By Elizabeth Prata
How does hyper-patriarchy get born? As with any doctrine, intense fixation on one part of a doctrine while ignoring others will throw a believer off balance. This skews discernment. One of two things happens then. When a person is confronted with the biblical facts, they either by grace of God see through the lens of the Bible, and repent; or they double down. The latter is in my opinion due to a process known as “Deception by Investment.”(Phrase not coined by me).
Deception by investment is when a person begins to suspect their favorite teacher is a false teacher, they continue with the deception because they’ve invested so much of their life in them. They’ve invested their reputation. They’ve invested their money. They’d rather persist in deception and suppress the truth rather than admit they were deceived and abandon their investment, opening themselves up to what they see as reputational damage or ridicule.
Hyper patriarchy is an excessive devotion to one part of the patriarchal family system the Bible commands while excluding others. Patriarchy exists. It was the established pattern of faith in the Old Testament (I mean, The Patriarchs! Acts 7:9, Acts 2:29, Hebrews 7:4…) and in today’s life still resounds with the men as leaders and the women as helpmeet. Genesis 2:18 still stands, it hasn’t been erased from the Bible.
Men are called to submit to Jesus, and are called to lead at home. He submits mutually with His wife. But ultimately as on a ship there is only one captain, when it comes to ultimate decisions, the husband decides as the biblically identified leader of the family. The wife submits to her husband, and the children submit to the parents.
In hyper-patriarchy, a person excessively and almost solely focuses on the husband’s leadership, which sadly is often twisted into a husband’s rulership. In some quarters, it is recommended that the wife call her husband ‘lord’. As I said, rulership.
In this false system, proponents ignore or do not teach that the husband graciously submits to Jesus as Jesus submitted to the Father. They ignore or do not teach that marriage is a picture of Jesus and His Bride. They ignore or do not teach that marriage is a parable of the Gospel.
They just keep harping on “the woman submits”, “the woman submits”, “the woman submits”, “the woman submits”, “the woman submits”…
In Genesis 3:1, the serpent focused on one part of God’s command, and twisted it slightly. He didn’t restate what God had said,
“From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16).
The serpent asked, (not restated), to Eve, (not Adam),
“Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1b).
The serpent knew perfectly well what God had said, but he focused on one part- ‘you shall not eat’ rather than ‘you may freely eat.’ People who twist God’s word do the same. After all, they learned from the OG of Falsity.
I wrote recently about balance in our theology. I’d said,
We should absorb the whole counsel of God. We should share the whole counsel of God. In other words, as Christians, we seek balance in our learning. As with anything in life, we strive to be well-rounded.
Genesis 3:1 says the serpent is the most subtle creature in the garden. He can twist anything good into something false and still make it sound good.
In the end, hyper-patriarchy gets born because someone has an agenda, or they have a personal pet idol based on fleshly desires. They are not interested in the whole counsel of God. In discernment, watch out for people, or systems, or ministries that are hyper-focused on one doctrine. It is these that usually go off the rails first and spectacularly.
Tim Challies resoundingly negatively reviews hyperpatriarchy pusher Debi Pearl’s “Created to be His Helpmeet“. And if you know Challies’ reviews, the book has to be a horror show for him to utter anything even a toe into the side of negative.
“Much of Pearl’s counsel is utterly heartless and even that which is not is too often proud and terse and utterly devoid of biblical wisdom. She displays a distinct lack of wisdom.”
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