The word “egalitarian” is not something that one employs in today’s Messianic movement, without some level of controversy. Far too frequently, those who see Bible students and scholars identify as “egalitarian,” believe they have done so because they have compromised Scripture and have gone liberal. John McKee discusses some of the significant factors of why various sincere, born again Believers, have adopted an egalitarian ideology of men and women as co-equal partners in marriage, and as co-leaders in the Body of Messiah.
To many people in today’s broad Messianic movement, the issues involving the place of husbands and wives in the family, as well as men and women in the local assembly, is a done deal. Husbands lead the family, and wives abide by their husbands’ decisions. Men lead the congregation, and women are there to help facilitate congregational functions. Any position about men and women in the Body of Messiah which might invoke terms such as co-equal, shared responsibility, and mutual submission are often viewed as compromise with the prevailing culture at best, or capitulation to liberal theology at worst. You do not just throw around the term “egalitarian” in the Messianic movement, unless you really are willing to experience some blowback.
Does acceptance of an egalitarian ideology for men and women as co-leaders, inevitably lead to an acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage?
How can your ministry be egalitarian, meaning that both men and women share leadership roles equally, when Scripture says that the man is to be the head of the woman (Ephesians 5:23)?