As a single woman and a professional author and editor, Gina Dalfonzo doesn’t fit the stereotype of a conservative Christian woman whose life is built around home and motherhood. But Dalfonzo actually has no problem with the traditional idea that God intended men and women to have different roles. In fact, she cherishes it. She’s always belonged to evangelical churches that are led by men only, a model she feels connects her through time to Jesus.
“Christ was God come to Earth, and for whatever reason he chose to come as a man,” said Dalfonzo, 42, who lives in Springfield, Va.
But in the era of #MeToo, Dalfonzo and a new cohort of conservative evangelicals are increasingly taking issue with how other traditionalists, particularly men, interpret complementarianism — or the belief that men and women have distinct, or complementary, roles at home and in church.
Was, for example, the oft-quoted scripture from Colossians 3:18, “wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord,” intended to include women who are abused by their husbands? Is complementarianism leading to the proper reverence for women as equal human beings, which many believe is God’s intent, or is it being used as a biblical disguise for gender discrimination and belittling and lascivious behavior?
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