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We hear about how God used Abraham to establish the nation of Israel through whom the Messiah would come, and we hear how Abraham’s faith helped accomplish this.  We also hear about Abraham’s faults, and how God accomplished His will through Abraham in spite of them.  But do you know that God used Sarah in the same way?  She also was used to establish the nation of Israel, and her faith was also instrumental in achieving this.  And like Abraham, God accomplished His will through Sarah in spite of her faults. Here is a brief overview of her life.  To learn more about her read Genesis 16 and 21. Today's New International Version Genesis 17:15-16 – Sarah is a woman who was unable to have children.  Yet God promises to give he... Read more
Almost everything we do is based on custom or tradition. The languages we speak, the food that we eat, the clothes we wear, even our religious beliefs. Learning another language is difficult; to eat food different from our usual fare is not easy. Most of us hold religious beliefs and attend a church similar to that of our parents. As children mature, they often question the tradition of their parents in all these areas. And that is not bad. We are each responsible to God for what we do and think, but it is not easy to move away from our traditions, and most of us don’t want to hurt our loved ones in any way. Jesus faced the same problem. At one point in his ministry, his mother and brothers came to “take him home” (Mark 3:20-35). And he had to say that doing “... Read more
Final Day of CBE International Conference in Toronto – July 19, 2008 Faith-friend writes:  The day began with Job. Mary Gonsior, CBE staff member, led Sunday morning devotions in the beautiful “Room of Truth” prayer room designed by Mandolyn Johnson. “There lived a man whose name was Job.  This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil…” (Job 1:1)  Mary began to tell the story of Job’s wealth, his seven sons, three daughters and vast herds, in her own words.  “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (Job 1:3) “But suddenly, for no apparent reason,” Mary reminded us, “Job is ruined.   In a single, awful day, disaster strikes and Job... Read more
Second Day of CBE International Conference in Toronto – July 19, 2008 Faith-friend writes: Another good day…but a hard one too. Listening to the story of gender discrimination in the firing of one of our workshop leaders from her seminary professorship and of failings in her personal life due to a difficult marriage brought the issues of a “woman’s place” sharply among us. The professional pain that this very accomplished speaker underwent was shared by several in the room.  When stories were invited from others, one woman shared that her pastoring of a small church had been degraded by her current pastor as meaningless because of her gender.  His view is that women ought not to be in ministry.  The irony she described, however,... Read more
First Day of CBE International Conference in Toronto – July 18, 2008 Faith-friend writes: The second half of this year’s Conference’s title is: “Women and Men Using Their Gifts for the Great Commission” and it was clear from the first general session today that we would be emphasizing having a heart “for the nations” in this conference. Our opening speaker, a senior vice president from Coca-Cola, spoke of her Christian theology of work – that her company has global influence and she sees her work, in that company, as a way to aid the carrying out of the Great Commission.   Not only can she practice Christian ethics in the workplace and evangelize people she has contact with at appropriate moments, but the work creates imp... Read more
Christians for Biblical Equality is now twenty years old. Has our persistent emphasis on the biblical teachings about the similar worth, abilities, and callings of men and women made any difference in the evangelical world? When we hear the frequent stories about discrimination against women and closed doors in churches, organizations, and some denominations, it is easy to be discouraged. But a careful look at changes and movements assures us that God is directing many people to examine long held traditions for their biblical basis. Look at some of the current developments: 1) Most Christian schools now employ women as well as men to teach Bible. Many of the best Christian colleges also have qualified women and men as administrators and department chairs. 2) There are also more wo... Read more
On Sunday morning, September 13, 1953, my father faced a really tough decision. My mother was in labor at the end of a troubled pregnancy that had included a late-term case of hard measles. She was headed to the hospital. But Dad was a fundamentalist preacher in a small church and had an obligation to lead the service and give the sermon. The problem was that he had no men to call on to give the sermon. Enter his mother. She was a deep Christian with a thorough knowledge of the Scripture and led a life of service. She was there to help with the pregnancy. After careful, if hurried, prayer, Dad asked my grandmother to take the service. She agreed to do so. At least two church members walked out when this woman went up to the pulpit. She would not “usurp” a man’s pl... Read more
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Prov.15:1, TNIV) Dealing with the emotions that swirl around the gender debate in the church today can be very challenging. The discussion often touches upon beliefs that are very core to us as Christians. Few remain truly “neutral” on women’s leadership. This is exciting, but it also warrants caution and wisdom. It is exciting because people are intensely interested in the topic of gender, authority, and the church. They are eager to explore the biblical material on gender, prayerfully looking for opportunities to study and examine the Scriptures with others. People are digging deeply into Scripture and they’re asking others to join them. It is fantastic to see so many thoughtful Chr... Read more
"They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…" (Acts 2:46b, TNIV) As I walked to the platform to participate on a panel at Princeton recently, a woman walked up to me and asked, politely, if I worked for CBE. When I said “yes” she lowered her clipboard, looked directly into my eyes with tears in hers and said, “Can I give you a hug?” She went on to tell me that CBE’s ministry had given her great encouragement and she wanted to thank me. This is a rather common experience for those of us who work with CBE. Yet, every time it happens, I am reminded of the faithfulness of God who works quietly, mysteriously, and powerfully among Christians to provide help to those who are alone. To know that you are not alo... Read more
“There’s a video I want you to see,” my roommate Kate told me earlier this week. “I think it might be really bad.” Of course that piqued my interest. “Bad” You Tube videos come in many different flavors: Would this video be poor quality, offensive, or just plain bizarre? With wide eyes and low expectations, I turned toward Kate’s computer. As it turned out, the video's humor was based on a grossly exaggerated negative stereotype of a U.S. American man of one culture hitting on a woman of another at the cinema. Kate had been introduced to the clip after the Bible study she co-leads, and while she chuckled at it ridiculousness, she found it completely offensive, inappropriate, and unfair. Against the opinion of many friends, I ag... Read more

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