I was curious if the CBMW had a response to the decision to open all combat roles to women. I was curious given their great ambivalence regarding biblical gender roles if they would oppose the inclusion of women in combat, and if they opposed it, if they would call out the very obvious rebellion by women in this regard. Like Eve in Eden, women are envious of a position they don’t have, and are grasping for that which they should not grasp.
I don’t see a response to yesterday’s announcement, but I did find an article in response to the announcement back in 2013 that started this process. The piece was written by CBMW Executive Director Owen Strachan, titled Women in combat: A complementarian perspective
The piece doesn’t acknowledge that women are grasping for the roles of men. Instead it astonishingly presents this as a problem of men being unwilling to serve in combat, thereby forcing women to serve in men’s place. The piece twists the message of Genesis to remove Eve’s rebellion, implying that Eve only sinned because Adam failed to protect her from the possibility of sinning (emphasis mine):
Scripture teaches that woman was made from man, a truth that grounds her dependence on him (Gen. 2:21-22). It details how Adam failed to own this responsibility and protect his wife. For this reason, God addressed him first after the forbidden fruit was eaten: “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). Adam was a self-crippled man.
This is the common complementarian dodge of the issue of women’s rebellion, but it is still striking to see the claim made so shamelessly. Clearly if Adam failed to protect Eve from the possibility of sin, God did as well. But this wasn’t Adam’s sin in the garden. Adam’s sin was going along with his wife when he witnessed her rebellion, because confronting the rebellion would have been uncomfortable.
Modern Christian men are failing Christian women in the exact same way Adam failed Eve. We aren’t willing to call out their rebellion, and instead are taking the easy feel good path. This is ironically exactly what the CBMW is doing on the subject of women in the military. Out of fear of confronting the rebellion, they have constructed a fantasy world where women aren’t grasping for the position of men, but instead men are begging women to serve in their place.
This is a fantasy no-one but the complementarians believes, as feminists are quite clear as to their intent. The push to integrate women into all combat roles is also part of a wider “progressive” push with the military, including the repeal of the bans on transvestites and open homosexuality. Men are no more to blame for women wanting to take on the roles of men than women are to blame for men like Jenner wanting to have vaginas.
The piece closes with:
If men will not own this responsibility, then women will be forced to take it on as did biblical women such as Deborah and Jael (and the extrabiblical figure Judith). Many modern men fail to mirror Christ in leading, providing, and protecting. In the cries of fatherless children, the strained voice of working mothers desperately seeking “work-life balance,” and the Marine Corps Gazette, we hear echoes of the Bible’s first question, addressed to a self-crippled man: “Where are you?”
As Christian men we aren’t responsible for women’s temptation to rebel, but we do have a responsibility to try to guide them away from this sin. It is true that doing this is at times very uncomfortable, and in our feminist age for many the idea of it is quite terrifying. Yet we can’t allow our fears to overwhelm us as the CBMW is doing. Women need us to do our duty, and we must not allow ourselves to flee this duty in fear.