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Christians For Biblical Equality

March 24, 2013


I am now sharing this statement from CBE.  I find it informative and helpful.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

“The Bible teaches the full equality of men and women in Creation 

and in Redemption (Gen 1:26-28, 2:23, 5:1-2; I Cor 11:11-12; Gal 

3:13, 28, 5:1).
The Bible teaches that God has revealed Himself in the totality of
Scripture, the authoritative Word of God (Matt 5:18; John 10:35; 2
Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). We believe that Scripture is to be
interpreted holistically and thematically. We also recognize the
necessity of making a distinction between inspiration and
interpretation: inspiration relates to the divine impulse and control
whereby the whole canonical Scripture is the Word of God;
interpretation relates to the human activity whereby we seek to
apprehend revealed truth in harmony with the totality of Scripture
and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To be truly biblical,
Christians must continually examine their faith and practice under
the searchlight of Scripture.

Biblical Truths


1. The Bible teaches that both man and woman were created in God’s
image, had a direct relationship with God, and shared jointly the
responsibilities of bearing and rearing children and having dominion
over the created order (Gen 1:26-28).

2. The Bible teaches that woman and man were created for full and
equal partnership. The word “helper” (ezer) used to designate woman
in Genesis 2:18 refers to God in most instances of Old Testament usage
(e.g. I Sam 7:12; Ps 121:1-2). Consequently the word conveys no
implication whatsoever of female subordination or inferiority.

3. The Bible teaches that the forming of woman from man
demonstrates the fundamental unity and equality of human beings (Gen
2:21-23). In Genesis 2:18, 20 the word “suitable” (kenegdo) denotes
equality and adequacy.

4. The Bible teaches that man and woman were co-participants in the
Fall: Adam was no less culpable than Eve (Gen 3:6; Rom 5:12-21;
I Cor 15:21-22).

5. The Bible teaches that the rulership of Adam over Eve resulted from
the Fall and was therefore not a part of the original created order.
Genesis 3:16 is a prediction of the effects of the Fall rather than a
prescription of God’s ideal order.

6. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came to redeem women as well
as men. Through faith in Christ we all become children of God, one in
Christ, and heirs to the blessings of salvation without reference to
racial, social, or gender distinctives (John 1:12-13; Rom 8:14-17;
2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:26-28).

7. The Bible teaches that at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came on men and
women alike. Without distinction, the Holy Spirit indwells women and
men, and sovereignly distributes gifts without preference as to gender
(Acts 2:1-21; 1 Cor 12:7, 11, 14:31).

8. The Bible teaches that both women and men are called to develop
their spiritual gifts and to use them as stewards of the grace of God (1
Peter 4:10-11). Both men and women are divinely gifted and
empowered to minister to the whole Body of Christ, under His
authority (Acts 1:14, 18:26, 21:9; Rom 16:1-7, 12-13, 15; Phil 4:2-3;
Col 4:15; see also Mark 15:40-41, 16:1-7; Luke 8:1-3; John 20:17-18;
compare also Old Testament examples: Judges 4:4-14, 5:7;
2 Chron 34:22-28; Prov 31:30-31; Micah 6:4).

9. The Bible teaches that, in the New Testament economy, women as
well as men exercise the prophetic, priestly and royal functions (Acts
2:17-18, 21:9; 1 Cor 11:5; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Rev 1:6, 5:10). Therefore,
the few isolated texts that appear to restrict the full redemptive freedom
of women must not be interpreted simplistically and in contradiction to
the rest of Scripture, but their interpretation must take into account their
relation to the broader teaching of Scripture and their total context
(1 Cor 11:2-16, 14:33-36; 1 Tim 2:9-15).

10. The Bible defines the function of leadership as the empowerment of
others for service rather than as the exercise of power over them (Matt
20:25-28, 23:8; Mark 10:42-45; John 13:13-17; Gal 5:13;
1 Peter 5:2-3).

