Patriarchy And Abuse: Twisted Scripture

“The power of patriarchy has been to make maleness feared and to make men feel that it is better to be feared that to be loved. Whether they can confess this or not, men know that just is not true.” ― Bell Hooks link

Patriarch_TarasiosPatriarch Tarasios of Constantinople

A number of bloggers, behind the scenes, have been discussing patriarchy which is experiencing a rise in popularity in today's churches. At the behest of Julianne Smith, Jeff Crippen, Barbara Roberts and others, A Cry for Justice, Spiritual Sounding Board, and The Wartburg Watch, are participating in this “synchroblog” in an effort to bring light to, and establish a link between spiritual abuse and patriarchy.

What is patriarchy?

Jeff Crippen from A Cry for Justice blog wrote a thoughtful description of patriarchy to assist in our discussion here.

The term “patriarch” is a valid, historic word with a simple, non-philosophical meaning. A patriarch is a “first father” and it refers to the “fathers” or founders of some movement, institution, or political entity. George Washington was a “founding father” of the U.S.A. and thus, a patriarch. In this sense, “patriarch” can be a broad term that theoretically could include a woman who was one of the founders of something.

But when we use the word “patriarch” and add various suffixes to it, the thing morphs into something else entirely. Patriarchal, patriarchy, patriarchalism, and so on. These words describe a society of some kind (a family, a nation, a local church, etc) in which father not only knows best, but is best. And, more properly, where men are best. in contrast to women. Patriarchy in a family, for instance, exalts the husband to a innately (by virtue of being male) superior status above his wife (by virtue of her being female). In a patriarchal society then, men are seen as entitled to power and control over women. It is the man, the husband, the father whose mission in life truly matters to God, and therefore the woman, the wife, the mother, the children exist to further that mission. Their personhood, in other words, does not exist independently, nor even symbiotically, but rather as an “attachment” to the main program.

This is all in contrast to the biblical teaching that both men and women are created in the image of God. Neither is it an accurate application of the scripture’s doctrine of a husband being the head of his wife which, in contrast, emphasizes that headship as working itself out in loving, sacrificial service apart from a lording it over. Patriarchy denies the reality of the Apostle Paul’s words:

Gal 3:28-29  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (29)  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

This text is distorted frequently of course. There ARE differences between men and women! But Paul reminds us here that there is no “—archy” of any kind in Christ. There is no “power over.” In fact, other scriptures tell us that the “archy-ites” (the ones who are first now) will be last in the kingdom. Men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children, all who are truly in Christ are full heirs of every blessing in the heavenly places, and in the new creation which is on its way.  

In fact, there is more than spiritual abuse tied to patriarchy. Jeff Crippen also wrote the book, A Cry for Justice: Domestic Violence and the Church which TWW reviewed here, here and here, which linked domestic violence to patriarchal teachings as well.

I can hear someone thinking, "Whoa, Dee, patriarchy is something only found in fringe groups that espouse stay at home daughters, quiverfull families, and long skirts and hair for women and girls.Today's very hip churches are complementarian which is not the same thing, right?" WRONG.

Complementarian=Patriarchy

Deb wrote a post Russell Moore Tells Women to Stop Submitting to Men link. The following is an excerpt from that post.

David and Tim Bayly – patriarchal Presbyterian pastors — took great pleasure in Russell Moore's words (quoted above) in a post they published on May 27, 2008.  Here is Moore's quote in the context of their blog post: link

"(Tim, w/thanks to Chris) Here's an interesting statement by Southern Baptist Seminary's Russell Moore unburdening himself about the nomenclature of the sex battles; and more particularly, expressing his extreme dislike for the word 'complementarian' and preference for 'patriarchy.' He's exactly right.

Tune in at 29:45, and you will hear this:

Russell Moore: Gender identity and complementarianism… I hate ….the word 'complementarian', I prefer the word 'patriarchy'…

Again at 37:00 ff….

Mark Dever: So then, why is it you don't like the word complementarianism?

Russell Moore: Because complementarianism doesn't say much more than the fact that you have different roles. Everyone agrees that we have different roles, it just a question of on what basis you have different roles? So an egalitarian would say, "Yeah, I'm a complementarian too, it's on the basis of gifts." I think we need to say instead, "No you have headship that's the key issue. It's patriarchy, it's a headship that reflects the headship, the fatherhood of God, and this is what it looks like, you then have to define what headship looks like…"

In case you're not familiar with Dr. Russell Moore, he is "the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church, where he ministers weekly at the congregation’s Fegenbush location." link

Several years prior to the Bayly Brothers' post, Russell Moore published his own post entitled Reimagining Patriarchy (on November 22, 2005).  He begins with these words:

"At last week’s Evangelical Theological Society, I argued for a word contemporary Christians greet with fear and loathing: patriarchy."  

The paper Moore presented was entitled:  "After Patriarchy, What? Why Egalitarians Are Winning the Evangelical Gender Debate".  I remember reading this paper in the fall of 2008, and even then I couldn't get over the fact that Moore held up C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries as role models of ministry.  Here is what Moore wrote on page 6 of his patriarchy paper:

"It is noteworthy that the vitality in evangelical complementarianism right now is among those who are willing to speak directly to the implications and meaning of male headship—and who aren’t embarrassed to use terms such as “male headship.” This vitality is found in specific ecclesial communities—among sectors within the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church in America, the charismatic Calvinists of C.J. Mahaney’s “sovereign grace” network, and the clusters of dispensationalist Bible churches, as well as within coalition projects that practice an “ecumenism with teeth,” such as Touchstone magazine. These groups are talking about male leadership in strikingly counter-cultural and very specific ways, addressing issues such as childrearing, courtship, contraception and family planning—not always with uniformity but always with directness."

