“Why didn’t I get the promotion?” he asked, nails dirty, hands wringing his baseball cap.
“I’m sorry, it just wasn’t a good fit,” came the response.
“Why didn’t I get the job?” she inquired, voice wavering.
“I’m sorry, it just wasn’t a good fit,” again, the human-resource-ese.
Yesterday I blogged about what Monica Lewinsky and the 300 stolen girls in Nigeria have in common. Honestly, there’s more different about them than similar, probably, but one thing is they both experience their own personal and unique forms of shame, dished from others.
I bring this up because in my perusal of what others were saying about this, I stumbled upon something I should have known for a while… and somehow didn’t…
I wasn’t a good fit for something major in Christian-dom.
As internet searching for easily distracted individuals usually goes, I found myself on the sites of well-known Christian bloggers.
And as “coincidence” would have it, I saw more clearly than ever before a division between two camps.
Egalitarian | Complementarian
Both have Christianity in common.
Both sides say they follow Christ.
Both sides argue Scripture verses, context, Greek, Hebrew, you-name-it, up the wazoo.
Both think the other side is utterly wrong and use Biblical text to demonstrate their points.
Both sides think their position is the correct one, obviously.
And if you want to learn more about what the differences are, do a google search. Bear in mind I spent time trying to find a simple definition for you that wasn’t offered up by either “side” but literally couldn’t find anything online. I am interested if you find something that simply defines each term without the rhetoric of supporting or disrespecting either position. Wikipedia seemed to be biased toward complementarianism, and Merriam-Webster didn’t even have the word listed. Many of the sites had inflammatory language and a “you are stupid if you believe otherwise” tone to them. There were moments I felt embarrassed for some of the writers – not that I’m claiming to be any better, but we need to stop fighting among ourselves – especially in front of others.
At any rate, the differences lie in the way each side interprets the Bible in terms of how it applies to marriage.
What I stumbled upon, however, isn’t so much about them, as it is about me.
I realized that I don’t fit.
What makes me half crazy when reading positions from either “camp” (their words, not mine) is that there is such disagreement – they emphasize some scripture and completely ignore others, and separate marriage from all other relationships, or equate them with all relationships, often to extremes. When reading both “sides” it seems like I have to reject or accept only half of what the Bible says – or view it with extremism. I can’t accept the extreme points (which some argue are not extreme, btw) within complementarianism that women should not lead in a para-church organization or business – that would call my entire relationship with God into question, because I do feel led to do what I’m doing – and when I’ve asked, I’ve had it confirmed by the Word and circumstances multiple times. I also cannot accept the extreme point within egalitarianism that the husband is not the head of the wife – this is specifically in the Bible, and once we start picking and choosing what we think is legit and what is not, well, might as well throw the whole book out because there’s nothing to base one’s faith upon at that point. And yes, I have been guilty of using titles to get readers attention, things like, “Hate Patriarchy?”
And yes, I believe RESPECT applies in all relationships – and is more effective than bra-burning any day. Find out why here, if you are interested.
And yeah, sometimes I wonder about head coverings, and no, I don’t wear one.
And so, like our job candidates above, yesterday, I started feeling like I was on the receiving end of the “you’re not a good fit” discussion in the blogosphere.
What’s really funny is I used to be a human resources manager, so I have been on the other side of the desk and phone, sad to pass along the “company rhetoric,” and comply with what the lawyers allowed us to say.
The difference today is that I really don’t know anyone else out there that like me, has decided to not choose “sides” – not because both sides are wrong, however, but rather because both sides represent Biblical Truth – and depending on the writer, I’m saying that is “to some degree.” Do you know of anyone who hasn’t chosen a side, but rather chooses the entirety of Scripture? I’d love to know and hope you’ll share if you do.
But what IS true? What do you say?
I think the WHOLE Bible is true.
ALL the Scriptures.
ALL the stories.
Adam and Eve AND Ananais and Sapphira.
Abraham and Sarah AND King Xerxes and Esther.
Abigail and Nabal AND Aquila and Priscilla.
Submit AND honor.
Respect AND love.
Friend AND Help and Complement.
Equal AND Heir.
Accountable head AND mutual submission.
It’s ALL true.
And… I realize I’ve probably just alienated myself from both camps.
Yes, I actually believe that my husband is held accountable by God for our family, but that he is also to honor and love and respect me as I do so with him, and that obedience is NOT the same as submission, and no, wives are not commanded to obey their husbands, but rather to not be contentious and competitive with him, receiving him as a person, but sharing a differing opinion, knowing that we both need to be on mission with GOD, and that if we will both submit to God’s authority in our lives and obey Him, there will be times when we both receive coaching from (submit to) one another. I also know that there will always be men who lord their physical stature and strength over women in their attitudes, just as women can also be relationally manipulative and conniving. I also know there are those that refuse to believe there are differences between men and women, regardless of what the science says or how impossible it is for the average man to have a baby or breastfeed.
So I’m probably really different here.
But I don’t sense God alienating me. Mainly because the camps themselves are NOT in the Word.
Those were designed by men, trying to explain these things, because we like to categorize and label things, especially those we don’t understand.
Why can’t we just accept it ALL as true?
Could it be? It IS a mystery…
What do you think?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this today! More about this here.
Love to you,