The Spin of Patriarchy

Have you heard of the Patriarchy movement? Patriarchy means “father-rule,” and this movement has some interesting theology and applications for the leadership roles of men. They call it “Biblical Patriarchy” because those who practice it believe that their understanding and application of Scripture is the true Christian way. Today’s Mortification of Spin is an extended Bully Pulpit addressing the dangers of this doctrine with special guest, Rachel Miller. Rachel has written about these dangers before on her blog, A Daughter of the Reformation. Here are two: What's Wrong with Biblical Patriarchy The Problem with Patriarchy, 50 Shades of Grey, and Authority and Submission Just this week, Rachel responded to a very sad article written by Vyckie Garrison on the abuses she experienced within a Patriarchal family. 6a00d83451ccbc69e201347ff741ee970c-400wiOn the surface, Patriarchy families may look very harmless and even attractive. Everyone wears a smile, they tend to have a quiverfull of obedient children that they homeschool, and they present to you a formula for success. But what exactly does the husband and father’s “authority” entail? Should a husband be a mediator for the family, acting as a priest between them and the Lord? Is a college education wasted on daughters, because they are being raised to be homemakers? What’s the deal with stay-at-home daughters? Can women work outside of the home, alongside other men? What happens if you don’t have a happy disposition that reflects positively on your father or husband? Is a woman’s worth tied to the number of children she has? Do you believe that women are always prone to rebellion and satanic deceit and therefore need to be directed into submission? Is it a sin to educate your child through a different avenue than homeschool? And how does this all play out politically? These are all important questions that come up when you look into the doctrine of Patriarchy. We touch on many of them in the podcast today. With all the truly harmful problems that I see with this doctrine, at its core I see a faith that filters everything through women and men’s roles rather than Christ as he is clothed in the gospel. It seems to be about men and women rather than God. And unfortunately, I have read way too many accounts of women and children who walked away from Christianity when they escaped this lifestyle because they cannot separate this Patriarchal doctrine from the faith. Please listen to this podcast! Listen here.

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35 Comments

Will you quit already :) I

Will you quit already :) I have never denied anybody anything.

Ok. I almost never relinquish control of a conversation, but I'll do it for you as an act of good faith. Ask me whatever you wish and I will answer directly. I'm gonna be offline most of the day though. So I'll have to check back when I can.

Tiribulus: "I could be wrong"

Tiribulus: "I could be wrong"
I agree.

Tiribulus: "I will go wherever the word leads"
That's exactly what I did and have tried to get you to do, but you did not.

Tiribulus: "Now THAT is running away."
Negative.
I have disengaged because 1- you have not been forthright 2- because you have not once endeavored to put forth scriptural support for denying women the Christian liberty of receiving higher education and 3- because you've resorted to multiple logical fallacies, in particular ad hominem, in which you unfairly and inaccurately leveled accusations against my character and witness.

Therefore, there is no Godly use that could come from a further discourse between the two of us.

- end of discussion-
Peace. Out.

Jay says: " I’ve already

Jay says: " I’ve already stated and shown that I’m committed to the doctrine of the innerrancy of the Word of God."
So is every Jehovah's Witness I've ever met. Along with a parade of bible butchering homo-emergent liberals who say the exact same thing (though some don't. I know that) Not saying you're them, but a mere statement of high bibliology tells me literally nothing until demonstrated in practice.

Jay says: "Your follow-on question, that you insist is relevant and germane to the discussion (and which I have already proven it is not!)"
No. You have not. I could be wrong, but I bet Aimee sees where I'm going with this. Yes, I could just state my view, but it is SO much more effectively declared by having someone like you help me do it.
Jay says: "You seem to have misunderstood a great deal ..."
Perhaps.
Jay says: "...more than you are willing to admit."
I am never unwilling to admit when I am wrong Jay. It helps me be rightER in the future. I view the rightness or wrongness of what I say in the name of Jesus to be among the most important and serious functions of my existence. Being proven wrong is a blessing. It means I have more truth than I did before. How bout you?

