Here is something which I would have posted (perhaps without the final comments!) at Complegalitarian, except that last week moderator Wayne Leman turned it into a non-blog by disabling all comments. As I have written before, I have no interest in so-called blogs which are in fact the blog owner’s monologue.
“Blue with a hint of amber” blogger David Matthias writes of his Disappointment with CBMW, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, whose website he reads regularly (although he doesn’t seem to have discovered their real full name). As David is an elder in a Newfrontiers church it probably goes without saying that he is a complementarian. But it is interesting to see how critical he is of the complementarian position as promoted by CBMW.
His main issue with CBMW seems to be over their teaching on authority, an issue I am continuing to look at in relation to my review of Reimagining Church (I haven’t given up on it!). David quotes from a CBMW article which argues that women should not preach because that implies that they are exerting elder authority. But, as he notes, his church allows visiting preachers even if they are not elders of any church, because they are acting under the authority of the elders. In a particular case a visitor
did not preach as an elder, he preached as a servant to God’s word and our church vision laid down by our eldership. Did we falsely allow him to exert elder authority by letting him speak?
Isn’t this what preaching should always be like? So, to take David’s argument to a conclusion which he doesn’t quite spell out: why shouldn’t even those who believe in male eldership allow the elders to delegate authority to preach to their own church members, male and female?
David also criticises CBMW’s blanket condemnation of feminism, pointing to the clear benefits brought by some varieties of feminism. He finishes with this discussion of another passage from the CBMW site:
“Perhaps more than ever before, it is clear that this debate is unfolding as a contention about the authority of scripture itself.” is a difficult statement to read. I appreciate greatly the work of Grudem, Piper et al and find is sad that CMBW is drawing a line where it is. It excludes any that uphold male headship but define it more softly, and uphold male eldership but define church preaching differently, and it appears to label anything not four square in its position “egalitarian” and then imply that egalitarianism is the product of feminism, and feminism and christianity should not be mixed.
That is a massive wedge to drive between two churches who believe in male headship but define it slightly differently.
David, it is interesting to see how you are becoming disillusioned with complementarianism. Perhaps you will soon also see the weakness of CBMW’s basic argument for male headship. It seems that they are already labelling you as an egalitarian. How long will it be before I too can welcome you to the egalitarian camp? 😉