Paul said: “In Christ, there is no male and female, no Jew or Gentile, no slave or free.” In the kingdom of God, all human hierarchies are completely set aside. So much so, that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to demonstrate that the highest leaders in the kingdom of God regard themselves as servants. We are called by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring in the kingdom, which means to work for complete equality in all things. Inequality will be with us until the end, when the kingdom of God comes in its fullness. But that is no excuse to passively accept it. When we make excuses for inequality, we are defending sin. Or worse, when we try to argue that inequality is biblical and/or part of God’s design, we are fighting against the kingdom of God and misusing the Gospel to teach the opposite of what Jesus taught and modeled. John calls that the spirit of antichrist. We have to be on the side of full equality to be true to the Gospel.
6 thoughts on “Kingdom = equality”
Dr. Raburn are you saying that Christians who hold a complementarian view of the Scriptures dealng with the roles of men and women in society are participating in the spirit of the anti-Christ and perverting the Gospel? If so, i find your rhetoric highly offensive and unhelpful in the needed dialogue in the Church concerning Biblical roles. Respectful dialogue that doesn’t vilify those with which one disagrees leads to a strengthening of the Body of Christ. Your verbiage only widens the divide. Also, the Scripture that you quote at the beginning of your post, in context, deals with the equality of all in regards to salvation. This passage DOES NOT speak to God’s created roles for male and female. Also, I do not personally know of any complementarian who teaches that men and woman have unequal worth in the eyes of their Creator, only differences in created roles.
I don’t take the passage quoted as being only about salvation. In fact, I don’t take salvation as separable from the rest of the Christian life in such a way that what is true of salvation would be untrue in other aspects of life. That kind of thinking is too nearsighted to take in the scope of all the kingdom of God means for us when it comes in.
I didn’t say anything about “perverting” or even “the spirit of anti-Christ” as your comment does. You’ve taken the rhetoric up several notches farther than I did. When John wrote about antichrist he referred to Christians who were deviating from the freedom, equality, and unity that Jesus taught, modeled, and gave himself for. I mean the same. The complementarian view is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The order, assigned roles, and control it clings to have no place in the kingdom of God. A minority of Christians refuse to let go of their worldly thinking in this regard but that doesn’t change how Jesus related to women or the reality of what happens when the kingdom breaks in. Whenever the kingdom breaks in unity, freedom, and equality come with it. When we work against those, we are striving against the kingdom.
From your reply I feel that it very clear that you intended exactly that. This quote makes your intent very clear: “The complementarian view is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The order, assigned roles, and control it clings to have no place in the kingdom of God. A minority of Christians refuse to let go of their worldly thinking in this regard but that doesn’t change how Jesus related to women or the reality of what happens when the kingdom breaks in.” As I stated in my original reply, this type of rhetoric only widens the divide. Furthermore, in my opinion, your view of the Kingdom is being overally influenced by a “worldly” position. It is obvious that we view certain passages of Scripture differently- and that is OK. I refuse to villify you, however. i refuse to call you “nearsighted” or “worldly”. Also, being in the “minority” (though I am not certain what you base the assertion that the complementarian view of Scripture is the minority position) is not something to be feared. I do not fear being on the wrong side of an argument. I do fear being on the wrong side of Scripture! Finally, I do not view salvation as seperable from the rest of Christian life. However, the passage you referneced is a part of a broader context of a direct issue that Paul was dealing with. To ripe these verses from their context to prop up one’s theological position is disingenious to the Text.
Reducing that passage to being only about salvation is the move that takes it out of context and is on the wrong side of consensus Scripture. We don’t want to keep the kingdom of God at bay. We want to let the Spirit in. Let our young women prophesy. Let our older women lead and exercise the authority the Spirit has anointed them with. There is unity, freedom, and equality for our communities when we stop clinging to hierarchies and open our hearts and minds to what the Holy Spirit has for us. Then we begin to understand Scripture in more of its wholeness.
Constructive criticism is always helpful.
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