the great divide: patriocentrists on one side, thinking women on the other

When we began homeschooling, it wasn’t uncommon for the question “is that even legal?” to be whispered to us by well-meaning family members or inquisitive clerks at the local Hy-Vee. And along with that query, we were quizzed about subjects we taught, my having a teaching certificate, the fact that I have one seeming to naively make everything better to most people, or the ever-popular “what about socialization?” One of our homeschooling dad friends had the best response ever for that last one…. “Oh, my, yes, we were highly concerned about socialization, what with all the drugs and premarital sex in the local high school. That is why we decided to homeschool.”

But, by far, the best question I was ever asked, and it came only once and from our sweet old neighbor lady: “Does the government pay you to do this?” I had to laugh at even the suggestion of such a thing. And then I gave her my sincere, heart-felt response, “No, Mrs. Wilson, there is not enough money in the world that would make me do this. I homeschool my own children by conviction. Clay and I believe that God has called us to teach our children at home.” It opened the proper door for me to talk about our faith in Christ, the importance of discipleship, and the great desire we had to spend a lot of time with our own children.

So, imagine my surprise yesterday when I went to link to R. C. Sproul Jr’s website and found an article informing me that I do not homeschool by conviction, as he and his Prairie Muffin friends do, but rather because I can excel by helping my children excel, being driven by more practical matters rather than by knowing God is calling us to do this. Boy, talk about slapping this Capri-pants-and-t-shirt-wearing homeschooling mom right in the face.

In the course of his admonishing those of us who have observed the similarities between the lifestyle of the FLDS cult in Texas and those within the patriocentric movement, he identified what he believes are three types of homeschoolers. There are the “nutty” ones, as he calls them, like those in a cult who homeschool as part of the rest of their aberrant lifestyle. (Wish he would inform Stacy McDonald that, indeed, these guys are “perverts” as he claimed in that article. The nonsense on her blog about this cult gets weirder by the day and is nothing short of fear-mongering.) And then he describes the other two groups, both within the Christian homeschooling community:

“There is, in evangelical homeschooling circles, a growing divide. On the one side there are those of us who might be called movement homeschoolers. We homeschool because we believe it to be the Biblical choice, not because we merely prefer it. We tend to adopt many of the secondary lifestyle issues related to homeschooling, lots of children, modest dress, husbands as the heads of their homes, courtship, denim jumpers. On the other side are a different bunch of folks. These typically are homes where moms see homeschooling as a choice, an arena wherein they can excel by helping their children excel. The former are driven by issues of conviction, the latter by more practical matters.”

I have two problems with this.

The first is that R.C. has chosen to draw his line where none should be. I personally know hundreds of parents who homeschool their children because of their convictions about teaching their children spiritual truth as it relates to all areas of life and, in the process, build lasting relationships within their homes. Indeed, I can confidently say that that is by far THE reason that the majority of Christian homeschoolers teach their own children.

But, at the same time, they have rejected the extra-biblical “convictions” of those within R.C.’s sphere of influence and have chosen to subscribe to Biblical orthodoxy that allows freedom in the areas of educating daughters, women working outside the home, a woman’s participation in the life of the church, clothing choices, family size, agrarian living, secondary issues of theology, etc. In fact, many of us live lifestyles quite similar to his, but believe that those who do not share the same convictions still can be directed by the Lord to do otherwise without being labeled as “pragmatic.”

Secondly, what R.C. fails to state is the real reason that there is a divide within evangelical homeschooling. The issue of gender is central to many of these divisive issues and those who hold to what is now being called a “hard” complimentarian view, ie patriocentricity, are attempting to pull the entire evangelical homeschooling community further and further down the continuum toward their view of women that is not Biblical and, in some instances, is leading to out and out heresy. (Teaching that women have no callings of their own from the Lord or that Christ is eternally subordinate to God are both examples of this and are being tossed about within these circles. We won’t even address, today, the implication for racism that these teachings bring about.)

Rut rather than using the Scriptures as the standard for all life and practice, these secondary issues have become central and demand a misuse of Scripture in order to be propped up. (Phillips’ and McDonalds’ use of Numbers 30 to “prove” that unmarried daughters should never leave home until marriage is a prime example of this.) What many of us do not see in Scripture has now become the “grand sweep of revelation” and many of us have and will continue to challenge this nonsense. If there is any line in the sand, any divide, it is between those who chose to add to God’s word, in many cases for their own financial gain, and those who will continue to put forward the admonition to be Bereans, holding all teachings up to God’s Word.

Oh, and I have one more problem regarding this article. It also appeared on James McDonald’s blog yesterday, which means that he believes these things as well. How unfortunate that he has chosen to be a source of discouragement to the homeschooling moms I know, many of them personally, who will not be labeled in this manner. To tell a woman that, because she doesn’t share his convictions about certain side issues she is homeschooling her children in a self-serving manner is outrageous. The moms in central Illinois and everywhere else deserve better.

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  1. says


    What an excellent post. We homeschooled because we felt God calling us as a family to do so but I do not understand how it can be understood that it is the only biblical way. There are some who believe that God is calling them to abstain from all alcohol and others who do not. Is either way more biblical? I think it’s more a matter of a personal relationship with Jesus. As several have said here and elsewhere, choosing to have a list of rules and regulations is so much easier than listening to God and spending the time needed to develop a truly personal relationship with Him.

    I do not believe every family should or could home school any more than I believe every woman can or should stay home or every man be a pastor or not. These, as you so clearly pointed out, are definitely extra biblical requirements which can be such a heavy load.

    I most certainly see a common underlying attitude towards women and daughters in the hard comp camp and the FLDS. I also see a common underlying attitude of men’s positions in both camps. I agree and was glad to see Mr. Sproul Jr call the FLDS men perverts but I believe a genuine progression of many of Mr. Sproul’s teachings could lead people in a similar direction.

    Thanks, Karen, for being a thinking woman!

  2. says

    ““There is, in evangelical homeschooling circles, a growing divide. On the one side there are those of us who might be called movement homeschoolers. We homeschool because we believe it to be the Biblical choice, not because we merely prefer it. We tend to adopt many of the secondary lifestyle issues related to homeschooling, lots of children, modest dress, husbands as the heads of their homes, courtship, denim jumpers. ”

    He forgot those who do it because they can make big money being involved in the homeschooling movement, fleecing the sheep all the while selling them some culturally-based lifestyle.

  3. says

    “To tell a woman that, because she doesn’t share his convictions about certain side issues she is homeschooling her children in a self-serving manner is outrageous. The moms in central Illinois and everywhere else deserve better.”


    Well said!

    Truthfully, I don’t know why anyone in your area takes him seriously. He is not honest about his ordination. He does not answer simple questions forthrightly (even though he claims he is forthright). He was a Christian man while married to his first wife, had 4 children with her, presumably he spent some of those years “ordained” somewhere in the SBC (maybe that place fell into the Bermuda Triangle?) and he is now going to tell us how to do family?? Ha!

    Sorry. He could have a quiet ministry to those in his own little sphere where he is under true leadership and accountable to his leaders. But, taking upon the mantle of pastor/”Reverend” all by his lonesome with his track record? No way. Not until he can give a FULL explanation of where he has been and where he has been allegedly ordained and a record of his divorce would I ever consider sitting under his faux-leadership.

    He is the last one to talk about side issues being important when he can’t even keep the MAIN issues the main issue.

    Where are all the manly men who will call him into accountability? Where are his peers? What about the men in his former presbytery? Why is there so much silence? Who is protecting the sheep? Who is sitting on the wall looking out for the welfare of the sheep?

    How did he get into the sheep-fold? Did he enter through the door or did he climb over some other way? Imho, it is the latter.

  4. sarah says

    You know, I said this on Truewomanhood and I’ll say it again here: Brother R.C., please explain to me the difference between Robert Hale and Warren Jeffs. Both are radical patriocentrists given to abuse, one is a genuine article home school parent (Hale). I think Hale’s case – and others – are examples of why we should be concerned with the emergence of radical patriarchy in the home school movement. This theology easily takes families to dark places.

    I find it interesting that these re-constructionists are casting this debate in an “us against them” battle fashion. They are the holy, and those who question are the infidel. Frankly, I grow tired of the patriarchal obsession with culture war and etc. Everything must be cast as a conflict in their world.

  5. says


    Well, you uncaring soul! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink…) Didn’t you read RC 2.0’s repentance paragraph at the end? (Kinda reminds me of my MIL’s apologies –She blames me for maliciously causing my husband to have arthritis but then says 10 minutes later that she’s “truly sorry for anything she’s ever done or said that was hurtful”… to recant that I’ve maliciously caused my husband to develop arthritis along with my being the cause for war in the Middle East.)

    If ever you wanted an example of sacerdotal ism (the higher spirituality of the priesthood) on RC’s behalf: here it is. If you’re not one of us, then you might just be a Christian by the skin of your teeth for all the wrong reasons. But you’re not of the elite like us. Well, who died and made these young, arrogant, angry bucks the moral arbiters for mankind? I missed that memo, too.

    Look at Henke’s Critera for Spiritual Abuse:

    1.) Authoritarian
    Well, the grand authorities spoke their mighty decrees to put you in your place, Karen. They sure showed you with that blog post. (????)

    Yes, these “above the law” authorities, found by their peers to be scoundrels and liars, thieves and manipulators (redundant, I know), so what do they do? They just move over a step or two away from their authorities and declare themselves to be their own authority so that they are above that inconvenient law that held them accountable. Anyone who gives them too much hassle ends up in court or gets a couple of legal threats or nasty names or accusations leveled at them. As my grandmother said all the time, “Consider the source.” (The face slapping of the capri pants wearing mom isn’t worth the pixels it’s projected on…)

    But authoritarian, none the less. And a little ad hominem abusive and circumstantial thrown in there. But it comes from the patriocentric holy priesthood so we know it must be true?

    2.) Image Conscious
    Does RC, Jr sound image conscious in this post to everyone else? Sounds like it’s all image consciousness (and works, mind you) to me, right down to the denim jumpers. We know your motives by your uniform and whose side of the divide you’re on. Where’s your Prairie Muffin logo and anti WWF button?

    3.) Suppresses Criticism
    The person who poses a question becomes the problem and not the problem raised. Hmmm. Karen poses a legitimate problem with both RC and McD, well documented and easily found by any chick with a computer and a brain (and a telephone to verify if need be). Funny how the issue of how a defrocked minister found guilty by his authorities of all sorts of nasty dealings to which minister admits is not addressed. It’s that latent/blatant feminist woman on the other side of the divide that dares speak about these matters of some years ago…. As Stacy McD said to me, cant you just be forgiving, Karen? You’re the problem here. [Lame, lame, lame and pathetic. Its an issue because the primary and critical issues have either never been addressed or repented of.]

    And whoever HS was came in to squelch criticism on behalf of these two manipulators… That’s the beauty of spiritual abuse. Earnest faithful people will do your dirty work for you out of the goodness of their hearts. (Provided that HS was not a direct agent of one of the two of them…)

    4. Perfectionisic
    Need we say more to this one? The pragmatic homeschoolers just don’t have it together because we “movement” homeschoolers do it better! RC even runs a little litany of what he and his dear friends Carmon promote as moral imperatives (but can deny it when convenient for them). These signs follow those who do it better?

    5. Unbalanced/Elitist
    This is the icing on the cake and the most telling thing of all. We “movement” and Prairie Muffins, with all our many flaws (tear, sniffle) are the only ones that have it right. Well, we have to admit that these other “non-pervs” are Christian, but they aren’t as Christian as we are. Welcome to the higher life of the movement homeschooler and the Prairie Muffin! Yea are blessed because only ye have followed God with honest motives. (By the way, please sign up for our training on the 20 point checklist for how to be sure that you have the right motives. You will know that you’ve hit the center of the mark when you find yourself in the correct uniform and carrying all the right books and with “Generations” and never “thatmom” always found on your IPOD.)

    (Do they let prairie muffins have IPODS, or must you have an off brand name? My husband got his from Ligonier a couple of years ago, so does that make an Apple brand okay to own?)

    So thanks, RC 2.0, for such an excellent example of Spiritual Abuse. Some of the other points aren’t as noteworthy, but you did a stellar job on the elitist aspect. It really set you apart. I couldn’t have dreamed for something so obviously supportive of Karen’s premise — that this is spiritual abuse. Well, I have to go back to my dreary existence of just barely being a sub-standard Christian who will just make it into heaven by what is almost a cosmic fluke. (Frankly, I’m quite happy to be one of the whelps that gleans the crumbs that fall to the floor from the blessed children’s bread and what you imagine is the patriarchy movement’s table. Those crumbs will do just fine for us supposed pragmatists and our children.)

  6. says

    After reading RC Sproul Jr’s post, I am surprised that he totally missed the point. He has obviously read the TrueWomanhood blog and then subsequently had an earfull from the McDonalds about the evil women are persecuting them.

    But, the comments about how the patriarchalists are a LOT like those in the FLDS were totally lost on Sproul Jr.

    Stacy McDonald is leading the charge against women like us (ie., who disagree with her extrabiblical teachings) that we are really just “white-washed feminists” which is about the SILLIEST thing, especially if you take into account the TRUTH.

    I have 10 children. I homeschool. I am conservative. I homeschool out of conviction. I dress modestly. I believe that as a wife, I should submit to my husband. Blah, blah, blah.

    Now, how does that make me a feminist? In Stacy’s mind, I am a feminist merely because I disagree with her take on biblical womanhood!

    There is much more evidence and proof to say that the patriocentrists are really “white-washed FLDS members” than there is evidence and proof to say that women like me are “white-washed feminists”.

    Hello? How could that point have been lost?

    It is about hypocrisy! The patriarchalists are hypocrites. They don’t like the same stuff they make others eat. Again, Ezekiel 34 tells us that they have muddied the water and now are making God’s sheep their polluted water.

    If they don’t like being compared to polygamist cults and if they don’t like having their beliefs matched up with the FLDS, then maybe they shouldn’t do it to others? Or maybe they should make sure they are correct when they make such assertions?

    Because, it IS true that the hyper-patriarchalist doctrine is so close to the teachings of the FLDS that it isn’t even funny. Even down to the “stay sweet” mantra of the FLDS women. That is right in the PM Manifesto.

    Really, Stacy McDonald and Co. have falsely accused godly women of being feminists and she should account for that.

    Until then, RC Sproul Jr should take a look back over the TW blog and truly see what people were pointing out (the hypocrisy of the patriarchalists).

  7. says

    More on the “Great Divide”

    This is an excellent example of the Demand for Purity and the all or nothing/black and white thinking that is so characteristic of spiritual abuse. Consider RC’s description of the Great Divide as an example of Lifton’s Demand for Purity:

    From my website under “Is my church abusive?”

    Demand for Purity.

    The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. Dissidents or competing ideologies are labeled as entirely untrustworthy and are given the connotation of near-heresy. [The pragmatic moms like Karen Campbell in the “big tent” of homeschooling.] (In psychology, this ego defense is termed “splitting.”)

    The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here. [Shame on you for not being a holy member of the movement homeschoolers who have all the right motives.] Systems of positive reinforcement of acceptable behavior and negative reinforcement of unwanted behavior are employed to promote compliance with the group norm. Favored individuals are often used to model behavior [Carmon Friedrich, in this case] and are rewarded very publicly to promote group compliance.

    “Getting Nowhere Fast” (Pg 36, Martin’s summary)
    From Steven Martin’s book…

    This is a demand which goes to the extreme of labeling certain thoughts, feelings and actions as “sins” which really are not sins at all. Even human limitations, weaknesses, and imperfections are categorized as “sin,” and perhaps looked upon with condemnation. In other words, it is a demand for perfection. It is a kind of purity that is not reachable. It is a standard of purity, of rightness and wrongness, as defined by the leader (the ideological totalist). Every human being has a certain amount of guilt and shame that can be tapped into. At totalist leader can then exploit this guilt and shame:

    · To remind the subject of his limitations and weaknesses

    · As a manipulative appeal to the subject to strive for the ultimate standard of good as the authoritative leader so defines it.

