Does Feminine Equal Submissive?

In a recent article, Doug Wilson calls for pastors and elders to be masculine leaders. His concern is that the church leaders are not modeling masculine leadership and courage:

That said, in these egalitarian times, we must insist on a masculine presence in the pulpit because the church is the bride of Christ, and needs to obey her husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24). The Lord required this of us (1 Timothy 2:12), and so that is what we must do. The individual man in the pulpit must be masculine because the bride of Christ must be feminine. The appropriate feminine response of the Church is to be submissive, and you cannot be submissive while disobeying.

While I cannot agree more that pastors and elders should be men of God, courageous and strong, I have to say that Doug Wilson’s apparent preoccupation with gender roles is troubling. Why does feminine equal submissive? As a side note, yes, the church is the bride of Christ, but that also includes the pastors. So wouldn’t that make them as feminine as the rest of the church?

Are women the only ones called to submit in Scripture? No, all mankind is called to submit to God. The church, both men and women, are to submit to Christ as the head of the church. All citizens, male and female, are called to submit to their civil leaders. Workers, men and women, are to submit to their bosses. Children are to submit to their parents.

My sons are not feminine in submitting to their parents. My husband isn’t feminine in obeying the elected leaders of our country. My husband is absolutely masculine, even if he obeys a female boss or elected leader.

By all means, let our pastors and elders be men. May they be strong and courageous in the Lord. But, please, let’s not reduce all of life down to the one aspect of the relationship between a husband and a wife.

5 thoughts on “Does Feminine Equal Submissive?

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