Darrow Miller and Friends

LAMENT for Another Time … “Women and Children First”

Leon Panetta approves women in combatIn his last days in office Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta pushed two new social policies into the heart of the US military establishment. On Jan 23, 2013 he lifted the ban on women serving in combat. On Feb 11, 2013 he expanded military benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

This is the fruit of Platonic monism, the view that the universe has only one kind of essential substance (as opposed to the Bible’s Three-in-One God). The monist’s concept of male and female as interchangeable is being driven deeper into policy and into the new norm of American life. (For more on this subject see Male or Female: Which Better Reflects God?)

One of the blog sites I frequent is the Front Porch Republic (named for a typical neighborhood gathering place of earlier generations). After Panetta lifted the combat ban on women , FPR Senior Editor Katherine Dalton wrote a thoughtful piece:  Woman At War.

Dalton’s reader responses included one from Robert M. Peters that took me back to another time. It was a time in which men and women were equal in dignity yet distinct as female and male, rather than interchangeable as Panetta’s dictum suggests. Western society was characterized by the motto immortalized  on the decks of the Titanic: “Women and children first!” Women were women, children were children, and men were responsible to protect women and children. To save their lives, at the cost of their own if necessary.

Peters wrote,

In the tradition of the Christian Just War, the only just war is one in which those to be nurtured, children, and those who give the nurturing, mothers, and the means to be nurtured and nurture are threatened and that threat is met and hopefully eliminated by the proper means of force carried out by men who are endowed both physically and mentally, if they have not been emasculated, to kill and be killed so that mothers and children can live.

Do we still value the lives of our children? Or do our own lives–and lifestyles–take precedent over them?  Do we recognize the unique importance of the mother and her nurturing nature, not only for the well-being of our children but for the future of our nations?

Panetta’s policies will create a different world, one less inhabitable from that we have known.

Alas, it’s no longer “women and children first.”

– Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

1 Comment

  1. Jon

    April 20, 2013 - 5:54 am

    Great Quote: “Women and children first!” Women were women, children were children, and men were responsible to protect women and children. To save their lives, at the cost of their own if necessary.”