Attending a Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) conference is not on my usual slate of retreats. Nor is "complementarian marriage seminar" on the tip of my tongue when I think of a weekend in Florida. It's time for full disclosure: I have this bent toward biblical egalitarianism.

But an article on marriage I'm writing took me to the Sunshine State, where I attended a CBMW's Different by Design conference last month. The "design" in the name did not just stand for human anatomy.

At the conference, I met women who couldn't exercise some of their gifts because of their and their husbands' interpretation of the Bible. Women were repeatedly told to submit to their husbands. Men were taught to properly "assume their headship." No one mentioned mutual submission.

Thanks to God only, I managed to bridle my egali-vangelistic zeal. I did not corner any unsuspecting couples to prove to them with my borrowed knowledge of Hebrew grammar that the relationship between men and women was "designed" to be an egalitarian one. I resisted sneaking a box of egalitarian marriage guides on the book table. And I worshipped with these people.

You may remember that when I went to a conference held by the egalitarian body of opinion, Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), several months ago, I wrote an online article addressing some misconceptions about CBE. It's time to do the same for CBMW.

Here are just a few things that surprised me about the CBMW complementarians:

They aim to liberate women. All this time I thought of egalitarian women as oppressed. But the die-hard complementarian ideologues sure didn't sound like it. At times I wondered if I was at a CBE, not CBMW, conference. "We want women to be free to do what God had called them ...

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