It’s coming ….. are you ready?

I’m thankful for men like Colin Gunn who are willing to fight the culture war.

I can’t wait to see the movie…..the official site for The Monsterous Regiment movie is here.

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Doug Philips of Vision Forum responds to critics of Biblical Patriarchy

Proponents of Biblical patriarchy have been under attack lately. Surprisingly, the attacks seem to come primarily from Christian brothers and sisters. Worse still, they are all too often built upon statements taken out of context and used to formulate accusations and doctrines that these brothers never taught.
You might know that my husband works for Vision Forum. Although we don’t attend the same church as most of the staff, we do have much in common with them.

From Doug’s Blog:

The Bible rejects the egalitarian doctrine of feminism. It expressly teaches hierarchy within the home, including the servant-like, Christ-honoring leadership of fathers. It expressly teaches differences of roles and responsibilities between men and women (although there are many areas of overlap). (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; Tit. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1-6)

The Bible does not, however, teach (a) the subjugation of women under the oppression of men; (b) the right of parents to brutalize or dominate children; or (c) the inferiority of women to men.

Nor does the Bible teach or encourage the notion that (a) women are barred from Christian ministry; (b) that the mind of a woman is inferior to that of a man; or (c) that women should not benefit from advanced training and higher education.

Vision Forum has addressed areas in our modern culture in which many Christians are not self-consciously acting upon Biblical principles. Critics might say that Vision Forum is obsessed with the idea of patriarchy, but this is not the case. Vision Forum is simply reasserting what the Church has clearly taught for 1900 years. Take a moment to skim the stated mission of Vision Forum and you will see that it centers around the family. Correctly defining roles within the family rests heavily upon properly defining the Biblical role and responsibilities of the father.

We at Vision Forum have raised serious objections to: (1) the working-woman philosophy of the late 20th century; (2) the cultural depravity of the modern university; (3) the feministic philosophy of the anti-complementarian, pro-egalitarian household leadership; (4) the culture of death and self-gratification, with its emphasis on closing the fruitful womb; and (5) attempts by liberals or vendetta-driven individuals to viciously mock fruitful mothers as baby machines, etc.

While raising these objections, we have also discussed and published material addressing: (1) alternatives to traditional college for both men and women; (2) the importance of cultivating the minds of both men and women to the fullest (for example, training both to be vigorous entrepreneurs); (4) the necessity of holding abusive husbands (and wives) accountable through the local church; and (5) the biblical imperative that men act nobly and sacrificially for women and children first.

I especially appreciated Doug’s answer to the whispered accusations of “cult.” First, he quotes from an old post of his:

Cults do exist. They are wretched abominations, which rightly should be denounced. But if people are going to raise the “C” word publicly, they had best be prepared to defend such a charge before the world, and if found guilty of defaming a legitimate work of Christ, they must be prepared to face the consequences which are rightly due to those who divide brethren and slander the servants of the Lord. Doug’s Blog, August, 2005

Then he goes on to say:

I wrote that comment more than two years ago, and I stand by it today. I stand by it because as a former attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association, I have defended parents whose families and basic parental rights have been placed in jeopardy by reckless, talebearers who throw around such language before the world. (I watched innocent mothers and fathers undergo tremendous persecution at the hands of professing Christians who believed that it was weird and cultic to home educate.) I stand by it because, as Geoff Botkin pointed out, it is the tool of “infantile Christians” to send those brothers with whom they differ to the coliseums of the 21st century. I stand by it because one need only watch the news to see the comparisons that some in the Press are trying to make between Christians who teach role distinctions between men and women and militant extremist groups like the Taliban. Nor do we have to think hard to remember at least one case where American children were sent to their deaths by the Clinton administration because their parents were part of real cult groups.

Finally, I stand by my statement of more than two years ago because our ministry receives too many reports of mothers and fathers who are mocked, belittled, and accused of being “cultic” by fellow Christians, because these parents home school by conviction, or actively desire the fruit of the womb, or spank their children, or educate their college-age daughters at home instead of thousands of miles away at a defiling university, or embrace courtship and betrothal over the dating model when it comes to their children’s marriages, or believe men should be leaders in the church and the home, etc., etc..

And this is where he comes to the heart of the issue. Bold Christians who are unabashedly ordering their lives around the Word of God will risk looking strange or different to the world. The world might fear, distrust, or even hate them. Christ warns of this, so it should come as no surprise.

The surprising part is when Christian brothers and sisters react this way to each other, but I think that simply shows how influenced we are by the culture in which we live. If you have doubts and questions about what Vision Forum teaches, I would strongly encourage you to read the entire article. It’s long, but is worth every minute of your time. Please also consider reading Brian Abshire’s article in its entirety.

