JD Greear Defends His View of ‘Equal but Distinct’ Roles of Women in the Church

Pastor J.D. Greear of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has had to defend his complementarian view of gender that women and men have equal but separate roles in the church and family, after some likened his view to Jim Crow laws.

“For the record, I affirm w/o reservation the ‘complementarian’ view of gender in Scripture — >i.e. equal in essence but distinct in roles in family and church; equal access to spiritual giftings, though only men can serve in the office of pastor,” Greear wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Greear is a nominee for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. He argued, “‘Wives submit to your husband’ does not mean ‘all women everywhere submit to all men everywhere’ or that women are inferior in essence, gifting or value in the body of Christ. Both genders have a vital role in the kingdom and we should offer for both clear paths for development and advancement in the church.

“Sometimes, in our rightful espousal of complementarianism, we in the SBC have failed to recognize the gift women are to the body of Christ and failed to devote our energies to creating pathways into ministry as we have for men.”

Greear received both support and some pushback on the social media platform.

David Eagle, associate in Research at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University, compared the stance to the controversial Jim Crow laws in the U.S. that enforced racial segregation, before they began being abolished in the 1960s.

“Sounds a whole lot like the justifications used for Jim Crow. Separate but equal. But separate but equal always means unequal,” Eagle wrote in a reply.

When prompted by Greear, Eagle argued that the apostle Paul was trying to make a similar point in Galatians 3:28 in the Bible, which says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Greear then responded on Monday by sharing his interpretation of the text:

“In Gal 3:28 Paul was removing any hierarchy in our relationship to God. Gal 3:28 does not abolish all societal roles any more than it abolishes nationality or gender. The logic that uses Gal 3:28 to abolish the former would by necessity have to abolish the latter.”

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Source: Christian Post