Three main streams of thought on the roles of men and women exist within the church. They are briefly defined below. For a fuller explanation, click here.
Complementarianism (n.) The belief that men and women have complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage and the church. Leadership roles are prescribed for men; support roles are prescribed for women.
Egalitarianism (n.) The belief that men and women are called to roles and responsibilities in marriage and in the church based on their giftedness, regardless of gender.
Chauvinism (n.) The belief that men and women are of intrinsically different worth, usually that men are superior to women.
Okay, I admit it– obviously chauvinism is not a legit third position. While it should be clear to all that chauvinism is in direct opposition to biblical truth, we see it practiced (if not labeled) in many independent Baptist churches today. That’s why I include it as a third stream of thought even though it is really only a distortion of complementarianism. This post by blogger Wendy Alsup, who calls herself a complementarian, addresses some common pitfalls with the complementarian position. Concluding with an exhortation to handle the Word precisely, she draws us into a valid debate in the gender role discussion. Read it for yourself here.
What do you think are the dangers of the complementarian position?