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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I recently was pointed to the “Patriarchy Movement” by a person on another website. I found the information that I was able to find on it rather interesting. The question here is, is this Patriarchy harmful to Christian families, or to the church? Or is it beneficial?

Here is a link to a number of sermons that are against the “Patriarchy Movement.”

And here is a link to a lengthy article on Patriarchy. I’ll post some snippets here.

The Christian family, especially the role of the father, has been under relentless attack by the forces of secular humanism. Egalitarianism, though arising originally in a legitimate desire to allow all men, regardless of race, to enjoy the benefits of Christian civilization, eventually came to enthrone the will of the individual and to decry ANY differences-including biological ones. In the past fifty years women were “liberated” from the home and promised that they could “have it all” including family, career and autonomy if they adopted humanist values. However, humanism has largely destroyed the American family; birth rates plummeted to sub-zero replacement levels, divorce rates skyrocketed, and millions of children, the victims of broken homes, are now at risk of mutigenerational poverty, crime, and drug addiction; in effect becoming cultural parasites.

First, the name itself often leads some Christians to have a negative disposition before they have even considered the position. The word “patriarchy” conjures up images of stern, Old Testament figure (perhaps with a long white beard), ruling his family with an iron hand, squelching individual initiative, oppressing women and micromanaging every aspect of his children’s lives. Since most will reject that image, we then also reject the concept, without actually evaluating what a “patriarchy” might be and whether or not it is something of which God might approve.

Until the twentieth century, Americans almost universally held to this doctrine of representation in some form or the other. The reason why women were not allowed to vote had nothing to do with women being considered “inferior” or “too emotional” (these values arose during the Victorian era and were themselves theologically and socially deviant) but rather because the husband and father was ASSUMED to represent the family to the broader community. By definition, there could only be ONE representative of the family just as there could only be ONE representative of the Human Race to God!

In regards to a woman’s right to vote; if husband and wife are truly “one flesh” and the husband is doing his duty to represent the family to the wider community, then what PRACTICAL benefit does allowing women to vote provide? If husband and wife agree on an issue, then one has simply doubled the number of votes; but the result is the same. Women’s voting only makes a difference when the husband and wife disagree; a wife, who does not trust the judgment of her husband, can nullify his vote. Thus, the immediate consequence is to enshrine the will of the individual OVER the good of the family thus creating divisions WITHIN the family.

For example, biblical patriarchy never excuses, justifies or motivates godly men to devalue, denigrate or relegate godly women to “second-class” status in the home. Women are NOT inferior to men even if they are subordinate in their roles. Husband and wife are to be “one flesh;” which is more than a quaint euphemism for marital intimacy but rather a spiritual union of two individuals (1 Cor 6:16-17). Granted the wife is to respect her husband and submit to him (1 Ptr 3:1) but the husband is also required to treat her with grace, kindness and respect granting her honor as a joint-heir of the Kingdom, lest God refuse to hear his prayers (1 Ptr 3:7). In pagan patriarchy, the wife was often little more than a domestic servant and child-bearer (as in ancient Greece, the “cradle” of “democracy”) but in the biblical view, God praises the godly woman for her industriousness, creativity, aesthetics and business acumen (Pvbs 31:10ff). A wise man, understanding his duty as representative, will therefore lawfully utilize all the assets of the family, including his wife’s wisdom, gifts and concerns, for the common good of the family.

Now the question is, is this style of Patriarchy Biblical? Is it a Biblical model the family? Is it incorrect, and if it is, why?

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