Welcome to CBE’s Library

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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. It is only the liberal, secular, or religiously compromised people on the other side who think differently.

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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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As women we should be encouraged. We may be soft on the outside, but we’re strong and mighty in spirit. We are God’s secret weapons and the enemy knows it. He takes us seriously, even when others don’t. The enemy’s strategy has been to keep us quiet and in hiding. But God is doing an end run. He is going to release so many of us at once that the enemy is not going to know what hit him!

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As a male, I recently had an experience that involved gender stereotyping, from which I learned a lot. For one thing, I learned a bit about how my sisters have so often felt.

There was a meeting in a major Southern city to plan for a large women’s conference. I attended in my role as chair-elect of CBE’s volunteer board.

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Some denominations in the United States are still arguing about whether a woman can stand behind a pulpit, I said to myself. Meanwhile, women in China are engaging in dangerous missions and governing thousands of new churches. There’s something wrong with this picture!

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I’m a fairly egalitarian male; some would say I’m hyper-sensitive regarding unequal treatment of women in the church and in society. But when it comes to the traditional chivalrous role the male gets to play ... I confess I enjoy it.

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As our culture continues to wax cynical about the viability of religion, women across the country are using their creativity and their pastoral callings to make space for people drawn to God in ways hard to explain on a traditional Sunday morning.

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As I consider the similarities between reformist movements of the past and the current gender debate within the Church, I see why one might refer to it as a “reformation.”

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Methodism began as a movement of renewal within the Church of England in the eighteenth century under the direction of John and Charles Wesley.
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