    The result is a burden of man-made rules that come to be accepted as necessary for purity or perfection. But the rules are hard to bear and the goal is unattainable, resulting in undue guilt and shame. Hence, it is a system of legalism. The guilt and shame are used as emotional levers, and serve to prod the member toward continuous reform. The subject keeps on striving painfully to meet the prevailing standard. But it is like being on a treadmill, or pursuing the carrot on a stick. If the subject does not measure up to the standard or keep the rules, he is expected to expect (or willingly accept) punishment, humiliation, and ostracism.

    So RC, Jr. can ostracize and scold all that he wants here. We don’t want to measure up! That discourse that demonstrates how humble that RC, Jr thinks that he is serves as a means to manipulate those who accuse him. “See, RC, Jr is really humble and he admits when he’s wrong.” But what did he admit to? Did he address any of the issues that got him defrocked? Did he talk about how he lorded it over his congregations, good families with websites telling their stories and those included in the proceedings that got RC thrown out of the RPCGA? So he offers the appearance of humility here, but this too is a red herring. He never repented of what he did and he didn’t follow the Word of God which disqualifies him from minstry following unethical behavior like this. McDonald is just as guilty, based only on his divorce alone, by deciding which verses in I Timothy he wants to force down others’ throats and those he would like to ignore.

    Demand For Purity, folks. This is what it looks like. It’s right out of the book. We have the all-or-nothing logical fallicies at play (we don’t tolerate any grey areas that pertain to Christian living, despite Romans 14) and we have the attempt to manipulate and appeal to people’s shame.

    Classic spiritual abuse and classic Lifton 101.

    In case anyone wondered.

    BTW, if I never looked at any of these blogs until a year ago and rarely used the internet at all, then how is it that my husband knew about RC’s defrocking? He certainly doesn’t read this stuff. He knows because it was common knowledge. We probably read all about it in RC’s own mailings. He didn’t know who Karen Campbell was until I told him about her about 6 months ago. So she didn’t put any ideas in his head… So you blew it on that one, too, HS.

  8. says

    Corrie, you’re so right when it comes to the HS patriocentrist’s teachings and those of FLDS. I was recently on Kathy Jo Nicholson’s website ( today and she has a pdf of teachings and rules that FLDS followers had to follow. She escaped the Warren Jeffs cult and has gotten some help, and she even has Ephesians 2:8-9 referenced on her front page.

    Cindy, you made some passioned remarks and I agree. I’m still reeling from the fact that our friends from church have just told my husband (yesterday) that they can’t be friends with us anymore. They were the ones who told us recently at a dinner at their home that women shouldn’t vote, patriarchy has been in effect for some 7,300 years, yada-yada-yada. I think they couldn’t be friends with us because we don’t agree with their beliefs on patriarchy. My poor husband; he just wanted some guy friends from church, and this was the one guy who came along. But when this friend started to verbally abuse our son at his home business, we knew we wouldn’t be friends for long if he didn’t control himself. So, we’re on the outs with some at our FIC. I think my husband is having a hard time processing it, though (I feel very sad right now). I’ve had truewomanhood and different online women and some local women not from our church to talk with about the patriocentric teachings, but he hasn’t had anyone to talk with about the teachings (except when I bring it up), even though he’s been in a men’s group at church. I sometimes worry that he may blame me for stirring up problems by not going along with the status quo.

    Cindy, I’m right under the Lord’s table with you, 🙂 passing around the crumb’s to those who are hungry for the Manna of His Word. :

  9. says

    I didn’t mean to really say my husband blames me for stirring up a problem. I just think he would rather have just regular friendships without all the baggage, and sorting through all the legalism has brought up some ugly things. He’s also not an outwardly expressive person, and he has a lot of work to do at his actual job, so he doesn’t have as much time to study all these crazy extra-biblical teachings. He does study God’s Word, though, and doesn’t have all the pre-suppositions that some of these guys have.

  10. says

    OOPpps! Thank you, RC,Jr, for that excellent example of the “Demand for Purity.” In Lifton language, it is the demand for purity technique of thought reform. In Henke’s language of spiritual abuse, it is “unbalanced” or what I call “elitist.” It describes the same set of dynamics with different language. So thanks for both of these excellent examples!

    Karen and her readers really appreciate these object lessons in spiritual abuse so that they can learn how to identify it when it happens to them.


    Corrie wrote: then subsequently had an earfull from the McDonalds about the evil women are persecuting them

    I had this same experience this week when I was contacted by a reporter. He’d obviously talked to someone else before he talked with me, because his impression was way off. I believe he was told to expect an angry know it all feminist who had an agenda to throw mud at a particular group within a denomination. (All I did was quote their teachings.)

    So Karen,

    I understand that the McDonalds heard an earful about you before they ever settled in there in Peoria… So it’s okay for Stacy and James to tell RC all about your recent activities, but they are above such things? Weren’t they told that you were a “latent feminist” before they ever met you? And they clearly “informed” RC, Jr about your blog, telling him of your latent and blatant tendencies!

    Would you be willing to tell us about how all of that came about? What I’ve heard about it is amusing.

    And is there any reason for the McDonalds or for RC Sproul, Jr. to have a problem with you personally prior to the McDonalds move to IL?

    Is there any earlier reason why both men would have reason to hold you at arms length?

  11. says

    Well, I can answer one of those questions.

    Karen wrote an article a long time ago about RC Sproul Jr, the drinking and the defrocking on her Prairie Girl blog. This was well before the McDonalds came to town.

    And, yes, Stacy was told by one of their elders that Karen had “latent feminist tendencies” BEFORE Stacy ever met Karen.

    In fact, from what I know, Karen didn’t even know who the McDonalds were until she heard of them coming to town and then she went to educate herself on what they believe and teach.

    The McDonalds are also spreading false rumors to various sources that Karen is some disgruntled ex-member of their church and that is why she doesn’t like them. They give the impression that Karen was attending Providence at the time that James was there.

    It is ironic that the McDonalds frequently accuse others of gossip and slander.

  12. says


    Didn’t you originally get labeled as a feminist because you commented on a blog that featured a photo all the graduates of Doug Phillips’ Witherspoon School, saying that “all the woman graduates must have been standing in the back which is why you couldn’t see them in the photo?”

    For those of you who don’t know, because women only belong in the sphere of the home (presumably), women (even attorneys) are not permitted to attend the Witherspoon School. It’s a blue function. No pink permitted. If women want to learn about what went on there, they can buy the CDs and learn quitely from their own husbands after the fact. If a husband finds his wife unworthy of them, I guess it’s his duty to withhold them from her like he does with the elements of communion during the Lord’s Supper. I mean, such knowledge might actually turn a woman into a latent feminist!

    With the trend in the Southern Baptist Convention to forbid a grown woman from teaching anything to a boy over the age of 13 years of age, should this ever be ratified in the SBC, the argument that a woman might want to know this stuff to teach her sons would be a moot point.

  13. says

    “Latent feminist tendencies”? Is that like thinking maybe you are a female and care about the plight of other women deep down inside but are afraid to admit it? [said sarcastically] Is there such a thing as latent male domination tendencies? Is this a new term to define and label in order to dismiss? Good grief.

    Cindy said,
    “With the trend in the Southern Baptist Convention to forbid a grown woman from teaching anything to a boy over the age of 13 years of age, should this ever be ratified in the SBC, the argument that a woman might want to know this stuff to teach her sons would be a moot point.”

    Isn’t this just unreal? Mothers will soon be expected to not teach their sons. I saw on CBMW that they are recommending that women not teach teen boys. I also saw that they are recommending that husband/wife co- teaching teams should not be used. I guess Priscilla and Aquilla didn’t get the memo.

  14. says

    Actually, I first wrote a blog entry about R.C. Sproul Jr.’s article on women bloggers and after that things sort of went down hill for me with some Christian brothers. That combined with my honesty about believing that ALL women ought to have the freedom to speak from a pulpit as Elisabeth Elliott does, under the authority of church leadership, and my own admonition that I have done that on numerous occasions and the “latent feminist tendencies” term soon came my direction. I also did see a photo of one of the graduating classes of Witherspoon the time people I know attended and left a comment about “all the women must have been short and standing in the back row.” I went on to talk about the young woman who was the top student in my son’s law school graduating class and what a terrific woman she is, now a stay at home mom. There was no comment moderation and my comment was removed, in spite of the fact that I knew the people personally and they knew, or should have know, that I was teasing them. And they say white-washed feminists don’t have a sense of humor!

    Oh, and I almost forgot, True Womanhood was launched some where in that mix, which also contributed to my reputation. Sigh.

  15. says

    Sandy, one day I offered a comment about some historical fact or other to another homeschooling mom and she informed me that she didn’t really know anything about it because her 13 year old son teaches her everything like that. Yes, the idea that women shouldn’t be teaching teenage sons is alive and well in homeschooling circles and I addressed it in this podcast entitled 30 years of homeschooling boys:

  16. says

    Corrie, the first time I ever heard about either McDonald was when James’ name appeared in those RPCGA documents. Then when I heard they were coming to the Peoria area, about two weeks before they came, I began reading all of those articles on their websites, the articles that soon disappeared after Cynthia Gee commented about then on her blog. It is true that someone reported that Stacy had told her that I left their church because I didn’t agree with James’ teachings. Since they have been in this area for 1 year and 9 months and I have been in my church for over 3 years, it couldn’t possibly be true. We were part of the original church plant that is where James now pastors and we did choose to leave there because we saw it going down a patriocentric path we were not comfortable with. But we left on great terms with the people in that congregation and I continued for several more years working on the mom’s retreat which I knew would not be able to continue as is under the leadership of McDonalds. So a couple months after they arrived, I told them that the mom’s retreat would be looking for other sponsors.

    That’s about it in a nutshell!

  17. says


    I am sorry about that situation. How sad that people are so petty. I will be praying that the Lord sends your husband (and you) some good friends who are not fixated and obsessed with issues that distract from THE reason we are God’s children.


    The SBC is trying to pass a rule that a woman can’t teach a boy who is 13 or older?

    Did the leaders of the SBC bother to inform King Lemuel of their little rule? How about Solomon who told SONS to OBEY their MOTHER’S LAW.

    Pluuuuueeese! What a joke. Is their manly manhood so weak that they are so easily threatened?

    What message is that going to send to a teenage boy? It seems to be just one more tool to breed contempt and disrespect towards women.

  18. says

    The SBC has no direct authority over their churches. It’s not like a presbytery. Each church is independent and just cooperates with other Baptist churches in their association. Congregational rule is a hallmark of SBC churches.

    As for teaching and speaking from the pulpit:
    I really think I fall somewhere in the middle of you all on some of these issues. I certainly don’t line up with a lot of the patriarchal teachings of the movement (I’m officially off the Christian Home Educators of Colorado’s mailing list because of some of the stuff in their magazine.), but I do see the benefit of men and women teaching teams for youth. Teenaged boys don’t need women to teach them how to be men. They need godly men to do that, and often, if women are the ones doing it, it’s because the men won’t and that’s an indictment on them in my opinion. I like sex segregated classes for youth. It’s good to ‘hang out’ together, but teenaged girls need the example of an older godly woman and not to be so distracted by boys during Bible Study.

    I really think your average complementarian is NOT trying to degrade women. I am a woman. My husband doesn’t mistreat me. He wants our daughter educated just like his sons. He also believes men should be elders. He believes he is the spiritual leader of our home. In fact, he supports me someday going back to school when our kids are older. If we ever lived someplace with a Christian school, our kids would attend and I’d probably work part time.

    Please be careful, ladies ,not to lump all of us who might have more conservative views together on this.

    Oh, and I have to share this. I can’t remember in which collection of short stories I read this, but L.M. Montgomery, of Anne of Green Gables fame, wrote the funniest story called The Strike at Putney. The ladies in the presbyterian church at Putney wanted to have a woman missionary share her experiences from the pulpit and the elders wouldn’t allow it. It was even during a special service. So the ladies all went on strike: no one cleaned the church, there were no flowers, no anything. Eventually, the men changed their mind. Montgomery was a pastor’s wife, too, so I think that’s why I find the story so funny. 🙂

  19. says


    I don’t disagree with you about at all. I have conservative views on this issue, also. I don’t believe women can be elders and I do think you are correct about the importance of a man in a boy’s life. But I do think that women CAN and DO teach boys how to be men and a woman’s influence in a boy’s life is a vital part of him becoming a man. I think team-teaching is a great idea. In our church, men do teach the high school age but they are not at all possessing the attitude that I see exhibited in the SBC of late.

    I do have a problem with making a ruling that women can’t teach boys over 13. I am assuming these women are not teaching these boys how to be men. I was thinking about subjects like math, science, grammar, or even Bible. Timothy turned out just fine under the tutelage of women. So did King Lemuel.

  20. says


    I identify myself as a complementarian and hold to conservative views. I assure you that it is not Karen or me or anyone else that is lumping anyone in a group. This is coming from a politically powerful faction within the SBC itself.

    Thanks to “Selahv” who posts here from time to time, I understand well that the SBC is a group that joined together to pool money and resources together for seminiaries and missionaries, held together by a general “Baptist Faith and Message” statement. But there is a faction in the SBC that has labored to change that statement (to remove the “priesthood of all believers”) as well as the type of government that the SBC follows. This group and the individuals who rally for this are strongly connected in the seminary system and are directly involved at CBMW. For the political aspects of it, please read about it here (just add the www): The second article that pops up gives a good, succinct overview, but this does not directly include discussion of the related gender issues.

    I accidentally and innocently stirred up some of these folks when I gave my lecture on patriarchy at an SBC seminary a few months ago. I know personally that there are hosts of people in the SBC who do not hold to Baptist Identity or these extreme views coming from this faction in the SBC because they voluntarily validated my work. Several people in the media and others have proved my case for me, above and beyond the little knowledge that I had of this trend. I know personally and very well that the average complementarian is not trying to degrade women, and men like Wade Burleson (of the blog link above) and Ethics Daily and the Dallas Observer came to my aid. I am still collaborating with the press over this issue as well, because so many people oppose this bizarre, “hard complemenarian” view.

    But to say that there is not a very politically powerful faction within the SBC and within their own Seminary system is foolhardy. Russell Moore (Dean of Theology at SBTS) has called for a “culture war” with the patriocentric gospel as the primary thrust of this war. Seminary professors (in Hebrew, no less) have been fired because the Presidents of these seminaries got it in their heads that teachers at this level are equivalent to elders in the church, even though they do not have any supervisory duties. Paige Paterson (SWBTS President) said under oath in a deposition that this Hebrew professor violated the Word of God by communicating what the Hebrew said (she ascribed and taught the meaning of the text to men). Al Mohler (SBTS President) was the individual who ralled against the “priesthood of beleivers” in the BF&M. CBMW is Louisville is governed by those within SBTS, also in Louisville.

    Again, I know well and personally that this is a faction within the SBC and not representative of everyone, but to say that this is not a very real problem within the SBC is untrue. Wade Burleson wrote in his most recent (and farewell) blog post that he is not going to blog for now, partly because there are now several candidates for SBC President that oppose this concept that is called “Baptist Identity.” I hope he’s right. And I am thrilled and encouraged, Julie, that you are in a part of the church where this stuff is not affecting you like it has many others in the SBC. That is encouraging, just as Wade’s statement and hope that there are many people now aware of these trends and are willing to speak against them.

    I believe that my views are very conservative. (Any time that I’ve spoken from a platform with mixed company, my husband is right there with me, cheering me on and with full knowledge of my material.) So I don’t even speak in mixed company about spiritual matters unless he his there with me. We studied in seminary TOGETHER. So I very much identify myself as conservative, so I am a bit confused, if I am identified as someone who is not pretty outright conservative.

    I don’t exactly who has lumped who with whom, I guess.

