Christians for Biblical Equality is now twenty years old. Has our persistent emphasis on the biblical teachings about the similar worth, abilities, and callings of men and women made any difference in the evangelical world?
When we hear the frequent stories about discrimination against women and closed doors in churches, organizations, and some denominations, it is easy to be discouraged. But a careful look at changes and movements assures us that God is directing many people to examine long held traditions for their biblical basis. Look at some of the current developments:
1) Most Christian schools now employ women as well as men to teach Bible. Many of the best Christian colleges also have qualified women and men as administrators and department chairs.
2) There are also more women in positions of administrative leadership as provost, academic dean, and president at Christian colleges and seminaries. Likewise, women with administrative and leadership abilities have been placed in positions of responsibilities within denominations. For example, Jo Anne Lyon was just appointed president of the Wesleyan denomination, overseeing all of their schools, pastors, churches, and mission outreach. Moreover, women were just given permission to serve as bishops in the Church of England.
3) Many (perhaps the majority) of trained Christian marriage counselors now promote partnership in marriage rather than “the man is the head.”
4) In more and more churches women and men serve together as elders, deacons, and in pastoral positions.
5) We now see men as well as women working in church kitchens and church nurseries—a wonderful example to both children and young men and women.
6) Women are pursuing higher education in far greater numbers. In fact, many colleges must now practice “affirmative action” for males. They admit men with lower scholastic standards than those of women in order to keep an approximate equal number of males and females enrolled.
We would never imply that these changes are because CBE has promoted biblical equality. God has many ways of doing his work, and we are thankful to have even a very small part in his great plans.
All he asks of us is that we follow him in large and small ways to demonstrate and teach the biblical truths of his creation and purposes. Will you join us?