Jay says: "Your supposed “honest question” and preconditions to having a “useful discussion” are loaded with presuppositions that are clearly outside the bounds of scripture."
Nonsense. I deny it. Stop all this plastic cocky song n dance and engage. :) I will go wherever the word leads. It's possible we're not even THAT far apart. I'd like to find out. God would be glorified and Aimee blessed I believe (this is her site after all), by exploring the path I'm suggesting.

Jay says: "And that, sir, is the exact sort of thing for which I have no more time."
Now THAT is running away. ;)

First, and foremost, I've

First, and foremost, I've already stated and shown that I'm committed to the doctrine of the innerrancy of the Word of God.

Secondly, I am a firm complementarian and as such was most definitely not trying to "best a complementarian." Again, that is false presumption of motive on your part, but I forgive the misunderstanding.

Given the first two facts, my motivation in this exchange has been - and still is - that we be forthright, accurate, and true about what the Holy scripture requires of women -- and IAW with *YOUR initial supposition* -- on the particular topic of women being educated.

Your follow-on question, that you insist is relevant and germane to the discussion (and which I have already proven it is not!), has absolutely nothing to do with whether it is Biblically permissible for women to be highly educated. Instead of bringing in this red herring that has derailed us so miserably, you should have dealt with the plain teaching of scripture: Does God forbid women an advanced education? (answer: No!) Does God commend women at all in the scriptures who are highly educated? (answer: Yes!)

As I stated above, your reasoning is ill-conceived and has zero basis in scripture.

Marriage/family life and college education are not contradictory nor are they mutually exclusive concepts!

You seem to have misunderstood a great deal more than you are willing to admit. Your supposed "honest question" and preconditions to having a "useful discussion" are loaded with presuppositions that are clearly outside the bounds of scripture.

And that, sir, is the exact sort of thing for which I no more time. I'm sorry if you cannot understand these things. Farewell, brother - grace and peace in Christ.

Charles Ryder is onto

Charles Ryder is onto something.

I'm a large participant and proponent of the "legit" Christian Manosphere/Red-Pill ideology, and the reason why so much is going down as it concerns "Patriarchy" is because the unsavory spirit behind a lot of Feminism has not only RUINED this country, but is destroying the Christian family, and has infected the Scriptural narrative in how godly men/women, marriages, families, and communities are to operate.

The primary reason for all the confusion is that Christian men have been accommodating too much sin for too long. Men WANT to be true and lead according to what the Bible says in the most scripturally, historical, and contextually sound way as possible through inspired and divine headship, a la Christ.

Our counterparts are not only rejecting that, but are given incentives (that cater to their flesh) by the Church, backed up by the State to diverge.

THAT is the issue.

So if the proponents of Patriarchy are gone wayward in one direction mimicking Adam, we have to call out the other side for being like their mother Eve to an equal or greater extreme. Let's not parse words. SIN/Confusion has begat SIN/Confusion.

"Until there are firm

"Until there are firm thoroughly biblical definitions of man, woman, marriage and family, that will not EVER happen."

Sorry for the typo. In a hurry as always.

It was a simple question

It was a simple question Jay:

I ... wonder if I could prevail upon you to leave the matter of education for the moment. Bear with me please. We’ll get there. Where in the bible do we find the NORMATIVE practice of DELAYING marriage and family by deliberate design so as to fulfill other pursuits first? I am NOT referring to the small minority who have been gifted to singleness. NOR those, who by God’s providence and circumstances beyond their control, are prevented from marrying and are thereby called and graced to singleness for a season until later in life. No sir. I am asking where we find the NORMATIVE practice for the vast majority of God’s people who are NOT called to singleness, AVOIDING marriage and family on purpose until after they have satisfied some other wants first? Where are those people in the bible? Notice I said “people”, not “women”. By precept or example? Where?

To which there is a simple answer. So, when you say: "I really can’t spend all the time", I know that you are either unfamiliar with the scriptures or are being intentionally disingenuous and evasive. Or both. In any case, and to the contrary, allow me please to be so bold as to help YOU out. The simple answer to my simple question is:

NOWHERE

See how easy that was? Seven letters. Took me, 1,2,3,4,5 seconds to type and tag. The conclusion to this discussion you and I aren't having is of utterly primary importance to the questions raised by this podcast and the critical defining differences between truly biblical gender roles and this noxious heresy of "patriarchy".

