Are “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” Biblical? Part 3

Part 3

This is the third in a three-part critique of The Biblical Tenets Of Patriarchy. If you haven’t read Part One and Part Two already, please do so before reading this article.

After posting Part One in this series, I came to recognize the centrality of Patriarchy to some homeschoolers’ entire “vision,” referring to Patriarchy as a “Gospel centered doctrine,” when it is nothing of the sort. Much of Patriarchy is just extra-biblical legalism, and legalism is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Christ is about grace, not legalism.

Why then do patriarchists claim that Patriarchy is “Gospel centered”? Certainly, Patriarchy is “centered” to something, but not to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Did Jesus or any of the Apostles ever teach Patriarchy? Did they ever command Patriarchy? No, in fact, the Apostle Paul explicitly warned the Corinthians that they should beware of anyone who came and preached “another Gospel.”

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! (2 Cor. 11:3-4)

Paul likewise gave a similar warning to the Galatians:

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-9)

Some claims that Patriarchy is “Gospel centered” when, in point of fact, it is not. Patriarchists, just like the Judaizers that Paul proclaimed to be “accursed,” have added to and perverted the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So what, then, is Patriarchy “centered” to? Patriarchy is “centered” around the family and, more specifically, around the “patriarch.”

Several years ago Rev. Pete Hurst of Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) preached a series of sermons on Patriarchy. Rev. Hurst had good reason to preach on Patriarchy, but that’s another story for another day:

Patriarchy: A New Legalism?
Patriarchy And Education
Patriarchy and the Family
Patriarchy and the Church

I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Rev. Hurst has to say, but as a pastor who almost had his church split over Patriarchy, he does have some good insights about how divisive Patriarchy can be.

Education & training of children

16. Education is not a neutral enterprise. Christian parents must provide their children with a thoroughly Christian education, one that teaches the Bible and a biblical view of God and the world. Christians should not send their children to public schools since education is not a God-ordained function of civil government and since these schools are sub-Christian at best and anti-Christian at worst. (Deut. 4:9; 6:6-9; Rom. 13:3-5; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15)

Deut. 4:9 – Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

Deut. 6:6-9 – And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The favorite verses that support home education. While I agree that it is difficult to teach our children these things when they are not with us, I wonder if they fulfill the rest of this verse as well: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Or maybe they just pick and choose the parts that they like.

Rom. 13:3-5 – For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.

I’m trying to see “public school” in these verses. I think that is why they use these verses. It’s mighty hard to see it, though.

Eph. 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

II Tim 3:15 – and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Since Timothy learned the Scriptures from his mother and his grandmother, this is an odd verse for the Patriarchy camp to use. I am sure that any child, no matter what form of education he has, can know Scripture from childhood. This verse doesn’t prove their point.

While I personally agree with this tenet, I find this biblical support to be very weak.

17. Fathers are sovereign over the training of their children and, with their wives, are the children’s chief teachers. Christian parents are bound to obey the command personally to walk beside and train their children. Any approach to Christian education ought to recognize and facilitate the role of fathers and mothers as the primary teachers of their children. (Deut. 4:9; 6:6ff.; Ps. 78:3-8; Prov. 1:8; Eph. 6:4; )

Deut. 4:9 – Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

Deut. 6:6-9 – And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

I agree that this is a command to walk alongside children, but this command was given to Israel. We cannot confuse a command to Israel with a command to us as believers under the New Covenant. And if we are to follow this command, then we must fulfill the whole command: “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

Ps. 78:3-8 – Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Again, this verse tells us that this law applied to Israel. We must be careful not to take Scripture out of context.

Prov. 1:8 – My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;

Eph. 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

It is the father’s responsibility to bring the children up in the training and admonition of the Lord, and as his helper, the wife does as well. While this tenet is certainly my personal preference, I do not see enough biblical support here to justify saying that parents are the primary/chief teachers of the children.

