II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

October 29, 2008

"Doggone it!" "Say it ain't so."

I’ll be honest; at first I thought Sarah Palin was a great choice for VP. She seemed to be the candidate we (the Christian right) were all looking for. But once again, God continued to use this election to help me think outside of the big, political party box, and into what He - not the Party - wants me to do.

Is it Biblical for Sarah Palin, a woman, to be VP? Where in the Bible does it recommend, condone, or encourage such civil action? Although Christian leaders such as David Barton and Brannon Howse have tried to justify this pro-Palin view (
http://www.worldviewtube.com/video.php/4047 - I suggest that you watch this), they still carry the burden of proof because the arguments they make, I find to be incredibly weak.

Let me be clear to begin with: In no way do I write this article to judge Mrs. Sarah Palin, or anyone else for that matter. I realize that none of us are perfect, myself being the prime imperfect example. I simply want to argue that I believe that women in the civil realm isn’t Biblical, and to point out the weak arguments used by Barton and Howse, who say it is OK for Palin to be VP. If you want to prove to me that it is Biblical for women to lead in the civil realm, prove it - I will gladly listen. However, don’t expect to convince me with the arguments like those of Barton and Howse.

Did they pray about it, and are they in agreement?
This is the first point and the one most often brought up by David Barton.

God doesn’t always tell us what not to do, but what to do. In other words God never says “YOU SHALL NOT…
– at this point, just imagine Gandolf on the bridge of Khazad Dum ;)
…elect a woman leader.”
However, He does say:

Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace."
Ex 18:19-23 (NKJV)

"And I spoke to you at that time, saying: 'I alone am not able to bear you. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. 11 May the Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you! 12 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? 13 Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.' 14 And you answered me and said, 'The thing which you have told us to do is good.' 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes.
Deut 1:9-15

Women in leadership is a sign of judgment from God:
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him. 12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths."
Isaiah 3:11-12

Paul’s address:
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:3-5

As long as Todd and Sarah prayed about it and are in agreement, then all the Christians should accept the Palin’s agreement on the issue to be confirmation that it is alright to vote for Sarah, and should not “judge”, or question her viability to become VP.
It is very disturbing and puzzling that our Christian leaders would actually compromise that much- to keep on trying to bend over backwards- to justify support for this ticket.
I wonder if those same Christian leaders would argue that it is OK:

For a Christian women to become a pastor as long as the church elders, and the wife and husband prayed about it and were in agreement?

For the leaders of a certain Emergent Church to conclude that truth is relative, and that there are different ways to come to God. What could be said against them for having this belief – I’m sure they prayed about it and feel in agreement?

For the dad and mom who have prayed about, and feel that a divorce is necessary and God’s plan to offer each of them relief and a new start in life?

For the church leaders who pray about and agree that they shouldn’t preach repentance from sin or that hell exists, and that they should just kind of ignore the convicting parts of the Bible in order to draw more people into church.

Do you see my point? If we ignore God’s word as the standard, and leave it up to men’s agreements and feelings, we will always find the way to justify our desired actions. If we go by the reasoning of Barton and Howse, we open up the door for relative truth claims. “How dare you say we are wrong? - We prayed about it and are in total agreement.” What could they say in response? “Well, God’s Word says that it is wrong.” In the same way, as far as I can tell, God’s Word says that we should choose men for civil positions.

When God tells us to do something (like choose men leaders) He is who we must obey. If God wants to raise up a woman, that doesn’t mean we disregard His command, and try to “help” His will get accomplished. If God is raising up Palin, this doesn’t mean He gives us a “cop out” in regard to His expectations from us.

Also, with this kind of reasoning, it is a wonder why God gave us commands at all– specific do’s and don’ts- Why wouldn’t He have people pray and see if they be in agreement about what is right in certain issues.

Don’t misunderstand me. I know that sometimes God does show His will through prayer. But when His will/command is already shown in His word, we can never justify acting on a contradicting point made by a human. My main point in showing that a woman in civil leadership is unbiblical, is to show how I, as a Christian cannot vote for her. I do not point it out to judge her.
If God is truly calling Sarah Palin to be VP, then God will make her VP without my vote. All I can go by is God’s word and not man’s (or in this case man and woman’s word).

