Christians For Biblical Equality

Christians for Biblical Equality is a non-profit organization comprised of individual and church members from over 80 denominations who believe that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnicities and all economic classes, based on the teachings of Scripture:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28


The headlines of the Fall 1987 issue of Priscilla Papers announced that a new organization had been incorporated. The name of the organization was "Men, Women and God: Christians for Biblical Equality.” In time the name was shortened to Christians for Biblical Equality when the group was incorporated in Minnesota as a non-profit IRS Section 501(c)(3) organization on January 2, 1988.

Initially, this group was made up of members of the Minnesota Chapter of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus. They had withdrawn from EWC after the 1986 conference in Fresno, Calif., when EWC was moving in a direction these members perceived as unbiblical. But equality is biblical, and the need for communicating this truth led to the formation of a new organization, growing out of Catherine Kroeger’s contact with Men, Women, and God in London.

The Minnesota group issued a nationwide invitation to attend a two-day conference in St. Paul, Minn., in March 1987, to determine the interest and feasibility of establishing a new organization. At the close of the conference, 22 people from throughout the United States were invited to join the first steering committee, and many from that group convened at the Brewster, Massachusetts, home of Catherine and Richard Kroeger in August 1987. This group determined that a national organization was needed to provide education, support and leadership about biblical equality.

The group in Massachusetts formulated a Mission Statement, a Faith Statement and a Constitution. They also elected the first board of directors, comprised of three men and six women.

CBE’s first major project was the creation of a statement on "Men, Women, and Biblical Equality" [1] which laid out the biblical rationale for equality as well as its application in the community of believers and the family. The authors, Gilbert Bilezikian, W. Ward Gasque, Stanley Gundry, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Catherine Clark Kroeger, Jo Anne Lyon, and Roger Nicole, were joined by a host of other signers who also wished to align themselves with these views. It was presented at the first CBE international conference in St. Paul, July 20-23, 1989, attended by over 300. In 1990 it was published widely in such national forums as Christianity Today and Leadership. This generated much interest in the form of new CBE members as well as in the form of theological attacks. Eventually this opposition grew into an organization known as the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).

Statement of Faith

Their conservative theological position may be seen in their Statement of Faith:

We believe in the equality and essential dignity of men and women of all ethnicities, ages, and classes.
We recognize that all persons are made in the image of God and are to reflect that image in the community of believers, in the home, and in society.
We believe that men and women are to diligently develop and use their God-given gifts for the good of the home, church, and society.
We believe in the family, celibate singleness, and faithful heterosexual marriage as God’s design.
We believe that, as mandated by the Bible, men and women are to oppose injustice. {{#if:| – {{{2}}}{{#if:|, {{{3}}}}}{{#if:|, {{{4}}}}}


"Men, Women and Biblical Equality"

Men, Women, and Biblical Equality is a formal statement issued by Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), a non-profit organization founded in 1988. This statement lays out a biblical rationale for equality, as well as its practical applications in the family and community of believers. The statement is available in more than 25 languages.
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. - 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).

  • 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., 1 Sam 7:12; Ps 121:1-2). Consequently the word conveys no implication whatsoever of female subordination or inferiority.

  • 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” (Ezer kenegdo) denotes equality and adequacy.

  • 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; 1 Cor 15:21-22).

  • 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.

Redemption - 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).

Community - 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).

  • 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).

  • 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).

  • 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).

Family - 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” (kephal?) (Greek: ??????, "head" (anatomical upper part of the human body that contains the face and brains); 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).

  • 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).

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