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She wore plain clothing, a white dress, a white bonnet, and a rather drab shawl, but her Christian life was vibrant, colorful, and focused on the work of the gospel. When, in the early 1800s, Elizabeth Fry dedicated her life to the pursuit of a Quaker life, her family was not pleased. Only her brother, Joseph Gurney, really stuck by her side through it all. In her supposed radical devotion, Fry struggled intensely between her desire for the comfortable and prestigious life she was used to and her desire to promote only the glory of Christ. This accounts for her seemingly constant state of depression evident in her journal and sometimes weight loss. Fry is best known for her prison reform, call for fair treatment of the insane, and opposition to the death penalty. Her famous work began... Read more
I would like to point out an article in The Weekly Standard by Christina Hoff Sommers, in the May 21, 2007 issue, called "The Subjection of Islamic Women and the Fecklessness of American Feminism." The first paragraph reads as follows: "The subjection of women in Muslim societies--especially in Arab nations and in Iran--is today very much in the public eye. Accounts of lashings, stonings, and honor killings are regularly in the news, and searing memoirs by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi have become major best-sellers. One might expect that by now American feminist groups would be organizing protests against such glaring injustices, joining forces with the valiant Muslim women who are working to change their societies. This is not happening."... Read more
Last Sunday I met James Anderson, the African-American father who in 1963 won his lawsuit against the city of Birmingham, Alabama to enroll his children in the local all-white high school (if you're younger than me--32--you may need a reminder that this was well after Brown v. Board of Education made desegregation a federal law). He is a lovely man, smiling graciously over the white carnation in his buttonhole even as he remembers the “hell that was Birmin’ham in those days.” He quotes Dr. King in his southern drawl and proudly shows off pictures of his children, all college graduates working in various professions across the country. Mr. Anderson is a docent at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. In the short time Brandon and I have been in this area, several... Read more
Having just read a copious amount of comments on the blogsite referred to in the last post, it occured to me that often what is assumed by the word equality is not necessarily the correct usage or meaning. The dictionary definition is simply 'being equal' or 'the state of being equal'. If we truly believe that all people are equal in God's eyes then a lot of the debate would cease. Much of the rhetoric and defense is about women wanting to be equal to men as though that is the benchmark of a woman's true worth or position. To see men as the ultimate ideal will only continue the argument that women just want to be able to do/be what men already have the power or position to do/be. This gives fuel to the arguments related to the supposed male and female... Read more
Karen Till, CBE member and friend, is the author of this post about being a homeschool parent and an egalitarian. My journey towards equality and gift-based leadership began about three years ago when I read Cunningham and Hamilton’s book, Why Not Women. I was ready for it. At the time I was struggling with much of what the “homeschool way” was teaching about gender roles. I see now that God was preparing my heart. We have homeschooled our children for 14 years. We have 5 children—our oldest graduated a year ago and our youngest just started school this year. When we began we felt called and challenged by the Lord. I was delighted to take the task on and thrilled to have my kids with me instead of sending them away. My dream to have a family and be a st... Read more
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

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