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Something is Very Wrong, pt. 2

I need to explain some of the beliefs which are so disturbing to me. This patriarchal movement is anything BUT Biblical theology. Since Doug Phillips and Vision Forum seem to be at the center of this movement, I will begin with his view of girls and women, using his words, and contrasting them with Scripture.

“To raise a daughter without thought to marriage, to instill in them a spirit of independence from the family, or to focus their training on a career outside the home, is actually to disqualify them for graduation and the next step in life. In contrast, a woman who meets the biblical requirements for graduation is one who is comfortable being under the jurisdiction of her father and seeks to make him successful in every way. She recognizes that God calls women to be under the authority of God-appointed men, first in the form of fathers, and later as husbands.” Christian Graduations and Young Ladies, by Douglas W. Phillips, Esq., June 16, 2003

According to Mr. Phillips, our daughters should never be taught to be independent women. They are not qualified to graduate from high school if they are not prepared to marry and run a household. Daughters must remain completely under the control and authority of their fathers, serve them, and help them to be successful. So I ask, where is this in the Bible?

Let’s consider the Proverbs 31 woman:
She was independent and her husband trusted her. 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She bought land and had her own money. 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She had her own business, and made a profit. 31:17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night… 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She gave to the poor, apparently without consulting her husband. 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
She did not disrespect or cause her husband to be ashamed of her. 31:23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She was educated.
31:26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
All verses are from the NIV

It seems to me, from these passages of Scripture, that the Lord gives women these fantastic abilities, to raise children AND earn a living if she chooses, to teach her children AND work with the needy, to use her intelligence and give instruction to others. I do not see an authoritarian husband hovering here, to ensure his little woman isn’t getting too smart or spending too much time out of his shadow. I see a strong woman whose wisdom causes her husband to trust her judgment, and her children to rise up and call her blessed.
More on this issue in coming days!

 Go back to the Patriarchy and Legalism list.

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23 Responses to Something is Very Wrong, pt. 2

  1. Michie DeBerry April 7, 2009 at 5:25 am #

    I had never looked at it like this. Thank you for that deeply wonderful insight.

  2. Kiva, Farmstead Lady April 7, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Vision Forum has been "out there" on a few issues as of late…I love your breakdown of Proverbs 31 and you are so right.

    Doug's responses remind me of the special Oprah did of the fundamentalist group last week….sad.

  3. Momma Knows April 7, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    I don't watch much TV, and try to avoid Oprah because of her new age tendencies… So how did she handle this issue? Was it blanketed as Christianity or as typical of homeschooling families? That's the really scary part! People view the folks who follow the patriocentric theology as typical of homeschooling. This could truly jeopardize homeschooling if this fringe group becomes thought of as the norm.

  4. Melissa April 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Well to get started, I just graduated high school two years ago. I cannot agree with you more. I am not going to sit around "under my father" and wait for prince charming to arrive on my doorstep. I have a brain of my own and I intend on using it. It is also hard to take that man's advice in the economy that I am in. Why wouldn't I take advantage of college so that when I work I can support a family better one day. It breaks my heart that some view women as baby bearing vessels that should stay at home and just be under their husband. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a stay at home mother some day, but I've seen you guys in action and being "at home" "under your husband" is far from what actually happens :) My sole purpose in life is not to get married and have children, I have plenty of other goals I have for myself and if I got married tomorrow I would be shortchanging myself.

  5. Dr. Kent Mankins April 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    Dawn, this is the first I have heard of this. If this is indeed the philosophy of the speaker who addressed the HS Conference at Valley, I am deeply disturbed. Do you know if his address was recorded? I will investigate this further. That type of philosophy has absloutely no place in the church I pastor, and will not happen again. Thanks for your diligence, and any information you can give me to follow up.

  6. Amber April 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Yeah, he does phrase that quite weird doesn't he? I mean, I do want to train my girls with the skills they need to be good homemakers and wives – but I want to do that so they can be good homemakers whether they are home all day or only home in the evenings. I'm going to leave whether or not they choose a career or full time housewife up to them, their husband and the desires God places in their hearts. I don't see it as my place to say, ya know? Right now my 8 yr old wants to be an artist – and who knows? Maybe she will be. :)

    On the other hand, I always cringe a little when topics like these come up. I don't think women should be treated like property but I am leary of those who go too far the opposite direction. I'm a woman who WANTS to be here at home, and not out there in the career world, and I want society to see that as just as okay and successful, you know? But largely, our society views my decision as some kind of setback, second rate position, or backward thinking. I guess you can call it backward.. if you go waayyyyy back – to the Proverbs 31 woman. ;) I like your assessment of her. I've always thought she was a very strong woman, indeed. She's smart, she's savvy, she's trustworthy, she's wise and kind, she's busy and industrious and frugal. She also trusts in God, relies on her faith, and obviously has a close relationship with her Lord. She's my role model. And it's anything but easy, settling for less or dissatisfying.

