Latest Blog Posts | CBE International

You are here

Latest Blog Posts

Blog categories

The following article is a guest post submitted by Anita Bell, ordained pastor in the PCUSA Church. Rev. Bell offers the following reflections on her denomination in hopes that her critique would continue to call believers to solid scholarship surrounding the empowerment of women and men in ministry and encourage her denomination to clear and cohesive action as they strive to live out their statement of faith. Some of my friends are thinking about leaving our PCUSA fellowship for EPC pastures. They plan to go as a whole- men and women, lay and ordained. They offer to circle the wagon in this new denominational home, through non-geographic presbyteries, to protect and uphold their women called to ordained leadership. Yet, it is not hard to imagine the established EP... Read more
This post was written by Arbutus Sider, a CBE board member who attended the recent CBE conference in India. The trip took me and a dozen others from the US to Bangalore, a city in South India for a conference called “SIDE by SIDE—Gender from a Christian Perspective: Men and Women Dependent on Each Other (I Corinthians 11:11).” I was one of two board members who, along with three staff members, represented one of the sponsoring organizations, “Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE).” The other sponsoring organizations were all from India: “Pilgrim Partners,” “South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies” (SAIACS) and “Union of Evangelical Students of India” (UESI). CBE has in recent years begun working with several... Read more
There is a very disturbing thing going on to encourage abstinence among Christian teenagers and children. It started with Purity Balls' "a memorable ceremony for daughters to pledge commitments to purity and their fathers to pledge commitments to protect their girls." I could not find the pledge the daughters make on their website, but here is the pledge the fathers make: I, [daughter's name]'s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come. This year th... Read more
In a recent pre-Christmas sermon on Mary, it was suggested that fathers should take their sons to see the movie, The Nativity Story. By seeing this movie, it was said, young men will see how they can be loving husbands, like Joseph, and protect their wives in difficult circumstances like these—“these” circumstances referring to their long trip to Bethlehem. I don’t know exactly what the preacher meant, but in the context, it made me laugh. I don’t anticipate making that kind of journey with a pregnant, God-Man bearing wife riding on a donkey anytime soon. Those circumstances belonged to someone else. It also reminded me of something else, that is, the many times I’ve heard someone appeal to the biblical narrative (or any biblical passage) witho... Read more
In that classic Bible passage on marriage (Eph. 5:21-33) so often used, or alluded to in the marriage ceremony, the narrative closes with the admonition, "this is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the Church are one." (vs. 32 NLB) The mystery would appear to be, from the preceding verse, that two married people could somehow become one, in thought, purpose and action. Obviously it is a picture of the complete unity within the Godhead which translates into the unique relationship of Christ and the Church. Further, from what we read here, it is equally the ideal that God intends for marriage. Is it conceivable that two, previously individual persons, especially as products of our pluralistic culture, should, or could, become essentially one? The... Read more
Brad Wilcox is at it again. Chrisitanity Today interviewed him regarding his new sociological study, "What's Love Got to Do with It? Equality, Equity, Commitment, and Women's Marital Quality." First as Megan O'Rourke points out in her article on Salon "this study is based on surveys done between 1992 and 1994." Of course he found that women who stay in "traditional" roles were happier, and that even egalitarian women were happier when their husbands brought home at 66% of the income. I do agree that women want emotional engagement from their husbands--of course we want them to want to be a part of our lives and interested in who we are and what we do. But I do not agree with it doesn't matter how much housework he doe... Read more
The Bible records that humans were made in God's image and however we try to describe what that "looks" like, there can only be one image. God is not fragmented or divided into two "equal but different" parts. God is one God and we have been created to be like God. This surely is a clear statement which shows that all humans are intrinsically the same. There is no mention of a female image and a male image - a female sinfulness and male sinfulness or a female salvation and male salvation. It seems then to be ludicrous to suggest that some human beings were not created in God's image in quite the same way that others were made. Such a speculation makes way for all kinds of prejudice and discrimination which transgresses God's second commandment which is... Read more
I was working on my thesis in seminary. Tired of being asked if I was going to seminary to be a pastor's wife, I had decided to write a biblical theology of single women in ministry that would show God's calling for a woman was not dependent on her marital state. I was talking with my thesis advisor, Dr. Joseph Coleson, the professor of Old Testament Studies. He had looked at my outline and thesis proposal and told me that I needed to add a chapter addressing the Creation Story in Genesis 1:1—2:25, particularly the second creation account found in Gen. 2:5-25, where woman is created to be an ezer cenegdo to the man. If the Hebrew phrase simply meant "helper", then could a woman hold a leadership position in the church, let alone a single woman? But if th... Read more
A few weeks back I was teaching a class on Anabaptist history. I gave my usual spiel about the nature of history and the problems with reductionism. Anabaptist concerns were both theological and economical (among other things); cases of injustice, after all, traverse all aspects of life. Abuses by the church and its oppression of ideas were paralleled by abuses by the state and its oppression of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (in this case, something as simple as the right to fish). To take the Anabaptist cause and bring it down to one simple idea (e.g., baptism), is to ignore the complexity of the situation and the people involved. Despite my caveats, there were still a few students who didn’t yet catch on. “But what was the reason they separat... Read more
A prominent sociologist on evangelicals, Sally Gallagher, has much to say to egalitarians in her article, The Marginalization of Evangelical Feminism. She questions, when 56% of evangelical women are employed outside the home and when many evangelical marriages are egalitarian in practice, why evangelicals as a whole have still rejected mutuality and partnership between the genders. One important point she makes is that well-known evangelical leaders have effectively linked evangelical feminism with androgyny. I have personally seen this many times from complementarian writing—statements like “evangelical feminists and their efforts to blur the genders that God made so beautifully distinct.” Complementarians have had definite success in convincing many people bo... Read more

Pages