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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
Since I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I never questioned all the gender stereotypes that society generally accepted as normal in the 1950s and ’60s. For example, women were expected to stay home instead of going out in the workplace. Men were the main breadwinners. Women were not generally represented in professional life and men were not expected to do chores like preparing meals, house cleaning, laundry, ironing, or washing dishes. Women were considered physically and emotionally frail and in constant need of men’s care and protection.    Read more
I once wholly believed in a patriarchal view—not only believed it, but lived it. I didn’t care if it didn’t feel good, I cared about obeying God. Read more
He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isa. 40:11) In Bible times many women shepherded flocks. We first meet Rachel as a shepherd: “Rachel came with her father’s sheep for she was their shepherd” (Gen. 29:6, 9). We are also introduced to Zipporah as a shepherd: “Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock” (Exod. 2:16). Read more
"It was interesting taking communion from a woman this morning. I've even taken communion from an African before!" We could scarcely believe our ears. It was a highly respected, delightfully gracious, evangelical missionary society leader who was speaking. He had participated in a communion service in our church that morning (in Manly, N.S.W., Australia). At that stage, we had a team who shared in ministry in various capacities, including women who preached and assisted at communion services. Although we would have been intellectually aware of the links between sexism and racism, this incident radically helped to clarify our thinking.   Read more
Have you ever had the experience of knowing something mentally but having an entirely different response emotionally? I have been grappling with this for the past few years. Yes, intellectually I know God's promises of inner peace, and yet I experience anxiety. I have seen God work for good in my life and in the lives of others, but on the other hand, emotionally, I fear. Read more

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