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Published Date: July 5, 2007

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Published Date: July 5, 2007

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Do Complementarians Really Believe in Equality?

Complementarian men say they believe women are equal, but what do they mean by that?

If they believe men have authority over women, are women equal? No. If men have more authority than women, this is not equality.

If men get to make the final decisions in the marriage, are women equal? No, since the man’s word counts for more than the woman’s, this is not equality.

If the men are the spiritual leaders of their wives, are women equal? The purpose of one person being the spiritual leader over another is so one is spiritually stronger than the other. If it is presumed that men are automatically spiritually stronger than the women then no, this is not equality.

There are complementarian men who put more emphasis on wives submitting than on husbands loving. If less emphasis is put on men giving than women giving (that’s how I translate submitting and loving), are women equal? No. If men are held less responsible for giving than women, this is not equality.

If God speaks to men directly and only indirectly to women, through men, are women equal? No. If God chooses to bestow his wonderful, precious direction to men rather than women, this is not equality.

If men get to have a say in the direction, governance, and teaching of the church and women don’t, are women equal? No. If men get more of a say than women, this is not equality.

If men are allowed to use all their gifts to serve the church, but women are only allowed to use part of their gifts, are women equal? No. If men have no restrictions on using their gifts and women do, this is not equality.

One complementarian writer says that women naturally submit to and support men. If women are expected to do this for men, but men aren’t expected to do this for women, are women equal? No. If men are expected to receive support from women but not women from men, this is not equality.

I know that in their literature complementarians repeatedly say they believe women are equal. But, if they truly do consider women equal, they need to define what they mean by it.