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“'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD" (Isa. 1:18 TNIV). How many of us long for critical thought and open discussion when exploring the gender issue in the church? Yet, how often do we hear radio shows, sermons, and lectures (even at a graduate level) where only one perspective is explored? Here is an example. A friend of mine attends a seminary that admits women, though the faculty aggressively promotes male authority in the church and home. As my friend said, “In nearly every class, regardless of the focus, the instructor manages to incorporate a theology of pink and blue—men are told they must be leaders in the church and the home (whether or not they’ve been gifted by God as leaders) and women are told they must submit to male au... Read more
In Australia today has been written in my diary as "Gender Awareness Day" but in many other countries it goes by the title above. We have permission to reprint this piece written by Ellen Alexander who serves the Lord in India and has been a speaker for CBE. It's not about flowers and chocolates Women are asking for respect and dignity - not just for a fortunate few, but ALL women. For equity and freedom to choose To be safe in the home and on the streets For their work and opinions to be valued For their needs at different stages to be considered For in their empowerment lies the empowerment of families, society and countries. We look forwward to a day when we don't need an International Women's Day When men and women will walk side by side, as Go... Read more
Have you ever been given an award for an important achievement and had an opportunity to thank people who had invested in your life? What if you were given that chance again, but this time you were asked to thank individuals whom you have never met personally, but who, nonetheless, served as significant mentors and role models? Are there people in your life who have contributed significantly to your vision and calling though you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting them personally? That is the purpose of history! Many women lack mentors who can model Christian leadership. That is why I celebrate mentors and role models from previous generations, trusting that their legacy will inspire audiences to new levels of courage and Christian service. Just last month I was lecturing to s... Read more
In order to evaluate an ideology it is a good idea to project it to its extreme end to see what it would look like were it brought to its logical conclusions. Most would have to agree, then, that the extreme end of the 'headship' model of marriage would be the physical, emotional, and mental abuse of the 'submissive' partner by the 'head.' It is well-documented that abuse of all kinds and to varying degrees occurs more in homes where the hierarchical model is practised. This model of marriage puts a huge responsibility on the wife to behave in such a way that her husband will be the 'loving, servant leader' he is encouraged to be. This, in itself, is nonsense, if the husband can only effectively be the leader if his wife allows him to and encourages him... Read more
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up!" (Eccl. 4:9-10 TNIV). A famous preacher once said that the most terrifying word in English is the word “alone.” From our yearly conferences, to our publications, to our website, blog, and weekly newsletter, Arise, people tell us (often in tears) that our ministry keeps them going from week to week. Why? Because they know they are not alone. To enjoy the support of other Christians who value Scripture and read on its pages a call to gift-based, rather than gender-based, ministry is one of the most important services CBE offers. Several months ago I was in church and noticed a famil... Read more
I have a question about the translation of 1 Timothy 2:12. Click here to view the interlinear reading of this verse. At 2:12, there are three notable differences between the English interlinear underneath the Greek text, and the English translation on the right. Difference 1: The English interlinear is in the present tense, as indicated by the words ‘I AM permittING NOT-YET.’ But in the English translation on the right, the sense of ‘NOT-YET’ is not carried over. It makes a sentence that appears to deal with a particular moment in time sound like a command for all time. Why was it translated this way? Difference 2: The English interlinear translates authenein as ‘to be domineering’ but the English translation on the right translates... Read more
"...but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). Last weekend CBE was preparing for our lecture, booth, and a community dinner at the Jubilee conference, sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach. We were excited and thankful for the opportunity to engage thousands of new college students in Pittsburgh! As we approached the event, we prayed strenuously for God’s intervening presence. We asked God for clear communication—to infuse our words with power and grace. The day before the conference, one of our most strategic workstations crashed. This was incredibly discouraging because it was the fastest computer in the office, and the one most frequently used for our financial work. We felt our spirits sink, n... Read more
I grew up in patriarchal churches. I got used to hearing Scripture readings and having to internally translate “man” to “humanity” or “people;” to seeing women behind the piano but not the pulpit or conducting the children’s choir but not the adult musicians; to being allowed to ask public questions in my high school Sunday school class but then denied the same opportunity later when I became an adult. So when, a few years ago, all my searching and questioning finally produced a permanent shift to egalitarianism, the smallest acts of justice in the church were great sources of encouragement to me. At the time I was a member of a patriarchal but relatively supportive congregation, and when “liberal” forces within the congregation le... Read more
To what extent does Christ's completed work on Calvary redeem all of life, and all of our relationships? If, as Scripture teaches, knowing Christ changes everything, should we expect and anticipate the power of the cross to renew our relationships as Christians? The early evangelicals asked similar questions—questions they answered with a high view of the cross. The early evangelicals were the most cross-centered Christians in all of history, and they were also the first to develop a biblical basis for the emancipation of women and slaves. They believed that Christ's work on the cross gave rise to a newness of life exhibited through unity and reconciliation between people. Consider Penn-Lewis (1861-1927) an evangelical who believed that the cross ushered in the new creatio... Read more
I am amazed that the small part of Ephesians 5 which is translated "as Christ is head of the church" is extended and explained so that a husband is compared to Christ in so many ways. What is a simple comparison of the type of care which a husband is encouraged to give becomes in some people's minds the open door to husband as leader, decision maker, initiator, final authority in the home, and the one who must give account of every family member's spiritual life. The extension of this is the expected response of a wife which presumably is the same as that of the church—submission in everything. If there is not submission "in everything," then the comparison breaks down at several points. The church (bride) doesn't have a say in the decision mak... Read more