A bizarre gender debate

I find this totally bizarre: Role Calling: A Semi-Pragmatic, Less Theological Open Letter to Egalitarians. There are 10 questions that egalitarians are supposed to answer. Like many of those who have commented I find many of the questions totally weird, they have little to do with egalitarianism as we understand it here.

I pretty much agree with the following in the comments: Resa, Tami (apart from my not supporting using a gun), Don, A good world, Believer333, Molly (with excellent reverse questions), Christian Women with Brain, Dawn and Lin. That is so far, other excellent comments may come later (Lin’s is the last comment at the moment).

The questions are below, for each assume the basic answer includes the following:

Duh, what has this got to do with male headship and authority. Plus, you can’t be serious.

1. If the Titanic accident were to happen again, would you desire 50% of the seats on the life boats to be left for men?

I would desire that a) saner heads would prevail so that the disaster would be avoided by slowing down b) that there be enough lifeboats for all. I point you to great answers on this by Don, A Good World and Molly.

If there is a robber who just broke into your house and you are married
with children, would you want the man to go downstairs or the woman or
would this be done depending on who had done it last time?

If male headship advocates keep suggesting dangerous and daft solutions to problems then we will all be safer if they go downstairs in this situation. The rest of us will call the police and barricade in the kids (or if possible escape with them).

3. Would an egalitarian woman be offended at a man holding the door for her?

I hold the door open for men and women, so does my wife. Men and women hold the door open for me – it is normal politeness. I expect all people to hold the door for someone who is struggling with infirmity, heavy bags, young children etc.

4. Do egalitarian parents allow their boys to play rough with the girls just like the boys play rough with other boys?

Yes, but with same rules for safety and respect for all.

Do egalitarian parents train their boys that it is okay for them to be
"stay at home dads?" If so, does a lot of domestic training happen for
these boys?

Of course, our boys need to be able to fend for themselves and then take care of us in our old age ;-) I am a more experimental cook than Jane, due to our lifestyle choices she does cook more often than me at the moment. That was not the case when we both worked full-time. We were planning for me to be a stay at home Dad until a big recession in the building industry stopped Jane’s career at a critical time.

6. Do you feel that women boxers should be allowed to fight in the ring with men?

I don’t think boxing is a good idea for anyone. If participants can be kept from being blinded or brain damaged etc then the choice is not about gender.

Do egalitarian women desire to be protected by their guy (boyfriend,
husband, father, etc.) or would they prefer to protect themselves?

Why would anyone not want everyone to be able to protect themself?
Why would anyone who has read the 2 greatest commandments not want to protect someone else?

8. Does an egalitarian female "pastor" get a maternity leave from her preaching responsibilities?

Yes of course (real big Duh here), anyone who has a baby gets maternity leave, it is the law. Indeed all men should also get paternity leave (came in a few months too late for me) – it is good business sense.

9. Does and egalitarian female "pastor" counsel men about pornography?

Why the " around pastor?
Yes, of course. But anyone counselling anyone on such matters ought not do it alone.

Do egalitarian pastoral staffs go on pastoral retreats together? If so,
how does that work with having guys and girls together? Do the spouses
feel strange about this?

Are you crazy? When you go and stay in a hotel do you choose a hotel which only permits people of the same gender as yourself? I assume it is obvious that bedrooms are normally shared only with your partner. Where people share rooms to save money I assume they have single beds and are of the same gender.

Do complementarians all live in such a weird world that they even need to ask questions like this?

Hat Tip: Complegalitarian: Open Letter to Egalitarians.

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8 thoughts on “A bizarre gender debate

  1. Will

    Amazing. I guess this gives an interesting glimpse into how some folk’s minds work. It’s almost as if two different languages are being spoken. The questions are being asked as if the questioner expects egalitarians to answer in the same way the questioner would. But, as you point out, the thought process isn’t even the same.

  2. PamBG

    I answered on the blog. I found the last question either highly bizarre or offensive.
    1) Highly bizarre: Does this mean that complementarian Christians all try to jump into bed with members of the opposite sex when their husbands or wives are not around?
    2) Offensive: Or do they just assume that Christian egalitarians try to commit adultery at the slightest opportunity?
    Also, when trying to engage with people who believe in women ministers / pastors, it’s helpful not to put scare-quotes around the word ‘pastor’. We know you think that women are genetically incapable of pastoring. Don’t make a point of rubbing it in when you’re trying to dialogue with us.

  3. Peter Kirk

    “Do complementarians all live in such a weird world that they even need to ask questions like this?”
    No, but most of them do. It’s called the USA. ;-)

  4. Dave Warnock

    Will, yes two mind sets/world views. I am sure the author expected some form on incriminating responses.
    Pam, Not seen your comment on Role Calling yet.
    We all had a laugh about the bizarreness of question 10. But you are quite right it is also offensive.
    I too dislike the use of “pastor” it is patronising and demeaning in a debate. Given the initial statement “Please know that in asking these questions, I am not seeking to be sarcastic toward you or your position in the gender debate. I am truly curious and I say that with the utmost respect for you as fellow image bearers of God.” I suppose we have to assume it is ignorance and thoughtlessness rather than malicious – but very unimpressive anyway.
    Peter, Well yes, except New Frontiers are trying to bring this to us too as the debate on New Frontiers and Women shows.

  5. Sue

    I have been pretty shaken up by finding out that Bruce Ware comes to Vancouver twice a year for a pastors conference on authority. My former pastor also speaks at this conference. I would have thought Vancouver was not that susceptible to this stuff. Weird.
    I iniatated the dialogue with Rolecalling. He is friendly, odd but friendly. Of course he has to defend his view. That is just such a tough thing to do though.

  6. Will

    Ah, Peter. I might be offended if that weren’t true. It does seem to breed over here more so. I can’t help but wonder where the discussion (rather than debate) might be if the Southern Baptist Church had not made the huge shift it did. I wonder if it would have gained the traction it did. Then again, I don’t want to ascribe one denomination that much importance. There are still plenty more that won’t allow women as leaders (Pam’s former denomination, for instance). Still, that’s the church that has got the most press.


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