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The phenomenon of cultural relativity, with the adaptations it imposes, is repeatedly illustrated within the bible itself. We see the Israelite nomads moving from the wilderness into the settled agricultural life of Canaan; we see a peasant economy giving place under the monarchy to an urbanised mercantile economy, with the attendant abuses against which the great prophets of Israel inveighed; we see the post-exilic adjustment to life in a unit of a great, well-organised empire—first Persian, then Hellenistic, then Roman. Even within the limited confines of the New Testament we see the gospel transplanted from its Jewish and Palestinian matrix into the Gentile environment of the Mediterranean world. In this last respect we could pay special attention to the way in which John, while preserving the authentic gospel of Christ, brings out its abiding and universal validity in a new idiom for an audience very different from that to which it was first proclaimed. Read more
For centuries, a patriarchal system of control has kept women in spiritual captivity through distortion of the Scriptures. It’s time to debunk the myths. We live in the 21st century, but if we’re honest we have to admit that in some ways the church is still in the Dark Ages—especially when we look at the way we treat women. Even though the Scriptures never portray women as secondary to men, our male-dominated religious system still promotes biblical misinterpretations of female inferiority. Women are tired of this, and as a man, so am I—because such demeaning attitudes don’t reflect God’s heart. Jesus challenged gender prejudice at its core when He directed so much of His ministry toward women. In a Middle Eastern culture that considered women mere property, He healed women, discipled them and commissioned them to minister. Yet today we spend much of our energy denying them opportunities—and using the Bible to defend our prohibitions. I’ve identified 10 erroneous views about women that have been circulated in the church, preached from pulpits and written in the study notes of popular Bible translations for too long. I believe we must debunk these lies if we want to see the church released to fulfill the Great Commission. Read more
Eva Burrows' conversation is liberally peppered with words like "marvelous", "thrilled" and "excited". At 72 years of age it is typical of her unflagging enthusiasm for God and the life she has been given - a fascinating life, by her own admission. Read more
Is the church consistent in its view and treatment of women? Consider the following. Jane is a missionary in a third world country. She translates scriptures, leads many to Christ, preaches to and teaches men and women of all ages. Yet, when she returns home on furlough, she is not allowed to preach in the very church that spends thousands of dollars so Jane can do just that overseas? Why? Read more
Throughout history, many women have been denied teaching and leadership positions based primarily on the teachings of the Apostle Paul. Some have rejected Christianity because they thought Paul viewed women as second-class citizens. That idea is based primarily on two passages -- I Timothy 2:11,12 and I Corinthians 14:34. Most people who believe in restricted roles for women do not realize that Paul named several women among his “co-workers in the gospel” along with such people as Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Apollos. Paul praised women like Priscilla and Lydia who were leaders in the early church. Paul's evangelistic ministry was one of partnership with women. Yet Paul said in I Cor. 14 that women were to keep silent in the church, and in I Timothy 2:12, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man.” Was Paul a hypocrite -- not practicing what he preached, was he confused, or are there other explanations?   Read more
10. Invite a female pastor from your community to share her story and lead a Bible study at your youth group. Often, seeing biblical equality in action is the best way to prompt people to explore the biblical support behind it. 9. Plan a youth group (or friend group) field trip to a women’s shelter or safe house sponsored by a church/Christian organization in your area (contact the center first). Most shelters offer educational programs about issues related to why women are there (homelessness, abuse, neglect) and opportunities to serve the women and children who call the shelter home.. Read more
In my twelve years of teaching youth ministry, I have sometimes been discouraged as I see female students that I believe have great potential to serve God as youth pastors and teachers give in to the anxieties and doubts and either walk away from youth ministry altogether or fail to fully develop their potential. In the last few years, I have become more encouraged. There is a greater network of women who work in youth ministry that are willing to mentor and guide young female students. I am looking forward to a new semester and the chance to help the Kendras at Bethel catch a vision for their future as leaders of youth. Read more

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