Complementarians Don’t Believe in “Women’s Work”


In complementarian churches, there is nothing a woman can do that a man is prohibited from doing, while there are a myriad of things men can do that women are prohibited from doing. That is the injustice egalitarians want to rectify.

I’m being controversial again. Jory Micah, a powerful voice for women’s equality in the church, published my post about how complementarians don’t really believe in “women’s work.” Let me know what you think!

// An egalitarian take on women’s work and another thought-provoking guest post

9 thoughts on “Complementarians Don’t Believe in “Women’s Work”

  1. Daniel Abbott

    The work of a deacon, ushering, collecting offering, and leading worship services, is work requiring a certain authority. Is this authority the cause of dissention? Is this divide the covering of that authority?

    Christ said, the greatest among you will be the servant of all. This “authority,” or “positions,” in the church can be viewed as necessary, but limiting to those placed in it.

    In this view women are not limited in their service of Christ, as men are by the various posts to which they are assigned. But women can work (and do) without such postal assignment.

    A very masculine singular focus job appointment for men. And a fluid feminine job appointment for women. As women don’t need this singular focus that men do, it would (and does) only impede women to assign them positions, as such.

    The best deacons, pastors, and elders function in a more fluid manner, than weak deacons, pastors, and elders; and so it can be reasoned not needing titles and posts excels, receiving titles and posts.

    I definitely recommend reading Jude and the accounts referenced in Jude, as Jude and these accounts deal at length with this issue of dissention concerning authority among followers of the Christ.

    Show me the rain.


      • Daniel Abbott

        Forget it. It isn’t important. It is probably not even accurate.

        Read the Bible. Believe the Bible. Hold to the God who is revealed in the Bible.

        Your position rejects what the Bible says. You’ve been rejecting the Bible piece by piece. You know a deacon is to be “the husband of one wife,” and you have rejected the Bible on this. You are rejecting God of the Bible by your systematic rejection of bits of the Bible.

        I can discuss the Bible. I can point to the Scriptures to show what I believe. I can attempt to make sense of difficult passages. But to throw out passages of Scripture as “false,” because I don’t personally understand them, is to judge the Scriptures an unreliable revelation, if revelation at all, of God.

        You have no idea how painful it is to watch someone harm themselves. This is harming you. And I hate it. And you have no clue. The damage that you are doing to yourself is horrendous.


      • Bailey Steger

        Ah, yes. Instead of engaging in a conversation, pull the “you’re not following the Bible” and “I fear for your soul” cards. ;) I’m open to a discussion, but these sorts of comments, as they are unproductive (and frankly, rude), will not be published in the future. I’ll let it go this time, but no more, please.


      • Daniel Abbott

        Not at all what I said. While I do fear for your soul, as I do my own, I cannot do anything about that, except talk to God about it.

        The argument that I posited has improper foundation. It assumed certain foundational common beliefs, which don’t exist. You and I don’t believe the same things about the authority of the Bible. Which makes my argument invalid.

        I am curious as to whether, or not, what I said can actually be stated as, “You don’t follow the Bible.” ? I don’t know that it can and am currently of the opinion that it cannot.

        But I am interested, if you would like to explain how the acceptance of the authority of the Bible and following the Bible are the same concept.

        Have you ever wondered about why people refer to certain stances as “cards?” You know, “You pulled the “card” card” argument?


      • Daniel Abbott

        I wish I this was a win for me. But it is not. I have to retreat. That the Bible is infallible is an invalid premise for me and a false premise for you. No matter the rest of the argument, the conclusion is invalid to me and false to you.

        Prima facie false to you. You win. If the Bible is fallible, then why should something be done just because the Bible says to do it? Nothing should be done without examining the specific teaching for error.

        Not only did I have to recant, which is bitterly hard for me. You accuse me of refusing to engage in conversation. How can I lie to you? It is not a valid argument. If I were to pretend my argument is valid, I would be lying to you. Is that acceptable conversation? I don’t think so.

        Oh how bitter my confession! My galls me.


      • Bailey Steger

        You’re right. We cannot have a discussion because we have different assumptions: you assume it’s impossible to be an egalitarian and believe in the infallibility of Scripture; I assume that the two are perfectly compatible. This is, unfortunately, the biggest reason complementarian/egalitarian dialogue gets nowhere.

        I appreciate your honesty and concern. Do keep in mind that this blog is intended for egalitarian women and is not a place to argue about whether egalitarianism is a valid interpretation of Scripture, so please refrain from being argumentative about the basic premise of this blog. Genuine questions about egalitarianism are always welcome; accusations like egalitarians deny the Bible’s infallibility are not. There are many other sites devoted to the apologetics of egalitarianism, but this is not one of them. :)


  2. Athena

    Great post! This is something I’ve been thinking about rather vaguely for a while, but I’ve never really thought about it in terms things women can do in conservative churches that men can’t. It’s all kinda mind- boggling.
    I was brought up in a church were men are ministers, elders and hand round collection plates, so that all made sense to me. What didn’t really make sense was that women could be missionaries and speak about the gospel in foreign countries, but couldn’t preach at home. In the church my parents belonged to for years women would make the after-service tea but weren’t allowed to serve it (yep, actually!0. I’m still trying to work out all this for myself, and i’m still not sure where I stand on the whole complementarian/ egalitarian spectrum (probably nowhere – I’m not great with labels:) ) but I’m always going to support consistency and fairness in terms of roles in a church.


    • Bailey Steger

      They could make the tea but not serve it? How odd! Best wishes to you as you figure this all out. For me, allowing everyone to use their gifts, regardless of gender, makes the most sense and avoids awkward contradictions like prohibiting women from preaching to “our American men” but allowing to preach to “non-American men” (which I feel like is derogatory both to women and to the non-American men they’re serving). It’s definitely simpler. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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