On Women Leadership and Sarah Palin

I received an email from Florida pastor James Knox earlier today regarding John McCain’s vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin:

Why do I always have to be the one to try and get saved people to be Christians not Republicans?

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my peoplle [sic], they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. Isa 3:12

Sound doctrine…the aged women…teach the young women…to be keepers at home…that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:1–5

The implication seems to be that good Christians (as opposed to good Republicans) should not be happy that a woman has chosen to be in a leadership position, particular one which could potentially result in her becoming the President of the United States.

Judging by the verses quoted, Pastor Knox seems to believe that if Sarah Palin rules over America, she will cause its inhabitants to err, destroying godly ways. Instead, Governor Palin ought to be at home, teaching young women, and that by presuming such a lofty position, she is causing God’s word to be blasphemed against.

Governor Sarah Palin
Governor Sarah Palin

I’ll admit, Pastor Knox is the first person I’ve noticed crying foul over Governor Palin on bases non-political. I’ll also admit that I respect Pastor Knox and have (mostly) enjoyed the 20+ books I have read of his canon. There are a number of things I disagree with him on — notably his strong King James Version Only stance and his utterly confused view of who the “elect” is/are in the Scriptures — and though I generally appreciate his brief political commentary via email, I can’t help but wonder about this one.

I applaud McCain for his choice. I’ve learned a bit about Palin since I heard that she was McCain’s choice, and the more I read about her political, moral, and religious conviction, the more I found myself in support of the McCain ticket for the first time since the campaign has started.

Then it occurred to me why I initially supported Ron Paul so strongly. I had allowed my priorities to become all screwed up. Yeah, limited, constitutional government is a fine dream, and it likely worked great 200 years ago, but our nation’s grown up a bit since then. A largish government is something that we just need have to accept and move on; there are bigger fish to fry, so to speak.

If my treasures are in Heaven as I hope in Christ they are, then what do I care about an economic platform? Father in Heaven cares for every sparrow in the sky, every lily in the field… What is it to Him to care for me as well? That is my hope, with the Spirit as my surety.

Obama can promise change until he turns blue in the face. If he’s elected, American economics may very well prosper in the eyes of those who analyze such things. At what price would such prosperity come, though?

If I believe, as the Scriptures teach, that the role of government is to reward the good and to punish the wicked, what business do I have voting for someone who, like Barack Obama, would do nothing to prevent the en vogue abominations of homosexuality and abortion?

Whatever consequence the consequence to America, I submit that Christians are bound to vote, if they vote, for those who profess faith in Christ and who demonstrate an understanding of biblical Christianity. I know we’ll never have perfect leadership, but by God’s grace we can vote for the lesser of two evils (which, lets face it, is the choice we always have when picking between members of our fallen, depraved species).

Yeah, Sarah Palin is a woman. Perhaps America has reached a point where it’ll take a woman’s touch to turn us back to God, or at least a more godly governance.

I also greatly respect the fact that not only is she the mother of five children — one of them with Down’s Syndrome

From the Bible, I can’t help but think of the example of Deborah who, despite living within a very patriarchal society, was not only a prophetess of Yahweh but also held the highest office in Israel — that of judge. As a result of her rule, Israel enjoyed a peace of forty years.

Say what you will about women leadership — this is America and you’re free to believe or vote however you wish — but do note that Israel greatly benefited from a (godly) woman’s leadership. May it not be possible that America shall do so as well?

Also, I want to take the opportunity to agree with the advice Daniel Phillips has posted for Governor Palin.

Christians, pray for her. She and McCain both have an uphill battle before them.

26 thoughts on “On Women Leadership and Sarah Palin”

  1. I don’t have much of an opinion of the Presidential race, it’s in a different country. Obama or McCain, don’t think it’ll do a great deal of difference to Australia.

    I tend to think that women as leaders (as spoken of in the bible) refers more to their roles in church and at home. While it makes sense to translate some of that to business and society I don’t think completely works. The woman in Proverbs 31 seems to have charge over employees and enters into business ventures. As long as those things benefit and don’t harm her family, it seems to be okay.

  2. kristarella: I tend to feel that way as well, so when a pastor is saying different, my ears perk up a bit.

    Trivium: My immediate supervisor at work is a woman.

    If the current tensions between America and Russia escalate into another Cold War or worse… Could very likely affect Australia and everyone else, to some extent.

  3. poohrona: I wonder if you even read what I said about Deborah? Was Israel ungodly for having a woman for its leader, and was its military wrong for obeying her authority?

    Curious that God would not only make a woman a prophet but also place her as leader over His chosen nation if He is so opposed to women leadership.

    As Kristarella pointed out, the woman-man-Christ authority chain was taught in the context of home and church. It was never mandated for business or government situations, that I am aware of, and indeed we have godly examples to the contrary within the Scriptures. I hope you’re willing to see that.

