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Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design #177617
10/24/15 12:23 AM
10/24/15 12:23 AM
APL  Offline OP
SDA
Active Member 2020

5500+ Member
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,368
Western, USA
Why Complementarians "See" Male Leadership as God's Design: The Psychology of Perception (Seeing What We Already Believe)

All of us have blind spots. I think every one of us, as human beings, can safely conclude that we don't know everything. Some of the things we do not understand today, we may understand tomorrow. Some of the things we do understand today, we may understand better (i.e. differently) tomorrow.

One of the reasons we all have blind spots is a result of something called "top-down processing." Top-down processing refers to the way we experience the world around us. We do not, in fact, see the world as it is. We see it as it is meaningful to us. In other words, we see the world through the lenses of our past experience, previous learning, deeply held beliefs, assumptions and expectations.

Details in the environment that do not align with our assumptions can be missed altogether – due to top-down processing.

Details in the environment that do not align with our deeply held beliefs can be misinterpreted so that our beliefs are not shaken – due to top-down processing.

What complementarians do not seem to recognize is that top-down processing impacts how people read the Bible. Please allow me to explain.

Before a word can be translated it must be interpreted. In my grammar text for New Testament Greek, for example, one verb (ago) can have multiple meanings: "lead," "go," "depart," "guide" or even "celebrate a feast." What determines our interpretation? The immediate context of the word and top-down processing. In other words, our interpretation consists of what we expect the word to mean given its immediate context. Our expectations come from our own previous learning and experience.

Imagine being a Bible translator in a culture that assumes women to be morally and intellectually inferior to men. (This would be true, for example, of all the men who helped translate the King James Version of the Bible.) Then imagine coming across a particular Greek word in the Bible that refers to a woman. The word is "prostatis." This is the noun form of the verb "proistemi." You can translate this word to mean "someone who presides over others," "a woman set over others," or simply "someone who gives aid to others" (i.e. a helper). Because of your previous learning and past experience in a deeply patriarchal culture, any interpretation assigning authority to a woman would simply not be cognitively available to you. In other words, the possibility may never enter your mind.  It would be unthinkable, literally.

Interpretation leads to translation, and now henceforth, Phoebe shall be known as a "helper" in the Church at Cenchrea, rather than a "leader" (Romans 16:2 NKJV).

Another Greek word used to describe the role of Phoebe in Romans 16 is "diakonos."  It could be translated "servant, deacon, or minister." Equipped with an understanding of top-down processing, I'd be willing to bet you can accurately guess which word was selected for the King James Version of the Bible.

Complementarians have told me that contextual factors in Romans 16 dictate that Phoebe must have simply been a "servant" and "helper" rather than a "leader," "deacon" or "minister." I wonder what those contextual factors are, since the passage is simply an introduction of Phoebe and a commendation of her work in the church.

I was reading a complementarian blog earlier today. In it, the author explains that egalitarians go awry because we rely on a subjective understanding of the Bible's original context. What we should be doing, he says, is relying on "the written word of God" because its meaning is "concrete."i Apparently, this blogger doesn't recognize that the "written word of God" is also subject to human interpretation, which is determined in part by top-down processing.

Similarly, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood states that a Christian's subjective interpretation of God's call to ministry should never contradict the clear instruction of God's written word.ii Does this statement presume that God's written word is not subjectively interpreted? Apparently so, and that is a significant blind spot.

Wayne Grudem, well-known complementarian, says that Christian egalitarians undermine the inerrancy of the word of God.iii I don't believe that's an accurate accusation. What we are questioning is not the inerrancy of God or his word, but rather the subjective interpretation of complementarian believers, who are human beings, with blind spots that exist due to top-down processing.

i http://jacoballee.com/1/archives/09-2012/1.html

ii http://cbmw.org/core-beliefs/

iii http://jacoballee.com/1/archives/09-2012/1.html

taken from HERE


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: APL] #177657
10/27/15 11:13 AM
10/27/15 11:13 AM
E
Elle  Offline
Active Member 2019
Died February 12, 2019

2500+ Member
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,536
Canada
Pretty good article. If I understand correctly, you brought this article to say those who disagree with WO has a blind spot. If so, this is not really meant to start a discussion right? Your just making a statement.

