Executive Director’s Column -- By: Randy L. Stinson
Executive Director’s Column
The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women. Both the Old and New Testament also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.
This affirmation is meant to emphasize the continuity between the Testaments regarding gender roles. This is significant because there are those who argue that gender roles are a result of the Fall and are overcome in Christ. Affirmation 5 is a follow-up statement not only about the equality between men and women (see Affirmation 1), but also about mutual dignity regarding their roles. Male headship does not mean that the man is in any way more important, more intelligent, or inherently better than his female counterpart. Likewise, the submission of women to men in their homes and churches does not mean that their place in either of these institutions is inferior. This affirmation highlights the idea that headship and submission, equality and dignity, are not mutually exclusive but in fact coexist ideally in marriage and the church structure.
Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
6A.) In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husband’s leadership.
This affirmation deals with another fundamental opposition to the evangelical feminist position. They hold that in the original creation there were no role distinctions, the Fall introduced these distinctions, and redemption in Christ removes the distinctions brought about by the Fall. The Danvers Statement affirms that the original creation involved male headship and female submission between Adam and Eve, and sin brought about a perversion of these roles so there would be resentment and a temptation to usurp or abdicate one’s role. As seen in Ephesians 5, redemption does not negate the roles between men and women, but emphasizes them as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.
6B.) In the Church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men.
As in the home, men should bear the primary leadership responsibility in the church. As seen in 1 Timothy 2:12, redemption in Christ does not involve an egalitarian structure, but empowers men and women to fulfill their roles in a way that ackn...
Click here to subscribe