"Recently, someone in the twitter world called me an “uber-complementarian.” They threw out the term “complementarian” derogatorily, like an ugly handful of mud – akin to calling someone a “racist,” “fascist,” “sexist,” or something scary like that. I had to smile, since I remember sitting around a table with John Piper and Wayne Grudem and others, wracking our brains to come up with an apt label to describe the historic Christian teaching on gender. Oh how quickly labels turn into stereotypes!"
I love learning the history of recently established complementarianism. It was birthed through the Danvers Statement, which Mary Kassian probably had a hand in writing. What I'd really like to know is how she became so privileged as a woman to sit shoulder to shoulder with the likes of John Piper and Wayne Grudem as they "wracked" their brains to identify a term that would describe their narrow interpretation of gender, supposedly according to Scripture.
The above quote is the introduction to Mary Kassian's post a year ago – "Dora the Doormat" and other Scary Straw Women of Complementarity. She provides a Historic Christian Position on Gender in which she explains the following:
"Since New Testament times, Christians believed that the Bible taught that God created male and female with complementary differences and roles. There was no word to describe this position, since no one had ever questioned it. But about 50 years ago, feminism changed all that. And by the mid-eighties, when Egalitarians and Evangelical Feminists eagerly jumped on the feminist ideological bandwagon, it was necessary to come up with a label to identify this traditional, orthodox, historic belief. That’s when we came up with the term “complementarian.” It simply means someone who believes that the Bible teaches that God created men and women with equal, yet distinct roles. We are equal, but different."
Then her post gets really interesting. She explains that the term "complementarian" (remember, it was invented by Piper, Grudem, Kassian and others who met in secret) conjures up scary stereotypes in people's minds. It's funny that spell check doesn't recognize this term. Kassian tried to be oh so clever by coming up with "straw women" which she claims misrepresent the complementarian position. Just before introducing them, she writes:
"(Strike up the scary organ music please!) . . ."
Allow me to introduce you to Kassian's Straw Women:
– Dora the Doormat
– Dipstick Danielle
– Kitchen-Trapped Kathy
– Baby popping Bertha
– Repressed Rita
HaHaHa!!! What is tragic is that these women actually exist in the complementarian world no matter how Mary Kassian tries to spin it. We have read testimonies from some of these women and have received numerous comments on our blog from those who easily fit into these descriptions. Even though Mary Kassian asks us to "please stop doing it!" (calling attention to these so-called straw women), we absolutely will not because we are here to provide a voice for those who have been silenced.
Here's Mary Kassian's conclusion:
"If you want to talk ideas, let’s talk ideas. Let’s talk hermeneutics. Let’s talk presuppositions. Let’s talk biblical exegesis. Let’s talk principles of interpretation and application. But stop misrepresenting the complementarian position. Stop using syllogistic fallacies, non sequiturs, disambiguations and fallacies of propositional logic. But most of all, please stop parading out those silly straw women!"
Why is she protesting so much against those who reject complementarianism? If Biblical Manhood and Womanhood are so wonderful, why is this crowd always trying to sell it?
Frankly, I'm not buying it! When the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 was initially embraced by Southern Baptists, I thought that perhaps the idea of equal but different roles was beneficial. My husband never did – he never swayed from his egalitarian position. Twelve years have passed, and during those years we have seen complementarianism up close and personal. From my perspective, those who are selling the comp position are wearing rose-colored glasses. They are so enthralled by their positions of power that they cannot see the damage that is being done in Christendom. We hear about it all the time here at The Wartburg Watch. It's real, no matter how hard Mary Kassian tries to deny it.
What I find most interesting about the families of John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and Mary Kassian is that all of their biological children are male. Has anyone else noticed that? Granted, John and Noelle Piper adopted a baby girl some years ago. I can't help but believe that this predominance of sons has influenced their embrace of complementarianism. Hmmm… what a great way to control daughters-in-law.
Yes, I'm cynical because since the comp position has come into vogue, MANY of my brothers and especially sisters in Christ are being hurt. We hear from them every day here at TWW. I am deeply disturbed that leaders in this movement refuse to MAN UP and address the problems within complementarianism which are too numerous to name. If you're new to our blog, just look through our category "Calvinistas".
As a wife and mother who chose the career path that Mary Kassian advocates (homemaking) but refuses to embrace herself (do as I say, not as I do), I am warning my young adult daughters against the comp doctrine that I once thought was beneficial. Thank God they haven't married into this religious system! They have watched my husband and me flourish in our egalitarian marriage, where we strive to out serve each other (quote from Dee). We have been married almost a quarter of a century, and every year gets better.
It has been a busy day, and I have spent much of it "serving" my husband and two daughters. The younger one moved home from college and the older one is planning a "Moms and Muffins" brunch for the parents of her students tomorrow morning, which I plan to attend. I find so much joy in helping my husband and daughters.
Dee and I are just beginning to focus on the women of complementarianism. We are planning to review Carolyn Mahaney's books, focus on the upcoming Here is Our God conference (sponsored by The Gospel Coalition), and investigate the True Womanhood Movement. As women, we feel highly qualified to report on these trends that involve our 'sisters in Christ'.
In the meantime, I have some advice for Mary Kassian, who loves to dole it out herself…
Why don't you go home to Alberta and take care of your husband and stop telling us how to take care of ours…
Lydia's Corner: Ezekiel 39:1-40:27 James 2:18-3:18 Psalm 118:1-18 Proverbs 28:2