Thursday, November 23, 2006
Room enough for oddballs
I cross-posted my bit about the Mark Driscoll Controversy over at the EmergingCGGC blog, and we've gotten into a really good discussion about complementarian vs. egalitarian views of gender roles and gender identities (i.e. masculinity and femininity). In one of the comments I shared a little bit of my thoughts on this issue from a more personal angle...

I need a theology that has room enough for people like me, like my wife, and like the people that we have always gravitated towards in our ministry - that is, the kind of people who don't easily fit within the typical societal roles (whether in regard to gender, or most other kinds of roles as well). We have always been more of misfits and oddballs when it comes to the traditional expectations for masculinity and femininity. And we seem to have a heart for reaching out to fellow oddballs and misfits too.

The thing is, I need a theology that has room for oddballs and misfits. To me it really feels like complementarianism says "There's something wrong, maybe even sinful, about who you are if you don't fit the mold of traditional gender roles. If you're not a 'wild at heart' alpha male, then you're not really living up to who God made you to be as a man. You simply need to repent and get with the program."

In other words, from my point of view, complementarianism simply doesn't have enough room in it for people like me.

In contrast, I prefer a theology that believes God has made each of us, as individuals, different, and that while some of that difference is certainly related to our sex (biology) and gender (sociology), it is never reduceable to that. I am shaped by my gender, but not determined by it. God's "ordained" role for me is not because of my gender, but because of my unique individual identity-within-community.

IMHO, that view still allows plenty of room for alpha males and girly girls to have their place in God's kingdom work, while also allowing room for oddballs and misfits like me at the same time


posted by Mike Clawson at 10:37 PM | Permalink |


At 11/25/2006 07:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

God bless you.
(you are very welcome to register and participate anytime)


At 11/28/2006 12:48:00 AM, Anonymous Johnny Brooks

I was speaking at our fellowship this past Sunday about how God appreciates diversity. We were discussing the Tower of Babel story. One of the things I bring away from that story is how much God was displeased with everyone being the same. It seems to me that he appreciates when no two people are the same. I mean come on he is the one who made us all with unique finger prints. Anyway I also appreciate a theology that makes room for us oddballs.


At 11/28/2006 09:07:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Well said Johnny (and welcome to my blog)!

Again, my reply to those who say that God has only one ideal standard of masculinity or femininity is that their theology has no room for people like me, while a theology of diversity has room for them, for me, and for lots of other types of people as well. Why would God create so many unique people if in the end he wanted us to all basically act and think the same?


At 11/28/2006 12:04:00 PM, Anonymous Jose

God's Word is very clear so we don't get confused with a miriad of opinions. In our time and age everyone wants to impose on others what is convenient vs. what is the "absolute truth -- The Bible. If everyone would just go back to what Jesus teaches in the Bible we will have a wonderful world. One Saviour. One Faith with no distorted opinions. Let the Bible rule!


At 11/28/2006 02:36:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Glad to see we agree Jose. Since I believe that the Bible teaches egalitarianism and inclusion of diversity, if we go back to the Bible, as you recommend, then that will lead us to respect for diversity and egalitarianism.

As you say, let the Bible rule.


At 11/29/2006 10:08:00 PM, Anonymous Jose

What do you think about this article.


Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link