From Executive Director Owen Strachan: As CBMW is seeking support for our $30,000 matching campaign, we thought we would take this opportunity to introduce our readership to some evangelical leaders who support complementarianism and CBMW. Today, we interview Courtney Reissig, Assistant Editor of Karis. Thanks for reading, and please join us in our campaign!
When did you become a complementarian, and what did that look like?
I actually didn’t get saved until a couple months before my 21st birthday. While I grew up in a Christian home that believed in God’s design for men and women, as an unbeliever I embraced the world’s ideal for women, feminism and all. Once I got saved God put me in a solid church (Bethlehem Baptist Church) where I heard these truths taught regularly, and because of my upbringing and his eye opening grace, I became a complementarian. At Bethlehem I was in the thick of complementarian teaching, and since I attended a Christian college that was in the middle on gender issues, I was constantly hashing these things out with my fellow students. College students like to argue about all manner of things and gender is definitely one of those issues!
What role, if any, has CBMW played in your life and ministry?
To say that CBMW has played a role in my life and ministry would be a huge understatement. My first real experience with complementarianism as an idea came from a conference that CBMW put on at my college. It’s where I first heard Dr. Grudem speak and where I learned that not everyone was entirely friendly towards complementarians. As a new believer, when I faced push back for my views on women in ministry, I turned to CBMW and the wealth of resources provided here. I’m pretty sure I devoured everything Dr. Grudem wrote on the issue, determined to never look like an idiot trying to defend my position biblically again. As I read and learned, my conviction only strengthened in God’s design for men and women. I got involved with a ministry that worked with CBMW to plan conferences, and my love for the ministry continued to grow. After college I came to seminary, and I worked for CBMW and saw firsthand how the ministry has impacted so many people. CBMW gave me my first public writing opportunities. And also, through a united effort to help people see God’s glorious design for men and women, has given me some of my dearest friends.
Why do you support CBMW, and encourage others to do the same?
My heart has been invested here for a long time. From my seminary days of stuffing donation envelopes with my future husband to my editing responsibilities that now take up my time, CBMW is a ministry that I love to get behind. When I first heard the word “complementarian” I was a new believer who barely knew what sovereign meant. That was nine years ago. The resources provided by CBMW have equipped me to better understand God’s word, which in turn have now equipped me to help others understand God’s word. And this ministry is timeless. The issues of gender and manhood and womanhood are not going away. They have been around since the beginning of time, and now more than ever we need a ministry that exists to help God’s people know what it means to live out our God given roles as men and women in an ever confused age. This isn’t just teaching people how to play house or be macho men. This has tremendous implications for how we understand the gospel and how we understand the God who created us.
What have you written of late that would be of interest to CBMW readers?
Well, I edit for Karis, so my life is kind of lived in these issues right now! Earlier this year I wrote something for The Gospel Coalition called Your Womanhood is Not On Hold. In the article I talked about how even when we don’t have everything we want as women (like a husband or a child) we are still women. Our identity is found in Christ and being image bearers, not in what we have or don’t have. I also wrote a post for Her.meneutics (the CT blog for women) about why I think women shouldn’t fight in combat.
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.