Thursday, 7 June 2012
Yep, we have all heard about it, in the homeschool community, so what exactly is it referring to? Basically, the patriarchy movement, and the concept that the father rules in a kind of autocratic manner. Now, are not husbands supposed to run their familes well, and are wives to submit to husbands, and children to obey their parents? Yes! However, we all have our duties that this be done in the manner laid down in the Bible. For example, that husbands should love their wives, as Christ loves the church, and that fathers should not provoke children to anger. How can fathers provoke children to anger? The answer to this, is by using overly harsh discipline, and not necessarily corporal. Some child training books speak of breaking the child's spirit, to get them to see who is boss. That is exactly what will provoke to anger, and there is no biblical mandate for becoming a control freak. Every individual is made in the image of God, and we are all made different. I have ten children, and I can assure you, they are all different, have different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and it is our duty as parents to guide them, not to force them. There are some matters of discipline which are absolute, such as not crossing the road, until told it is safe, but other areas which are not so. It is very important that our children know we are not perfect, and apologise when we need to. Sadly, the Patriarchal tendency is for the father to set himeself as perfect. I mention the former things, because these are all issues which have deep route in Patriarchal families. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying all are bad, but this book describes what happens when it is taken to extreme. We are treading in dangerous territory when we start prescribing absolutes from convictions, and my belief is that every christian family is unique, and has strengths, and to follow such a prescriptive route can lead to cultic tendencies, and a stifling of that family's creativity and usefulness. In the victorian era, the father's role was very much autocratic, and stifling. Yes, we love the Vicorian values, but unless it is done in a Christlike manner, it can become a problem. remember the husband submits to God, and loves his wife and children. One serious issue I had, is Patriarch movement states the God speaks only through the father. Now, this is unscriptual, as God speaks to all believers in Christ. Anyway, casting that aside, (or I could ramble forever) I did have serious view's on the book's idea of sanctification. Implying that it is immediate and one time only. There is a tendency in the author to error here, when she says that it is all God, and we leave all that to him.Yes, it is all God, but also our ongoing response is needed. Purifying our hearts by faith. We are to keep the heart with due dilligence, and to work out our own salvation with trembling and fear. If we don't take watch, it is highly possible we will as Christians backslide. Although we are not saved by works, our works are an evidence, and we are to be holy, as our Father in heaven is holy, and that part takes conscious effort. I also had an issue with the author's definition of abuse. It is way too broad, and technically every family could be classed as abusers if taken her sense literally! She seems to imply that all conservative families have issues. I think we need to be careful about labelling all the same. We need to examine ourselves, pray, study the bible, and remember, we are free in Christ not bound. If we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments, however, we need to have a very discerning eye to the commandments of God, versus the commandments of men. Each family may have different convictions on issues, and it is not always so clearcut. Now, therein lies the other problem of patriarchy, the idea that they will only associate with families who are in total agreement with their movement. This is where it can become cultish, and unduly seperatist. We are in the world, not of the world. We are not to be conformed to the world, however, we are to be salt and light in it. The salt can't savour the food, unless it somehow gets onto the food. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees! Another issue, is the tendency with some to go back to the 'old way' of doing things. Why is old better? Unless it is Biblically based, it is not. I rather think the idea here is that the old ways will mortify the deeds of the flesh, thus, the idea of denying us of modern comforts. I don't see why we are to deny ourselves in this way, surely we can be more productive if we make use of modern revolutions! It certainly won't necessarily make us any more holy! Are they not just servants to make things easier? (Think of Martha , and Mary, the idea of Martha busying herself.) Denying modern drugs, because of the belief that only natural drugs are God's way. I love to use natural where necessary, but it is quite clear that opiates, antibiotics, and modern cancer drugs etc, can be a real blessing. I could mention many more things, but will leave it there. I would urge everyone to dilligently search the scriptures, and to regulalarly seek God's wisdom for direction in your families. I am glad this book was written, as this is an ongoing issue which needs to be examined.