To see for yourself, just click on the link in Moore's post.   

Recently, Moore became the President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He served as Chairman of the Board for the The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He has written extensively for The Gospel Coalition and his writings are promoted by Sovereign Grace Ministries and 9 Marks.  He counts Al Mohler as a friend. From what we can tell, none of these men or entities have repudiated Moore's promotion of the word "patriarchy" over "complementarianism." 

Twist Scripture proves patriarchy

So why is this important? TWW contends that the push for patriarchy in today's conservative churches is growing and should be addressed by Christians of good will. Especially as scriptural "evidence" for patriarchal is often twisted and perverted, resulting in the abuse of both women and children. Men like Moore will deny that adherence to patriarchy leads to abuse. I fact, many self identified patriarchs will decry abuse. We contend such a perspective is naive.

Barbara Roberts at A Cry for Justice gives examples of twisted Scripture link. Here are a few.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Since the husband is the ‘head,’ like Christ is the head of the church, whatever a husband does to his wife is right. In fact, it is loving.  (twisted from Ephesians 5:22-24)

. . . do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined . . . then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. A husband can discipline his wife, punishing her in whatever way he chooses when he thinks she needs correction, because it is good for her to be disciplined. She should see that discipline as love, not as cruelty. She should welcome it because it will help her be a better wife.  (twisted from Hebrews 12:5-8 and Proverbs 13:4)

Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. Since the husband is to be like Christ to his wife, the husband can use violence against his wife when he is displeased with her. (twisted from Matthew 21:12)

The Genesis 3:16 debate

One of the oft quoted verses used to justify patriarchy is Genesis 3:16 (NIV)

To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

TWW quotes Wendy Alsup on this particular verse here

That type of complementarian view was founded upon Susan Foh's interpretation of Genesis 3:16 as a desire among women after the fall to control their husbands. It is often linked with patriarchy.

Strong disagreement with Foh's interpretation of Genesis 3:16 that the woman's desire for her husband will be a desire to control him. This new wave of complementarian believers notes that Foh's interpretation of Genesis 3:16 has no history in the Church. Before 1970, no Church father/theologian had suggested her interpretation of Genesis 3:16. Instead, this new wave embraces Genesis 3:16 as reflecting an inordinate longing by the woman for the man, an idolatrous longing that is often the root of very bad choices on the woman's part.  The answer to which is greater dependence on God, not the man, which then frees the woman to help the man as God originally intended. 

Here, at the blog, Gospel Grace, is a very good history of the historic thinking on this verse and how it changed as a reaction to the feminist movement in the 1970s. The following is an excerpt. I highly recommend that you read the entire short post at the provided link.

The historic understanding (with exceptions here or there) is that the word translated here as “desire” means a “strong urge or desire for,” an inordinate desire for the man himself. Some have nuanced it a bit differently, but “the most likely interpretation of the woman’s desire is desire for intimacy, companionship, which would include a sexual component. This is best supported by the lexical evidence.” [1] And because this idolatrous desire makes the woman vulnerable to the man, he is able to capitalize on her idolatry and vulnerability and rule her far in excess of God-ordained marital authority. This is exactly what history shows us. Men have done this for generation after generation not just individually but collectively. The sin of Eve was not usurping the authority of her husband (as Susan Foh and other modern interpreters have said). Luther makes it clear that the sin was unbelief. 

In its zeal to fight a more radical second wave feminism in the 1970′s, and in their good desire to rebuild families and marriages, the Church took on a defensive stance and began pushing a vision of men and women which ended up backfiring on them. Re–defining the word “desire” as a desire to usurp the authority of the man, exacerbated the situation. The relationship between man and woman was framed as the woman refusing submission and the man having an obligation to subdue her, and this inflamed the already strained relationships between the sexes. Almost a generation later, those who grew up in the church under this understanding of men and women have seen the hypocrisy of this paradigm.

We invite our readers to share with us some of their versions of "twisted Scriptures." 

Lydia's Corner:1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81 Acts 26:1-32 Psalm 6:1-10 Proverbs 18:20-21

Comments

Patriarchy And Abuse: Twisted Scripture — 117 Comments

  1. Pingback: Smashing Patriarchy and Their Twisted Translations of the Bible | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  2. Thanks for participating, Dee! I have a poll on my blog vote for the best name for Bible translation for Patriarchs. Some friends and I started it and readers have been adding to the list throughout the day. You really must check it out and VOTE! :)

    Here are a couple examples: Men’s Patriarchy Version (MPV)
    The Creation Order Desktop Bible™? Marketed under the acronym “COD Piece” Bible
    The Phallocentric Bible (TPB)

    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/07/29/smashing-patriarchy-and-their-twisted-translations-of-the-bible/

  3. Interestingly, the church(which of course is a broad brush and this is changing slowly)twist another verse, love not the world neither the things of the world, and go opposite of anything society does. Later down the road, they change their mind as leadership gets older, leaves either in retirement or death.

    The Civil rights issue is a good example. But…the truth is we should be the leaders of change in human dignity and rights, not coming around centuries or years later. I am convinced that the Bible is not read as a whole entire book by most Christians who are slow in these areas. It can’t be and they stay in the opinion they are.