Look at Deborah, Esther, and the Queen of Sheba. God raised up those women for civil leadership, and now they are in The Hall of Faith.
While it is true that women are mentioned in the Hall of Faith, I find no reference to Deborah, Esther, or even the Queen of Sheba. Of course the remote possibility exists that David Barton and Brannon Howse are actually talking about another Hall of Faith. Since this might be the case, I’ll focus on the main arguing point.

When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. 3 And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he harshly oppressed the children of Israel. 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
Judges 4:1-4

At first glance, the Deborah argument seems to justify the Pro-Palin position (like the alliteration?) In the end, however, I believe using this argument doesn’t advance the argument at all, but in fact strengthens the opposite viewpoint.
Could Deborah’s position in what appears to be the civil realm, be a judgment from God? Yes, it appears that this would be a logical conclusion. As the book of Judges says, “The children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord.” This appears to be very consistent with the passage in Isaiah where it is talking about the wickedness of Israel, and their consequential women leaders.
The example of Deborah does not help, but hurts the cause of the Pro-Palin viewpoint.

Esther and the Queen of Sheba
Just because something happens in the Bible, that doesn’t mean that the particular action has God’s approval. For instance, Abraham lied about Sarah being His wife. God certainly doesn’t approve of lying. Moses murdered an Egyptian. God doesn’t approve of murder. Likewise, because Esther and the Queen of Sheba might have had civil leadership, it doesn’t mean that God thinks that ideally women should fill these roles.
For another thing, these queens were not even queens of Israel, God’s chosen people. When it comes to decision time, why would we Christians really even care about who other pagan societies appointed as their leaders back in the day? Also, do we know that the “queen” of the Bible is even a relatable position to the VP of the United States, when it comes to the leadership/authority question? The burden of proof still lies with the side trying to justify that viewpoint.

As long as she isn’t out doing her own thing – then it is alright
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth,” oh, and women- as long as they are not out doing their ‘own thing’.
I know I’m being a bit sarcastic, but so far I haven’t been convinced that this kind of reasoning is Biblical rational for voting for a women.

If they (Todd and Sarah) have prayed about it and are in agreement; get out of their way!
Believe me when I say I am getting out of her way. I’m not voting for her! Consider this, if it isn’t of God that Palin be the VP, what have I to gain by voting for her? If it is of God for Palin to be VP, what have I to lose by not voting for her? If God wants to raise up a woman leader for such a time as this, He doesn’t need or necessarily want anybody to help Him out. If the Pro-Palin side wants to use the examples of Deborah, Esther, and the Queen of Sheba, I argue, did God need anyone to get those women into their positions?

As soon as you get your life straightened out; start running hers
Once again, my goal isn’t to judge Palin. My goal is to vote in a Biblical manner. None of us are perfect; that is a given. However this doesn’t mean we can’t identify a particular action as unbiblical. In general, this kind of reasoning by Barton belittles wrong action. “You are not perfect, so why should you criticize me for my actions?” However, just because no one is perfect, doesn’t mean that where possible, we shouldn’t identify and confront the error. If we all stayed out of people’s ways, who had false beliefs – if we ignored the lie, instead of confronting it, all because we ourselves are imperfect, we would not only be ignorant, but this silence would lead our country further down the moral decline. It’s got to start with us.

These are just some of the arguments brought up by David Barton and Brannon Howse, as they try to reconcile their Biblical beliefs with their political ones.
Here’s a small recap of this ticket that they are trying so hard to justify:

McCain- believes in Federal funding of human embryo destruction.
He punishes the innocent for the sins of their parent – believes in abortion in the cases of rape and incest
Is McCain Biblically justifiable?

