“It should also be noted that although ROLE THEOLOGY has become central to evangelical patriarchy, NOWHERE does Scripture use the term ROLE or any synonym for it with reference to the responsibilities of believers toward God or one another. At no point do we read that God designed us—and requires us—to ‘PLAY A ROLE.’ No, God’s concern is for each of us to BE a righteous person and to use whatever GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT we have been given for the good of the church and the glory of God” (“Discovering Biblical Equality,” page 319).
The word “role” has been used to “rewrite” the biblical canon and replace the word “gifts.” But there are two reasons why this is a bad idea.
First, “it’s not prego!” which means, “IT’S NOT IN THERE!” There is no word, phrase, verse, chapter, book, or even TESTAMENT that contains the word “role” in it. But the word “role” implies acting, theater, stage, drama…and the word SCRIPT comes to mind. Read these words from Udo Middleman:
“If God is in such control that EVERYTHING ALREADY AND FOR ALL TIMES IS WHAT HE INTENDED, we have no truly grieving God, no man of sorrows, no sadness of Jesus when the rich young ruler walked away without believeing. GOD HAS THEN DESIGNED WHAT IS NORMAL, and implicitly endorses what takes place AT ANY TIME. In terms of ideas or philosophy, and how you see things, IT IS A MODERN VARIANT OF THE SAME OLD PAGAN ORDER, THIS TIME WITH CHRISTIAN VOCABULARY. Life and death are justified, as is my bad temper, your murderous tendencies, your near-sightedness, and your addictions…the commands to LIVE otherwise, to bring one’s behavior in line with God’s Word, would be out of place, MERE THEATER AT BEST…if all of life is LOCKED INTO A SCRIPT, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANY LIVE PEOPLE” (Udo Middleman, “The Innocence of God,” page 149).
When complementarians use the word “role,” they are saying that EVERYTHING a woman will ever become is already spelled out for her. If her life were a script, she’d be given no “first dibs” on her life, how she will play her role, nor what she will do in it.