Female Vice Presidents, Not Pastors?

Just as the politics-in-the-pulpit debate escalates, so has the issue of women in leadership roles—particularly within certain church denominations—resurfaced since Republican presidential candidate John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate.

A few weeks ago, more than 100 LifeWay Christian Bookstores pulled from its shelves an issue of Gospel Today that featured five female pastors on its cover reports the Associated Press (AP).

Now many Southern Baptist leaders and pastors are facing questions from secular media on how their denomination can endorse a woman for political office but not allow her to lead a church.

"There's no disconnect or inconsistency whatsoever," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to the AP. "We don't go beyond where the New Testament goes. Public office is neither a church nor a marriage."

Southern Baptist pastor and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told the Religion News Service that, "An elected official is not a spiritual leader—and that's what the Scripture speaks to."

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