Do You Think Complementarianism Is So Important to Some People That They Deny Women More Opportunities Than the Bible Denies Them?

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Do you think complementarianism is so important to some people that they deny women more opportunities than the Bible denies them?

That does happen. But the problem there is not that complementarianism is important, but it's that they don't understand it.

You can't say, "Here's a truth, and that truth is so important it distorts the implementation of the truth." Because if you implement it the wrong way, it's not the truth anymore. It's not what we're saying.

I dealt with a couple one time. They were sitting in front of me, and she said, "He learned from you that I have to get permission from him for everything I do." I said, "Really? Like what?" And she said, "To go to the bathroom! He won't let me leave the room without his permission. If I get up and walk out of the room, he says, 'Hey, you're supposed to ask me first.'"

That's not because the man values complementarianism. That's not complementarianism. That's sick! So we do deny women things that we shouldn't deny them, if we're sick.

Now the person asking this question is probably not going there. They're probably thinking, "In the church, what kinds of ministries might a woman do?"

And my answer would be that it's a delicate thing when you're not dealing with the clear, black-and-white issues of elder and non-elder. I mean, I think it's clear in the Bible that women should not be the elders of the church, the spiritual leaders of the church.

What kind of Sunday school classes they teach, what ages of boys they teach—those are ambiguities, and I'm sure there are people who make unwise decisions at that point in the restriction of women. Or the woman could carry on a speaking ministry among women, and some men begin to gravitate into those things. I mean, things like that.

So the answer would be, clearly, Yes, there are people who would draw lines in places that they shouldn't be drawn. And we should just be constantly sensitive to what is the wise and loving application of the biblical clarity that we have for these situations. And we're going to probably make different judgments about that.