We welcome with a Berean spirit the frank discussions about the validity of doctrine and theology, yet we must also stand beside Doug Philips, Brian Abshire and others who are taking public stands against tale bearing and spreading false witness around the internet.

Since this issue is close to our heart we will leave this at the top of the blog for a few days and add the links and commentary of others as we become aware of them.

More links and commentary:

Patriarchy is not a bad word

From Wikipedia:

Patriarchy describes the structuring of society on the basis of family units, in which fathers have primary responsibility for the welfare of these units. In some cultures slaves were included as part of such households. The concept of patriarchy is often used, by extension, to refer to the expectation that men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole, acting as representatives via public office (in anthropology and feminism, for example).

Patriarchy has been dubbed a movement, primarily by opponents within the Church. I’m not sure why they object to the idea that a wife ought to submit to her husband, since the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. The idea is not exactly a new one and Paul, being inspired, said some pretty smart stuff.

Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

Apparently they see dangers in Paul’s position. Do they think God took a break from inspiration here and Paul kept right on talking? Do they think it was a temporary plan, until we were ready for a more egalitarian system?
At any rate, many say that obeying God in this case obeying one’s husband is a bad idea because a husband might abuse his authority, taking it as an excuse to act like a jerk.
But wives are clearly commanded several times in Scripture to obey their husbands (Eph. 5:22, Col. 3:18, Tit. 2:4,5, I Pet. 3:1). There is no doubt as to the meaning of the Greek word. It is used many times in reference to angels and demons under Christ, Christians under civil magistrates, and servants under their masters.

hupotasso: hoop-ot-as’-so
be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

In her excellent post, Patriarchs, Feminists, Complementarians, Oh My! Stacy McDonald debunks several common myths about patriarchy. I think that much of the misunderstanding comes back to three basic issues: personal responsibility in light of the failure of others, the servanthood of leadership, and the origin of authority.

Personal responsibility in light of the failure of others
The first is easily dealt with: the failure of another person to discharge their duty does not relieve us of our own duty. I tell my children frequently not to blame their sins on the sins of others. “I didn’t clean the bedroom because she wouldn’t help” is not a valid excuse for a 7yo, nor is it for an adult. “I’m not obeying him; he’ll take advantage of my obedience and act like a selfish jerk.” Wives are commanded to obey even unbelieving husbands.

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;

If a Christian wife must obey even an unbelieving husband, how much more should a wife obey a Christian husband, imperfect though he may be?

The servanthood of leadership
The husband is not the unquestioned and all powerful despot in the Christian home.
From above:

…For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…

and again:

Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. 1Co 7:3-4

Christ came as a humble servant, working and sacrificing for the Church, and this too is the duty of the husband to his wife. He is commanded to love his wife as his own body; to cleave to her; to honor her;

Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. Eph 5:28-31

Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered. 1Pe 3:7

A husband’s authority over his wife is not license to act as an absolute dictator; his authority has limits, guidelines, and a purpose. But the fear that he might abuse that authority is not license for Christians to disregard a husband’s God-given authority.

The origin of authority
All authority comes from God. We do not obey those in authority because they demand or deserve our obedience or respect. We obey them to honor God, the source of all authority.
Our children should not obey us because we are bigger and stronger, but because God has commanded it. Our authority over our children comes from God’s command for them to obey us and from His command for us to raise them in His fear and admonition.
Likewise, we obey the civil magistrates not because we’ll get jail time if we don’t, but because God has set them in authority over us.
And a wife must obey her husband not because he is really smart and strong; not because he brings home the bacon; not because he helps with dishes and diapers. She must obey him because God has set him in a position of authority over her. She honors God by obeying her husband, regardless of whether or not her husband helps with dishes and diapers. (A little tip for the guys: helping with dishes and diapers makes it much easier and more pleasant for your wife to obey you.)

Conclusion:
The husband and wife relationship presents a beautiful image of Christ and the Church. Many want to pity the wife and criticize the pattern that God has laid out, but to do so questions His own goodness and reduces Him to a petty tyrannical god fashioned after our own fallen nature.
Rather than judging God’s plan based upon our own shortcomings, we need to see the relationship for what it is designed to reflect, however imperfect that reflection may be. We must strive for perfection, not give up without trying because others are imperfect.
We are created in God’s image, and we must obey God. Rather than fretting or arguing about what might go wrong with His plan, we should obey Him in faith, trusting Him for the outcome.