Christians for Biblical Equality


Biblical Oneness and the End of Female Genital Mutilation

CBE Melbourne, Australia
April 30, 2017
Rev. Patti Ricotta
[Corresponding PPT slide Nos are shown in square brackets]

[1] I want to thank you so much for the honor of being with you. I am especially grateful because my story is your story too. Did you know that?
Back in 2010, the Melbourne CBE chapter raised funds that sponsored 14 African clergy to participate in the first FGM conference my organization Life Together International held.
So, it is the privilege of my lifetime to be able to thank you in person for the ministry you were essential in creating. I can’t wait to tell you about what God did though our partnership.
You, my team and the Sabiny people of Eastern Uganda are a picture of how oneness in Christ makes us better together!
Our story began on a warm January morning in Kampala Uganda, way back in 2007. I had been teaching Biblical Equality to Christian church leaders in East Africa for 6 years. But on that day, God put a curve in the course of my life with one 10 minute conversation.
I had just finished teaching the first session of Biblical Equality at a conference for African clergy. The thrust of my teaching was that God’s original design for life between men and women is not hierarchy, but oneness and interdependence.
[2] As I stepped down from the platform an Anglican priest named Rev. Robert Erone pushed through the crowd that was heading out for the break. His Bible was open, and he kept tapping his finger on a passage. He said, “Patti, you come sit with me.” He had a big smile on his face and he was excited about something!
I had known Rev. Robert for several years, but hadn’t seen him in a while. He told me he had moved back to his home area, and was eager to tell me about his ministry among the Sabiny people, a tribe I had never heard of.

On August 7 & 8, 2015  CBE ran their annual Conference.

Held Saturday May 2nd 2015

Our first event for 2015 was a breakfast where Tim Foster spoke about his new book "The Suburban Captivity of the Church".

The Suburban Captivity of the Church explores how the suburban church has aligned itself with the middle class, supporting a vision that focuses on the family, domesticates women and withdraws from the world. Those Australian sub-cultures that reject the suburban vision, also reject the evangelical church and its gospel. In reducing the gospel to becoming a ticket to heaven, evangelicals have developed a very under-realised view of the Christian life – so it's all about what happens after I die, it doesn't shape how I live now. The book seeks to recapture a gospel that offers a new way to be human, a new way to be community, and a new way to live. This gospel can be contextualised such that it captures, critiques and subverts the values and vision of a particular sub-culture, speaking powerfully into that context, and offering a transformed vision for life - a vision that is a very long way from that offered by many evangelical churches.

Our Annual meeting and workshop was held on May 25, 2013 at St Thomas' Burwood.

Audio of the main talk by Jim Reiher can be found here (11MB) and his PPT here.

Jim's Workshop audio can be found here (15MB) and his PPT here.

Rebecca Walkers notes for her workshop: New Testament Woman : Rebecca looked at how the sociocultural backgrounds of women in the New Testament shaped their roles in the early church. She argued that there is no such thing as an “ideal New Testament woman” intended as a model for 21st century women.

Kevin Giles paper on The Trinity and Women is here.

Matt Williams' paper on 1 Peter 2&3 is here

JIM REIHER was trained and worked as a school teacher. He then became a lecturer at Tabor Theological College, then for 5 years worked for Urban Neighbour of Hope as their training coordinator. He now works for Access ministries as a regional support manager supporting 60 school chaplains.

REBECCA WALKER serves with the Salvation Army producing a variety of resources to support the ministry and mission of 520 ministers across Australia. She has a Bachelor of Theology from Tabor College.