In a previous post examining the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's Problematic Doctrine of God, I briefly mentioned how changes in language and perhaps language translation contributes to the understanding and use of the word “role” as opposed to “function,” “act.” or “operation.”
It is my hope that by pointing out the major issues that I have with CBMW's doctrines that readers here will be encouraged to join with the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition in signing the petition at Change.org, demanding an apology of the group because of the harm that their teachings have done to so many.
Exploring Gender and Relationship “Roles”
A new friend, a Country Parson named Gerald Ford, directed me to a very good blog post which explores this point. Pastor Gerald is also a marriage counselor and has authored another book entitled Marriage Minutes. I haven't had an opportunity to read his book, but I have been blessed and encouraged by his other writings online.
The blog post of interest offers a synopsis of Kevin Giles' position on the use of the word “role” as used by complementarians. I encourage you to read the whole post, but offer an excerpt here.
From The Misuse Of The Word “Role” by Philip B. Payne:
It is not a biblical word and the Bible knows nothing of people assuming differing ‘roles’ in a sociological sense. What is more, the word is not found in the theological tradition. If the word is to be introduced into theological discourse in reference to the man-woman and divine Father-Son relationships as a technical term it demands careful definition. . . .
What this means is that for ‘complementarians’ the word ‘role’ is given a meaning not found in dictionaries or sociological texts. It would seem to be a word chosen because it sounds acceptable to the modern ear and obfuscates what is really being argued, namely that women are permanently subordinated to men, the divine Son to the Father. . . .
This means that until evangelicals publicly give an agreed definition of what they mean when they use this word, the word should not be used in trinitarian discourse or in speaking of the man-woman relationship. I completely agree with the German scholar Werner Neurer, a supporter of the subordination of women, who says to his fellow travelers, ‘In the cause of truth we should (therefore) give up talking about the roles of the sexes,’ [Man and Woman in Christian Perspective, trans by G. Wenham (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1990), p. 30.] and I would add, and the roles of the divine three.
Read the post in its entirety HERE.
For those of you in the Houston, Texas area, Gerald Ford will be teaching at a marriage conference held at the Houston Graduate School of Theology (HGST). The Friday evening and Saturday sessions on April 25 - 26 qualify for continuing education credits for counselors and social workers through HGST.
Please visit HERE for more information.
For more information and documentation concerning the criticisms of CBMW, just start googling if you cannot find information on this blog or through recommended links (particularly those dealing with domestic abuse and women in ministry). I also recommend the following books as introductory ones that will help the reader understand the teachings pertaining to the issues that most concern me personally.
- Woman this is War: Gender, Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System (Jocelyn Andersen *blog)
- A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in your Church (Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood *blog)