Make no mistake. I do not support Hillary Clinton to serve as our 45th president of the United States. But one radio commentator on the Stand in the Gap Today radio program released a religious attack against all women with his interpretation of Scripture concerning women leaders.
The question was posed: Is it biblical for a woman to be President?
“President Barack Obama has said that he’s had a front-row seat to see Hillary Clinton’s honesty, truth and integrity and how those qualities qualify her to be president,” said American Pastors Network president Sam Rohrer. “That statement alone calls into question his own judgment, but beyond that, Christians must ask themselves what the Bible says about a nation’s leaders.”
Rohrer points to Isaiah 3:12 says, “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.”
“This verse has been used by many as a scriptural condemnation of women serving in places of leadership,” Rohrer said. “There are obviously a number of interpretations of this verse, but the real question remains: Is that verse specifically a condemnation that a woman should never be in a place of political leadership, especially president of the United States?”
Rohrer and the other co-hosts, Gary Dull, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, and Dave Kistler, president of the North Carolina Pastors Network, went on to say that, in the context of Isaiah Chapter 3, God’s judgment is being brought upon Jerusalem and the nation.
“What we see is that the condition of the nation in that particular period of time was very, very spiritually rotten,” Dull said during the program. “Whether that was the cause for women leading them or that itself brought on the wickedness within the nation is to be debated, but it certainly does at least imply that maybe women should not be in high political positions, particularly when you compare Scripture with Scripture.”
Really? This is a sad conclusion and violates Scripture. Deborah was a ruler of Israel. She was a prophetess and a judge.
“Now Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess. She judged Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. The children of Israel would go up to her for her to render judgment” (Judges 4:4-5).
In fact, Deborah led the Israelites into war when a man, Barak, was too timid to go without her. And Deborah’s leadership defeated the enemy.
“Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, then I will go, but if you will not go with me, then I will not go.’ She said, ‘I will indeed go with you. However, the way you are going will gain you no glory, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. Ten thousand men went up on foot with him, and Deborah went up with him also” (Judges 4:8-9).
Pretty clear that a woman can be commander-in-chief, isn’t it?
Thankfully, Kistler and Rohrer corrected the misconception on air.
“There are basically three interpretations to this passage of Scripture. Some say that the passage is not to be taken literally, but rather figuratively, and that it was a description of rulers in that particular time, when Isaiah wrote those words, who were so weak—some might say, as weak as women, not to be demeaning to women today,” Kistler said.
“And the phrase, ‘children being their oppressors,’ the rulers were acting childish. Others say the passage refers to the wives or maybe even mistresses of some of the male leaders who were influencing their husbands or lovers behind the scenes, while still others say that some men were unwilling to step up and lead, so women were forced to do so—something we still see in churches today.”
Ultimately, Rohrer said the passage reminds readers of any era of the authority structure. In a proper structure within a home, the children don’t rule the family. The father and the mother rule in the home, and when a child rules, chaos ensues.
“In Israel, the leaders removed God, attempting to make themselves the authority. As a result, the nation became out of order, flipping upside-down. This, however, does not outlaw women serving in places of authority,” Rohrer rightly says.
“In the book of Judges, Deborah served as a judge, once men who were in these positions failed in their capacity by putting themselves ahead of God. So God raised up a woman. It’s not that women don’t have the ability. It’s a matter of order and structure that is the key point. Isaiah 3:12 is not a condemnation of women being in a places of leadership, but rather, of men rising up to be the kind of leaders God intended.”
Thanks, Sam. Let me reiterate: I will not vote for Hillary Clinton for president. But I will stand up for her right to run and, if the people should ultimately select her, to serve as a female.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.