How I Became an Egalitarian: Finally

This is Part 12 of a series that began here.

At this point, to call ourselves egalitarians seemed like a big step, and we were not ready.

It was not until Sam and I attended an international conference put on by Christians for Biblical Equality that everything really changed.  We had come across this organization as we were researching various Bible passages (they have some great articles, available for free!), and, through various God-maneuverings, found ourselves attendees at the CBE conference.

During the conference, we heard from many scholars from the podium and had opportunities to talk to them during mealtimes.  It was affirming to see men and women, who had dedicated their lives to being pastors and theologians, interpreting the Scriptures the way that we had finally concluded.  I remember feeling such an amazement that this was real!   All I had been suspecting all along because of the way God called and blessed my obedience in ministry — it was really true, after all.   It wasn’t all in my head.  It wasn’t wishful thinking.  It wasn’t heretical teaching.  I felt like a caged bird that was finally set free.

Through CBE, we made many wonderful, real-life connections with those who were walking with Jesus with egalitarian convictions.  One such egalitarian couple, who have been married for a few decades, were the proof in the pudding that we needed to live out an egalitarian marriage (for more details on how we worked this out, see our article here).   It helped, too, that Pastor Dora as well as one of my best friends (Pam) were there and had been walking the journey with us simultaneously.  We walked away from that conference declaring, finally, that we are egalitarians.

And in life, when you find something wonderful, you want to share it with the world.  I shared with my world by blogging some of our journey.  Rather than being a declarative testimony or celebration, this resulted in some debates and heated discussions among long-time friends and mere acquaintances.  The end result was discovering who was in agreement with us and who were not.  I was so appreciative and encouraged by friends who held similar stances and convictions.  However, with those who were not in agreement, wounds were made that ran so deep, friendships were lost in those days.  Some of these friends stopped talking to me.  Some withdrew their respect for me and my ministry.  It is hard for me to capture how devastating these losses have been for me, except to say that it still impacts me to this day.  I found myself withdrawing from authenticity in my blogging and shielding my true heart and self in real life.  Being an egalitarian had meant gaining freedom, but it had also meant a great deal of loss for me.

In many ways, writing this series has been my way of coming out of hiding — of accepting the losses with the gains, of standing with the truth that I believe in, and of embracing all that has happened in my life up to now and all that God is leading me towards.

Click here to read the final entry in the series.

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