The complementarian position splits the church into two camps

by Matt Slick

Does the complementarian position (that men and women have different roles) naturally split the church into two camps? No, it doesn't. The assertion implies that the complementarian position must split the church or naturally splits it. This is not so. The complementarian position maintains that men and women are gifted differently and called to different roles. This distinction in calling doesn't necessitate divisions. Instead it means that each group learns to be helpful and cooperative according to the gifts given by God. This way the church can function properly. Let's consider a lengthy section of scripture that teaches this exact thing.

"For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired...25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts," (1 Cor. 12:14-18, 25-31).

We see that it is God who calls people to different positions within the church. It is God who seeks to gift different people differently in order to complement each other, that is, in order to work together for the glory of God and the building of the body of Christ. Therefore, we see that God himself is complementarian in that he doesn't call all people to the same office.

So, we can confidently answer the question this article began with and say that the complementarian position does not divide the church in two. Any division that occurs is caused by people's sin and not because of God's different calling to different people.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.