- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2002

The view that wives must "submit" to their husbands' leadership endorsed by traditionalists such as the Southern Baptist Convention is wrong, says a Minneapolis-based Christian group.
Christians for Biblical Equality says traditionalists misinterpret the Bible's teachings on marriage, such as the apostle Paul's admonition in Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
"Scripture tells all Christians to submit to 'one another,' not just wives to their husbands," says Mimi Haddad, president of CBE.
CBE will present its view of marriage at a "mutual relationships" conference Friday through Sunday in Portland, Ore. The conference will feature lectures and workshops on the theology of marriage as well as resolving conflicts, rearing children and applying principles of equality.
CBE says it considers the Bible "inerrant," but encourages a "fresh look at what Scripture says about marriage and the family." The group suggests that biblical teachings, when properly interpreted, demand equality between men and women instead of "predetermined gender roles."
John Temple Bristow, conference speaker and author of the book "What Paul Really Said About Women," will encourage Christians to structure marriage after the biblical example of Adam and Eve before their fall.
Other speakers include Jon Trott, editor in chief of Cornerstone magazine; Naomi Larsen, a professor at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and Anita Berardi Maher, a professor at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore.
CBE also endorses the Today's New International Version of the Bible, a gender-neutral translation that has been criticized by some Christian groups. It also supports women in church leadership, including pastor, deacon and elder positions.
"Power needs to be broken down," says Ms. Haddad, in favor of what she calls "mutual submission."
The CBE also gives a biennial Priscilla and Aquila Award, named after a Christian couple mentioned in the Book of Acts, to individuals who promote marriage equality and women in leadership.
The award is presented during the CBE's international conferences. Two individuals have been chosen for the 2003 award and two others are under consideration, the group said.
Past recipients included David Clowney, who resigned his teaching post from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia because of disagreements on equality, and Alan Brehm, who had resigned from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Among those who take issue with CBE's positions is Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in Louisville, Ky. Executive Director Randy Stinson said Adam received leadership in his family in the Garden of Eden before sin introduced "strife over headship and leadership."
"Submission of the wife to the husband doesn't violate equality before God," Mr. Stinson says, pointing to the example of the Trinity, in which Jesus is equal to the Holy Spirit and God the Father but yields to the Father's authority.
"As we saw the rise of secular feminism, those views affected the churches," Mr. Stinson says. "CBE's view capitulates to secular culture."
CBE's conference is expected to attract 150 to 175 people. An October 2000 marriage conference had 200 participants.

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