A few statements from our DMin have been forever etched in my memory. “God is queer” started it off, and “Jesus is egalitarian” followed later. I have worked past the first but am still a work-in-progress on the second. Similarly, in a later Zoom discussion, it was mentioned, “The Bible is egalitarian.”
I have already admitted to being traditional in my viewpoint on many topics, including women in ministry, or what is described as “complementarian”. Some would call this sexist or worse, misogynistic, which hurts. Yes, I came into this DMin with a pre-conceived bias, pointed out by Haidt in The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. 
Here is a qualifier (which we have been recently cautioned to be careful about by Dr. Jason when virtue signaling); After reading and thinking ad nauseam, This is no longer a hill I am willing to die on!
Is Jesus egalitarian? Is the Bible egalitarian? Why were all 12 Jewish tribes and 100% of Apostles male? So many questions, so little space…
It could be argued the term “helpmeet” from Genesis 2:18 is highly complementarian. In addition, the “headship” discussion from Ephesians 5:23 also very much appears to me to be complementarian. The same could be said for the term “overseer” from the books of Timothy and Titus—it certainly appears from many viewpoints to be complementarian.
Or do I have the wrong framework of what egalitarian is? I might!
When my wife and I got married, I offered to clean it up if she would cook it. It took her two seconds to accept that offer, like in a partnership. She decided to work outside the home only while the kids were at school, and we sacrificed greatly to honor this shared desire. Most days she was in the school, community and church as a professional volunteer. Most mornings, week-ends and evenings she was with our kids. I never said any other mom had to do what my wife was doing! We were no better than anyone else. It was a personal decision for us. If the Bible is egalitarian, was I wrong, or even sinful, to arrange our lives like this?
I believe men and women both bear the image of God as stated in Genesis 1:27. Imago Dei!  We are equal image bearers. Man is not better than woman, nor the counter. Forgive me Lord for any time I have portrayed domineering or condescending attitudes. But male and female are obviously opposites in many characteristics—anatomy, chemical hormones, emotional expressions, neuromuscular attributes. Is it possible to celebrate and be different in roles, perspectives and responsibilities? We won’t even get into reproduction and child bearing as espoused in Grant’s Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships. 
Please realize, I’m not against egalitarian in the church world, I probably don’t understand it! Any called and gifted female may pastor one of my churches. There was not a ministry in my church a woman was prohibited from leading under my influence. Missionary, evangelist, prophet, song leader, Deaconess, communion server, preacher, teacher, baptizer, baby dedicator…
The only difference in our denomination (The Evangelical Church) is that male ordained elders are held accountable for their positional authority as overseers. “I do not allow a woman to be in spiritual authority over a man” from I Timothy 2:12 seems to me to be emphatically complementarian. I hear often of the “TIME AND PLACE” argument against this Scripture, often citing the cultural context. I am able to understand the counterpoint; however, I find it hard to swallow this Scripture as merely cultural when the next verse, verse 13, immediately references Genesis and takes the context far away.
The interpretation given to me by my mentor surrounds these Scriptures with the idea of responsibility. He cites the examples of Adam and Eve BOTH sinning in the garden, but God going to Adam first to give an account. When Sarah laughed after hearing she would get pregnant at the age of 99, who had to answer for it? Abraham! Even the judge Deborah laid it down on Barak for abdicating his responsibility as a male leader. This week’s book in several places supports the responsibility factor in this discussion. 
Put another way, because of mutual submission , both males and females are equal in rank in God’s army, but when responsibilities are carried out, who does God go to first for an accounting. The male! Let’s not let men off the hook in their spiritual responsibilities by egalitarian means. Many men in my circles will easily defer to their wives in spiritual leadership, but will suffer later the consequences, including a questioning wife regarding his spiritual passivity.  Anecdotal observations in our denomination show that if a man will first walk with Christ, over 70% of the time his family will follow. If a woman walks with Christ first, only 30% of the time her family will follow.
Dr. Sean McDowell, Ph.D. professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, and son of famous Campus Crusade for Christ best-selling author Josh McDowell (Evidence that Demands a Verdict), recently cautioned me with these words when he visited Billings, Montana. He said something like, “Beware of Scriptural revisionists who argue away what churches have been holding dearly since the beginning.”
So, back to my title, is gender nearly irrelevant today? Furthermore, is marriage a genderless institution? Complementarians would celebrate our differentness, for if we are both the same, one of us is unnecessary.
My fellow and cherished Elite LGP 8 members, I honor you and respect you. I hold onto my thoughts with an open hand, without dogmatic tenacity. I hope we can still be in loving fellowship. I told you you were going to think I was nuts…
Now, let’s talk about it, and let the fireworks graciously begin as we continue our discussions!
 Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York: Vintage Books, 2013. 93.
 Yuan, Christopher. Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story. Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2018. 138.
 Grant, Jonathan. Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2015. 30.
 Beck, James R. Two Views on Women in Ministry (Counterpoints Exploring Theology Series). Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan, 2005. 94.
 Beck. Pages 129, 133, 158, 171, 175, 182…and others, ad nauseam.
 Beck. 298.