18. Educational methodology is not neutral. The Christian should build his educational methodology from the word of God and reject methodologies derived from humanism, evolutionism, and other unbiblical systems of thought. Biblical education is discipleship, a process designed to reach the heart. The aim is a transformed person who exhibits godly character and a trained mind, both of which arise from faith. The parents are crucial and ordinarily irreplaceable in this heart-level, relational process. (Deut. 6:5-7; Lk. 6:40; 1 Thess. 2:7-12; 2 Tim. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:5-8)

Deut. 6:5-7 – You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Relationship.

Lk. 6:40 – A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

If a student becomes like his teacher, this verse is clear support for only using teachers that the parents would want their children to emulate.

I Thess. 2:7-12 – But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy treated the church at Thessalonica as a father does his own children. This is a good example, but not a command.

II Tim. 1:5 – when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Timothy also had a good example growing up, but this is not a command.

II Pet. 1:5-8 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These are good things to teach and I can see that this verse is saying that knowledge should be built upon faith and virtue, but it does not say that there is no knowledge outside of faith and virtue.

I agree that we should be very careful what we teach our children. One thing we should definitely teach them is not to take Scripture out of context. A favorite mantra of some patriarchists is that education and its methodology is not neutral. If it doesn’t fit their description of the biblical form of education, they reject it. I just don’t see that in Scripture. There are definitely some methods that are more effective than others, but this premise is not supported by these verses.

Their Conversion

19. Since the educational mandate belongs to parents and they are commanded personally to walk beside and train their children, they ought not to transfer responsibility for the educational process to others. However, they have the liberty to delegate components of that process. While they should exercise great caution and reserve in doing this, and the more so the less mature the child, it is prudent to take advantage of the diversity of gifts within the body of Christ and enjoy the help and support that comes with being part of a larger community with a common purpose. (1 Cor. 12:14ff.; Gal. 4:1,2; 6:2; Eph. 4:16)

I Cor. 12:14 – For in fact the body is not one member but many. …

Since this verse is talking about the body of Christ, the Patriarchists are saying that if we are going to have others help us teach our children, it should come from the body of Christ.

Gal. 4:1,2 – Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

This passage has a double meaning. It is talking about the oldest son who is going to inherit his father’s estate when the father deems he is ready. It is also talking about our relationship with the Lord and how we were under the Law before we came to Christ. This passage gives an example of a father using a tutor. So much for home education only!

Gal. 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

This passage is talking about how to treat a brother who is in sin. This is not about helping teach someone else’s children.

Eph. 4:16 – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Yes, we can help each other out.

Since they used the words “it is prudent,” I will give them leeway on this one. I do not see any Scriptures here that say that parents ought not to transfer responsibility for the educational process to others. In fact, one of the verses in this section talks about a father appointing guardians and stewards. I am pleased that this section at least gives parents a little liberty to delegate.

20. The age-integrated communities of family and church are the God-ordained institutions for training and socialization and as such provide the preferred pattern for social life and educational endeavors. The modern preference for grouping children exclusively with their age mates for educational and social purposes is contrary to scriptural wisdom and example. (Deut. 29:10-11; 2 Chron. 20:13; Prov. 22:15 with 13:20; Joel 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:33)

Deut. 29:10-11 – All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water—

A good example, but not a mandate for us.

II Chron. 20:13 – Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.

Another good example.

Prov. 22:15; 13:20 – Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. … He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

This was preached to us a lot. We were told not to let fools hang out together unless we wanted them to become more foolish. Since foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, children are fools, and therefore should not hang out together. I always wondered why they didn’t separate the brothers and sisters in large families then.

Joel 2:16 – Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.

Another example.

I Cor. 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

I guess the Patriarchists are using this verse to say that all children are evil and shouldn’t be with each other.

Since this is based on Scriptural wisdom and example, I am willing to give them this point. I just don’t know if it is strong enough to be called a “tenet,” though.

