Recently I happened upon an interview from Christianity Today with the new President and CEO of evangelical publishing giant Zondervan. To my surprise, "Moe" Girkins' first name is actually Maureen, and she is a proven leader in the technological sector, as well as a current MDiv student at Trinity Evangelical Seminary—not exactly who I would have pinpointed as the company's top choice.
During the eighteenth century, the United States was not a particularly welcoming place for women looking to speak their minds—especially not African American women looking to speak their minds. But that did not stop God from blessing strong women to speak his words to people who needed to hear. Zilpha Elaw was one such woman.
CBE’s Youth Curriculum, Called Out, has recently made its way to Kenya! On May 28, 2013 Ekklesia Foundation for Gender Education (EFOGE)—a CBE partner organization—held a meeting between church and school leaders to plan how they could engage youth with the knowledge and skills of biblical equality. Seven secondary schools were brought together within the Bondo and Rarieda District, one of the poorest areas in Kenya.
Some 10-15 years ago a ministry colleague excitedly shared with me that he had heard of a new take on the word 'desire' in respect to the pronouncement of God to the woman in the garden of Eden. Genesis 3:16b,"... and though your 'desire' will be for your husband, he will rule over you." (NLT) Being of complementarian persuasion he was of the opinion that women should not be given opportunities to speak or lead in church. It followed that men (husbands) were to be the leaders at home. Naturally he believed that this is what the Scriptures teach and so, as an expository preacher, it was his obligation to proclaim authoritatively and correctly the word of God.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while many American denominations were still silencing the public voices of women in the churches, the founder of the Church of the Nazarene purportedly exclaimed: “Some of our best ‘men’ are women!” Since its founding in 1908, the Church of the Nazarene—like several other major Holiness denominations—has ordained women to all offices of ministry in the church. In this regard, the Holiness tradition stands out in an extraordinary fashion from most other major Christian traditions in America at that time. In the words of sociologist Bryan Wilson, “The Holiness Movement in its varied forms brought women to the fore, perhaps more than any previous development in Christianity.”1
When the curtain on male headship is pulled back, it shrinks from the light of logic and truth. Consider the most recent defense of male headship by John Piper. He offers three reasons why he believes it will endure, but in pulling the curtain back, we find each deeply flawed.
A weird thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was at our twins’ basketball game, sitting by myself, when a vivid memory swooped in out of the blue from seven years ago. At the time, I was still on big-church-staff, and we hosted a special event where several of us shared dreams for our different ministries. Right afterward, an elder came up to me and said, “Wow, you’re a pretty good speaker for a woman.”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Beautiful blue skies peek into the upstairs window where we, a handful of church children, listen to our teacher. We’re eager for the story to end as we’ve been promised time on the playground afterwards. I’m six years old and wearing an utterly floral purple and green dress. There’s a little white collar that I love right where my chest is. I have black strap shoes on my feet, but no stockings on my legs. I wish I could wear stockings, but Mommy says that those are for winter and it’s almost summer now.