There was a time when I wondered if at least some in my denomination ought to start wearing t-shirs with a picture bearing the image of Alfafa from the old Our Gang/Little Rascals’ shorts from the ’30’s & ’40’s. Alfalfa was a founder and president of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. Now, I know that this was an unfair characterization of most – the clear majority – of my fellow churchmen. But when discussing the role of women in the church, in the home, and in the world at large, sometimes statements were offered up that made me pause – and cringe.
I believe in the inherent equality of men and women. But I am no feminist. In fact, I would not even qualify as an Egalitarian. Instead, I am more aligned among the Complimentarians. But much to my chagrin, sometimes those of us in the Complimentarian camp are mistaken for being among the initiates of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.
Some time ago Rachel Miller, on her blog A Daughter of the Reformation, wrote a very insightful piece, titled What’s Wrong With Biblical Patriarchy?. In her post she distinguishes us Complimentarians from the more chauvinistic Modern Patriarchy movement, with whom we Complimentarians are often lumped. (Rachel notes that proponents of this patriarchal position like to refer to themselves as “Biblical Patriarchy”, but I don’t want to equate them as being biblical. As the article astutely observes and notes, those folks base their positions on some biblical principles but then mix them up with some very Victorian notions.)
While I know throwing around such terms as Complimentarian, Egalitarian, etc., is not likely to excite many readers, nevertheless, I think what Rachel Miller has to say is worth considering as you think biblically about this polarizing issue; and maybe just a little less important, to distinguish guys like me from the ecclesiastical Alfalfas.
As a homeschooling family, we come in contact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs. One of the groups that is fairly common within the homeschooling community is the modern patriarchy movement, or as they refer to it “Biblical Patriarchy.” Some of the big names in this group include, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, and Doug Wilson of Credenda Agenda magazine.