Palin- mother of 5 children, whose position as potential VP isn’t, or at the least has not been justified Biblically.
But, because of their intense fear of Barak Obama, Christian leaders have overlooked these facts, and pledged their support. Instead of focusing on changing our country through Christ, they sometimes focus too much on trying to change the country through politics. But I digress, for that is another blog for another time.

Don’t evaluate your voting options as voting for the lesser of two evils, but instead evaluate these two options as “the evils of two lessers.” It's crunch time. Vote for principle!

Daniel Wanschura

October 14, 2008

Lessons Learned From the Twins (163 game) 2008 Season

You all may or may not know that I love Minnesota Twins baseball. I listen to virtually every game on the radio. So, when the Twins were eliminated two weeks ago, it got me reminiscing about what went right and what went wrong this season, and contemplating the similarities between the pennant race and the race of life…

1. Make the most with what you’re given

The Twins are known for being a small market team. They don’t have the money to just go buy who or what they need. So, after loosing two veteran players in the 2007 off-season, many baseball pundits pinned the Twins to finish dead last in their division. But, for some reason, the Twins always manage to fill big holes with the young players they have developed through their minor league system. In a nutshell, they use who they’ve got, and they make it work.

Now, our situation is a bit different. God has given us so much. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” It is up to us to utilize the gifts that God has given us, through the power that He has granted us. We can even “…come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) The challenge for us isn’t not having enough, but rather putting into use the blessings God has bestowed on us.

2. Always be ready to do anything you’re asked to.

Jose Mijares spent the majority of the 2008 season in the Twins minor league system. But, when Mijares was brought up to the big leagues in September, he quickly became the “go-to” guy in the bullpen. With the Twins slim, one-run lead against division leading Chicago a few weeks ago, there were no qualms about bringing in Mijares, who held the White Sox hitless in the 8th inning. His training had equipped him for his job, and the pressures it would bring, so he was ready to handle the situation.

Likewise, we too should always be ready for anything and everything God sends into our lives. Like Isaiah, when God asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”, are we prepared to respond, “Here am I! Send me.”? (Isaiah 6:8) Our training has equipped us, are we prepared to say “yes”? We also need to be ready to tell others of what Christ has done and continues to do in our lives. Peter encourages us as Christians to, “…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1Peter 3:15)

3. What matters most is how you finish

After 162 games, the Twins and the White Sox were locked in a tie for first place in their division. A rare game #163 was needed to determine who would be the division champion. In a heart-wrenching game, the White Sox beat the Twins 1-0. Suddenly, the first 162 games didn’t matter. All that mattered was that they had lost game 163, they had come up one game, one run short, and that had cost them a spot in the playoffs.

Now, in the “game” of life, there’s a lot more a stake than a trip to the playoffs. What’s at stake here is eternity. I love this excerpt from Jeff Myers’ book, “Hand Off”
“You and I were not sent here to start the race, but to run our lap flat out-to leave it all on the track. Furthermore, our finishing of the race gives more meaning to all of those who have run before…’Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…’(Hebrews 12:1 ESV) Can you imagine it? All of the great heroes of the faith are counting on you. They’re cheering for you…The voices come from all quarters. A great cloud of witnesses, all on their feet, watching as you enter the stadium for your final lap. At this point it doesn’t matter if you have fallen down. It doesn’t matter if you’re bruised and bloodied and covered in sweat…Very soon the race will be over and you’ll fall across that finish line into the arms of your coach. Don’t you long to hear Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into my joy?’…That’s our challenge, and that is what makes life count-that we are faithful, that we run the race, and that, by God’s grace, we finish well.”

4.There’s always next year.

At least that’s what everyone always tells me…But seriously, there is next year. With a young pitching staff, great defense, and the league’s best hitter, next year does look promising.

In the same way, God is a God of second, third, and three billionth chances. He says that if we confess, He will forgive us. If we earnestly seek God, He is ready and willing to wipe our slate clean, to give us another shot.

So, I challenge you to utilize the things God has given you, to always be prepared for anything He calls you to do, to finish strong, and remember, there’s always “next year”.

Oh, and for you Twins fans, next year is only 174 days away.

--Meagan Wanschura