Women in Leadership | CBE International

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Women in Leadership

When most of us egalitarians have a friend with questions about women in ministry, we offer them one of a few classic books.  We give them Gilbert Bilizekian's Beyond Sex Roles or one of the multi-views books published by InterVarsity Press or Zondervan or perhaps (if we're really creative!) refer them to an article on the CBE website.  We now, however, have at least one entirely different option: Scot McKnight's new book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible. The remarkable thing about Scot's book is that it's not really about women in ministry or anything else relating to gender--it is, as the title, suggests, about how to read the Bible.  The first section of the book is about reading the Bible as a larger narrative (... Read more
I have just been browsing a website which promotes roles for women and men as God's ordained will for all time. It showed again the enormous power of words to create impressions and convince people of a point of view. History shows that many strong people convinced others that what they promoted was the 'truth' and consistently it has been done by ridiculing those who have a different way of looking at the same facts. I am not writing this merely to criticise those who made the statements I will reproduce below, but mostly as a reminder to those of us who believe in true biblical equality that how we say things is vitally important. We do not want to have a reputation for gaining ground or new adherants by misrepresenting those who have another opinion. We want to recognis... Read more
The early evangelicals were the first to provide a biblical foundation for women’s leadership in church and society, though many evangelicals today have abandoned the hard-won gains for women’s leadership made by their ancestors. Those who advance women’s liberation and those who would deny it both turn to Scripture for support. It was the Bible that drove the early evangelicals in their work as suffragists, abolitionists, and as missionaries. They were the first to develop a whole-Bible approach to their advocacy of ethnic and gender equality. While some today believe women can lead a country but not a church, the Bible consistently celebrates women like Deborah whose leadership as a judge and also a prophet influenced all of Israel. In fact, Israel refused to go in... Read more
Suppressing the Gospel-leadership of Women: The SBC Kicking Against God’s Will? By Mimi Haddad Just recently more than 100 bookstores controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) removed the recent issue of Gospel Today—a magazine that highlighted the gospel-work of women. Have you ever wondered if the SBC might be “kicking against the goads” in their tireless efforts to censor the obvious fact that God, throughout history, has and continues to gift, call, and bless the gospel-service of women? Removing copies of Gospel Today, as it celebrates women leading the world to Jesus, is like trying to suppress the early apostles! It is a futile effort because it opposes the will of God. Removing Gospel Today from 100 bookstores no more suppresses God... Read more
In my last pastorate, I was invited to hold a monthly service at an assisted living center.  Each time I led this worship gathering and preached, one faithful attendee came armed with her Bible and a frown.  She would sit near the front and, as the service closed and I walked about to greet my white haired "congregants," she always brought me the same admonishment.  "What do you do with the verse that says, 'Women are to keep silent?'" she would ask with a stony face and cold condemnation.  The first few times I spoke with her, I tried to explain about the verse, Greek, punctuation, the cultural context, the whole canon of scripture, (everything in my tool kit!), but I soon found she would have none of it.  So, I simply came to e... Read more
The 'priesthood of all believers doctrine' is well stated on the Southern Baptist Convention’s website: “We affirm the priesthood of all believers. Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name. That is why the Convention requires strong lay involvement on its boards. This doctrine is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.” (http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/pspriesthood.asp)  The clearest Scriptural statement about this is in I Peter 2: 5,9 “…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …... Read more
Final Day of CBE International Conference in Toronto – July 19, 2008 Faith-friend writes:  The day began with Job. Mary Gonsior, CBE staff member, led Sunday morning devotions in the beautiful “Room of Truth” prayer room designed by Mandolyn Johnson. “There lived a man whose name was Job.  This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil…” (Job 1:1)  Mary began to tell the story of Job’s wealth, his seven sons, three daughters and vast herds, in her own words.  “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (Job 1:3) “But suddenly, for no apparent reason,” Mary reminded us, “Job is ruined.   In a single, awful day, disaster strikes and Job... Read more
First Day of CBE International Conference in Toronto – July 18, 2008 Faith-friend writes: The second half of this year’s Conference’s title is: “Women and Men Using Their Gifts for the Great Commission” and it was clear from the first general session today that we would be emphasizing having a heart “for the nations” in this conference. Our opening speaker, a senior vice president from Coca-Cola, spoke of her Christian theology of work – that her company has global influence and she sees her work, in that company, as a way to aid the carrying out of the Great Commission.   Not only can she practice Christian ethics in the workplace and evangelize people she has contact with at appropriate moments, but the work creates imp... Read more
On Sunday morning, September 13, 1953, my father faced a really tough decision. My mother was in labor at the end of a troubled pregnancy that had included a late-term case of hard measles. She was headed to the hospital. But Dad was a fundamentalist preacher in a small church and had an obligation to lead the service and give the sermon. The problem was that he had no men to call on to give the sermon. Enter his mother. She was a deep Christian with a thorough knowledge of the Scripture and led a life of service. She was there to help with the pregnancy. After careful, if hurried, prayer, Dad asked my grandmother to take the service. She agreed to do so. At least two church members walked out when this woman went up to the pulpit. She would not “usurp” a man’s pl... Read more
Adapted from a post originally appearing on Ashleigh's personal blog, Being Redefined, May 2007. "It's ultimately about Jesus," "We want to focus on the essentials," "No reason to stir up controversy." The excuses to avoid serious questions about the issue of women in ministry are plentiful, and many sound pretty good. So why bother with an issue that's seemingly on the sidelines? Well, because it isn't! Don't get me wrong; there are certainly much more crucial elements of our faith. But the more I grow in Christ the more I understand that he desires to be Lord over everything in our lives and in this world! There is nothing that shouldn't be submitted to his leadership, including our church governing structure... Read more

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