The question of how, where and in what season of life women are to receive formal higher education is really only an indicator of one's larger view of God's design for marriage and family. Rachael Miller's view is wrong, as is Hannah Anderson's. Fundamentally so. However, the error of their views, as I say, is simply the logical consequence of a deficient larger view of marriage and family. The patriarchist's view/s is/are also VERY wrong as I am beginning to understand them. Both views have SOME truth and SOME error. Your view is as wrong as the patriarchist's view. The biblical view draws it's content strictly from scripture, rightly and comprehensively handled.

My motivation in this exchange has been and is the glory and honor of the most high God in the right belief and practice of His most ancient and basic human institution. Yours has been besting a complementarian in a debate. That is so crystal clear that even those who can't stand me will be able to see it.

Now, assuming the simple answer to my simple question is correct, which it is, what do you feel are the implications of this? That WOULD be a very useful discussion. Everybody agrees more light needs to be shed on this whole thing. Until there are firm thoroughly biblical definitions of man, woman, marriage and family, that will can EVER happen. This question of higher education is the perfect occasion and vehicle for accomplishing those definitions and thereby providing a path forward, but is not itself the point. I feel confident you would get that if you would simply pursue truth with me instead of constantly treating our new acquaintance as the opportunity to proclaim your own self perceived intellectual muscle.

Wadda ya say?

T- I know I said I wouldn't

T- I know I said I wouldn't spend anymore time on this, but I also feel sense of responsibility to help you out a bit.
Please note that I never said that you made a "blanket assertion" regarding restricting women's education.
However, re-read your *original* statement - "If the scriptures are our ultimate and final authority, this isn’t as simple as either pole usually tries to make it. I’ll leave that there for now".
Your assertion implies the scriptures provide some (undetermined) basis "for restricting women's education" in some (undetermined) form.
I've been trying to get you to be focused and forthright with your position, but since that has not worked, there is no benefit to trying to discuss the matter. Grace and Peace to you brother.

Jay Ryder says: "Wow,

Jay Ryder says: "Wow, Tiribulus.
Did you lose track of the original discussion?"

No.

Jay Ryder says: "the original assertion regarding a biblical basis for restricting women’s education."
I have made no such blanket assertion sir,

Jay Ryder says: "I really can’t spend all the time"
I understand ;)

Wow, Tiribulus. Did you lose

Wow, Tiribulus.
Did you lose track of the original discussion?
http://www.housewifetheologian.com/spin-patriarchy/#comment-45204

This is probably something that you and I would do better at in a face-to-face chat. I really can't spend all the time it would take to recap, explain, and try to trace down the lines, branches, and stems of reasoning that you may or may not be trying to put forth, starting from the original assertion regarding a biblical basis for restricting women's education. Sorry, dude.

Glad we're both in agreement that God's Word is the final rule and authority on all these things. though.

Jay Ryder says: "your

Jay Ryder says: "your expectation is that your reader must do the work of parsing out what exactly your “foundational” assumptions are"
My expectation was an answer to an honest question. I always assume that what somebody is telling me is central to their thought on the topic at hand, unless evidence, such as previous familiarity to the contrary, dictates otherwise. Forgive me for assuming others would do the same.

Jay Ryder says: "then run away."
Sir, there are those witnessing this conversation, including Aimee, who regardless of whatever else they may think of me, will tell you in no uncertain terms that I do not ever run away from anybody. EVER. I have work and am busy today. I thought five minutes of reading may give you a flavor for my general attitude concerning God's glorious women, lest you leap to the same erroneous assumptions that most egalitarians do. Forgive me for burdening you with that outrage as well.

Jay Ryder presumes: "On the one hand, your question implies that women who pursue advanced education are guilty of living for themselves or indulging their sexual desire. And since the Bible clearly calls these things sin, then your conclusion would be that women who pursue higher education are sinning.."
My question implies no such things. I have not even addressed advanced education even once so far in this exchange. I have not EVEN limited my part of the conversation to women. If you would put away the telepathy and also stop trying to best me in an intellectual jousting match and just answer the question, this would go a lot smoother and more pleasantly. Do also feel free to ask me anything. However, my answers to your answers will make my views and their unassailable faithfulness to scripture abundantly plain as we go.