11. The Bible teaches that husbands and wives are heirs together of the
grace of life and that they are bound together in a relationship of mutual
submission and responsibility (1 Cor 7:3-5; Eph 5:21; 1 Peter 3:1-7;
Gen 21:12). The husband’s function as “head” (kephale) is to be
understood as self-giving love and service within this relationship of
mutual submission (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7).

12. The Bible teaches that both mothers and fathers are to exercise
leadership in the nurture, training, discipline and teaching of their
children (Ex 20:12; Lev 19:3; Deut 6:6-9, 21:18-21, 27:16;
Prov 1:8, 6:20; Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20; 2 Tim 1:5; see also Luke 2:51)

1. In the church, spiritual gifts of women and men are to be
recognized, developed and used in serving and teaching ministries
at all levels of involvement: as small group leaders, counselors,
facilitators, administrators, ushers, communion servers, and board
members, and in pastoral care, teaching, preaching, and worship
In so doing, the church will honor God as the source of spiritual
gifts. The church will also fulfill God’s mandate of stewardship
without the appalling loss to God’s kingdom that results when half
of the church’s members are excluded from positions of

2. In the church, public recognition is to be given to both women
and men who exercise ministries of service and leadership.
In so doing, the church will model the unity and harmony that
should characterize the community of believers. In a world
fractured by discrimination and segregation, the church will
dissociate itself from worldly or pagan devices designed to make
women feel inferior for being female. It will help prevent their
departure from the church or their rejection of the Christian faith.

3. In the Christian home, husband and wife are to defer to each
other in seeking to fulfill each other’s preferences, desires and
aspirations. Neither spouse is to seek to dominate the other but
each is to act as servant of the other, in humility considering the
other as better than oneself. In case of decisional deadlock they
should seek resolution through biblical methods of conflict
resolution rather than by one spouse imposing a decision upon the
In so doing, husband and wife will help the Christian home stand
against improper use of power and authority by spouses and will
protect the home from wife and child abuse that sometimes
tragically follows a hierarchical interpretation of the husband’s

4. In the Christian home, spouses are to learn to share the
responsibilities of leadership on the basis of gifts, expertise, and
availability, with due regard for the partner most affected by the
decision under consideration.
In so doing, spouses will learn to respect their competencies and
their complementarity. This will prevent one spouse from
becoming the perennial loser, often forced to practice ingratiating
or deceitful manipulation to protect self-esteem. By establishing
their marriage on a partnership basis, the couple will protect it from
joining the tide of dead or broken marriages resulting from marital

5. In the Christian home, couples who share a lifestyle
characterized by the freedom they find in Christ will do so without
experiencing feelings of guilt or resorting to hypocrisy. They are
freed to emerge from an unbiblical “traditionalism” and can rejoice
in their mutual accountability in Christ. In so doing, they will
openly express their obedience to Scripture, will model an example
for other couples in quest of freedom in Christ, and will stand
against patterns of domination and inequality sometimes imposed
upon church and family.

We believe that biblical equality as reflected in this
document is true to Scripture.
We stand united in our conviction that the Bible,
in its totality, is the liberating Word that provides
the most effective way for women and men to
exercise the gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit and
thus to serve God”
Gilbert Bilezikian W. Ward Gasque
Stanley N. Gundry Gretchen Gaebelein Hull
Catherine Clark Kroeger Jo Anne Lyon
Roger Nicole