  4. @ Debbie Kaufman:
    I’m pretty convinced that those who believe in Patriarchy are there because they have it made. They don’t want to change. The women don’t have it good, but the men have a pretty good life in this movement. They get to boss women, do what they want and be served. I have no doubt that they pray a prayer of thanks that they are not women. :)

  5. I think that men who practise/believe in patriarchy are idolaters – they are self-centred, self-worshipping when they place themselves as the head or above in their family, church and social circle. Their idolatry of self is not just a longing, but a demand to be first above others.

  6. So, these guys worship Rome (the women who rides the beast in Revelations) and not Christ. My favourite verse is: Matthew 20:25
    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    It skewers the whole idea of Patriarchy, since they all have to become my servants first (I could use a few servants, actually, for my garden).

    And as a bonus… this verse support the ancient and Orthodox Chruch’s view that Christ paid a ransom to set us free from the bondages of sin – not pay our penalty for us (Reform view).

  7. Val, I totally agree. Even above the oppression of one gender by another, the root problem is this distorted view that the Kingdom of God is all about grasping power and authority. What part of Philippians 2;1-11 did they miss?

    But let me share an anecdote from when I was doing my theology degree. Not sure if I told this story here before, but it bears repeating in this context. I went to another college to do Hebrew,and get it cross-credited back to college A (which was inter-denominational. This college (B) had an excellent Hebrew teacher, but belonged to a very conservative denomination.

    Picture the scene: we have been translating the first 3 chapters of Genesis from Hebrew, and every one has been nodding their head about “Creation order” (which I couldn’t even find) Add one more detail, I’m the only female in the room, so there’s about 11 guys plus myself. We get to the ‘curses’ in Gen 3, and get into a discussion of what “pain in childbirth” might mean. I’m keeping a low profile, I’m here to learn Hebrew, not challenge a denomination I don’t even belong to. Suddenly one young guy, a ministry candidate, asks whether God didn’t give women pain in bearing children in order to keep them properly dependent on their husbands!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Even the lecturer looked a little surprised and said, ‘I think we’d better ask Lynne, since she’s the only mother in the room.”

    I paused to collect my thoughts, actually praying like crazy for a useful answer. Starting WWIII would not get me the subject credit I wanted! Inspiration came and I said that I thought all pain in this fallen world could serve to keep us dependent upon God, rather than another human being.

    “Oh yes, I forgot that,” said the student. I pity the women in whatever congregation he ends up pastoring!!!

  8. @ Julie Anne:
    I’ll be sure to check out your list. Here’s my recommendation in case it isn’t included in the lists of possibilities:

    WSV – Woman Submit! Version

  9. Val wrote:

    It skewers the whole idea of Patriarchy, since they all have to become my servants first (I could use a few servants, actually, for my garden).

    This is where patriarchal folks claim that the word servant doesn’t really mean servant in it’s normal meaning but instead “servant leadership.” And these are the same folks who talk about scripture being “clear.”

  10. @ numo: I thought you might like that picture. I have to admit. Whenever I hear of one of these guys preaching patriarchy, I think of some guy dressed like the man at the top of the post and get a case of uncontrollable giggles.

  11. @ Bene D:I recently saw a pastor, who us most likely a follower of patriarchy, speak. He was describing men and women, verbally saying that they have different roles but are equal in God’s sight. He did not realize that his hands were telling a different story. The “man” hand was always higher that the “woman” hand as he was trying to show equality. I started to giggle and he looked over at me so I pretended to be coughing.

  12. Lynne T wrote:

    I said that I thought all pain in this fallen world could serve to keep us dependent upon God, rather than another human being.
    “Oh yes, I forgot that,” said the student

    A lot of them do. Great answer.

  13. Bene D wrote:

    I think that men who practise/believe in patriarchy are idolaters – they are self-centred, self-worshipping when they place themselves as the head or above in their family, church and social circle. Their idolatry of self is not just a longing, but a demand to be first above others.

    Yes. Patriarchy is just a mask. It disguises their love of number one, the big kahuna, the big cheese, love of maleness, love of self.

  14. Pingback: Twisted bible verses found in the Patriarchal bible | A Cry For Justice UNITED STATES

  15. Patriarchy is growing because the church is dying.

    As more and more regular people leave it (or more likely today, never enter to begin with) the extremist to normal ratio tips in favor of the extremists, setting off a vicious cycle where the remaining normal people get pushed out because they are not extreme enough by the extremists who have the upper hand, shrinking the church even more.

    So you end up with a quandary: the more the church shrinks, the more insane it becomes, and the more it shrinks.

  16. Just a note: bell hooks’ name should not be capitalized (she choose to write it lowercase, in order to try to convey how “it is the substance of my books, not who is writing them, that is important.”)

  17. @ JustSomeGuy:

    And, yet, with all the great headship, leaderly types ‘left behind’ they can’t figure out what the problem is? With all their wisdom and headiness all they can manage is thinking that they are the true remant church left to carry on :roll: They’ve made their box and they’re living in it.

  18. @ Kristin:

    What I’ve come to realize is the ones who claim that scripture is so ‘clear’ are the ones who twist it the most and/or have the least understanding of the intention of the words.

  19. Debbie Kaufman wrote:

    I’m pretty convinced that those who believe in Patriarchy are there because they have it made. They don’t want to change. The women don’t have it good, but the men have a pretty good life in this movement. They get to boss women, do what they want and be served.

