Laura Seifert joins us today! Christian culture has created a rigid way of thinking forcing us to choose one ideology and reject the other: Complementarianism or Egalitarianism. This is simply not true. It is okay to exist outside of either of the two camps, to take what we see as good and beneficial from each, and to form our own views.
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Our guest on this episode, Laura Seifert, believes that women are equally called by God to teach, speak, lead, be elders, and more. Laura shares with us the story of her journey to where she is now as a pastor who teaches both men and women.
In this episode, we talk about the message that we often receive as women, to stay in our lane, and our lane is to teach women. We often hear explicitly or implicitly that we are unqualified to teach men. But we need to start asking the question, “What is cultural and what is scriptural?”
Laura shares with us that the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb after Jesus’ resurrection was significantly impactful for her as she considered her calling to teach and preach. Jesus told Mary to “go and tell,” and she obeyed. Laura knew that God had given her the gift of teaching, and she wanted to use it for His glory. She knew she didn’t have to change the minds of those who disagreed, but she felt called to teach. She knew she had to be obedient to Christ.
So what do we do with contradictions around gender roles that we see in scripture? Laura talks about how we need to take into account the whole counsel of scripture when we interpret specific passages so that we can avoid taking any part of scripture out of context. We explore how focusing solely on small, isolated passages that deal with controversial issues causes us to miss the more complete picture of what scripture tells us.
We talk about how we do not need to be afraid of the tension we may feel in our soul on these issues. It is good to wrestle. In fact, it’s dangerous not to wrestle. When we wrestle, we draw near to God. We may not always get answers, but we get God’s presence.
Laura’s advice to women is to ask yourself, “What does Jesus say to you?” It can be hard to wade through all the messages we receive about who we ought to be and what we ought to do as women. Laura challenges us to care about what God says about us more than what anyone else says about us. At the end of the day, our calling is to make Him known.
We discuss how Jesus treated women as people created in the image of God. He didn’t coddle them, and He didn’t reject them. When we seek equality, we don’t try to become the same as men. We are created differently but equally. It is the same with race; people are all created differently, and it is beautiful. As Christians, we need to acknowledge our differences, while upholding each other’s worth as equal image bearers. We hear from Laura that when we have men and women working together equally, we see a fuller picture of the character of God. God is not just male. The image of God encompasses all people, male and female.
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