Gender Equality in Scripture
In Christian theology, there are two primary views on gender: complementarianism and egalitarianism. The first is most common among the more traditional, or conservative, churches. The second is typical for more progressive congregations, though not always. In the complementarian view, men and women complement each other with distinctive yet equal roles and responsibilities—at least, in theory. The egalitarian view presents the idea that men and women are equal (French: égalitaire) in all roles and responsibilities, to include ministry and ordination. In this essay, I apply scripture to make a case for the egalitarian view. I also comment on contemporary social issues that lead many Christians to choose this perspective over complementarianism. To be fair, I realize the New Testament splits the difference between whether men and women are equal or complementary. However, this may have to do more with cultural influences from the Roman household code and other forms of ancient patriarchy rather than God's actual intent for us.
Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the universe, you have given us a vision of that holy city to which the nations of the world bring their glory: behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
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