Endorsed by: Miriam Adeney, Astri T. Anfindsen, Timothy Paul Allen, James Alsdurf,
Phyllis Alsdurf, John E. Anderson, Patricia W. Anderson, Carl E. Armerding, Myron S.
Augsburger, Raymond Bakke, Sandra Bauer, James Beck, Virginia L. Beck, Elizabeth Bell,
Roy D. Bell, David G. Benner, Gordon C. Bennett, Joyce R. Berggren, Char Binkley,
Sandra Bostian, Mark A. Brewer, Bettie Ann Brigham, D. Stuart Briscoe, Kathleen K.
Brogan, James A. Brooks, Beth E. Brown, H. Marie Brown, F. F. Bruce, Cheever C.
Buckbee, David H. Burr, Donald P. Buteyn, Anthony Campolo, Linda Cannell, Daniel R.
Chamberlain, Caroline L. Cherry, Jack M. Chisholm, Gerald Christmas, Rosemary
Christmas, David K. Clark, Shirley Close, Bonnidell Clouse, Robert G. Clouse, David W.
Clowney, Naomi C. Cole, Mark O. Coleman, Jim Conway, Sally Conway, Kaye V. CookKollars, C. S. Cowles, R. Byron Crozier, Peter H. Davids, Edward R. Dayton, Paul H. De
Vries, Sidney De Waal, J. Jey Deifell, Jr., John R. Dellenback, Mary Jane Dellenback, Gary
W. Demarest, Dolores Dunnett, Walter Dunnett, Charlotte Dyck, James F. Engel, C.
Stephen Evans, Colleen Townsend Evans, Louis Evans, Gabriel Fackre, Gordon D. Fee,
John Fischer, Patrice Fischer, David B. Fletcher, Joan D. Flikkema, David A. Fraser, Nils C.
Friberg, Donn M. Gaebelein, Kevin Giles, Alfred A. Glenn, Barbara R. Glenn, Arthur A.
Goetze, Tita V. Gordovez, Lillian V. Grissen, H. James Groen, Vernon Grounds, Darrell L.
Guder, Lee M. Haines, Robin Haines, Richard C. Halverson, Sandra Hart, Stephen A.
Hayner, Jo Ellen Heil, Betty C. Henderson, Robert T. Henderson, John J. Herzog, Bartlett
L. Hess, I. John Hesselink, Roberta Hestenes, Janet S. Hickman, Marvin D. Hoff, Colleen
Holby, Arthur F. Holmes, Beverly Holt, Carol D. C. Howard, David Allan Hubbard, M.
Gay Hubbard, Anne Huffman, John Huffman, Philip G. Hull, Sanford D. Hull, Richard G.
Hutcheson, Jr., William J. Hybels, Vida S. Icenogle, Dorothy Irvin, Evelyn Jensen, Alan F.
Johnson, David W. Johnson, Robert K. Johnston, Rufus Jones, Kenneth S. Kantzer, Robert
D. Kettering, John F. Kilner, Herbert V. Klem, Richard C. Kroeger, Harold E. Kurtz,
Pauline H. Kurtz, Bruce Larson, Michael R. Leming, William H. Leslie, Arthur H. Lewis,
Walter L. Liefeld, Zondra Lindblade, Helen W. Loeb, Richard N. Longenecker, Richard F.
Lovelace, Deborah Olsoe Lunde, Kenneth H. Maahs, Faith M. Martin, James R. Mason,
Alice P. Mathews, Dolores E. McCabe, Terry McGonigal, David L. McKenna, Lois
McKinney, William A. Meyer, Hazel M. Michelson, A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Alvera
Mickelsen, Eileen F. Moffett, Samuel H. Moffett, C. Sue Moore, Edward Moore, Graham
Morbey, Mary Leigh Morbey, Elizabeth Morgan, Stephen C. Mott, Richard J. Mouw, Jeana
Nieporte, William M. Nieporte, Alvaro L. Nieves, Arnold T. Olson, Daisy M. Washburn
Osborn, LaDonna Osborn, T. L. Osborn, Grant R. Osborne, Grace Paddon, John Paddon,
Elizabeth L. Patterson, Virginia Patterson, Richard Patterson, Jr., Philip Barton Payne,
Robert W. Pazmino, Janet M. Peifer, William J. Petersen, Richard V. Pierard, Paul E.
Pierson, Carolyn Goodman Plampin, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Christiane Posselt, Quah
Cheng Hock, Robert V. Rakestraw, Sara Robertson, Lianne Roembke, Lydia M. Sarandan,
Alvin J. Schmidt, Richard C. Schoenert, David M. Scholer, Jeannette F. Scholer, Robert A.
Seiple, Ronald J. Sider, Lewis B. Smedes, James D. Smith III, Paul R. Smith, P. Paul
Snezek, Jr., Klyne Snodgrass, Howard A. Snyder, Aida B. Spencer, William D. Spencer,
Adele O. Sullivan, W. Nelson Thomson, Ruth A. Tucker, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen,
Joseph W. Viola, Virginia G. Viola, Emily Walther, George H. Walther, Patricia A. Ward,
Timothy Weber, Van B. Weigel, Bruce Wilson, Earle L. Wilson, H. C. Wilson, Nicholas
Wolterstorff, Linda R. Wright, Walter C. Wright, Jr., Louis H. Zbinden. (9/95)
(c) 1989, Christians for Biblical Equality. Permission to
reproduce the statement in its entirety can be obtained from
the national office of CBE.
122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 218, Mpls, MN 55404-2451
Phone: (612) 872-6898 Fax: (612) 872-6891