    “I GOT MINE,
    I GOT MINE,
    I DON’T WANT A THING TO CHANGE
    NOW THAT I GOT MINE!”
    – Glenn Frye

  20. @ JustSomeGuy:
    I think the church is dying in the United States. It’s thriving in other countries and believe it or not, I did some research and most in other countries do not teach or practice Patriarchism, Hierarchy, or whatever name you want to give it. I give it the name Bologna. (BTW I spelled bologna by singing the old Oscar Mayer theme song…”My bologna has a first name it’s” etc. Ha)

  21. Lin wrote:

    Patriarchy is just a mask. It disguises their love of number one,

    I agree that Patriarchy is a mask. I also agree that for some it disguises their love for number one.

    But I also believe it disguises fear. (which is related to love for number one and self preservation.) Many men fear what they cannot understand. So rather than have faith, they make the two things that they don’t understand line up with what they want it to be.

    What I mean is, they don’t understand God, not really. If they did they wouldn’t get tripped up by their “either/or” thinking. Someone HAS to be in charge, either the man or the woman. And since a woman being in charge scares them to pieces, then it has to be the men in charge. So they make God think just like them. They make Him think the way they think.

    And most men fully admit that they don’t understand women. And what they don’t understand (and perhaps feel vulnerable to) they must control and make into what they want. And since God thinks like they (men) do, then God MUST have the same attitude toward (and fear of) women as men. And so MUST look upon women as the one to be ruled (since the thought of being ruled is so scary and the thought of no one being in charge makes no sense to their darkened minds).

    These men may actually ‘love’ the women they want to rule and control. And many men aren’t interested in ‘controlling’ the women that they ‘love’ and may even what to do ‘the best’ for those in their care. But they sure as heck can’t imagine a world where a woman (she who is secretly feared) has any ‘control’ or influence over them.

    I hope I made sense.
    I’ve seen this among well-meaning men. They want to do right but they cannot let go of their position of privilege. They are too afraid.
    It’s a terrible blind spot.

  22. @ Debbie Kaufman:

    Debbie – I have been very lenient in this voting process and it will be open or a week. Because there have been so many great late :::cough, cough::::: submissions, I have told readers that if they want to change their vote, just vote again, twice, for their new choice to cancel out their old one. I’m going to add Deb’s right now. You guys really need to take a look at the brilliant work of readers. Take special note of the letters between the parenthesis, too. Funny!

  23. @ Catcat: When I use a direct quote, I write it exactly how it appears on that site. Unfortunately, they capitalized it. However, I did not know that it should be lower case. Thank you for letting me know. It reminds me of ee cummings

  24. @ Mara:

    It makes sense to me. It is very small thinking in the end, and making God very small as well. It’s odd how they consider this smallness (lack of faith in God) – God glorifying. It is shrinking God into their thinking, or box and caling it good. Of course, God can never works outside the box they designed.

  25. Mara wrote:

    I agree that Patriarchy is a mask. I also agree that for some it disguises their love for number one.

    But I also believe it disguises fear.

    Yes, spot on. I think not understanding women is certainly part of it, but I think for most men caught in this paradigm it is fear of being seen to be inadequate, fear of transgressing what seems “clear” about what God wants for family structure, fear that if they don’t do things “right” they can’t be worth loving, or that God won’t bless their family… and other related fears and/or combinations thereof. We humans tell ourselves all kinds of lies to prop up our personas in our own eyes and those of others…

  26. Bridget wrote:

    It is shrinking God into their thinking, or box and caling it good. Of course, God can never works outside the box they designed.

    That applies to a LOT more than just male/female roles.

  27. dainca wrote:

    I think for most men caught in this paradigm it is fear of being seen to be inadequate, fear of transgressing what seems “clear” about what God wants for family structure, fear that if they don’t do things “right” they can’t be worth loving, or that God won’t bless their family…

    Or kick it up a notch to “God Will Punish You!”

  28. Patriarchy is a strange animal. It generally does the opposite of whatever its proponents claim it does (they claim it creates harmonious relationships when in fact it introduces artificial strain; they claim it helps people serve God better when in fact it can hinder the use of gifts; they claim it keeps women safer when in fact it makes abuse more likely; they claim it gives women purpose when in fact, it makes many gifted women feel that their potential is being wasted).

  29. Ironically, I just noticed Crossway publishing was led by a woman for almost 30 years, according to their own website. I don’t think this can be possible considering all the rules, I mean roles, for women that are in the books they publish. Isn’t her leadership in violation somehow? Or did Crossway change their theological direction after she died?

  30. @Dee – I don’t think you and I could attend a church service together because 1) I have a good eye for the ridculous and find many things hilariously funny and 2) I’ve been known to burst out laughing at inappropriate times, such as when I was maid of honor at my friend’s wedding and the cantor was singing about her children being like olive plants around her table. They had to point the video camero away from me.

  31. @ Former CLC’er:
    My dad was a very funny man and found humor in everything. At his funeral, one of the funeral home attendants looked exactly like Mr Smith from the Matrix. Totally freaky, down to the sunglasses. My brother, husband and I kept trying to keep a straight face but to no avail. I think my father would have been laughing right along with us,

  32. A Mom wrote:

    Ironically, I just noticed Crossway publishing was led by a woman for almost 30 years, according to their own website. I don’t think this can be possible considering all the rules, I mean roles, for women that are in the books they publish. Isn’t her leadership in violation somehow?

    Ever heard of Queen Bee Syndrome?