Jay Ryder says: "As far as your question with regard to men or women in the Bible who spent a decade or more after their teens intentionally single,"
No sir. You omitted the most important part of my question. That being: "and then tacked marriage on to their life later?" See? You forgot that part. You have listed for me people who were previously married but now single, were never married or whose marital status is disputed or unknown.

Allow me to rephrase the question. I also wonder if I could prevail upon you to leave the matter of education for the moment. Bear with me please. We'll get there. Where in the bible do we find the NORMATIVE practice of DELAYING marriage and family by deliberate design so as to fulfill other pursuits first? I am NOT referring to the small minority who have been gifted to singleness. NOR those, who by God's providence and circumstances beyond their control, are prevented from marrying and are thereby called and graced to singleness for a season until later in life. No sir. I am asking where we find the NORMATIVE practice for the vast majority of God's people who are NOT called to singleness, AVOIDING marriage and family on purpose until after they have satisfied some other wants first? Where are those people in the bible? Notice I said "people", not "women". By precept or example? Where?

Jay Ryder says:"Sir...I do hope that our regard for the God’s Word as the ultimate and final authority on what we approve or disapprove will be taken much more seriously as a result of the dialogue"
Forgive me for this as well friend, but this exchange will not raise my already superlative view of God’s Word as the ultimate and final authority. I look forward to the answer to my now hopefully impossible to misunderstand question. Please note. It is the answer to THAT question I am interested in. Not one's you surmise I'm asking that I'm not.

The fourth-tenth items in the

The fourth-tenth items in the list at the end of the above post should be sub-listed under the third item, but my space indenting did not work.

Without clearer categories

Without clearer categories and connections between people, views and practices, the "Bully Pulpit XL: Sinister Headship" podcast is a bit of a muddle that confuses rather than clarifies, and falsely defames some who are quoted out of context in the discussion.

I have strong negative views of many elements of the modern American Christian patriarchy movement, but the podcast makes the relationship between patriarchy and wife-spanking sound causal and pervasive without providing any significant evidence to support this. In the process it seems to demonstrate, by association, the falseness of all other views discussed in the podcast, and sub-christian standing of the persons quoted and discussed (even if not named) and any others who are able to say the word "patriarchy" without choking.

I spent several hours searching the internet for such connections and found little more than a rumor (two witnesses if I read correctly) of wife-spanking by one reformed pastor/leader, many wife-spanking pages that were connected to porn and eroticism businesses, and sites by people who, while wanting to appear "christian" for reasons unclear to me, had no clear connection to any church, or Christianity in general, and did not identify themselves, thus appearing to be personal expressions of sexual fetishism, not the practice of poorly defended wife-spanking by Christians (patriarchal or otherwise).

This does not add up to a broad problem that is expanding within the reformed churches. (Disclaimer: I'm in a church and denomination that would be (is?) considered suspect, maybe even heretical, by the four podcast participants, yet we have some members (active, in good standing) who don't believe corporal punishment of children is Biblical or that it is used poorly and far too often. You can only imagine how wife-spanking would be responded to. Pretty laughable. More can be said later if appropriate.)

Additionally, generalizations were combined with paraphrased quotes from sources in such a way as to conflate the views (and persons) of some who hold marginally patriarchal views with those, who while claiming patriarchal titles, are extremist or even wolves dressed as shepherds. One of the sources I recognized, openly refutes all but one (and even the one if not qualified Biblically) of the views discussed in the podcast, both in word and practice. At the very least, this suggests that a very broad brush was being used here, not a particularly useful tool when discussing doctrine and practice.

Without claiming wrong intent, I contend that the content and structure of this podcast adds confusion both to the issue of Christian patriarchy and the possible problem of wife-spanking in the church, while creating an appearance of causality without substantiation, and inaccurately connects individuals discussed and quoted with views they do not actually hold, thus smearing them in the eyes of readers with some knowledge of the situation but not enough to recognize the false implication of heresy.

