The other day, at a forum I frequent, someone posted a link to this family blog article. It may seem completely innocent, perhaps "sweet", to many of you. I found it disturbing. It's entirely possible, even likely, that these parents have the best of intentions, and many of you would probably tell me as much. Then again, we never hear about good intentions until we see bad results, so good intentions and motivations aren't my concern in what I'm writing here. You can light a twenty dollar bill on fire, or, you can light a twenty dollar bill on fire with the best of intentions. Either way, you're out $20.
What you're seeing in that blog article and photograph is Patriarchal priestcraft. It's the groundwork and foundation for Patriarchal Apostasy, for the current and eventual implementation of several elements of Lifton's Thought Reform model, and it sews the veil right up. This father is indoctrinating his children (through ritual, practice, and even physical positioning) to see HIM as the source of blessing, replacing Christ as the mediator in their lives. Approaching him on their knees while he receives them in a physical position of dominance. If this were genuinely about seeking God's blessing and favor in their lives, the father could offer a prayer without the children ever knowing about it. He wants them to KNOW about the blessing HE creates in their lives. He wants them to KNOW HIS power and prominence in any blessing they receive. Regardless of his intentions toward his children, this is what his aberrant beliefs demand.
If you'll think about it just a bit, it doesn't take long for the "innocence" to drain out of it.
"The Blessing" is a big deal in patriarchal circles. For most of us, the concept is merely ceremonial in human terms, and "blessing" equates to "approval". Spiritually healthy people realize that genuine blessing only comes from God through Christ. For P/QFers, though, it's more than that. It's power. It's control. It's presented as a supernatural phenomenon that these "godly men" alone can impart to their children - for without it, the children, even adults, are doomed to fail. They make themselves the Source, putting themselves on equal footing with God Himself, when in reality, many of them would need at least three promotions just to be grossly ignorant and naive. "The Blessing" then becomes a manipulative, coercive tool of emotional and spiritual abuse, dangled in front of subordinates like a carrot with the intent that the emotional leverage it creates will produce unquestioning obedience. It's disgusting.
So, you don't believe that P/QFers use The Blessing to manipulate?...
Before I proposed to my ex-fiancee, I went to my former future in-laws for their blessing. While it may have been worded as "blessing", rest assured that what I hoped for was their approval and support. They gave their "blessing". Frankly, had they said no, while unfortunate, it wouldn't have altered my plans to propose in the slightest. I didn't need their blessing. I needed hers. Fast forward a few months to her decision to become independent of her father. When she made this decision, I cautioned her of three things to be prepared for in the following 24-48 hours. Two were specific to her family situation. The other was "your father is gonna 'take away his blessing'", laughable as that was. Curious as to why it's laughable? Here's why...
When Jacob swindled the blessing that was to go to Esau, Esau pleaded with Isaac to "take it back and give it to me!" Isaac informed him that he couldn't. The blessing was God's to give and take away. Isaac was merely a conduit and mouthpiece in a Holy Spirit-less world without a Christ.
When Balak sought Balaam to speak a curse upon Israel, Balaam uttered a blessing - as God directed. Balaam's answer to Balak's pleading..."How can I curse and condemn those whom God hasn't cursed and condemned?"..."God has blessed and I cannot reverse it!" The blessing was God's to give and take away. Balaam was merely a conduit and mouthpiece in a Holy Spirit-less world without a Christ.
It's interesting to note that God reversed neither blessing, even the one obtained by less than honest means. It's comforting to know that God doesn't treat His blessing like a yo-yo. Our blessing now is in Christ, and no matter how heartily and aggressively the adversary may plead with God to reverse it - even if he does so through your own parents, and no matter if we fail to always represent that blessing properly, the blessing remains.
Those of you either in P/QF homes currently, or having grown up in them...How many times in your life has "the blessing" of a father been held over your head? Issues of faith? Romance? Friendships? College? Job? Adulthood? Leaving home? Any threats that you'll fail miserably, be outside of God's will, and be prone to all kinds of personal calamities if you operate outside of your earthly father's blessing serve as proof that your family is actually a religious cult, and your house isn't serving God but a sociopolitical religious agenda. A friend elsewhere compared it to growing up in an alcoholic home. Selfish ambitions. Emotional dysfunction. Often hopelessness. Broken hearts and lives. It's an addiction that replaces alcohol with religion.
Let me let you in on a little secret - You have the Heavenly Father's blessing. Nothing your earthly father can do will ever change that, despite his desire for veto power over God.
Patriarchal parents have no power, whatsoever, to speak or propel any kind of supernatural blessing or divine favor into the lives of their children. It simply isn't, nor will it ever be, within their power to do so. They can be a blessing to their children, though.
If only they would be.