders?

It is worth noting that the dichotomy between full egalitarianism/full complementarinism is a false one. There are those who hold that women may be leaders in the church but not the home (and vice versa), along with a spectrum of other beliefs among these. So I’m curious to know what you think. Let’s not start a theology war here; this post is intended merely for sharing your position.


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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


4 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Where do you stand on gender?

  1. I grew up in a very complementarian culture, but as I grew older and had to come to my own conclusions I stopped treated the Bible as this stand alone entity that didn’t connect to reality and daily life. I started dealing with issues of context, culture, and what really defined the gospel. I think when the scripture talks about there being no male and female in Christ and a priesthood of all believers that we have inclusive language.

    In university we had female Bible professors and some of the students were adamant that they could not sit under their tutelage as a matter of conscience. I find the whole practice very degrading.

    Posted by joecoylekr | July 26, 2014, 6:52 AM
    • I haven’t studied this issue, so I don’t have any firm position eitherway. However I’m not sure I buy the idea that women can be pastors since there is neither male nor female in Christ. Does this same logic extend to allowing a gay Christian male to marry another gay Christian male since there is no male/female distinction in Christ? I’m guessing most evangelical egalitarians would say the answer is no. But then why does one male/female (marriage) distinction remain but not the other (pastor)?

      Posted by Remington | July 26, 2014, 3:58 PM
      • Since I support same sex marriages and other gender equality issues I would, personally, say yes. And I’ve had female pastors and leaders that have done me worlds of good. That’s me though.

        Posted by joecoylekr | July 27, 2014, 12:16 AM
  2. I’m generally complementarian, although not as extreme as some. I find that, even in light of cultural context, Ephesians 5:22-33 paints a picture of a relationship where, in a marital relationship, the wife submits to the husband in a way that the husband does not submit to the wife, the general submission of Christians to one another notwithstanding. With regards to ministry, I therefore hold, as a minimum standard, that a wife should not be in authority over her husband.

    As for women in ministry, I do find the cultural arguments about the relevant passages somewhat more convincing, although not enough to dissuade me from a complementarian leaning position. Examples such as Deborah in the OT make it clear that not all leadership positions are closed to women. I have also had some interesting discussions regarding whether particular ministerial positions qualify as authority positions or not. It is because of this that I find myself holding to the standard I mentioned in my previous paragraph – I do believe that a wife must submit to her husband and that any position that would require him to submit to her leadership is one that she should not take. However, beyond that restriction, while I lean very marginally towards the position that church leadership should be males only, it is not a battle I would fight to the death over.

    One thing that has been important for me in reconciling complementarianism with the fundamental equality of men and women is the fact that difference in role, even if such a difference is necessary and not voluntary, does not entail difference in value. This is true even if the difference in role includes difference in authority, largely because of what authority is Biblically. Biblical authority is not for the benefit of the one who receives it. If it was, complementarianism would contradict the equality of men and women, because men would be given the right to use authority for their own benefit while women would be required to submit. However, the Biblical model of authority is the use of it for the service of others. Having read a few of your other posts on gender, you use the example of a husband who is unhappy in his job with a wife who is happy, with the husband using his authority to enforce a move of the family so that he can be in a job that he is happy in. That is not a case of the wife being inferior; it’s a case of the man falling into sin, because he took the gift of authority and used it selfishly. As a rule of thumb, I would assert that a complementarian model lived out should mean that, in any disputed decision between husband and wife, the husband makes the final decision, but the decision he is expected to make puts himself last and prioritises doing the best thing for his wife and family. The fact that there are good things that men are able to do and women aren’t, or vice versa, does not make them unequal; it simply makes them different.

    Posted by tsaebxiii | July 28, 2014, 12:43 AM

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