I think this "blind spot" is not only for WO but for all doctrines. Even further, I think we all have "blind spots" including me. Realizing how "blind" we are is a start to begin seeing.

Just the other day I saw the latest documentary of Warren Jeffs
entitled "Prophets prey". The sad realization authorities had to face after they went thru years and many attempts trying to stop this predatory schemes over 10 thousands of people...is the sad realization that these people are deeply "blind" and theirs nothing they can do about it.
https://www.solarmovie.is/watch-prophet-s-prey-2015.html

Only Jesus can heal blindness especially denominational deep blindness.


Blessings
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: APL] #177673
10/28/15 05:03 PM
10/28/15 05:03 PM
asygo  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2021

5500+ Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,569
California, USA
The article raises a very good point. Elle also raises a good point that this sword cuts in all directions, egalitarianism included.


By God's grace,
Arnold

There is no excuse for any one in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. RH 12/20/1892
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: APL] #177832
11/07/15 08:54 AM
11/07/15 08:54 AM
Rick H  Offline

Group: Admin Team
2500+ Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,810
Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: APL
Why Complementarians "See" Male Leadership as God's Design: The Psychology of Perception (Seeing What We Already Believe)

All of us have blind spots. I think every one of us, as human beings, can safely conclude that we don't know everything. Some of the things we do not understand today, we may understand tomorrow. Some of the things we do understand today, we may understand better (i.e. differently) tomorrow.

One of the reasons we all have blind spots is a result of something called "top-down processing." Top-down processing refers to the way we experience the world around us. We do not, in fact, see the world as it is. We see it as it is meaningful to us. In other words, we see the world through the lenses of our past experience, previous learning, deeply held beliefs, assumptions and expectations.

Details in the environment that do not align with our assumptions can be missed altogether – due to top-down processing.

Details in the environment that do not align with our deeply held beliefs can be misinterpreted so that our beliefs are not shaken – due to top-down processing.

What complementarians do not seem to recognize is that top-down processing impacts how people read the Bible. Please allow me to explain.

Before a word can be translated it must be interpreted. In my grammar text for New Testament Greek, for example, one verb (ago) can have multiple meanings: "lead," "go," "depart," "guide" or even "celebrate a feast." What determines our interpretation? The immediate context of the word and top-down processing. In other words, our interpretation consists of what we expect the word to mean given its immediate context. Our expectations come from our own previous learning and experience.

Imagine being a Bible translator in a culture that assumes women to be morally and intellectually inferior to men. (This would be true, for example, of all the men who helped translate the King James Version of the Bible.) Then imagine coming across a particular Greek word in the Bible that refers to a woman. The word is "prostatis." This is the noun form of the verb "proistemi." You can translate this word to mean "someone who presides over others," "a woman set over others," or simply "someone who gives aid to others" (i.e. a helper). Because of your previous learning and past experience in a deeply patriarchal culture, any interpretation assigning authority to a woman would simply not be cognitively available to you. In other words, the possibility may never enter your mind.  It would be unthinkable, literally.

Interpretation leads to translation, and now henceforth, Phoebe shall be known as a "helper" in the Church at Cenchrea, rather than a "leader" (Romans 16:2 NKJV).

Another Greek word used to describe the role of Phoebe in Romans 16 is "diakonos."  It could be translated "servant, deacon, or minister." Equipped with an understanding of top-down processing, I'd be willing to bet you can accurately guess which word was selected for the King James Version of the Bible.

Complementarians have told me that contextual factors in Romans 16 dictate that Phoebe must have simply been a "servant" and "helper" rather than a "leader," "deacon" or "minister." I wonder what those contextual factors are, since the passage is simply an introduction of Phoebe and a commendation of her work in the church.

I was reading a complementarian blog earlier today. In it, the author explains that egalitarians go awry because we rely on a subjective understanding of the Bible's original context. What we should be doing, he says, is relying on "the written word of God" because its meaning is "concrete."i Apparently, this blogger doesn't recognize that the "written word of God" is also subject to human interpretation, which is determined in part by top-down processing.

