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At its yearly convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America passed a statement opposing abortion, pornography, homosexuality — and female pastors. For Southern Baptist leaders, these issues hang together. They assume that on their side of the culture war, Christians must oppose these practices as a piece. 

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“Lord, help me to know where you have gifted and motivated me to serve, so that I might be more fully used by you.” This had become my heart’s cry, yet as I began to sense the direction of the Lord in my life like never before, the doors of the church seemed to close. The words were different each time but the message was always the same: “There’s no place for you ... woman.”

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“Delighted” would accurately describe my reaction to discovering Christians for Biblical Equality. I’m a man who knows something about marginalization and alienation — two themes central to CBE’s concerns.

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QUESTION: I have no problem with Galatians 3:28 or with equality concerning salvation and spiritual gifts. I do have a problem with headship. Can you please tell me where any of the writers of the New Testament gave women the OK to be in authority over men?

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But he didn’t want to live anymore, which was why he didn’t want to eat anymore, either. The facts added up, but that doesn’t mean they made sense to me.

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This is a question frequently asked by some Christians who belong to some branches of Pentecostalism. The teaching about “male covering” for women is rarely found outside of these groups and has never been accepted by the vast majority of evangelical Christians.

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Only one week after September 11, few were willing to board a plane. While most cancelled travel plans, three CBE staff members headed to Houston for the Global Celebration for Women. We offered a biblical basis for women’s Christian service to 10,000 women from 156 nations.

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For CBE staff member Sarah Edwards, the significance of the Global Celebration for Women was captured in a single moment: when a group of brilliantly dressed African women began to sing and dance contagiously to the beat of a drum.

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These women have struggled with painful separation, loss, and uncertainty. They have been ostracized by their culture, left alone to care for fatherless children and subjected to crushing poverty. Their faith has been stretched to the limit, and yet they have rarely been the subjects of prayer campaigns or human-rights projects.

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In the face of terrorism, does CBE matter? Is it worth supporting? As I’ve thought about these questions, I’ve discovered remarkable answers. Biblical equality speaks to the questions raised by current events in ways I never would have expected.

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