#ChurchToo: Complementarianism and Patriarchy In Crisis, Part 1

Those who’ve been following this blog have known that I’ve long identified as a Patriarch from day one. And in fact, I still do, although I am a laid-back one.

At the same time, it’s fair to say that it’s long past time to soberly assess the state of gender relations in the Church. #churchtoo has exposed the dark side of Patriarchy and complementarianism, and–make no mistake–that side is VERY dark.

First, some disclaimers:

  • I do not pedastal women by any stretch. Each sex has ways that their depravity rears its ugly head.
  • Men and women have been at each others’ throats ever since Adam threw Eve under the bus and even blamed God for providing her to him. Ever since then, women have had a “Men: can’t live with them/can’t live without them” mindset and men have sought to impose varying structures on women.
  • Yes, women abuse men too. Ame has provided horror stories about how this has gone on in apparently “good Christian homes” over the years. Those who know DV really well will attest that women can and do abuse men.
  • Yes, women abuse children, too. The ranks of women teachers who slept with their students are staggering, and seem to be ever-expanding.

Having said all of that, I’m going to lay the cards on the table:


Don’t like that? Fine. I don’t either. But not liking that fact doesn’t make it less true. And make no mistake, it is fact.

Why is it fact? It is fact because IT HAPPENED ON THE WATCH OF MEN.

Yes, #churchtoo abuses have occurred–and do occur–in egalitarian churches. Even then, (a) most of the abusers are men, and (b) most of those who covered up the abuses are men.

But here’s the thing…Complementarians and even Patriarchs often contend that a Patriarchal structure protects women. And in theory, it ought to.

But it almost NEVER does.

The Southern Baptist Convention–which has codified complementarianism into their Baptist Faith and Message–has 700 cases of sexual abuse in front of them, in which there is actionable intelligence that they can act on TODAY, and yet they will not act on them.

There are ministers cited–who have felony sex abuse convictions–who still retain ministerial credentials.

There are others–whose abuses have been verified as they have admitted to their abuses–who retain ministerial credentials.

There are churches–shown to have covered for sexual abusers–who retain standing as chucrches “in cooperation” with the SBC.

I know of churches–that ordained abusive ministers–who have been petitioned to defrock ministers shown to be abusive. And yet those churches refuse to act.

(In the SBC, ordination is handled through the local church; to defrock a minister, the ordaining church has to do it. I have yet to see one case where they have done this.)

Fact is, when children report abuse, churches almost always cover it up in some form or other. This is not merely a Roman Catholic phenomenon; it is rampant among evangelical ranks. Especially complementarian and Patriarchal (C/P) ranks.

The latter is what I find bothersome.

In the C/P world, you often hear much talk about manhood and masculinity.

Men are supposed to be leaders, shepherds, protectors, pastors of their own homes. Men are supposed to be the leaders in Church, home, and general society.

Now here’s the thing: LEADERSHIP carries RESPONSIBILITY.

So why aren’t these patriarchs and complementarian Manly Men leaders being decisive about abuses by their own peers in clergy?

(I know the answer; I’m asking the question rhetorically.)

Why is it that a cadre of Manly Men–who are so decisive when it comes to planting churches to build their brand, or developing conferences to make their names great–can’t muster the courage to be decisive and call out their own ranks who abuse women and children and cover for those who do?

Why is it that a cadre of Manly Men in the SBC has sought to impugn the character of prominent women calling out these abuses, no matter how conservative they are?

The Founders–a shady group of SBC leaders trying to control the SBC, run by Tom Ascol–launched passive-aggressive attacks on Rachael Denhollander, who is herself a Reformed Baptist (a “1689er”). I can attest that she is not a Social Justice Warrior and is in fact very conservative.

Make no mistake: #churchtoo is on the boyz. And while I identify as a Patriarch, we need to be honest: the leaders in that sector don’t seem to want to move to clear the abusers out of their ranks.

They lecture us about manhood and courage, but they exercise neither when it involves calling out leaders in their own tribe.

That’s just the beginning. More to come…

5 thoughts on “#ChurchToo: Complementarianism and Patriarchy In Crisis, Part 1

  1. so much in here, Amir.

    Job 40:8 (NKJV)
    8 “Would you indeed annul My judgment?
    Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

    amazing how we manipulate God and His Holy Word to justify ourselves. whoa to us when we do.

    i’ve been pondering why those who support women pastors are so fervent about it … going to research it more so i understand both sides well (when i have time) … but what keeps coming to mind are some basic truths shown in scripture:

    – Eve was deceived (her proclamation) to want what she could not have. she could have everything but one thing, but she wanted the one thing she could not have.

