Sometimes I forget just how asinine Christians can be. Blame it on my mid-life crisis but these days I have no patience for intellectually dishonest theology. Take this recent piece published by The Gospel Coalition called "Pursue Complementarity, Not Compatibility." Don't let the fancy wording fool you. "Complementarity" is just a gussied up way of saying sexist.
There are a whole slew of ridiculous claims in this article but I'm gonna spare my blood pressure by focusing on just one.
The author, a professor named Owen Strachan who teaches at a Baptist seminary (why is it always the Baptist seminaries? WHY?!), writes: "The biblical perspective, however, says that the taproot of a happy, healthy marriage is Gospel-shaped manhood and womanhood." Indeed, he goes on to say, "Life in marriage simply doesn't make sense without this vision."
Quick! Somebody get me a Gospel-Shaped Womanhood cookie cutter so I can smash myself into it and have a happy, healthy, biblical marriage!
UGH. Any intellectually honest person can tell you that there are plenty of happy, healthy—dare I say GODLY!— marriages all over the world that don't follow the complementary model. To claim otherwise is patently ridiculous. And absurd. And so blatantly false that I cannot believe anyone takes this guy seriously.
And yet, major Christian websites and publishing houses give dudes like Professor Owen a platform to spew this false and easily debunk-able pablum. Just WHY. Because it sells? Because sexism worked so well for the first few millenia of human existence? Because there isn't enough OPPRESSION IN THE WORLD? Because the Gospel is REALLY ALL ABOUT making sure everyone conforms to rigid gender roles as defined BY UPPER MIDDLE CLASS, WELL-EDUCATED, WHITE, AMERICAN, HETEREO, CISGENDER WHITE GUYS?*
Apparently, THAT is the "biblical perspective"? Right. Gotcha.
Holy crapfire and brimstone, people. I'll tell you what. There's a reckoning coming for that kind of twisted theology. As I recall, Jesus don't take kindly to religious authorities placing yokes of bondage on regular folks.
Look, it's no secret that I've never been a fan of The Gospel Coalition (and they've never been a fan of me—they blocked me on Twitter long ago cuz I'm a mouthy woman dontcha know). My point is, I don't really expect high standards of intellectual honesty from TGC.
But I do expect more from publishing houses like Zondervan. It's disappointing to see such a reputable Christian publisher provide a major platform to sexist theologians. It's heartbreaking for women like myself to watch Christian publishers promulgate this harmful poison by giving book deals and marketing dollars to religious teachers like Owen Strachan.
They should know better.
They should do better.
We Christians deserve better.
*(HT @HalleyBallast for that awesome description).