Complementarity Theory - Is That Ever Taught In The Bible The Way Many Evangelicals Believe It?
and a companion discuss philosophy.
Where did that belief come from?
It is not clearly stated in the Bible but it can be traced back to the Greek philosopher Plato and his ancient Greek Creation Myth.
Complementarians assert that God created Adam as “a sexually binary, primal human.”
Sexually binary apparently means Adam was both male and female, in one body. Primal means Adam was the first human.
According to Dr. Robert Gagnon, a leading proponent of Complementarity, God split Adam down the side, producing from “the sexually binary Adam,” two sexually differentiated humans, one male and one female.
Gagnon asserts that only the sexual union of a man and a woman re-unifies the one-flesh, sexually binary Adam who existed prior to God splitting Eve from Adam.
Complementarians believe that:
- procreation (having children), Genesis 1:28,
- companionship, Genesis 2:18,
- and, preventing promiscuity, I Corinthians 7:2,
are not the primary purposes of marriage.
According to Dr. Gagnon, any other combination of individuals, like a man with a man or a woman with a woman, constitutes intentional rebellion against the will of the Creator and can never enjoy God’s blessing. Complementarians then assert that because every human being, after Eve, was created heterosexual (this is only their theory - the Bible never says that), no one from Eve to the present is ever born homosexual.
Dr. Robert Gagnon,
Complementarians then assert that homosexuality is always a sinful choice
made by the individual. One famous Complementarian, Christian Psychologist Dr. James Dobson, of Focus On The Family, disagrees with his Complementarian Compatriots on an important point.
Dr. James Dobson,
In a November, 2006 interview on CNN with Larry King, Dr. Dobson confessed his disagreement with many of his evangelical brethren, stating that he believes homosexuality is not a choice made by the individual.
Finally, most Complementarians assert that God universally forbids every form of homosexual practice. In other words, they believe God is against any homosexual or lesbian ever having a loving, intimate relationship with a same sex partner or a homosexual marriage or a family and children.
Dr. Gagnon and Complementarians state that the most important purpose of marriage is to re-unify the separated sexual counterparts, male and female, into an integrated, sexual whole.
Plato's Bizarre Creation Myth Is Not Biblical
Okay, this gets bizarre in a science-fiction kind of way.
passed off today by some Christians as Bible Doctrine,
originated from Plato's ancient Greek creation myth. He describes, through the words of Aristophanes, a character in Plato's Symposium, an ancient Greek theory of origins which is radically different from what the Bible tells us about the Creation of Adam and Eve.
Bust of Plato
Plato wrote that there were three original humans.
A double man (two men in one body)
A double woman (two women in one body) and,
A double man-woman (a man and a woman in one body).
Each double person had two faces, two sets of genitals, four arms and four legs, according to Plato.
Fearing their power to take over heaven, the Greek god Zeus decided to cut each double person in half, making two from the one.
1. The double man was split down the side to become two men.
According to Plato, men who are attracted to men are descended from the original double man. This is Plato's explanation for male same sex attraction.
2. The double woman was split down the side to become two women.
According to Plato, women who are attracted to women are descended from the original double woman. This is Plato's explanation for female same sex attraction.
3. The man-woman was split down the side to become a man and a woman.
According to Plato, men who are attracted to women are descended from the original man-woman.
This Is Plato's explanation why most people are attracted to the opposite sex.
Modern Evangelical Christians Seem To Be Teaching Plato's Myth As Fact
the ancient Greek philosopher
Modern Christians who believe in Complementarity seem to have adopted the last part of Plato’s 4th century BC Creation Myth in an attempt to make the Bible line up with Greek mythology.
It sounds like the origin of "Christian" Complementarity rests in Plato’s vivid imagination, not in a doctrine explicitly stated in the Bible.
Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, Plato wrote of the importance of re-uniting man and woman, again making one of two. Plato’s myth sounds suspiciously like the view of Dr. Gagnon and the Christian Complementarians.
Did Complementarity Theory Come From Scripture Or From Plato?
Dr. Robert Gagnon,
Pittsburg Theological Seminary
The most important purpose of marriage is to re-
unify the separated sexual counterparts, male and female, into an integrated, sexual whole.
From The Layman Online, Robert Gagnon to Stacy Johnson
Gagnon: God split Adam down the side, producing from “the sexually binary Adam,” two sexually differentiated humans, one male and one female. Dr. Gagnon refers to Adam (before Eve was created) as a sexually binary being, (apparently both male and female in one body).
From The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Dr. Robert Gagnon, pp. 353-354.
the Greek philosopher.
Plato wrote: “So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, re-uniting our original nature, seeking to make one of two, and to heal the state of man... this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of his ancient need...
And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.”
From The Collected Works Of Plato, Oxford University Press, Fourth Edition, 1953, p. 520-25.
Christian Complementarians Sound Like They're Following Plato
Everyone agrees that heterosexuality is the norm. Most people are heterosexual. For heterosexuals, an Adam and Eve style marriage is perfectly fine.
Most of us who are homosexual grew up in heterosexual homes with heterosexual parents. We love our heterosexual parents and siblings and our extended family. For them, heterosexuality is absolutely normal.
On the other hand, a small but significant percentage of us come into the world destined to be same sex attracted instead of opposite sex attracted.
Same sex attraction is entirely natural for about 5% of the human population who are born that way - Matthew 19:11-12.
According to Jesus, in Matthew 19:12, homosexual people are born that way, “from their mother’s womb” as Jesus phrased it. The first class of eunuchs Jesus mentions are those "so born from their mother's womb." In other words, they did not make a sinful personal choice to be same sex attracted. In ancient times, what we now call gay men and lesbians were sometimes referred to as "born eunuchs."
Some Christians seem to feel it is their mission in life to use scripture to force everyone else to live and believe as they live and believe. They attempt to give Complementarity Theory a veneer of spirituality by assuming it originated in scripture. The origin of Complementarity, with all the other beliefs that modern Christians read into Complementarity, is Platonic, not scriptural.
This site grows every week as we add new information about Complementarity and other topics of interest to Gay Christians.
Click here for more information on Biblical Complementarity.
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