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Blog/Magazine Article

How to Identify and Heal the Gaslighting of Women Pastors

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 08/16/2022 - 14:54

As women continue to progress toward full equality in the church, with more and more denominations affirming women in full ministry, some subtle barriers hang on, easily unseen by those they don’t affect. Gaslighting is one of them. It happens when someone insists that our perception of reality is wrong. It’s like walking on sand while someone insists that it’s pavement. We feel dizzy, crazy really, because, particularly when done by someone with power over us, we start doubting our own experiences.

Strategies for an Equal Marriage in the Midst of Unequal Career Demands

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Wed, 08/10/2022 - 14:09

I sit in the military chapel, taking it in. The sun pours through the stained-glass windows, casting a warm yellow glow across the maroon and wood room. I sit on one of the back pews, with rows of soldiers-in-training, family members, veterans, service members, and others in front of me. My spouse is preaching today. He is a chaplain at the installation and is a regular speaker here. I joked with him earlier in the week that I would be sitting near the back door because of what he decided to preach about that day: mutual submission.

Ancient History? Cultural-Historical Context Helps Us See That Women and Men Are Equal

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 17:13

Editor’s note: This is a CBE 2021 Writing Contest Honorable Mention. Enjoy!

As a student of ancient history, I often find that my intimate knowledge of the culture in which the New Testament was written is very useful when reading the Bible, particularly Paul’s letters. While the people who lived in the first and second centuries AD were people like us with similar fears and concerns, they also had very different worldviews and social expectations. When it comes to understanding the role of women in the early church, historical insights are particularly helpful.

2022 CBE Writing Contest—Write for Mutuality!

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 07/26/2022 - 12:23

Are you passionate about advocating for the full equality of women and men in the home, church, and world? Then CBE invites you to enter our sixth annual writing contest! We strive to give women and men of all cultures, races, and classes a platform to share their stories and insights about how biblical gender equality, egalitarian theology, and Christian feminism intersect with everyday life. 

Entries will be accepted July 28 – September 15. Winners and honorable mentions will be announced October 6.

Fighting Power Imbalances at the Intersection of Gender and Race

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 06/28/2022 - 13:06

For eight years, my family and I were members at a church that identified as “complementarian”—but we did not know exactly what that term meant. No written statements clarified the meaning of the term. The church’s website and membership materials did not mention it. Pastors scarcely used the term in sermons, and leaders were unwilling to expound on its meaning. What it really meant for this church to be “complementarian” was obscure. 

As a Deer Longs for Flowing Streams, Single Women Long to be Included at Church

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 06/21/2022 - 15:28

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. (Ps. 42:1)

Several years ago, I began attending a new church. I had completed my undergraduate studies six months prior and moved into the city for my new job. After several exasperating months of church-hunting, I was glad to find a church where I was not itching to leave before the service even began.

Complementarianism Exists in Egalitarian Organizations and Churches Because of Patriarchy

Submitted by Sarabeth Ng on Tue, 06/14/2022 - 09:21

Editor’s note: This is a CBE 2021 Writing Contest Top 15 Winner. Enjoy!

I was ordained in an egalitarian denomination and called as a pastor in an egalitarian church. I assumed this was the best possible outcome as I completed my MDiv and pursued ordination. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with the women in leadership issue, or so I thought.