    I beg you all to pray about this though, for wisdom and guidance for all these men in leadership, particularly in the SBC. Please pray that God will establish the truth on these matters according to His Word. And please pray for those who are mistreated, and especially for that woman who Paige Patterson spoke of who was under his care. If it was something that happened many years ago, please pray for her children and all those families like hers who would have observed behaviors and dynamics that degrade women.

    God have mercy on us all.

  21. says


    I posted a response to you explaining how personally I know that this faction within the SBC is definitely not representative of everyone, but it included a web link that I forgot to break up and is likely stuck in moderation.

    If it’s not online when you check back, please look later for it. There are serious issues in the SBC, but I wanted you to know about them. And I am blessed and encouraged to know that you are in a church where these things and ideas do not impact you every day. That is a wonderful blessing, for in my corner of the world, these ideas and groups have threatened to take it over. That gives me, as well as others who feel like me, a great deal of hope for the future!

  22. Anne says

    The older men all appear overweight, maybe too much sitting around in booze… sorry, basements.
    Sproul seems a little slow of speech…I’ll let somebody else pick apart what he has to say. The guy sitting to his left looks worried. (I recognize that look from the men of the cults…sorry, churches I use to go to.
    The man wearing the ballcap indoors clearly was not raised properly. No matter. Just learn this Mr. BallCap Indoors Man; In reformed….sorry, polite society it isn’t done, okay? (Maybe some etiquette lessons from some ladies would help?)
    The bottles of alcohol on the bar…sorry, coffee table are in poor taste.

    Just my two cents.

  23. says

    I completely, 100% agree with you that women can and should teach boys over 13 grammar, math, whatever. What I do have a problem with is a woman youth pastor whose husband is not involved at all with the kids. If you’re going to do the youth pastor thing, then you at least need a couple willing to pour their lives into those kids and equip their parents to lead them spiritually at home.

    And it’s not wrong to drink, it’s just wrong to be drunk so let’s not get outta line with that, ladies 🙂

  24. says

    Julie, the issue of alcohol was raised because R.C. Sproul Jr.’s church has often had keggers where even hard alcohol was served and to excess. There have also been parents in his church who complained about their under age children being offered mixed drinks at church fellowships. Scripture lists that one of the requirements for an elder is that he be a man who doesn’t need his alcohol to be near him and this does not seem to be the case with R.C. as the use of alcohol has become such a high priority within his circle of friends. Seriously, when I see young Christian men who have potential to be such awesome leaders talk in blog entry after blog entry about their home brew or their Guinness, it grieves me. It tells me that they are men who cannot set their alcohol aside for a weaker brother if needed and that makes them ineligible to be leaders.

    You know, I see myself somewhere in the simple middle of all of this gender issue. I had always considered myself to be a complementarian until I realized a couple years ago that the definition of one was slowly moving down the continuum toward patriarchy. While I might prefer my teen age boys to be taught by men in a Sunday school setting, I do not see the example of that in required. King Lemuel is one such example. So is Timothy, who was taught and taught quite well by his mother and grandmother. Andy one of my favorite examples:

    Charles Spurgeon once said this about women teaching men, referencing Mary Magdalene and Mary at the tomb:

    “hey were the first to see their risen Lord, and we will try to learn something from them tonight. It should be an encouragement to those members of the church of Christ who are neither pastors nor teachers that, if they live very near to God, they may yet teach pastors and teachers. Get clear views of our Lord, as did these holy women, who had no office in the church and yet taught the officers, for they were sent to bear to the apostles the tidings that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Not first to them who were the heads of the church, as it were, but first of all to lowly women did the Lord appear, and the apostles themselves had to go to school, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to learn that great truth, “The Lord is risen indeed.”

  25. sarah says

    I consider myself egalitarian. I believe that in Christ there is no male or female. I do not buy the perversion of the word of God into Authority/Submission relationships. My husband and I do believe that we are called to submit to and love one another, but neither of us is above the other. I also do not believe it is wrong for women to be pastors or teach men. Many fine Biblical scholars share my position on the last point (and the others).

    It breaks my heart to see patriarchs twist the scripture to teach authoritarian, abusive relationships. For example, instead of viewing the pastoral relationship as nurturing and caring, how many times have these uber-patriarchs used the pastoral relationship as a threat or hyper-controlling authority relationship? How many times have they tried to interfere in the relationship between people and their pastors? Notice how they use the same threats and fear in parent-child and husband-wife relationships.

    Patriarchy is based on fear. These men sell their theology by preying on the fears of well intended parents. Would that they would read the whole scripture and not only selective verses that support their apparently ever-growing cottage industry. If they did so, they would see that God has given us a spirit of live, power, and as strong mind – not fear and unthinking obedience to tyrannical authority.

  26. says

    Maybe I’m completely ignorant, but as I’m reading through CBMW’s website, seeing whose involved, and discovering very little I disagree with in their statement of beliefs I’m having an identity crisis!

    My husband had four wonderful years at SBTS and never once did I feel like I was expected to be like these partriarchy types. Not once. Al Mohler sends his kids to Christian Academy of Louisville and his wife has a housekeeper. Russell Moore attends Ninth and O Baptist church where the variety of people is vast and the preaching is sound and biblical and doesn’t sound anything like what I’m hearing you all say these folks are like. I don’t understand how my personal experiences with these folks (I was involved in the Seminary Wives Institute for a time) don’t square with what I read on here.

    I just don’t think you can lump RC Sproul Jr (and the obviously strange things he does) with CJ Mahaney, Al Mohler, Russ Moore. None of their wives wear Regency gowns, and Mrs. Mohler is even the head of the Seminary Wives Institute at Southern, a job I’m sure requires her to be away from home. It’s certainly not the Prairie Muffin picture there.

    Is this called cognitive dissonance??

  27. Anne says

    My four sons learned to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol from men in our former church, (reformed presbyterian but not Sproul’s). Two have quit. The other two are struggling to quit. (Meanwhile, they would get reamed for not having their top shirt buttons done up or for not wearing a tie.) Maybe it’s a difference in culture, upbringing, discretion. I don’t think alcohol belongs at a bridal shower either but have seen it more and more in recent years. Sproul is a bad example. Period.

  28. says

    I am complentarian and I don’t feel afraid of my husband or any other man. He doesn’t act “better” than me, he doesn’t wield his authority like some domineering monster. I am a former feminist, a recovering one. Just because men and women have different roles doesn’t mean they are unequal.

    This is why I’m saying that patriarchy and complentarian views are not necessarily the same thing.

  29. Anne says

    My four sons learned to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol from men in our former church, (reformed presbyterian but not Sproul’s). Two have quit. The other two are struggling to quit. (Meanwhile, they would get reamed for not having their top shirt buttons done up or for not wearing a tie.) Maybe it’s a difference in culture, upbringing, discretion. I don’t think alcohol belongs at a bridal shower either but have seen it more and more in recent years. Sproul is a bad example. Period.

  30. says

    Julie, I think there have been some real changes that are just coming to the surface. I will give you a couple of examples of the discontinuity I have found.

    A few years ago I was asked by a group of elders to teach a high school class in my church. I was happy to consider it as I had been teaching a class for high school girls and there were now just a handful of boys also that age, including my own son. Since that is the age I really do well with, I thought it might be a great idea. So I said yes to the elder who was responsible for Christian education. A week or so later he contacted me and said that there were a couple elders who were absolutely opposed to having a woman teach young men and, though he strongly disagreed with them, would have to take back his invitation. I had to issue with it since, frankly, I knew that there were elders who felt that way and was a little puzzled in the first place at the request. But I did find myself curious as to what the CBMW might have to say about this and I also thought it would be helpful to have something I could share with the elder who had contacted me when I suggested that they make some sort of official policy to avoid this sort of thing in the future.

    I went to the CBMW website and found an article by Wayne Grudem that listed hundreds of things that a woman might be able to do within the local church and still remain orthodox as a complementarian. On that list it included women preaching under the authority of their elders, a position held by both J.I Packer and James Boice, both highly revered conservative theologians. The point of the article was that local church bodies and denominations need develop their own standards and be sure that WITHIN THE LOCAL CHURCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN FOR MINISTRY WERE MORE RATHER THAN LESS. In other words, our list of things in the church that women can do should be longer than our list of things that they cannot do.

    Now it appears to me that the application of being a complementarian has narrowed tremendously over the past few years. Things that Grudem had listed as within orthodoxy are now forbidden and even to the extreme. Look at the idea of women not being allowed to teach in a seminary, no matter the fact that she was a brilliant Hebrew scholar. And there are many people who believe women out not homeschool their own sons after age 13. As I mentioned to Clay last night, I am standing right in the same spot i was standing 10 or 20 years ago as far as what I believe women can do in the ministry of the local church or who or what they can teach. I am not the one who has moved. And it seems like these things get more far out there all the time.

    Cindy has links to all of these men in question. and the quotes where they made the statements that have and am sure she will post all we want her to.

    One more thing….one of the people whose articles appear on the CBMW site is Susan Hunt. Have you read any of her books? One thing I so appreciate about her is her philosophy on women in various seasons of life. She sees each stage we are given as a unique blessing from the Lord and each with its own responsibilities and privileges. I can’t agree with her more. Here is a link to one of her articles on this:

    Sadly, the patriocentrists believe that women have God-ordained roles that would keep them from pursuing ministry outside of their homes no matter the season of life. These are the people who are pulling the complementarians and the CBMW down the path toward their views of women.

  31. says

    “What I do have a problem with is a woman youth pastor whose husband is not involved at all with the kids. If you’re going to do the youth pastor thing, then you at least need a couple willing to pour their lives into those kids and equip their parents to lead them spiritually at home.”

    I agree. I wasn’t thinking “youth pastor” at all when I was talking about the SBC law against women teaching boys over the age of 13.

    “And it’s not wrong to drink, it’s just wrong to be drunk so let’s not get outta line with that, ladies :)”

    No one said it was wrong to drink. I drink wine/beer. I just don’t brag about. I don’t list it as the TOP thing that I like about being in a particular denomination. I don’t obsess about it. I don’t constantly rub other people’s noses in it and expect them to love talking about alcohol. I don’t expect it to be flowing at bible studies, church functions and the like, either. There is something wrong when every church function has to have alcohol and that becomes one of its center-pieces. I don’t want to be sitting under the leadership and teaching of a person who has been drinking all night, either. Especially when they have a red face, slurred speech and blurry eyes.

    I grew up in an alcoholic home. I was an alcoholic for many years before becoming a Christian. I stayed away from alcohol in the early years of my walk with the Lord until I knew that I could stop after the first drink. But, I also know that there are many believers who are totally insensitive about the problems alcohol has caused in many, many lives and their bragging and flaunting of their drinking abilities is a HUGE stumbling block. I have read on many of these presby blogs where people are bragging about the alcohol that was present and even inferring that someone had too much and not having a problem with it.

    IMHO, we are not out of line at all when we shine the light of day on leaders with obvious drinking problems.

    As I said on the TW blog, can’t anyone have a drink anymore without making a huge production about it? When I have a glass of wine, I don’t need to get on the internet and flaunt it and take pictures of it and talk about it. I just drink my wine and go on with my business.

    Some of these people are like high school kids in the way they approach these issues. Mature adults just have a drink and they don’t feel the need to say anything about it.

    I guess if I decide to tie one on, I might earn some brownie points with some of these big drinkers in Christendom.

    Also, I would never serve alcohol in my home to people in such a careless fashion. One does not know the weaknesses and backgrounds of others.

  32. says

    “Not first to them who were the heads of the church, as it were, but first of all to lowly women did the Lord appear, and the apostles themselves had to go to school, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to learn that great truth, “The Lord is risen indeed.””


    I love that quote.

    I am thinking about Jesus’ words concerning those who seek authoritative positions for their own selves after the manner of pagans. He said that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

    In that society, the women were one of the last, especially in the religious system. They were not allowed to get very near to the important business that went on in the OT temple system. Women were first when it came to Jesus’ resurrection. Also, women were really the only ones who got it when Jesus repeatedly taught about His death, burial and resurrection. The disciples didn’t get it. The religious leaders didn’t get it. And these were men who had access to the word of God unlike the women who didn’t.

    It would seem that any church who pushes women out of all spheres of influence except for the nursery and the kitchen is going to be a church that is greatly lacking in spiritual insight. After all, the same Holy Spirit that lives in a woman, lives in a man and in the same measure.

  33. says


    Isn’t it illegal to serve mixed drinks to underage individuals? Or is this also a violation of their precious “rights” as patriarchs and that is why they ignore the laws of the land (Romans 13)?

  34. says

    One of the nice things about this blog and the TW blog is the validation I get. Karen, I’ve soemtimes questioned my own memory and wondered if maybe I just misunderstood people years ago as now, things have changed. It seems as if conservative Christians have moved much farther to the right.

    Years ago, I used to speak for my state’s SBC association and more than once, spoke to groups composed of men and women in churches. There was never a problem as I always spoke under the authority of my husband, pastor, and pastors of the churches where I spoke. I think if things had stayed the same, then Ms. Klouda whould not have been fired. OR conversely, if my memory was wrong, she would never have been hired in the first place.

    There has been a shift in the beliefs of many in key positions in the SBC and I agree with you!

  35. says


    Go ahead and get me into more trouble!

    Just for the record, I have issues with some but not all of the teachings of some of those at CBMW and SBTS and SWBTS. NOT the men. I don’t know the men and that’s not the issue. It isn’t personal, and likewise, the fact that they are wonderful people who have godly characters is not the issue for me. It is all a matter of their teachings. I don’t think in black and white that way. (That seems to me like how people say that Doug Phillips would never teach anything odd or strange because he has a lovely family and is a godly man.)

    And I don’t take issue with EVERY doctrinal position that even the more problematic teachers offer at CBMW. Take John MacArthur for example. I’ve heard him on other doctrine and he’s been solid, cogent and orthodox. But in addition to some just ouright bizarre teachings on women, he’s also equivocated and taught and renounced and taught again some strange views on the Trinity.

    I have only listened to Bruce Ware’s teachings on the Trinity and gender (two topics that are never separate for him), so I cannot speak to anything else that he teaches except for what he’s written about open theism specifically which was fine. But I find his teachings on gender and the Trinity so offensive at this point, I can no longer listen and no longer look at CBMW’s site at all. I can’t stand how deeply cutting his teachings are to me and I grieve so deeply when I hear them that I cannot listen to any of his audio any more.

    Russell Moore is different and will say many things that are just so solid and identical to things that I would say, I find it to be almost a shock to my system when he says things that I also find harsh and extreme. That Feb 2007 “Different By Design” mp3 download on CBMW is difficult for me and a good example of this. In there he says that we should become a “kingdom of freaks” and talks of the war on culture. If you go to Ethics Daily and search for “Kunsman, ” those two articles there also cite other relavent quotes and such. Apparently Russ Moore is well known for the “culture war” business. Not that I deny that we are all engaged in spiritual warfare, but I completely disagree with SOME of his tactics. He also relies upon Bruce Ware and clearly draws from the writings and teachings of Bruce Ware when he talks about gender. (I also believe that Jesus is the Eternal Son of the Father, but what that means to me and what Bruce Ware teaches that it must mean are vastly different.)

    Al Mohler is a “mixed bag” to me as well. He makes statements about gender that I find to be outrageous and bizarre but then can say things that are so wise and wonderful that I stand in awe at the wonder of the Lord. It was also Al Mohler who rallied concerning the change of the language of “the priesthood” in the Baptist Faith and Message Statement. So he is definitely not someone whose teachings are “all or nothing.” He is touted as the one of the foremost expert on the New Testament and should be esteemed as such, but I disagree with his interpretations regarding gender.

    I was also asked specifically about John Piper. I have not read very much of Piper concerning his gender views, but I agree with other teachings of his concerning unrelated doctrines. I’ve heard his teachings on primogeniture, and though I don’t agree with him on that point, I do not find his teachings objectionable like I do with some of these others. But I have not read much of his material on the subject.

