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If A Woman Cannot Be A Leader In The Church How Can Sarah Palin Lead The Religious Right?

Posted by Job on October 16, 2008

Now I do not entirely agree with Voddie Baucham’s position below that women should not have leadership roles in the private sphere i.e. government and business. I believe that the New Testament restriction applied only to the church. Baucham’s statement that a nation ruled by women is a sign that said nation is under judgment because of its immorality causing the lack of suitable males I believe applied to Old Testament Israel, which was God’s covenant people. (Of course, looking at what our own wicked culture has done to our men and boys, resulting in a large portion of the male population being unable to hold a job and lead a household, let alone run a government or business, well that certainly makes Baucham appear right and me wrong.)

So were it simply an issue of Sarah Palin being vice president or even president of our government (or for that matter NATO, the UN, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, etc.) I am fine with that because it is a secular position. That is consistent with by interpretation of Proverb 31 as well as with the fact that Lydia of Acts was a businesswoman and entrepreneur, and women supported the ministry of Jesus Christ with their economic activity. Even in practical terms, plenty of women, particularly those whose husbands have either died or abandoned them or become disabled, wind up needing to support themselves and their children, and the current church does not have a social services apparatus to provide food, housing, and education to such women and their children as the early church of Acts did. Therefore, such women either need to get jobs or get on the very government welfare programs that the religious right so hates. 

But that is secular temporal matters such as business and government, not spiritual matters such as Body of Christ ecclesiology. Scripture makes it clear: women cannot take on positions of ecclesiastical leadership. It is interesting that the primary arguments for suggesting otherwise is generally diminishing the spirituality of the church, making it more secular. One either claims that denying certain roles to women is just another manifestation of workplace and societal discrimination, or that the New Testament words in this matter only reflected Middle Eastern worldly cultural norms and was not the Holy Spirit inspired infallible Word of God.

A novel recent attempt has been to claim that the demand that women be silent and learn under subjection only applied to the home, which makes the home the only spiritual institution where God’s suzerain covenant with Adam applies, not the church (to understand the importance of the suzerain covenant with Adam that Paul mentioned that allowed the man to transgress where the woman was only deceived, which allowed woman to be held blameless – though in subjection – and for the church to be redeemed through her seed, please read http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dhgr3tfq_197djp7zwfh).

Now as mentioned in Why The Early Church Fathers Were Millennialists And Why The Gentile Church Quickly Rejected It For Sadduceeism because of a vacuum left in the religious right due to not only the deaths of its prominent founding members but many of the people that have since come along tainting themselves with compromise and scandal, Sarah Palin is the de facto leader of the religious right. She is not A LEADER but THE LEADER.

Now she has not asked for the position of leadership in the entire religious right, but rather has been thrust into it by the hyperbole of socially conservative Christian leaders, including those that have not spoken out on such matters in the past but have allowed themselves to become so fearful of Obama (as if Bill Clinton was any better … what makes Obama so much more fearsome than the draft dodging 1960s radical Oxford elitist Clinton eh, but we are not going there!) and excitement with the potential of conservative leadership in the form of someone other than a white male (as if the very reason why there aren’t more black/Hispanic/Asian conservative leaders isn’t, well, the very same one that causes them to fear Obama far more than they did Clinton).

But that is not to say that Palin has not been courting the religious right. After all, she is not the only pro – life religious conservative. Ron Paul has the same views – including the same ability to dissemble on homosexuality as Palin by the way -and what is more has the actual scientific background to speak form it as a medical doctor and the religious right loathes him. Tom Coburn also has the views and medical background, but the next religious right leader to talk up the fellow that actually wants to end abortion and reduce government will be the first. But yes, we know that Palin has not only courted the religious right in her state, but did so using government resources. See State paid for trip when Palin told students to pray for pipeline and As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state. So even though Palin didn’t ask to lead the national religious right, it is certainly a role that she was certainly willing to use to her political advantage in Alaska and as such has experience in. 

But again, Palin is a woman. A woman is not supposed to have such authority in the church, right? I agree that being a leader of the amorphous ill defined religious right is not the same as being leader of the Southern Baptist Convention or pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries. As someone who feels that a woman has the right to, say, initiate and run missionary organizations (a fact made more so because the vast majority of missionaries today are in fact women and said women are putting men to shame in this vital area of the Great Commission) then my challenge is less than perfect because leading the religious right is not direct ecclesiastical authority per se but rather leadership of a parachurch activity. 

