Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Being a single adult during a global pandemic has been a very lonely experience. But in some ways, it has offered me an incredible gift—although it’s not the gift that most people assume.

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For egalitarians, the book of Judges clearly demonstrates God’s approval of women leaders. Yet many who view women’s leadership as unbiblical dismiss the pattern of God-affirmed female authority in Judges.

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It is crucial that we women who don’t fit into the church’s too-neat “happily ever after” narrative share our stories. Because God sees our struggles and the church should too.

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Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel on singleness at a Christian conference. I shared my experience as a single woman pastor and how single clergy can feel isolated in a church culture where marriage is the default. It was the first time since university that I had an honest, direct, public conversation about singleness in the church. 

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No one says the word “failure” out loud, of course. No one would dare. But when marriage is the ideal that everyone is working toward, anything that falls short feels like you did something wrong.

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If we want to see women free, we have to challenge the message that passivity is godly. We have to encourage women to boldly exercise their God-given authority. We must image Bible women who took direct action to further God’s vision for the world.

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Christians who struggle to believe that God would intentionally appoint a woman to lead often argue that Deborah was chosen because no men stepped up to fill the role of judge. But the text does not support this. 

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Hebrews 11 is widely known as a chapter that acclaims the men and women heroes of the faithpowerful, bold, and courageous. Led by that strong faith, these heroes "shut the mouths of lions," "conquered kingdoms," and "quenched the fury of the flames."

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I have always admired Deborah. She is a woman, but she embodies both “traditionally” male and female characteristics. She just doesn’t fit into stereotypical boxes of masculinity and femininity. Further, Deborah’s relationship with Barak is a beautiful picture of biblical equality that I deeply appreciate—as well as both leaders’ relationships with their communities.

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