Understanding EGalitarianism and where it leads
by Paul Gilbert
You’ve probably heard of Tony Campolo. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he has for many years now been a prominent and influential voice in evangelicalism. Even though many people disagreed with Campolo, they still felt he was an important voice in the evangelical landscape. Just recently, however, Campolo came out in affirmation of loving, monogamous, same-sex marriages, and the inclusion of LGBTQ people within the life of the local church.
This move by Campolo actually shouldn’t surprise any of us. Why? Because for many years Campolo has been a vocal advocate of egalitarianism in the church. “Egalitarianism” simply means that there is no distinction between roles for men and women. In other words, men and women can hold any roles, both in the church and at home.
What is the connection between egalitarianism and homosexuality, you ask?
The arguments used to support egalitarianism are the exact same arguments used to support the affirmation of same-sex marriages. Each of these arguments contends that the Bible is culturally bound. Each of these arguments contends that circumstances have changed since Biblical times, and that, therefore, certain parts of the Bible don’t really apply to us anymore.
Thus, when Paul was speaking to Timothy and Titus about only installing men as pastors of churches, he was thinking of the uneducated women in Ephesus. Now we’ve moved beyond such teachings, and both men and women can be pastors.
When Paul was speaking of homosexuality in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6, he was talking about promiscuity, not loving same-sex marriages. We’ve moved beyond that now to the point where monogamous same-sex marriage is acceptable.
There is just one problem with these arguments. Fundamentally, they undermine the authority of the Bible.
This is why, as a church, we believe that God has created men and women as equal in value and yet different in role. Scripture is clear that God has called men to fill particular roles and women to fill particular roles. These differing roles are good, and their differences bring honor to God.
When we jettison these roles, we are also jettisoning our confidence in the word of God. If we fail to hold on to these distinctions in role, we place ourselves on a very dangerous and slippery slope.
As I think about these roles, I can’t help but be grateful for both the men’s and women’s ministries in the church. Here at Four Oaks, our desire is to equip both men and women to fill their God-appointed role.
Our Women’s Ministry has put together a fantastic series of women’s Summer Book Clubs. If you are a woman, I would really encourage you to be a part of one of these studies. If you’re a man, encourage the women in your life (mother, wife, sister, etc.) to participate. You can find out more about these studies here.
By God’s grace, we will continue to hold fast to his work and to the roles he has appointed for us. Thank you for modeling both of these realities in your daily lives.