Still, it is interesting to note that my very liberal views on women in leadership is not shared by many of Palin’s advocates, including the leaders of denominations that forced women out of the leadership positions of the missionary boards that they themselves started, financed, and ran with very little help (and usually only opposition) from the male leadership of those denominations. Also, there is a difference between being a leader of a parachurch organization like, say, a Christian charity (which I assert is a position akin to a deacon, and the Bible does suffer women to be deacons) and leading the religious right. Simply put: leaders of Christian charities have very little influence on church doctrine and practice other than perhaps being more effective at getting more Christians to participate and give. 

But it is past time to acknowledge that leadership of the religious right is the closest thing that we have in America to a Protestant pope, or as it were the leader of a state church. The best example is how so many evangelicals have become very accommodating to Roman Catholicism and dual covenant theologies surrounding Judaism and Israel thanks to the need to maintain religious right alliances. One truly cannot be a leader in the religious right while unambiguously stating that Roman Catholic doctrines regarding Mary, angels, and icons are grievous blasphemies and apostasies, or that Jews must accept Jesus Christ or face eternal flame. That is why religious right leaders would much rather simply bash gay rights activists and the ACLU, or for that matter are much more comfortable denouncing their political opponents as a group because of their political, cultural, ideological etc. views than denouncing individual sinners for their sin. Further still, being a religious right leader requires being in good company with people like Rush Limbaugh. Stating that an unrepentant thrice divorced former drug addict should not be accepted as a leader or authoritative voice (and the same for, say, George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, et al) would be appropriate Christian speech, but it would put one very much at odds with conservatism, correct? And as a result, evangelicalism simply follows suit in refusing to oppose Roman Catholicism, tell the truth about Judaism and Israel, and putting up with Council on Foreign Relations new world order globalist occultists. The next religious right leader that asks why we send an ambassador to the Vatican or challenges Bush on putting on Muslim garb and praying in a mosque (no, they only get mad when Obama does it!) or stating that all religions worship the same God (again, imagine were Obama to say the same!) will be the first. 

So yes, Sarah Palin will be very influential in the doctrine and practice of politically active evangelicals, especially in areas regarding how they relate to the world. As a matter of fact, it has happened already. Did you note how so many religious right leaders took a far more accepting tone towards teen pregnancy because of Bristol Palin? The next religious right leader to go after Sarah Palin, Briston Palin, or Levi Johnston will be the first. And of course, if the religious right EVER tries to make illegitimacy an issue again, they will be reminded of it. And as I have alluded to, their having to give up on the issue politically will basically mean that they have to give up on it THEOLOGICALLY.

As a matter of fact, they already have. Please recall Dobson’s response: “teen pregnancy is part of the cultural landscape now, and the church has to acknowledge it and adapt to it by praying for and offering support to teen mothers.” Excuse me, but any one that read “A Nation At Risk” knows that teen pregnancy has been part of the cultural landscape since the 1950s, and further that the religious right were the last ones to suggest that the church pray for and support them, but instead demanded that such people be excoriated and marginalized in order to get them to change their behavior. 

Now again, if the religious right is a secular movement promoting culture, values, and a particular vision of government and economics, then it is fine for Sarah Palin to wield so much influence over it. But if it is a religious movement, a church movement, then I would like to see how it can be justified. But hey, then again, I was saying precisely the same thing back when many religious right leaders were wanting Mormon Mitt Romney to be their standard bearer. This includes, incidentally, prominent Southern Baptist leaders that were advising him. (Romney did not take their advice, because they wanted him to acknowledge to evangelicals that Mormonism was a totally separate faith from and completely irreconcilable with Christianity, and Romney was determined to force evangelicals to accept his faith as another denomination or branch of Christianity as part of his candidacy, but when you realize that these same evangelicals have done the same with Roman Catholicism and increasingly Judaism, then you cannot blame Romney and his Mormon backers for calling evangelicals big time hypocrites on this issue.) I recall how Romney took the house down at some C-PAC meeting after conceding the nomination to McCain. Make no mistake, based on the buzz emanating from C-PAC, Romney most definitely was going to be the standard bearer for social conservatives going forward. That is, until Sarah Palin, who by virtue of her being female and actually being a Christian has completely usurped and deposed him. (Although ironically if the financial crisis causes a McCain loss, Romney stands to be the biggest beneficiary politically.) 

