Not running in such circles, I was not aware of the term complementarianism as used by Fundamentalists. It was just the day before yesterday that I came across it thanks to Bruce Gerencser of "The World According to Bruce weblog": "Complementarianism and Egalitarianism Defined."

Well, today I came across an article, "Southern Baptist Scholar Links Spouse Abuse to Wives' Refusal to Submit to Their Husbands," by Bob Allen, 06-27-08, explaining the position of one Bruce Ware, who is a professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.

Bruce Ware believes wrongly that in all cases it is the man that must lead the woman. He bases this on his interpretation of scripture going back to the Garden of Eden.

Well, here's the truth. There are marriages where the woman tells the man that he better get on and stay on the strait and narrow. If she means that he better be Christlike where she is being more Christlike than he is, he better do what she's telling him. He better follow her lead and example. That's just how it is.

The problem with Bruce Ware's position is ego and the desire to control regardless of whose position is the more righteous.

In the proper marriage, both spouses will function as one flesh. They will automatically look to each other to encourage one another to get on and to remain on the strait and narrow. Each will readily accept the truth spoken by the other and will willingly and readily change direction for righteousness' sake.

All men are not closer to God than are all women. All women are not closer to God than are all men. It varies, and can change with the circumstances and situation. The most important thing is open, honest, and direct communication. If both spouses keep in mind the New Commandment, they will always be able to see their way clear together as one.

They are equal and they are not. They are one and they are differentiated. There is nothing wrong with that aspect of complementarianism. The problem is when the wrongheaded male insists on having things his way when it is his wife who has the better grasp on the message Jesus brought to the world.

There are some really moral (bright) women in the world, and a husband should consider himself fortunate and not threatened to have one for his wife.


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • Tom,

      You need to get out more :)

      In Evangelicalism this is such a pervasive teaching that it has become an unwritten standard. It is assumed and implied throughout the practice of the Church.

      Fortunately there seems to be movement away from this. Progressive evangelicals following the lead of men Brian McClaren, Ron Sider, Tony Campolo, etal are rethinking the role of women, ordination, etc.

      It will be a good day when women can truly be equal in the Church.

      Certainly there are differences between males and females. God designed differences. But it is far different to suggest that the differences mean that the woman is somehow inferior to the man.



    • Hello Bruce Gerencser,

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Bless you.

      I was raised a Republican/Episcopalian until I dropped out at aged 7 and 11, respectively, from those things. I did go back for confirmation classes and was confirmed. It didn't last long though. The only exposure I had to Fundamentalism and so-called conservative evangelicalism was via TV. I actually watched the earliest televangelists out of the spirit of fascination with their fakery. The TV faith-healers were a lowbrow joke to me. It was a sideshow (snake oil) and they were barkers (salesmen) later counting the sucker's money in the tent or wagon. It hasn't changed. Now I look upon them as being much more dangerous and misleading.

      It was like watching B-grade sci-fi movies where we would say a scene was "fakey" (if that's the proper spelling of the slang). It was worst than "Big Time Wrestling" in my eyes. I watched that too and for the same reason. It was nothing but fake entertainment, although I did consider them athletic, etc.

      Just to be clear though, I knew that the Fundamentalists believe in what they've defined as complementarian. I just didn't know that they had attached that term euphemistically. So, for them, it's a new connotation. The fact that they believe that the man is always to be the head was never lost on me.

      I do keep my own vocabulary lists going. When I run into terms that are new to me, I try to get around to adding them. It depends upon how pressed for time I am.

      It sure is obvious that the Dispensationalists and such love to put their brand on certain words.

      Of course, when they come to my site and read, they are lost. They can't speak my language. Bridging the gap is a real challenge.

      See you around, brother.


      P.S. Is the first syllable of your last name pronounced "jur," "gear," or some other way?

    • Tom,

      Grr IN sir (if you are my generation)

      Some of my aunts and uncles say it GRINsir

      Gerencser is Hungarian. If you run into a Gerencser in the US it is likely we are related.

      You are right about language. I know in my fundamentalist days (and dispensational) we had our own language, even our own code.(buzz words) For those not in the loop they tned to get lost)

      I feel blessed that I can converse on either side of the fence. While I am certainly on the progressive, liberal side of the fence now I still am able to talk with my more conservative brethren (if they are still talking to me) :)

      I trust your 4t of July is blessed.