Posted: October 23rd, 2013
Gender and Theology Debate
The response to the second answer on the extent to which complementarian views are suppressant to women triggers a thought regarding how the roles should be shared in marriage. The complementarian view holds that men and women are equally created in terms of their personhood and dignity; however, their roles differ though in a complementary manner. In this, men are the heads in homes and the Church and subsequently other places. As much the “traditional” complementarian view of marriage may bring about sanity and control in homes, it emphasizes on gender diversity and brings about gender hierarchy, putting men at a more superior position than women. It contradicts itself by saying that both genders were created equal in dignity and later placing more importance on men’s roles, as opposed to those of women. According to Sparks, good and evil has coexisted since the beginning of creation; therefore, man, who is guided by the human spirit, may use the scripture to twist it in his favor, in a bid to satisfy selfish wants (2013). The traditional complementarian view provides a loophole where the male gender can use it to suppress the female gender. This is because it states that she is meant to submit to the man. This is especially difficult for the female gender as this view is, therefore, oppressive to women.
The response to the fourth question invokes some opinions on the matter. In Rubio’s discussion, she realizes the importance of the various roles placed on both genders in regards to marriage but realize that the New Testament scriptures written on this matter were written many centuries ago where family values, as well as the livelihoods, were different (Rubio, 2003). She realizes that it would be illogical to stand stoutly for the traditional complementarian view, as what is required in the current society is a sharing of roles in a manner that will result in the greatest co-existence. This is evidenced in her reluctance to adhere to the convectional “stay at home wife” or the “yes wife” where the woman offers no contradicting opinion to the husband’s view. She recognizes the importance of family and the mutual respect that will ensure a successful family even as the roles are shared without basis on gender.
In response to the second question as answered by the second debater, while it is true that the traditional complementarian view is oppressive to women, it may also not be very fair to men. This view states that man, as the head of the family, should provide and protect his family. He is meant to make the crucial decisions while the woman’s role is to be subjective to him. The complementarian view states that the husband and wife’s relationship should reflect that of Jesus and the church. The church should be submissive to the laws set and should follow Jesus faithfully. On the other hand, Jesus died for the sins of the church for them to be saved. Thus, the relationship is fair where each party has a contribution. That is how marriage should be, fair. There should be equality in role sharing with no one person being more superior.
I agree with the second debater’s response to question three. In order for the maintenance of Gods image, life has to be preserved, and the role of women of nurturing ensures that there is continuity of life. In Spark’s book where he explains the Biblical view on human issues, he identifies that all humans have the innate presence of sin in them (2013). It is a vital clarification when viewing the traditional Christian stances on marriage to understand the context of the rules when they were written. Consequently, wrong and oppressive interpretations can be avoided. Without rules and guideline such as the ones provided in the complementarian view to guide marriage, there would be chaos in homes and churches preventing the achievement of God’s purpose of a holy nation.
Rubio, J. H. (2003). A Christian Theology of Marriage and Family. New York: Paulist Press.
Sparks, K. L. (2013). Sacred Word, Broken Word. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
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