The Problem with Egalitarianism

Per the premise of civil rights: Americans generally seek the political and social freedom and equality of all citizens, including male and female.

Implicit in the idea of civil rights is this idea of egalitarianism. While it is true that men and women are equal in terms of competencies, I feel that our society has emphasized equality to such an extreme extent that we have lost sight of the distinction between male and female.

In the relationship between male and female, we should seek equality with respect to some factors, but not to the extent that we obliterate the distinction between male and female. Absolutizing equality in this way ruins the music that can be had between two different instruments or the painting that can be made from two different colors.

God made man male and female to be appreciated in their proper roles and relationship to one another. Perhaps the answer to male abuse is not to obliterate the distinction between male and female in an attempt to equalize them, but to hold males accountable to their God-ordained roles as males.

In this article (, Piper argues that males have a peculiar divine design to show a special care, protection, and honor to women because of their maleness.

Maybe it is time that we bring this biblical definition back into vogue, instead of going along with the cultural current of egalitarianism.

4 thoughts on “The Problem with Egalitarianism

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    If you think males steeped in their maleness are the champions at dealing with and preventing abuse in their midst – then you haven’t seen the bad press that I have coming from complementarian groups. This blogger nicely gives us a general list of what a well-known complementarian organization has ended up supporting and the injustice they have committed because they put their maleness before God as an idol:

    Before the feminist movement, abuse still happened; there was simply less protection for women from a legal standpoint. Work places weren’t nearly as safe – and the inequality between men and women showed in that men were frequent beneficiaries of favoritism in both the working world and the church and their pay often reflected that. If men were the champions you say they are, there would have been no need of feminism to restore the balance of equality.


  2. witnesstohisglory says:

    It is not so much that I think males steeped in their maleness are the champions (they are currently not), but I believe that males should be the champions at dealing with and preventing abuse in their midst. In other words, our reality does not match up to the moral expectation set forth in Scripture, and people have suffered from that.

    I could write a blog supporting my position another time, but I feel from Scripture, God ordained males to play a peculiar role in honoring women, but sadly this standard has not been followed well. Male authority is not an end in itself, but remains subservient to God’s purposes for it.

    I am not surprised that complementarian organizations have seen abuses of male authority, since such instances are a function of our fallen nature. But those abuses do not negate the structure and office of male authority, any more that governmental abuses of power should lead to anarchy.

    When government abuses its power, we call it to accountability and seek to reform it, but we do not go to the extreme of getting rid of the institution altogether. Likewise, it would be sensible if we treated male authority the same way. There has been abuses of it, yes, and so we should call men to accountability and ask them to better conform to God’s standards for exercising their authority properly.

    Have there been less legal protection for women, unsafe workplaces, and favoritism? Yes, of course, but the answer to these problems is not necessarily the obliteration of male authority, but the proper exercise of that authority. I did not say that men are the champions, but rather I meant to point out that they should be the champions. You’re right, if men were the champions they should be, there would have been no need for feminism to restore the balance of equality. But again, the failure to meet that standard does not mean the standard itself is negated.


    • Jamie Carter says:

      So let me get this strait:
      1.) Male authority is fallen and doesn’t always get things right.
      2.) The solution is more male authority.
      Seriously? Since you cannot negate fallenness; it’s only going to exacerbate the problems that already exist!


  3. witnesstohisglory says:

    Yes, male authority is fallen and does not always get things right.
    I did not say the solution is more male authority.
    The answer to one extreme (abuse of authority) is not another extreme (no exercise of authority whatsoever).
    The solution is to hold men accountable to a responsible use of the authority that they already have, which was entrusted to them by God for the good of those in their care.
    In other words, we should be pro-actively creating a culture where men are taught and shown what healthy leadership looks like.
    The abuses that we have seen so far come from a toxic and distorted definition of masculinity, so it should stand to reason that we need to redefine it in a way that promotes responsible leadership.

    If police officers abuse their authority, (and they do), I am not saying that we have more police officers.
    I am saying that we hold them accountable to a standard that says that they should use their authority in a more responsible and ethical manner.
    How do we try to do that? Internal investigations and re-education.
    I do not see why we cannot do the same similarly for all males in general.

    You’re already trying to persuade me that male authority is a bad idea. Why not instead help me teach our male neighbors to use the authority that they already have in a manner that helps and serves others?


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