  33. “Women will be saved through childbearing. Wives who do not have Children are going straight to Hell. And don’t you fertile dames get smug, because the Apocalypse will be very rough on pregnant women.”

  34. One of the things I find so interesting is that very conservative women led the worship in the early part of this century in some of the church meetings in the west. No one seemed to have a problem with this.

  35. @ dainca:
    dainca wrote:

    I think for most men caught in this paradigm it is fear of being seen to be inadequate, fear of transgressing what seems “clear” about what God wants for family structure, fear that if they don’t do things “right” they can’t be worth loving, or that God won’t bless their family… and other related fears and/or combinations thereof.

    Yep, all of that.
    And there is no shortage of ridiculous fear mongering concerning all the horrible things that will happen to families if men don’t ‘grab the wheel’ of the family car and do their ‘God ordained’ job of lovingly leading their families as God has ‘commanded’.

    Was just recently made aware of some of this fear mongering in The Resolution for men. They use a very explicit story to ‘put the fear’ in men concerning taking their places as the heads of their households.

    I did a post on it not long ago.

    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2013/07/resolution-writing-persuasive-but-wrong_15.html

  36. @ Bridget:

    I get so very tired of the boxes built by men with “God’s design” or “God’s intention” or “God’s commands” stamped outside when there is no scriptural support whatsoever.

  37. sad observer wrote:

    Patriarchy is a strange animal. It generally does the opposite of whatever its proponents claim it does (they claim it creates harmonious relationships when in fact it introduces artificial strain; they claim it helps people serve God better when in fact it can hinder the use of gifts; they claim it keeps women safer when in fact it makes abuse more likely).

    I couldn’t agree more. My husband was made to feel like an inadequate loser, because the ministry in our former church didn’t think he exerted enough authority into my life. In reality, the ministers were really the ones trying to run our marriage and family. They were very frustrated that I didn’t submit to their whims. Talk about artificial strain. Abuse of women and children is more likely to take place in a patriarchal or authoritarian religious environment where they are viewed as merely the property of men.

  38. @ Mara:

    I can accept the premise of some men being driven by fear. Or in ignorance believe their maleness entitles them, being the stronger sex and all, to be a leader.
    What I can’t fathom is any christian man (or woman) proclaiming to love another adult, yet make them a bond servant so to speak. You’d have to be a cold hearted soul to keep making your wife bare children, or forbid your adult daughter to become educated and leave home as a single, unmarried women., etc.
    I don’t have any tolerance for bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to one. And being a bully is what these modern day patriarchs practice.

  39. Mara wrote:

    Ever heard of Queen Bee Syndrome?

    Well, I learned something new. Queen Been Syndrome definition per Wikipedia:
    “It describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female. This phenomenon has been documented by several studies.”

    Sound like Mary Kassian?

    I did give the head honcho at Crossway (for almost 30 years) an out though, I also said, “Or did Crossway change their theological direction after she died?”

    I really am curious to know that answer.

  40. Oops. I guess I messed up.

    I meant to say HUG wrote instead of Mara in my last comment. Sorry!

  41. @ A Mom:

    You’re right, A Mom. A fair amount don’t want to be in that box. Unfortunately, though, some do want to be in that box and they are (maybe) also gifted as leaders. The “in that box” leaders tend to expect ALL men to be in the box with them and when they aren’t the leaders belittle and demoralize them because of the other’s given disposition. It really is a sad blight in Christianity.

  42. kindakrunchy wrote:

    One of the things I find so interesting is that very conservative women led the worship in the early part of this century in some of the church meetings in the west. No one seemed to have a problem with this.

    Even my former church (which is in CT) Free Will Baptist in it’s roots used a female Methodist deaconess, to conduct services, for about a year back in the 1890 ‘s. No big deal the church didn’t turn soft or cease to proclaim the gospel. ;)

  43. @ Lin:

    I guess what I’m talking about is the patriarchy “creep” that I see entering mainstream evangelicalism through such things as “Courageous” and “Resolution for Men” and Voddie Baucham speaking at the “Iron Sharpens Iron” men’s conferences.

    Yeah, hardcore Patriarchs are self-centered, self-worshiping bastards. But they are winning the heart of decent fellows with that patriarchy creep and subtly preying on their hidden fears.

  44. @ A Mom:

    No but they have no trouble assigning them to others.

    They have their own version of the golden rule.

    Do unto others before they do unto you.

    or

    Whoever has the gold (privilege) makes the rules.

  45. @Dee- too funny! My Mom was the same way. My brother-in-law got mad that my sisters and I were laughing all during the time that my Mom was in hospice. (Morphine makes you really funny!) But then of course he said he thought the priest (who performed the funeral) looked like a leprachaun.

    These days I just keep myself busy by laughing at or with the toddlers in my class, as well as the people I see on public transportation. I would love to write a book about either experiences, but I don’t know if I could make it as funny as it seems to me.

  46. @ Former CLC’er:

    Truth is funnier than fiction. Part of the funny is your perception of the circumstances, your interpretation of them. In such a book, just tell the truth as it was, as it happened, as you saw it, & resist the urge to embellish or fabricate details to “help the funny along”. Tell the truth.

    As I see it, at least.

  47. Mara wrote:

    @ Lin:
    I guess what I’m talking about is the patriarchy “creep” that I see entering mainstream evangelicalism through such things as “Courageous” and “Resolution for Men” and Voddie Baucham speaking at the “Iron Sharpens Iron” men’s conferences.
    Yeah, hardcore Patriarchs are self-centered, self-worshiping bastards. But they are winning the heart of decent fellows with that patriarchy creep and subtly preying on their hidden fears.

