Rev. Mark H. Creech
North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor, Mark Robinson, has stirred controversy again. For some, his words were apocalyptic, like an earthquake, and the sun black as sackcloth of hair or the moon like blood. What did he say?
During a worship service at Freedom House Church in Charlotte, Robinson, who is African-American, rebuked common defeatist responses to hardship by the black community. The Lieutenant Governor demonstrably said, “My God tells me when I face adversity that number one I am to stand up like a man. M-A-N. Unbend your back and stand up like a man!”
Knowing he was headed into treacherous waters, he said he was “getting ready to get in trouble.” He added, “We are called to be led by men.” He explained women had noble roles in God’s economy, “but when it was time to face down Goliath,” God sent “David and not Davita”…God sent Moses to lead the Israelites, not “Momma Moses.”
The church responded with applause and shouts of agreement. But it wasn’t long before the demons and their minions on the outside were howling.
Women of the state Senate Democratic Caucus issued a statement of condemnation, calling Robinson’s remarks “misogynistic.”
Rachel Stein, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party, tweeted that the Lieutenant Governor was wrong and had denigrated women’s “leadership work.”
Even some Republicans seemed to distance themselves by either saying nothing in defense of his remarks or suggesting that such comments may have been imprudent.
And, of course, WRAL, the Raleigh television station, seemingly sworn to attacks on conservative Republicans and those who dare to ally with them, was the first to vilify the speech as an attack on women’s equality.
Please keep in mind Robinson’s remarks were made inside a church.
It never ceases to amaze me that those who typically tout an absolute separation of church and state find something irregular or irresponsible about a head of state expressing his religious views in a church.
Robinson’s conservative religious views are no more a threat to the performance of his constitutional duties as Lieutenant Governor than John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism was to his Presidency. Nevertheless, perhaps there is something both church and state could learn from the situation.
Robinson exalts the Bible as the guidepost by which to judge all of life. This isn’t new for our nation’s leadership. The Bible has been extolled by the Founders, Presidents, Statesman, members of Congress, courts, and judges. American authors, poets, scientists, and famous people have also admired and applauded its teachings. Robinson’s love of the Bible puts him in good company as a leader.
Moreover, there has never been a time in American history when there was such a desperate need for the renewal of biblical manhood in the home, church, and state.
The Bible teaches that God authorizes the man to be the leader of the home. Ephesians 5:22 says, “The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.”
The man’s role in the home is one of incredible responsibility. He is to provide for his family’s needs. He is to protect and promote his wife’s emotional and spiritual advancement. He is to manage his children with godly direction and discipline.
The former head of Moody Bible Institute, George Sweeting, has written:
There is perhaps no failure as widespread and tragic as the failure of husbands and fathers. Ignorance, apathy, and rebellion against God’s will have led to the abdication by many husbands of their authority and responsibilities. In millions of homes across our nation, the father is no more than a breadwinner, a live-in paycheck who, in some cases, merely supplements the income of the wife. He has no authority and wants none because he fears the responsibility that goes with it.
America is in grave danger when men abdicate their servant leadership role in the home.
Men are also to pilot the church. This point is disputed in some Christian circles. Nevertheless, the doctrine is not a complicated one. It seems only complex for those who have difficulty squaring the counter-cultural values of the Scriptures with popular and widespread views of womanhood.
Although the privileges of religious faith are equally available to both sexes, spiritual activity is differentiated. It should be noted that Christ chose no woman as one of the twelve disciples. The Lord’s Supper was instituted in the presence of men alone. The apostolic commissions in John 20:19-23 and Matthew 28:16-20 were given to men, not women.
There is no question that women occupy a place of astonishing nobility in Christ’s church, but it is not primarily a leading one. This doesn’t mean women are inferior spiritually or otherwise; it only means that God has given them different roles. The direction of the churches, the writing of the New Testament, and the offices of the church were entrusted to men.
It is crystal clear that men should lead in the home and the church, but the Bible’s teaching on women in government seats of power isn’t so clear. Still, I’ll venture to offer an opinion.
It seems inconsistent that God would call for men to lead in the home and the church, but then in government, not have them at the forefront. Generally speaking, God’s ideal is that men should be at the helm.
Granted, certain great women in Old Testament times steered the ship of Zion. Women such as Deborah, one of the judges in Israel, and Huldah, the prophetess who lived in Jerusalem. But these women were raised by God, I believe, in a time of spiritual and moral declension when there were no men fit for the job. It appears their appointment, as many scholars have argued, was a way of God shaming the weak-willed, unsound men of those times. Isaiah reflects the same when he says, “O My people! Their oppressors are children, and women rule over them” (Isaiah 3:12). Women (and thank God for them) had to stand in the gap (as they often do) because the men were too sorry to do their duty.
Our current state of affairs reeks of the same. I’m not saying that women should never hold public office, their positions of power should not be honored, or that one should never vote for a woman. I am saying, however, that this doesn’t seem to be God’s perfect will any more than polygamy was God’s intention for marriage. Yet the Lord permitted it in past dispensations because people at the time were so far removed from his expected standard.
It was to this predicament, I think, that Lieutenant Governor Robinson was speaking.
We need men to be men. Robinson wasn’t denigrating or bulling women. He was reminding us of God’s ideal. He was appropriately rebuking the present “wussification” of manhood.
Now that is a natural leader – a man of conviction and character – one that operates faithfully “in and out of season” – one who is not driven by politics but principle — what a contrast to so many politicians who let the tail wag the dog.
Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson.© Rev. Mark H. Creech
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