Monday, October 3, 2016

Neither Egalitarian Nor "Middle East" Way: Presenting The Complementarian Role Of Woman To The Farsi-Speaking Evangelical World

As a servant of God among the refugees from the Middle East, I have been struggling how we can best present the complementarian role of women at home and in the church.

Why? Because the dominant force of evangelicalism in the current Farsi-speaking world is that of the egalitarianism-based denominations and ministries. Though I do respect their sincere faith and their strong Bible-believing stance  which is truly adorable, nonetheless, I have been sadden by the simple fact that most of the main Farsi Christian satellite TVs, magazines are run by egalitarian denominations and the sermons of Joyce Meyer, a female preacher, for example, are being broadcasted dubbed in Farsi. In fact, for many Iranian/Afghan sisters, Joyce Meyer is their role model.

It seems to me that their attraction to the egalitarian version of Christianity is partly due to their confused idea of the meaning of "equality" in the Bible, plus their reactionary impulse against their former oppressed religious circumstances, for which I have deep compassion and sympathy.

Three different views 

The Bible clearly teaches that in terms of nature/essence (ουσία, φύση), men and women are completely equal. However, in terms of function/order (τάξις), men and women are different. The egalitarians, on the other hand, say that we are equal both in nature AND in function/order. Third, their former religion in the Middle East, seems to say to them that men and women are inherently unequal in nature and different in function/order. too. I can summarize these three views as follows;

(1) Their former religion's view:

Unequal in nature and different in function/order

(2) Egalitarian view:

Equal in nature and equal in function/order

(3) Complementarian view (*the view to which the author of this blog adheres.)

Equal in nature and different in function/order

So, we see in many ways, most of the Farsi-speaking women had been oppressed by the system (1) for years. After conversion, however, they are introduced into the egalitarian model of women at home and in the church (system (2)). As a result, there have been tragic disunity, fighting, divorce among them and I have seen their tears over the years. 

Thus, like western Christian feminist sisters, Farsi-speaking sisters also find it difficult to understand the difference between nature and function. When they hear that men and women are different in order/function, they rashly makes a conclusion saying that "well, so, it means that women are inferior to men in nature, too?" No, my dear sisters! It is not true at all.

After much prayer, I finally decided to record my own testimony in Persian language. (You can listen to the voice message and its English translation on my next post.) This is my sincere prayer that this testimony will be reached to the heart of my dear Farsi/Dari speaking sisters who are seeking the Bible truth day and night.