When I met with the pastor tonight, some of the conversation revolved around his concept of complementarianism. He is a strange complementarian, I think. He believes that women and men are equal in Christ, but different in role, BUT at the same time, he believes that women should state their opinions in marriage and the church, should be heard (even in church), and should be respected and honored. He believes that women who are abused or neglected in marriage are NOT loving and submissive to their husbands UNLESS they attempt to stop the abuse or neglect. So he believes that the submissive, loving wife will not allow her husband to continue to harm himself, her, or their children.
He admitted that he couldn’t understand some things that were discussed in discussions such as the Truth’s Table podcast on Gender Apartheid he’d mentioned on Sunday because he has never experienced it and, though he can hear it and believe that the women speaking must have experienced something, he can’t imagine such things happening, himself.
I’m tempted to share a few things with him… some sermon clips, some discussions on Twitter, some articles that would expose him to the type of world some of us have been part of. It probably truly is a foreign concept to him. I met his teen daughter tonight, and it most definitely is a foreign concept to her. She was allowed to wander a busy Main Street with her friend. When he noticed picketers, he didn’t seem worried. He didn’t text her and ask where she was or tell her to be careful. When she walked into the coffee shop we were in, she didn’t hesitate to interrupt, though politely. She didn’t hesitate, either, to ask him for something, or to politely state again why it was reasonable when he said “probably not tonight.”
He seems to have a very different definition of submission and complementarianism than any I’ve found.