A very interesting article looking at mice. Okay, its not really about mice but I wont tell you till you read through.
Imagine this scene: you are enjoying an evening dinner party at your home. All of a sudden a mouse scurries across the floor parting the room like the Red Sea. The men jump up on their chairs and begin screaming for someone to get the intruder. One of the ladies puts down her appetizer plate and calmly grabs the broom and corals the little varmint. The disaster has been averted.
Is there anything wrong with this scene?
There is everything wrong with it. We all know that the guys in this story need some remedial classes at The Art of Manliness. They have some dereliction of gender issues.
I bring up this fictional story to illustrate that some distinction in the roles between the genders are assumed. Even the strongest feminist would have some reaction to a room full of men acting this way, even if it was pity. The differences between the sexes are not merely phenotypical. It is ok and right to encourage, practice and celebrate these differences.
Regrettably, it’s not so cut and dry among professing Christians. As you are probably aware it’s often a hotly debated issues. Within evangelicalism there are two contrasting views on the roles of men and women, egalitarianism and complimentarianism.
Some quick definitions:
Complementarianism is the theological view that although men and women are created equal in their being and personhood, they are created to complement each other via different roles and responsibilities as manifested in marriage, family life, religious leadership, and elsewhere. It is rooted in more literal interpretations of the Creation account and the roles of men and women presented in Scripture.
Egalitarianism, within Christianity, is a movement based on the theological view that not only are all people equal before God in their personhood, but there are no gender-based limitations of what functions or roles each can fulfill in the home, the church, and the society. It is sometimes referred to as biblical equality.
It is important to note that both systems see the equality in terms of worth between the sexes but only complimentarianism sees a distinction in roles. The egalitarian position shows itself with women pastors and elders in the local church as well as a home-life that appears more culturally progressive (feminist).
I am a complimentarian because I believe the Bible teaches that men and woman are equal in worth but have distinctive roles (Gal. 3.28; 1 Cor. 11.3ff; Eph. 5.25). Husbands are the head of their wives (1 Cor. 11.3) just as Jesus is the head of the church (Eph. 5.23) this is why wives are to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5.22). This submission does not diminish the value of the wife any more than Christ’s submission to his Father diminishes his (1 Cor. 11.3). The pastors in the church are to be men and the leaders in the home are to be men. Again, equal in worth but distinction in roles.
As Christians sometimes we can get a little red-faced when we express our biblical convictions in the public square. We receive some push-back because biblical theology is out of step with a secularist worldview. But this has always been true. Consider why Paul had to hit these items in his letters (1 Cor. 11, 14.33-35; 2 Tim. 2.11-12; Eph. 5.22-33).
In the face of such things we should remember that we are instructed and governed by the Scriptures. They remain our authority.
At the same time we are instructed and reassured a bit by human nature. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and bring a mouse to your next dinner party.