Friday, September 12, 2008

Article: Does Sarah Palin present a Dilemma for Complementarians?

An interesting look at the topic raised on the topic of women and the role of women in society, caused by the unexpected choice of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as the Vice-President candidate on the US Republican ticket. How are Christians therefore to view this issue? More fundamentally, how does one view this issue biblically in light of the biblical truths of Complementarianism and the different gender roles assigned in Scripture?

Over at the Gender blog, David Kotter has posted a four-part series on this topic [part 1, 2, 3, 4] to help us think through this topic.

The media is swirling with opinions and breathless news about Sarah Palin potentially being the Vice President — or even under some dark scenarios the President —of the United States of America. The role of Gender Blog is not to provide a voter's guide, but to help Christians to think biblically about a female vice presidential candidate. It is times like these that underscore the importance of looking to the Word of God as our guide in sorting through ever changing cultural and political situations.

From the outset we must remember that on November 4 the voters will not elect a national minister or pastor in chief. A president is not held to the same moral standards as an elder of a church. While it is a blessing from God to have ethical or even Christian political leaders, the Bible places no such requirements on secular governments. Even though the Bible reserves final authority in the church for men, this does not apply in the kingdom of this world.

Therefore we must be careful to not go beyond the teaching of the Bible. The Bible calls women to specific roles in the church and home, but does not prohibit them from exercising leadership in secular political fields. Rather, the Queen of Sheba is presented in 1 Kings 10:1-13 in a positive light in her interaction with King Solomon. Queen Esther offers an even better example of a woman who appropriately exerted influence for the good of her people without holding the highest position of national authority (Esther 2:17). In this light, we cannot categorically say that it was sinful for Queen Victoria to lead England as a single woman strictly because of her gender, nor can we condemn Governor Palin or any other woman for seeking the office of Vice President.

Women should not be held back from an office that is not strictly forbidden in the Bible. Nevertheless, the question remains whether or not it is wise for a specific woman in a particular season of life to seek such an office — and the same would apply to any man. In evaluating individual cases, a spouse and a local church pastor would be a crucial source of counsel and a means of grace from God. Because of cultural voices to the contrary, we must remind ourselves of the unbelievably high calling of being a wife and mother, and that faithful service in the home is just as pleasing to God as national leadership.

I echo these sentiments. The only legitimate question that I think can be raised is whether such a decision is a wise one in light of family and other commitments, but this is a question to be answered by Sarah Palin and her family and her church to God, not to others.

P.S. There is nothing wrong with Sarah Palin being a Charismatic, even New Apostolic. The way some people criticize her doctrine, you would have thought that civil leaders are to be elected national pastors and popes of the country!


vincit omnia veritas said...

One manner in which I assess the situation:

I ask myself this, "What would be the biblical problems/conflicts IF my wife were the VP/President?"

Does she make policies in Parliament which would then dictate how I spend the money for the family?

Would she make policies for men which would then dictate what I would do as the man of the family?

Or would she influence or make policies which would dictate how kids are raised, how many months women ought to be on maternity leave, how man and wife ought to behave/relate at home etc, which would then dictate how the man of the house manages the home?

So, who is really the head of the home?

The head of the nation?

I don't disagree with the author's opinions (or at least not yet), but the prima facie evidence shows more than what I would like to admit - it seems that things are not as simple as ... it seems. :P

PuritanReformed said...


of course things are not so simple; we live in a complicated world. If Palin does what she is supposed to do according to the US Constitution, then there wouldn't be any problems, I guess.

rick said...

thanks for allowing the charismatic angle ...


just letting you know i'm still lurking around


PuritanReformed said...


sure. =)