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.

Deborah
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.

Conclusion
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

26 comments:

Aronne said...

Fascinating. It's something I myself have wondered about. As I said to a friend, it's something I look forward to making myself crazy over...

Another question is this: is this enough of an issue to justify not voting for the ticket?

christina hall said...

I read this post transfixed with interest from beginning to end. I've heard most everything (if not everything) you [Dan] presented before reading this just now...but somehow, a lot of things made sense tonight. I hope to comment further soon. ---pondering

mn ladyslipper said...

aronne, is what God says not enough of an issue? It should be a Christians only issue!

Grafted said...

Great write-up!

I think what needs to be considered in this election is a prioritization of the issues.

Ideally, it would great if we had strong, Godly men up for election. Unfortunately, there are far too few King David's in this world.

I would rather have a male president than a female one, I admit, but I feel that faith tops gender.

The worse between a Christian woman and a non-Christian man is definitely the latter. Obama claims to be Christian, yet also claims that there are many roads to God and heaven. This claim is blatant evidence that the man does not know the exclusive redemption of Jesus Christ.

The Bible is clear that we should obey the rulers over us, yet the Word does not teach us how we can actually choose them - so that is left to us.

I have chosen to vote for McCain/Palin next Tuesday because, even though a woman would be VP, an Obama victory would mean a man who is a fierce proponent for abortion on demand, gay marriage, and a whole host of other antibiblical standards.

...a third party just isn't an option.

Grafted said...

And I do agree with you that Barton's and Howse's arguments are sorely lacking.

I also agree that Chirstians need to focus much more on changing the world through Christ rather than through politics; Philip Yancey has a good section on that in his book "The Jesus I Never Knew".

That being the case, I am casting my vote for political reasons rather than evangelistic reasons, thus my clear conscience of voting McCain/Palin.

If I take a step back and view the tickets as wholes (an not only the female VP issue,) McCain/Palin not only has fewer evils, but much more good than Obama/Biden.

mn ladyslipper said...

grafted, I think you somehow missed the point of the article, it is not about what we think it is about what God thinks. The Word does tell us how to pick leaders and Dan gave us several of the verses in which He does so. When the Church of Jesus Christ actually starts obeying what His Word tells us to do then He can start blessing us with godly leaders, until then He just can't. We will get what we deserve one way or another.

mn ladyslipper said...

Did God really say...? The enemy uses seemingly harmless things to snare us and get us off that very narrow path. Our human reasoning should never replace what God has told us in His Word. An offering of vegetables instead of what God said seems harmless enough, reaching out your hand to keep the ark from falling seems harmless enough. Yet God tells us His ways are not our ways or are His thoughts our thoughts. It would truly be better to vote for no one than to vote for someone who is not qualified according to God's standards. There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is death.

Grafted said...

I may have been unclear in my intention in previous posts. I agree with Daniel and I am not trying to make a case for selecting a woman in leadership.

Deuteronomy does lay out guidelines for selecting leaders in a theocratic setting. Sadly, our society is run by a secular government which does not honor God. It didn't used to be this way, but it is now.

While not trying to change the world through politics (through Christ is the only way,) the greatest impact I can make is by facing the reality that we actually do have to select the lesser of two evils. "The evils of two lessers" will always exist between any candidates, and in no way are the evils of Obama/Biden lesser than McCain/Palin.

We will never have our ideal leader until Christ returns and rules over us gloriously on earth.

I would never try to diminish God's standards for us by my human reasoning. God will place in leadership whoever He wants, I know, whether I vote or not.

Masses will turn out and vote for someone who seems to more egregiously violate God's truths, and for me to do nothing to try to counter it, politically speaking here, is not ideal.

Isaac Alzen said...

Great argument.
The only thing I disagree with is that "It would truly be better to vote for no one than to vote for someone who is not qualified according to God's standards." If that were the case, we couldn't vote for anyone because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Plus, when you vote for someone, it doesn't necessarily mean that you approve of every single position and action that the candidate takes.
Since no one is perfect, I believe Christians should vote for the candidate who is BEST qualified according to the Bible's standards. For this election, that could very well be a third party candidate.

Ted Sands said...

Your first two passages, Dan, are not God-spoken as you seem to infer. One was spoken by Jethro, Moses father-in-law, and the other was spoken by Moses himself. Notice that in neither case did they say "thus says the Lord" or any similar preface. They were reasoned sentiments of a patriarchal society. In that light, I would equate them with you examples of Moses killing and Abraham lying - descriptive rather than prescriptive.

Also, your Deborah argument doesn't hold water. The judgment which was explicitly Jabin came because the people turned from God. Then, Deborah delivered them from the judgment. Because she didn't deliver them right away and therefore "was judging Israel at that time" (referring to God's judgment happening concurrent to her initial judicial assumption), you cannot infer without a large jump of logic that her judging was part of God's judgment.

