CBE Declines Joint Statement -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 01:1 (Aug 1995)
Article: CBE Declines Joint Statement
Author: Anonymous

CBE Declines Joint Statement

The CBMW statement on abuse was originally written to be issued jointly with Christians for Biblical Equality. However, James Beck, writing for the CBE Board of Directors, declined in a letter dated October 10, 1994:

We do not feel it would be helpful to convene a joint press conference at ETS to issue a joint statement on abuse. CBE’s position on abuse flows directly out of our theological understanding of Scripture and what it teaches about gender and roles. If we attempt to issue a joint statement with an organization that differs fundamentally from us on this issue, we feel both organizations would be giving very mixed signals to their respective constituencies.

Wayne Grudem, President of CBMW, commented on CBE’s declining to join in our statement against abuse: “We regret that CBE declined to join us in this statement. If CBE will not join us in something on which we agree (condemning abuse), then I see little hope that they will be willing to join us in constructive dialogue on issues where we disagree. This is unfortunate for the evangelical world.”

But at another level, CBE’s refusal to join us in condemning abuse fits with their overall philosophy: they seem unable to admit that there is such a thing as loving headship in marriage! They see that some authority in marriage is abusive, and they wrongly assume that all authority in marriage is abusive.

Therefore whenever their publications criticize male headship in marriage, they always portray abusive headship. Seldom if ever do their writings mention the CBMW position, which we firmly believe to be the Biblical position: that God has given the husband a unique authority as leader of the family, and that he is to exercise that authority in self-giving love for his wife and children, following the example of Christ (Eph. 5:22–33).

In short, CBE finds it difficult to admit that our position exists. We advocate loving headship by the husband. They publish ongoing criticisms of abusive headship, and they assume that there is no such thing as loving headship. Then they can argue that their view (that there is no unique male headship in marriage) is the only alternative.

If they had joined us in this statement condemning abuse, it would have been an admission that there are responsible Christians who believe in non-abusive authority in marriage. And then all their volumes of criticism of abusive authority would have been seen for what they are: not an attack on the Biblical position at all, but an attack on abuses which we also condemn.

It is a fundamental error in reasoning to ignore the major alternative to your position. But this fundamental error is one of the foundations of th...

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