Complementarianism is a strain of the virus, but not the virus itself. Look at the similar evasive techniques employed by Wayne Grudem and friends in CBMW and Al Mohler and friends in LivingOUT. The virus itself is cowardice in the face of a culture in rebellion against God. That cowardice produces half-measures scholars and celebrity churchmen teach their students and pastors and elders and wives. Those half-measures contain much truth and seem to be protecting the church at critical fissures. “We ourselves have the husband the head in our marriages and we ourselves have men voting on church discipline in our churches and you, world, are free to go on your merry way. You see? We’re no threat.” Similarly, “we ourselves have no same-sex copulation allowed. Explicitly, that is. And we won’t officiate your gay marriages, but don’t let that stop you from coming to your own conclusions, dear world. We join you in opposing that abuse known as reparative therapy and we join you in affirming the truth of homosexual identity. You see? We’re no threat.”
You can find this cowardice at every place where the world is in rebellion against God. “You hate authority? Don’t worry, we do too. Only Jesus has authority; we have none. Not me. Not the preacher. Not the elders. And especially not the Pope. That’s why we’re Protestants. The Reformation was the rejection of church authority. Not civil authority—that’s the Anabaptists and their pitchforks, you know. But church authority? No. Haven’t you listened to our great preachers? Can’t you see they’re no threat to you or anyone else? They have helpful thoughts for you that you can take or leave. They don’t badger you. You see? We’re no threat. Our Gospel is a kinder and gentler one.”
Across the church today, it is exceedingly rare for church officers to have any sense of their responsibilty to guard the sheep, so they spend their time and money making themselves likeable to worldlings and finding pastors who know just exactly precisely where the sweet spot of plausible deniability is in each area of rebellion. Which means they demand masters degrees and the rich ones are able to afford men with the terminal degree. And at least in theology and divinity, higher education is the learning of sophisticated evasions. You become acculturated to the effeminate world of scholarship (certainly in the humanities), and then they award your degree.
Until the church wrenches back to Herself the training of Her shepherds, there is no hope. And I’m in an exceedingly good mood as I write this. Plain fact. Love,