    I think it might also be instructive for people to realize this:

    I have been challenged to a closed room session ALONE with one professor (for offering opinions about his teachings on the Trinity) in which I would not be permitted to bring any texts such as those including Giles, White, Moreland and Craig, and Harold Brown. (This session would be for this professor to determine whether I am qualified to have any opinion about his teachings on the Trinity, I assume because I am a woman and not a seminary professor myself.) I was told having books with me “wouldn’t be allowed” by the third party who posed this challenge. It was described in such a way that it would not be an open discussion but a rather a setting where I was on trial and evaluated by this professor. ALONE. NO TEXTS (written by men, because as a woman, my opinion on doctrine counts for little to nothing). If such a challenge came from the professor (I have not been permitted to know who posed this challenge), then both my husband and I have a personal issue with him. I’ve heard that I am not qualified to rightly divide the Word of Truth on things related to the Trinity because, I suppose, I am a woman and not a seminary professor myself. I declined the meeting because having these texts “would not be permitted” and I refuse to go into a closed session with any of them, provided my husband would agree to such a thing. I did suggest a round table symposium in a public session, preferably with Kevin Giles as part of the forum, but this was completely unacceptable to the person who stated that a closed room session alone with this professor was required of me.

    Now, what’s a girl to think?

    The ramifications of that are troubling –essentially that women are supposed to study the Bible but not be able to defend the hope that lies within them, not be able to know the spirit of truth from the spirit of error and cannot rightly divide the Word of truth. Why should women study the Bible then? We need to be not conformed to the world but need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds with the Word as Christian women, but we can’t have an opinion about what the Word means? Being a seminary professor and having a doctorate certainly didn’t help Dr. Klouda, so it isn’t all about the issue of training.

    So for the record, I have an issue with some of the teachings of some at CBMW. I don’t have a reason to have a problem with anyone personally. I’m sure that they are warm and loving Christians of the utmost character.

    I’ve been challenged to a closed room session with one of them in a very adversarial and authoritarian manner by a third person of title and credibility, but I dont have a personal issue with this professor because I have never been told of the source of the challenge. If the challenge did originate with the professor himself, then I would have a personal issue with him, as would my husband, because of the adversarial nature in which it was presented to me. I’ve been treated with little personal respect by the group that the third party represents, so…

    I also have read about these trends on Wade Burleson’s blog over the past six months or so, but I didn’t read with great interest about the specifics until March of this year. These trends are discussed at length there and I would encourage anyone interested to read the archives and comments there.

  36. says

    Karen, I commend you for your courage in sticking with this issue. It might be easier to leave it alone, but someone needs to say something. I’m thankful for your voice.

    “chosen to draw his line where none should be. ”

    Very well said. You gotta know when you’re rallying around a flag of denim jumpers, you’ve gone way over the edge, and are being factious and divisive. Even if he said that with his tongue in cheek. The intent when framing a discussion that way is purposeful divisiveness and that, dear ones, should not be.

    I know very well how tiring it is to speak out on this kind of thing. But thank you for doing it.

  37. says

    Cindy, that “let’s just go one-on-one behind closed doors” offer sounds familiar. What it really means is “we want no accountability.”

  38. says

    You guys sure make me think!

    I guess I don’t have a problem with this idea of the Trinity because of passages like Jesus praying in the garden, “Not my will, but yours be done.” completely communicates a submission to the will of the Father. The fact that in Hebrews Jesus is our prophet, priest and king, our only mediator to the Father, also communicates a difference in roles, but not power or equality.

    We memorize the Baptist catechism at our house and I love how it describes the Trinity: the same in essence, equal in power and glory. Besides, someday Jesus will triumph over all and every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. The Father will further exalt Him on high. What a beautiful working together!

    You know, I think that there are some fundamental differences between what I’ve labeled the T4G camp (Duncan, Mahaney, Mohler) and the Vision Forum camp (Sproul Jr., Phillips). They may make the same statements, or the VF folks may quote things that the the T4G people say, but the WAY that they APPLY those principles to the life of the Christian woman I think are vastly different.

    During our time among all those men and their teachings, I did not encounter ONE prairie muffin. Not ONE.

    In regard to the firing of seminary professors, I don’t know all the details, but the purpose of the SEMINARY is to train pastors (elders, overseers) who must be men. I’m not sure it would make a lot of sense for a woman to be teaching a preaching class, for example. Other schools, like music or missions, I would think would be completely open to all who wanted to serve. The many Southern Baptist colleges have plenty of capable, wonderful professors (I had many of them at my school.). No one is trying to fire them.

    The behind closed doors thing might be an effort to speak privately about matters FIRST, the Biblical model of confronting someone you disagree with, as opposed to nefarious motives with no accountability I don’t know. Just a thought, I guess.

  39. says


    I would gladly welcome a Biblical confrontation, but all I’ve had have been decrees from on high that have been one-way communications. I have not been given any information about the specifics. Matthew 18 says to go in private, one-on-one. This information came to me from a ministry board without any specifics. It also came along with both demands and strong requests. For non-compliance with the requests, I’ve been denoucned. Then I get similar messages from a member of the press, also communicated to me indirectly. And the apologetics board said that they essentially had no duty to look into the evidence. The contact person said that he would have to review all the documentation himself before he could advocate for me and he was swamped with emergent church stuff. Then he also said that he could take on the patriocentrists but not the SBC, choosing only to fight certain battles. (And all this coming from a very peripheral topic in the talk?)

    So if someone called me up or emailed me and posed a private discussion, that would be very different. But what has been presented to me, the manner in which it was presented and the demands and charges that have accompanied this closed-door session suggestion (why not a phone call or email?) sound like what a minister friend of mine called “Jackbooted thuggery.” The contact person that posed the challenge refused to give any information to my husband as well. How does that conform to Matthew 18?

    So if they meant for this to be a Matthew 18 thing and someone or several individuals were personally offended for some reason, why did they (the SBC affiliates) jump to the second and third steps before coming to me in private, identifying themselves and offering me subjective criticisms? What I was confronted with was indirect, global, vague and adversarial. The contact person mentioned two raised voices on the phone, essentially communicating that he took a tounge lashing for me. Does that sound like Matthew 18? They took my matter before a board (conference call) without me present, without allowing me to provide any evidence in defense of my well-supported thesis and then declared me “faulty, misinformed” and stating that I made “unwarranted statements” before the world on the internet. That sounds absolutely nothing like Matthew 18 to me. It sounds like Matthew 10 and getting flogged in the synagogue and before councils. Here again, I disagree that this is a Matthew 18 issue but a Galatians issue anyway. I said nothing personal about anyone but only voiced that I found the teachings to be faulty. I did not name-call. I behaved in a professional way and cited references and quotes and have provided that information for others to investigate.

    I’ve wanted unity and reconciliation and a fair and reasonable consideration of the matters of disagreement in an open forum. I invite further discussion of the topic in a fair setting where I am shown common courtesy and respect as a Christian. But that’s not remotely what was presented to me.

  40. says

    “It would seem that any church who pushes women out of all spheres of influence except for the nursery and the kitchen is going to be a church that is greatly lacking in spiritual insight. After all, the same Holy Spirit that lives in a woman, lives in a man and in the same measure.”

    Oh! I just had a thought (there I go; “Thinking” again), and it involves Matthew 25:14-30.

    “15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. ”

    Those who want to exclude so many from the Kingdom (because they hold to the Law — “Lord, I knew you were a hard man” ) or because they only preach their ONE talent of hierarchal patriarchy/authority, etc., may be setting themselves up for a less than joyful experience when confronted by the Living Savior Himself. The other two who had the 5 talents and 2 talents were allowed to enter into joy with the Lord after doing what seemed to be their calling.

    Just a random thought, I guess.

  41. says

    “Cindy, that “let’s just go one-on-one behind closed doors” offer sounds familiar. What it really means is “we want no accountability.””

    Exactly! It is also a double-bind. People want to have dinner with you or send you gifts so they can later tell people that they had dinner with you and sent you a gift in order to make others think that the criticism is unwarranted.

  42. says

    It is difficult for me to see Jesus in any subordinate capacity when I read through the book of Colossians. God himself has called Jesus “God.” How can He be otherwise?

  43. says

    Cindy-I honestly didn’t know all the details about my last comment about Matthew 18 and how this was handled, OBVIOUSLY. I really, truly hope that reconciliation can come, if even an “agree to disagree” kind of truce.

    All I’m saying is that I don’t think any of these men are mean spirited or seeking to “keep women in their place” by these points of view. I don’t think they’re telling us not to think or study the Bible for ourselves.

    I already have a personality and a history that bucks up against the teachings of submission so I would think I’d be extra sensitive if I felt anything Al Mohler or Russ Moore said seemed “off” to me, in a way that elevates the man’s role. What does seem wrong to me is this whole idea that if I homeschool, be a keeper at home ONLY, grind my own bread, raise goats, wear dresses, that I’m a truly godly Christian woman.

    SO, I say again that I think a lot of what these CBMW folks say are TRUE, but then you’ve got VF people applying it in extreme ways so that it becomes LAW. That’s where my problem lies.

    Jesus as subordinate to the Father doesn’t mean that He’s less powerful or glorious. Besides, someday God will send Jesus again to crush his enemies and set up the new heavens and new earth where he reigns in absolute glory forever. “Same in essence, equal in power and glory” sums it up to me.

    As always, Karen, great discussion here.

  44. says


    Reading this, I can’t help thinking of when my husband came home from an elder’s meeting that he was summoned to at our cultic church. He wrote a letter to the elders with some new ideas about how they could better reach the youth there. We offered to participate with them as they had a period of turnover in leadership with the young people, so he wrote to the elders with some ideas that would help. He came home from the board meeting and said that we had to find a new church because they accused him of the sin of the son’s of Korah (“challenging” and “usurping” their authority). I could not believe it, and it took a whole other year of persecution before I would admit it. I loved those men so deeply and I could not believe that they would behave this way. About a year later, I was summoned to my own “star chamber” meeting. I was so grieved that I could not even begin to believe my own husband’s account in favor of my love and esteem of these men, prolonging the problems for a whole year. It broke my heart three times over. So I can understand, deeply and personally, that what I’ve said doesn’t compute with your love and esteem for these men. I appreciate this more than you know, and it is one of Cialdini’s “Weapons of Influence”: Liking. We disbelieve unpleasant things about those we love.

    I’m sorry that this is lengthy, but I don’t know how else to point these things out. I want you to understand that I am not just targeting them for some weird reason or that I am making light of the abuses of the patriocentrists. So I’ve included an explanation of the content and links to it when applicable so that it is very clear and so that people can understand my problems with the teachings and not the men themselves. Having believed different views of Scripture than I once did, I can completely relate to being “sure” of my understanding and what it’s like to realize that I haven’t seen all areas with clarity, for that it my desire concerning the Word.

    Russell Moore says some interesting things (some of them very good) in that Different By Design lecture (, but he also said the following:

    -Christians are kidding themselves by giving lip service to the word “complementarian”
    -Those who don’t hold to the “hard complementarian” view (his) are really egalitarian feminists
    -Egalitarian feminists who are Christian are “open theists”

    (“Open theism, also known as free will theism, is a philosophical view about the nature of a theistic God’s knowledge, according to which God is incapable, to some extent, of knowing the future actions of a human being with free will.” Wikipedia says that open theists believe that “Although unknowing of the future, God has predictive/anticipatory foreknowledge of the future through his intimate knowledge of each individual. As such, he is able to anticipate the future, yet remains fluid to respond and react to prayer and decisions made either contrary or advantageous to His plan or presuppositions.” I don’t believe anything remotely like this.)

    -He says that we are in a war concerning gender and that these views cannot be compromised because we are contending for the heart of the Gospel when we contend for the hard complementarian view of gender
    -He says that we need to become a kingdom of freaks so that we look like a unique option to the world. (Not only are we to live like dutiful Christians, but we are to be very obvious and novel so we will catch people’s attention.)

    What Bob Allen (Ethics Daily quoted directly from that lecture:

    In a 2007 lecture at the CBMW-sponsored Different By Design Conference, Moore said the gender issue is not a matter of “intramural debate” but rather “spiritual warfare.” “When you come to the issue of gender roles, you are dealing with the gospel,” he claimed. “What we have to understand is the gospel itself is patriarchal. It has to do with the fatherhood of God. In dealing with issues of male headship, Moore said, “So often we have acted as though there are more important issues, such as open theism, and so sometimes we will join hands and link arms with those that are with us on the doctrine of God: they just disagree with us on male headship.” “Open theism is not worse than evangelical feminism,” Moore said. “Open theism is simply another way of saying evangelical feminism. We have to understand that what is happening in all of these debates that we have going on is indeed a slippery slope.”

    From what he said in this audio lecture, for Russell Moore to want to reconcile or call a truce with me would be collaborating with his enemy in his own, openly declared gender-related spiritual warfare. He’s already made his stance perfectly clear. This has nothing to do with Doug Phillips declaring any laws – this is Moore’s own bold declaration of his “LAWS” of spiritual war. He doesn’t see this as a Matthew 18 issue but that of Galatians chapter 2 (remember Karen’s blog post: They are following the rules that they declared, and they have said that I don’t deserve to have an opinion and that it should not be public because this is a war of doctrines not of personal offenses.

    You mentioned Al Mohler and your sensing that he was not “off” or condescending to women. Where do you stand on his arguing to have the language about the priesthood of all believers removed from the BF&M? I spoke to a member of the Louisville press last week, and he validated that my understanding of Mohler’s efforts concerning this issue were accurate. He agreed that it was understood (as I have heard from others in Louisville) that Mohler rallied to have the phrase removed altogether, but this was the concession that was made and as far as the committee would let it go. Mohler says that the church is infected with autonomous individualism, and this is his solution.
    This is a shift back to the sacerdotalism. They want to make these secondary issues mandatory so that many things that are not included in the BF&M would be added such as these gender beliefs. They deny that these are matters that are open for believers to decide under Romans 14.

    About Bruce Ware:

    Bob Allen quoted this from the Winter 2003 edition of the Southern Seminary Magazine titled “The Beauty of Biblical Womanhood.”

    “Eve was tempted and deceived by the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit, and then gave it also to Adam,” Ware wrote. “Eve, that is, sinned first. Despite this fact, God seeks out Adam after their sin to inquire why they were hiding…. God approaches Adam, not Eve, as the one ultimately responsible for the sin.” “Adam only rightly bears the responsibility as the head of the sinful human race, when Eve sinned first, if he is viewed by God … as having authority and ultimate responsibility over the woman,” Ware posited. Ware said “complementarians” understand the Trinity “to present an analogy to the male/female relationship, as God designed it.”

    How then does Ware explain Romans 5:14 -15? “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”

    Adam sinned with knowledge, therefore he knew exactly what he was doing, so his willful and fully realized violation of what God told him was the issue. It was about motive and culpability, not who sinned first or about Eve having some strange charm over Adam because the Scripture does not say that. Eve was deceived and didn’t realize that she was actually violating what God had told them. Eve was not held accountable because she didn’t “get it,” but I Timothy 2 says that Adam knew exactly what he was doing – outright and willfully choosing disobedience of God. This is why he was held accountable for sin entering mankind. Eve paid the penalty for her unrealized disobedience, but Adam was held responsible because his sin was greater — that of the will. Now, I have no problem with others interpreting this differently, but I am not okay with being called an arminian open theist for rejecting their interpretation through holding a contrary one. I’ve only disagreed with their interpretation, but they’ve said that my interpretation is sub-Christian. You need only listen to a few of Ware’s audio downloads to discern that those who differ on this foundational teaching are no different to him than those Christians who pray to “Sophia” and want to make the Bible gender neutral. I’d go to my death before I’d advocate such a thing, but I am lumped in with these in Ware’s lectures. (There are plenty on CBMW’s site and there were more on STBS’s site as well, but I don’t know if they are all still online.)

    Ware also states this (Eve being morally and historically responsible for the Fall) in the audio “Equal in Essence, Distinct in Roles”

    In this audio, he also declares that women are the indirect or derivative image of God. Man was made in God’s image, and what he does not say in this language but is understood through unstated assumption and vague inference is that woman is made in man’s image directly. That’s why she’s only the indirect image of God. Man was made after God’s image, and woman was made after man’s image. That’s the logical conclusion of his statement, but if he came out and said it in this language, people would find it to be too offensive. It openly states the logical progression that they use to support submission, and then they apply that to Jesus when he says in his book that the Father has the preeminence in the Trinity.

