Sunday, June 11, 2006

Functional Complementarians

CJ Mahaney adds his thoughts in a T4G post entitled Deliberate Complementarian Pastors. Excerpt:

"Well, you have heard from three of my favorite scholars; and now it’s time to hear from a simple, but athletic pastor. Here’s my concern: It is all too easy for us to affirm biblical manhood and womanhood and humbly contend for the complementarian position, and yet fail to intentionally and consistently apply this body of teaching to our lives and churches. So this post is a reminder to us as pastors that we must not only proclaim truth but practice truth. Preaching on biblical manhood and womanhood is not enough--we must transfer this body of truth to every member of our churches. Complementarianism must be functional in our personal lives and in our churches, not simply professed. And we must not lose sight of the difference biblical manhood and womanhood can and should make for husbands, wives, children and singles."

Make sure to read the whole thing.

I'd encourage every pastor and elder out there not only to do as CJ suggests and ask your wife these tough questions (Where do I need to grow in serving and leading you? Where do I need to grow in serving and leading the children?), ask yourself these questions (Where and how am I going to demonstrate biblical manhood to my wife and children this week? What difference is my complementarian position going to make in your life and for those I love, lead, and serve?) and to ask your elders and staff these questions ( Do we have a strategy for helping our church demonstrate biblical manhood and womanhood? If so, what is our strategy? What is our plan to clarify, cultivate and celebrate biblical manhood and womanhood in our church? Is biblical manhood and womanhood modeled and explicitly taught in each ministry? What about our children’s ministry? How about the youth ministry? The worship team? The counseling ministry? Etc.)

As Christian Smith suggests in his sociological analysis, Christian America, evangelicals are rhetorically complementarian and practically egalitarian (as cited by Russell Moore in his paper After Patriarchy, What? Why Egalitarians Are Winning the Evangelical Gender Debate.)

To stem the tide and to return our churches to a place where complementarianism is not just affirmed but implemented, we can start by (1) reading CJ's post, (2) distributing it among the leaders in our churches, and (3) putting it into practice, seeking God for wisdom and repentance.