As the 2012 election approaches there is a lot of talk about potential candidates. Who will be the next United States president? Will a woman make history by being elected? Perhaps it is too early to decide. However, it is not too early to discuss the possibility. And more importantly, what biblical stand should Christian people take on the matter. Does God’s Word address such issues?
God ordained three institutions upon this earth. He ordained the family, the church, and government. The Scriptures are clear about the hierarchy within the family. The husband is the head of the family; the wife is to submit to him as unto the Lord; and the children are to honor and obey their parents. (Ephesians 5:33-6:3) The Scriptures are clear about the hierarchy within the church. I Timothy 2: 9-15 and I Corinthians 14:33-35 explains this clearly. Men are to be the spiritual leaders not only within their home but also within the church. I realize that even within Christian circles today that this is not taught. However, the authority of the Scriptures still stands. We can accept the truth or deny the truth, but we cannot change it. So if God has established men to lead in the institution of the home and within the church. Why then, would we think that God would not have a hierarchy within the institution of government?
When tackling the subject of women in political leadership, often Christian’s will point to two particular passages in the Bible – Esther and Deborah. Esther is the heroine of the Old Testament book named after her. She was the young Jewish Queen of the Persian King Ahasuerus. She was responsible for saving her people from mass slaughter. Esther was placed in her position, “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) The account of Deborah is found in the book of Judges Chapter 4. She was a prophetess who judged her people. She was the only female judge of Israel. Deborah led a successful attack against Jabin, the King of Canaan.
Those that contend that God is pleased with women in leadership often use these examples from history. In looking at the story of Esther it is important to remember that she did not have a choice in the matter. She was not seeking a position of political leadership. She did not purposely forsake her family in order to become Queen. She was not given an option. Look at Deborah from Judges Chapter 4, many others will say. God used her to lead the nation of Israel to great victory. This is a convincing argument other than the fact that people forget to take the story in context. When you look at the whole passage contextually the children of Israel “did evil in the sight of the Lord,” (Judges 4:1). God was not pleased with them and put them in bondage. It was a shame to the men of Israel for a woman to judge over them. Isaiah 3:11-12 says, “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” There is a lot to this passage. But simply put, God gave the wicked people what they wanted. It could be that God, in His sovereignty, will allow a woman President. Romans Chapter 13 tells us that there is no power but of God. God Himself will place our next President. But Christians must remember that sometimes God gives His people what they want, not what is best for them, (I Samuel Chapter 8).
When sharing this view with a young lady, the other day, I was asked, “What if the vote comes down between an unrighteous man for President and a Christian woman?” Wouldn’t we have to vote for a woman in this case? Many believe that we must often choose the “lesser of two evils.” The assumption is that God will not give His people the right option. However, I believe that God always gives His people a way to make the right choice, (I Corinthians 10:13). It was John Quincy Adams that said, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
Whether we are speaking about the home, the church, or government, the issue has never been if women were capable of leading. Of course women are capable of leading. There are many talented women who have a great gift of administration. The issue has never been if they were smart enough. There are many women who are well educated and skilled above even men. The issue has never been if they could lead. It is true that there are women that could lead very well. But these are not the issues. The biblical issue is whether women should lead. Christian people can rationalize woman leading in the home, in the churches and within our government. However, they cannot from the Scriptures establish that this is God will. He did not design women to lead in any of the institutions He has ordained. The fictitious principle is just not there. The modern feminist movement has caused many Christian’s to err. I pray that we will lay aside this fallacy and come back to Scripture. May the pure Words of God be our standard for our beliefs.