Christian patriarchy is a misguided belief with very harmful consequences. But there are some who embrace Christian patriarchy who prefer the term ‘complementarianism’ instead of ‘patriarchy’; it sounds more gentle and also helps to disassociate them from the more extreme fundamentalist patriarchy.
But they are both patriarchy; and both are harmful.
Who Are the Complementarians?
Complementarians think men and women are different but that their ‘biblical’ roles complement each other. They like to talk about ‘biblical manhood and womanhood’. But I think popular author Rachel Held Evans has a point when she says:
Their rhetoric consistently reflects a commitment to an idealized glorification of the pre-feminist nuclear family of 1950s America rather than a commitment to “biblical manhood” and “biblical womanhood”
I contend that the gender roles they promote are not ‘biblical’.
Many complementarians are from Reformed and Baptist traditions. In 1987, this group developed the Danvers Statement
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