The Freedom Papers: Firm Foundations: The Meaning of ‘Head’ in NT (1 Nov 20)

Sunday short-read

Date:  1 November 2020

In loving memory of Catherine Clark Kroeger: Friend; Teacher; Liberator; Encourager; Enabler. 

The Egalitarian view:

Mutual submission: interdependent friendship and love Contrasted with the 

Complementary view: A man ‘in charge’ in any male/female relationship

For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:27-28

If the church is to lay the new foundation stones of equality it is imperative that an equal number of women and men function in their full capacity of abilities and gifts.[1] This will enable the church to grow into a strong and healthy body. Our sons and our daughters will reap the benefits of such a reformation.

The egalitarian view teaches that women and men are equal. It sees no scriptural basis for either sex to be subservient to the other or for the church to be impoverished because the gifts, distributed by the Holy Spirit, are restricted in their use in more than half its members on the grounds of gender. Christians who accept the egalitarian view recognise that the Holy Spirit has given gifts to every member to enrich the church. The traditional boundary complementary view restricts women in relation to their role and function in the home, church and society and limits the exercise of their gifts. Those who hold this view are sexist.

They teach that ‘authority in the home and church’ is the sole prerogative of men. They continually use the words ‘submit’ and ‘authority over others’, in relation to themselves as church leaders and wives in relation to their husbands. The New Testament says that we are to submit one to another.

The egalitarian view of Christian marriage, or of any relationship, is based on the principle of mutual submission and interdependent love. The traditional teaching that a wife’s ‘spiritual covering’ in the home is her husband and, in the church it is her Pastor, claiming to represent Christ’s authority, has no scriptural basis whatsoever.


[1] The Freedom Papers went all over Ireland and England in the late eighties – mid-nineties, and helped change the minds of church leaders and influenced their teaching on women and the church in general. Other biblical equality teachings are also available from