Sexism Wrapped in Theological Jargon

I am a firm believer in complementarianism. I believe that God created men and women with different roles within the family and the church. My position is not unusual but, I would argue, is biblical. I seem to spend a lot of time talking about it, but not in the way you might think. I actually spend just as much, if not more, arguing against a hyper view of complementarity than I do with my egalitarian friends (who hold the view that they is no distinction of roles between men and women).

I fight so much against the hyper-complementarity that is evident in parts the church because it is 1) unbiblical, 2) it robs women of the opportunity to serve and 3) it’s sexism wrapped up in theological language.

I understand that the Bible is clear on the role of men and women being distinct within the home and church family. My understanding in no way diminishes the gifts and abilities of women, I believe that every woman has been equipped to serve the church and her family. But as I read the Bible, specifically places like 1 Timothy 2 and Ephesians 5 (and others), there is a distinction where the head of the house is a man and the elders in church and those who teach are also men.

That doesn’t mean that women have no role in the home or in church, I have previous written a four part series saying that women do have a role and their voice must be listened to. But that isn’t our topic for today.

The issue I have found myself struggling with this week is the idea that women shouldn’t be in any position that puts them in danger. Personally, I would love for nobody (male or female) to be in a position of danger, but due to the fallen world we live in that is unlikely.

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and came across a post. Someone has taken a screen shot of Kira Rudik’s Twitter post about bearing arms in the war against Russia. Kira is a politician who has decided to stay and fight for her country. Here is her original post.

The screenshot and post commenting on Kira’s position was on Instagram and said this.

And therein lies the problem…

“I do not believe that women should go to war (though doing so would be courageous if that is what feminists were all about), and while I do not have a compelling biblical argument in support of my stance, I feel that such an argument may be found somewhere in the Bible. Please provide any scriptural explanations you may have for or against women actively participating in wars in the comments section.”

A reformed complementarian holding to a position that women should not go to war (or actually hold any positions that would put them in danger) admitting no biblical evidence for their position but asking for help to find it. I’ll tell you… there isn’t any.

I understand the desire for nobody to be in the line of fire, but to restrict that only to women because men are the saviours of the world is completely going beyond what the Bible says. This is a serious issue because people are taking good and solid biblical positions beyond what the Bible actually says. This post is suggesting that no woman should be in the army or police force or fire service, simply because of their anatomy. The Bible makes no such claims. You can hold views that women shouldn’t be in the armed forces (I personally wouldn’t agree) but you cannot argue them from a biblical point of view.

Complementarity, as seen in the Bible, is restricted to the home and the church family. For any Christian to go beyond that shows a view of masculinity and femininity that is unbiblical and supported more by alpha-male rhetoric than the individuals might realise.

I don’t want anyone to go to war, but to restrict people simply based on their gender, and to try to base that conviction on biblical grounds, is absurd. Biblical complementarity is restricted to the home and to the church, to go beyond that is mere sexism wrapped in theological language. Don’t be that guy, but be men and women who search the Scriptures, who live by them and who base their convictions on the Bible not on what a subset of Christian culture says about it.

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