    From “Tampering with the Trinity,” another Bruce Ware audio on CBMW (

    While the early church clearly embraced the full, essential equality of the three Trinitarian Persons, nonetheless, the church has always affirmed likewise the priority of the Father over the Son and the Spirit.

    That’s not true at all. Where’s the evidence? He doesn’t present any in the lecture.

    From his book, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”:

    [T]he Father has primacy in what is pictured here, for the Spirit is sent from the Father. But even though the Father sends the Spirit, the Spirit is sent not to teach or remind concerning the words of the Father, per se. Rather, the Father sends the Spirit in order for the Spirit to uphold the teaching of the Son. (pg 95)

    The Father and Son are two-fold Senders of the Spirit. The Father is primary and ultimate in this sending, yet the Son is the immediate and proximate Sender of the Spirit. The Father is seen, then, as supreme in authority in sending the Spirit, yet the Son, while under the authority of the Father, is in a position of authority over the Spirit… The Father, as ultimate in authority over the Son and the Spirit, calls the Son forth from the grave and sets him at his own right hand. Then the Father, rather than giving the Spirit directly to the church, instead gives the gift of the Spirit to his Son so that the Son might have the honor and privilege to give the Spirit, from the Father, to those redeemed and called to new life through the work on their behalf. So the Son, having received this gift of the Spirit from the Father, then passes on this gift to the believers on the day of Pentecost. (pg 97)

    The Father, then, as supreme authority over even his own Son and the Spirit, is the one to whom we gladly, but humbly, address our prayer. (pg 152)

    If you have not read the book, I’ve pulled many problematic quotes from it and posted them on my website. I am in the process of refuting what I find problematic, but I had to stop because this is so disturbing to me. Jesus is reduced to a woman’s level of authority within a marriage, though all those who advocate this view say otherwise. That’s just what I see. Look at everything under the “Against Subordination” option in the menu.

    Colossians 1:18 says that “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He [Jesus the Son]may have the preeminence.” Why would Scripture clearly say this if this is not what was meant? It isn’t a translation issue either. This chapter explains that all things were made through Him, but that just means that Christ was the part of the Divine Persons who created. It does not say that Jesus had to get permission from the Father first. To use Ware’s language, it was the Son’s role to create, but there is nothing in the creation account or in this passage that says that outside of the incarnation that Jesus was a juvenile Son or without just as much authority as the Father held. Anything else is eisegesis and poor hermeneutics.

    This says that in terms of authority, the Father is the President, the Son is the VP and the Holy Spirit is the Speaker of the House, to draw an analogy. But this is considered heresy because it denies the creeds of the church (that the Divine Persons are co-equal) and argues to a degree what Arius argued. ENMR and Spiritwatch Ministries did a big expose’ on this concerning Gwen Shamblin, denouncing this hierarchy in Trinity (though she claimed that Jesus had an origin in time). The Father sits at the top of the totem pole, Jesus is in the middle and the Holy Spirit gets directed by both Jesus and the Father. Aside from that which could easily be understood as a function of incarnation, we are not clearly told that Jesus has always had and continues to have less authority outside of his incarnate state before He made atonement for our sins..

    I’ve seen direct correspondence between Cheryl Schatz and Bruce Ware (before he declared her sub-Christian) where he explains that Jesus does not have authority to answer prayer or even to hear prayer. If you pray to Jesus (YHWH God), those prayers don’t go anywhere and they are not heard. Only when you pray to the Father in Jesus’ name does God (YHWH) hear us. This is because the Father has “ultimate” authority in the Trinity and Christ does not. Christ praying to the Father and submitting to His will was an eternal thing for Ware and not a limitation that came about through the kenosis (the emptying described in Phil 2). If Christ had to empty Himself, just what did He empty himself of in the kenosis for his incarnation as a function of being fully man? And when He rose again, was He not then relieved of the functional or what I believe Tertullian called the “economic” Trinity?

    Denny Burk, the editor of CBMW’s journal said that Jesus was not even equal to the Father and that he forfeited this because he could not be both equal and become incarnate. It also sounds like Jesus was an actual juvenile son who was growing up like a created man (though he does not say that Jesus was not co-eternal or created Himself). From his address to the 2003 ETS (listen to the audio here:

    “I would like to propose an interpretation that allows for equality with God to be a reality that is distinct from the form of God. What I mean is that although Jesus existed in the form of God, He did not want to grasp after being equal with God… That is, although He was in His essence, God, he did not want to become equal with God in every respect… The form of God is something that Jesus possesses by virtue of His deity while the equality with God is not… In His pre-existent, Trinitarian fellowship with the Father, Jesus decided not to go after equality, but to go after incarnation.”

    Where is that written in the Bible?

    And if there is no interest in patriocentrism at SBTS, why did they hire Randy Stinson, a Family Integrated Church specialist?
    Stinson is called an FIC specialist on the SBTS website and countless other places when you put his name in a search engine.

    As far as Vision Forum perverting what Moore and Ware have written and stated, to their credit, I never heard Doug Phillips say that Jesus does not have the authority to answer prayer, women are the indirect image of God, sin entered mankind through Eve, or that Jesus has less authority than the Father. Vision Forum might follow a more rigid view of performance standards and moral imperatives for women than Ware, Moore, Mohler or Burk; but in terms of teachings about theology, VF certainly has not perverted anything. They’ve never taken the foundational theology supporting a low view of women and Christ to the extremes that these SBTS/CBMW have done, and that, at least, is to Doug Phillips’ credit. If Phillips had said this or any other of the patriocentrists have said this, then I would be more than willing to expose it. But VF doesn’t go that far, but Ware does. Moore quotes him as do others affiliated with both CBMW and ETS. And Phillips quotes Moore.

    So I am confused when you talk about truce and reconciliation. I believe that this is an doctrinal war that I did not declare because I believe that these are intramural issues. According to their stance, there is nothing that can be reconciled between their ideas and mine because they are right and they believe that I’m seriously compromising the character and image of God through my gender stance (which is functionally not all that different than theirs.) The only personal thing to reconcile comes up if Ware or Moore were responsible for attempting to squelch my opinion or for arranging for me my scholarship to be wrongly denounced.

  45. says


    There is a mega comment full of links to the statements and audios and such of some of the people we discussed here.

    Please come back and check for it later in the event that it takes awhile for it to come out of moderation.

  46. says

    Clarification of above:

    Now that this has posted, I noted a few things that were muddy.

    I wrote Jesus is reduced to a woman’s level of authority within a marriage, though all those who advocate this view say otherwise. That’s just what I see.

    Dr. Ware and some of these others at CBMW reduce Jesus to a level of authority like unto that of a woman under a husband in an hierarchical marriage. What I meant to say more clearly is that it seems likely that these men have, over time, altered their view of the Trinity to support their gender arguments. (I’ve not doubt that this happened, over time. This likely created cognitive dissonance for them in their comparisons of the Trinty to marriage because it isn’t a direct and “cut and dry” relationship between these concepts. They knew what they wanted to say about gender and they knew that there were similarities in the analogous comparisons between these examples. But it isn’t a perfect fit. So, over time –as this was not part of CBMW’s original teaching so far as I know — their Trintarian views eventually shifted to be more in sync with their gender concepts.

    I know well that Bruce Ware staunchly denies that he recapitulated his view of Trinity to fit and support his view of gender roles. So he is the “they who say otherwise” in the preceding post that I wrote. Bruce Ware denies that he acquiesced to change his Trinity views, and I believe that he believes that he is being honest. But I think that it was so conveinent to make the transition that this is likely what happened. This is pure conjecture on my part, but I believe it to be a reasonable thing to consider. And I don’t believe that Dr. Ware is being dishonest with anyone, and if he has accomodated the gender arguments by altering his view of the Trinity, I don’t think it was intentional.

    If a kid has his hand in a cookie jar and then says that he doesn’t like cookies and doesn’t eat them, he can say that all he wants. His hand is still in the cookie jar. They repeat much about what they say they believe, but I argue that a good part of what they argue actually argues the antithesis of what they claim. I cant say with forensic assurance that any cookies were eaten…

    That’s what it seems like to me. I just see way too much explanation and disclaimers being thrown around to have a great deal of confidence in what Bruce Ware claims when he says things that are contradictory (the Father’s ultimate does not equate to the Son’s lesser than ultimate ).

    So there’s my long winded clarification…

  47. says

    “I cant say with forensic assurance that any cookies were eaten”

    Cindy, this is the same sort of situation we have found ourselves in on this blog many times. The patriocentrists KNOW that they do not have the Scripture to support their views if stated outright so they manipulate the Word and practicing eisegesis in order to brow beat and misrepresent their opponents. Then they present their beliefs but when challenged they can reply “I never said that women have to live just like me” or “I never said that I teach an Americanized worldview” etc. etc. etc. Slippery they are. And too used to dealing with head-nodders who agree with all they say. Keep posting anything else you think needs to be shown, Cindy. I truly believe that “complementarianism” is already out the door and it will be patriarchy or the highway for people who allow themselves to be pulled along down the path. As I said before, I am standing in the same place I stood 10 or 20 years ago on these issues and have watched so many nearly run over me in their rush to jump on the patriocentric bandwagon.

  48. says

    Oh, and as Sandy pointed out, we are CONSERVATIVES. It is just that to be defined as one today, you have to embrace the doctrines in the “grand sweep of revelation” which center on the patriocentric views of gender.

  49. says

    And one more thought….

    How does this all effect homeschoolers? I believe that if the patriocentrists are successful in painting everyone outside their camp as “white washed feminists” and “open theists” and they are able to coax the normal complementarians down to their end of the spectrum regarding gender issues, we will see more and more division within the homeschooling community.

    And I believe that will result in problems for all homeschoolers.

    Already R.C. Sproul Jr. has defined those outside of his muffin camp as pragmatists, thus removing the legitimate foundation, at least in my state, that people have for legally homeschooling in the first place. And I believe this is by and large the majority of homeschoolers. But as state leaders bring in the patriocentrists to speak at their conventions, their numbers will grow because of the influence of HSLDA, Phillips, Sproul Jr., McDonalds etc. This is why it is so crucial that their real teachings are identified and exposed to the main stream public. I believe your average Christian homeschooler would be aghast if for instance, they understood the implications of making the father the sanctifier in the family. I also think they would back away from the patriocentrists if they understood the ramifications of joining the cult of fatherhood.

  50. says


    Thanks for the invitation to continue to post info here. Someone sent me a link to another audio featuring Russell Moore (along with Randy Stinson, CJ Mahaney and Mark Devers) that apparently was being discussed on the CCC Forum. It’s dated May 1, 2007 and contains some of the identical info that Moore presented in that Dif by Design, Feb 07 conference I mentioned before.

    Just add www. ~

    Again, this was a royal patriocentric fellowship of fallacy to me. I wish I had Dave Letterman’s blink counter for everytime someone used “Biblical” as a modifier. It is used so much (speaking to an audience that already knows that they are talking about and desirous things Biblical) and buzz phrases that they loose contexual meaning. I find it frustrating because they talk at length but much of what they say lacks meaning. The other thing that was frustrating was, again, this view that anyone who does not agree with CBMW on all points wants to make all gender references to God in the Bible either gender neutral or female.

    Talk about “grand sweeps of revelation” that are not revelation but are outright propaganda distortions of steriotyping, scapegoating and argumentum ad hitlerum. I grew up in the Assemblies of God, and I never heard anyone say that it was appropriate for women’s roles and men’s roles to be interchanable. They did not tolerate women being men or men being women, they just thought women could be ordained (but I never saw a female senior pastor in 20 years), teach or preach both genders, serve as voting elders (at one phase, we only had about 6 families who regularly attended, so we didn’t have many options), and they could hold leadership postitions or titles. I know that my former church family in the AoG would NEVER, NEVER, EVER entertain changing gender pronouns or refer to God as a woman. They never taught or believed that “roles” that were gender dependent were interchangable and that was not a function of viewing both genders as equal. There was definitely no gender ambiguity ever. I’ve seen none in the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches I’ve visited or attended since I left the AoG, save for the effeminate men that gravitate towards shepherding and patriocentrism.

    There was also a crashing/rolling/flying down a slipperly slope statement in that audio that Moore makes. He connected Nicole Simpson’s murder to gender roles to what he called hypermasculinity to abuse of women to gender ambiguity. What is gender ambiguous about hypermasculinity and those who abuse women physically? (I’ve actually seen quite the opposite in my working relationships with homosexual men and women in nursing.)

    Moore says:I think that hierarchy is what Lordship means. I think that without hierarchy, you don’t have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And so patriarchy is offensive in this culture – yes it is – but it’s offensive for all the right reasons. Because what we have is not a choice between patriarchy and gender egalitarianism, that doesn’t exist. What you see out there in the culture is a pagan patriarchy. You have men who are predatory who are abusing and mistreating women as sexual objects and in all kinds of other ways. You know, right now, on Fox Television, there’s the discussion of having a show with OJ Simpson saying “If I did it” meaning killing my ex-wife: “This is how I would have done it.” That’s a very brazen example of something we see all the time where you have, for instance, Sharon Stone, an actress, speaking to young girls saying that in order to prevent date rape, have oral sex with your boyfriends to prevent that kind of aggression.

    Well, you have aggressive men, hyper-masculinity is dangerous. The Bible takes masculinity and channels it in this way. When you loose those channels, when you loose sexual differentiation, then you are going to have the hurt of women.

    Question from Devers: So then, why is it that you don’t like word “complementarian”?) noted at time mark 38:25

    Moore: Because complimentarianism doesn’t say much more than the fact that you have different roles. Everyone agrees that you have different roles, it’s just on what basis do you have those different roles? So an egalitarian would say “Yeah, I am a complementarian, too. It’s just on the basis of depths (or gifts? I cannot tell from the recording. — It sounds as if he said “GEPTHS.” )

    I think that 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 have to then define what headship looks like.

    Lordship is hierarchy? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is hierarchy dependent? What????

    Moore: That there’s no distinction of roles and instead there is this false equality.

    That’s not remotely true of what anyone thought or believed in the AoG. There are plenty of role distinctions, but they let women teach and be elders. Other than that, when I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, I never heard anyone promote gender role ambiguity. It was not a huge conspiracy against the Word but a different interpretation of certain Scriptures. Women can teach and be elders, and this doesn’t mean that the denomination or church encouraged women to be men by opening these “roles” to women. Denying them never occured to them. (They didn’t decide that in 1967 that they would give women those liberties because of changes in society. This was a woman’s liberty from the founding of the denomination. Gender was never a focus, but this does not equate to gender ambiguity.)

    Moore: Why do pastors need to listen?)
    Because most of the people in the churches are feminists and most of the people in our churches are in same sex marriages right now, they just don’t realize it. Because you have people who have marriages that in which you do not have male headship.

    (And I was accused of “guilt by association”??? and painting Bruce Ware out to be pro-slavery???) Moore is “slippery” because half of nearly every paragraph, I completely agree with. Then he mixes a solid and cogent idea in with something just outright fallacious based on my own beliefs or my knowledge of my former, egalitarian denomination.


    Devers: So You’re saying to mean evangelical, PCUSA church where the Gospel is preached and there are women elders, they cannot have a fruitful discipleship program.

    Stinson: I’m not saying that there will be no fruit at all, I’m saying that their efforts in discipleship will be undermined because there are no generic people and consequently people so there are no generic Christians. You are either a male Christian or a female Christian and you’re going to live out the Christian life differently in a different context based that – based on the particular roles that the Bible has prescribed. And so discipleship is impacted. The structure of the home is impacted. The structure of the church is impacted. How we worship is impacted. Bible translation issues are impacted and so every aspect of the Christian life is impacted with how we in regard to Word language. Do we call God mother…

    [Pastors] don’t see [gender] as related to the Gospel and the center of their ministries.

