CBE saw enormous growth in 2015. God moved at CBE’s 2015 conference in LA: “Becoming New: Man and Woman Together in Christ.” Speakers like Eugene Cho, John Stackhouse, and Mariam Youssef challenged us to rethink and revamp our commitment to living out justice and making shalom. We developed a revolutionary resource on biblical equality that is being used across the country in churches and universities. We also published a qualitative study on the experiences of women in the Evangelical Theological Society, and the author, Emily Zimbrick-Rogers, presented the results at the ETS annual meeting.
We are immensely grateful for the prophetic truth-tellers, radical lovers, and hope-dwellers that form and build CBE’s community. You are our heart. Without your boots on the ground and voices in the pulpit (and everywhere else), God’s vision of biblical equality for the church and world remains shrouded. You are bringing light into forgotten places.
This year on the CBE Scroll, our writers and readers did just that: brought light into forgotten places, blew dust off aged parchment, and awakened new fervor in the Christian community for justice and change. As the CBE Scroll editor, it has been my immense privilege to walk alongside profound minds as they “call dead things to life and that which is not as though it were.”1
Looking to 2016, I ask that you consider your place in this mission by:
- Praying for the blog. With this platform, we have an opportunity to reach people where they most need it, answer questions they have always longed to ask, and provide hope to those who have lost it. Pray for us as we seek to humbly meet this need.
- Thinking about writing. We welcome new talent and material. It would be my genuine pleasure to consider your work for publication.
- Sharing and commenting. This platform exists to bless you. But we ask that you consider blessing us in return—with your voice and mind. Commune with us. Walk this path with us. Shout loud and speak boldly.
Deep thanks to each one of you who have read, shared, and commented on CBE Scroll articles. You are a constant source of encouragement to all of us who put pen to paper or finger to keyboard in the name of justice.
Here are our top ten posts of 2015:
#1 A Partner, Not A Patriarch
This man recognizes his male privilege and steps aside to make way for women to take positions of leadership. He notices the spiritual gifting of his sisters-in-Christ and encourages them to use their gifts. As a husband he celebrates his wife’s accomplishments and encourages her to pursue her dreams. As a father he pushes his daughters to take risks and not be limited by cultural expectations for girls.
#2 What Is This Woman Doing Preaching In My Bible?
Let the women preach! Do not put up roadblocks of doubt and shame about what a woman can do for God’s people. Tell your daughters about Huldah. Encourage women who want to learn and teach God’s word. Invite them to share what God has taught them to women and men. In the humble footsteps of Josiah, seek out the wisdom of godly women in your church. Be prepared for God to speak in an unexpected way with an unexpected voice.
#3 4 Sexist Myths That The Church Should Reject
It’s not a guy thing, it’s a human thing to take the hit for the people you love. It’s the human thing to want to save the people you care about from hurt. I’m a woman and it’s also my instinct to protect those around me, emotionally and physically, because that’s part of being in relationship with people. In my experience, women have a ferocious will to protect and provide. It’s just a part of loving people wildly—the way Jesus calls us to. It’s also part of the gospel call—we lay down our lives daily for Christ, for what’s right, and for those that need us—out of love and a desire to serve.
#4 7 Lies Purity Culture Tells Women
The irony is that purity culture is anything but pure. It is woven with oppression and lies. It is yet another weapon of patriarchy to control and marginalize women. I believe that the church will continue to breed shame, sexual dysfunction, and pain until purity culture is rejected by the church and replaced with a new ideology rooted in Christ, celebrating the bodies God gave women and men, and delighting in the beautiful gift of mutual and committed sexual intimacy and sexuality.
#5 3 Lies The Church Tells Women
Gifts have a way of breaking out of the cages patriarchy has built. God makes our gifts so impossible to ignore, our callings so loud, that we women cannot fail to liberate ourselves. We must act. We must serve. We must teach. We must lead. We must fight. Why? Because the spirit will not lie quiet in us until we use our gifts fully. That disquiet in our hearts, the longing so deep and fierce that it will not cease its whisper-shout for action—this is the work of the Spirit in women. And it is bigger, stronger, and more courageous than those that would hold us captive.
#6 3 Lessons We Can Learn From Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Scandal
When Christian men think they can solve lust by avoiding the female body, they are making a painful claim. They are saying to each individual woman who they think might tempt them—you are primarily sex to me. That is what you mean to me—and your humanity, your dignity will never be strong enough to regulate my lust unless I physically avoid you. In other words, your body is more central to me than your soul.
#7 How Complementarianism Stole My Identity
I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and realized I had no idea who I was. I knew who I had been, who I had wanted to be, and who I had thought I was supposed to be. When I finally shed that old theology of gender, I realized that my former self was just a carefully constructed facade designed to appease the “biblical womanhood” crowd. It was not the real me.
#8 Ten Myths About Domestic Abuse You Didn’t Know You Believed Part 1
For Christian women subjected to abuse by a partner, forgiveness myths can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to walking into freedom. We are convinced that by forgiving the abuse, we are representing Jesus to our partner. We are convinced that if we forgive hard enough and long enough, some heavenly transaction will occur in which our partner will become kinder and cease to abuse. This ideology on abuse is reinforced by constant, pervasive, and non-nuanced teaching on forgiveness in church, and by the lack of real support for women suffering abuse in the Christian community.
#9 When Saying “No” Is A Sin
Sex within marriage can be a beautiful, intimate, even spiritual occasion—but only if both spouses fully consent to it. Both spouses can only fully consent to sex if they have the option to decline sex, or when saying “No” to their partner isn’t a sin.
#10 5 Wedding Traditions That Could Use An Egalitarian Spin
The groom apparently has no need to be given away to his bride. He gives himself as he is traditionally seen as the one who can depend on and take care of himself. This wedding tradition implies that women always need someone to provide for them (fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons). This practice still hangs on a cultural assumption about the nature of men and women, and thus this tradition might be one that egalitarians may choose to rethink (based on their own preferences).
Thanks for sticking with us through 2015! We invite you to walk with us again in this coming year.
1. Schwartz, Sarah Christine. “There Is Still Time To Be A Defiant Woman.”