    For me, the biggest scriptures that contradict this way of thinking are the instructions for husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church (Jesus demonstrated servant leadership and loved the church to the point of giving up his own life for it!) and for wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (we submit to God in joy, honor, trust and peace because we love and trust God, have faith in him completely, fear and respect his authority, and are completely committed to him.) This portrays a healthy, giving relationship on both sides – each side serving the other in love, and no one partner being a lesser, inferior partner.

  7. Momma Knows April 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Pastor Kent: I got your second comment and just fixed what you meant to edit. ;) If you want to know more about this stuff, start with going to Vision Forum and reading the articles there. It is beyond disturbing! I only attended the opening general session, and the closing general session. I didn't attend any of the other sessions or workshops because E and I were running the cafe. I did attend one of his wife's workshops. She did women's and he did the men's. If you were to contact the conference coordinator I am sure you could find out about taping. I know Lauri ran sound! Actually it may have even been video'd.

  8. Kathy April 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    Glad to see more posts on this, Momma. I think maybe you made a Freudian slip when you said Doug Wilson at the beginning, because Doug Wilson has been linked up with Doug Phillips in the past at times, and has some patrio ideas, although he is not opposed to daughters pursuing higher education. The Who's Who of patriocentricity gets confusing–my friend had to make a chart to keep them straight at first!

    I think people have said that patriocentricity seemed to be a reactionary shift in the pendulum in response to some feministic ideas in the culture that have not been good for families and society. The problem is that their shift seems to go too far in the opposite direction, while claiming to be biblical by virtue of a few verses chosen out of context.

  9. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 6:11 am #

    Yikes! Kathy, thank you for pointing that out. I changed it to read 'Phillips'. I'm not sure where THAT goof came from!

    Yes, it's true and I can now say I have seen both sides of this pendulum swing, too. The Feminists hate what the traditional home maker stands for (supposed male suppression, which is USUALLY not the case), and these patriocentrists think anyone who doesn't live like them is a feminist. On both sides there are accusations and false assumptions. I thankfully stand in the middle… thankful for women's right to vote, yet also extremely thankful the Lord has allowed me to remain home with my children, by choice. I don't believe in allowing a daycare center to raise my babies, although some families say they have no choice, in SOME cases I know this is true. But it disturbs me that this movement seems to be sweeping the home education circles and I am afraid that when the general public really begins to take notice of them (as they are making news lately) they may begin to consider the patriocentric theology as the "norm" for all homeschoolers, when in fact they are a small fringe percentage.

  10. wysiwyg April 8, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    I think there is a larger percentage than most realize who are being affected by this. It used to be that my family was "odd man out" so to speak (this was when we were fully in the patriocentric movement) but I can't seem to come across very many people in the homeschool community that aren't gaga over Vision Froum etc… I actually was very excited to find you via thatmom!

    So many people right now are all into home-churching (we were too)it is just becoming crazy. I wish there was a way to explain and share to everyone how destructive this all is.

    And the political backlash this will create is scary to say the least. May God show us his grace.

  11. wysiwyg April 8, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    Doug Wilson may be on a slightly different track than Doug Phillips, but they are both indeed heading in the same direction in the end. When you really dig into this, the twisted covenant theology that they all embrace in one form or another is the root problem and both men have much to answer for.

  12. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    I feel the need to point out here that Melissa is my niece, and loves Jesus wholeheartedly. She jumps at the opportunity to head out for missions trips (multiple trips, different locations) and the whole family are very proud of the young woman she has grown into. When she says "you guys" she is talking about E and I. She knows that it takes we two parents working as a team to bring up our kids and run our household. This is not a dictatorship.

  13. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    Home churching disturbs me. There is no accountability for the "pastor" in this situation. The members of a home church really are subject to whatever bent or whim their leader happens to have at the time. I know a couple who run a home church and they invited us to come… he is a divorced pastor who is remarried. As I read the Bible, he should not even BE a pastor. Couple that with his patriocentric ideas (it just occurred to me that this IS what he believes!) and there was no way that I would set foot in his living room, er, church. We told him that we didn't feel comfortable because he was being un-Scriptural. He got very… unhappy… and indicated we were too worldly because we belong to a mainstream denomination. This was ten years ago. Wonder what ever happened to them? He was the type who, it would not surprise me, could put up a 10' chain link fence and create a compound for 'his followers', really! Scary.