21. The Bible presents a long-term, multi-generational vision of the progress of God’s kingdom in the world. Christians parents need to adopt this perspective and be motivated by the generational promises of Scripture, and church shepherds need to promote this outlook within their flocks. By the grace of God, as fathers faithfully turn their hearts toward their sons and daughters and the youths respond in kind, the next generation will build upon the faith and improve upon the faithfulness of their parents. (Ps. 78:1-8; Is. 59:21; Mal. 4:6; Lk. 1:17; Gal. 6:9)

Ps. 78:1-8 – Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

This passage could be used to support telling our own children about the Lord.

Is. 59:21 – “As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.”

This is the Lord’s covenant and what He will do. God has a multi-generational vision!

Mal. 4:6 – And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Lk. 1:17 – He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

These are both talking about John the Baptist.

Gal. 6:9 – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

While this is a good verse for perseverance, this is also proof-texting for trying to show support for multi-generational vision.

The problem here seems to be that patriarchists desperately want this vision, as this is foundational to many of their businesses. Look at that last part of this Tenet: “the next generation will build upon the faith and improve upon the faithfulness of their parents.” Anyone see any problems here? As parents, we are responsible to bring our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord, but that is where our authority stops. I am grateful for godly grandparents who care for and love their grandchildren, but this Patriarchy movement is really a power trip at this point.

Let’s think this one through logically. Dad and Mom get married and have ten children. They have this kind of vision. For argument’s sake, all descendants are half boys, half girls. So Dad passes his vision on to his ten children. These five girls, though, marry five boys who also had their father’s vision passed on to them, so the girls give up their fathers’ vision and go with their husbands’. So these five boys all have ten children each, five of which are boys, who now carry on Granddad’s vision. Five boys from the first generation and twenty-five from the next generation. Multiplying this, we would have another 125 boys in the third generation, and another 625 boys by the fourth generation, for a total of 780 boys in just four generations, all carrying on the vision of that first “Patriarch.” And if the Patriarch is the one with the vision, what does that make those 780 other boys? Are they still Patriarchs, too? Do you see why patriarchy is so important to these first generation Patriarchs? Wow! 780 men just following in your footsteps, following your vision. I know one patriarchist who has a 200-year visionary plan for his descendants. He has it all laid out in detail. And 200 years is much longer than four generations.

How does this practically play out when two families marry off their children to one another, but there are significant theological differences between the two families? For example, let’s take one Patriarch who is adamantly opposed to infant baptism (paedobaptism) and another Patriarch who is opposed to believer’s baptism (credobaptism) and anabaptism (re-baptizing paedobaptists as adults by profession of faith). The second Patriarch is a paedobaptist and his children have (presumably) all been baptized. Yet, his oldest daughter has been arranged to marry the first Patriarch’s eldest son. Will Patriarch II’s eldest daughter be required to be re-baptized before she can marry Patriarch I’s eldest son and renounce the paedobaptist beliefs of her father? Will their children not be baptized as infants? Presumably so. But won’t that likely cause serious theological differences between them? How can Patriarch II carry forward his “covenantal” and “dominionist” views generationally when his infant grandchildren aren’t baptized?

A father and his older children

22. Both sons and daughters are under the command of their fathers as long as they are under his roof or otherwise the recipients of his provision and protection. Fathers release sons from their jurisdiction to undertake a vocation, prepare a home, and take a wife. Until she is given in marriage, a daughter continues under her father’s authority and protection. Even after leaving their father’s house, children should honor their parents by seeking their counsel and blessing throughout their lives. (Gen. 28:1-2; Num. 30:3ff.; Deut. 22:21; Gal. 4:1,2; Eph. 6:2-3)

Gen. 28:1,2 – Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.

Here is an example of both a father blessing his son and giving him counsel about finding a wife. Should we use this as an example that men should marry their cousins?

Num. 30:3-5 – Or if a woman makes a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father overrules her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the LORD will release her, because her father overruled her.

This is a command that Moses gave to the tribes of Israel regarding vows.

