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When I was growing up in small towns in East Texas, I heard many a minister refer to some older man as his “father in the ministry.” It was only as I neared my own retirement that I realized that I had been blessed by having a “mother in the ministry.” If you can have a father, you can certainly have a mother! Read more
It was all I could do to keep from applauding as I sat in church last week listening to the pastor speak about submission: a characteristic of Christian life. My many amens were mostly “heard” by those who lip-read, though a few were audible enough to reach those sitting nearby. I was visiting this church for the first time, and did not want to disrupt what I perceived to be their decorum during the sermon. When I mentioned this to the pastor afterwards, he smiled and said, “We could have handled the clapping and amens!” Read more
I was standing on the edge of a Hawaiian country road with the proverbial thumb stuck in the air signaling my need of a ride. Several months before, I had met the Lord. What I discovered was that not everything spiritual was of God. There is an evil element in the world that masquerades as good. I only wanted to know the truth. With my bold young faith in God’s goodness and ability, I told God I wanted to know what was of God and what was of Satan. So, I stuck my thumb out and told God to take me where I could learn this truth. I knew he could do it. After all, he is God. Read more
In our younger years, marriage held great promise; the skies were blue, the sunsets golden. We had worked together to meld our individual strengths and weaknesses into a loving union, strong and secure. We were team members who were in love, who attended church every Sunday and who had never heard about how God wanted us to relate to one another in marriage. Nor could we see clouds looming on the horizon. Read more
The gender “light bulb” clicked on for me the first time when I attended one of Leanne Payne’s Pastoral Care Schools and heard her specific teaching on “Misogyny in the Church.” I was disheartened to learn of different ways the church has supported this injustice and sin. It became more disturbing to me as I looked around at the church I was attending and saw that women in our church primarily served as Sunday school teachers, worship team members or event planners.  Read more
Christ Jesus is the one who tells us that it is by the renewing of our minds that we become like him, and therefore grow closer to God. Our little community church has gone, not through struggles, but through bloody, disgusting and painful warfare. That is all, praise God, in the past, and we can report that there has been a wonderful renewing of minds in the area of Christian equality. Sadly, many did not have this renewing and have left to fight their battles in other places. For those who came to a greater and better understanding of the truth of God’s Word, great joy and freedom has been experienced. Read more
Biblical egalitarians rightly argue that the Bible does not support the perpetual and cross-cultural priority of men over women in the home, the church, or society. Biblical scholars, theologians, social scientists, philosophers, and others have given a solid defense, or apologetic, to this end. However, there is another apologetic mission that egalitarians are in a unique and opportune position to fulfill. This involves presenting the message of biblical equality to the unbelieving world in a persuasive manner, thus winning to Christ people who might never be touched by traditionalist approaches. Read more
Why aren’t all Christians egalitarian? After all, the teachings of the Bible have been with us for 2000 years, though they’ve been badly misinterpreted. For more than thirteen years, the CBE community has distributed scriptural materials on the equality of women and men through our book service, web site, conferences and chapter events. Still, many Christians do not accept the message of biblical equality. Why not? Read more
White Privilege a. A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities.  b. A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc. c. A privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non–white persons.   (Source: WhitePrivilege.com) Kathy: White Privilege is a term that gets tossed around in many advocacy circles. I remember getting in touch with the word very clearly, because I benefit from White Privilege. I am a white woman, blond-haired, blue-eyed. I am automatically granted certain privileges that an African American or Hispanic or Asian woman is not, even in the year 2007 in the United States of America. Add the fact that I have a college education and my privileges increase.  Read more
Among reformed Christians (a term which includes Presbyterians, Calvinists, Lutherans, and many others who do not formally use those labels) this is the week in which Reformation Day is celebrated. For it was on October 31, 1517 – the eve of All Saints’ Day – that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety Five Theses, “for the purpose of eliciting the truth,” to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg. We were treated this fall to the sad spectacle of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Clarence Thomas. Because in my professional life I am both a cross-cultural psychologist and a gender studies scholar, I had students, colleagues, and others asking me what I thought about the Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill episode (one hesitates to use the term “affair”) which recently pre-empted the nation’s soap operas in an unprecedented weekend of media sleaze. My inquirers often seemed to be looking for a neat and clear response from me, but in fact I had no neat conclusions to offer. Because the entire process was such a three-ring circus of political self-interest mixed with ill-disguised racism and sexism, and because no clear conclusions were drawn about the truth of either party’s testimony, I suspect that no neat conclusions are possible. So let me instead share some reflections on this episode, taking it as a classic example of our continuing need for national reformation – specifically reformation in race and gender relations.   Read more

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