  14. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Yes I remember now who Doug Wilson is. I have read one of his books on classical education. Interesting, makes some good points, but you're right… he does lean that way too.

  15. Amber April 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    "but I can’t seem to come across very many people in the homeschool community that aren’t gaga over Vision Froum etc… I actually was very excited to find you via thatmom!" ..

    I have to confess that I was happy and just fine when I came across Vision Forum, too – at first glance, there were some books in there for the kids that looked interesting, and the kids dress up and toy things looked neat. I really didn't dig around in there deeply enough to get to the weird stuff. I wonder how many other Christian homeschoolers have looked at or ordered something on the Vision Forum website (something acceptable) and not really looked into the rest of the content available on there, and also weren't aware of all the other news and talk about Vision Forum that was going on? I didn't. I didn't order anything, but I had looked at a couple of things, and then left again and was completely ignorant of their involvement in this movement until I started reading these posts.

  16. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Yep, VF is actually responsible for the majority of this movement's spreading, via their books and followers who do speaking at conferences and conventions. It "Looks Good" from the outside. Like I said, I thought something was WRONG with our family because we didn't LOOK the way that it seemed the VF families are! I honestly thought we were homeschooling the wrong way. Now how sad is that!?

  17. wysiwyg April 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    It also goes back to Bill Gothard and his organization. Doug Phillips grew up with his teachings. There are a lot of us who grew up with this and are reaping the consequences. Mix in some others such as Doug Wilson and you get a huge mess.

  18. Momma Knows April 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Okay, I recognize the name but I don't know who Bill Gothard is. Others have mentioned him too. I guess this goes back further than I thought. You grew up in this?

  19. Kathy April 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Momma, I seem to be becoming a regular poster here. There are some people who have more experience with Bill Gothard than I do–my husband and I went to a couple of the old Basic Youth Conflicts (now Basic Life Principles) seminars when they were very popular in the late 70's and early 80's (I think they were held in the old coliseum then). His name isn't heard as much nowadays, but the ATIA homeschool curriculum is written by him. Doug Phillips apparently spoke at some of the Gothard seminars, and Gothard is "credited" with the "umbrella of protection" philosophy which patriarchy glommed onto. Gothard (never married) also seems to be one of the early proponents of the quiverfull teaching, and I see you are addressing that now.

    Midwestern Christian Outreach, an apologetics ministry, has quite a few articles about Gothard (and a book exposing his legalism and unsuitability as a teacher). Here is a link to the "patriarchy" items from their blog
    and to an article from their journal where they begin to discuss Vision Forum and the connection to Bill Gothard.

    Sadly, the ATIA curriculum was used by the family of Matthew Murray, the Arvada YWAM and church shooter, and Thatmom and Midwestern Christian Outreach both discussed how the stifling and legalistic principles of Bill Gothard can cause psychological damage in families who take them to extremes.

  20. thatmom April 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    Momma, you know I LOVE the fact that the whole admonition in Proverbs 31 to King Lemuel was given by his mom! The patriocentrists don't believe are ever to teach men, yet they love to point out this passage of the virtuous woman. Doesn't the Lord have a sense of humor.

    These articles are great, btw!

  21. wysiwyg April 10, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    Yes, I have been to all of Gothard's seminars since I was a teenager in the 80s. The whole legalism garbage followed me into my marriage and childraising. Vision Forum became the perfect fit for our family and we felt we had figured everything out- it feels great to know everything :). We have been on an exit path from all of this for the last few years but its long and painful. I really need to write it all down for others to see and avoid it. But I am glad to see there are those that haven't been affected so much by it. Thatmoms blog and a few others have been an encouragement to me. The more people that can sift through this to find the truth is great for me- I don't consider it gossip or muckraking. It needs to be done. Blessings to you.

  22. Momma Knows April 10, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    Yes, you really DO need to write your experiences down! The Lord honors our testimony, and who knows how many others you can help, just by telling the truth. You already have a blog…. you pray about beginning.

  23. Dawn Perkins August 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Just a follow up on this situation: This pastor we knew who had a home church is now a…. wait for it…. pastor of an IFB church. I know you're all very shocked and surprised! Oh boy.
    Dawn Perkins recently posted..HSMJ: August 3, 2012 Of Ebooks and Swim MeetsMy Profile

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