September 14, 2008

follow-up to Lori's comment

Just wanting to bump this up for new (and great!) comments.

This is easier for me than commenting back to you, Lori. I hope you don't mind. If anyone wants to catch up on the discussion thus far, you can read these two posts and comments.

So I get what you're saying. I really do. When I first started to process her nomination I had to work through what I thought of a woman working outside the home. I'm not thoroughly familiar with Deborah so I cannot comment on that. But I do know that the Proverbs 31 women was definitely a working woman. I think to say that the only way God intended families to function is for the mother to be at home can lead down a very divisive slippery slope. You then wind up saying that only homeschooling is right. Or that only courtship is the right way to find a spouse. Or that people who stop nursing their babies after a year are committing a mortal sin ... you know what I mean? I just don't think my God is that narrow-minded. There are definite black and white areas, don't get me wrong. But I'm just not willing to say that a mother staying home all the time is one of them. I don't want to be so naive as to think that my box is the only correct box. I don't want to be so judgemental as to think that my way of life - in all its typical conservative Christian ways- is the only way a conservative Christian can serve God. I don't want to discount Sarah Palin because her life looks nothing like mine. Do I feel called to run for political office? Nope. But who I am to judge whether or not God has called her to do so?

I honestly believe that if Obama wins this election we will see some big changes in our country that many of us will not like. To be perfectly honest, it frightens me a bit. If McCain had chosen a typical white, middle-aged male for his running mate I don't think he would have any chance of being victorious this fall. In order to catch the attention of the general public, McCain had to do something he'd never done before and something no one expected him to do. He did. And (not to get to dramatic here) but who am I to say that Palin wasn't chosen for such a time as this?

Anyone else have a thought?

12 comments:

  1. Yeah, lots. :)

    But for now, just this:

    http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=5825

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  2. Well, I have more thoughts :). First, I will be voting for the Republican ticket, though I think that McCain should never have been the nominee to begin with and that, had the correct nominee been chosen, there wouldn't be as much riding on his VP nomination...but he has got to be better than Obama. As far as your argument about not putting God in a box, I think that while your "slippery slope" argument is valid, I think it also applies in the other direction. What about those that then say that it is narrow-minded to say that a Christian should attend church regularly? Or those who will write off headship and submission as archaic and only relevant to the context of the early church? There are a number of clearly unwise paths a person can go down that are not specifically delineated in the Bible. Where the Bible gives specific examples of a "path", I think wisdom says that we should be leary of deviating from that path. Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman certainly did work, but it was all work that could basically be accomplished from the home, and most of the tasks described are work she did to provide food and clothing for her family. I am not saying that no woman should be out in the working world...if a woman is single, or her children are grown, then I think it is perfectly acceptable...home obligations in those situations would likely be minimal. The Bible says we are to be "workers at home". Though it may not be very descriptive, it clearly says where we are to be working. Perhaps it is just a small part of what God has called women to, but as I said, when we go against what IS written, we enter a dangerous gray area that leaves a lot of room for deceptive philosophies to seep in...okay, so that sounds a bit morose, but I do think it's true. The Bible also is constantly referring to mothers and fathers teaching and disciplining their children...not society, not grandparents, not schools, not nannies. How does one do that when the children have no parents around for 40+ hours a week? While I obviously don't know what Palin's home life entails, we are also told that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and I think this is applicable to many aspects of life, including one's children. I do honestly believe the verse that says that if we raise a child up in the way he/she should go, that when they are grown they will not depart from it. While this doesn't necessarily reflect on a person's faith (or their child's faith), I think a departure from the straight and narrow indicates a failure on the part of parents. And just to refer back to your comment about Christian parents who end up with a child in a situation like Palin's daughter, I just wanted to say that I was raised as a Christian and 2 sisters have been in the same situations...and I do believe that my parents hold some blame for those occurrences. Nobody can ever really say what goes on behind closed doors and I don't really think we're supposed to speculate...so, I, perhaps naively, choose to be more legalistic in my interpretation of what the Bible says. Goodness, this is a long comment...please don't take any offense. I suppose this is probably a conversation not easily had through blogs, but I think I have mostly exhausted my thoughts on the matter. This post has made me examine my own position more thoroughly, though, which is always good.

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  3. I think there is a time and place to question an individual's choices, but I also have to realize when it's not my place-- like with Sarah Palin. I don't know her, I'm not close to her, and I don't have the information needed to know whether or not she's making choices that she has really prayed about, you know? (Honestly, I don't even *really* know if she's a believer or not!)

    In the meantime, I look at it as a government issue. And I think she's great. I don't vote for a candidate based on their salvation status (typically, that's not really an option!) or because I think they've made flawless personal choices their whole life. I vote based on their stance toward life-- which Sarah Palin has not just talked about, but has demonstrated clearly in her own choices-- and then have a list of governmental issues that I work through.

    I also think that civil authority is very different than spiritual/home authority and have no problem with a woman being in authority over a man in a civil arena. If I can't tell Bill, who I'm hiring to do the work on my house, what to do, I'm in trouble. :) Etc.

