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Jon Trott

As a male still journeying on this road of mutual submission ("Submit one to another out of reverence for Christ" - Eph. 5:21) I could add a few more male reasons. They may merely echo some of the ideas you and others already have listed...

1. Fear. I lose my allegedly god-given control (I'm the one with the penis, so I'm the boss!) and what will happen? The unknown reality of relationships without gender bias is very daunting.

2. Loss of identity. If I am the leader due to gender, if I am the "head" of my wife in that non-egalitarian sense, I at least have a sense of what "masculine" and "male" mean. If I surrender those interpretations, what does it then mean to be male? Rather than face the new world created by new ways of seeing myself and others, I tend to want to cling to the old, safe, and (face it) more comfortable (for males) world of male hierarchy.

3. Loss of priviledge. I lose my catbird seat, my "first in line" status, my ability to dictate the vertical and horizontal.

4. Reversal of roles. This is, for the thinking male, the scariest thing about "no male nor female" in Christ. Not only do I have to make room for women leaders in the Church, and for a woman's co-leadership in my own marital and family life, but I have to admit that I need to learn from women. Why? Because as with race, it is unlikely I know as much as does the person oppressed by my misbeliefs. She can likely teach me more than I can teach her. Further, and this is completely humiliating, the process is no "sign on the dotted line -- I'm now a legit egalitarian!" one-time event. Rather, I cannot truthfully say "I'm a feminist" or "I'm an egalitarian" anymore than I can say "I'm no longer a racist." I am hopefully, by the Lord's grace, walking out my repentance and restoration in these regards. But I am a pilgrim, a learner. And I so need women teachers to guide me in the path toward mutuality that my lips do now confess, yet my actions do not always display.

Thank you Patricia and all for the opportunity to discuss this. I do more such ruminating on my http://bluechristian.blogspot.com and http://aremenreallyhuman.blogspot.com sites.


there are other reasons for the female obsessives too. for example, fear of being diagnosed as having too much pride to be submissive. or a desire to sound spiritual because submission is indeed a spiritual and hard thing to do. those were the reasons that i used to preach hierarchicalism (i refuse to call it "complimentarianism"), while inside i seethed with anger at God for authoring such a doctrine, as i thought he did. thank God for showing me the truth!


I'm glad to see you recognise what happens on your list, Galina. I'd agree that some comps get pushed to extremes by such behaviour.

As for the list - it's interesting. No doubt there are a mixture of reasons for getting to any point.

Galina Freed

Good list. There are two more things that I would add to it:

1. I think another possible reason for the obsession is feeling "left behind", so to speak. Feminism is a force of nature. The culture is moving towards full gender equality, and, lagging 30 years behind it, so is the church.

For one reason or another, some people are slower to catch up with the changes than others, and they feel "left behind" and obsolete.

Change is scary, especially when it affects your beloved beliefs and ideas of how the life should be. If your understanding of "godly peaceful life" included a house with white picket fence, a perpetually pregnant submissive wife, and a church pastored by a similarly minded white male - then realizing that almost nobody around you holds this ideal anymore is scary. Even infuriating.

And then everyone starts pointing fingers at you, and calling you a male chauvinist, then your church starts getting female deacons... and you feel like the world has gone insane, and you (and CBMW) are the only ones left to hold the line against the incursion of the "culture" onto your sacred ground.

I think it's a part of a bigger phenomenon- the phenomenon of the fundamentalist (and evangelical) subculture dying out. The obsessives are those who feel they are the "last remnant", and the world is about to end - and they just need to spread the world to "restrain" the apostasy as much as they can before all hell breaks loose.

They think they are the only ones who can see what's "truly" happenning. In a way they are right, of course. The world and the church as they know it IS about to end, most evangelicals don't realize it because thney have better things to do, and some are actively pushing for change and calling them names (such as "bigots" or "abusers"). Of course they'd be obsessed! We haven't given them any incentives to WANT the change.

2. Which brings me to another type of obsessive complementarian - the one who was created by egalitarians.

It's very easy to feel passionate about discrimination. What is hard to do is not let our righteous anger incinirate others.

I've seen complmenetarians arrive at my message board and be attacked right away. Their beliefs were called "crap" or other names - and it was insinuated that their beliefs lead to abuse, child abuse, and other sins.

Whenever they expressed their opinions, people jumped on them and emoted at them.

When they didn't answer someone's questions, people came after them, demanding answers, accusing them of inability to defend their beliefs, of wanting to just "hit and run", of not wanting a real discussion.

When the complementarians answered the questions, they were accused of "double talk".

When the complementarians made statements, people went off on tangents, and ignored the central part of the argument.

Then egalitarians high-fived each other and praised each other to death, after all of the above was done.

Most complementarians simply left the board and never bothered to come back. But I can easily see how a complementarian who already has a predisposition to being argumentative, would simply "snap" with such treatment and become an obsessive. They WOULD start seeing us as the enemy. Why wouldn't they? We certainly treat them that way.

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