The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt
Some of the few complementarian Christians I follow on social media did not like this article at all. They seem to find any criticism of their position, or any suggestion of other options for women, to be a great affront to complementarianism itself, or to God or the Bible. Why do they feel their movement is so fragile?
Christian women who reject complementarianism – some of them may go by various labels, such as “Jesus feminists,” or “egalitarians,” or “mutualists,” don’t seek to limit women the way complementarians do. Non-complementarian men and women do not mind if a woman chooses to be a stay at home wife and mother.
However, complementarians do not truly afford all women, and especially not non-complementarian, women this same courtesy.
Much complementarian content will pay “lip service” to respect a woman’s right to choose to work outside the home and so on, but often times, from what I’ve seen, that very same site, or authors on some other complementarian site, will cry and clutch their pearls in sorrow or grief that more and more Christian women are choosing to stay single, not have children, and/or to work outside the home.
Notice that in this article, at one point, complementarian Owen Strachan, who is a spokes-head for complementarian group CBMW, comes right out and says egalitarianism, or any departure from complementarianism, is supposedly a sin.
Egalitarians are all about giving women more choices, telling them to go after their dreams, and doing whatever they feel God has led them to do.
Complementarians really chaff at that. Complementarians want women in boxes. I wrote a much older post saying that (Link): this is one reason of several I really have been struggling with holding on to the Christian faith. I was raised in a Christian family that bought into many of these complementarian ideas, and it’s not something that worked out well for me in my life.
(Link): The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt
An evangelical Christian and avowed feminist argues that God intends every woman to work.
The final episode of Leave it To Beaver aired in June of 1963, but many conservative Christians still promote a vision of womanhood reminiscent of June Cleaver. When Tobin Grant, political-science professor at Southern Illinois University, analyzed General Social Survey data from 2006, he found that nearly half of evangelical Christians agreed with this statement: “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.”
Forty-one percent agreed that “a preschool child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works.” For these evangelicals, a woman’s place in the world is to get married, bear children, and support her breadwinning husband.
Katelyn Beaty—the managing editor of Christianity Today,America’s largest evangelical Christian publication—has set out to change this notion of gender. Her new book, A Woman’s Place, claims to reveal “the surprising truth about why God intends every woman to work.”
This declaration may surprise many of her magazine’s 80,000 print subscribers and 5 million monthly website visitors. And it may also rouse many of her fellow evangelicals who believe her ideas defy the Bible’s clear teaching, if not qualifying as outright heresy. While Beaty knows criticism may be coming her way, she is making a conservative Christian case for working women.