    —- this tends to be the nature of women … to want the one thing we cannot have.

    – God never changes.

    —- 1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    – Adam was disciplined for listening to his wife:

    Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he said,

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
    of which I commanded you,

    – God created man to rule.

    Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    – God placed man over women to rule:

    Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said:

    “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
    In pain you shall bring forth children;
    Your desire shall be for your husband,
    And he shall rule over you.”

    so … my round-about-point in all of that … men are hardwired to rule, but they’re not taught to rule. they’re thrown into ruler-ship positions with no training on how to rule. they become addicted to the power. they become glutons of food and praise and wealth. then they manipulate the scriptures to justify themselves. all the while they’re not really ‘ruling” … they’re playing at being rulers. they never learned how to discipline themselves:

    2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    that ‘self-control’ in the Greek:


    Strong’s Concordance
    sóphronismos: self-control
    Original Word: σωφρονισμός, οῦ, ὁ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
    Transliteration: sóphronismos
    Phonetic Spelling: (so-fron-is-mos’)
    Definition: self-control
    Usage: self-control, self-discipline, prudence.

    that, of course, is for all believers …

    however, men are not taught to rule, to be disciplined, or to be humble.

    so, what i’ve observed … is that they ‘force’ a ‘false rule’ through such things as sex. they get the ‘high’ from ‘ruling,’ but they are in sin.

    i am NOT justifying their sin … quite the contrary. i believe this is a pattern in the church – to feminize men, to take away their innate, natural ‘power’ to rule their worlds and bring them under a disciplined authority that submits to Jesus the Christ as his Lord and Master.

    not only are these male leaders covering it up, but the people in their congregations who *know* what’s going on … why is that? why are there no men who stand up for Truth and say this is going to end? they’re not taught to rule like Christ … perhaps b/c the leaders don’t want to be held accountable? idk.

    the church needs to teach men to rule. they need to teach men to be physically, mentally, and spiritually strong so they can be good, effective rulers.

    • At this point, the issue is not about women pastors; that’s a different discussion for another day. Even as a patriarch myself, I do see more flexibility there. But like I said, that’s a different discussion.

      The issue here is pure misogyny. You can be for all-male church leadership and still call BS on the misogyny. Abuse victims are getting railroaded by the local churches and also the denominational machinery. And women–CONSERVATIVE women–who call that out are getting branded as liberals, egalitarians, and Social Justice Warriors.

      Does Patriarchy or Complementarianism cause abuse? I would answer in the negative.

      Misogyny, on the other hand, catalyzes it. And many Ps and Cs are misogynists.

      I would also suggest that abuse–and its coverup–are made possible and even catalyzed any time accountability breaks down.

      How does that happen?

      1. Personality cults: people hitch their wagons to a PERSON.
      2. Ideological tunnel vision: people are so devoted to their CAUSE, that they’ll overlook–even justify–abuses committed by leaders who are allies in their cause.
      3. Institutional devotion: people may be inclined to justify or cover up abuses–or act in ways that mitigate the severity of the abuse–in order to protect their church, organization, or circle of friends.
      4. People have THEIR OWN junk to hide: Many people in churches have their own baggages: porn addictions, high school-college promiscuity (even actions that might qualify as rape), even abortions. They might be inclined to go light on a 22-year-old youth minister who solicits a Clinton from a 17-year-old girl, even though that act is a severe abuse of ministerial office.
      • It seems like the phenomena feed into each other.

        Workers get abused but get offered marxism. They buy into marxism and then they get sent into the gulag or shot.

        Men are not held accountable. Women buy into feminism. Feminism offered liberation. But actually the lack of accountability is transferred to women.

        Women are not punished for crimes that they deserve and all crimes against innocent men are justified somehow. Also women end up damned after buying into Satanic lies.

        And around it goes. The damnation machine. Unless God breaks that.

      • In regards to female pastors. Pastor and Elder I believe is synonymous. Husband of one wife and so forth good character and with the gift of teaching and leading.

        So I believe scripturally speaking no room in clergy as far as I am aware.

      • I will not rule out the progressive and the “conservative” leadership working in tandem after infiltrating the leadership with their people. Not unlike the Lavender Mafia in the Vatican.

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