The secret handshake of spirituality-of-the-church men...
(Tim) Where have good card-carrying confessionally Reformed evangelicals shown more alacrity in signaling their commitment to keep their religion private than the matter of the meaning and purpose of God's Creation Order of sexuality?
Covenant Theological Seminary's professor of theology and ethics called for the repeal of anti-sodomy laws in a round-table with Christianity Today. It's fine for Christians to preach and teach against sodomy in the church, but what's the purpose of condemning it outside the church? We don't need these laws any more. Why make unbelievers live by Christian standards? I mean, think how divisive it is for our laws to say "No" to sodomy. Unbelievers can't live by God's Law anyhow, can they? Let's repeal these laws and let pagans be pagans. Gays shouldn't suffer just because they're gay.
So, today, I'd guess most Christians are two-kingdom, spirituality-of-the-church men when it comes to anti-sodomy laws. Sodom will be Sodom, after all, and our business is the Gospel.
As with sodomy, so with feminism. My years working with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood drew to an end over the cheerful and carefully-cultivated silence of the Council over...
the meaning and purpose of sexuality outside the church and the home.
With just a few quiet exceptions, the council consistently opposed saying or writing or teaching anything about the meaning and purpose of sexuality outside the church and home. When I'd point out that bit about Adam being created first, then Eve, in the Garden prior to the Fall--that this is God's Creation Order, bearing with it all God's explicitly declared meaning, and not some ceremonial law given to the Children of Israel--invariably their response would be, "The Bible is silent about the meaning of sexuality outside the church and the home."
Thus Westminster Seminary in California's statement on sexuality:
...from creation, men were given authority and ultimate leadership in the family and in the covenant community.
Yes, yes: "in the family and in the covenant community." All very private, you see. The church and the home. Neither witness nor meaning nor purpose outside the privacy of our own Covenant Community ghetto. It's a sort of Christian Yiddish. We think and speak one way at home, and another when we walk out the front door. We live as men and women when we're at home, but we're just human persons after we walk out the front door. The sexes complement each other during the evenings, nights, and weekends, but they're indistinguishable the rest of the week.
This is the meaning of "complementarian," that precise equivocation coined by the first of CBMW's members. It's the linguistic sleight-of-hand communicating that God's Creation Order is one of the Christian mysteria. The word is meaningless to pagans, but easily understood by Christians to indicate we're reasonable on sexuality--neither patriarchal nor hard-core feminist. It's the secret handshake of scholarly-leaning evangelicals.
'Complementarian' is the sign and seal of our covenant of sexual compromise.