    This is post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. It’s just looney. AoG grants women the liberty to be elders and somehow that means they want to make pronouns that refer to God in the Bible all feminine? What????? Bruce Ware mentions this all the time in his audios, more oft then not.

    Moore: And you have husbands who think that headship means “Woman, get me my chips.” That’s not what Biblical headship is about, and so it is distorted and that means you have danger to the Gospel itself.

    Danger to the Gospel? Huh? Now this was in a conversation format, so it was not like he was delivering a well planned sermon. So what’s the listener to think? Man can endanger the Gospel? This is not reformed theology, and if someone thinks that they are able to thwart and frustrate God, then it is not possible to endanger the Gospel. What does “danger to the Gospel itself” mean? Is this like Stacy McD’s concept of religious genocide (what was done to the FLDS by the govt). I don’t want to gnit pick, but the imagery of this language is much like fear mongering to me and over something that I believe these men created themselves. Gender is a challenge, but the conspiracies that have been created to counter this are so overkill that they get outright bizarre to me. And if the reader here doesn’t agree with my assessment, then they don’t agree. That’s fine. It’s not a big deal, but it is a big deal to Moore.

    Moore: It’s not just the publication of curricula. It’s about men who are mentoring and discipling younger men, wives such as your wife, CJ, and daughter, who are doing this and talking about this so it’s not just theory but you have younger men who are actually in your home seeing “This is how you’re making a decision in a marriage. This is how you discipline children.” That has to be an essential part of what’s going on in every local church with pastors who are saying to young men, “Listen. No sir. That is not what you’re going to do. I’m going to correct you on this and show you a better way.”

    Sorry, but this sounds just like shepherding and sacerdotalism. My husband has a saying that he heard from his father: “Never interfere with a father and his children.” Or is that more feminist egalitarian open theism I picked up from our degraded culture? Were people raised by wolves and had no parents? Am I that out of touch with the world? Do people really need that much supervision? I guess that I always observed this to be an organic process and what I saw in my cultic church was a formalization of the process which turned it into an Orwellian nightmare. Mahaney is deep into shepherding and discipelship theology and submission teachings (and he creeps me out on this audio because he is so sychophantic). It’s a nice intention to say that you want to try this to help mentor, but it quickly degenerates into authoritarian nightmare.

    Dever: [When teaching about the Fall] It’s a satanic attempt to undermine authority to teach people made in God’s image that you cannot both be guided and lead by an authority and loved at the same time.

    I dont’ believe and no one that I ever met in the AoG ever thought that being guided and lead by an authority meant or prevented simultaneous love. This is just the most outrageous statement that makes no sense and draws a false dichotomy to force a view. The best leading and guiding comes from a loving authority!!!!! That’s what makes and keeps them righteous and compassionate. But Dever tells his congregation that egalitarians cannot conceive of submission to an authority or the governance of an authority as a function or related to or a demonstration of love. That’s a slap in the face to anyone outside of their camp.

    Alright, I’m giving up on ranting about this one now!

  51. says

    “Moore: Why do pastors need to listen?)
    Because most of the people in the churches are feminists and most of the people in our churches are in same sex marriages right now, they just don’t realize it. Because you have people who have marriages that in which you do not have male headship.”

    Excuse me? “most of the people in our churches are in same sex marriages? These people just continue to get more and more offensive. As far as I am concerned, some of the most effeminate men I have known have been on the patriocentric end of the scale. Nothing quite screams “I am unsure of my masculinity” to me like a man who has to continually place all aspects of life into the pink or blue column. Honestly, it all reminds me of being in high school French class and having to give all nouns a masculine or feminine article. There was no rhyme nor reason to it but because it was part of the language, it had to be done.

  52. says

    Oh, Karen,

    I could understand saying something like this as a joke or as a biting comment in response to something (like my husband’s biting comment to me right after Moore said this). But this is something that Moore says quite seriously as a main point and in response to a specific and directed question. And to make it even more significant, Moore actually talks at some point about how offensive it is to him when pastors joke about gender steriotypes. He said that it was inappropriate to say things like “the old ball and chain” or “I only take care of the important things like whether or not we should invade Iraq and whether we should raise minimum wage while she does the unimportant stuff like paying the morgage and deciding where our children go to school.” He says that’s a sign of a deeply corrupt church life when pastors joke about these kind of issues.

    So not only do you have to believe like them, you have to have their same form of communicating, too? I got the sense that this was not an issue of irreverence or being too casual in the pulpit and in worship. The point was that you can’t even make lighthearted jokes because gender is central to the Gospel message — that this is like making fun of the Blood of Jesus or something.

    He later talks about how Satan hates marriage and attacks it because he hates the icons that represent the Church Bride’s relationship with Jesus. (Another example of a paradoxical statement where half of what he says is solid and good. I also agree that Satan hates marriage because of the image of God and the analogy that we have of Chris’s redemption of us through faith and not through works. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.) But these men have made a sacred cow out of gender to the point that living out their idea of gender roles has become a sacrament. Anything gender related confers some kind of grace or something and relates directly to God’s image. I have an image of Puritanism and rigid people who view — well — just see everything as some kind of sacrament through which a work communicates saving grace on the inward man of whoever follows this.

    But Moore sees nothing wrong with saying people are in same sex marriages and don’t know it. (I’m sure that he only considers strong-willed women when he says this, but as you pointed out, Karen, my husband also made a snide comment about the effeminate mannerisms of so many of these patriocentric men that we’ve met in many different churches.)

    There are a couple of men on that “Return of the Daughters” video that act so gender ambiguous and say some bizarre things (out of context would make me suspect pedophilia) that I would not have been surprised if Richard Chamberlain walked into frame and kissed one of them full on the mouth. (And we’re supposed to listen to THEIR views on gender?) And what’s sad is that they have no clue how effeminate they seem to people outside of their influence and how very similar their own behavior is to homosexual men in real life. I transcribed one section out of the extras on courtship and was going to post it on my blog because of how bizarre it was (it sounded nearly identical to prose of the front page of the NAMBLA website), but I couldn’t do post it because it did sound so terrible. They are so far beyond culturally irrelevant that they’ve become culturally relevant in a disturbing way. And they either seem cluless about it or they consider people’s adverse reactions to them as persecusion that validates to them that they are riddiculed for Christ, not because of their own personal inappropriateness.

  53. says

    When I transcribed this and went to comment on my blog about the “Return of the Daughters” video from VF, I didn’t think it was fair or appropriate to air this mess in public. I thought that it looked so emotionally incestuous and “gender ambiguous” that it was inappropriate to even make this public. But it is something that I did transcribe off the Return of the Daughters video which is perfectly public. I’m not the one who let this get into that video. What made this look so bad to me was the fact that the person speaking this behaved in such an effeminate manner and tone, it sounded like homosexual pedophilia. My husband got nauseous and very angry. And these are our gender appropriate examples that the church must follow?

    Many things have happened since November when I first viewed this film. I learned last week that either Bruce Ware or Russell Moore or both believe that my patriarchy workshop portrayed them as neo-Confederates and pro-slavery, something about whichthey claim to be completely ignorant. Though I went to great lengths to not paint people with groups with which they were not affiliated, only noting the identical nature of some of their teachings (?bad fruit of CBMW?) and making that clear (which was validated by many layperson’s comments after the workshop) that patriarchy is a very mixed bag, one of the reasons given to me by an unexpected source and the spokesperson for the apologetics organization was that I made the SBC look like pro-slavery racists. I also learned last night from that audio that Russell Moore basically esteems me like a lesbian who is on the wrong side in the spiritual war of gender. Several women who post here were called lesbians in a very foul way online about a year ago by Phillips supporters. And I’m sorry, but that Mahaney sounded on that audio like one of the poorest example of masculinity that I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve worked with male homosexuals who behaved with far more masculinity than he does, and Mahaney was so effeminate and sycophantic that I found it deeply disturbing (especially considering the subject).

    Because I’ve been essentially insulted and reduced to nothing but an errant lesbian who worships the wrong God because I don’t think the most awesome and amazing characteristic of the Trinity is “authority- submission hierarchy” (Ware repeatedly in chapters 5 and 6 of his book), then I’ve decided that it is now time to make this mess very public.

    Now, please understand, that aside from being a pastor in the SBC, Scott Brown has nothing to do with Russell Moore that I know of. I understand that Brown was once a wonderful pastor that did not act anything like he does now that he’s jumped on board the patriocentric bandwagon. I don’t know that anyone at SBTS has anything to do with Vision Forum or Doug Phillips. It appears that Stinson (SBTS’s FIC specialist) has no reported affiliation with VF’s NCFIC, though Phillips posted an article applauding Stinson and SBTS on VFM’s site. But Phillips does have a relationship with Paige and Dorothy Patterson of SWBTS, and all of them share very similar if not identical views on gender/sex/family. And I was told by several people including people in the SBC commenting on Wade Burleson’s blog stating that I had drastically understated the similarities and the relationships between patriocentricity and the gender agenda of some of these powerful folks in the SBC. So my reasoning for posting this is a reaction to the gender mandates in general and the hypocrisy of formal groups like CBMW and VF and their representatives who pontificate gender roles, all while some of them model language, language patterns and mannerisms of contemporary homosexuals. There are those in leadership in the movement that embarrass the whole Body through what has just become outright bizarre behavior. They’re bringing shame on all of us.

    I would also say that I feel TERRIBLE for Scott Brown’s daughter in more ways that I can appropriately express here. I apologize to her and whatever shame or embarrassment that she will suffer because of this. She has been a major consideration in my choice to not post this before. But then, I consider that this is on the “Return of the Daughters” video, already there for the world to see. I am horribly embarrassed for all Christians and for Kelly in particular and for the people who produced this video not realizing how horrible this seems to those outside of their cultic bubble because of this culturally irrelevant and offensive this content. So, I post this here with grief, pain and shame for the Body of Christ. But the Word says that judgement of the culture begins in the House of the Lord.

    Before you read the content from the video, please consider this quote from the front page of NAMBLA (and I am going for guilt by association here because the specific language and content is so very similar):

    The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name

    The “Love that dare not speak its name” in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect… It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the “Love that dare not speak its name,” and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.

    ~ Oscar Wilde, playwright

    Who We Are

    Who we are is perhaps best understood from Dr. John Money’s account of two boys, who speak about how they view their adult lovers: Andy – “Just as normal as anybody else.  He is like a second father to me.”  Burt – “He’s neat; and he’s nice, and gives me more respect than anyone ever has …  he treats me like an adult, not like my parents treat me.  To me, he’s my best friend.”

    How different is this sophistry used to describe sexual abuse much different from the very poorly chosen language used by Scott Brown in the “Extras” section on Courtship on the “Return of the Daughters” DVD? I understand in context what Brown is trying to say which is why I first believed that it was inappropriate to put this transcription online. It is separated from the context of courtship and mentoring. But just as the patriocentrists take these two things that are wonderful and good by turning the work of the Holy Spirit into the bureaucratic nightmares of the traditions of men, Brown’s language is poorly informed, irresponsible, bizarre and offensive. It demonstrates quite dramatically just how culturally irrelevant and ill prepared stewards that the patriocentrists have become. The world will have a hay day with this and and the church should be embarrassed. This is an example of the gender role rot that is propagated as inseparable from and essential to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (as Moore indicates about the significance of gender role in that audio and as Phillip Lancaster maintains in “Family Man, Family Leader”).

    From the video –

    Scott Brown:

    You know the most obvious way that a father works to find a mate for his daughter is to just do the things that God has called him to do. God has called every man to be a brother to other — other to young men in the church. What happens often to – to older men, to fathers, is that they only – they only have relationships with other older men in the church. Well what’s that all about? Is that – is that the way that God would have an older man operate in the church or in the community? Well, absolutely not.

    God calls older men to know younger men. One of the questions that I like to ask men are “Hey. How many of your friends – how many of your best friends are 13 years old?” And I ask that question because I think that it’s important for older guys to know 10, 12, 13, 14 , 15 year olds so that they know the hearts of these men; and also that they’re investing in these men. You – you know, when you disciple a young man, you – you – you may be discipling – you know — your -your daughter’s future husband, but you may be discipling– you are definitely discipling somebody’s husband. And it’s really important that men do that. So one of the mistakes men do is that they– they wait ‘till the “eleventh hour” to get to know men.

    And, ah, one of the …– It’s really symptomatic of the loss of a vision of discipleship in the church. And God has arranged a beautiful way of – of discipling of –of a—of a men in the church. That is that – a—God gives you a small number of men in your natural circle and you pour your life into them and you – you are– are like Paul was to Timothy. And that’s the most natural and—ah — perhaps the most effective way to find a mate for your daughter.

    Scott Brown’s Daughter (After briefly speaking about her husband, Peter):

    My father has a um- great love for young men, and so with Peter, he just began by just fostering kind of a mentorship relationship with him. Writing him. Telephoning him. Um, spending time encouraging him in the Word. Challenging him with questions…Here are books… How can I pray for you….My father fell in love with Peter before I did.

  54. says

    “As far as I am concerned, some of the most effeminate men I have known have been on the patriocentric end of the scale.”


    You can say that again. That is why I find all this macho manly-man patrio talk so funny.

    It is really hard to sit quiet and be falsely accused of all sorts of things when it comes from such effeminate sounding voices.

    We are all in same sex marriages because we don’t do marriage the way they do it? That is a hoot.

  55. says


    This truly gives me the creeps.

    As a mother I am concerned about men who show an unwarranted interest in my children. I don’t want anyone grooming my son for a future husband for their daughter. Their motives are tainted.

    What about these young boys’ parents? Why do I need some older man to take a sudden interest in my young son and want to be BFF’s (best friends forever) with him? That just sounds weird.

    And having a son who was sexually assaulted by an older male and other details about this male’s family I will not go into, I will say that this would be a HUGE RED FLAG for me. I have worked with SVU detectives very closely because of what our family went through and I will tell you that our young boys should NOT be being groomed by older men who want to have a best friend relationship with them.

    There is WAY TOO MUCH sexual deviation in the church today to have older men wanting to be best friends with pre-pubescent boys. We can’t be naive about this. I went to church with a man who was a head pastor of a large church and had molested a young boy. He was happily married with children (girls) and no one would have ever guessed that this man was a pedophile. He took an interest in a young boy of the age group that is mentioned above and this should have been this family’s red flag that something is very wrong.

    Concerning the quote above, this young man already had godly parents and he did NOT need to be mentored and groomed as a possible prospect for a son in law.

    Whatever happened to parents training and teaching their OWN children? I thought this is why the patrios are so against Sunday School and Children’s Church and VBS and Youth Groups????

    What hypocrisy!

  56. says

    “What happens often to – to older men, to fathers, is that they only – they only have relationships with other older men in the church. Well what’s that all about?”

    That is called “normal”.

    So, if some older man starts hanging around with 13 year old boys, then that would be ???????

    There was a guidance counselor from my high school that had a lot of young teenage boys as his friends. They would hang out with him and do things together. Turns out this man was….you guessed it…..a pedophile.

    Where else is this man/boy stuff being taught?

    This seems to go totally against the whole dogma about children never being under anyone else’s influence except for the father’s.

  57. says

    “Who We Are

    Who we are is perhaps best understood from Dr. John Money’s account of two boys, who speak about how they view their adult lovers: Andy – “Just as normal as anybody else. He is like a second father to me.” Burt – “He’s neat; and he’s nice, and gives me more respect than anyone ever has … he treats me like an adult, not like my parents treat me. To me, he’s my best friend.””

    OH MY!!!!

    It is the same lingo and everything.

  58. says

    “same sex marriage”

    So, would that mean that the husband is a male lesbian?

    Is this a marriage of two females? Two males? Or did each spouse have a sex change and become the opposite sex?

    I just don’t get it. I am embarrassed for the person who said this.

