We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

“Courageous” and the Patriarchy Movement

Back on September 30th I did a report on the movie “Courageous” expressing some concerns about two specific issues in the film and their links to the “patriarchy” and “Quiverfull” movements.

This past week I read two articles about the movie and also about the surrounding teachings of the patriarchy movement which I think everyone should read:
The first one is from an excellent blog which exposes this aberrational movement, Under Much Grace.  I recommend this blog for more education on this subject.
The other article is from the blog, Commandments of Men.  I can’t give hearty approval to this site because the owner is not complementarian in his understanding of roles for women in the church, so discernment is needed, but he does have some good information about these aberrational movements.  (Even more than that, the owner, Lewis, has stated this to me:  "The majority of NT ideas on gender roles come from Paul, not from Christ, so I think any individual, male or female, has to rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than literal interpretations of a man's opinion in a male-dominated political/social environment 2000 years ago. Otherwise, Paul's writing just becomes a NT version of law."

The “Patriarchy” and “Quiverfull” movements, including such organizations as Vision Forum, are spiritually abusive and legalistic movements, as well as being a total misrepresentation of proper biblical family relationships.


Cynthia Kunsman said...


I am neither egalitarian nor complementarian. Friends in both camps tell me that I am the opposite of whatever they are. I'm actually boycotted and warned against by many egalitarians.

What I oppose are the teachings that women are man's ontological lesser and are not created in the image of God, that Jesus Christ is subordinate in will and operation to the Father, and that sin entered mankind through Eve whom the complementarians maintain could not stand for her own sin, so it fell to Adam.

The only marriage vow that I took at my wedding was to submit to my husband as unto the Lord, right out of Ephesians. But I hold that because a case can be made for both sides that a woman should not teach and that a case can be made that the Bible does not specifically prohibit a woman from ministry that we as believers are under liberty to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in those areas. I've spoken in support of both sides of the argument and am seen as rather an enigma. I've taken quite a bit of abuse from both sides of the discussion.


Cindy Kunsman

Jo said...

Thanks for info. Should be a concern for all since Vision Forum/Patriarchy has moved into mainstream, being passed off as "normal complementarianism."...far from it! (But then,as we know, CBMW folks coined the words,comp/egalitarian...and even defined them, according to their agenda)2 great sites for research.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Cindy,

It appears you are with "Under Much Grace" blog - my comment about egalitarians was directed at "Commandments of Men."

What I have read on that blog in the past has been either defense of, or advocacy for, women in church leadership.

Other than that, I whole-heartedly agree with all the complaints about the various patriarchy/quiverfull/courtship, etc movements. I have had to deal with people in these systems much too often. My wife and I are still involved with helping a woman (with four kids) whose ex-husband still thinks he's her husband and spiritual leader of her home after five years being divorced. We just had another meeting this week with all parties concerned and with the local DHS still trying to protect the oldest daughter from the man. Before they divorced I gave hours of counsel to the man who read only that the wife is to submit to the husband, refusing to accept that the husband is to love the wife as Christ loved the church - and that he as her husband should be willing to die for her. THIS is a major problem with the patriarchy movement in its many disguises (my main connection is through Gothardism).

Through my forty years of study I have come to the conclusion that Scripture is NOT ambiguous and that it does indeed limit pastoral and leadership roles in the Church to men. This does not prohibit women from ministry, nor does it prevent men from learning from women outside the assembled body.

Cynthia Kunsman said...


To my knowledge, I've never seen The Commandments of Men blog ever even discuss the gender debate. Are you sure he's egalitarian? I don't think he has a position on it.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Well, I used to follow the blog for a while, but there was a lot of stuff about how women should be allowed in the leadership positions, and I can't tell you now whether it was the articles or comments. I quit following it for a long time because it bothered me. Recently I was redirected back to it because of a link to an article, and I decided to follow it again.

Perhaps I need to go back and look over the blog and see just what it was. If I am mistaken, I will certainly correct that comment.

Lois said...

I have followed the Commandments of Men for some time, mostly the series called The Joke was on Me. At first I was fascinated with what he had to say, but then it seemed like because of his own experiences, his whole view of Christianity became tainted. I can understand that, but it helps no one to be so angry and bitter. He says he is not opposed to home schooling, but tends to lump anyone who has Christian reasons to homeschool in the same camp as VF, quiverfulls, and patriarchy. To me, he doesn't appear to have a balanced view.

Thank you for your assessment on this topic!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Cindy - and other readers -
After communicating with Lewis, the owner of "Commandments of Men" blog, it appears that he does not hold a position one way or another when it comes to the egalitarian/complementarian debate on women's roles in church - at least that's what he says. Here is his response to me:

"I don't see myself as part of either camp - egalitarian or complementarian. The majority of NT ideas on gender roles come from Paul, not from Christ, so I think any individual, male or female, has to rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than literal interpretations of a man's opinion in a male-dominated political/social environment 2000 years ago. Otherwise, Paul's writing just becomes a NT version of law."

I find this position on Paul to be a very dangerous belief in and of itself. Paul claimed to be an apostle who received his teachings from Christ. We either accept his teachings as the authoritative Word of God, or we have to rip all his writings from the N.T.