Monday, September 8, 2008

The Biblical moral issues in the Palin candidacy

Dr. Albert Mohler has been addressing some of the problems that have been raised about Sarah Palin's nomination for Vice President in relation to what the Bible says or doesn't say about women's roles in the world and in the church.

I've wondered about this question too. I thought there was a Biblical guideline for women's leadership in the world, however, at least a hint of one, and one which is not very positive, where it says something about women leaders being a curse by God on a nation. Of course Dr. Mohler would probably know off the top of his head if there is such a direct statement in the Bible, but I was unable to find it if there is. I did find this, however: Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.

As a positive model there was Deborah in the time of the Judges, however, who seems to have arisen in a period of weak men. Otherwise the only women I recall the Bible describing as leaders were Athaliah in Judah and in an indirect way Jezebel in Israel. Not happy examples, either of them, and it does keep the question alive in my mind. Perhaps because Israel is in a sense a type of the church I shouldn't be looking there for examples of national leadership anyway.

One way I've resolved it in my own mind is on the Deborah model, that female leadership is not God's best for a nation, but that a woman could in some times be a better leader than a man, especially in this fallen world. Male leadership in the world is also not answerable to the Christian pattern, and we shouldn't make our standard applicable only to women. As Dr. Mohler says, the first Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher are both good examples of strong women leaders who were good for their nation.

Many of us think this could very well come to describe Sarah Palin. I know that NOBODY could have inspired the conservative Republican base as she has done. I think of her as God's gift to us right now, even answer to prayer for the revival of this nation. She is immensely talented and more completely representative of the conservative position than any political officeholder has been in years.

She is still a young woman with the responsibilities of family, but from my own research on her I have no doubt she can handle both family and the responsibility of office -- she's been doing so for years now and she has plenty of family help with it as well.

I have not completely resolved these questions, but I do think of her as a God-given exception, not a model for what women should aspire to in general.

I do, however, think it was not a good move for her to say only positive supportive things and ask for privacy in the situation of the revelation of her daughter's pregnancy. It's an understandable reaction but not a good move. As a Christian and a supporter of abstinence-only she should not leave any impression of condoning premarital sex at all. Some acknowledgment of the sin involved is required of her in her position and I think she should still find a way to make this acknowledgment.

9/16: (Heard Dr. Mohler on this subject this past weekend, and he apparently doesn't think she should do anything more than she did. I don't know. Perhaps in such a personal situation, one can't.)