Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Emily Onyango discusses the work of the African Church For Biblical Equality towards achieving mutuality of men and women in the church and society as a mark of Christian identity.

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Lecture from 2016 CBE International Conference "Truth Be Told" in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Two weeks ago, I was at the CBE Annual Conference in Los Angeles. I’m not sure how to summarize the conference, so I thought I’d share some of the notes and quotes I wrote down while I was there. I hope they inspire you like they inspired me!

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We can follow these examples of radical acts of loving by making small choices each day: recognizing someone else’s pain before yelling at them for being too needy; giving someone the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions; forgiving someone who has disappointed us.

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The memories of child prostitutes on the streets of Bangkok are still swirling in my head. Even as the Lausanne prayer team walked and prayed through the streets of Thailand, one prostitute begged them to take her home. How can we encounter such suffering with- out longing to make a difference?

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I’m not sure if I ever totally believed that the Bible mandated inequality between the sexes, but that’s just the way it was. I grew up in a church that didn’t necessarily preach such inequalities, but practiced them none the less. By their example I understood that there was a “man’s place” and a “woman’s place.” The men held positions of leadership and the women were in charge of the nursery and potluck dinners.

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Do we really embrace women in ministry? Do we hire them for teaching and executive leadership positions or do we throw up roadblocks and excuses for not passing the pastoral mantle to women?

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Sarah Trimmer (1741–1810), Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896), and Elizabeth Baxter (1837–1926) are three foremothers of faith who have left us an extensive legacy of published works. 

 

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Throughout history, charismatic men and women of God have risen up, almost out of nowhere, to lead spiritual movements and shape theological discourse. These leaders often build churches and large followings before the institutional church pulls them in for a chat. The air is tense, awkward. At some point in the conversation someone asks a deceptively simple question: “Who gives you the authority to do the work you are doing?”

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Sisters in ministry, I hope you will take these words to heart as you continue in the good work to which God has called you. Let’s reclaim our time together!

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