  59. says


    The pastor that molested several young men in my home town was not the least bit effeminate. Not at all. You never would have guessed from his behavior that he was strange. Parents trusted him and apparently he was left alone with many young men long enough to establish these long-term abusive “relationships” that continued after their puberty. The young man that he was caught with was in his late 20s. I knew of this pastor’s history before this all became public, and I never saw any indication of “gender ambiguity” in his behavior. (And I watched for it.)

    Fast forward 25 years to patriocentric pastors and men who demonstrate behavior and language and syntax that both my husband and I find to be overtly effeminate. And these are the people who believe that they can dictate these gender directives and prescriptives to the Body of Christ? If a man of otherwise good character with no overtly sexually inappropriate or ambiguous behavior turned out to be a pervert who took advantage of several young men that I knew…. We should let our sons spend time as the “best friends” of grown men?

    Another issue: Are 13 year old boys marrying so young these days so that Brown or others should want to hang out with them for the purposes of finding mates for their daughters? I have no problems with mentoring in general, but I agree with you that these young men should be mentored by their own fathers. Presumably, they are young men from Christian homes since they are in the company of both these young women and their families. If you “give your daughter over to the guardianship of her new patriarch” at age 18, then why do you need to develop a BFF relationship with that young man at 11 years of age (the bottom limit mentioned by Brown) if that boy won’t be marriage material for her for several years? Do they need seven or eight years to evaluate them?

    If these men are supposed to be so manly, why in heaven’s name would they want to be best friends with boys, unless they were working on a project or something. Are all these potential mates for daughters fatherless and in need of mentoring in a father’s absence? Non-normative families without fathers are not made to feel terribly welcome in FIC churches, so there cant be that many young men there without their own fathers. And I know that they’re not going out into the community to mentor unsaved boys.

    I went over to VF’s site this evening, and there is a picture of Scott Brown with his arm his son. Would he feel comfortable sending his son at age 11 or 13 or whatever to spend time getting mentored by some prospective future father in law, particularly if he was available to his own son? It seemed like he did an excellent job working with his son all by himself without the additional wisdom and friendship of his son’s future FIL. (Aren’t those the kinds of relationships that develop after a couple marries anyway? Why rush it?)

    This is not to say that every grown man is a risk to children, but I think it is a legitimate concern in our day and age. If these young men have good parenting at home, why should they not be mentored by their own parents and get to know other men while in the company of their fathers? At my church, we always had some kind of ministry work, and kids had an opportunity to build friendships with everyone in the church who participated in these things. Whether it was putting a roof on an old lady’s house or working on maintenance at the church building, there were opportunities for fellowship in groups. We were all a big family together. I had many opporutnities to meet people at our church when I was a kid because our families had fellowship together, either through ministry or through visiting with one another in each other’s homes and such.

    And thinking about the voyerism and exhibitionism that was mentioned a few weeks ago, why is it that every time there is some gathering that is a natural part of the life of the church, why is it that it becomes some media event that is put on display for the world to see?

    Another peripheral thought… Who provided the finances for this building project, or was it financed by the NCFIC as a special project and object lesson to show fathers how to mentor young men (either their own or their prospective SILs)? Someone posted a tax form showing Scott Brown’s NCFIC expenses for a given tax year where showing that his business expenses totalled in excess of $900K. The amount of money that Brown raised that year (also reported on that VFM tax form) did not exceed his expenses by very much, maybe by a few 100K. If you made $100 in a day and it cost you $85 dollars to get to work and pay your work related expenses for that day, would it be worth the return? It would if the perks were good and a fair portion of that $85 gave you a very nice lifestyle. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

  60. Anne says

    So, like what about Peter’s father? Where did he fit into the picture?

    The first time I saw the You Tube videos with Doug Phillips group father/daughter’s getaway and the daughter’s shaving their daddies, a big red bell rang in my head. I actually thought it was a joke. And gasped when I saw that it was not and they all think this is a normal thing. Weird, weird, weird.

    Then I went to VF blog and skimming back through their archives came across an entry for their father/daughter banquets and the subtitles given to the photos were really, really suggestive. Suggestive of love that is reserved for a husband and wife. Tacky. Creepy. Ick. These people need a shake. The whole thing is offensive and creepy. What happened to just Jesus? My husband and I were talking about this today. Where is Christ in all this?

  61. sarah says

    I think Doug Phillips likes people with money a lot. So my guess is Scott Brown was doing dandy in the dollar department pre-Vision Forum association. I would be curious to know, in fact, how much financial support Scott Brown provides directly to NFIC himself. My guess is he at least made a substantial donation to get it started.

  62. sarah says

    Speaking of drinking, I wonder how many home school grads from radical families turn to substance abuse or other frowned upon behaviors to deal with the mental and spiritual issues arising from the spiritual abuse they experienced during their youth?

  63. says

    Another thought…

    I’m not a big Richard Foster fan, but my friend Dr. George Kudolo (UT faculty in San Antonio who also left a cultic church who is quoted in Blue’s spiritual abuse book) recommended Foster’s book about Sex, Money and Power as another source of healing to help make some sense of my experience. For these public men of notariaty who become corrupt, Foster basically believes that we will always see all these themes in their lives and work.

    The power motive is pretty obvious in the authoritarianism and the blatant rejection of accountability in patriocentricity. Money is major. I’ve heard several people now suggest to me privately that the pats are speaking out in support of the FLDS because such a large amount of their sales come from the Mormons and the Unification Church as well. To alienate these people would be like biting the hand that feeds them. Some have also made this observation and speculation about the Constitution Party and why Howard Phillips essentially catered to Mormon groups in the controvertial admittance of a particular state. (The issues concerned compromise of Howard’s prior pro-life stand.) They can’t afford to offend the Mormons, because their financial support base among Christians is not sufficient (particularly not for VF now that it is no longer bank rolled by Jim Leininger). Always follow the money. (Wouldn’t it be instructive to see the demographics of the belief systems of those who purchase patriocentric literature?

    Then we have this troubling sex issue. I hope and pray that young people are not being sexually abused physically, but we certainly see a high degree of what the addictions literature considers to be emotional, spiritual and gender-related nonsexual incest. (The using of family members inappropriately to meet another’s needs, at the expense of the family member being abused through lack of health boundaries.) And Karen said above, there is so much focus on gender specifics and gender concerns, as if this is the primary concern of Christian living. It is an obsession in patriarchy.

    It’s human nature to wrestle with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, but the Word says that church leadership should be innocent of major violations in these areas in addition to loving, Christlike character. Instead, in patriocentricity, we see obsession with gender (reflective of sexual impropriety), lust for money, lust for voyerism/exhibitionism, pride as resistance of accountability, and personal characters/behavior that is just very problematic (“let the non-elect die in the streets and be aborted” per Wilson, the elitist attitudes of the gender agenda, the “movement homeschoolers” against the “big tent pragamatists”, the RC Jrs, the plagairists, the sue happy thugs and the pats who don’t pay their bills).

  64. says

    Scott Brown’s son in law is the son of a very well-known and conservative Christian family. I hardly think the Bradrick’s were slouches nor do I believe they left Peter like a reed blowing in the wind when it comes to doctrine and mentoring.

    Why is it that the daughter’s family are always the ones who are “fixing” and “mentoring” and bring up to speed the future son in law? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? It seems that patriarchy is just a thing that they talk about but in real life do not come near to practicing.

    Karen you are so RIGHT about the leave and cleave principle. I truly feel sorry for some of these young men who get stuck in one of this quagmires. Sheesh! Everything they do will be examined, corrected and they will be cuckolded and suckled into doing things the future bride’s family’s way.


  65. Light says

    I would not have been surprised if Richard Chamberlain walked into frame and kissed one of them full on the mouth.
    Cindy, please warn me in the future before you make a remark like this … I had a mouthful of ice tea and now … well … time to clean off the computer.

  66. says

    I just watched the 48 Hours special on Polygamy and the more I see concerning the FLDS, the more it confirms to me that there is very little difference between hyper-patriarchy and the FLDS. Really.

    Anyone catch the pictures of Warren Jeffs, the revered High prophet, priest and king of the FLDS, necking with his 12 year old wife? Pretty sick. Actually, downright nauseating. Oh, but the FLDS keeps on telling us that there is no underage marriage going on in spite of the Bishop’s book on marriages and now these pictures. The FLDS lawyer and another male member wouldn’t even look at the Bishop’s papers or pictures of Jeffs. I guess ignorance is bliss? Does anyone know how many wives the FLDS lawyer has since he is a member of this cult? I don’t take anything he has to say seriously, especially after seeing how he so adeptly evades the real questions in true Bill Clinton fashion.

    A picture of Jeffs hangs in almost every ROOM of the FLDS compound in El Dorado. How many pedophile’s pictures do you have adorning the walls of your home? Jeffs has about 50 plus wives. His uncles and other male relatives have a lot, too. And when one of these old perverts die, the wives are transferred to sons and other male relatives.

    As Tim Bayly once said to me “a rose by any other name is still a rose”…..that was in response to my defense against his false accusations when he accused me of being an evil feminist usurper and heretic.

    Well, back at the patrios. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Talk about a white-washing! Ha! Somehow I think that their bad logic only works one way but doesn’t apply to them when the shoe REALLY fits.

    No wonder they are so very afraid about the government coming for them next. They don’t pass the visual “duck” test (walks, talks, dresses, etc like a duck) and I am quite sure that when they are out in public, people size them up as Mormons or think they are some odd cult. They have deceived themselves into thinking that they are in the right and everyone else is part of the white-washed feminist contingent.

    Sorry. We still follow God. We read our Bibles. We will not be side-tracked by pagan practices dressed up in a “nice” “biblical” package.

  67. says

    “This is not to say that every grown man is a risk to children, but I think it is a legitimate concern in our day and age. ”

    Right, Cindy! But, any grown man who wants to be a best friend to my 13 year old son is going to go on the radar screen as being suspect in my book. Ask any detective in an SVU at your local police department and they will tell you that it IS a red flag.

    Also, the FLDS raise their children communally. Most of the children get shifted from one “father” to another “father” and all the men in the cult are looked at as “fathers”. This whole thing about taking someone else’s child and mentoring them when they are already from a Christian intact family is weird and it sounds like the whole communal living philosophy of the FLDS. Just saying.

    If they can say that we are in same sex marriages and are feminists for simply challenging their manmade doctrines, then I am feeling quite free, of late, to point out the gross similarities between the FLDS and the hyper-patrios.

  68. says

    Corrie, I think it would be a great idea to make a list of all the characteristics of the FLDS cult and the patrocentrists that are similar. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that these Mormon groups all link to the patriocentrists until today but I find it fascinating.

    We should also make a list of the similarities between us and secular feminists. I’ll bet I know which one has more things alike….sounds like Sesame Street!

  69. says


    The McDonalds have been so concerned about the “religious genocide” in the FLDS… Maybe that’s because the Mormons represent a significant demographic for the sales of Vision Forum books, etc. Wouldn’t you love to know?

    Go to that and look at the patriarchy book and the 12 before 40 book talking about having lots of kids. They rely more on the writings of patriocentricity than they do on Reverend Moon. I have many of the same books that the author cites in that stuff on my own bookshelves. (Who owns the Washington Times?)

    Funny how cults are interested in certain literature yet not interested at all in other literature, isn’t it.

  70. says

    I have started such a thing. It really is eye-opening to see all the similarities.

    Anyone remember Rivendell? A bunch of patriarchalists hunkering down in their own little “community”. Just another one of those uncanny likenesses.

    So much for going OUT inTO the world and making disciples of ALL men. We just hunker down in our own little cloisters and only stay around like-minded people so that we and our children won’t become polluted by all the other luke-warm Christians (those who don’t believe as they do) and worldlings.

    I am always amazed at how these people leave churches because everyone around them is immature or spiritually lacking. Then they go to a home group made up of the spiritually “mature”.

    Who in the world are they helping by doing THAT? The Church, God’s Bride? No. They are serving themselves and their own agendas. If they really cared about these things, they would stay and be salt and light and servants to God’s Holy Bride.

  71. says

    RJ Rushdoony said on his easy chair tapes, many moons ago, that he was completely against this patriocentric retreat from culture and all of this piety. He professed taking dominion by going out into the world and engaging it. He said that the whole monastic retreat was a return to the monasteries of the middle ages — and we are called to go forth into the world, not retreat back into the past.

    And Corrie, that is the crux of the issue. This patriarchy business is about separation not about personal holiness. They aren’t interested in being salt and light, because God forbid they shed their light and savored the lives of the non-elect! We’re supposed to turn our hearts away from the world (and the lost and dying in the world because election will see to it that they get evangelized) and turn our hearts toward home. I guess that the egalitarian feminist half-Christians will do that evangelizing, then, so we might have some use in the Kingdom. But in that process somewhere, why is there not a primary admonition to turn our hearts toward Jesus? Does anyone every preach that anymore?

  72. says

    “This patriarchy business is about separation not about personal holiness. ”

    You know, they would probably be the first to take issue with the fundamentalist Baptists whose doctrine they would dislike. But both groups embrace a version of “separation.” At least the Fundamentalists have bus ministries.

  73. says

    Corrie, whatever happened to the Rivendell experiment? Who ones the property now? Was it owned by one person, various families, or a church?

  74. says


    ” I guess that the egalitarian feminist half-Christians will do that evangelizing, then, so we might have some use in the Kingdom. ”

    Well said. The whole thing.

    I will be darned if I will allow one more convert to their religion on my watch. I am tired of these people taking captive the people Christ died for and tying them up in manmade bondage. I am getting more and more serious about protecting the Grace and the Gospel that Christ came and spilled His precious blood for.

    No more captives to their vain philosophy and their worldly systems.

    These people have climbed over the wall of the sheepfold and have not entered through the gate. Know how you can tell? They can’t be honest about where they have been or where they have gotten their credentials.

    I love John 9 and 10 and Christ’s dealings with the Pharisees. Especially note how the blind man dealt with the Pharisees. Too funny and there is such a great example in how we deal with them in that story.

  75. says

    I don’t know what happened to Phil Lancaster’s Rivendell. I do know that there was some huge split and people lost money big time. As far as I know, there is no place where the facts are put forth. Just nebulous and cryptic statements.

    Here is an article from Phil Lancaster. Doctrinal unity and biblical church authority at Rivendell? Not so much. I don’t know when this community fell apart but it wasn’t much after this article was written.

    It looks like the cart was put before the horse or someone spoke much too soon, just like Y2K:

    “Our new church is a better example of how a church ought to be started (at least on the points under discussion). We began under the oversight of the elders of another local church. Another man and myself were recognized as elders by the overseeing church and the churches with whom they are affiliated, and we became, in effect, both elders and church planters here (both of us had been ordained as elders in previous churches). So from the start this new church has the benefit of clearly-defined biblical church authority. (A third man, who also has been a pastor before, is being added to our number.)

    Also, we started with a clear standard of doctrine upon which we were agreed, so that we would not be surprised down the road by differences. This church will not be like the one I started in St. Louis. Here we are in agreement to teach and uphold a certain standard of doctrine for the church. Our unity will be based, in this case, not on toleration of differences but upon a mutual agreement about the standards we will uphold.

    It is refreshing to once again be able to function fully in the office to which I was first called 24 years ago. There is such liberty within the structure of a plurality of elders. Our 20 families are also benefiting from the leadership of men who know they have the authority and responsibility to speak and act as shepherds. We are having a rich ministry of discipleship, peacemaking, and teaching. Everybody is better off when we do things God’s way rather than in ways that seem expedient.

    Now I realize that we are in a unique position, having two and now three men who have been elders before immediately available to lead in a new church. Lacking this provision, this church would have to have remained under the oversight of the “mother church” until elders could be put in place here. But I believe that any new group that seeks to honor the principle of biblical authority from the start, one way or another, will be blessed on their way.


    I have shared my journey in a spirit of openness so that you can benefit from my mistakes and hopefully make better choices yourselves. My aim is not in any way to disparage the church in Missouri. Again, I believe that any deficiencies there are largely my responsibility, and I grieve for what my inexperience and foolishness may have done to hinder the church. I love my brothers and sisters there and wish them God’s blessings.

