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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
We all know about schoolyard bullies—kids who rely on physical strength to dominate others and rule the playground. The strict gender dichotomy some Christians argue for similarly elevates physical strength, furthering the myth that men's physical strength uniquely qualifies them for the role of protector. In this flawed gender dichotomy, men are the protectors of and providers for women. This role is supposedly paramount to their manhood. Women are thus in need of men’s protection and provision, and they passively receive it. Women are not, then, co-agents who help to create a safer and more secure world. Yet, God clearly commands the man and woman in Genesis to rule over and care for the earth together. While there are many examples of men protecting women in... Read more
This article was contributed on behalf of the CBE Voices of Color chapter, a CBE chapter specifically devoted to amplifying the voices of people of color in the egalitarian conversation. We’re grateful for their work. The church has long overemphasized male sexuality in marriage. In prioritizing the male sexual experience at the expense of the female sexual experience, the church has contributed significantly to gender inequality. Pastors seldom preach specifically about marital sex. But when they do, few offer a balanced perspective that equally considers men’s and women’s experiences. Instead, most choose a one-sided, male perspective on marital sexuality, or they fail to ask actual women about their experiences. I’ve observed many male pastors preach about the... Read more

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