The Together for the Gospel articles of faith make the complementarian view of gender roles a gospel-related issue. Article XVI reads:
We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.
We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.
In particular, Ligon Duncan argues here that:
The denial of complementarianism undermines the church’s practical embrace of the authority of Scripture (thus eventually and inevitably harming the church’s witness to the Gospel). The gymnastics required to get from “I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man,” in the Bible, to “I do allow a woman to teach and to exercise authority over a man” in the actual practice of the local church, are devastating to the functional authority of the Scripture in the life of the people of God.
Two, and following on the first point, the church’s confidence in the clarity of Scripture is undermined, because if you can get egalitarianism from the Bible, you can get anything from the Bible.
I agree with Pastor Duncan and T4G on this one.
My question is: if complimentarianism is a gospel issue precisely because it devastates the functional authority for the people of God, why is creationism not a similar issue (esp. since his argument is based in part on a literal reading of Genesis 1)?
If succumbing to an egalitarian view does injustice to “I do not allow a woman to preach…” then how do they justify divergent views on “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…and the evening and the morning were the first day?”