    What would I advise a church in their position to do at this point?

    First, I would urge them immediately to clarify their doctrinal position. Do they want to be tolerant of doctrinal differences? Then spell it out and take a stand for toleration and openness. Do they want to adopt one position over another in key doctrinal areas? Then spell it out and make clear what the position of the church will be. There can be no unity apart from agreement, either agreement on the specific points of doctrine, or agreement to allow diversity of opinion.

    Second, I would urge them immediately to ask the elders of a sister congregation to accept ultimate oversight of the flock, working through those who are local leaders. This would be a step of humility and trust in God to work good through those the Holy Spirit has set apart to the office of church leadership. It would run contrary to the pattern to which they have been accustomed. But it would show a commitment to principle over expediency that I believe God would be pleased to bless.

    There, for what it is worth, is my advice to my dear friends. I’ve learned most of what is valuable through mistakes I have made and I’m sure I haven’t stopped learning. May the Lord help us all to discern His plan for His church, and may He grant us the wisdom to put it into practice in the diverse circumstances we face.

    Author: Philip Lancaster”

  76. says

    Pass the Koolaid….

    Even after all the outrageous hype coming from the patrios predicting doom and destruction, these people are convinced that it is all good?

    Yes, many people went into debt because of their leaders (who would have been stoned for being false prophets had it been on the other side of the Cross but I don’t think that the OT Law applies to THEM, it only applies to sinners).

    Catch the last sentence….”Christian lifestyle”? What in the world is THAT?

    “Meanwhile, the Lancasters and others are sorting through the hoard of supplies they stored for Y2K preparedness and determining what can be donated to charity. The Lancasters’ basement is packed full of bottled water, canned fruits and vegetables, and 5-gallon buckets of beans that Phil Lancaster estimates would last his large family about three years.

    Those who bought into the Y2K fears are thankful that it was the final push for starting the community, although the preparations left many of them in debt.

    “This is something that has been planned for some time, but Y2K was the impetus,” said Howard King, who left his job in Baltimore to move to Rivendell.

    “Now that we’ve moved here, we are more convinced that the Christian lifestyle in the modern world requires us to live with each other.”

  77. says

    I wrote :
    “This patriarchy business is about separation not about personal holiness. ”

    Since you pulled out that statement, I wanted to clarify…

    I’ve said this multiple times concerning other topics but I wanted to restate so here. I believe that earnest, true believers in patriocentricity want to be holy for the right reasons, but along the way because of the traditions of men and the turn towards legalism, patriocentricity becomes a bureaucratic monster that deceives. The monster of the ideology deceives the true believer into thinking that they are pursuing personal holiness, but what actually comes about is separation from the Body and from the Spirit. Because there is so much of man and mans laws woven into patriarchy, sin makes use of those laws to have us do what we would not do because we are not following the Spirit in liberty, and we get stuck in that body of death through the law.

    Hallelujah, this has really been at work in me and I keep thinking of Romans 1 and 7 today, partly because of the issue of gender and partly because of the ever fascinating topic of how we can be in sin and not realize it. We get justified and redeemed, and then we start this long, hard process of working out our salvation in fear and trembling and it’s awful to realize how dark our hearts really are. But in light of what has been said on this topic, I wanted to kind of remind myself and everybody else that we know that if we’ve professed faith in Christ that he is working the truth in us.

    What I think that both Joseph told his brothers and what Paul teaches in Romans is an evangelical view of sin, but the Spirit uses that sin, even our own sins, for His eventual glory that is seen through us and worked into us. Sins, when we are delivered from them reveal God’s glory. That is why we should resist shame which tricks us into covering up our insufficiencies in ourselves, but these are really the points at which God shows forth His greatest glory, revealed in us through Christ’s fulfillment of the Law as we walk after the Spirit. But even with this issue and particular “thread” in patriocentricity, God is at work in all of us as the Spirit leads and guides us into all truth and until we come together in the unity of the faith. I believe that we all desire unity in the Body as well, but we are just in different places with different interpretations.

    May all who read this agree in prayer that God will be glorified through all this debate as He works these things into us, bringing both sides of the “great divide” together in unity in Christ and in faith. That’s the bottom line and the bigger picture, though it does not often get mentioned when things get more provocative.

    I’ve been long pondering the “plight” of us while we are both ordained and stuck in this mortal coil, always about the process of mortifying (putting to death) our sin nature. Romans 7:18 says that sin is at work in us, and both chs 1 and 7 talk about the deceptive nature of sin. First we are blind to what we are doing and our perspective is such that we do not see our sin as sin. Second, we actually believe that we are working righteousness through our sin, really like a two fold purpose that sin desires (like an evil force and function of its own – like the bureaucratic monster of patriarchy). We are “yoked by the evil” within us which somehow, despite our good intentions, and sin gets us to do the opposite of what we desire. (7:18-21).

    We’re blind in our sin and we accomplish the opposite of what we desire in our sin (in that part of us that has not yet been put to death and made alive in Christ Jesus). Someone wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could explain how the depression in spiritual abuse shuts down your critical thinking (like a lobotomy) because they were sure they were in the right when they were part of the patriarchy movement. She was blind to any other perspective and wondered if it was a brain issue. I explained the physiology, but I neglected this about the nature of sin. When we are in it, we can’t see it. That is part of what it does – the part of us at enmity with God turns away from Him and from the truth.

    Which brings me back to chapter 1, with all the same message that sin turns us away from God. A part of us realizes and turns from God’s holiness (1:21) , and in so doing, our foolish hearts become darkened and cannot see. On some level, the turning away from God makes us blind and foolishness seems like wisdom. Turning towards ourselves toward the seeming virtues and wisdom of the creature, we turn away from the creator in our idolatry. But note that like turns to like. (I got this from theologians and did not make it up myself, but that said, it may or may not be accurate.) Man turns to man to glorify himself instead of God.

    God then gives them up unto the object of their desire, just as He does in the Old Testament, almost always with an ironic flare. Here we have a picture of what the idolatry of worshiping self becomes. Some theologians say that this chapter bears out the striking similarities between the idolatry of worshiping the creature and homosexuality. Not to say that homosexuality is always the outcome of idolatry of man, but rather that they are parallel because like turns to like for glory and worship and gratification. They both bring wrath and they both cause God to give man engaging in idolatry or homosexuality over to the object of their desires, forsaking what they should rightly desire. Both involve the madness of believing self to be right in this blind deception of sin.

    Consider patriarchy and the parallels inherent in it. If you believe as I do (but don’t have to!), you see woman as God’s precious gift to man as his “ezer” and help, a show of Gods help and care of us to the man. Through patriarchy and the clever, subtle deceptions in it, the truth becomes more obscure as man turns away from SOME of the natural use of the woman. Through all this role business that must meet certain criteria, I believe that man denies many of the natural uses that God intended for wives and mothers and sisters to provide for them. Some of this is true for women also, as for the system of patriarchy to distort one side of the balance, the other is affected. It is actually through all of this role business that “natural use” becomes obscure. Provided that this is true, say that God “gives men over” to this desire for more power and more worship of men and the “roles of men” until their bellies are so full of it that it comes out their nostrils (actually from some wording in the OT somewhere that I don’t readily recall). As God does with idolatry (“You want a king? Oh, I’ll give you a doozy of a king.), he delivers the patriarchal men over to the lust of their hearts to see men worshiped as demi-gods at the expense of turning away from (non-sexual) use of their wives.

    What results? Well, we know that Paul is talking primarily about physical misuse here, but just think of it in terms of roles and of lust for power and the pride of life rather than physical lust. What is the fruit of this unnatural affection? Works of the flesh (1:29-30). There are quite a few characteristics in there that describe patriarchy to a T. Verse 31: Which men, though they knew the Law of God, how that they which commit such things are worthy of death, yet not only do the same, but also favor them that do them. Verse 2:1 says that in condemning these others, you actually condemn yourself because you do the same things. In verse 2:7, to those who seek glory through patience in well doing (the motive is seeking God’s glory in patience, not the well doing by focus on works) will be rewarded according to those works. But those who are CONTENTIOUS and disobey the truth and obey sin will receive God’s wrath per verse 8. The idolatry will produce contentiousness and seeking God’s glory (not man’s glory or glory for man’s vain and empty philosophies) will be rewarded in Christ.

    Anyway, it’s funny that the homosexuality thing enters in here, as I don’t think God has ever changed over time because the Word says that He never does. Is God giving the patriarchs over to their lust for power over women and lust for power for men to the point that they have started to literally look and act like homosexuals? I think that you could make a case for this. In desiring to see men be godly men and women be godly women to the glory of God, their own idolatry of the gender and role of man gets the better of them. We see all this dressing up and pageantry. We hear all this weird emotion and syntax and maudlin language.

    I’ve heard more people talk in private about how effeminate so many of the leaders in all different areas of patriocentricity really are. I think that it’s time to start shouting it from the rooftops. My husband and I used to comment about our elders at the cultic church being such busy bodies that they acted like women by means of their interests and things that occupied their time. Even that was inappropriate and uncomfortable for us, and they were not effeminate. But in patriocentricity, there are men that are so wound up about gender, and some literally act and talk like male homosexuals. Could that be God making further fools of them? I believe there is some reason in this, based on Romans 1.

    Well if it is, Heavenly Father, let this be a working of God’s glory in all of us on both sides of the great homeschooling divide. Let this man turning to glorify the roles and authority of men become a turning to God in repentence. If I am blind in some sin in this, I know that the Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth, reveals the truth to us in our inner man and sets us free indeed will reveal my sin to me in His perfect timing, and I will repent. That is my faith in God through His mighty promises to me and to the Body in the Word. May my heart condemn me if God is greater than my heart in this area, and I have the utmost faith in Him that He will as I pray constantly that I am careful in my standing, lest I fall. I pray for that all the time. But let the truth be revealed, Lord, and deliver us from this body of death for Your Glory alone. In the mighty, all-powerful name of Jesus — the full authority of YHWH. Hosannah! Amen, amen and amen.

  78. says

    Oh my stars–I just got finished reading most of the comments on here. I feel like my head is spinning.

    I’m wondering where I must fall in all this. I do believe in this view of the Trinity. It makes sense from Scripture to me. But in relation to the family, I see more of a Christ/Husband-Church/Wife parallel than I do a Father/Husband-Son/Wife one. Does that make sense?

    I do know that my calling right now with small children is to be a worker at home, but I don’t isolate my family and say that everyone else has to do what I do.

    I want to support my husband’s ministry before I decide that it’s time for me to go back to school and pursue my own dreams. I feel like for right now we have to be centered in one direction: raising our children and ministering in the local church.

    My husband is my spiritual leader, but PLEASE he is NOT effemininate. We have very clearly defined roles and I don’t fit that prairie muffin role of damsel in distress (unless it’s to carry baskets of laundry upstairs when I’m pregnant).

    My husband is NOT my mediator. He doesn’t administer communion to us (except he is our pastor, too).

    I do see the inconsistencies in men who are not the boys’ father taking an unhealthy interest in them. I would never permit that for my sons. It contradicts their views on the father leading and discipling his own family.

    What I don’t understand is how my husband, after spending 4 years under many of these men on a daily basis, did not come away with any of these bizarre tendencies you’re describing. He’s also not some he-man woman hater, either.

    Where do I fit????

  79. says

    Julie wrote: What I don’t understand is how my husband, after spending 4 years under many of these men on a daily basis, did not come away with any of these bizarre tendencies you’re describing. He’s also not some he-man woman hater, either.

    Where do I fit????


    I speculate your husband didn’t come away from the seminary with these ideas because he was there to serve God and not man. And this stuff has been escalating. These teachings have not been at the forefront of these men’s ministries, nor have they always been a speaking point. It’s been growing. Part of what I’ve been doing is pulling the appealing dressings off the teachings to elucidate the core and foundational ideas, and this is where I have arrived, with great disappointment and grief. I honestly set out expecting find that it was the patrios that were perverting things, but that is very regretfully not where I arrived.

    What you describe is exactly how I think most of us feel. I’ve been plugging along all my life aspiring to live the most wholehearted and Christ-honoring life and never heard this stuff. There are those of us who know that this is a faction that does not represent us nor do we believe that they represent the whole of the church. I once attended an SBC church for a few months about 18 years ago, but though I am not part of the denomination, I have always felt deep kinship with all those in the Baptist deominations. We are all members of one another, and I feel like, always sharing the same fundamentals, that a major landmark on the spiritual horizon has disappeared for me.

    I think that we’re all asking this same question and saying the same thing. “We don’t believe the same things about the gender issues.” and “Where do we fit?”

    I never thought I would live to realize anything like this — ever. It’s deeply disconcerting, and I feel somewhat that I’ve been exiled to a place that I don’t belong in the church by these folks or that I do need to run off in exile. In protest, resistance and in obedience to what I earnestly believe to be right and true, I’m standing firm as long as God gives me the ability to do so.

    That is very much my question also… “Where to do I fit?”

    I fit with top-notch SBC pastors like Wade Burleson. I fit here on thatmom.

  80. Anne says

    We are exiled to Christ. If anything this stuff should remind us to focus on Him. Where that leads can be the painful part. I suspect in the patrios mad leap to focus on being, well, patrios and all the things they “do” to show and display their patriocity; the whole begins to appear lopsided and not right to onlookers.

    About 15 years ago I was at a wedding with patrios leanings. I felt embarassed when during the ceremony the father made a big deal about how his daughter was a virgin and blah, blah, blah. She was a blushing bride, for all the wrong reasons.

    In the previous week the bride’s mother had pulled out some lingerie to show me, that the father gave the daughter. It had been purchased by the father and was a gift for the wedding night. I remember thinking, “How tacky is this?” The mother then said, “you know, it shows that her father, thinks this is ok, that she can have sex with her new husband.” I just got the willies and thought where the heck was this family’s sense of propriety?

    I have the same assessment when viewing you tube videos of patriarch weddings and reading some of the vows some have taken, and their constant display of look at us doing this here biblical stuff.

    It becomes a display of poor taste and bad manners with their incessant pushing of this new righteousness. Interestingly, in their desire to be seen as so biblical, they fall into appearing to have as bad as taste as the ungodly. At this same girl’s bridal shower, an unsaved woman gave her a teapot. The woman then shouted, “Open the pot, open the pot!” Upon which the bride-to-be pulled out a pair of lacy panties, another woman then reached for them and slingshot them through the air into the room full of besmirched and hysterical women.

    Who is tackier?

    And who says these guys have the market cornered on how to be a “biblical” family or “biblical” anything for that matter?


  81. says


    ” About 15 years ago I was at a wedding with patrios leanings. I felt embarrassed when during the ceremony the father made a big deal about how his daughter was a virgin and blah, blah, blah. She was a blushing bride, for all the wrong reasons.

    In the previous week the bride’s mother had pulled out some lingerie to show me, that the father gave the daughter. It had been purchased by the father and was a gift for the wedding night. ”


    How truly disturbing. And for a woman to think such behavior is okay and then to justify it????

    Of course it is okay for the new bride to have sex with her new husband and why would it matter if her father thinks so or not? As if he [the father] has anything to say about it?

    Honestly. The focus on virginity and the making a big spectacle out of it to the embarrassment of the female reminds me of a cult.

    The whole lingerie thing would have given me the willies, too. Fathers don’t give their daughters nighties. That should be on a t-shirt.

  82. says

    I honestly dislike the lingerie bit at any shower, whether it is coming from a friend or father or whomever. I will admit, though, that the father gift is the creepiest thing I have heard in a long time. I would have died if my father had done such a thing. Or my mom for that matter.

    Why is it that these people are so sex obsessed, first to the point of not even allowing an adult daughter to even be alone for dinner with a young man and then the obsession with sex after the wedding? Seems weird to me.

  83. Susan T says

    The obsession with sex goes right along with common cult behavior: men wanting power, men wanting sex, men in control. It is discusting and they seem to be completely blind to their obsession and obviously in deep denial of their cult-like qualities and “vision”.


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