Two weeks ago, my longtime fellow blogger and FB friend Julie Anne Smith noted on her FB page that she would be in Orlando for a conference. She wanted to know if anyone would like to meet up there, which for me is "here" since I live just north of Orlando.
I jumped at the chance to meet her in person, as she lives on the opposite end of the country - not much farther you can get from Florida than Washington State, unless we're talking Alaska. And I was intrigued by what conference she was attending.
|Julie Anne Smith|
All of this was on very short notice. I found out about the conference on Tuesday, and it started on Friday morning! And I went out to dinner with some of the ladies when they arrived in town on Wednesday!
|Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes two days before |
the conference with some of the CBE attendees:
Lindon, Tega, Mabel, Reagan, Tega's
daughter (I don't know her name!), and Gwen
Egalitarians believe that men and women are truly equal. Not identical. There are obvious differences. But they are equal. No hierarchy. No superiority. No gender rank pulling nor rigid gender roles in the family, the church, or the work place. No "Woman, SUBMIT!" They certainly believe in submission in marriage! But it is mutual submission, mutual leadership, mutual serving, mutual respect, and mutual love.
I see the beauty of that.
I see the promise in that.
I see the fruit borne by it.
I see the power of the gospel at work in it.
Many complementarians claim that egalitarians don't take the Bible seriously. What struck me was how seriously they actually did treat Scripture at this conference. These are serious students of the Word. Many of them are professors in seminaries and Christian universities, with doctorates and decades of faithful teaching and/or pastoral work to their names. They carefully parsed the Greek and Hebrew. They researched the ancient cultures within which the Bible was penned, including the Greco-Roman household codes.They have shown how Scriptural principles can be universally applied in each culture and time period, even if the details of how they are carried out necessarily differ by time and place. And, as Dr. Ronald Pierce explained, they teach what they do "in light of Scripture, not in spite of Scripture."
|Dr. Ronald Pierce,|
professor, author, speaker
God bless the work of CBE, and God bless the women and men there who are rising up to serve with liberty and justice and compassion among the heartbreaking crises in this world.
|Dr. Mimi Haddad,|
President of CBE
who works for CBE
P.S. Now I'm dreaming of the 2018 conference in Helsinki, Finland. Not much of a chance I'll get there, but who knows?
Edit to add: As an indirect result of attending this CBE conference, I am in the middle of my Master of Arts in Ministry degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. I walked right by their booth at the conference because seminary wasn't on my radar at the time. It was a long domino effect after that, but here I am, loving every minute!