So how about it political evangelicalism? How does having a woman be your de facto pope or state church leader square with what the Bible says about ecclesiastical roles for women? Will you accept Palin being your teacher just as you have been accepting humanistic pyschology and political/cultural values masquerading as (crossless) Christianity from the likes of James Dobson and Bill Bennett for the past 20 years? (Say what you want about Beth Moore, but her teaching ministry apparently does seem to be aimed at women.) So maybe, then, the Voddie Baucham video below should be considered, if only in the context of the religious right. That is assuming, of course, that such an entity based on compromise and commingling between the church and the world as the religious right should have ever existed in the first place.

19 Responses to “If A Woman Cannot Be A Leader In The Church How Can Sarah Palin Lead The Religious Right?”

  1. James said

    Job,
    I’m not with you on this one. Palin is a governor running for vice president who happens to share some important views. That’s it for me. I see her as an office holder. Her influence could be temporary and limited depending on her leadership skills.
    As a military person I have taken leadership classes and evaluated for my leadership skills regularly. Christian leaders are often discredited or picked apart by other Christians. The unbelievers see this and our influence is weakend.
    I am willing to admit here that I like John Hagee and James Dobson. Even though I don’t always agree with the content of Hagee’s demonstrative sermons he is the best at presentation.
    Women lead where men have failed or not risen up. She will be lampooned as Jerry Falwell or anyone else who simply takes a moral stand. There shouldn’t be a religous right and a religious left if we follow the same principles in scripture.

  2. polemicscat said

    Presidents and vice presidents in the past have commonly asked US Citizens to pray for this or that reason. No big deal was made of that. Suddenly it’s open season on Gov. Palin. Let’s be a little more honest in posting. If you are for Obama, the Muslim, for president, just say so.

  3. Stu said

    Oh, how I love it when a pastor is willing to speak the truth and then stand up for what he just said. God give us more like him!

    One thing that was missed by both sides in this ‘debate’. Palin running for political office is not the same as preaching / pastoring in the church. The new Testament explicitly forbids the woman to have teaching-authoritative roles within the church but is silent on the political involvement. That is an important distinction.

  4. James said

    This article chock full of red herrings and distractions.
    Evangelicals are not secular monsters trying to take over the world. I believe in the Great Commission and evangelism is a calling to reach out to world. The one commissions us is the one in a authority.
    Your leader if He is Christ has given you an order. Will you obey?

    Christians have done their part in this world to make this world a better place through actions. Thank God for the abolitionists and Quakers who opposed slavery. I believe a child is a gift from God created for His great pleasure.
    The abolitionist to slavery and the civil rights preachers are not now considered monsters are they. They had courage and took a stand on what they believed to be right.
    They didn’t just hold prayer meetings hoping God would sort it all out. We are His workmanship and He works through us right? Those that are led by Him are his children. We need to get some Christians on Mars Hill right now to point to Christ.
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr took pastors with him to the streets and was jailed for his beliefs. There was a church in Montgomery that was bombed because they wanted changes in the law.

    I speak only for myself. I know that following the principles set by God are beneficial. There is a cultural and spiritual war whether we like it or not.
    I am willing to vote on the moral issues and not be ruled by collectivism and moral relativism. I am pro-life and trying to adopt. I will not vote for someone who is against partial-birth abortions or the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. That is a non starter.
    I’m not a Republican but a Christian who will remain a pro-life Christian when I fill out my ballot. I study the issues and the world view of anyone I vote for. I won’t vote for anyone who opposes everything I believe in.

  5. James said

    I would not vote for someone who supports partial-birth abortion or is against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. I will try to proof read a little more.

  6. Diane said

    There is no such position as “THE LEADER” of an unorganized group of people that ranges from church goers, JW’s, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and some unbelievers. Sarah Palin shares some values that voters hold dear and view as important.

    Describing a christian running for VP as a “Protestant Pope” is slanderous and ridiculous.

    What does the writer of this article want this vast group, of people referred to as the religous right, to say to Sarah Palin about her daughter? How do you know that Sarah doesnt oppose fornication? How do you know that religous supporters of Palin, are no longer vocal about the sin of fornication?

    If we can publicly make accusations against another individual, then we should do it responsibly, if you have made unfair statements about Palin, then you should apologize.

  7. Diane said

    Job, I know you posted this article, but if you are the writer, please explain your continued attitude in your writings. It is very possible that Sarah has prayed and done all she could to teach her daughter to follow Jesus. It is also possible that christians have approached Bristol about her lifestyle. These are things you wouldnt know unless you know them personally. Can you state anything that Sarah has done that warrants your continued desire to see her condemned on the issue of her daughter? You are actually ANGRY that people find anything admirable about her. May God judge the thoughts and intents of your heart.