I am not thus arguing that a woman is fine or otherwise. I am pointing out that more thought is necessary - and for the record, I didn't see that video you linked to yet.

Tyler Godin said...

Interesting post! Thought-provoking! This isn't the first time this issue has been spinning around my head. :) Here's my scoop on the whole thing:

Is it Biblically wrong for a woman to hold public office?

Where in the Bible does it forbid a woman to hold positions in government? Yes, it says that "worthy men" should be in these positions, and that is definitely ideal, but I don't see it forbidden in the Bible.

What is wrong with Deborah?

Yes, the children of Israel did what was wrong in God's eyes, but I think that verse was between the judges, not during their time as judge. In addition, the Israelites were victorious in battle during her time in leadership. "And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan." (Judges 4:24) I think it is safe to say that God approved of this leadership. Gary DeMar did an article on this issue @ http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive2008/09-09-08PRINT.htm

Not just Sarah Palin

Not only would this mean not voting for Sarah Palin, but also Tim Pawlenty (and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau) and Michele Bachmann. What should be done in races like these?

---

The main reason why I would not rule out any ticket including a woman would be because I don't see it forbidden in Scripture. Also, like "grafted" pointed out, are we going to not vote for McCain/Palin because Palin is a woman, and hand the election to a radical? Concerning the third-party issue and such, check out this quick blog post: http://thechristianworldview.com/tcwblog/archives/640

Northern Lights said...

Ted,
Just because those passages don't have "thus says the Lord" or any similar preface, dosn't mean we should not head the words. If that were the case, one could argue that the words of Paul, Peter, John, and others are "reasoned sentiments". That kind of reasoning would lead to picking and choosing, between what passages people thought were actually God's word, and what passages were just man's sentiments. Were Paul's insructions to Timothy concerning church leadership God's truth, or just the sentiments of Paul? If we were to accept the "sentiment" argument, it would lead to the discrediting of God's word, and a can full of reletivism.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Tim 3:16-17

Also, although the Deborah point may be valid, my argument still remains, that it would seem that although Deborah may not have been the main punishment for the Children of Israel, it seems logical that it was a part of it- going by the verse in Isaiah.

Grafted,

I believe the Bible does show Christians how to choose rulers. God has an opinion about everything.
Does the McCain ticket meet your standards? If not, it would appear that you would be lowering them to prevent Obama from winning. Wouldn't you then be acting out of fear? Like someone said,"If you aren’t willing to lose for your beliefs, they aren’t worth having."

In this case, I believe a third party is the only option.

Thanks for reading!

dw

Tyler Godin said...

Although Deborah may have been a punishment for the Children of Israel, that doesn't mean that that was necessarily a choice that God didn't/wouldn't approve of. Could it be that God is using Sarah Palin to "wake up" the conservative men that are not rising to their duty? Still, I don't think that a woman as VP excludes that ticket.

Meagan Wanschura said...

Sarah Palin isn't "just a woman", she also happens to be the mother of five children, the youngest of whom is just 6 months old. Her first and foremost duty is to her family. There is absolutely no way that she can do them justice while taking on the role of vice president. I came across a really good article by Voddie Baucham about Mrs. Palin. I posted an excerpt from it below, but I would encourage you all to read the whole thing.

http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2008/8/30_Did_McCain_Make_a_Pro-Family_Pick____.html

My point is simple. The job of a wife and mother is to be a wife and mother. Anything in addition to that must also be subservient to it. There is no higher calling. Moreover, I believe Paul’s admonition should lead us to reject any notion of a wife and mother taking on the level of responsibility that Mrs. Palin is seeking.

My heart breaks for her. She has been blessed beyond measure with five incredible children, but she is running hard after what the world says is ‘something more.’ I fear she will regret this some day. In fact, I believe she already does. I can’t imagine her going to sleep at night without a nagging doubt in the back of her mind as she thinks about the time with her children that she will never get back.

My heart breaks for her children. Their mother, by all reports, is an incredible, intelligent, energetic woman with a great deal to offer. Unfortunately, right now she is offering it to the people of Alaska, and the people of the United States of America when her first priority is to offer it to them. God designed them to flourish under the nurturing care of their mother, not some surrogate.

My heart breaks for her husband. Mrs. Palin is not even supposed to be the head of her own household (Eph. 5:22ff; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-7), let alone the State of Alaska, or the United States Senate (The VP oversees the Senate). He should be shepherding her, but instead she is ruling over him (Rom 13:1-7; 1Pet 2:13-17). How difficult it must be for him to walk the fine line of bowing to the culture that is stealing his bride while still trying to love his wife and lead his family.