Similarly, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood states that a Christian's subjective interpretation of God's call to ministry should never contradict the clear instruction of God's written word.ii Does this statement presume that God's written word is not subjectively interpreted? Apparently so, and that is a significant blind spot.

Wayne Grudem, well-known complementarian, says that Christian egalitarians undermine the inerrancy of the word of God.iii I don't believe that's an accurate accusation. What we are questioning is not the inerrancy of God or his word, but rather the subjective interpretation of complementarian believers, who are human beings, with blind spots that exist due to top-down processing.

i http://jacoballee.com/1/archives/09-2012/1.html

ii http://cbmw.org/core-beliefs/

iii http://jacoballee.com/1/archives/09-2012/1.html

taken from HERE
Being humble and teachable as little children which is what is needed for us to be in the Kingdom is what scripture teaches, and in that we lack greatly.

Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: APL] #177911
11/10/15 05:01 AM
11/10/15 05:01 AM
jamesonofthunder  Offline
Banned
SDA
Active Member 2015

3500+ Member
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3,613
USA
You are teaching heresy


Search me oh God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way everlasting. Amen
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: jamesonofthunder] #177956
11/11/15 05:55 PM
11/11/15 05:55 PM
APL  Offline OP
SDA
Active Member 2020

5500+ Member
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,368
Western, USA
Originally Posted By: jamesonofthunder
You are teaching heresy
We have missed you jsot. Welcome back!


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: jamesonofthunder] #178231
11/18/15 11:35 AM
11/18/15 11:35 AM
ProdigalOne  Online Content
SDA
Active Member 2023

Dedicated Member
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,064
Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: jamesonofthunder
You are teaching heresy


Indeed!

Higher Criticism is alive and well in Adventism!


"...I will not forget you.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands..."

Isaiah 49:15-16
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: ProdigalOne] #178349
11/21/15 02:41 PM
11/21/15 02:41 PM
asygo  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2021

5500+ Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,569
California, USA
Are you saying that translators have no bias?


By God's grace,
Arnold

There is no excuse for any one in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. RH 12/20/1892
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: APL] #178373
11/22/15 02:11 PM
11/22/15 02:11 PM
ProdigalOne  Online Content
SDA
Active Member 2023

Dedicated Member
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,064
Alberta, Canada

Of course, translators have bias. That is why the Bible must be taken in its entirety to determine correct doctrine. Taking one or two ambiguous word choices as proof that thousands of years of biblical direction and example should be disregarded is clear evidence of interpretive contamination by topical culture.


"...I will not forget you.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands..."

Isaiah 49:15-16
Re: Why Complementarians “See” Male Leadership as God’s Design [Re: ProdigalOne] #178375
11/22/15 06:10 PM
11/22/15 06:10 PM
APL  Offline OP
SDA
Active Member 2020

5500+ Member
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,368
Western, USA
Originally Posted By: ProdigalOne

Of course, translators have bias. That is why the Bible must be taken in its entirety to determine correct doctrine. Taking one or two ambiguous word choices as proof that thousands of years of biblical direction and example should be disregarded is clear evidence of interpretive contamination by topical culture.
How shall we search the Scriptures? Shall we drive our stakes of doctrine one after another, and then try to make all Scripture meet our established opinions, or shall we take our ideas and views to the Scriptures, and measure our theories on every side by the Scriptures of truth? Many who read and even teach the Bible, do not comprehend the precious truth they are teaching or studying. Men entertain errors, when the truth is clearly marked out, and if they would but bring their doctrines to the word of God, and not read the word of God in the light of their doctrines, to prove their ideas right, they would not walk in darkness and blindness, or cherish error. Many give the words of Scripture a meaning that suits their own opinions, and they mislead themselves and deceive others by their misinterpretations of God's word. As we take up the study of God's word, we should do so with humble hearts. All selfishness, all love of originality, should be laid aside. Long-cherished opinions must not be regarded as infallible. It was the unwillingness of the Jews to give up their long established traditions that proved their ruin. They were determined not to see any flaw in their own opinions or in their expositions of the Scriptures; but however long men may have entertained certain views, if they are not clearly sustained by the written word, they should be discarded. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 3}


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
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