Can you (or the other three participants) add clarity to this? Maybe by providing evidence regarding the topics of:
- Causal connection between patriarchy (in American Church) and wife-spanking
- Significant growth of patriarchy within the reformed churches
- Connection between each of those quoted or mentioned (even if not named) in the podcast and the positions they hold on various views discussed such as:
- Equality vs Inferiority of women and how this relates to Biblical language about headship and submission
- Fathers headship of daughters until marriage (and sons?)
- Courtship and the roles of parents of daughters (and sons?)
- Women being limited to home activities
- Limiting the education for daughters
- Homeschooling
- Family size, child-bearing and contraception

If you do this, it becomes clear that the podcast expresses views (caricatures?) of persons and issues here that are not supported within the podcast, and that persons, views, and issues are mis-connected and misrepresented, at least by implication. Such issues need to be addressed truthfully and charitably, and men need to be truthfully represented in their views and deeds.

To do otherwise is to dishonor the Christ whom we claim to serve.

Tiribulus, while this may

Tiribulus, while this may very well be an "honest question", as you call it, it is not exactly a very charitable one. First of all, because your expectation is that your reader must do the work of parsing out what exactly your "foundational" assumptions are, by reading a bunch of extraneous previous comments and spending an excess amount of time trying to "understand" your position, when you could have just as simply stated it for us. However, you just want to "leave it there for now" as if that is acceptable to take a contrary position and then run away. But in the spirit of Christian charity, I'll indulge you a bit here.

On the one hand, your question implies that women who pursue advanced education are guilty of living for themselves or indulging their sexual desire. And since the Bible clearly calls these things sin, then your conclusion would be that women who pursue higher education are sinning. Of course, if that is in fact your premise, it is flatly ridiculous - a fallacious, ad hominem argument.

As far as your question with regard to men or women in the Bible who spent a decade or more after their teens intentionally single, I hope that in retrospect you will blush and apologize for your conjecture:
First, because what in the world does getting an education have to do with being single? Is your circle of friends so shallow that you have never known married people going to college??
Second: Jesus, Paul, Timothy,Elijah, Daniel, Miriam, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Lazarus, Barnabas, Lydia, Mary Magdalene.....

To your very slight credit, I do empathize with what you may have been *trying* to imply (although I cannot be sure) - that the absence of a scriptural prohibition of a particular behavior (ie, argument from silence) is not necessarily adequate. However, this is why I added the second statement, which was that we have been given positive examples of educated women in the scriptures, therefore, it would be wrong for us to forbid what God's Word calls good.

Sir, I appreciate the exchange, and I do hope that our regard for the God's Word as the ultimate and final authority on what we approve or disapprove will be taken much more seriously as a result of the dialogue. Peace.

That was an honest question

That was an honest question and foundational to my views. I'll continue to wait for your honest answer, but you'll have to get your herring somewhere else.

In the meantime, lest you jump to unfounded conclusions, the short conversation between my new friend Jen and myself HERE may be instructive.

????????? (... but thanks a

????????? (... but thanks a bunch for the snack. I love me some red herring)

Please sort out your

Please sort out your definitions!
Patriarchy does indeed mean LITERALLY 'Father Rule' but that does not mean that is what its ACTUAL definition is! 'Christian Patriarchy' does indeed seem to take 'father rule' literally but patriarchy is understood to be a description of cultures where men take the lead in social, religious and political decisions and therefore exercise power predominately.
Virtually the entire world was therefore patriarchal and still is, Feminism's recent triumphs and criticisms notwithstanding. And if you believe that men have a leadership role in the home, in the church or anywhere than you are more on the side of patriarchy than anything else. In fact, as I may have just alluded to, some people think aspects or versions of patriarchy are a 'good' thing' as in biblical etc. I suspect, from what I could divine through the somewhat confused conversation and giggling, all of the participants of MoS would take that view. So the discussion should not be about how bad 'Christian Patriarchy' is but what kind of patriarchy should we have (as Christians first and foremost, but of course, despite what Carl wants to believe, this inevitably has consequences for living in the wider society). Why then fixate on the lunatic fringe, giggle at its most ludicrous expressions and then end by calling on pastors to take domestic violence seriously?!
Also, this post, the podcast and Rachel Miller's article betrayed a distinct lack of clarity by being predominantly full of questions, most of which remained resolutely unanswered.

