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There has been so much excellent material written re the (false) teaching of subordination within the Godhead and particularly as it relates to husbands and wives. What intrigues me is that those who promote this way of thinking only make comparison of Father to Son and husband to wife when it comes to eternal subordination. What position does the Holy Spirit have in this system? There is obviously no direct comparison to the Holy Spirit within marriage and such teaching allows the thought that the Holy Spirit is just a 'force' and an impersonal one at that. Another flaw in this teaching of subordination is that the only comparisons are from Ephesians 5 and the Genesis account of God's statements after Adam & Eve sinned for the first time. Both accounts are of marri... Read more
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2-3, TNIV). “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down” (Mark 7:13a, TNIV). Biblical egalitarians are often accused of “conforming to the world,” of importing worldly patterns into the church, and of attempting to take the church away from biblical truth. The passages above, and others like them, provide a strong basis to answer this accusation. Conforming to the world or holding to religious tradition can both be ways to escape the search light of God’s Word as it reveals the untidy nooks of our... Read more
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road" "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for workers deserve their wages. Do not move around from house to house. "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set b... Read more
"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 5:34, TNIV). "After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and disease...These women were helping to support them out of their own means" (Luke 8:1-2, 3b). Do you wonder why the words and deeds of Christ are not given more attention in the current gender debate? If all of Scripture points to Jesus, and if Jesus’ treatment of women was radically different from his culture, even his religious culture, how do the life and words of Christ inform us today? For clearly Christ not only opposed abuse and patriarchy—the... Read more
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" (Prov. 27:17, TNIV). Do you often find comfort and insight, even direction for your life, through a careful study of Scripture? Do you believe that God’s truth is found in the pages of the Bible? Do you trust that as you reflect on Scripture, God’s Spirit works to lead, heal, and inform your life? If so, you stand in a long tradition of Christians who turn to Scripture to know the mind of God. While Christians hold Scripture as supremely authoritative, there are times when the message of Scripture is difficult to grasp. Understanding Scripture often requires more than simply reading the words on the pages. Interpreting God’s Word demands much effort and careful study on our part. And reading Scripture... Read more
The early evangelicals were the first to provide a biblical foundation for women’s leadership in church and society, though many evangelicals today have abandoned the hard-won gains for women’s leadership made by their ancestors. Those who advance women’s liberation and those who would deny it both turn to Scripture for support. It was the Bible that drove the early evangelicals in their work as suffragists, abolitionists, and as missionaries. They were the first to develop a whole-Bible approach to their advocacy of ethnic and gender equality. While some today believe women can lead a country but not a church, the Bible consistently celebrates women like Deborah whose leadership as a judge and also a prophet influenced all of Israel. In fact, Israel refused to go in... Read more
Do you realize that CBE’s statement on “Men, Women, and Biblical Equality” is the most frequently requested resource in all of CBE’s ministry? In fact, requests for this one-page document remain strong even after 20 years! Now translated into 25 different languages, CBE’s earliest manifesto continues to challenge individuals, churches, and organizations, becoming the most influential egalitarian document in the history of CBE. According to Dr. Roger Nicole, former president and founding member of the Evangelical Theological Society, because of the inadequate biblical premise upon which churches, organizations, and mission groups excluded the gifts of women, he joined six others in writing CBE’s statement on "Men, Women, and Biblical Equality.... Read more
Among responsible and useful methods of promoting egalitarian thinking -- writing about it, supporting organizations like CBE that promote it, seeking out churches that put it into practice -- my favorite is what I call the “auntie model”:  consistently giving loving ideological nudges to those in my closest circle, especially the little ones. I grew up in a patriarchal family and church.  Though I have had my “aha!” moment and embraced the egalitarian position, most of the rest of my family continue in the patriarchal tradition.  And they take “be fruitful and multiply” seriously: just three siblings have given me (so far) 13 nieces and nephews, none older than 8.  For the most part, their parents are not actively cultivating ge... Read more
Last week Mimi explored the unusual fact that Paul addressed most of his letters to whole congregations rather than to church leaders. Paul rarely refers to others by “title.” He introduces Phoebe to the church in Rome as a “deacon” and “benefactor” (Rom. 16:1-2, TNIV), but his other uses of diakonos to describe himself and other named individuals should be translated “servant” or “minister.” He uses “apostle” of himself to underscore his unique, God-given ministry—and that of the eleven “apostles” (Gal 1:15-18)—but his applications of the word to others emphasizes their service (Rom 16:7; Phil. 2:25), not their position or authority. This stands in stark contrast to our leader-dr... Read more
Suppressing the Gospel-leadership of Women: The SBC Kicking Against God’s Will? By Mimi Haddad Just recently more than 100 bookstores controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) removed the recent issue of Gospel Today—a magazine that highlighted the gospel-work of women. Have you ever wondered if the SBC might be “kicking against the goads” in their tireless efforts to censor the obvious fact that God, throughout history, has and continues to gift, call, and bless the gospel-service of women? Removing copies of Gospel Today, as it celebrates women leading the world to Jesus, is like trying to suppress the early apostles! It is a futile effort because it opposes the will of God. Removing Gospel Today from 100 bookstores no more suppresses God... Read more