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Gricel Medina
Today, we rebuke fear—fear of the judgment of other Christians; fear of how they will respond to our God-given callings; fear of landing outside the box of “biblical womanhood”; fear that they are right about our limitations. Today, we rebuke any doubt of our sacred and complex callings as women of God. We banish all uncertainty surrounding our capacity to succeed and change the world with God’s help. As daughters of the Creator, we refuse to bow to injustice. We oppose the man-made hierarchies of this world and the powers that try to silence and erase us. We reject the toxic influence of patriarchy in our lives, our gifts, our marriages, our families, our churches, and our communities. We won’t throw in the towel—today or any other day! We will not g... Read more
Complementarian/egalitarian discussions and debates can be complex. Some involve arguments from the finer points of Greek and Hebrew. Others may require an understanding of theological themes that span the entire Bible. Still others require solid grounding in the social sciences. Because of such complexities, I find it refreshing when someone asks a question that is easily answered. The question that forms the title to this blog entry is just such a question. Essentially all readers of Arise have heard the claim that egalitarians are following culture. This claim is typically intended to point out that egalitarians are being seduced by feminism. And the feminism in question is usually a reference to the movement called second-wave feminism, which began in the 1960s and lasted for twenty-p... Read more
Gricel Medina
This Litany of Mutuality celebrates the equal creation of men and women in the image of God, and with equal giftedness and purpose for carrying out kingdom work. The Litany of Mutuality is centered on the biblical mandates for submission to God and mutual submission to one another in the body of Christ. A single person should lead the congregation in each statement, and the congregation should respond to the leader wherever a line is marked “All.” Leader: We are God’s temple. God´s Spirit dwells in our midst. All: As believers, male and female, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Leader: We are made in the image of God. All: Male and female, we were created. Leader: Brothers and sisters, be strong and steady. All: We are enthusiastic about the Lord... Read more
Bronwen Speedie
The Australian church and media have hotly debated domestic and family violence (DFV) in Christian homes since journalists Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson published this controversial report: "'Submit to your husbands': Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God."  Responses from Christians and church groups have been varied. Some have welcomed the report and subsequent coverage as a catalyst for developing awareness of abuse and creating change, and others have denied the truth of the report or tried to distract from the central issue by arguing over finer details. On August 9, 2017, an Australian Christian women’s online community, Fixing Her Eyes, published several true stories of DFV experienced by Christia... Read more
Below is a very brief glimpse of the inconsistency with which we elevate certain doctrinal issues and specifically, the issue of women as pastors, as things we absolutely must agree on, and ignore other doctrinal differences. But what's at the root of that inconsistency? Two stories. Each about someone in my family. One from more than fifty years ago. One from 2017. Let's start with the old story. A relative in my grandparents' generation once left a congregation because a woman was teaching. He had been at the congregation quite a while and was content to stay—except for this new development that a woman was allowed to teach. Here's what makes this otherwise-unsurprising story odd: He not only switched congregations, but also denominations. That is to say, he was... Read more
Enter the CBE Writing Contest! CBE is always looking for fresh stories and revolutionary ideas! And we’re always brainstorming new ways to give our readers a platform. We’re privileged to host a diverse community of readers, writers, advocates, pastors, theologians, and deep thinkers, and we don’t want any of their creative gifts to go unused. For many years now, we've held an academic paper competition prior to our annual conference and—thanks to our talented audience and help from other great blogs, publications, colleges, and organizations—it's been a great success! But not everyone is an academic writer. We want to give our popular writers a chance to flex their creative muscles too!  So we're inviting you to enter the CBE... Read more
Becky Castle Miller
Abuse is an abstract concept for many people, and it’s a word heavy with cultural misconceptions. When talking about abuse, I’ve learned to bridge the communication gap by defining and describing it: abuse is a pattern of coercive control based in an abuser's feeling of entitlement to power over another person. An abuser gains and maintains control through various tactics that can be physical, emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, or spiritual. Abusers actually target churches to find victims and to move into positions of power, so church leaders must be prepared to prevent abuse, to deal with it in their congregations, and to provide healing for abuse survivors. The first step in addressing abuse is to grasp how prevalent it is. Half of... Read more
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed" (Isaiah 1:17). "Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right" (Psalm 106:3). "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never ending stream" (Amos 5:24). "Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). "For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate wrongdoing" (Isaiah 61:8). Clearly, justice matters to God and was important to biblical authors. The gospel indicates that justice-doing is a central tenet of Christian theology and practice. Oft-quoted Galatians 3:28 and other like Bible verses make clear that the gospel undermines hierarchy. It follows that to “do justly,” Christians must dismantle hierarchies of any kind. D... Read more
“She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20). I sit with her as she weeps over the trauma-heavy stories of women in her care. I dream with her as we look for land for her growing ministry. I hear the confusion in her voice as she describes Western ministries who claim they can solve all her problems without understanding her culture. I cry with her at the grave of an abused child. I join with her in songs of exuberant praise. I watch her smile with delight as she wins a game in a sport dominated by men. I swell with pride when I hear of her sole female leadership on her city’s ecumenical council.   She’s the only female pastor in her city, and her name is Tek.[1] She’s a hero. She’s also the onl... Read more
Four years ago, I was invited to contribute an article to the women’s health section of a South African magazine. The editor asked me to keep it light and practical, so I wrote about self-esteem. As a therapist who specializes in helping women who have been abused, cultivating self-esteem in women is close to my heart. The editor asked if she could share my email address, and I hesitantly agreed. But I was still unprepared for the emails I received. Women from all walks of life reached out and their emails weren’t surface-level. They were raw and broken. Although the issue of low self-esteem in women often headlines glossy magazines, we the church, and complementarian and egalitarian alike, are responsible for addressing it. We need to address it in our schools, our homes, an... Read more

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