Many wonder if the inclusion of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket for the ’08 election could cause a redefining of women’s roles in evangelicalism.
A Contradiction In Evangelicalism?
Because of Mrs. Palin’s conservative views, many evangelical Christians are beginning to support the Republican Party. Recently, CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips asked how evangelical church leaders could support a woman Vice President when they do not allow women to preach. This is a good question. Can one hold to male headship and leadership, yet still support a woman candidate for Vice President (I would contend that those two positions are reconcilable, mainly because the alternative – voting for the Obama/Biden or an independent – is an untenable position due to the explicit way the Bible esteems human life)? One would think that being at the center of a controversial issue like this (as Mrs. Palin is) would cause a person the react to the issue in some way. But, because Sarah Palin has already accepted her nomination to be John McCain’s running mate, there is not much she is able to do in response to the increased awareness of this issue (I suppose she could withdraw, or resign; but that seems highly unlikely).
Long Term Effect
There are some reporters and evangelical speakers who feel that the possibility of a woman Vice President will cause a shift in how Christians view the role of women; this view is highly unlikely. I believe that after the Presidential election, the interest in potentially redefining women’s roles in Christianity will fade away.
The Evangelical Response: Truth is Dictated by the Gospel
In response to the current increase in desire to redefine Biblical womanhood, the evangelical community should allow the text of the Bible to dictate the role women are to fill in society. The evangelical community needs to affirm the statement that Rev. Voddie Baucham so eloquently made, saying, “The culture doesn’t dictate truth, the gospel dictates truth.” Sola Scruptura (“by Scripture alone”) should once again be accepted and applied by evangelical churches as the standard for all things pertaining to life and doctrine.