“God would never have granted women a voice if he intended for them to remain silent. God knew that Adam, and our world, would need the voice and influence of women. There is a lioness within every one of God’s daughters and it’s time that she awakens.”
- Lisa Bevere
I once wrote that something had shifted in the atmosphere, and it had; but I was too scared to act on it. I sat in uncomfortable silence, not knowing all of the answers, fearful of what I might discover if I searched. I have stayed quiet for the last two years.
Last weekend as I walked in the woods by my house, it hit me: by staying silent in the face of injustice, I was choosing the side of the oppressor. I had the answers at my fingertips, so I leaned into the uncomfortable silence, and where I expected to find a safe landing, I was met with a free-fall. I stood alone in the midst of God’s perfect creation, heartbroken over a new revelation:
Some of the religious institutions I support are perpetuating the notion that women do not have spiritual leadership authority. They are contributing to the belief that feminine wisdom is somehow corrupt; that the voices of women are less important than those of men. That we are not equal children of God, all beloved.
I was crying, feeling stranded and angry; this was never God's dream for us.
I know without a question that God supports the leadership of women. Not only did Jesus allow Mary a space at his feet to learn alongside the men, but he first revealed himself after his resurrection to two women, trusting them to go preach the good news. This is the God I learned about as a child; this is the Jesus whose feminism resurrected my faith.
And yet, the church continues to fall back on old teachings that belittle the authority of women. Teachings pulled out of context, and old testament laws that Jesus redeemed. If Jesus was meant to live the perfect life, and in doing so he empowered women to use their voices to share the good news, then why are we still fighting antiquated rules that bare feminine wisdom?
The problem with all of this is that I am not a theologian. I'm just a girl with a bible and a very well-loved copy of Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist. I have stayed away from really speaking about this publicly out of fear that someone will bring up a verse and I'll be at a loss. But here's the thing:
When I was crying in the woods, Steffany Gretzinger's 'Out of Hiding' came on my ipod. I was ready to call Jon and tell him I was done with church, with my podcast, with everything. I was exhausted and defeated. But then the bridge played: "you're almost home now, don't give up now." I heard the roar of a lion; the unwavering courage of the lamb of God. It felt as if God was saying to me, "you are on the precipice of something great. You're almost there, don't give up."
We're almost there, we cannot give up. With our eyes fixed on the heart of God, we can tackle oppression and patriarchy and come out victorious, because He has already won the battle.
In light of this, I am excited to introduce to you the launch of "Out of Hiding: A Feminist Bible Study.”
We will be starting in the New Testament, Matthew 1:1. We are going to go through the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, and pull out all of the knowledge we can that pertains to the roles of men and women. I'll be doing contextual research and will bring in extra references to help us shed as much light onto the scripture as possible.
Each Friday you can go to my website, www.alexandralydia.com to read the latest devotional from this study. We'll go over the chapter, what we have learned from it, some questions to help prompt further consideration, and end with a prayer. We are launching this Friday, November 16th! You can sign up for a newsletter to have each week’s study sent to your inbox directly by CLICKING HERE.
I am excited for this journey and to see what our incredible God reveals so that we may be better equipped to dismantle one of this world's final strongholds of patriarchy: religion.