    Would agree there is the patriarchy creep. Have observed it firsthand at our former church. I do have hope some of the younger men and women will reject this before too many years (and damage) transpire.
    Maybe I have misplaced optimism …..dunno. :(

  48. “It is the man, the husband, the father whose mission in life truly matters to God, and therefore the woman, the wife, the mother, the children exist to further that mission. Their personhood, in other words, does not exist independently, nor even symbiotically, but rather as an ‘attachment’ to the main program.”

    Or, Vision Forum by another name. Can’t even have people over for dinner without the wife saying, “This is the generosity of my husband because he’s the lord of the home.” Not making that up. And wives having their own cosmetics businesses is dangerous.

    And, always remember: women and children first. Except when the child is ectopic. Then BOTH must die through the woman’s noble sacrifice. Titanic, y’all.

    Daddy the patriarch, of course, gets to go on his merry way pain-free, get married again, and enjoy himself fathering even more children.

  49. I wonder what part of “the gentiles lord over each other… it shall not be so with you” (approximate scripture) they don’t understand? My father was the patriarch of our family – in the true sense. He served my mother every day of his life. Yes, he made decisions about where he would work, and what house to buy, but no decision was made without her input and without him putting her wishes and needs before his. That is what a true leader does. A true leader is a servant. He seldom gets his own wishes, because he is so concerned for the ones he is leading. Or at least that is what my father showed me.

  50. One of the silver linings of going through a horrible divorce while at a patriarchal church was that I had an excuse to work to support myself. I have always loved to work. Little did they know I made 5 times more than my ex-husband did.

  51. FWIW, about 5 years ago in my last year as a leader in a SGM church I had encounters with several SG pastors and even 1 or 2 members of the High Council who stated that complementarianism was a hill they would die on. Some even stated that complementarianism was a “gospel issue”.

    This was probably the first area that I was in open disagreement with the SG Sanhedrin. Hill to die on? Not for me. Gospel issue? Not a pastor or leader could prove their point using a Bible or any logic this side of Kafka.

    They might be getting lonely on their hills,
    Former SG Pastor

  52. Hester wrote:

    “It is the man, the husband, the father whose mission in life truly matters to God, and therefore the woman, the wife, the mother, the children exist to further that mission. Their personhood, in other words, does not exist independently, nor even symbiotically, but rather as an ‘attachment’ to the main program.”

    I think I can top that, Hester. In the Seventies, I was mixed up with a splinter “fellowship”/end-of-the-world cult. Their Bible was the “Dake’s Annotated Bible,” and those “annotations” were WEIRD.

    For instance, this Dake guy claimed that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had three MALE bodies made of “spirit matter” sitting on thrones in a planet called “Heaven” in the northern sky. All the Angels were MALE, all the “spirit animals” of Heaven (such as the horses pulling the chariot that took Ezekiel away) were MALE, and that females were created by God only for biological purposes of physical life-forms on Earth. Can’t get more Male-oriented than that.

  53. Hester wrote:

    Daddy the patriarch, of course, gets to go on his merry way pain-free, get married again, and enjoy himself fathering even more children.

    ?
    Just get another piece of breeding stock and keep filling those quivers…

  54. Mara wrote:

    I get so very tired of the boxes built by men with “God’s design” or “God’s intention” or “God’s commands” stamped outside when there is no scriptural support whatsoever.

    Mara, everybody:

    According to Jewish sources, the original meaning of the Third(?) Commandment — “Thou shalt not take the Name in vain” does NOT refer to cussing, but to doing evil and claiming God’s sanction/design/intention/command to justify it.

    Because “Men of Sin” will always cite some Cosmic-level authority — Torah, Bible, Koran, Marx, Freud, Darwin, Nature, Science — to justify what they were going to do anyway.

  55. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    “Because “Men of Sin” will always cite some Cosmic-level authority — Torah, Bible, Koran, Marx, Freud, Darwin, Nature, Science — to justify what they were going to do anyway.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    …even more reason to say “biblical schmiblical”.

  56. FSGP wrote:

    FWIW, about 5 years ago in my last year as a leader in a SGM church I had encounters with several SG pastors and even 1 or 2 members of the High Council who stated that complementarianism was a hill they would die on. Some even stated that complementarianism was a “gospel issue”.

    I have become convinced that these guys think the gospel is an authoritarian hierarchical lifestyle as well as Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

  57. Hester wrote:

    Actually I found Voddie Baucham being promoted on a right-wing political website run by women:

    What I am about to say should not be construed as a political statement. I cause enough problems with my views on faith and do not want to add another area with which to get pelted with rotten tomatoes.

    I believe that “patriarchal” crowd is so messed up in their thinking that they no longer see straight. When Sarah Palin was running for VP, suddenly all these guys came out with reasons why she could run for VP and still be a comp kind of gal. Recently Mary Kassian has come out with her statement that being comp has nothing to do with staying home with the kids and keeping the home.

    For this crowd, it is anything that they want it to be at a moment’s notice. For all of their blathering, it boils down to: women can’t be elders or pastors and men get the tie breaking vote at home. Period. Everything else is up for debate. For this they expend money, conferences, etc. What a waste.

  58. writerhelenrdavis wrote:

    “Women will be saved through childbearing. Wives who do not have Children are going straight to Hell. And don’t you fertile dames get smug, because the Apocalypse will be very rough on pregnant women.”

