Latest Blog Posts | CBE International

You are here

Latest Blog Posts

Blog categories

Our expectations for how men should treat women are often stated in the negative—don't abuse; don’t oppress; don’t sexually assault. These are obvious, bare minimum standards for male behavior that shouldn’t have to be stated, but here we are. Sometimes, Christian men will reference their sense of responsibility for women in their lives—mothers, sisters, daughters—to support taking a strong stance against abuse. For example, in response to recently resurfaced comments concerning domestic violence by SWBTS president Paige Patterson, LifeWay president Thom Rainer wrote:  "These are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters, and our wives. We thank God for them. And I stand with all who say 'no' to any type of abuse... Read more
Is there a healthy balance somewhere between the Billy Graham rule and nothing at all? Could we, instead of creating a rule that worked well for one man at a very specific time in history, come up with something holistic and inclusive? Could we come up with an ethic that acknowledges the needs and experiences of Christian men and women today? I’ve written on the Billy Graham rule before—on how it makes the inclusion of women in church leadership impossible.[1] As Christians who believe men and women are created and gifted equally by God, I believe we should practice something “other.” The early church wrestled with many ethical questions. The Apostle Paul declared that the law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ; they were now under a new system—the law of lo... Read more
Sarah Lindsay
Last week, an audio tape from 2000 resurfaced in which Paige Patterson, currently the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), described counseling women to remain in abusive marriages. The unfolding reckoning within the SBC is, on the surface, about a man who was moved by the suffering of a woman—in that Patterson likely does want to see abuse end. But sadly, his advice and his theology only perpetuate the devaluation of women and further endanger them. His response falls far short because it focuses only on the man and sidelines the needs, health, and safety of the woman.  In Patterson’s official statement about this tape, and in his interview with Baptist Press News, he claim... Read more
Women have had an uphill climb in the world of evangelical ministry, and that’s putting it mildly. Any woman who has been called by God into ministry knows that the road can be steep and sometimes treacherous. But God has called women, gifted women, and empowered women to preach and teach the gospel. And although a disrespect, disdain for, and often antagonism toward women in ministry has been the norm among many in the world of evangelical Christianity, the tide will shift. I believe this, because God is always drawing us closer into his kingdom, toward lives fueled by the Holy Spirit, toward the echo of the songs of redemption, wholeness, and equality that ring from his throne. Yesterday, Christian author, Beth Moore, wrote a vulnerable letter to her Christian brothers, describing... Read more
Gricel Medina
Christian conferences exist to serve and edify the church. They provide an opportunity for believers to have community with each other and to learn from each other’s faith and experiences. They also provide platforms to leaders and visionaries who then shape how Christians think about and practice their faith. Christian conferences are a powerful tool. They can be used to engage, include, and challenge all Christians. They can also hurt and exclude believers who are already marginalized in US society and in the Christian family. And, they can confirm the conscious or unconscious biases and attitudes of the more powerful group. As a Latina, I have been hurt by how the church excludes those who look like me from the leadership and theology of Christian conferences. And as a woman, I... Read more
From a young age, our society tells boys they are less than if they don’t fit the traditional mold for manhood. Boys and men who are dubbed too sensitive, too nurturing, or who aren’t driven to pursue material wealth and status don’t make it into the “boys club.” Sound familiar? Women recognize an impossible standard when we see one. We’re never thin enough to suit our culture. We’re never pretty enough to satisfy. Not as smart as our brothers. Not as good at math. Better suited to become teachers than engineers. We don’t have to look deep to see how women are disregarded, belittled, and blatantly abused in our world. A male employee is considered more credible and promotable than a woman employee with more experience. People automatically... Read more
Recently, in the small bowling alley where Shelby works, three immigrant women and eight children came to the counter to pay for their games. After Shelby realized that none of the women could speak English, one of them tried to apologize, saying, “Normally my husband…”  Shelby asked if her husband usually did the talking. She nodded and kept her eyes glued to the floor. Over twenty million immigrant women and girls live in the United States today. Many come to the Unites States searching for a better life, but it can be difficult to fit into US society. Obviously, men are not immune to the challenges of adapting to a new culture, but women often have additional challenges that men do not experience. We wanted to learn more about women's experiences, so we int... Read more
For most of my life, I didn’t attend a church that affirmed women in ministry. In fact, most of the churches I grew up in held the opposite view. They took the issue very seriously too. One Wednesday night when I was in maybe sixth grade, the male teacher for the boys’ class was absent. The female teacher for the girls’ class refused to allow the junior high boys to join us. Why? Women weren’t allowed to teach males once they graduated from elementary school. The same teacher encouraged us to aspire to become elders’ wives when we grew up. We were never encouraged to focus on our own gifts for ministry. We were not encouraged to serve the kingdom as writers, singers, missionaries, or worship ministers, and certainly not as preachers. I never saw a woman teac... Read more
The church has been increasingly criticized, especially in the last couple of years, for responding poorly to or remaining silent about sexual, physical, and spiritual abuse. Survivors and allies are calling the church out for enabling and overlooking abuse, and urging Christians to educate themselves on the issue.  Many churches have a tendency to keep abuse in-house, prioritizing the reputation of the church over the trauma needs of abuse survivors. Worse, they sometimes even defend perpetrators and deliberately silence victims. Why have we sometimes struggled to do justice and not harm? Sometimes, churches respond unjustly to abuse because they elevate the word of powerful men above the word of women. Other times, churches fail survivors because their theology doesn’t easil... Read more
Did the pastor really just say that? Mouth hanging open and holding my infant daughter, I looked over at my husband. “I know. Don’t freak out. I know,” my husband whispered. The pastor’s sermon was good—until he made some demeaning comments about his wife’s years as a stay-at-home mom. He went on to explain that now she was “working hard,” because she has a job outside of the home. I’ve heard many problematic remarks like these over the years. I usually just roll my eyes and carry on. But that morning, the pastor’s comments shattered something in my spirit. I was broken-hearted for all of the times I’ve heard male pastors demean their wives from the pulpit. I was angry for all of the times I’ve heard people say,... Read more