A Woman as President?


A Woman as President?

Richard Hollerman

We know that the presidential race is in full swing in the United States these days. For a long time now, people have known that Hillary Clinton would be seeking the presidency and she has made this quite clear at this point. Clinton’s hopes would be founded on political and social liberals from the Democratic party (e.g., young people, woman, atheists, homosexuals, many minorities, etc.).  But the Republicans are not exempt from such aspirations. One or two Republican women also aspire to go to the White House in this election. We may also remember Sarah Palin who sought the vice-presidency some years ago.

Many are saying that “the time has come” to have a woman as president or vice-president, but what do we think about this? Although both Republican and Democrats are favorable to this matter of woman’s presidency and take for granted that it is acceptable and even desirable, how should be look at it?

As we look beyond the borders of the United States, we know that women leaders have emerged in various countries. There have been women leaders in Germany, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

As in every other question in society today, we must always ask, does the Bible have anything to say about this? We don’t mean by this that God’s Word might say something directly about the democratic system and the form of government that America has, but we are referring to leadership by women that would be exemplified in the presidency.

Since the Bible doesn’t mention free elections for the presidency, are there any principles clearly given that would inform us of God’s will in the matter? Indeed, there are!

Conservative Protestants and Catholics agree to some extent that a woman must not fill a leadership role in the “church,” although this is understood in different ways by different people. Just what does the Bible say? Notice first, that we as Christians must always contend for the equality of men and women in regard to the intrinsic worth of both. Both male and female may be equal in regard to their abilities and native intelligence. Further, they are equal in regard to salvation blessings. Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). He goes on to say, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (v. 29). This would say that both men and women in Christ share in the Abrahamic blessing and the privileges of salvation.

But we must make a clear distinction here. While men and women are equal regarding God’s salvation blessings (Ephesians 1:3) and spiritual status before Him, the Scriptures emphasize that there are clear differences in roles or positions.  For example, only men may become overseers (KJV, bishops), another name for elders or shepherds (KJV, pastors). A man must be “the husband of one wife” and not a wife of one husband! (1 Timot6hy 3:2; cf. Titus 1:6).

We also recall that only men filled the position of apostleship (Acts 1:3). Only men were to be shepherds (KJV, pastors). Like the elders, these shepherds were to be the husband of one wife, not a wife of one husband (1 Timothy 3:12). Only men are recorded as being evangelists or proclaimers (Ephesians 4:11; Acts 21:8; 2 Timothy 4:5). Only men were public teachers of the word (Ephesians 4:11). Further, only men are clearly writers of Scripture. Does it seem logical and consistent to you that God would forbid all of these spiritual positions to women but allow her to occupy the highest position of leadership and authority in the country?

Another evidence of God’s will in this has to do with public speaking. We know that women are to “keep silent in the churches” and are “not permitted so speak.” As Paul goes on to say, “It is improper for a woman to speak in church [the assembly]” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). This has the authority of Christ behind it (v. 37). We also read this decisive restriction: “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). Would it seem logical that a woman must not speak in a Christian gathering and must be under submission to the male, but then be permitted to exercise authority over men in the national leadership?

Following the point mentioned above, that women are not to have authority over the man and are to be submissive (see above), we might remember that the wife is to be under the authority of her husband. She is to be submissive to him and acquiesce to his leadership for he (the husband) is the “head” over the wife (see Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Peter 3:1-2). This goes beyond the “husband-wife” relationship; it goes to the “male-female” relationship: “I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3). The woman’s head veiling testifies to her submissive role (cf. vv. 1-16). Does it seem reasonable to you that a woman is not to have authority over a man but is to be submissive, and then for a woman to have authority over all of the men in a nation like the United States—with some 150 million men?

A number of people would say that the woman’s submission to the man only applies to the marriage and the home, along with a woman’s position in the assembly of saints. But does this sound reasonable? Are we to think that a wife is to be in submission to her husband but the moment she steps outside the house and assumes the position of American presidency, she may reverse this matter of submission? How preposterous! Instead of people asking, “Where is the scripture that would forbid a woman to become the United States president?,” we should ask, “Where is the scripture that would permit a woman to fill such an office?

We don’t’ know what will happen in the next presidential election. We don’t know if a woman will be voted into office by the majority of the populace. We do know that most voters are not Biblically sound; instead, they are humanistic and secularistic in perspective. Only tradition would make some of these voters reluctant to vote a woman into office; they are not interested in Biblical teachings that would forbid this.

But for the true Christian who honors God’s Word, we know how we should look on this issue. We’ll follow the way of the Lord and obey Him in all of these matters (cf. Acts 5:29) and will decide contrary to culture and societal trends. All the counts is to please God, regardless of how many men and women we may offend.




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