Comments 7

  1. An interesting article. Does this mean there are no differences between men and women? Scripture teaches that both women and men are created in God’s image. Together we bear God’s image and reflect His glory. A little girl may want to play with a truck, and one day she will own one. Not all boys want to play football. Does this mean gender differences are a mere social construct? What if God the Creator built these differences into our very being while at the same time creating women and men fully in His image? If God created both women and men, can we refuse to recognize the splendor and distinction in His handiwork? Women as well as men did accompany Jesus in His earthly ministry, but can we ignore the fact that He did not include women in the list of “The Twelve” who became His apostles. Does this make women of less value? What if Jesus Himself recognized and called Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Susanna to a task distinct from the Apostles that reflects His sacrifice on the cross? Is it possible that the reason churches do not appoint women to the offices of pastor and elder and deacon is that they recognize these distinctions? In our egalitarian culture, we tend to assume differences represent something less and something more. But does this reflect Scripture’s teaching? Ephesians 5:22-33 does recognize distinctions between husbands and wives, yet both in their relationship with each other portray the gospel. The headship of the husband and the submission (yes, that word is used!) of the wife in beautiful harmony reflect the astounding grace of the cross portrayed in Jesus’ own ministry. He is the Head of His church, but He submits to the Father. This does not authorize a husband to put down his wife or to view her as of less worth. In fact he is to cherish her and lay down His life for her just as Christ loved the church and laid down His life for her (v. 25). Paul, writing the God-breathed Word of instruction about how the church as the pillar and ground of the truth is to conduct itself does not envision women as elders and deacons and actually declares that he does not permit a women to rule or have authority over a man (I Timothy 3:15; 2:11-15). To recognize the equality of men and women and to promote the high esteem of both and of the many callings shared by them does not remove the need to recognize distinctions too. Distinctions of role in both the home and the church call us to understand “biblical” manhood and womanhood. Contrary to the popular stereotype, biblical complementarians do not promote what might be scorned as a 19th century tyranny in home and church. Nor does it require that women only make cupcakes. After all Jesus did commend Mary for sitting at his feet to learn from Him (Luke 10:42). Women who participate in a robust study of theology can share in the priesthood of all believers which is the foundation for all the church offices – and could it be of even greater significance? So what would Jesus make of our gender scripted lives? How would we know unless we hear what He says in Scripture? Our egalitarian culture sings a loud song that would obliterate gender (and sex?) as a mere social construct. But then if we merely repeat what the culture proclaims, whose voice are we hearing? Are we listening to the culture, or will we hear the voice of Christ who is pre-eminent in all things?

    1. The author is not discussing gender differences. She is saying we should not apply our ideas about what is proper to men and women in rigid, uncritical ways. We should not expect or accept lower status and less pay for women, for example, because this is the definition of inequity. Applied to churches or marriages, prohibiting women from any particular role or task on the basis of their gender would be similarly unjust. This egalitarian view does not imply anything about gender or differences between men and women. It does not imply, require, or logically lead to the idea that gender differences are entirely a product of culture. I think it’s simply being argued on the basis of equality and fairness that “different but equally valued,” like “separate but equal,” is an unjust way of relating to others.

  2. “Applied to churches or marriages, prohibiting women from any particular role or task on the basis of their gender would be similarly unjust. ” So, God, speaking through Paul in I Timothy, is being unjust, eh, Gerry? That is a grave charge. One must not attempt to be wiser than God!

  3. My degrees and research will not impress you; however, I hold a degree in motherhood. God certified me four times. Before my children could walk, they amazed me with their sense of gender: my sons vrooming trucks across the floor and my daughters cuddling and caring for their dolls. They communicated from their earliest months something that confuses adults today: male and female were created differently.

    As for pay discrepancies between genders? Don’t worry. God is faithful to provide all we need.

  4. The “Gender Pay Gap” is a myth. If a man and a woman do the same job with the same amount of quality, they will be paid the same. The reason for the gap is because that study took all of the income from each gender and compared them and compared that women’s was 80% of men. This study didn’t take into effect the free choices of jobs each gender chose. The majority of school teachers are women, the majority of engineers are men. The free market values these skill sets differently and as a result they get paid differently. There is no CEO out there demanding their HR Dept. to pay all women in the company 80% of men. The majority of HR dept. are women by the way. Women often choose jobs that require less time away from home so they can take care of the kids and as a result they take a pass on more demanding jobs like that which usually make more money.

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