  8. James said

    She is the only one saying what I believe. This website has a tab to the top left under confession of faith then click the window under social issues.
    You can find a statement from my favorite candidate Alan Keyes. Alan Keyes has a significant role in Obama’s book as his antagonist. He ran against Obama for the seat Obama now holds. He is on the right, very political and is a pro-life champion.
    These are mixed messages because of Obama not Palin. When the religious left acts on their faith they are champions. When the right exercises their faith they are ogres.
    According what I’ve read in Obama’s book we will have our greatest adversary against traditional values. Obama’s church isn’t like a church where they honor the apostle’s creed foundations. In his chapter on faith he doesn’t talk about a coming to Jesus or put any stock in the scriptures. To paraphrase the people around him knew he wasn’t saved and he wanted to fit in and learn more about being black. This chapter is a must read and evangelical’s hair will stand on end.

  9. Diane said

    Hi James,

    when you mentioned mixed messages because of Obama not Palin, are you referring to what is written here in this article?

  10. James said

    She is not A LEADER but THE LEADER.

    Now she has not asked for the position of leadership in the entire religious right, but rather has been thrust into it by the hyperbole of socially conservative Christian leaders, including those that have not spoken out on such matters in the past but have allowed themselves to become so fearful of Obama (as if Bill Clinton was any better … what makes Obama so much more fearsome than the draft dodging 1960s radical Oxford elitist Clinton eh, but we are not going there!) and excitement with the potential of conservative leadership in the form of someone other than a white male (as if the very reason why there aren’t more black/Hispanic/Asian conservative leaders isn’t, well, the very same one that causes them to fear Obama far more than they did Clinton).

    There is just too much going on here at once. The who, what, when and where is a little tricky. I am guilty of proofreading errors myself.
    1. Palin is THE LEADER but didn’t ask to be THE LEADER. I just don’t see it. She is a candidate who happens to share conservative views. The women gathering around her are often disgruntled feminists who broke off from Hillary. Lee Greenwood is there singing patriotic songs. etc.. This campaign is very basic. They are going after the heartland vote.
    2. Bill Clinton was an experienced governor. I’ve never looked at Bill Clinton as an elitist. He played the saxophone and chased women. If it weren’t for Ross Perot to divide the republicans I don’t know if he’d won in 92. George HW was looking pretty tired after the LA riots.Clinton was not as far to the left as Obama and the radical stuff wasn’t current. Whitewater was never proven. If I’m not mistaken he was pro-life before he was pro-choice. The DNC decided to minimize the pro-lifers.
    3. There have been good black candidates ie JC Watts and Micheal Steele. Isn’t Michael Steele the chairman of the GOP? Colin Powell was villified by many blacks until he endorsed Obama. He could’ve made a good candidate if he hadn’t made the case for an unpopular war. His wife didn’t want it. Other will come. Lynn Swann who I remember watching play football as a kid.

  11. Diane said

    The paragraph that you quoted was one of many problems with this post that stood out to me, as a lot of conservatives spoke out against Bill Clinton when he was in office. The quote “as if Bill Clinton was any better…” has nothing to do with Sarah Palin.

    I believe if Job has a problem with a FEW broadcasters, he should examine his heart and motives before the Lord before attacking an individual that is completely uninvolved.

    I see the problem is not with Palin, conservatives, right, center, or left; the problem is with a worldview that doesnt empower one to take responsibility and experience the joy of being in the will of God. Accusing other individuals that theyre using a “get out of jail free card”, as if they are responsible for sins they didnt commit. This God will not bless no matter how it is disguised.

  12. Devon said

    James good point about Bill Clinton…he was just about as bad as the current Democratic nominee…and Hillary…oh my goodness!!!

    For my money, I think Gore might have been the furthest left and most dangerous…man oh man…Gaia earth worshipping Gore…America was a few votes away from having a complete New Ager in the White House..

    Where are at least some moderates in the Democratic party instead of the far far left?

  13. James said

    I think Job was saying that Christians are endorsing Palin as a flawed religous leader whose daughter got pregnant. Even pastor’s kids or the Amish will have to wrestle with their children who sin. As a parent you always have to teach and train.
    Teenagers are very hormonal and sex is common whether its South Side Chicago, Scranton, Juno or on a military base. I read Obama’s chapter on faith. They need prayer.