  4. I find it rather funny that what I am hearing is this woman is a strong Christian lady yet doesn’t know her place of authority. I too am finding it hard to explain to people how we should be Christians and not republicans. A woman is under the man and the man under Christ. McCain made a decision for votes of women and I find that rather insulting to put ovaries on the ticket so women will vote for him. I just heard yesterday from a so called Christian that they were voting for him and her because we need good Christian morals in this country. Government without God cannot legislate morals and chances are that if they are in politics of today, which is without God they are not true to heart in the first place. We need to realize that we need to return to God and see from where they have fallen. God is the way to have good morals.

  5. I like the little rock I live under when it comes to news, since most of it is too depressing. I didn’t know that there were mounting tensions…

    Also, when one is subscribed to comments they get email notifications, even if the comment is later deleted. Thus I feel compelled to say that one should try to be consistent to the bible, and if some views shaped by the bible seem to be traditional, then so be it. Consistency is not about being loyal to traditional views that were thought to be biblical — some of them have been flat out wrong.

  6. kristarella: Well said, Kris.

    It wasn’t long ago I too lived under a rock regarding news of just about any kind, and then I discovered I could get headline news — national and worldwide — on my phone. Now I find myself checking the news several times throughout the day — on breaks at work and such. I don’t know why I do it; it certainly hasn’t made me any happier… Most of the news is bad, and only serves as a reminder of the state of man and as a prod in the side to pray more.

  7. Sound doctrine…the aged women…teach the young women…to be keepers at home…that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:1–5

    1. Whoa, what translation is that? My NKJV explains that older women should tach the younger, nothing more, and nothing about “to be keepers at home”.

    2. Scripture verses and “…”s don’t go together. You don’t … Scripture, period.

    Sounds like Knox doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Viva McCain/Palin.

  8. Yeah, what she said. :)

    And even if Titus 2 didn’t say it, Proverbs 31:27 says that a virtuous woman is a woman that keeps busy maintaining her household and avoids idleness.

  9. This election is a difficult one for me. I want to see abortion destroyed in this nation. I also have very a very strong belief that women are not to be in leadership positions. Some one always points to the few exception mentioned in scripture but all one needs to do is look at whom the Lord Jesus Christ appointed to leadership positions. Men are not better than women but God has ordained a chain of command so to speak and I for one am going to follow it. If John McCain is elected there is a good possibility that he will not finish his term and Sarah Palin would become president. I am going to write in Mike Huckabee on my ballot.

  10. Daniel: Careful, though, Daniel. As I read elsewhere, to extend God’s chain of command from the home and the church to the realm of business or government is to make a leap which the Scriptures never mention — a leap which the Scriptures in fact contradict through the positive example of Deborah.

    It’s just as harmful, spiritually, to add to what God has said as it is to take away therefrom.

  11. Abortion will not go away because the VP is against it. If Roe v. Wade is overturned the issue will go to the states and plenty of states will keep it legal.

    You should, as a Christian, be concerned about economic platforms. Bad policy in that area will destroy a nation and unfair taxes are nothing more than stealing, which is clearly unbiblical.

    Deborah was a sign that God was displeased with Israel and scripture does prohibit female magistrates. The following link is for an article that covers these points: http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/ballot_box/sarah_palin_and_the_complement.aspx

  12. Eddie Buchanan: To reply to your paragraphs in order…

    1) If abortion is forbade by a constitutional amendment, the states would be required to abide by it. I doubt that’ll ever happen, and you’re correct that it would become an issue of the states. It should be. Prior to the Civil War, it very likely would have been. Thanks to the Civil War, the states were robbed of a lot of their sovereignty in favor of the federal government.

    2) We should, as Christians, trust God for matters concerning money. The government can tax is whatever it wants — Roman taxation was much worse than taxation today, yet Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar.” You cannot serve both God and Mammon, remember.

    3) Show me one verse from Judges which shows that Deborah was a sign of displeasure by God. You can’t. It isn’t there. It’s an assumption made by those who refuse to take God at His word, specifically the words that state the male headship of the home and church, without so much of a mention of business or governmental endeavors. I’ve discussed this with several people, and the argument against women governmental leadership always boils down to assumptions rather than a simple matter-of-fact taking of God’s word.

  13. Eddie Buchanan: One comment would have sufficed. :)

    I agree with you that man is too corrupt for socialism or communism to be viable forms of government; heh, we’re too corrupt for democracy to work as well as it should.

    Isaiah 3:12 only refers to actual female rulers (as opposed to effeminate men) if the first part of the verse actually refers to 1-year-old nation oppressors (as opposed to immature men). Nice try — lots of Christian leaders have been throwing this verse around since Palin was nominated — but it isn’t going to work.

    Deborah was a judge in Israel — during the period prior to kings where judges were the highest human authority — and even the armies of Israel obeyed her. God never once said that was a bad thing, and He used her rule in Israel to grant the nation decades of peace.

  14. A constitutional amendment forbidding abortion will not happen, barring some sort of religious awakening, and is not even worth talking about. However, Roe v. Wade is horrible constitutional law and may very well be overturned.

