The Increasing Social Cost of Complementarianism

By Al Mohler - Posted at 9Marks:

We live in an age where steadfast faithfulness to biblical conviction increasingly exacts a social cost. Churches and entire denominations, feeling the mounting pressure of an increasingly secular culture, capitulate on fundamental doctrines and core teachings of the Christian faith—especially doctrines that intersect with the LGBTQ revolution. Church after church continues to sacrifice theological fidelity in the name of cultural relevance. Where you find a church, however, you find unwavering commitment to the Word of God—especially in those moments where the culture demands theological surrender.

Complementarianism is one of these doctrinal commitments under severe scrutiny. To be clear, complementarian theology is a secondary issue for Christians—you can reject complementarianism and be a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, committed to the gospel and the expansion of Christ’s kingdom around the world. While it is secondary, second-tier issues can often become first-tier issues. Rejecting complementarian theology may lead to a rejection of biblical authority, inerrancy, and the infallibility of God’s Word. Indeed, complementarianism represents a right reading of the Word of God. Men and women equally bear the image of God; yet, they are distinct in their roles, as men seek to glorify God in biblical masculinity while women glorify God through biblical femininity.

Complementarians, however, must face the reality of this secular world and the impact of second-wave feminism on the church and the broader culture. To hold to complementarian theology will increasingly be more costly in the coming years. The social pressure against complementarian theology manifests in at least two ways. First, complementarianism is perceived as an oppressive ideology, promoting male superiority. The second pressure we face is the accusation that complementarian theology encourages sexual abuse.

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