by William Einwechter
September 8, 2008
Sarah Palin's selection by John McCain to be his running mate in his bid for the presidency of the United States is not only a surprise political move, it also carries with it implications of historic proportions. If Senator McCain is successful in his candidacy, Mrs. Palin will become the first woman to fill the office of vice president of this country and be in place to assume the presidency, if necessary. She will also be in line to take up the Republican nomination for president in the future. If John McCain becomes president and chooses to serve only one term, it is quite possible that the next presidential election (2012) will be between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. But Palin's nomination to the vice presidency is not only an historic occasion for our country, it is also a watershed moment for evangelical Christians, particularly those who claim to be complementarian in their views of men and women (i.e., those who believe that men and women have different but complementary roles according to the revealed will of God).
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More to the point is the fact that Sarah Palin is a professing Christian, a wife, and a mother of five children, one of her children being a baby with Down syndrome. The inescapable dilemma for these politically conservative complementarians, it would seem, is how to reconcile their support of Palin's candidacy with their professed support of Palin's biblically mandated roles of wife and mother. In addition to these considerations, the complementarian must face the question of whether or not it is biblically proper for a woman to rule over men in the civil sphere; after all, in their view, women are not to serve as pastors, and women are to submit to their own husbands in the home.
First, every Christian should recognize that the Bible does give explicit teaching on the qualifications for civil magistrates.
The two primary passages are Exodus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 1:13. These texts teach that if God's people have the privilege of choosing their magistrates, they should choose wise and able men who fear God. Significantly, both of these texts specify that civil leaders must be men. There are a host of other passages that teach what God requires in civil magistrates (Deut. 16:18-20; 17:14-20; 2 Sam. 23:3; 2 Chron. 19:6-7; Neh. 7:2; Prov. 29:2; Rom. 13:1-6), and in every one of these texts men, not women, are in view.
Second, the conclusion that God's Word instructs us to choose men to lead us in the civil sphere stands in stark contrast to the complementarian position.
The Bible is clear that man's headship over the woman is an essential and all-encompassing part of God's plan and part of His established order of government in the world. This fact is made explicit in 1 Corinthians 11:3: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." By its very nature, this order must apply in all areas of life; it is an essential order that knows no exceptions.
As we have seen, the Bible strictly prohibits women from holding civil office by declaring that rulers ought to be men.
The nomination of Sarah Palin to be John McCain's vice presidential running mate has electrified social conservatives and "thrilled" the hearts of partial complementarians like Albert Mohler. But those of us who seek a biblical reformation of the family and the defeat of feminism's vision for women look at the matter in a very different light. Sarah Palin identifies herself with the anti-Christian philosophy of feminism. She uses feminist terminology, identifies with feminist political objectives, publicly praises liberal icons of the feminist movement, and has built her lifestyle around the feminist ideal of motherhood and careerism. She represents the feminist lie that a woman can do it all; that she can be a wife and mother and pursue a full-time career outside of her home and still meet all her responsibilities in the home. She personifies the feminist image of the tough, take-charge woman who is fitted to rule and govern in any sphere she chooses. She establishes the feminist principle that if a woman can do something, and she wants to do it, she ought to do it; there should be no constraints placed on her by her family, her church, or her society. She validates the feminist notion that it is fine for a mother to leave the care and training of her children in the hands of others while she seeks her own version of success in the world. Sarah Palin has brought to light the degree to which feminist ideology has triumphed in American culture and in the American church.
I pray that our semi-complementarian brothers will recover their biblical moorings before it is too late. Otherwise, the standard for their daughters and the next generation of Christian women may very well be the feminist Sarah Palin, not the biblical Sarah (1 Pet. 3:5-6), not the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31, not the woman of Titus 2:4-5.
Related articles, sermons:
CovenantNews.com - 'Feminists for Life' as VP Candidate?
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"Palin and America's Manhood Deficiency" - by Mr. Matt Trewhella, pastor
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Sermon by Mr. Matt Trewhella, pastor
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Christian Feminism theology has made deep inroads in American Christianity both in the academic and poplular realms. This sermon takes the exegetical and interpretive work of Christian Feminism theology to task. This is a no-holds barred sermon which leaves Christian Feminism theology bloodied and lying where it belongs - in the trash heap of heresy. This sermon covers much Scripture.
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William Einwechter (Th.M.) is an ordained minister and an elder at Immanuel Free Reformed Church in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
He and his wife, Linda, are the homeschooling parents of ten children.
"The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women"
by John Knox, 1558
edited by Edward Arber, 1878
"I am assured that GOD hath revealed unto some in this our age, that it is more than a monster in nature that a Woman shall reign and have empire above Man."
"THE ADMONITION - And now to put an end to the First Blast. Seeing that by the Order of Nature; by the malediction and curse pronounced against Woman; by the mouth of Saint PAUL, the interpreter of GOD's sentence; by the example of that Commonwealth in which GOD by His word planted order and policy; and finally, by the judgment of the most godly writers: GOD hath dejected women from rule, dominion, empire and authority above man."
[ The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (Paperback) ] [ John Knox (Author) and Edward Arber (Editor) ]
"But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it."
Psalm 94:15, KJB
No King but King Jesus! (Yeshua Messiah)
Declarations and Evidences of Christian Faith in Americas Colonial Charters, State Constitutions, and other Historical Documents during over 375 Years of American History: 1606 to 1982
"... I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
Steve Lefemine, pro-life missionary
dir., Columbia Christians for Life
PO Box 50358
October 2, 2008