Good to see light brought to

Good to see light brought to this issue, but a comment on the podcast, and actually I believe I heard this from Dr. Poythress on one of his WTS audio classes, is that it's not the responsibility of the state to educate the children of Christian families.

Excellent podcast--I listened

Excellent podcast--I listened in my car. I just wonder how homeschooling moms can do an adequate job if they don't have some sort of education. My church encourages homeschooling, yet I have taught in public school and currently substitute in public school. I like to think that I influence young people in public school.

It was a privilege for me to have my late husband take the lead which he did until he developed dementia and then I needed gradually to take over more responsibility. He knew he had Alzheimer's and I was the rare caregiver whose husband trusted her in most situations.

Where are the women (or men

Where are the women (or men generally either) in the bible who spent a decade or more after their teens intentionally single? Who spent those years pursuing other things and then tacked marriage on to their life later? After spending their prime of life living for themselves and in combat with a sex drive that God had turned on years earlier?

Where are they in the bible?

Since the scripture is our

Since the scripture is our ultimate and final authority, then I find the absence of any mention in scripture that women are not to be educated a pretty definitive pole in and of itself.

Add to that the actual commendation of Godly women who were in fact highly-educated, and we have a rather solidified that pole, scripturally. Attempts to restrict women in these types of ways require some pretty creative eisegesis and neglect correct hermeneutical practice.

Really, Tiribulus? It's hard

Really, Tiribulus? It's hard to imagine that anyone, who is committed to precisely what the Word of God says or doesn't say regarding female image bearers, would attempt to prescribe or justify the above as universal behaviors to be applied to all. I thank the Lord for Carl, Aimee and Todd for bringing this cultism out into the light for rebuke!

Thanks for starting the

Thanks for starting the conversation about patriarchy and thanks to Rachel Miller for writing and speaking out on this issue. I also appreciate Carl emphasizing that psychological abuse requires the same amount of attention as physical abuse. Too often the church only acknowledges physical, if even that. Maybe I'm cynical, but I wonder if you all are going to get push back for this. I hope I'm wrong.

While wife spanking is horrifying, it may detract from the fact that patriarchy is more widespread than we think as commented above. It's easy to point out the extremes, but what is the attitude of the church toward women? Do women have the same moral agency as men? Is a women's identify and purpose only in relation to another man (her father or husband)? How does our interpretation of Genesis 3:16 impact this?

Many comps would say "Women are equal with men in terms of being made in the image of God but…." Maybe what is implied by the "but" needs to be examined more carefully. I say this as a comp.

A couple more

A couple more thoughts….

You did expose the issue, but imho, you also muddied the waters by identifying the spanking of wives by their husbands with mainstream patriarchy. Is it a problem? I have no idea. It may be. My guess is that it is on the fringes of the movement. Fwiw, I have never heard a mainstream proponent of patriarchy advocate it. I think you stand a far better chance of effecting change within/eliminating the movement by dealing with the core.

And in looking at your list above, these thoughts that spring to mind. First, you have to define terms. No patriarchy proponent views what they do as abuse. And women who are in a patriarchal church probably don't have access to non-patriarchal pastors. But you did address the issue and for that I give you a high five. I just hope you continue to address it in a way that gives freedom to those trapped within it.

Jen

Oh, I don't know, for the

Oh, I don't know, for the exorbitant rates you people charge I was hoping for a sonnet and a haiku as well.

:)

You're right - there was a lot said and it get/kept the ball rolling. I think the biggest challenge with this issue is that because the terms are broad and ill-defined, both the positive ones and negative ones. Leaves lots of room to say "well, we don't do *that*.

I'm not quite sure how much

I'm not quite sure how much deeper we can go in a podcast. But we did accomplish quite a lot, I think. We:
1. Exposed the issue
2. Called on leaders in the patriarchy movement publicly to repudiate spousal abuse
3. Declared that any man practicing this should be called on to repent and, failing that, excommunicated.
3. Advised women victims to speak to their pastors
4. Advised women with patriarchal pastors to find a non-patriarchal pastor to speak to

And I don't know of many complementarians who have done that.

