While you’re pulling up a seat for what will likely ensue after Kathy Keller’s important review of Rachel Held Evans’s exegetical fumble posted this morning, take some time to read Lore Ferguson’s explanation for why she is a complementarian. An excerpt:

It seems to me that on a very base level the problem of the feminist movement and the patriarchy movement, and indeed sin itself, is principally a lack of trust. We have, from the very beginning, been attempting to wrench what was not given in the search of what was labeled off limits.

The whole garden, every tree and plant, the dominion over the whole earth was ours—everything but this one tree, and yet this one tree is the one Eve took the fruit from and gave it to Adam to share.

From the start we are in search of what is not within our grasp. And if we feel powerless holding onto what does not belong to us, we grasp, we cajole, we plead, and finally in an act of spirited defiance, we take it. We reach high into the branches and we twist that fruit until what looked so good is now so bad, and we eat of it—we dominate in the name of righteousness.

And what happens is not satisfaction. It is not completion. It is not godlike presence or perfection. What happens is that we are immediately found wanting for more and nothing covers us fully enough. We need something more to satisfy.

This, to me, is the major practical flaw in movements that attempt to thwart a design, albeit a design with limits, to attain what was not designed to be ours.

We are never satisfied . . .

Here is why I am a complementarian (aside from the fact that I think the Bible is clear about it and I’m too tired of all the other mental gymnastics I do to add one more routine): because it goes against my nature to submit to anyone on anything. I’m aware of it so strongly that I war against anything that teaches me to reach for a higher branch of forbidden fruit.

I war against anything God has said clearly it is not right for me to have (I Tim. 2.12). I war against anything that demands action of me I have not been fit to act on (I Peter 3.7). I war against anything that says if one person has something I ought to have it too (Rom. 12.3). The truth is trust is where I belong, it is where I am safest, where I am held, where I am known, where I rest, and most of all where He has made His glory known to me.

You may call me foolish or underfoot, you may even accuse me of being blinded by my male leadership, and I am okay with that, because here is what I know: I am seen and noted, I am chosen and delivered, I am full of the Father’s design, the Groom’s love, and Spirit’s help. The more I trust, the further into Himself He takes me.

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5 thoughts on “Why She’s a Complementarian”

  1. Don Sartain says:

    Epic words of Biblical truth from Lore. Thank you, Jared, for sharing this.

  2. Flyaway says:

    By prayer and Bible study we test the spirits. I had to quit reading Rachel Held Evan’s blog as my spirit did not relate to her spirit. Don’t know if that is my conservative bent against her liberal bent or what. But years ago I learned that it is best for my husband to make the final decision if he is willing to take the responsibility for different decisions. Sometimes he is not willing and wants me to take responsibility. I think God wants us both to take responsibility as we will give an account when we see Him.

  3. Jon says:

    Couldn’t that same logic be applied to slavery? Could not a slave also say, “it goes against my nature to submit to anyone on anything. I’m aware of it so strongly that I war against anything that teaches me to reach for a higher branch of forbidden fruit.” It’s just interesting that this is not in any way a Biblical argument. I admire her humility, but I’m sure there are plenty of ways to learn submission while also exercising the Spiritual Gifts God gave her.

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Jared C. Wilson

Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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