Die, Patriarchy, Die!

From “Mutuality” magazine, Christians for Biblical Equality, vol. 16, issue 2:

“I hope in my lifetime that we will see the patriarchal viewpoint die and that biblical equality will one day prevail. In the meantime I will continue to share my views and to use the platforms God gives me to fight for this cause; a cause to rally all troops in God’s army — men and women, side by side, together. Deborahs arise, Esthers arise, Huldahs arise, Phoebes arise. Women and men arise into (the) calling — go forth and conquer together. (Donald Guffey, Jr.)

3 Responses to “Die, Patriarchy, Die!”

  1. Dontbia Nass says:

    If Donald Guffey Jr. (what a patriarchal name!) wants to kill the Father, he’s going to have to go through the Son to do so. Tell Mr. Guffey to gather his Deborahs, Esthers, Huldahs, and Phoebes. The Son shalt break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

    If words like patriarchy and hierarchy stick in your craw — let alone subordination (as I wrote earlier, I can certainly understand why someone would have problems with subordination, and I grant that even hierarchy is capable of being used in unbiblical ways) — but speaking of an order (taxis) in both the Trinity and in human society is as biblical as it is orthodox, which is to say, entirely. There is the order of sending, which is irreversible, and both East and West have recognized this in all the ecumenical councils. (East-West controversy over the Filioque clause notwithstanding.) This concept of order is entirely compatible with the full equality of the Persons of the undivided Trinity.

    Guffey has not given a definition of Patriarchy, so for all I know he may mean simply the oppression of women. If there is anything oppressive in Patriarchy, I’m against it. But I maintain that the Bible teaches a sort of patriarchy that is not oppressive at all. Viz, the numerous Bible passages referring to the need for women to submit to their husbands (as to the Lord). There are no mirror-image verses for the husbands. Men are to love their wives, and wives are submit. It’s not either/or — true submission is done out of love and true love has an element of submission in it. But there are very important differences in there as well. Nowhere does the Bible even hint at an undifferentiated equality between the sexes. Equal, but different. Why do we associate leadership with superiority and submission with inferiority?

    If Adam and Eve were created in a state of perfect mutual reciprocity, why do we speak of Adam as the head of the human race, and not Eve? All men sinned in Adam — including Eve. This indicates his headship, not only over the entire human race, but over Eve. (At one time she was the entire human race outside of Adam.)

    One last thing — if you have a chance, I would like to know how Christ’s obedience to the Father is only a temporary thing (if that’s what you believe), and how such a view avoids falling into modalism.

  2. DN (who evidently has a great deal of free time on his hands), regarding women’s submission, writes:

    “There are no mirror-image verses for the husbands.”

    Well, yeah, there are. The verse in Ephesians 5 that he and other patriarchs rely on is preceded by an admonition for ALL IN CHRIST to submit cheerfully one to another. I believe that the problem in the Church is too little submission, not too much.

    Further, he makes the very odd application that the Ephesians 5:22 woman will “submit” to her husband, while he, in the same passage, will “love” his wife. She has her job, he has his. Yikes.
    Let’s imagine the bizarre scenario in which a Christian thinking like DN would counsel a married couple:

    “Hey, Frank — Love your wife.”

    “Beatrice, submit to your husband.”

    “Frank, you can ignore 5:21, which requires mutual submission with no qualifiers. Just love her. Forget the idea of submitting to her.”

    “Beatrice, you’re off the hook. No need to love your man. Whew! Just submit. See, he loves, but doesn’t submit. You submit, but you’re not called to love.”

    “Now, be careful that you both stick to your own stuff here, and we’ll see you at Doug Wilson’s upcoming conference on Father Hunger. Oh, wait — Beatrice, darling, it isn’t for you.”

    I would suggest that Beatrice and Frank would leave with the matrimonial harmony parts of their brains more than a little muddled.

    On another note, Adam is the father of the human race because he was created first. As we see with, say, Jacob and Esau, birth order doesn’t guarantee primacy in God’s plan. Heck, his plan doesn’t even require much faith, never mind a penis. And Adam was not given a headship role over Eve in creation. Both were given the stewardship mandate. His sin was to defy a direct command of God’s, not to listen to his wife, and no amount of appeal to creation order will change the reality of a loving, mutual, co-equal Adam and Eve in the Garden pre-fall.

    Finally, Jesus’ obedience to the Father in the Incarnation is clear. It is not at all clear that the Trinity is a center of anything other than complete, mutual, self-giving, self-realized, voluntary, loving, co-equal submission and love. The idea of the Father “parenting” the Son in the Trinity, or exercising a “boss” position therein, is repugnant.

    Really, DN, I’d like to move on. I think my readers kind of get that we disagree, and surely you have other things with which to occupy yourself. Perhaps you have a blog on which I can comment?

    Keely

  3. Re: “the order of sending” in DN’s comment. Would he then also say that the apostles in Jerusalem were hierarchically ‘above’ Peter and John because they sent them to Samaria (Acts 8:14)? Sending does not necessitate hierarchy.

    P.S. Keely, sorry for the lateness of this comment.

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