I am hoping that as awareness is raised, more will be said and shared. You are right that there's a lot more to it and that Rachel has much to contribute to this conversation. I am looking forward to her writing more on it. And yes, I am glad that pastors like Carl and Todd are speaking out on the topic.

Thank you for mentioning Hannah has an article today. I just read it. Here is a link for anyone interested:
http://www.sometimesalight.com/1/post/2014/09/college-girls-education-im...

Thanks for the encouragement.

"Thus the woman, who had

"Thus the woman, who had perversely exceeded her proper bounds, is forced back to her own position. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast into servitude."

—John Calvin, comment on Genesis 3:16

It seems the Reformers propagated the above perspective—which has application to natural man-woman relations apart from Christ—as the norm for new men and women in Christ. We are made new men and women in Christ as we are restored via the Gospel, and endowed with Christ's Spirit. Husbands and wives are thus being restored to what Adam and Eve should've been before they sinned. And they should be animated by the same ambitions that God in the beginning defined. Consequently, husbands have no role model in Scripture, save Christ alone.

RStarke says: "restricting

RStarke says: "restricting women’s education to only what will help her be a godly wife and mother."
If the scriptures are our ultimate and final authority, this isn't as simple as either pole usually tries to make it. I'll leave that there for now.

This was a great start, even

This was a great start, even as, to be honest and to agree with Jen Hoos, I wish it had been handled with a little more depth. Rachel knew her stuff really well, and for all the chuckling over the uber-uber-fringy spanking stuff, this is a real movement that is *growing* like bindweed into the broader evangelical/Reformed world.

To Jen's point, if you Google "New Wave Complementarianism" you'll see some of the bloggers who have been calling for just the kind of redefinition Jen is asking for. And just today, Hannah Anderson wrote a barn burner of a piece on a critical aspect of the Patriarchy movement - restricting women's education to only what will help her be a godly wife and mother.

Really, really glad you guys took this on, Aimee. One of the hardest things about this issue is that, for obvious reasons, until brand name men start to sit up and take notice, the thoughtful and wise women who've been raising this issue for a while don't get heard.

Jen, this is a brilliant

Jen, this is a brilliant comment. All of it.

I said the following on my Facebook page in the discussion linked above.

"I'm not real big on "movements" of any kind. If the church would simply obey God's commands, "movements" wouldn't be necessary. "

I, like Carl, am learning about this. Quite honestly it has flown under my radar to a large degree with my only real exposure being the utterly immoral and thoroughly apostate heretics who have left it. They hate anything that even smacks of male headship and have accused me of being an enabler of rape and wife and child beating simply for being a complementarian.

You are absolutely right as I am beginning to see. Somebody needs to make this their polemical baby and provide an alternative to these horrific outfits like STUFF CHRISTIAN CULTURE LIKES for REAL victims of REAL abuse. That's just one. There are literally dozens of dens of apostasy and immorality like this all over the web where biblical Christianity is portrayed as the ultimate evil, MANY times by those who simply hate God and His word.

You'll also find a horde of emergent liberals who have never been abused by anybody in their lives who simply live like parasites feeding off the legitimate pain of others because it provides justification for their abandonment of the true saving gospel. (I know what I am talking about.)

Yes, somebody needs to sort through all this. It is, as I say, one of the muddiest and murkiest subjects I've ever encountered. Fine lines abound and truth taken to unbilical extremes is everywhere. The fact that most of the those leaving it seem to have adopted equally unbiblical views along the way is not helpful either in the least.

Patriarchy is a false

Patriarchy is a false doctrine that takes the focus off Christ and puts it (as you say) on men and women, Aimee. I am glad that the Bully Pulpit is helping to expose it for what it is - heresy.

My 2 cents worth…. If by

My 2 cents worth….

If by patriarchy we mean that men are to be the spiritual heads of their homes, it is good. When it becomes (as it has) a movement, that is when it goes awry because movements tend to move away from the center (or the truth). Imho, the patriarchy movement has gone far beyond what Scripture teaches and has invented a sub-structure that is often viewed on par with the Word of God.

