Biblical complementarity isn't really biblical.
Adam and Eve Cast Out
Biblical complementarity is the belief that because God made Eve to be a physical and emotional complement for Adam, God would never bless other marriage relationships, like gay marriage or polygamy. Because the biblical text never says that, complementarians simply assume that since God did not mention other marriage relationships in Genesis 2, God will never bless other marriage relationships.
Heterosexuals and homosexuals read and interpret scripture through the lens of their own presuppositions. What they are taught at home and at church greatly affects their understanding of scripture. Both groups read the same passage and come away with a different understanding of what God is saying to us today.
Heterosexuals tend to read scripture
from a heterosexual viewpoint
They read Biblical Complementarity into the scripture, when scripture does not mention it and make assumptions based on their false presupposition. They approach the Bible with a preconceived notion of Biblical Complementarity which distorts their interpretation of scripture.
They see no openly homosexual couples in the Bible. They view Adam and Eve as God’s unchangeable plan for marriage relationships. They assume, without the Bible ever saying so, that God simply would not bless any other marriage relationship than the kind they have and the kind Adam and Eve had.
And they see eight verses which are alleged to prohibit all same sex relationships. Based on their presuppositions about the kind of relationship God will bless, they conclude that God could never bless a gay couple. Only eternity will tell what harm such false teaching has done to millions of gays and lesbians.
Homosexuals usually grow up in
heterosexual homes and churches
Early on, homosexuals learn heterosexual viewpoints, including Biblical Complementarity theory. As their innate homosexual orientation begins to separate them from the heterosexual expectations of their parents, they begin to read scripture from a different perspective. They seek validation in scripture, of the same-sex attraction they feel as an integral part of their being.
They begin to read familiar scripture stories more closely to see if what they were taught is true. Study, prayer, critical thinking, life experience and common sense and comparing scripture with scripture begin to yield truth different from what they were taught.
Is Biblical Complementarity really biblical?
Adam and Eve by Hendrik Goltzius, 1558-1617
According to Biblical Complementarity, the only relationship God mentions in the second chapter of Genesis is a heterosexual relationship between one man and one woman. Never mind that God affirms other kinds of marriage relationships in other places in scripture. Complementarians base their non-biblical belief on an unrealistically literal reading of Genesis.
They read into scripture what scripture does not say and then teach what scripture does not say as absolute truth.
They are ignoring the most basic rule of interpretation:
Scripture cannot mean NOW
What it did not mean THEN.
According to Complementarian theory, a man and a woman can produce a child but a man and a man or a woman and a woman cannot produce a child therefore, they reason, God only blesses male-female marriage relationships like Adam and Eve. This is then alleged to mean that God forbids every other kind of marriage relationship because He did not mention them in Genesis.
Biblical Complementarity is alleged to prove that God is against a loving, committed relationship between a man and more than one woman, polygamy, or between two men or two women. There are many problems with Complementarian theory, not the least of which, that it is never stated in the Bible.
As the old preacher used to thunder:
“They must have got that out of the Bible
because it certainly isn’t in the Bible.”
Many non-gay Christians interpret Genesis 2 as God’s prescription for heterosexuality and God’s proscription of homosexuality, even though the Bible never presents it that way, never says that, never implies that. Their false assumptions are culturally based, reflecting their culture war marching orders and their personal opinion instead of God's holy will.
Dr. Robert Gagnon, leading anti-gay evangelical author, advocates biblical complementarity.
But don't read too much into the word "biblical" in this instance. As a leading advocate of Absolute Complementarity, Dr.Gagnon, in his 520 page, anti-gay book, The Bible And Homosexual Practice, teaches that the creation story in Genesis authorizes "only heterosexual union, but never homosexual union."
Gagnon asserts that the Genesis account of creation leaves no room for legitimizing same-sex unions. That is the classic statement of the odd hermeneutic Complementarians use to buttress their position. Gagnon even insists that homosexual unions can never be legitimately described as loving. His remarks can be found on pages 194, 291, 297, 327, 339 of his book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice.
Catholics and many other churches
advocate this strange teaching
Roman Catholic Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Patterson, New Jersey, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine, summarized the Catholic position in November, 2006. The Catholic position is the traditional Biblical Complementarian position as described above.
The Catholic Church considers same sex desires to be “objectively disordered.” Homosexual practice, according to the Roman Catholic Church, is always “sinful” and “never morally acceptable.”
In other words, according to Roman Catholicism and Complementarity Theory, gay men and lesbians should never form same sex marriages.
Complementarians assert that something
the Bible does not say, but which
they wish it said, is absolute truth.
They then insist that gays and lesbians must live by what the Bible does not say (Biblical Complementarity Theory). That false and unbiblical theory is to be rejected by everyone who takes the Bible seriously.
Helpful links to more info
You may be surprised to learn that what you were taught about marriage is different from what the Bible actually says.
Gay Christian 101 Home Page
Photo of the Fall of Man, an oil on canvas painting, courtesy of RDKimages via Wikimedia, painted in 1616 by Hendrik Goltzius. The original resides at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and is in the public domain.
This page updated January 20, 2017