This article was plugged by the Aquila Report:
A few comments:
This article is in response to Piper's answer to a question regarding policemen. As I've indicted in a post, I wouldn't frame the issue the way Piper does.
When does complementarianism get silly? That's the question raised by an interesting (and at times quite heated) debate in August over women in the workplace. I'm commenting on it, not because it was heated, or because by doing so I'm hoping somehow to ingratiate myself with the arbiters of acceptable thought - I would have thought the ship had pretty much sailed on that one - but because I live under a woman head of state, grew up under a woman Prime Minister, recently voted for a woman Member of Parliament (who also happens to be a member of my church), and have hundreds of women in my church whose jobs and everyday lives often involve them telling men what to do.
The obvious danger here is to baptize the status quo. At a de facto level, there are many women in positions of authority over men. But that doesn't address the de jure question of what that ought to be the case.
The New Testament instructions on how maleness and femaleness should be applied seem, at least to me, to focus almost entirely on relationships in the gathered church and in the household. This could be taken as an argument from silence, but it is a fairly important silence: we have women in the New Testament who run their own businesses (Lydia), act as benefactors to men (Phoebe), precede their husbands when named together (Prisca), have households, presumably including male slaves (Lydia, Chloe?) and act as a “mother” to single men (Rufus’s mother), not to mention the women in the Old Testament who lead Israel into battle (Deborah), kill enemies (Jael), advise kings (Huldah) and save nations (Esther), and there is no indication that any of them shouldn’t have done these things because they were women. When transposed into a modern key, therefore, I cannot see warrant in Scripture for saying that women should not manage men at work, tell men what to do, govern the country, or (in John’s language) influence men in personal and directive ways.
i) I agree with him that we have Biblically sanctioned cases in which women sometimes take the lead. To take one example, if a woman is a businesswomen, then she clearly has the right to tell her employees what to do. If it's her business, then she's the boss. Mind you, that's not coercive so long as employment is voluntary.
ii) To restrict the relevance of gender to relationships in the church or the family is fallacious. Those represent special cases of a general principle. After all, if there was no underlying principle, why would those instructions even be applicable to church and family? What's the common, overarching principle? It must be grounded in something broader than two particular instances–otherwise, there's nothing to justify its force even in those two instances. That would be ad hoc.
In the UK, it is far from a hypothetical scenario: our Queen, our only female Prime Minister and my current female MP have all been conservative and Christian, and presumably it will only be a matter of time before a pro-life, Republican woman has a shot at the Oval Office, even if it isn’t Carly Fiorina. What then, I wonder?
Sure, if it's a choice between a liberal male candidate and a conservative female candidate, we should vote for the woman.