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In Eden we glimpse the larger purposes of God for humankind. These glimpses offer the framework within which the debate about the specific roles for men and women in the Christian ministry must take place.

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Even in the Christian church, women are often valued for what they do rather than for who they are. This is why the women’s liberation movement has struck a responsive chord in the hearts of many Christian women.

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Over the past several decades, women have made strides toward equality in the secular world as well as the church. While some claim these changes have happened too quickly and mourn what they see as the loss of tradition, others believe they have been too long in coming and lament that we still have so far to go. While studying certain aspects of the debate, we—this article’s authors—began to craft a research project: Cameron posed a question while a student in Susan’s Gender Studies course, a question which has focused our attention on a related but unexplored aspect of the gender equality struggle. Here is what happened.

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As people and institutions demonstrate socially appropriate ways of being male or female, children become apprentices and learn what it means to be a boy or girl in their culture.

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Human beings begin to develop gender identities very early in life as they pick up on cues and clues given off from the sociocultural contexts in which they find themselves. As people and institutions demonstrate socially appropriate ways of being male or female, children become apprentices and learn what it means to be a boy or girl in their culture.

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The call for women missionaries is not often heard today. Often women are left with the feeling “we are only needed because the men fail to go.” Our American culture looks on pioneer missionary work as man’s work because the Church is infiltrated with a worldly and pagan view of women as inferior to men. 

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I have a confession to make. I used to hate being a woman. And I hated God for making me one. But it wasn’t always that way.

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What I am against is the disgusting and deceptive way that some use the Bible to oppress and manipulate faithful, honest church folks. The SBC’s recent “statement on the family,” which faculty members at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary were asked to sign, presents a case in point.

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In his response to a question posed by the Sadducees, Jesus said that those in the resurrection "neither marry nor are given in marriage." The reason women will not be "given in marriage" is that, in the resurrection, they will not be viewed as property.

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I came to see the fullness of the Christian community and church, but was I surprised. I found instead disdain for my impending leadership as a female. I found lack of acceptance for my ministry and my leadership. I heard so many masculine pronouns used and masculine leaders speak that I wondered if there was a place for me at all.

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