    Thank you for the best laugh of the day! Well said.

  59. @ FSGP:

    Fsgp,

    How are you doing? How is life? Is it like, “I’m free!!! (Deep intake of breath) ahhhhh fresh air….”, and birds are chirping, rays of sunlight… I know freedom from what was doesn’t negate the consequences of what was, but are there shades of the “I’m freeeeee” / birds chirping thing?

  60. Christian patriarchy is very much like worldliness. It’s about glorifying ones self, if you’re the lucky one. It’s not much different than so many other cultures across the world. In my opinion it appeals to the fallen sin nature of humans. Jesus came to set us free from this. Worldliness is about manipulation, control, greed, power and so on. That’s not the message of the bible.

  61. dainca wrote:

    Mara wrote:
    I agree that Patriarchy is a mask. I also agree that for some it disguises their love for number one.
    But I also believe it disguises fear.
    Yes, spot on. I think not understanding women is certainly part of it, but I think for most men caught in this paradigm it is fear of being seen to be inadequate, fear of transgressing what seems “clear” about what God wants for family structure, fear that if they don’t do things “right” they can’t be worth loving, or that God won’t bless their family… and other related fears and/or combinations thereof. We humans tell ourselves all kinds of lies to prop up our personas in our own eyes and those of others…

    Not exactly related to patriarchy, but I think the belief system of many Churches of Christ (of which I am a member) is just like this: that God will condemn them if they don’t follow the “Biblical pattern” exactly. I’ve compared this to walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope: one slip, and you’re doomed.

  62. @ dainca:

    “Yes, spot on. I think not understanding women is certainly part of it,…”
    ++++++++++++++++

    as to men not understanding women, I thought this was funny (“emoticonnie”)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW1cWJzb_DA

    (go ahead, click on it — you’ll laugh-at least on the inside……….at least I think you will)

  63. Joy Huff wrote:

    Christian patriarchy is very much like worldliness. It’s about glorifying ones self, if you’re the lucky one. It’s not much different than so many other cultures across the world. In my opinion it appeals to the fallen sin nature of humans. Jesus came to set us free from this. Worldliness is about manipulation, control, greed, power and so on. That’s not the message of the bible.

    Good comment …..

  64. Lin

    Talked with a very smart Christian man this week. He made the point that being attracted to anothe person is not the problem. We will always be attracted to others. We are, however,only to be sexual with our spouses. Too many Christians feel they have done soething wrong when the find another person attrative. They believe that they are sinning. It is what they do with that attraction that is the issue.

  65. dee wrote:

    many won’t even make eye contact. what a nice experience that can be! :|

    Church of Social Dysfunction on many corners.

  66. @ elastigirl:

    do we actually think Jesus went around, head down, nervously avoiding eye contact with certain people? ignoring half the group? THIS is life in all its fullness which Jesus gives?? for both ignorer and ignoree??

    …Church of the Knuckleheads

  67. All this discussion makes me wonder what might the Calvinista version of the beatitudes be? For example…

    “Blessed are those who hold the doctrine of total depravity, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    “Blessed are outspoken political conservatives, for they will take over the earth.”

    What else? :)

  68. @ Hester:

    We have our job cut out for us making people aware of just how ridiculous Voddie is concerning women. He made it clear in 2008 on CNN for pete’s sake.

  69. dee wrote:

    Lin
    Talked with a very smart Christian man this week. He made the point that being attracted to anothe person is not the problem. We will always be attracted to others. We are, however,only to be sexual with our spouses. Too many Christians feel they have done soething wrong when the find another person attrative. They believe that they are sinning. It is what they do with that attraction that is the issue.

    Agree…it’s no sin to find a member of the opposite sex attractive. Sometimes though, it’s tricky for us to admit being intially attracted to someone because of the perception we are sinning…..so we identify it as something else.
    As for SP I think (my political pov) some conservative men overlooked her lack of substance because of her good looks.

  70. Mara wrote:

    dee wrote:
    For this crowd, it is anything that they want it to be at a moment’s notice.
    Not Voddie. He’s a purist.
    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2012/03/voddie-baucham-is-sexist.html

    Ugh. You are right he is pretty adament about women being inferior, a danger to mankind.
    I have not really read his blog or heard him speak. A young couple at our former church wanted my husband and I to listen to a tape of his. We didn’t, probably should have.

  71. dee wrote:

    For this crowd, it is anything that they want it to be at a moment’s notice. For all of their blathering, it boils down to: women can’t be elders or pastors and men get the tie breaking vote at home. Period. Everything else is up for debate. For this they expend money, conferences, etc. What a waste.

    No pelting with squishy tomatoes from me Dee. They want it both ways. It’s very human to want it both ways. It’s almost an art form in determining which way will be most convenient for a given situation.

  72. Kristin wrote:

    All this discussion makes me wonder what might the Calvinista version of the beatitudes be? For example…
    “Blessed are those who hold the doctrine of total depravity, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
    “Blessed are outspoken political conservatives, for they will take over the earth.”

    Make that “… for they are Predestined for the kingdom of heaven” and “… for they are Predestined to take over the earth”.

  73. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Kristin wrote:
    All this discussion makes me wonder what might the Calvinista version of the beatitudes be? For example…
    “Blessed are those who hold the doctrine of total depravity, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
    “Blessed are outspoken political conservatives, for they will take over the earth.”
    Make that “… for they are Predestined for the kingdom of heaven” and “… for they are Predestined to take over the earth”.

