Another fine, FINE, article on Ian Paul’s site as he teams up with Andrew Bartlett showing that complementarianism and “complementarity” (yep; that’s a thing) fail. Here’s the conclusion:

Men and women are the same as each other (human beings, made in God’s image) and are also different from each other (created male and female). In so far as they are the same, both men and women may show good character and have spiritual gifts of leadership. In so far as they are different, they may bring different contributions in leadership. While Jesus was God’s perfect image even on his own, church leaders are not Jesus. In practice, the full expression of God’s image by the leaders of the church is facilitated if they are both male and female. The beautiful difference is displayed in co-leadership.

It is unbiblical because Scripture nowhere uses “fathers” as a metaphor for local church elders, or as a description of them. The biblical metaphor of the church as family posits not any earthly pastor as father of the family, but God as father and God’s people as children (John 1:12-13), with Jesus as the firstborn and believers as his brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29Hebrews 1:5-62:10-11). Our leaders are our elder siblings in Christ. Believers are God’s family, not the elders’ family. 

Again, we should emphasize that seeing women and men as both being able to exercise ministry and leadership does not imply that women and men are fully interchangeable and without difference. Believing that both can lead is not a slippery slope to secular gender-identity ideologies. To this extent, we agree with many of the things that Wilson says in the first part of his article about differences in creation; it is the development in the second half to make an absolute distinction in eligibility for eldership that we have shown is mistaken.

Complementarianism’s spoiling of the beautiful difference continues to damage and restrict many churches and many believers. It is not biblical. It is not necessary. It is a tragedy. Let the fog blow away. It is time to leave it behind.

Do check out, “Spoiling the Beautiful Difference“.

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