First, how this works. The first box in the below image, poses the question to answer. The second box suggests some of the Biblical passages that should be consulted in order to help answer the question. The last 2 boxes will take your answer to the question and show you which group you would fit into because of that answer. As mentioned in the previous post on this topic, my goal is not to push my opinion on the issue or try to sway those who are walking through the process. A process from which I am not far removed. I do think I’m correct (until enlightened otherwise), and in a final post in this series, I will share my thoughts, but I simply want to put forward all of the questions that each side poses as I can, point to some resources, and challenge unquestioned attitudes and thoughts. The truth is that I think each side has an answer to the questions posed by the other side. And so, we must make our decisions based on how well the opposing side answers the questions that are put to them. Or put another way for our own search, we should accept all of the questions, but not all of the answers.
Now a second point – a clarification of terms. Due to space, I’ve used the following abbreviations. I do realize that these groups are not one size fits all, and I’ve tried to note where divergences occur within each designation. Feel free to force me to clarify on this even more.
COMMENT: This question is a good place to start. Nothing controversial, but it gets us moving along a solid line of thought, in my mind. And to put it simply, there is no category within orthodox Christianity allowing a negative answer to this question. I believe that fact to be quite clear from the creation account, particularly the indicative statement that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Because man AND woman together are in God’s image, to argue that woman is less than man is to argue that some part of the Trinity is less than another part. Because there is no Person within the Godhead that is less-God, there cannot be one within Man (capital M, read: Mankind, if you like) that is less-Man than the other; otherwise, we would not be in God’s image.
Lastly, some men and women behave as if the answer to this question is “no” though they might not actually answer it that way. This practical area of sub-Christian behavior needs a strong dose of Trinitarian theology and pointed rebuke.