Asking the Wrong Questions about Patriarchy

Yes, patriarchy is God’s design for all of us.  But not as we practice it in our culture.  So, No, it isn’t an enduring way for either men or women—as we practice it between men and women.

For those of you who are new to the battlefront, the warring factions call themselves Egalitarians or Complementarians (which you could read as equal rights for men and women vs. equal but different rights).  Maybe you’re unfamiliar with the terms, but you’ve certainly seen evidence of the war in our culture.

Anytime someone raises the issue of motherhood or women’s health, the role of women in society and family, gender exclusivity for membership or leadership, or the topic of submission, patriarchy is there.  Underneath the surface perhaps, but it’s there nonetheless.

Christians on both sides set up organizations and amass war chests.  We fill the airwaves with propaganda, the bookshelves with self-aggrandizing ammunition, and the stage of politics, the World Wide Web, the pulpits, and the classrooms become battlefields over which we fight for control, even to the point of launching verbal attacks and Internet missiles.

We’re asking the wrong question when we ask “Is Patriarchy God’s Dream/Design for the World (specifically women)?”           The right question is “What is the purpose of patriarchy?”

The right answer is “To teach us to rely upon God as our Father.” 

That’s the consistent message in Scripture from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.  Men and women were created to rely upon our Father in heaven at all times—in the Garden of Eden, in the fallen world outside of Eden, in the discipleship world of Jesus Christ, and in the redeemed world that is already, but not yet in its eternal fullness.

Our Father in heaven, the Lord God Almighty, is above and beyond time.  He remains our Father because of His gracious choice to give us life and to make us in His image.  Because He exists outside of earthly time, this design of His patriarchy is real and enduring.  We see this in Luke where Jesus gives us a rare glimpse into God’s design.

“Jesus replied, ‘The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive’” (Luke 20:34-37).

We can clearly see here that the heavenly citizenship of the redeemed shows no evidence whatsoever of an internal patriarchy of biological males over biological females. 

Rather, we are God’s children, brothers and sisters in the family of God, and we have one Father.  If we believe that the New Creation somehow reflects God’s original design, then His patriarchy rightly prompts our response to Him; we are as His children, both male and female.

Do you want to go deeper into the topic? Join me on the next page.

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Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on June 22, 2012

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