My heart breaks for the so-called Christian right. All the usual subjects have been falling all over themselves to praise Mr. McCain and justify their blind allegiance to the Republican Party in an effort to secure more “pro-family” judges. They want to protect marriage from redefinition by the homosexual movement, and they are willing to redefine marriage (and motherhood) to do it.

Ted Sands said...

Paul's writings are different from the the rest of Scripture and Paul is explicit when he says "I speak, not the Lord, but I." Otherwise, we can correctly assume that what Paul says is as from God. The old testament is different. Yes, all scripture is profitable. That doesn't mean it's prescriptive. It is profitable, etc. to know of Abraham's lies, Jacob's deceptions, and playboy Sampson. My point was that you may be taking it a bit far to say that the organization of the nation of Israel was God breathed using the passages that you do.

By the way, there are some that preach that Jethro was usurping God's role in counseling Moses and that his counsel was in direct contrast to God who set Moses up to lead and to judge. They claim that Moses listening to Jethro and delegating authority that was his was sin - hardly fodder for your argument that it was somehow God appointed.

I finally watched the video - actually listened: it was boring to watch so I multi-tasked. Those guys are stretching it. I felt embarrassed for them - "Every Christian needs a Rabbi." I would say "Amen" to that because Jesus was called "Rabbi." Otherwise, it sounds like they are seriously stretching a sphere of influence.

Northern Lights said...

The faults and errors of the people you mention are indeed "profitable" for us to learn from...in order that we don't make the same mistake they did. But I wonder what the "profitable" part of those verses (Ex 18:19-23, Deut 1:9-15) would be, if they are not prescriptive. I certainly don't think they are wrong standards to choose our leaders by -which somehow serve as warnings for us. Rather, it leads me to think that it is a prescriptive "instruction in righteousness."

The point about Jethro, is an interesting view. At least at this point, however, I don't see what would be wrong with heeding advice from an older, and possibly wiser "parent." Besides, that reasoning only tries to explain the Exodus verse; the Dueteronomy verse still stands as another example.

christina hall said...

I agree with Ted that the Deborah example is weak. The context of the story provides us with neither a positive nor negative judgment on the issue.

I do object to Sarah Palin as VP, but not based on the reasoning of this blog-post. I think Palin ought to be at home teaching and nurturing her children (some who are still very young) rather than running for VP. Her husband, not she, has the God-given responsibility to provide for her family. There doesn't seem to be compelling enough reason in the Palin family situation to justify inverting this biblical pattern.

What does this mean for the McCain/Palin ticket? Personally, I'd much rather vote for a pro-life woman than a pro-death man. The sin of murder grossly outweighs the sin of confused priorities.

Now a note on who I'm voting for tomorrow. He is not the ideal candidate, but his election would mean life to thousands of babies that would otherwise die under his opponent. This very moment as I type, atrocity plagues our nation. The holocaust of the unborn is an evil of incomprehensible scope, and abortion pleads practical action from me. I am aware that McCain is for abortion in the case of rape or incest and that he approves of embryonic stem-cell research. These positions I certainly cannot respect. (I do not vote with a smile or a tip of my hat to McCain.) Nevertheless, due to his otherwise pro-life policies, the horridly pro-death policies of Obama, and the extreme unlikelihood of a third-party victory, I believe that voting for McCain is voting to preserve human life. A compromise of convictions? I'm sure it will be called that. I am simply choosing to defend one of my deepest [convictions].

Amanda Godin said...

Just a quick thought;By not voting for McCain and letting Obama get in, we will move further from overturning Roe vs. Wade.Obama has become the most liberal senator in just two years, what will he be in the next four?

Aronne said...

At this link you may find the most detailed version of my thoughts to date:

http://graftedones.blogspot.com/2008/10/mccainpalin-2008-official-contemplation.html

Vote McCain/Palin today!

christina hall said...

I must add that my vote reflected the fact that I am not convinced that scripture bars choosing the lesser of the two evils, especially in a secular government situation. To be sure, the verses where God tells Israel who to choose as their leaders shows God's nature and can be cited to formulate what an ideal leader would look like, but I do not gather a command from God that necessarily applies to all Christians for all time. Voting for McCain was hard for me. I didn't like doing it. But I had what I deemed good reasons to vote McCain, and I couldn't bring myself to vote Third Party without having better reasons. I thank God for teaching me so much about conscience through this. For myself, I pray that deeper knowledge of God's Word will confirm whichever position most honors God, because I may very well be faced with a similar decision in four years.

Isaac Alzen said...

What if a woman either didn't have any children or her children were adults. In this case would it be totally acceptable for her to run for office?

christina hall said...