Deut. 22:21 – then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

This passage has some alarming implications for how we are to apply it today. Are the patriarchists recommending stoning immoral young women here? Why else would he quote the passage unless he intends that we are to exercise it?

Gal. 4:1,2 – Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

This passage is talking about the firstborn son getting his inheritance, and how we are no longer under the Law when it comes to Christ.

Eph. 6:2,3 – “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

While I am not at all advocating that young people disobey their fathers (or their mothers), I’m not sure that these verses support Patriarchy’s viewpoint that daughters are to remain under their father’s full authority and control, living in their father’s homes, until they are married. If a family decides in favor of such an arrangement, that is not necessarily a bad thing in all cases, but neither is there a biblical mandate to do that. I’m especially concerned, though, with the implications of Patriarchy’s opposition to daughters receiving a college education, especially if it means that in order to pursue that education she must move away from home. Some patriarchists may not necessarily be opposed to distance learning for daughters. However, they still seem to view higher education for daughters as a waste of time, since in their view a wife and mother doesn’t need a degree. Patriarchists are especially opposed to a daughter moving out of the home to go study on a college campus.

In the same way that I haven’t seen the biblical mandate that daughters must live in their father’s home until they are married, I haven’t seen the passages that tell us that fathers are free to release sons from their jurisdiction to undertake a vocation, and prepare a home to take a wife either. Where does Scripture teach that a father is free to release his sons, but not release his daughters? This tenet seems to be more about control and less about what God’s Word instructs us to do. Also, to be consistent with all of God’s Word, this tenet needs to include mothers as well, since wives are to be their husband’s helper.

23. Fathers should oversee the process of a son or daughter seeking a spouse. While a father may find a wife for his son, sons are free to take initiative to seek and “take a wife.” A wise son will desire his parents’ involvement, counsel, and blessing in that process. Since daughters are “given in marriage” by their fathers, an obedient daughter will desire her father to guide the process of finding a husband, although the final approval of a husband belongs to her. (Gen. 24:1ff.; 25:20; 28:2; Ex. 2:21; Josh. 15:17; Jdg. 12:9; 1 Sam. 18:27; Jer. 29:6; 1 Cor. 7:38; Gen. 24:58)

Gen. 24:1 – Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” …

Gen. 25:20 – Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.

Gen. 28:2 – Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.

Ex. 2:21 – Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.

Josh. 15:17 – So Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.

Judg. 12:9 – He had thirty sons. And he gave away thirty daughters in marriage, and brought in thirty daughters from elsewhere for his sons. He judged Israel seven years.

I Sam. 18:27 – therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.

Jer. 29:6 – Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished.

I Cor. 7:38 – So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

Gen. 24:58 – Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.

This Tenet is about “betrothal,” a system that is far more about a cultural system that was commonplace two thousand years ago, than it is about any biblical mandates. Patriarchists are seeking to reestablish a system whereby the father becomes the ultimate authority and arbiter on making the most important decision that his children will ever enter into — their marriage partners. Two thousand years ago this may have made a lot more sense culturally than it does today. Two thousand years ago sons generally took wives right from within their own communities. Sons also often took wives from among their own cousins. Today we know that such “inbreeding” often produces disastrous results. They also frequently took wives that were in their early teens (e.g. 14 year olds). Betrothals were also often arranged for a young man to take more than one wife. Today we know better than to encourage that. Not everything recorded in Scripture (polygamy, marrying cousins, etc.) can or should be interpreted as a biblical mandate for us today. God gave us an intellect and He expects us to use it.

Under Patriarchy’s system, the objective is not for a son to seek a wife that will please him, but for the prospective daughter-in-law to please and impress her prospective father-in-law so that she might obtain his favor. The father is in charge and the expectation is that he must be pleased with the choice of a spouse and that the spouse lives up to his expectations. If this is the objective before the marriage, why would it change after the marriage? In such a Patriarchal system, isn’t it likely that the father-in-law will continue to exercise control? One of the most common problems in new marriage is that in-laws meddle and interfere in their children’s lives. Patriarchists need to really add Genesis 2:24 to this section as an admonishment to fathers (and mothers) that when a young man does take a wife, he “leaves” his parents and “cleaves” to his wife. This is a reminder to parents that their married children are no longer under their control.

