“Capacitarianism” (Transcending the worn out terms “egalitarian” & “complementation”)
I’m drawing this proposal series on gender and the church to a final post. Well, final for now. (I’ll leave room for a sequel series, just in case…)
Plenty of other recognizable names will be shedding light on this topic in the weeks and months to come. Let’s hear if they have anything new to add.
Among all this discussion, I do realize not everybody will be encouraged to push toward a better understanding of gender as it relates to God’s plan of redemption. Plenty of times we talk, and we talk, but we don’t move our positions. We just dig in.
Though many times we learn too little, something much worse can happen too: Talk stays talk.
In the end, talk of men or of angels doesn’t about to anything but noise, if it cannot be a reality of love, enacted. Action, far more than arguments or dialogue is what transforms.
I have no doubts that these issues about equality, roles, church, gender, and what-have-you will be wrestled by laity, theologians, and debaters…ad nauseum. I hope it’s been clear that my point in these four posts was to cast the topic in a new light, and see if we could think bigger than our current terms afford us. Either way, like life, it is all fleeting…just as King Solomon proposed.
For now, I will leave you with these following 5 offerings below, (and I welcome your own additions, or other comments, in the comments section below).
As we encounter these gender-themed topics and the church; and as we continue dialogue here, or elsewhere, please take these 5 suggestions into consideration.
1. Don’t use the Bible as a weapon. A fine line will be crossed when we use Bible verses as “backing” for our position, and claim we are “being Biblical”, while at the same time cherry picking words and phrases that support what we’ve already been told, or are wont to personally believe.
The Brass Tacks are this: Interpretation of the Bible must well mirror the nature, attributes, and over plan of redemption that is God’s. One’s view on gender must articulate God’s Story.
…Some of you may say the Bible IS a weapon! Yes, the Bible is called the “Sword” of the Spirit, but first let that sharp thing pierce (convict) your own heart, or protect your heart from Evil. Please don’t go chopping away wildly and cut off ears, or other things…
2. Don’t assume or concede that just the two main positions are the only viable stances in contemporary times (i.e. egalitarian and complementation).
I, for one, will not be compliant to this tact, nor will I adopt either view fully as I dialogue, especially as a prerequisite to having a conversation on the topic.
3. Admit the “answer/s” about gender, and church roles, and how this plays out in typical Kingdom living are hard to find, not cut and dry. I don’t think we can learn from each other, or from God, if we have it all figured out.
4. Don’t let old and worn out terms and ideas corner you, or make you give up on what God has called you to do. God seems to call us to do things that swim upstream, and go against convention or tradition. Make the love of God, and devotion to God your aim.
5. Find common ground. As others have wisely said in the comments sections that egalitarians, complementarians, and the rest of us, (usually) want to please God, live for him, respect the Bible, and enact grace. If we take time to find common ground, we will realize there is much more the same, especially in our intentions, than we first realized.
The Word of God encourages us to live in harmony with each other, and have unity in the bond of peace. This is far harder to dispute than any gender-related position! If you error, do it on the Love (not division) side of things.
Peace to you.