Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gender Relations

Some form of this article hits the Abbotsford Times this week. Enjoy.

Among the most explosive issues in Abbotsford of late has been the subject of a banned high school class dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity. In the next few hundred words I want to dig into some explanation of how men and women relate which should prove to be as popular as running your nails down a chalk board and drinking battery acid. Please buckle in as we look at three gender-relation positions that must be rejected as being unfaithful, unbiblical, and, ultimately, hurtful to men, women, children, and the cause of the Gospel.

Chauvinists insist that men are superior holding the power to abuse, misuse, mistreat, and manipulate women to do their will asserting, essentially, that women are not equal to men. These spineless men often abuse their wives, are addicted to porn, selfishly abandon their children, try to control women through the threat of violence, anger, and by withholding finances. Simply, we can not live like this and should confront men who do.

Feminists maintain the opposite position suggesting that women, not men, are superior in every aspect and should, therefore, be out front ruling and manipulate the world around them – especially men. These women are often single or in a bad relationship, watch The View, are stubborn and pushy, malicious gossipers, and are submissive to no one but their own plans and desires often guising their feminism under the slogan of ‘freedom from male tyranny.’ This woman is not the Biblical view of femininity.

Egalitarians essentially believe that men and women are equal to each other with no difference or distinction. This view upholds the value and worth of everyone while maintaining equal rights, opportunities, and roles for male and female alike. And, while we do believe that men and women are equal, we must reject this position because, unlike egalitarians, we must hold to the Biblical idea that men and women are equal but distinct. Unfortunately, too many have confused distinction with inequality; difference as discrimination.

Finally, we come to an acceptable view which we call complemtary. This view holds that, male and female – while being equal in value, worth, and dignity – are distinct from each other in both role and responsibility. This is much like Luongo and the Sedin twins who, though they are on the same hockey team, have different positions and functions while working towards a common goal. Another especially evident example is the parent-child relationship: while the child is equal to his parents in dignity, value, and worth, the parents still must make decisions, teach, provide for, discipline, hold responsible, and direct the child as they see fit. Obviously, it is very unhelpful to assume that ‘distinction’ is synonymous with ‘inequality.’

The complemetary view insists that all human life is equal in value, dignity, and worth while maintaining that men, women, and children are different and distinct from one another. Additionally, in no way do male/female distinctions belittle or give superiority to either man or woman, but rather encourages the faithful response of both to live lives worthy of their calling, duty, and responsibility. Finally, men and women are not meant to duplicate one another but rather to complement each other recognizing that both are created equally and uniquely in the image and likeness of God.