Christians for Biblical Equality


It is International Women’s Day on March 8th. Has anything changed for women since last year’s International Women’s Day? I ask this question because we Australians are reeling under the shock of the horrific murder of Hannah Clarke (31) and her three young children, Aaliyah (6) Laianah (4), and Trey (3). They were killed by her husband and the children’s father, Rowan Baxter. He doused them with petrol and set them alight in the family car. They appeared to the world as a glamorous couple with three beautiful children but in the home, Rowan was, his sister in law said, “a monster.” He always wanted his own way and was controlling. Hannah lived in fear of him and went to the police for help several times and had a court order out against him. Nevertheless, she is dead and so are the three children. In her greatest time of need no one could do anything. Her husband killed her and their three children in the most appalling way. If this woman would not live with him, or recognise his authority over her, and she wanted to take his children from him, he decided to kill them all.

This is almost too much to get our heads around but to make things worse the police inspector in charge of the case, Mark Thompson, implied it was possibly all Hannah’s fault. Speaking the day after the murders, he said, “to put it bluntly,” we are “deciding which side to take.” We are “opened minded” at the moment. Which side are you on? Is this an issue of a woman suffering significant domestic violence and she and her children perishing at the hands of a violent and angry man, or is this an instance of a man being driven too far by his wife who wouldn’t do as he demanded? In other words, was this an awful, violent and wilful crime against a defenceless woman and her children, or did this woman deserve it? Had she driven her husband to do this because of her own actions?

Rev Philippa Lohmeyer spoke at our November 2016 Breakfast. Philippa is a School Chaplain at Mentone Girls Grammar School in Melbourne.

Thank you for this invitation to speak at a Christians for Biblical Equality Breakfast.

I have been encouraged by CBE’s activities over the years.

Many years ago I remember the launch of CBE – Melbourne branch where a number of women spoke, including the Rev Anthea Mc Call who is here today, and I was blown away by how encouraged it made me feel inside. Here was a woman being herself and speaking mightily and gently about God. It was very feminine and bold and courageous and ordinary.

So I am particularly honoured.

But also – I am embarrassed.

I have struggled with leadership.

I’ve doubted my skills.

I can always think of someone who is better educated and more able to speak on a topic – any topic.

I find dealing with people’s expectations and then my own expectations overwhelming.

Originally reported in  a Hewlett Packard internal report and then repeated many times over is that if a job is advertised with 10 criteria and the female knows she meets 8/10 but is not too sure of 2 she hesitates to apply while a male who meets 7/10 the male will think the job is his!

ABC News and 7:30 has been carrying out an investigation into domestic violence with disturbing evidence of domestic violence occurring in church communities. American research provides one important insight: men who attend church less often are most likely to abuse their wives.

For the full article click here.

7:30 report 19/7/2017 on ABC iview


A Brief History of Gender and its Significance

Daniel Patterson

(Published in Sept 2016 on the EFAC Australia website)


The topic of gender has recently captured the public’s attention. One reason for this is the radical attempt by some organisations and theorists to “queer” gender. What follows describes, albeit in brief, the historical and theoretical backstory that has lead to the development and use of queer theory to achieve this end. Evangelical responses to this issue will be greatly enriched by better understanding the history that has brought us to this point. This article is not an attempt to engage the debate, but is focussed on the more modest task of explaining the historical and theoretical parameters of the debate. 

A Very Brief History

Questioning gender norms in the past has catalysed significant changes to culturally embedded gender norms. Following is a brief recount of how gender has been under question for over 100 years, and how each new wave of questioning of gender norms can be characterised by distinct emphases falling under the broad banner called feminism. The historical questioning of gender norms can be divided broadly into three feminist waves, each offering a depth of social analysis the previous wave did not achieve. 
It is not accurate to say that queer theory is feminism or even a kind of feminism, but one is able to identify queer theorisation as having emerged from and in response to perceived inadequacies of a particular formulation of feminism of the 1980s.

  Continue reading at www.efac.org.au