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Women in Ministry

Is my pain bad enough to count? Does the injustice that I suffer meet the standard? I attend a complementarian church where I am allowed to teach men in Sunday School, but I am not allowed to preach to them in worship because I am a woman. Neither may I serve on the board of elders which leads the church. For now, I believe I am to remain a member of this church. So I suffer the injustice of being denied these privileges. But is “suffer” too strong a word? Christians in Iraq – and so many other places – are tortured, raped, and murdered for their faith. If I were to meet those Christians in person, I wouldn’t dare to mention the injustice I suffer in my church. My pain is a pinprick compared to theirs. Do I have a right to complain? Does CBE have a ri... Read more
In regard to certain passages of scripture that can serve to either empower women or subordinate them, one can sometimes identify misleading changes in translation with the use of these methods: adding of words (interpolations), removal of words, withholding of information that would alter translation decisions, and inconsistencies in translation in which identical words in similar contexts are defined differently. Other important differences may simply be gaps in translation. 1. The interpolation of “a veil, a symbol of” before “authority” in 1 Cor. 11:10: In 1 Corinthians 11:10 instead of translating the word exousia (ἐξουσία) for authority in the active sense as it has been translated throughout the letter (1 Cor. 7:37; 8:9;... Read more
This post originally appeared on Scot's blog Jesus Creed on August 5, 2014: patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2014/08/05/beliefs-known-by-praxis/. What we believe and how we behave are not quite perfectly matched, at least not this side of the kingdom, but it is not unfair to say that what one believes is seen in how one lives. If you say you believe in God but never pray, or if you say you believe in forgiveness and hold grudges, or if you say you believe God loves all but your circle of friends is restricted to folks like yourself — well, your acts reveal what you really believe or you have acted outside the bounds of your beliefs. Sometimes, however, it works another way: sometimes what we believe needs praxis to reveal what the beliefs entail. Sometimes the beliefs are... Read more
Happy Friday! Another great week of posts speaking out against patriarchy and lifting up the biblical ideal of mutuality in marriage and leadership. Be encouraged, dear friends. Apostles, Deacons, and the Women of Romans 16, by Nicholas Quient One can only imagine the honor of hearing the stories of one of the most outstanding women God has given to the world, and what a debt we owe to her. Christian history, it seems, is built off the deeds of such women. 10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up in the Church, by Gail Wallace (The Junia Project) I think many Christians are becoming more aware of racial and class privilege, but I don’t see the same level of awareness about male privilege in Christian circles. A Legacy for Women, by  Michelle Mosier Would... Read more
In order to better appreciate church life in this century, it is helpful and perhaps essential, that we understand how Christianity has been lived since the very beginning. Mindy & Brandon Withrow have combined their gifts for writing and a passion for history to bring us 5 easy-to-read books with the series title "History Lives" Each book covers a period in church history with different tiles describing the church at that time. So we have 'The Ancient Church', The Medieval Church', The Reformation Church, The Awakening Church and The Modern Church. One reviewer says...'This is history without the wooliness and with all the wonder'. There are some charts and statistics along with important timelines. Church councils are explained, types of music desc... Read more
What an amazing week. Because of a week-long synchroblog called Faith Feminisms, the Christian blogosphere has exploded with posts about biblical gender equality. Can faith and feminism coexist? The resounding answer: YES! Not only coexist, but feminism comes out of our faith in a Lord who breaks down the walls that divide us and limit us along gender lines. There is no hierarchy in the kingdom of God. I'll highlight some posts here, but if you want to immerse yourself in the bounty of these writings, please go to FaithFeminisms.com to check out the entire list. Here are a few of our favorites: RECORDING: Faith Without Feminism, by Emily Rice (Thirty Seconds or Less) I need feminism in my faith to challenge those lies and to remind me that all are made in the... Read more
I'm reading N.T. Wright's latest popular installment entitled Surprised by Scripture and chapter 4, "The Biblical Case for Ordaining Women", caught my attention. Having previously read his stance, I expected not to be "surprised." Though I wasn't "shocked, amazed, stupefied, or bewildered" (all synonyms of "surprise"), I did get another picture, of sorts, about Galatians 3:28 (from which my blog's theme takes it's name, by the way). This text likely means so much more than a prima facia reading suggests. For starters, "this verse is often mistranslated" (p 66). Here's Wright's take on it: "Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.... Read more
We came across these fantastic blog posts advocating for biblical gender equality. What an encouragement. I hope you will be encouraged, too. Changing My Mind on Women in Ministry, Part 2, by Mark Moore (Missio Alliance) I know that many of you are in the same place I was. You are worried that if you change your mind on a doctrine, like the role of women in ministry, it will mean that you have sold out and become a liberal. Fine. Don’t change your mind. Nobody is forcing you to do so, especially not Jesus. However, I do believe that Jesus is asking the church, his bride, to love one another and to be open to listening to one another. 1 Corinthians 14 & Women's Silence in the Church, by Mark Kubo (The Junia Project) Paul affirms the right of women... Read more
There are so many great posts around the web proclaiming biblical equality. Here are some we noticed: 5 Ways Married Men Can Act Like Adults Around Women (Single or Not), by Luke Harms (Living the Tension) It is possible to maintain eye contact without being skeezy. If you lack the self-control to do so, it’s because you sir, are a creeper. But what’s more, you have so devalued women in your own mind that they don’t exist outside of the parts of their body that you find attractive. The Many Female Followers of Jesus, by Marg Mowczko (The Junia Project) Many women were dedicated followers of Jesus during his ministry on earth.  Many of these women seem to have been independent of fathers and husbands, and some were independently wealthy.... Read more
Don’t be afraid to be big, women. That’s what I learned at a conference this weekend. Women are taught to be small. Tomorrow, pay attention to how women walk, sit and stand compared to men. You’ll notice women take smaller steps with their hands closer to their sides, cross their legs, fold their hands in their laps. Men are more likely to swing their arms when they walk, stretch out their legs, drape their arm over the seat next to them. And of course, mainstream American media portrays thin women as the ideal. We women aren’t supposed to take up space with our bodies. We’re not supposed to draw attention to ourselves in other ways, either. American girls’ achievement, particularly in math and science, starts dropping off in middle school. They... Read more

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