The Common Good
November 2010

Equal but Subordinate

by Jesse Johnson | November 2010

Your article "The Persistence of Patriarchy" (by Anne Eggebroten, July 2010) said that at Grace Community Church "God is male, all the pastors, deacons, and elders are male, and women are ...

Your article "The Persistence of Patriarchy" (by Anne Eggebroten, July 2010) said that at Grace Community Church "God is male, all the pastors, deacons, and elders are male, and women are taught to live in submission to men." This is simply not true. In fact, we teach that men and women are both made in the image of God, and that God is neither gender (we do follow the lead of every English translation of the Bible and use male pronouns in reference to God). Second, our church has more than 400 female deacons, and their names are easily accessible to any visitor. In fact, the woman she interviewed for the story is a deacon! Finally, we do not teach that women should be submissive to men, but that wives should be submissive to their husbands (it is a fine distinction, but a reasonable one).

When you take away these errors, her article boils down to this question: "How can it be logically possible for the same person to be at once spiritually and ontologically equal and permanently, comprehensively, and necessarily subordinate?" We answer this by seeing marriage as modeled in the trinity, where Jesus is spiritually and ontologically equal with the Father, but is also subordinate to him, as he only does the will of him who sent him.

Jesse Johnson
Elder and pastor
Grace Community Church
Sun Valley, California

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