Egalitarians and Complementarians |

TBC Staff

[TBC: Egalitarians believe in the equality of all people, while complementarians believe that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, and religious leadership.]

Egalitarians believe there was no hierarchy before the Fall, while complementarians believe there was a benevolent authority from the man. But both sides agree that after the Fall, there would be a tendency from sinful men to be despotic to their wives, treating them like doormats. But the Apostle Paul wrote unambiguously that husbands were to do no such thing. Rather, he gave very different instructions to men in his Epistle to the Ephesians (and note the almost complete quote of Genesis:2:24, as real history):

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians:5:25–33).

This follows the instructions to wives: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands” (Ephesians:5:22–24).

Both sets of instructions about marriage together paint a great picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

—Jonathan Sarfati (born 1 October 1964, young Earth creationist, author, and writer for Creation Ministries International)