October 8, 2014
Carla and the Complementarian Conundrum
After a particularly hectic week, Carla was glad to be back at church. Truth be told, she had been looking forward to leading the Women's Bible study and had spent more time than usual preparing for it. Unfortunately, there was miscomunnication with the Sunday Bulletin and this was what it stated: "Carla will be leading the Bible Study 'title of book here' at the Church on Sunday Evenings at 6:00 p.m." Most of Sunday Morning was spent trying to correct the book title error that she didn't notice the missing word.
But when it was 6:00 p.m., Carla began to panic. She realized that the word 'Women's' was missing from the bulletin about the time a few women and their husbands sat down at the table. Carla was very studious about scripture and the complementarian teachings that she and her husband, Mike lived by. One rule of complementarianism is that women may teach women, but women may never teach men. She hurried on over to the men's study to speak with her husband regarding her conundrum - but the door was already shut and they had begun their opening prayer. She knew that no interruptions would be tolerated short of immediate danger - such as a fire.
She looked into her classroom where she counted about about eight students, two of which were men. One wasn't a believer, so she was pretty sure she couldn't ask him to lead. The other had come to Jesus just last week, but he was still really new. Still, he was the right gender, so that should count for something. Just then two more students were arriving late - one was transitioning gender and therefore ineligible to teach and the last was the resident Egalitarian.
Carla explained to the resident Egalitarian that she was certain she didn't want to sin or cause others to sin by teaching the Bible Study to the men. She realized that only two or three people in the entire church were actually gifted with the ability to teach and that none of them were present. Her only real option was to ask the new convert to lead the study by pointing to the verses in the Bible and explaining that according to the complementarian teachings, scripture requires men to teach women and not the other way around. The resident Egalitarian cautioned that as a recent convert, he might not be ready or know enough to lead, he might be one of those guys who were made to be followers, in which case, it would be too much responsibility. The resident Egalitarian thought carefully and finally instructed Carla to return to her study and begin the prayer. While she was praying, she ought to pray for God to provide a leader to for the Bible Study. Carla did just that.
The resident Egalitarian went into one of the empty classrooms and took the wastebasket and set it on fire, holding it carefully at the window of men's Bible study. In short order it was noticed and one of the men, Mike coincidentally, stepped out of the study to investigate the situation. The resident Egalitarian put out the fire and explained the situation. Mike apologized to his Bible Study for the interruption and informed them that he had decided to report to Carla's study to teach the material. The resident Egalitarian gave a little chuckle and whispered, "Works every time." Just before slipping into Carla's class. This one ought to be entertaining.