I’m still here but have a lot of real life stuff going on.
The creator of the RPC recently posted on this, so I’m sharing a part of it. Definitely give it a read if you have time as it’s good.
“Headship” as a concept is given a lot of lip service, but few people actually practice it the way Christ does with the Church. I can’t count the number of people who tell me how “red pill” their
churchcongregation is, or how “biblically grounded” the teachings are on marriage and relationships, while being exactly the opposite.
KNOWING THE STRUCTURES
I believe a large reason for this stems from inappropriately understanding the views on marriage expressed by different congregational structures. Here they are:
- Headship: The view that the man is the head of his household. What he says goes.
- Complementarianism: The view that God has given men and women different roles to fill. Among the man’s roles are the right to have the final say on disputed matters in the home.
- Egalitarianism: The view that husband and wives are on equal footing with regard to all roles, including decision-making authority.
- Feminism: The view that women should be empowered in the home to do as they please and that men should support them in the direction the woman chooses to go, unless it would otherwise amount to direct sin.
Very few congregations actually claim the title of “feminist” when it comes to discussing marriage roles, as they realize this cultural ideology is in direct opposition to Scripture, so most of them will take the feminist agenda and mask it in the form of egalitarianism or complementarianism. Egalitarian-feminists will push the notion that a wife’s equality with her husband prohibits him from exercising authority over her, empowering her to have an equal say, which is virtually always interpreted that her “equal” say should win because if he wins then he’s just a patriarchal monster. Complementarian-feminists will pay lip-service to male authority in the home, but instead redirect that authority in ways that serve the wife. If there’s a dispute, the husband would be “ungodly” if he were to exercise his authority in a way that displeases his wife or fails to give her what she wants. As such, the man’s authority in the home is merely that of a puppet figurehead, while the wife truly runs the show. Feminist structures incorrectly reflect to the world that the bride (Church) has authority over her husband (Christ) either by direct authority or obligational exercise of authority.
True egalitarianism (of the non-feminist variety) is still unbiblical and dangerous. Jesus directly preaches that no kingdom can have two leaders, or else it will be divided. Married people are meant to be ONE, not divided. The only ways true egalitarians can resolve conflicts are: (1) by compromising, which inherently means that even if one party is right, the right answer must be set aside for the compromised conclusion, or (2) taking turns (usually couched in “loving the other enough to let him/her have this one”). Egalitarianism incorrectly reflects that Christ and the Church are equal in authority in the relationship.
True complementarianism (of the non-feminist variety) is another beast entirely. Even up to 3-6 months ago I would have identified as a complementarian purist (meaning: the feminist expressions of it are eradicated). But I have since come to realize that it is flawed even in its fundamental ideology, which is that God has assigned certain roles for men and women to follow. While many complementarians will focus on the authority dynamic as the “hot topic” to discuss, and thus use the word “headship” to describe aspects of their theology, the reality is that the full doctrine of complementarianism insists on many other role distinctions that men and women must align with. These roles are often not found directly in Scripture as obligations; rather, they are cultural norms that have an imputed theology about them, such as the man going off to work his 9-5 job while the wife stays at home to cook and clean. The complementarian view looks at the way men and women are created and attempts to deduce what God must have intended for men and women to do with regard to the family unit and within the body of Christ, while ultimately having little Scriptural support for the conclusions reached.
There’s another 2/3rds that isn’t quoted, so go check it out.
Overall, I’ve been harping on this for a while. Complementarians are a covert hybrid of feminism and the Bible, while egalitarians are more overt. Complementarians think they are doing exactly what the Bible says, but in reality they are deceived. One only needs to actually look at the Ephesians 5 analogy between Christ and the Church which contradicts a lot of complementarianist beliefs. Christ is not a “final decision maker if the Church disagrees;” we follow Him in everything.
His post does a good job of explaining in a different way than I’ve done in the past which can be helpful for some.