Although there is no clear mandate here of sons taking and daughters being given in marriage, there is a pattern. However, it is a great leap from giving and taking to fathers “overseeing” the process of their children seeking a spouse. If they happen to have a wise father and mother, then certainly they should seek the counsel of their parents. This tenet also attempts to describe what wise sons and daughters will do, although there is no biblical support listed for wise sons desiring their parents’ involvement, counsel, and blessing in that process; or that obedient daughters will desire their father to guide the process of finding a husband (but not their mother). This is clearly adding to Scripture.

The sufficiency & application of Scripture

24. Scripture is the believer’s sufficient guide for all of faith and practice, and Christians must believe and obey whatever it teaches and commands. The Bible provides the Christian — through precept, pattern and principle — all that is necessary to make wise decisions concerning the many ethically complex issues of life. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)

II Tim. 3:16-17 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

II Pet. 1:3 – as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

When Scripture gives us a clear mandate for how we should live our lives, we ought to obey. We can also gain much wisdom and understand principles from God’s Word as well. What we should not do, though, is take examples from Scripture and put them on the same level as being commands. That is the pattern that is described here. Showing a pattern in Scripture does not make it a command for us.

25. Fathers need to exercise discernment in the choices they make for their families and not simply drift with the cultural tide. Egalitarian feminism is an enemy of God and of biblical truth, but the need for care goes beyond this threat. The values of modern society are often at odds with those that accompany a biblical worldview. For example, fathers need self-consciously to resist the values of individualism at the expense of community, efficiency at the expense of relationships, and material well-being at the expense of spiritual progress. The world and the worldly church will cheer many choices that are detrimental to family sanctification. (Rom. 12:2; 1 Jn. 2:15)

Rom. 12:2 -And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

While this is an important biblical concept, I don’t understand what this has to do with fathers. Wouldn’t these same principles apply to mothers and children and all Christians? This is one of the problems of patriarchy — elevating the father above everyone else. This is simply adding to Scripture. And where is the Scripture that tells us not to be individualistic? I heard that so much when I was into Patriarchy when I had a thought that was different than the norm.

26. While God’s truth is unchanging, the specific application of that truth may vary depending on facts and circumstances unique to each believer. Also, those who are further along in sanctification will see some issues more clearly than those who are less mature. For these reasons great charity must be maintained between believers who have differences of application, and liberty of application must be respected. However, an appeal to the doctrine of Christian liberty must never be used in an effort simply to avoid submitting to what Scripture plainly teaches. Believers should also bear in mind that things which are lawful may not be expedient if the goal is personal and family holiness. The biblical rule in judging behavior is charity toward others, strictness toward oneself. (Gal. 5:2-3 with Acts 16:3; Phil. 3:15; Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 1:10; 6:12; 9:27; 10:23; Gal. 5:13)

Gal. 5:2-3 – Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Acts 16:3 – Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.

This is Doug’s support that specific application of God’s truth may vary depending on facts and circumstances. It appears that he is trying to say that while one verse tells us that becoming circumcised requires one to keep the whole law, that there are also appropriate times to be circumcised as well.

Phil. 3:15 – Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

Rom. 12:10 – Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

I Cor. 1:10 – Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

I Cor. 6:12 – All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

I Cor. 9:27 – But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I can’t quite figure out what this verse is intended to support — strictness toward oneself?

I Cor. 10:23 – All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

Gal. 5:13 – For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

I’m not sure what following the Second Greatest Commandment has to do with Patriarchy exclusively, but this is important to remember.

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301 Responses to “Are “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” Biblical? Part 3”

  1. Georgia Says:

    I must also forgive my father and grandfather for not protecting the family against this narcissistic relative.


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