Deuteronomy 1:
5 On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying, 6 “The LORD our God spoke to us [children of Israel] in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. 7 Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates. 8 See, I [God] have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give to them and their descendants after them.' 9 “And I [Moses] spoke to you [children of Israel] 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 [Moses] will make them heads over you.’ 14 And you [children of Israel] 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.
Deuteronomy 1:5-15

Moses (not God) issued the proposal to choose wise, knowledgeable and understanding men as "heads," and the children of Israel confirmed it as a good idea. This understood, I realize I was not faithful to the text when I referred to these verses as "where God tells Israel who to choose as their leaders" (as I did in my latest comment).

I am not at all saying that Moses' proposal was contrary to wisdom (indeed, who could advocate an opposite proposal - "choose foolish and ignorant men to rule over you"?). I only am showing that in both the Deuteronomy 1 and Exodus 18 passages the commands are from men, not God.

Isaac: it seems your question is meant for me (because I said that I do not object to Palin based on the blog reasoning), so I'll answer. I believe there are many other factors than children involved in whether or not a woman should be involved in political leadership (for example, a married woman is to be a helper to her husband). Frankly, I don't know enough right now to argue either way.

Isaac Alzen said...

Hmm. I guess kind of what I'm taking out of this is that everyone is in agreement that it is definitely much, much better for men to be in positions of civil authority. The question is whether it is never right under any circumstances for a woman to be in these positions. That's a tough question.

What about the example of Esther? I know it was a pagan society, but our own society has definitely drifted away from the principles it was founded upon. Granted, we are not a pagan culture either. God used Esther in a desperate situation for the Jews. She became queen and made at least two authoritative decisions(Esther 8:2,9:29) .In Esther 4:14, Mordecai tells Esther, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

Yes it was a pagan culture, but Esther herself was a Jew, and there were other Jews in the land. Also, from what I can tell, Esther had no children or family to raise. Something about the book of Esther is that God's name is not even mentioned once. The study guide in my Bible says, "It appears that the author has deliberately refrained from mentioning God or any other religious activity as a literary device to heighten the fact that it is God who controls and directs all the seemingly insignificant coincidences... that make up the plot and issue in deliverance for the Jews. God's sovereign rule is assumed at every point, an assumption made all the more effective by the total absence of reference to him. It becomes clear to the careful reader that Israel's Great King exersizes his providential and sovereign control over all the vicissitudes of his beleagured covenant people."

I don't see how we can totally disregard Esther's example. If God does not aprove of what she did, then why is Esther a book of the Bible? Or why didn't God say that he disapproved of her actions? 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness."

In a very desperate time for the Jews, God used Esther through a position of authority. I think maybe, under unique circumstances of some sorts, God can righteously use a woman in a position of authority. I think as Christians we should strive to elect men as our rulers, but I don't think we can put a blanket statement on the issue and say that a woman in a position of authority is always wrong Biblically.

I am also trying to understand this issue and I haven't studied it exhaustively. So if I'm wrong please show me where! :O)

Northern Lights said...

Isaac,
When I say that "I believe that women in the civil realm isn’t Biblical", what I mean is that I don't believe it is Biblical for us as Christians to choose for ourselves women leaders. I realize without a doubt, God can call, and use women leaders for His purpose. However, when He raises them up, He is the one that does it, not us.

Again, God may not expressly say not to raise up women leaders, but He does lay out very specific roles for women (just as He does for men), and from these passages(Prov 31, Tit 2, Ex 18, Duet 1) I conclude that there is no justification for the argument that Christians should vote for/elect a woman.

Let God raise up woman leaders, but I don't think just because at times God raises them up, it is reason for Christians to vote to raise them up. Sometimes God raised up wicked kings - does that mean we can vote for bad rulers? I don't believe there is a Biblical pattern/proof which OK's Christians raising up woman leaders.

That is my humble opinion

Isaac Alzen said...

Ok, I see your point. However, when God raised up evil kings, God condemned their evil actions. God never condemned Eshter's actions.

It seems to me that what Esther did was not evil, but justifiable. Even though God raises up evil kings, he doesn't consider their evil actions to be righteous, does he?

So I don't see how God raising up Esther compares with God raising up evil kings. Let's say that the Jews in the land could have voted for their ruler. If Esther's actions were justifiable and righteous in God's sight, why shouldn't they have voted for her in that situation? Isn't that an instance where they actually should vote for a woman, because Esther's actions were upright and presumably pleasing to God? Again, I realize that she had no children or family to take care of.

I understand that the biblical role of a woman is almost never to be in a position of civil authority. Still, I don't know if I'm totally convinced that there is absolutely never a situation where Christians can support a woman in government.

Northern Lights said...

Certainly Esther was righteous and it doesn't appear that God judged her. However, my point was just because God does something, it doesn't mean that He gives US the OK to do it. Indeed, how would WE determine the special circumstance in which we should elect a woman? I am just thinking that we should let God determine those special cases, since woman in the civil realm doesn't seem to be advocated in the Bible.