    Anyway, that was a not-so-short thought about Sarah Palin. :) I do very much think there is a time to confront people about certain choices they are making, whether black and white or gray. But this isn't one of them. Not for me, anyway.

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  4. Love the long comment, don't worry.

    It makes me think too. All these thoughts started when we had a young couple over for dinner a few weeks ago. The young bride said basically that all our preconceived notions of mom, staying home, raising kids, homeschooling, etc. are more based on religion than on the Bible. To be perfectly honest, I was highly offended and probably bit a hole in my lip trying to hold my tongue. Was she saying that what I did was archaic and based on religion?! No. After I thought about it more, I realized she wasn't. She was talking about the assumption that every Christian family is going to function in that way. And while I do agree with you that God says we should be makers at home, and that this is where my calling is, I don't want to discount Palin's choices because they aren't the same as mine. There are other ways for a family to function. That is why we have grace and free will. Each family has to pray, seek God and make choices about what works best for them. I think making judgments about which is the best way just isn't my place.

    The slippery slope going in the other direction is just as valid, you're right. But a legalistic bend on life (a bend I had for many years) can look very judgmental to non-Christians and struggling ones. I've been on the receiving end of such judgment at low times in my walk. It hurts terribly to be trying your hardest, but still not measure up just because you don't do things in just the right way. While the idea that a Christian shouldn't attend church, etc. would hurt that Christian it's between him and God. {I'm not trying to get humanistic here but I've come to realize that a lot of things are that way. Between me and God. As much as someone may want to tell me what is right, its up to me to decide what God is telling me is right.} The slippery slope I'm talking about is one in which we get so wrapped up in believing our box is the only box that we discount every one else.

    Also I agree with you that it takes a mother and a father to raise a child well. What of the other candidates? Why aren't their children being judged? Obama has very young children and a wife who is very active in his campaign. I'd find it hard to believe that he didn't have a nanny for his little girls. Why isn't that a part of the evening news?

    I like debating these things with you. It makes me feel like my brain isn't mush. :-) But I think this is an area where we may have to agree to disagree. I've definitely mellowed in my old age and don't see things as harshly as I once did. (Not that I'm saying you see things harshly either.) But I like hearing what other think. I hope I haven't offended you.

    And Danica I've got to read that article again. It's very meaty and I think I got lost somewhere in the middle. :-)

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  5. I suppose I can agree to disagree :), though I will probably post more thoughts on my xange...just because I like to ramble and I like to defend my position ;).

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  6. I agree with you on both points. I truly like Sara Palin.I think every mother in America can relate to her in some way. I know I can. I am a christian woman but to some of you because I do not belong to a church, go to bible studies or act like others in the box therefore I can be judged by some as not a believer. I do believe we as christians make a bigger mark on this world when we are outside the box. Instead of listing rules to follow to be a good christian just letting the light of Jesus shine from within us in everything we do and only
    God can be our judge if we did it right.

    I must comment on your statement of being raised in a non Christian home. That is true and I knew better. That was a big failure on my part.Though we did have night prayers and Sunday mass I knew in my heart the truth but was too weak at that time to make a change. Jackie , you were the one, while in college, who made me see what I was lacking.That church you went to in college brought me back to my teen years when i went to my first Pentecostal service . I have not lost my faith since. It only grows stronger.

    Well I think I went rambling on probably too much and not enough.But I can sum it up to say I will judge anyones faith as I don't want to be judge by anyone but my God Almighty.

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  7. well it was late when i posted so I might to say I will NOT judge anyones faith as I do not want to be judged. It is between me and God.

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  8. The portion of Proverbs 31 that we woment refer to starts out with: "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."

    The author was basically saying, "I'm about to describe a woman with a resume so rare that only a king could afford to hire her." Christ paid the highest price for us, that is true. In Him we are made vituous. But what about the "to-do's?" Are we now expected to model our lives after this mysterious Proverbs 31 woman?

    Oh, and by the way, I don't think she was ever a real person. If you take it for what it's worth, it's a mother's description of the ideal woman for her son. Personally, I'd hate to hear the list my MIL would come up with for me!

    I agree with you Jackie. I mean, if people want to get picky I would say a keeper at home doesn't necessarily mean a keeper at the house, since people sometimes refer to their country as "home." Define home, and let's go from there. ;-)

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  9. We can unequivocally state that a woman needs to build her home (Prov. 14.1, Proverbs 31, Titus 2). We can also safely say that children are to be trained, nurtured, protected, and brought to maturity (see momandus.com entries on Loving Your Children).

    The homefront is under constant attack, being stripped of its vital position of refuge. And children no longer are considered an appropriate primary investment -- parenting is something we do on the side, after fulfilling our own dreams and success. This is not God's best.

    However, the means for specifically reclaiming hearth and home for family and children is something each individual is responsible for before God. Recognizing the need to build a home and invest primarily in children is essential -- how it looks will vary.

