Male Authority in the Church and Home, But Not Society? | CBE International

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Male Authority in the Church and Home, But Not Society?

On January 09, 2008

I came across a book recently that reinvigorated my dedication to the mission of CBE. This book argues that because men are God’s appointed leaders in the home they are therefore God’s chosen leaders in the church as well. As I read the author's perspective, I wondered why he failed to insist upon male authority in society as a whole. To be perfectly consistent, male authority, if divinely appointed, should be ubiquitous—it should be practiced everywhere. It seems to me that if God intends for men to hold final positions of authority then women should not become CEOs of companies, nor should they hold final positions of authority as elected officials, nor should they be allowed to run hospitals, schools, businesses, or ministries where women make decisions apart from men. And, to be perfectly consistent, all of society should be run as a "genderarchy," with women submitting to male authority. Wouldn't you agree?

You may be rolling your eyes at this point, and I don’t blame you. The Scriptures themselves provide examples of women’s shared leadership with men, a shared leadership that the Bible celebrates rather than denounces. To learn more about a biblical basis for shared leadership, I highly recommend to you books by Sharon Cairns Mann (Called and Gifted) and Jay Phelan (All God’s People). Cairns Mann and Phelan provide overviews of the Scriptures as they illustrate God’s people using their gifts not according to gender but according to giftedness, calling, and holiness. Let’s rededicate ourselves in 2008 to think biblically and consistently and to pray without ceasing for a world in which men and women work together as God intended; sharing authority and using their gifts together to advance Christ’s kingdom.

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Barring women from using their God-given talents is an injustice that diminishes the gospel and its impact in the world. CBE International works to inspire and mobilize Christians with the Bible’s call for women and men to co-lead and co-serve as equals.

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