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  1. timbushong permalink

    And then there’s the other side:

    • deanna permalink

      I am in agreement with Tim on this one. The bible says what it says, whether men and women agree or disagree with its directives to us. The arguments against abuse of power in the churches are legit, but an argument that everyone should be allowed to serve in same functions and gifts is not. We all have different gifts and functions. Women have specific roles, as do men. Women are instructed to train other women, to bring up children, to be busy in the home, to show hospitality and to use their spiritual gifts in the church, and I could go on and on… about the issue of leadership in the churches, even a majority of men who desire a position of authority will never have it, simply because it may not be their function or gift, as assigned by Christ. This is all a lot of ego on the part of men and women, remember Luke 9:46-48: An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “

      • deanna permalink

        “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

  2. I have to say that I agree with CBE’s statement above, but my favorite part of it is this:
    ” The Bible defines the function of leadership as the empowerment of
    others for service rather than as the exercise of power over them (Matt
    20:25-28, 23:8; Mark 10:42-45; John 13:13-17; Gal 5:13;
    1 Peter 5:2-3).” Folks who lead like that I would have no trouble following, but they are hard to find in this day and age.

    • Chris, I agree, when we step back and see things spiritually, as opposed to literalistic interpretations of Scriptures, we can know the mind of Christ. The real question in every situation is, “What does the Spirit say?”, not, “What does the Bible say?”
      There is a whole world of understanding waiting. Holy Spirit speak to me and enlighten me.
      The Scriptures are a two edged sword. For the carnal/literalist they are a pit. For those lead by the Spirit of God, they are a tool of illumination.
      For the literalist, words and verses are to be parsed and divided, manipulated, to denote right doctrine.
      For the Spirit of God, the Scriptures have no such purpose. They exist purely to be illuminated and made effective, in living ways, in current time and situations.
      Religious questions abound, do we worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem?
      Jesus, always guided by the Spirit, as were are designed to be guided by the Spirit say, neither.
      Worship in spirit and in truth.
      The world of the religious, is a false world.
      Jesus is not there.

  3. timbushong permalink

    “For the literalist, words and verses are to be parsed and divided, manipulated, to denote right doctrine.”

    And the option is- wrong doctrine?

    Yeah- I’d sure hate to be accurate…

    • "BK" permalink

      I’m sure that’s not what he meant, one extreme or the other, but it could sound like that. May we practice hearing hearts and not the blunt, non-bending appearance of written word 🙂 “BK”

  4. “The bible says”…”Line up with scripture”…no, what those phrases MEAN is that the Bible “says” what I want it to say, or have been taught and instructed by doctrines of men that it says. Lining up with scripture means lining up with my understanding or perception of what it says.

    And the simplest answer is found in scripture, that tells us that HOLY SPIRIT is the sole interpreter and director of those who claim to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Not Theologians and bible scholars, not “the fathers in the faith”, not any man.

    And for those that say all the stuff is closed, I say it isn’t, and “it’s in the Bible!!”…John 16 says this…read carefully…
    16 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

    2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

    3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

    4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

    5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

    6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

    10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

    11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


    13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME.

    Do you believe THIS part of it? Or do you explain it away?

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