Patriarchy and Authoritarianism — Biblical Responses to Feminism?

No one would deny that feminism has had a profound impact on our culture.  The movement can be viewed in three phases. The first wave of feminism focused, primarily, on property and voting rights.

The second wave of feminism began in the 1960s.  During this time women achieved greater equality in the workplace.  However, radical feminists promoted the idea that all women should abandon their homes for the marketplace. Reproductive rights (abortion, in particular) was the lightening rod for the movement.  As this second wave swept through our society, it created a tsunami which, in hindsight, engulfed our families.   

We have now entered the third wave of feminism where we are seeing the devastating effects of radicalism. Divorce, premarital sex, and abortion are condoned and even embraced. Furthermore, child abuse and neglect are on the rise.  How should the church deal with such ills?  Should we return to a bygone era when women and children were sometimes viewed as second class citizens? 

 To be clear, we are women who ARE NOT radical feminists!  We are God-fearing, Bible-believing, husband-honoring wives.  In recent months, we have become increasingly troubled by trends within Christianity that are touted as the "biblical ways" to right the wrongs of feminism, particularly within our churches. 

Authoritarianism is closely linked to the new patriarchy movement.  Just as as fathers are expected to control their families, pastors are now controlling their congregations. Patriarchy and authoritarianism are on the rise in Christendom, and we believe they are just as destructive to our faith as feminism.

In the coming weeks we will discuss these two movements which are gaining momentum in conservative Christian circles.  The following is a brief description of these concepts:

1.  Patriarchy— The father is the sole “authority” in the family structure.  He alone makes the decisions for the family, and he is to be revered!  Wives and daughters are to be “covered” at all times by this male authority figure.  There are even those who believe women should let their husbands vote for them.  Above all, women should keep their mouths shut in the church!  We have proof! 

2.  Authoritarianism— Do you remember the kind, compassionate pastors of a previous generation who would visit church members in the hospital and make social calls?  They are a dying breed!  These “servant leaders” have morphed into “leaders of the servants” who seem far more interested in speaking at conferences, writing “inspirational” books, and building mega-churches where they rule the roost.

Comments are closed.