A Bad Tree Cannot Produce Good Fruit | CBE International

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A Bad Tree Cannot Produce Good Fruit

On November 07, 2007

How many of us have become passionate and informed egalitarians as we observed the challenges godly women faced as they tried to use their God-given gifts in the church? Their pain inspired those close to them to reexamine their own perspectives on the gender issue. And, in doing so, many discovered that the arguments used to exclude women’s gifts were based on moral, theological, and often logical errors. Consider the following:

Many of us know talented women on mission fields around the globe. These women are passionate, gifted, and able leaders and teachers. Their tenacious service has and continues to lead whole communities to Christ. Yet, the very churches that pay their salaries deny them opportunities to exercise their gifts in their home pulpits. Does this make sense? This is not only inconsistent, in many cases it is also racist, suggesting that women may only teach and lead people in non-American cultures.

Yet, if these women are not called and gifted by God, why does God use their service in such profound ways? It was women who were at the forefront of the largest missionary expansion in all of history! It was God who gifted them, and God who used their gifts to advance Christ’s kingdom. Notice that it was Jesus who said that good fruit come from a good tree (Matthew 7:17-18). A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. If women’s service produced some of the most abundant Gospel-fruit in all of history, should we suppress their gifts on any continent? Let us engage, rather than squander, the good gifts God gives us!

As we affirmed at the Lausanne conference for World Evangelism in 2004, let the whole church take the whole Gospel to the whole world! I hope you will consider joining us in Toronto next summer as we consider how biblical equality impacts global missions.

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CBE advances the gospel by equipping Christians to use their God-given talents in leadership and service regardless of gender, ethnicity, or class. Together with supporters and ministry partners from 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE works to inspire and mobilize women and men with the Bible’s call to lead and serve as equals.

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