  14. Diane said

    I think the string of articles on Palin with an exception of at least one, shows a desire to attack that cannot be justified in Christ.

    The desire to attack is not rooted in anything Sarah herself has actually done but is rooted in a racist worldview that believes “whites should raise black fatherless children”, “whites are responsible for the homicide in black communities”, “whites should bend over backwards to aspire us to take care of ourselves, families and communities and make us law abiding citizens”, “whites are not allowed to point out our shortcomings, but blacks are allowed to point out the shortcomings of whites, double standard” etc.

  15. Diane said

    Devon, James, and Job,

    Job wrote “…she…has been thrust into it by the hyperbole of socially conservative christian leaders, including those that have not spoken out on such matters in the past, but have allowed themselves to become so fearful of Obama…”

    Obama campaigns for Odinga, a man who is responsible for ethnic cleansing and genocide. Did Obama not know this before endorsing him? If Obama is that ignorant he is definitely not qualified to lead this country.

    People who hold legitimate concerns about Obama’s history are receiving implications, from Job in this post, that theyre racist. If Odinga was a white American pulling people out of their homes and using machetes on black families, Job would have a different opinion of those who criticize Obama and his support of terrorist/socialist.

    But my biggest concern is with online christian ministries acting irresponsbly in the articles that they post. Their attitudes come through, and no matter how much damage they do to others and the Name of Christ, they harden their hearts and continue.

    If we dont examine our ways, the Lord will be sure that the world will do it for us.

  16. James said

    This is a quote from Job.
    Did you note how so many religious right leaders took a far more accepting tone towards teen pregnancy because of Bristol Palin? The next religious right leader to go after Sarah Palin, Briston Palin, or Levi Johnston will be the first. And of course, if the religious right EVER tries to make illegitimacy an issue again, they will be reminded of it.

    All of the kids get into trouble the question is what do we teach them? Do we hand them the booze, a blunt and a trojan or train them to love Christ as well as themselves. If we follow this train of thought then we will relax on teaching morality and just buy the jumbo pack of pampers.
    If we don’t teach them BOTH morality and sex education then we are neglectful parents.

  17. Diane said

    I think Samuel the prophet would definitely be disqualified to ever preach repentance under that standard. May the Lord help us.

  18. James said

    I find this quote interesting:”
    “That is why religious right leaders would much rather simply bash gay rights activists and the ACLU, or for that matter are much more comfortable denouncing their political opponents as a group because of their political, cultural, ideological etc. views than denouncing individual sinners for their sin. Further still, being a religious right leader requires being in good company with people like Rush Limbaugh.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Christians could be unified in understanding and there wouldn’t be a hammering sinister religious right vs a comforting, wholesome benevolent religious left. A gay activist is someone who would denounce and challenge US. An individual gay person is minding his own. The activists want to confront Mr. & Mrs. Christian and tell us what normal is. They want us to change as much as we want them. The don’t just want rights they want to get in our heads. One of the top tabs give you the link “When demons attack your mind.” If my understanding comes from scripture then I don’t want a secular adjustment. Will the ACLU make it harder for school kids to pray at the flagpole if so go after them. They are supposed to protect our rights as much as the atheists. Lastly from this quip I don’t put a finger in anyone’s face and call out their sins. The Bible gives the protocol for confronting people with sin or an offense. That protocol rarely happens in the church much less pinning down individual gays. You could be charged with a hate crime. It doesnt’t even happen with straights. Could you imagine John Hagee going to the local strip club to remove one of his married members and chewing him out? The family would either leave the church or his wife would give an extra love offering. Take Care

  19. ... said

    “Now I do not entirely agree with Voddie Baucham’s position below that women should not have leadership roles in the private sphere i.e. government and business.” not entirely? Look I appreciate your religious fervor and all but presumably you aren’t communist and bleive in capitalism right? So you think the most skilled and hard working companies should succeed right? And that if people work hard and are highly skilled they should be able to rise up in socio-economic standing right? So you would agree if some person was honest to goodness the best candidate (ie they would do a job better and gain more capital for the company) they should get the job? If you don’t let women have leadership roles even when they are the best candidate you are NOT a capitalist. Because by choosing the sub par candidate you are LOOSING MONEY. On a separate issue Palin was not the best candidate, the VP really ought know that Africa is not a country. So no don’t choose a woman sub par candidate because she is a woman but also don’t choose a male sub par candidate because he is a man.

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