I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read yesterday's post on 'Male Headship' on Suem's blog 'Significant Truths. Hers is one of the blogs I follow. I recommend it. She writes that recently she's been thinking
"about the irony of the fact that so many evangelical men who believe in "male headship" are not terribly bright. In my experience, the sort of men who believe they have an innate God given right to be in authority over women seem to be very limited intellectually. It occurs to me that their belief in male headship may actually be a way of compensating for deficiencies in that area? I hope I am not being sexist, not to mention anti- evangelical here, perhaps I have just been unlucky - or has anyone else noticed the same?"I think that statement does read as sexist and anti-evangelical with some intellectual snobbishness thrown in. On the other hand - I do know what she means. That's why I laughed at the humorous video clip in her post. Let me put my cards on the table before commenting further.
- I have difficulties with Christian 'party' labels because of the tendency to stereotise particular groups . Once you do, the next step is further discrimination against the other group, whoever the 'other' are.
- I'm an evangelical married to an evangelical man who doesn't fit Suem's "not very bright" description.
- I'm not a fundamentalist. I'm an evangelical with charismatic-liberal-catholic leanings. Make of that what you will. No, I'm not confused - just stubbornly resistant to any one party label - prefer to be known as 'Christian'. Please don't put me in a bubble or a box. I will try to escape!
- My theology of 'headship' (in marriage or the church) can be summarised as: I believe in Christ as head of the church and that men and women are called to mutual submission out of reverence for Christ. I base this view on my understanding so far of Biblical teaching.
Do take a look at Suem's post, as much as anything for the interesting discussion that is developing in the comments that follow it. I particularly like Suem's own comment about some evangelical men being "straight line thinkers" and about the strong-minded, well-educated women who accept male headship perhaps as a way of "tapping into male power systems" through gaining approval from a particular group.