  15. “We should, as Christians, trust God for matters concerning money.” Well, does that mean that we should spend our money any way we want? Should we run up a lot of unnecessary debt or fail to save anything for emergencies or retirement? Of course not! And if we should not, why should we let someone else? God has promised to provide for our basic needs but he expects us to make wise decisions with the wealth he gives us. That includes supporting economic policies that allow us to keep what we earn. Do you understand what slavery was is? Slavery means depriving people of the fruits of their labor.

  16. Do you not think God expects us to support a system, when we can, that allows us to keep what we earn so we can decide how best to distribute it? The more of my money I get to keep, the more I can give to the church, to charity, and to others in need. When governments control all or most of their wealth, they are called socialist or communist. Are you aware of what such governments do to their people?

  17. Nazi’s were National Socialist and I hope you know what they did. But they were amateurs compared to the Communists who murdered around 200 million people in the last century. Look today at North Korea, Cuba, and China. Many men have died fighting that and all you have to do is cast a ballet. By the way, how do you think the church is doing under those economic systems? Try taking a suitcase full of Bibles to North Korea and let me know how that goes, when they let you out of jail! If you want to help your fellow man, then work for a system that allows him to help himself and for you to help him too if need be.

  18. The scripture regarding God and mammon and paying taxes to Caesar are both relevant and important, but have nothing to do with which economic system, if any, we should support.

    The Old Testament as a whole makes it clear that God intends for men to be rulers.
    Exodus 18:21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
    Deuteronomy 1:13 ‘Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’
    Isaiah 3:12 O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.

    Finally, Deborah was a “prophetess.” She was not a civil ruler or military leader. She “judged” Israel (Judg. 4:4) only in the sense that she was sought out by the people for advice and judgment in the settlement of disputes because of her wisdom from God. I realize you might say that these are Old Testament laws that don’t apply. I would say then, that if Old Testament law is off limits in this debate, then so are Old Testament examples.

  19. CK: It’s not a cop out at all. It’s an admission that the current candidates suck — or at the very least they don’t represent your views.

    It may have little effect — if any — on the actual outcome of the election, though, and a more viable alternative would be to show up but just not vote for anybody except the lowest possible office.

    One shouldn’t have to sacrifice conscience to vote for Obama bin Biden or Palin/McCain. The real cop-out is voting for either of them just because they are the mainstream’s choice, whether your’e happy with them or not. What sort of representation is it if they don’t actually represent your beliefs, after all?

  20. Daniel said, “I am going to write in Mike Huckabee on my ballot.”

    That’s a cop-out and a waste of a vote. Pick a (real) candidate or don’t bother voting at all.

  21. I’d have to respectfully disagree. Everyone knows that one of the two main candidates will be the next president. Therefore, there is no point in casting a presidential vote unless it be for one of them–because basically, your vote won’t count for anything.

    It’s a rare situation in which any candidate will line up *exactly* with every one of our views. It shouldn’t be a vote “against conscience” to vote for the one whose views line up most closely (even though they may not line up in every particular) with ours. As people often quote, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.” I wouldn’t go so far as to call Obama “evil,” but some of the things that he represents, are (e.g., partial-birth abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.). This will be a very close election, and the only way to make a difference will be to vote (i.e., for one of the main candidates). McCain will need every vote he can get. And Obama will benefit from every conservative who chooses either to not vote or to “write in” a candidate.

    (Besides, “Daniel’s” beef with McCain seems to be not so much based on McCain’s ability to represent him, as it is with the fact that McCain chose a woman as his running-mate. That’s a scary misinterpretation of Scripture, and I fervently hope that this is attitude is not representative of many Christians.)

  22. CK, you have a pretty solid point that it’s between those two. However, as a matter of conscience, I’m not sure people should choose one of them for fear of throwing away their vote.
    The more I hear about McCain, the less I seem to like him. Yesterday it was federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. So he’s fervently against abortion, but ok with this research? I know the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but it doesn’t seem like a very sensible or consistent view.

  23. Last I checked, he was against embryonic stem cell research, but I don’t want to get off on too much of a rabbit trail by going down that road (although admittedly, I suppose I’ve already sidetracked the original discussion a bit). Simply put, my point was that you don’t have to agree with EVERY single thing a candidate stands for, in order to vote for him/her. Voting for a candidate whom you disagree with on a couple of issues (but mostly agree with) should not cause a “crisis of conscience.” It would bother my conscience more if I helped allow a liberal Democrat to win by voting for a write-in or refusing to vote at all.

    John McCain may not be perfect, but he’s a good candidate, and I believe he will make a good President. Besides, think of this: The next President will very likely have the opportunity to nominate at least one or two new Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. For better or worse, the Supreme Court has more influence than any other branch of government. I think we can guess what kinds of Justices Obama would choose, and what kind McCain would choose. And I think we also realize how crucial it is to have Justices who are committed to interpreting the original intent of the Constitution, as opposed to those who reinvent it according to their own ideas of social policy.

    For that reason, if for no other, conservative Americans can and should vote for John McCain.

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