After a great deal of thought, prayer, and study, and most of all after several years spent attending complementarian churches, I am ready to make a statement. Most of you are going to say “Well, I could have told you that and saved you all this time.” I know, I know, but I needed to discover it for myself.
*Steps up to microphone* *tap tap* Testing… *clears throat* R’hrm…
Complementarianism is sexist.
There, I said it. That doesn’t mean that complementarians are sexist–by and large, I think they’re just misguided about what they see as necessary conclusions of taking the Bible literally–but I don’t think you’ll ever find a complementarian church that really treats the roles of men and women as separate but equal, as it were. Instead, I believe that every complementarian church is, at some level, telling women to shut up and sit down.
Maybe it’s overt, like Christian domestic discipline (warning: potentially NSFW). Or maybe it’s subtle, like all the pictures on the Women’s Ministry webpage being of mothers. Or the discovery that the church bookstore won’t stock books by women unless they’re specifically written for women about women’s issues. Maybe it’s never really laid out overtly, and you have to piece together from various statements made in different contexts that this church believes that, ideally, women would never have careers, ever*.
I haven’t yet decided what to do about this. Unless I go smack some sense into C.J. Mahaney himself–and, in fact, into the entire Reformed movement, which is as closely bound to complementarianism as it is to Calvinism–I couldn’t possibly change anyone’s mind in a way that might have a substantive effect. And yet I am left with the feeling that I have nothing to contribute to this church, because all my areas of strength have a stamp on them that says MEN ONLY.
*That church is not Sovereign Grace, by the way.