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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (2/23/18)

February 23, 2018

Introducing CBMW’s periodical news aggregate: “Gender and Sexuality News Roundup.”

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW news roundups, you can send it to: [email protected].

Articles on Complementarianism:

What about female head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11? 9Marks (Tom Schreiner)

“[T]he point of the passage isn’t the cultural practice but the principle of male headship in marriage and the church. In most cultures today, a wife’s submission to male leadership isn’t signified by whether she wears a head-covering or how she wears her hair. Yet it doesn’t follow from this that the text doesn’t speak to us or isn’t authoritative today, for we learn from these verses that there must be distinctions between the sexes and that the leadership of the church comes from men.

“We could compare Paul’s instructions about head-coverings to what he says about the holy kiss. Believers are to greet each other with a “holy kiss” (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26). Today, we’re not required to kiss one another when we greet one another. We obey this command when we greet one another warmly whether with a hug or a handshake. In the same way, the Lord doesn’t require us to replicate the culture of the first century by having women wearing head coverings when the church meets together. What is necessary is that women are submissive to male leadership in the church (of the elders).”

My inner strife, Baptist Press (Shea Hicks)

“In the end, I found that my inner strife over my role in ministry was not so much about the plight of women. It was more about my lack of trust in a faithful God. I am reminded that if He wanted me to be a church pastor, He would have made me a man. But He did not. I trust God will use me, as a woman, to serve Him and others. And this service will not be in spite of my femininity.”

A Word of Empathy, Warning, and Counsel for “Narrow” Complementarians, 9Marks (Jonathan Leeman)

“This in-house conversation among complementarians is going to continue, with lots of practical questions to disagree about. We all need the wisdom file-drawer as much as the law file-drawer, and to know how to adjust the volume accordingly. I might disagree with Piper on women teaching in seminaries, but before I scream “Injustice!” I should recognize that this is a jagged-line issue, and he can make a different yet still reasonable judgment than me. And he might be right.”In the meantime, we should all be humbled by our inability to adequately answer those most basic of questions, “What is a man?” and “What is a woman?” If ever there were a theological and pastoral project that would benefit from the voices of men and women around the globe, it would be this one. How would biblical theologians living in a Confucian, or Muslim, or animistic context answer?”It’s time to get to work, I think.”

Ecclesial trends on issues of gender and sexuality:

CBF Governing Board receives Illumination Project recommendation, adopts Christ-centered hiring policy, CBF Blog (Aaron Weaver)

“To reflect the practice of most of its congregations, the procedure states: ‘Among other qualifying factors, CBF will employ persons for leadership positions in ministry who exhibit the ideals set forth in our hiring policy, have gifts appropriate to the particular position and who practice a traditional Christian sexual ethic of celibacy in singleness or faithfulness in marriage between a woman and a man.’ For other positions on the CBF staff in Decatur, applicants will be considered who meet the qualities set forth in the new hiring policy, including Christians who identify as LGBT.”

BGCT board removes CBF as recognized giving option, Baptist Standard (Ken Camp)

“In response to a hiring policy change at CBF that opens certain jobs to LGBT individuals, the BGCT Executive Board voted to revise its contribution forms to delete CBF as a Cooperative Program giving option and remove CBF Global Missions as a recognized designated offering.”

A Statement on the Consecration of a Female Bishop in South Sudan, Gafcon (Peter Jensen)

“In discussion at this Council, the Primate of South Sudan, Archbishop Deng Bul (who had not been present when the moratorium was agreed) shared with us that his personal decision to consecrate a female bishop was an extraordinary action taken in the midst of civil unrest in a part of his country where most of the men were engaged in armed conflict.

“The Gafcon Primates chose to not allow this anomaly to change the course followed since 2014. The Task Force was asked to continue to provide theological resources, and the Provinces were urged to continue the study of Scripture, to consult with one another and to pray that God will lead us to a common mind. The voluntary moratorium remained in place.

“In accordance with these decisions, the Task Forces’ Report, which can be read here, is now being discussed at the regional level in advance of the April Gafcon Primates Council and the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem this June. Our hope is that the newly elected Primate of South Sudan will join us in these discussions as we seek to find a common mind, looking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Bishops accused of ‘appalling lack of leadership’ over transgenderism, Premier (Alex Williams)

“Church of England bishops have been accused of showing an ‘appalling lack of leadership’ after they said new guidance would be developed for clergy choosing to recognise someone’s gender transition at church.

“Andrea Williams, a prominent conservative figure, claimed leaders were abandoning orthodox Biblical teaching by moving towards “uncritically accepting someone’s self-declared gender”.

“Mrs Williams, herself a member of the Church of England’s governing body – General Synod – said: ‘Biblically-faithful Christians should not try to read the bishops’ update as an orthodox statement.'”

Evangelical chaplain’s suspension intensifies denomination’s gay marriage debate, Religion News Service (Adelle Banks)

“The suspension of a popular evangelical university chaplain has highlighted tensions over same-sex marriage in a growing Protestant denomination that forbids it but also takes pride in its willingness to allow congregants to hold opinions contrary to church doctrine.”

Secular trends on issues of gender and sexuality:

Kansas GOP votes to ‘oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity’, Wichita Eagle (Jonathan Shorman and Hunter Woodall)

“Eric Teetsel, who proposed the resolution, said the party needs to be willing to tell people what is true and good.

“‘And ultimately, an ideology that says you can determine your own gender identity is broken and it’s going to lead to a lot of pain, and that’s why it’s important to bring us back to what we know to be true and good,’ Teetsel said in an interview.”

‘I Can Now Say It’: Elementary School Principal Comes Out As Transgender, CBS Boston

“‘I really feel most comfortable presenting myself in a female way,’ Daniels told WBZ-TV. ‘I feel really like calm, and sort of peaceful and really kind and sensitive.'”Parents were given language to use with children to discuss Daniels’ transition, stressing it is important to accept everyone as they are and to know that Daniels is ‘the same caring person.'”

Medical field plays catch-up with trans kids, Chicago Tribune (Sarah Solovitch)

“As they navigate the rough shoals of the trans life, the Bilsteins are putting their hopes in the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at UCSF. Founded in 2012, it is one of 40 or so such clinics around the country, seeing patients as young as 3 and as old as 25.

“It is also one of the busiest, encompassing four disciplines: Medical, mental health, patient advocacy and legal services. Although surgery is not available at the center, its clinicians maintain close ties with local surgeons to whom they refer patients upon request. On the day that Jacob arrived for his appointment, the examining rooms were filled with 15 elementary schoolchildren, adolescents and teenagers who had traveled from as far away as Hawaii and Sweden and as nearby as the Bay Area. All were seeking a change in their physical sex characteristics to align with their gender identity.”

What Would A Less Gendered World Really Look Like?, Buzzfeed (Shannon Keating)

“As many trans and gender-nonconforming activists have long argued, perhaps what we should be striving for is not a genderless society, but a gender expansive one. Pioneer trans author, artist, and gender theorist Kate Bornstein put it this way in a recent interview for Aperture: ‘When gender is a binary, it’s a battlefield. When you get rid of the binary, gender becomes a playground.’ Here’s to, maybe someday, leaving the battle behind.”

9 Things People Get Wrong About Being Non-Binary, Teen Vogue (Suzannah Weiss)

“When people see me or hear my name, they usually assume I’m a woman and go by she/her pronouns. But they’d only be partially right. I do identify as a woman, but I also identify as non-binary (yes, you can be both — more on that later) and go by they/them as well. Unfortunately, this is an identity that many people still misunderstand.”

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