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Topic: Complementarianism

Editorial: Some Things Never Change (6.1)

June 18, 2024

Editor’s Note: The following article appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Eikon.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535–475 BC) famously quipped, “There is nothing permanent except change.” From one angle, we can understand what he meant by this oxymoron. As time-bound creatures, all we experience is change. And to be familiar with human history is to know each passing era is marked by slower or more rapid change. But the Christian knows a higher Truth rooted in greater Wisdom: There is nothing permanent except God, who does not change (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). Those who supplant God with change make Progress their god. And “progress” is a cruel taskmaster.

2024 is shaping up to be a year of seismic change. Under the guise of “progress,” humanity is regressing in rebellion. Caught in the fray, the church continues to be buffeted by the world on every side, challenged particularly in her understanding of anthropology and authority. What does it mean to be male and female in the image of God? What does it mean to be creatures coram Deo, before God, who is our Maker? And have the right answers to these questions really changed with the changing times?

Will our generation stand on God’s unchanging Word against the tide and resist change just for the sake of it? Or will we be duped by the god of “progress”?

As Christians prepared on Good Friday to celebrate Easter this year — an event believers around the world have marked every year for 2,000 years — the President of the United States issued a proclamation declaring March 31st, Resurrection Sunday, to be “Trans Visibility Day.” The contrast could not be any more stark: A fallible, sinful man issued a word about a fake holiday celebrating a fake identity (everyone knows a man cannot become a woman and vice versa) from one of the most powerful seats in the world. Meanwhile, Christians celebrated the true Word made flesh, obedient and sinless, crucified, buried, and raised from the dead to rescue us from our fraud and rebellion, and who is right now sitting at the right hand of God in heaven.

Of course, we should not be surprised when the world acts worldly. But what about those who bear the name of Christ? At their General Conference earlier this year, the United Methodists voted overwhelmingly to capitulate to the LGBT revolution, lifting a ban on the ordination of homosexual clergy. The sinful rebellion did not stop there. The platform instructed delegates  to introduce themselves with their preferred pronouns and not to use “exclusively masculine” language for God — a practice that stands against Jesus and the Bible’s clear witness otherwise. God is the only one, apparently, whose pronouns the UMC will not respect.[1] Thankfully, that denomination saw an exodus of more than a million in one day, mostly African members in response to this unbiblical development.[2]

Later on this year, the PCUSA will consider at their denominational meeting a proposal that is not only a complete surrender to the LGBT revolution, but itself a militant advance against any dissenters. If passed, any clergy who does not affirm gay marriage or any identity that currently marches under the rainbow flag would be defrocked and kicked out of the denomination.[3] All in the name of non-discrimination, of course — no theological conservatives allowed.

Closer to home, Christianity Today (CT) devoted an entire cover story in April to the issue of women in pastoral ministry — a position brand new in the world within the last century — with the majority of the articles in CT promoting egalitarianism within evangelicalism. One cannot help but wonder what Carl F.H. Henry, the founder of this once-great evangelical flagship magazine, would think of CT promoting a position he once referred to as a “great embarrassment.” As Albert Mohler recalls, Henry confronted Mohler for his sympathy toward egalitarianism, telling him he would one day regret this position as a “great embarrassment.”[4] This confrontation was decisive for Mohler, and he went on to become one of complementarianism’s greatest apologists, leading Southern Seminary to reject “change” for change’s sake and recover its conservative, complementarian heritage. Henry founded CT to influence evangelicalism in a biblical direction, much like he influenced Mohler. Today, CT promotes change toward the position of egalitarianism, thereby influencing evangelicalism in an unbiblical direction.

In this issue of Eikon, Denny Burk, Tom Schreiner, and Brad Green counter CT’s egalitarian arguments. We also hosted a forum in this issue of complementarian leaders who assess the state of complementarian theology in their respective evangelical denominations. In addition, you will find an excellent article on the patriarchs of feminism from Emma Waters, an article exploring the troubling Marxist roots of feminist theory from Neil Shenvi and Pat Sawyer, a barn-burner of an article on designed male-female difference from Doug Ponder, a thoughtful essay on emotionalism and female feelings from Shane Morris, and much more. In short, you are in for a real treat.

All around, the foundations of society continue to crumble. Change is inevitable. Men and women are rebelling against their Maker as they ignore God’s design, women acting like men and men acting like women instead of embracing their God-given station — equal yet different. In this issue, we aim to push back against the change and erosion, standing against the worldly waves that seek to capsize God’s church. Anchored by the Word, we will trim our sails to the Spirit of God and not the spirit of this world, all to the glory of God our Father, all along the way using  “exclusively masculine” language for God. Some things never change.

As James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Colin J. Smothers is Executive Director of CBMW and Editor-in-Chief for Eikon.

[1] See Colin J. Smothers, “Priestesses and goddesses in the church?” WORLD (May 20, 2024),

[2] Mark Tooley, “One Million United Methodists Exit in One Day,” Juicy Ecumenism (May 29, 2024),

[3] See Colin J. Smothers, “An absurd — and inevitable — requirement” WORLD (April 12, 2024),

[4] Trevin Wax, “Al Mohler on Why He Changed His Mind on Women Pastors,” The Gospel Coalition (September 28, 2010),

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