Gender Justice Concerns | CBE International

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Gender Justice Concerns

Father’s Day is a great opportunity to thank the men around us for the job they have done raising us. My experience is no different. My father has been a great influence in my life, and as I grow older into a strong woman who fights the hold of patriarchy, I cannot help but think he has been influential in this. Even before I was born, it seemed that he knew the struggle for equality that I would have to go through. With his international perspective on the struggle women face, he equipped me with the biggest tool to survive this battle and named me Florkime: a traditional name from northern Liberia, his homeland. My name Florkime in the simplest terms means perseverance and to keep trying. He has constantly reminded me that my academic efforts are valued and my personal s... Read more
To read Emily Nielsen Jones's full article, click here. Do Our Own Religious Codes Diminish the Full Humanity of Women? Regardless of one's religious affiliation, it can be a useful exercise to reflect on the combined influence of religion on the collective status of girls and women in our world. While each tradition is unique, many spring from the same patriarchal soil of the ancient world and bear some similar dynamics and contradictions as they are lived and applied in contemporary society. Paradoxically, faith has been and continues to be both a source of challenge and a source of validation of cultural gender norms that limit and prescribe women's place in society to a subordinate role/sphere. On a recent family ski weekend, a Christian friend and I discussed the... Read more
Have you ever wondered why, when friends announce they're expecting a child, your first thought is, "Will it be a boy or girl?" Granted, gender is the most obvious distinction noted in a newborn, but we seem to ask the question as if there is an essential quality to gender, as if biology is destiny. Can we really predict a person's identity or scope of service based on their maleness or femaleness? Some would say yes. Those who believe that gender is the most important aspect of personhood are called "gender essentialists." For them, maleness or femaleness is an attribute that shapes the fundamental meaning and purpose of life-a view that, sadly, drives gender hierarchy in the world and also in the church. Significantly, gender essentialism is not a biblical... Read more
I love seeing my name in headlines. I suppose that makes me well, decidedly human. I love being loved. I relish being included, mentioned, cited, and most of all, seeing me everywhere! But, really, is that what this is all about—is this becoming more like Jesus? Yet, it happens over and over again. Maybe I’m just now getting the point. Here is what I mean. I had to smile this week, when a CBE staff member appeared in my office like the angel Gabriel announcing the good news. “Oh thou, blessed among women, you have been named on the Rachel Held Evans’s “101 Christian Women Speakers’ list.” My first thought was, “Well, that’s better than a PhD from England’s best, right?” My second thought belonged perhaps to... Read more
Last week, I discussed how I got involved with Nita Belles and her work in the movement against human trafficking. This week, I'm going to examine both the progress that has been made along with different ways to become more aware to protect both yourself and your loved ones against human trafficking. The fight is gaining momentum and things are changing: Ordinary people all across America are taking up the fight and doing extraordinary things through whatever means they have. Legislators are working to create stronger laws that require sentences to reflect the insidiousness of the crime. More safe homes and recovery centers are being established, but many more are still needed. Law enforcement, medical practitioners, and social workers all across the United States are l... Read more
A few years ago, a prominent Midwest pastor was featured in a brief biopic about his coming to grips with racially charged childhood experiences in South Carolina during the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It is a moving story of law and gospel:  confession of complicity with the racist perspectives—the “cesspool of sin”–ironies that immersed his childhood, culminating in a passion for racial reconciliation, both through preaching and personal example.  The fruit of this passion includes decades of ministry in a diverse urban setting and the adoption of an African-American daughter in mid-age. Speaking of his daughter, the pastor recalls writing in a letter, “The fact that she’s black is important.  God made blackness.  And ye... Read more
Have you ever had an experience in which you started to read a book, confident that you knew the subject matter well, only to realize how completely illiterate you were about the subject? This is what happened to me about three years ago when I read In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States, written by my long-time friend, Nita Belles. I knew Nita was writing about human trafficking, which I assumed only took place in under-developed countries. Reading further, the shock of my naïveté was quickly replaced by sadness and disgust as I learned about the horrific things that are happening to human beings not only around the world, but in every area of the United States. Human souls are bought and sold as if they were garments, shoes, or... Read more
Welcome to Arise, CBE’s newest source of weekly inspiration. What better time to launch Arise than during Easter week, as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin! As followers of Jesus let’s arise together in bringing encouragement and hope to one another. The American evangelist, Sojourner Truth, offered words of hope when she said that she was never frightened in the midst of her opponents because, “Truth is powerful and will prevail. Truth is powerful and will prevail!” Peter Furler, the lead singer of the Newsboys expressed an unshakable confidence in God’s truth in a recent interview with CBE editors when he spoke the encouragement, “Anything that God is behind, no one can stop!” As we celebrate the truth of our Risen... Read more
As a seminary student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, I was greatly encouraged by the leadership, mentoring and wisdom of egalitarians such as Cathy Kroeger, Aida and Bill Spencer, Richard Lovelace, Syndey DeWaal, Garth Rosell, and hosts of others. Their support was not only academic, but also pastoral. They helped me see the many opportunities in my life to engage my passion for women in Church history both academically and as a future ministry. They encouraged me to join student council and a number of other student committees. They gave me opportunities to teach Church History and to write for our student publication. And they wrote letters of recommendation that led to my Ph.D. work. I came to see that I loved the academic world, as much as I loved the world of advocacy and act... Read more
As a result of CBE’s booth at the Bethel University Career Fair, and through recommendations of past CBE interns, we have received an exciting number of intern applications this week. I only wish you could meet these students! It seems that God is bringing just the talents and skill we need. We are energized not only by the prominent gifts they bring to the ministry, but also by their vision for biblical equality and justice! We are excited to see their humility, intellect, and joy enact much needed change to this world. At a time when our nation mourns the loss of so many beautiful young people in Virginia, let us treasure the opportunity we have to empower those students who come eager to serve, bringing courage and new life to us all. We also learned of another Christian univer... Read more