    As for this specific situation (Sarah Palin), I am happy to know that we are not trying to determine her ability as a Christian woman to build her home or nurture her children. We are being asked to vote for the candidate most able to govern with Godly principles (at least that's the question asked of Christian Americans, in my estimation) -- and from what I have seen so far, she faithfully upholds many Godly principles.

    I may personally hold concerns for her choices (and her husband's) for how they manage their home and family, but she is running for office whether I think she should or not, she is faithfully representing the things I consider to be important, I don't doubt for a moment that she is gifted (by God) in many ways, and I don't doubt for a moment that all of the other men I've voted for in the past have also made choices regarding the way they function as husband and father that I would consider questionable and perhaps not of sound judgment. So the argument of her justification and qualification being based on personal choices that are not blatant sin is out.

    That brings us to the only real difference: she is a woman. Therefore the question for me becomes this: is it absolute sin for a woman to be in such a position? I'm not convinced, at the moment, that it is.

    I am, however, convinced of this: it is absolute sin for a life created by God Himself to be killed outright. That life is being knit together by His own Hands, invested with a destiny that I cannot know. It is an eternal soul that He desires and loves. On that I cannot waiver, I will not waiver. On that I can vote conclusively and confidently. And I might add, on that I will vote confidently.

    Just some thoughts... It's a lot to sort out, and sort we must! Thanks for opening up your blog for this discussion.

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  10. I want to jump in the "ring" here as someone coming from "the other side."

    I think it's important for me to state that my husband and I were both raised by Christian parents, our mothers stayed at home, he was the son of a pastor, we were both homeschooled, and knew what Godly relationships looked like.

    Our parents were very strict about when we spent time together, who we were with, knowing how often we talked etc. Any yet there were not 2 sets of more shocked parents when they found out I was pregnant at 18.

    Lori, I know you said you had family in a similar situation and yet hold some blame for your parents. But sometimes, the parents can do all the right things, making it exceedingly difficult, and yet while stay at home mom's try to monitor their child's every minute they cannot decide their child's every choice.

    One comment was a little distressing for me "While I obviously don't know what Palin's home life entails, we are also told that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and I think this is applicable to many aspects of life, including one's children. I do honestly believe the verse that says that if we raise a child up in the way he/she should go, that when they are grown they will not depart from it. While this doesn't necessarily reflect on a person's faith (or their child's faith), I think a departure from the straight and narrow indicates a failure on the part of parents."

    I don't think that Palin's daughter being pregnant can necessarily be attributed to "bad fruit" from bad parenting. First we know that all children are a blessing from the Lord and that Palin's daughter is going to be blessed above and beyond all measure, what a redemptive God in such a situation!

    But secondly, even when we dearly love the Lord and seek Him each day we often stumble or make a choice we should not - wouldn't you agree? Not because we're bad fruit or we are the products of bad parenting. But because we aren't in heaven yet with our Savior! Thank God for His grace! :-) Becoming pregnant out of wedlock is no greater a sin than a little white lie.

    None of us knows what goes on in their home or their family life. But I think it's important to remember how we are instructed in Hebrews 12:1-2 ".....throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us.... let us fix our eyes on Jesus.."

    It's when we take our eyes off Jesus, becoming distracted by life and the world around us, we make choices we should not, and then suddenly wonder... how did we get down this road we never planned to take? I would imagine that if Palin's daughter is a Christian.. like myself... that this is what happened for her.. like myself. Thank God all we have to do is fix our eyes on Jesus, and that He will "perfect our faith."

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  11. Thank you, Katie for being so transparent. Excellent points.


    Lori, I'm so sorry if you feel like we're drilling you on this. I think we're all very passionate about politics. Let's just keep our eyes up, as Katie said.

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  12. I feel like I should clarify, but I will try to be brief. The only reason I brought up issues with Palin's faith was because I have heard so many praising her for being a great Christian candidate. I do feel some of her choices as a mother should raise concerns about whether she would be a wise leader, but that is the extent to which they play a role in my political opinions. As a candidate, as I have said, she does hold many positions with which I agree. I don't agree with women in leadership roles, though, and I probably will never think a woman is the best person for a leadership role, given a reasonable option (which I don't think is available at this stage of this election). And I would just like to mention that I was not meaning to imply in my previous comment that I consider any person or person's child to be "bad fruit", but rather the decisions that one might make. I do know that every parent makes mistakes and every child makes choices, but I also think the training and raising of a child is inextricably linked to the choices that a child then makes...if not, why does God put such an emphasis on child training? In the absence of the ability for any person to ever know the thoughts and intents of any person's heart in a situation, I must defer back to what the Bible has to say, even if the circumstances seem to indicate something contrary. And on this issue, the Bible makes a clear connection between parenting and a child's choices when it requires a man to have children who are respectable and "controlled" in order for him to be considered for the position of an elder. Obviously the situation with Palin is not the same, though I think the principle still applies. Lastly, I just want to say that I am very, very analytical and this often comes across as negative. Please know that I am not trying to pass judgment on anyone...I guess I just tend to compare everything/everyone against my ideals when forming opinions. And no, nobody has yet measured up to my ideals (with the obvious exception of Christ), least of all myself.

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