Recently, I did a google search and found that a student in Michigan, named Chad Christian, wrote a paper in which he contrasted my view of egalitarianism with D.A. Carson's complementarianism. He concluded the paper by saying,
"While I do not firmly take a stance on either side of this debate, I believe that both Carson and Richardson exercise two extreme positions in this debate" (http://chaddchristian.blogspot.com/2011/03/womans-role-in-church.html).
To respond to Chad, let me say that first, I do not have an extreme position. I wrote him a response at his site, stating that my view of women and their gifts in the church does not negate the headship of the male and his authority in the home. After all, the New Testament shows us time and time again where wives are to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22 being a good example). I am one who believes in teaching what the Bible does...so I would not tell women to not submit to their husbands. This is the position of feminists, who I dub "extreme egalitarians." The Bible tells wives to submit; for those who refuse to acknowledge scriptural teaching on this are opposing Scripture, which is the exalted, inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.
Last but not least, he writes that I oppose 1 Peter 3:7 as referring to spiritual authority. But what Chad does not understand is that I am defining "spiritual authority" in a different sense than he. He sees 1 Peter 3:7 as referring to spiritual authority, since the issue involved is headship in the home, which is given by God. I am referring to spiritual authority as having to do with the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4 and the Spirit giftedness of 1 Corinthians 12. I am discussing ecclesiology when I discuss spiritual authority, which I deem to be distinct from God-given roles in the home. After all, Paul does the same when, in the same passage that he tells wives to submit to their husbands (5:22), he also tells the Ephesians that Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23). Christ and the church are the example for the home, not the other way around. Many complementarians confuse which example is the standard...and thus, end up stifling the female voice in churches today.
I am not denying that in some sense, male headship in the home is spiritual authority; what I am denying, however, is that male headship can be used as the paradigm by which men and women are to operate as believers in the church. I believe that a woman can submit to her husband in the home and yet, operate in her God-given role to preach the Word (even if he isn't called to do so) in the church of God. I see giftedness by the Spirit (preaching, teaching, pastoring, apostleship, prophecy, etc.) as spiritual authority that is manifested apart from the gender of an individual and/or whether or not the individual is to submit or lead in the home. After all, there will be no marriage between man and woman in heaven (Matt. 22:30); if the church is to usher in the coming Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:10), and the coming Kingdom will have no marriage, then the church should be a divine institution where women are able to preach, teach, apostle, and pastor as God has given them ability. This does not undermine marriage; rather, if the wife is to be the glory of her husband (1 Cor. 11:8), and the wife is preaching and teaching as God has given her ability, then she does so "to the glory of her husband." The more the husband allows his wife to exercise her gifts, the more glorious for him she will be. Conversely, the more the husband forces his wife to sit on the sidelines while he does the work of God, the less glorious he will be for God and His Kingdom. What a shame that so many men have this mindset! I thank God for those who don't, and pray for those who do that one day, their hearts and minds will be changed.
Feel free to check out Chad's site if you so desire. Also, feel free to leave comments. God bless.