    LOL or maybe just “Blessed are the predestined. The rest y’all…good luck.”

  74. Tina wrote:

    I’ve compared this to walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope: one slip, and you’re doomed.

    Or you have a date with a Great White Throne in your future a la Jack Chick:
    “BEGONE FROM ME, YOU CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE!!! JOIN THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS!!!!!!”

    Chick’s “This Was Your Life” was my introduction to Christ over 40 years ago, and I have never been able to get that image or that fear completely out of my head.

  75. Lin wrote:

    Some of the men liked SP because she was pretty sexy! ‘Course they couldn’t fess up to that.

    Glad you said ‘some’. I’ll take Elizabeth Warren over Sarah Palin any day of the week or six-ways-to-Sunday. And as for ‘sexy’? The brain (for me anyway) is the most potent sex organ there is.

  76. Moore’s defense of patriarchy reminds me of the SBC’s defense of slavery. Begin with a human institution that you happen to benefit greatly from, read it back into Scripture and – presto! – you now have Divine Authority to keep living in your selfish ways.

    Unrelated side note: I’m not sure why the evangelical talking heads so often promote “counter-cultural” ideas. Streaking is counter-cultural, as well as arson. That makes neither a good idea.

  77. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Moore’s defense of patriarchy reminds me of the SBC’s defense of slavery. Begin with a human institution that you happen to benefit greatly from, read it back into Scripture and – presto! – you now have Divine Authority to keep living in your selfish ways.

    Remember what I said about “Men of Sin” citing any cosmic-level authority to justify what they were going to do anyway?

  78. Lin wrote:

    As for SP I think (my political pov) some conservative men overlooked her lack of substance because of her good looks.

    Back in the Nineties, we had a team of two female disc jockeys on local morning drive-time radio. Once they did a news-interest item, a list of “10 things women want in men.” At the end of the list, one FDJ announced “And tomorrow, 10 things men want in women!”

    And in the background, the other FDJ started reciting “Boobs… Boobs… Boobs… Boobs… Boobs…”

  79. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Tina wrote:
    I’ve compared this to walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope: one slip, and you’re doomed.
    Or you have a date with a Great White Throne in your future a la Jack Chick:
    “BEGONE FROM ME, YOU CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE!!! JOIN THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS!!!!!!”
    Chick’s “This Was Your Life” was my introduction to Christ over 40 years ago, and I have never been able to get that image or that fear completely out of my head.

    Those Chick tracts were hideous.

  80. Ginklestinker

    Your last two comments were not approved. Feel free to edit them and resubmit them.

  81. @ Lin:Ahhh the old Chick tracts…so weird that they are almost iconic. It might be fun to see if i can find some that I could post.

  82. Seriously – there was a chap called Jack Chick?

    Yer couldn’t make it up, as they say at the Daily Express (usually at the end of something they’ve made up).

  83. dee wrote:

    @ Lin:Ahhh the old Chick tracts…so weird that they are almost iconic. It might be fun to see if i can find some that I could post.

    They would be an eye opener to the younger set for sure.

  84. @ Elastigirl:

    Life post-SGM and evanjellyfishdom is FREAKIN’ FANTASTIC!!!! I do feel like a bird, or rather birds. I sing like a canary. I soar like a raptor. I’ve found a few birds of like feather and we flock together.

    My only regret: that I didn’t leave sooner …

    Heck yeah, I’m glad I’m out,
    Former SG Pastor
    (Humming Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Free Bird”)

  85. @ FSGP:

    that’s GREAT to hear! I’m very happy for you. I thought for sure your happiness would be tainted from the prospect of years of detox.

    Yes, freedom IS freakin’ fantastic!! Freedom to be honest, own your own thoughts, own yourself, own your time,… it’s a very long list of fantastics.

  86. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Seriously – there was a chap called Jack Chick?
    Yer couldn’t make it up, as they say at the Daily Express (usually at the end of something they’ve made up).

    Yes. His work was generally terrorizing. I still remember some horrible images from his comic books.

  87. @ JustSomeGuy:
    Sounds like its time for a new upheaval – one seems to show up at least every 500 years, we are overdue.

    0 AD – The Believers overthrow second-temple Judaism; 400 AD – the Church goes from persecuted underdog to being co-oped by the Rome for political purposes, a new form of church emerges; 1000 A.D.- The Great Schism of the Eastern and Western Christian church (followed by many shifts in the Western church), two branches of the church now exist; 1500 A.D. – Luther et. al. revolt against the Papal authority and a new branch is formed; 2000 A.D. ????????

  88. It gets better – he’s actually Jack T. Chick.

    Though oddly enough, I think this bit of the wiki article is worth noting:

    Very little is known about Jack Chick; he has given only one known professional interview since 1975. The lack of available public information about him has created some speculation that he was a pen name for unnamed author(s) or ghostwriters. Several audio cassettes of his preaching distributed to his subscribers purport to contain his voice. While he has never released a photo of himself for publication, purported photos of Chick have been published by others.

    My son suggested yesterday that Red John is actually Jane himself (shades of Fight Club).

  89. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    Seriously – there was a chap called Jack Chick?
    Oh, he’s for real; you think we could make up stuff like this?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Chick
    (Check the external links on the above page.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_tract
    (The illustration is the very tract that I first read, for better AND for worse.)

    Those illustrations still give me the creeps. JW illustrations in the WT publications kind of remind of the Chick stuff but milder in delivery.