Friday, February 4, 2011

The Blessing

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.


  1. You always wrap things up with a breathtaking punch and this time it made me me cry.

    Thanks for this. God bless you.

  2. Right on. Growing up in a pseudo-patriarchal household (actually more matriarchal!), I remember my parents experimenting with the kneel-and-get-blessed-by-dad routine. It didn't last long, but the unspoken rule that my parents had to bless, or approve of, everything I did and every choice I made, was always there. Perhaps in certain situations it was a good thing, but over all, it took away my ability to think, decipher, and make good choices on my own. Rather than make a choice based on "Is this what God wants for me?" and "Is this being true to my goals in life?"-- it was "This would not be approved by my parents, so I won't do it."


  3. My English teacher, back in high school used to say,

    "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

    She was actually a Latin teacher forced to teach English and that was a Latin saying.
    It's not in the Bible, but there is still profound wisdom in it.

    Good intentions don't get you to heaven, or God, or even the desired goal.

    'Nother good post, Lewis.

  4. '''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. '''

    Its sad that people seem to think that FATHER can veto God by the way the church tends to teach. The way they go about this reminds me of the BIG LIE - if you repeat things enough people will just believe it.

    The father should be getting on his knees, and requesting blessings for his family. God is the true head.

    Its so strange how humans make the male GOD, and yet the bible states there should be no other. Sigh.

  5. (Name listed is not my real name)

    I was abused as a young child in the foster care system then eventually adopted by a single parent mother who, unfortunately, was the daughter of a man who held himself to be the complete patriarch of the family. I didn't have a grandfather. I had a 70 something year old man trying to play the part of my father, that is, the parts that dealt with control and discipline. I never saw love or emotion toward me.
    Things went from bad to worse when they decided I was to be homeschooled. At first they were into the Courtship scene, then they decided that wasn't Biblical enough. So they betrothed me to a man they knew who was 20 years older than me. We had several common interests but the fact remained that I couldn't see him as anything other than an older brother.
    He insisted that I should be allowed to experience at least one semester of college away from them. Begrudgingly they allowed this. I met my now husband there.

    The man I was to marry respected my wishes and backed out of the arrangement. I was told that I had fallen from grace and that God would never bless my engagement. From then on I wasn't allowed to leave home, talk to my fiance, or visit him. We did sneak letters to one another, however. For five years it was this way, until finally we decided that we just had to do what we had to do. As I hadn't been taught how to drive, I couldn't exactly drive. But he flew out and we became homeless. We got married while we were homeless and yes, God has blessed us. We were homeless for three months and since have moved three times in the past year, but each place has been better than the last.

    I truly believe that if I hadn't chosen to become homeless that I would never have gotten out.

  6. Robynne...You're awesome and very brave. Thank you for telling a bit of your story. I wish the absolute best for you and your husband.

  7. Ditto, Lewis. Wow, Robynne. Stay strong in the Lord!

  8. Robynne, that's unbelievable. Ownership of other human beings is supposed to be illegal in this country. Even by their parents.

    I'm so glad you got out and I applaud your courage!

  9. Lewis, excellent post on a subtly tricky subject. It ranks up there with the awful 'father as priest of the home' teaching that is growing.

    Robynne, I am so glad you got out-that does require courage that I can't even imagine. What a painful way for you to have begun your young life. I hope life is much more peaceful and truly loving now for you.

  10. I have been searching for a reason why my parents were wrong. I always knew something wasn't right, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Now I can. Thank you.

  11. Doesn't Gothard teach something like God only speaks to the Father of the family.....I saw a blog where they children lined up in what Mommy called "choo-choo" fashion to get Daddy's blessing every Saturday........too strange for me.

  12. Even if you don't know much about Patriarchal Apostasy, which I don't, the description of what the father is doing with his children doesn't look right or sound right.

  13. Robne--I feel for you. I'm glad you made it out.

  14. Good post. Randy Wilson, the founder of the disturbing phenomenon known as purity balls, also performs a weekly blessing just like this one and sells books advising other fathers to do the same. I watched him and his family on a Channel 4 documentary about purity balls last year and in it, he performed a blessing ceremony. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

  15. I was threatened with my college tuition being taken away. Not in such direct terms, but was certainly left to assume that. Also, my (now) husband called to asked my father's permission to marry me, knowing he would say no. Of course, my dad did say no, then called me to tell me he had said no. It make any difference, except that I was proud of my (now) husband for being willing to try. We tried to involved him in the process. Invited him to the wedding. I walked down the aisle alone. But you know we didn't kick them out and we gave my parents the opportunity. And I feel ok with that. :)

  16. While I understand what you are getting at and I totally see what you are saying in the context you are saying parents controlling their children (adult children) with their "blessing" I don't believe your article to be balanced with scripture.
    There are many examples of a father giving his blessing to his children in scripture. Laying hands on them and blessing them. Issac with Jacob and Esau, Jacob with his sons and the sons of Joseph.

    While I definitely would discourage any form of emotional control (a totally wrong motive for giving a blessing) when it came to giving a blessing or withholding a blessing, I think it is important not to miss the biblical example of a father blessing his children. Not all P/QF families emotionally work their children over with any biblical means available to them.

    I have been reading your blog over the last few days. I have become interested in the whole "quivering daughters" movement because of someone special in my life who left her family to marry my husbands younger brother, totally against their will. Until several months ago I knew nothing of the QD blogs etc. I've been reading them because I want to see what is in their minds and hearts. I want to learn how to be a better mother to my children by listening and gleaning from these young ladies.

  17. Anonymous...I don't know how I could balance this piece any more with biblical accounts and instruction. Old covenant blessing required a human conduit. Old covenant anointing required a human conduit. Under the New, BETTER covenant, all who are in Christ are blessed by Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit. It no longer requires a father, a mother, a pastor, a prophet, or any other human. That's the balance.

    The biblical accounts you mention are expressly OLD covenant, Abraham covenant, accounts - when there was NO Christ to mediate between men and God, and NO Holy Spirit to inhabit the heart and endow men and women with truth. Ephesians 1:3 tells us that every spiritual blessing is extended to us in Christ. That includes children in the P/QF paradigm.

    The P/QF paradigm claims Christ, yet refutes that claim by still holding on to the ceremony and ritual of the OLD, Abrahamic covenant, along with its necessitated human conduits, and with that comes the Law and all its associated legalism. No true freedom in Christ. It gives place to parents, particularly fathers, that belongs only to Christ.

    If a parent wants their child to be blessed, they should point them to Christ. Beyond that, under the new and extravagantly better covenant, and parent absolutely CAN'T act as a conduit to any spiritual blessing. To try to do so is to usurp Christ.

    I appreciate you reading here, and I hope you'll think about these things with a willingness to put ALL (short of Christ) in play in pursuit of truth.