Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fundamentally Flawed at the Foundation

When we wipe away all of the platitudes, pretense, and window dressing, just who are we and what are we? Why do we do what we do, run where we run? Nothing like a trauma to find out. When the wind blows hard against the structure of our lives, we find out the integrity of that structure very fast - and we find our foundation. For any Christian, Jesus should be that foundation. Our rock, our friend, our strength, our refuge, our advocate, our first option and last resort rolled all into one. That doesn't mean that our relationship with Him is or has to be perfect at all times, because it isn't gonna be. We're people, and the Lord isn't so insecure as to be threatened by our people-ness and our questions. We have not because we ask not, and sometimes that includes answers to questions we're afraid to ask for fear of offending the Lord.

Thank God for His grace. Thank God for our growth in His grace. Thank God for what the wind produces in our lives when it blows against us, even if not thankful for the wind, because we can rest in assurance that, if Christ is our rock, no wind or storm can dismantle us even if it shakes us. We can look to Him for our strength. We can look to Him for our protection. He is immovable and certain.

Christ must be the foundation.

This brings me to a realization I came to a couple of years ago: The fundamental (pun intended) flaw with patriarchy/patriocentricity is found in it's foundation. I'm not speaking to motive and intent. I'm in agreement with most others that the parents who choose this model for their families usually do so because they misguidedly believe it to be the best path. It's not a mentally, emotionally, or spiritually static choice and issue though, and it's like changing contractors halfway through the construction of a house. The first guy might have put down a great foundation and started a solid framework, yet the new guy might come in and lose the vision of the first guy entirely, desiring to place his own personal fingerprint on the situation, and in the process, blurring the lines of structural integrity, changing the perceptions and influence of the original foundation. The homeowner merely wanted the best house possible, and was left at the mercy of the contractors in his or her ear, persuaded by their master plan. Soon the foundational part of the structure ceases to be the foundation itself (which was initially solid), becoming founded entirely in the vision of the new contractor. Alter or remove the true foundation of any structure and you'll get right to the heart of what the structure is or isn't about about.

In my experience with patrios, if you removed Christ from the equation of their lives, little about their lives, other than some religious rituals, would need to change for them to continue living a similar lifestyle. On the other hand (and to me this is the essence of patriarchy), if you remove the authority structure, their Christ changes entirely, their lives change entirely, and there may be only trace amounts of anything resembling Christ left in the picture. The world comes grinding to a halt, emotional and spiritual confusion sets in, and survival mode reigns supreme - not at the removal of the removal of authority.

With this, we've moved into blatant idolatry. The system of authority has become the true god and the object of worship - the core of existence. The system of authority has become the true foundation, as the chief cornerstone is replaced by the chief stumbling block. All is sacrificed on the altar of authority.

With this transition, rigid, sternly enforced rules have to be put into place to uphold it, means by which to earn "grace" and approval within the authority structure. Children desiring desperately to hear directly from the Lord feel guilty upon doing so if not checking with authority to make sure the Lord is right and that it's okay to obey Him. Fathers are turning the eyes of their children, particularly daughters, to them and them alone as lord and master, literally, attempting to usurp the position of Christ and act as the conduit of the Holy Spirit, wresting scripture and vaguely creating "scriptural pattern" to uphold and support their desired authority over the lives of even grown children. Indoctrination replaces teaching, Christianity turns into a kissing cousin of Islam, and life becomes more about the failings of the flesh than the love, liberty, grace, and righteousness of the Lord. When you indoctrinate a daughter to believe that her only justifiable, sinless escape from your authority is marriage (when she then moves into another form of possessive bondage), I cease to care about your good intentions, for you're doing, in my estimation, the very work of the devil - calling that which is evil good - and using Christ as nothing more than window dressing and an excuse to continue in human deviance.

This is the fatal flaw in Patriarchy and other branches of hyper-fundamentalism. It isn't about Christ. It's about the human solution. It's Ishmael. 

Peter did great out on the water, until he took His eyes off of Christ - and sought his own defense against the storm. His foundation changed, and for the worse. He would've died without correcting it. Patriocentrics are spiritually killing their families, having been so deceived by the enemy's lie that it's become their creed and logos. Patriocentricity can't be repaired. It's hopeless. It needs to be scrapped. Any version of it, even if a kinder, gentler version, ultimately requires those subjected to it to take their eyes off of Christ. That renders it hopeless. Utterly hopeless. It's a god crafted by the hands of human minds.


  1. Powerful. Thank you for your bold stance for the truth.

  2. I wish I could be even more bold, Hillary. It's so hard for people who haven't experienced it to understand the realities and scars of this kind of spiritual abuse.

  3. Experienced or witnessed, I should say.

  4. That seems to happen a lot in life: no one is really all that concerned until it touches their life personally.

    Before that, the person yelling, "Warning! Danger ahead!" is just a nuisance, a troublemaker, or if you're female, a deceived out-of-control Jezebel. You should read the nasty comments people leave on websites taking a stand against domestic violence in Christian homes and the patriarchal doctrine that minimizes, even justifies it.

    Keep warning people anyway! Some of them will benefit. And those some are precious, and can be spared a world of hurt because of your warnings. =)

  5. And to whom are these proponents of authority accountable to? To whom do they answer? No one. I've seen this over and over. If they believe that they have ultimate authority over the people "under" them, then they have no one "over" them. Oh, they claim to be accountable to God, to others. But if you look closely, they answer to no one but themselves.

    The extent of their domination over others is usually the extent of their independence from all authority over themselves.