Someone needs to create a continuum which specifies what Scripture clearly teaches and then shows WHERE the patriarchy folks go off the tracks. Then that someone needs to spell out clearly where women who are trapped in these off-the-track marriages can go for support. In many instances, their pastor is also a part of the patriarchy movement. In fact, everyone in their world is most likely a part of the patriarchy movement.

Drawing attention to this subject is helpful, but it isn't enough….if you really want to help folks.

Like I said….my 2 cents worth.

[…] The Spin of Patriarchy –

[…] The Spin of Patriarchy – a podcast with Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller (with links to related posts).  They discuss these questions: […]

"...they present to you a

"...they present to you a formula for success."

Bingo! Patriarchy is extremely attractive to young families because it is sold as "the way" to avoid all the family dysfunction that plagues our society. In actuality, it is a time bomb with delayed activation—it blows up many years down the road. This destruction is so common in my circle of friends.

Patriarchy is actually an over-emphasis on "authority" in regards to the male. This emphasis on authority is contradicted however, by the example of Christ who was God in the flesh, yet you'd never know it by his demeanor as he came to serve, not be served. While I have great respect for men like Calvin, Calvin and reformers like him are nevertheless a prominent source of these patriarchal perspectives. It flows from their interpretations of Genesis 3:16. I think their interpretations may be in error, since the whole context of God's "afflictions" in chapter 3 have to do with added adversity. The husband could now be seen as Eve's "thorn" because of male's domineering sin nature expression. Christ, however, comes to restore all things. A Christian's model is to be found in Genesis 1, in the Image of Christ. This restored perspective of equality is demonstrated in the outpouring of the Spirit which is highly inclusive of women:

Acts 2:17-18 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,and your young men shall see visions,and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

Men are never commanded to lead their wives, only love them. It is the Gentiles, Christ said, that are obsessed with authority. His disciples are not to argue over "who's the greatest". Thanks for addressing this pervasive and relevant topic.

- "what exactly does the


- "what exactly does the husband and father’s “authority” entail"

-"Should a husband be a mediator for the family, acting as a priest between them and the Lord?"

-"Is a college education wasted on daughters, because they are being raised to be homemakers?"

-"What’s the deal with stay-at-home daughters?"

-Can women work outside of the home, alongside other men?"Can women work outside of the home, alongside other men?"

-"What happens if you don’t have a happy disposition that reflects positively on your father or husband?"

- "Is a woman’s worth tied to the number of children she has?"

- Do you believe that women are always prone to rebellion and satanic deceit and therefore need to be directed into submission?"

- "Is it a sin to educate your child through a different avenue than homeschool?"

- "And how does this all play out politically?"

A treatise could and probably should be written on each one of these. (haven't heard the podcast yet). There are a slew of definitions required before most of these could even begin to be addressed in a biblical fashion. There are potentially true and potentially false versions of each, depending on how seriously and primary the bible is made one's source of authority, along with and just as seriously, how competently it's handled. Some of them might also depend on the specific call and circumstances. This EXACT topic has been a point of serious contention between myself and a dear friend, just in the last several days on my Facebook page HERE

This is one of the murkiest and muckiest areas of inquiry I've ever undertaken. On one hand the church MUST expose and reject all un and anti biblical belief and practice. Especially if some of the serious accusations being leveled by those coming out of these groups are true. Which I suspect in some relatively significant number of cases they are.

On the other hand, 95% of the women* I see making these accusations have very little credibility when pushed. Homosexuality, promiscuity, and rank ULTRA (and I do mean ULTRA) liberal heresies of every variety are the absolute norm among these gals AND their male supporters. If anybody doubts that, you simply haven't been looking. No amount of pleading on the basis of how much I was abused will excuse deviant sinful sexuality and crystal clear heresy on judgement day. God has provided everything in Christ to recover and heal from ANYthing if He is sought for it in earnest. Difficult and painful though it may be.

Very honestly, I'm not sure what the answer is at this point. I'm still sorting through what's what and who's who here.

*this has nothing to do with your guest as I'm not familiar with her. I'm speaking generally.

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