To Those in “Biblical” Patriarchy: Return to God


This is Part Two. You can read Part One here, “‘Biblical’ Patriarchy: here’s how you replaced God.”

What did God say was the root problem of the Old Covenant people who were oppressing those under them?

You have left Me.

(He said this in many places, such as Isaiah 1:4 and Jeremiah 1:16; 2:12-13, 17, 19; 5:3, 7, 19; 8:5, 17:13; 19:4; 22:9.)

What did God say was the solution?

Return to Me.

(He said this in many places, such as Isaiah 55:7 and Jeremiah 3:22; 4:1; 18:11; 35:15; 36:3; and 36:7.)

I asked my visitor, the daughter of patriarchy, how many people who had left the movement were still following Jesus. I said still, even though it sounded like many of these families may never have really followed Him. After all, I think the word for believing “the only way [for a woman] to know God’s will for your life is through a husband or father” would be . . . “heresy” . . . or “cult.”

My new friend told me it was only ten percent. So after we parted and I got to a quiet place, I wept.

I wept for the young people, those in the ninety percent, who think what they’re leaving is Christianity, when in many cases it isn’t Christianity at all, but only a twisted, misshapen copy, a hollow echo of it.

I wept for the many parents who, if as young adults in the 1980s and 1990s could have foreseen what they would become, what they would fall prey to, might have turned away in horror.

The horror of it

“Be appalled at this, O heavens! Be utterly horrified and dumbfounded,” says the LORD. “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me—the spring of living water—and they dug their own cisterns—cracked cisterns that hold no water.”   

A call to the parents . . . to return

Return, return, I call to my generation who are stuck in the idolatry of a system, a person, and an institution. I cry out to you to return to Jesus, the fountain of living waters. Shed the pharisaical baggage of the system, the person, and the institution. Look to Jesus Christ Himself and Him alone to quench your thirst, to give you hope, to provide your salvation. (This is a kind of repentance, truly coming to your senses.)

Take your hands off your adult children’s shoulders and look to the Holy Spirit (yes! remember Him?) to do a life-giving work in the hearts of your children—and in your own.

A call to the ninety percent . . . to come

To those who have departed Christianity because you equated it with the terrible oppression you experienced, which many Christians haven’t taken seriously. . . . Some of us are taking it very seriously.

It may be that you departed from an idolatry where Christ was never mentioned except as one more rule-giver, as one more example you could never live up to, as one more teacher of “submission,” as one more way to beat you over the head. . . .

I want to tell you, that is not Christianity. As I cry out to your parents to return, I cry out to you to come. Come to the one you never knew, who really does offer beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning, who really does offer deliverance for captives and the binding up of the brokenhearted. Come see who Jesus really is.

A call to young adults under the system . . . to listen to His voice

There’s one more group I want to speak to. It is to adults who are still living under the authority of patriarchal parents. You feel stuck, but you want to honor your parents.

I plead with you, don’t be guilty of the idolatry of parents. Don’t, in the name of honoring, displace the Lord Jesus Christ, your rightful Sovereign, in your life.

It can be confusing, I know, trying to sort it out. It can be confusing, when maybe you’re told that if you don’t obey everything your parents say, then you’re guilty of rebellion (and of course we know “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”). It can even seem terrifying.

But seek Jesus in the deepest places of your heart. Seek Him through His holy Word, get to know who He really is. Ask for the His Holy Spirit to open your eyes as you read the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit . . . He may not be mentioned much in your family, but if you have trusted in Christ, He is the power of the living Christ in you.

The hope of glory is not having a picture-perfect family.

The hope of glory is Christ in you.

Be willing to honor your parents in the ultimate way, by honoring God and following Him. Love Jesus and be willing to suffer being misunderstood, maligned, and even persecuted for His Name.

For me to see that I’m writing those words about my own generation, those people who stood around me at the homeschool conventions, some of whom may have bought some of the missionary books I’ve written, is nearly mind-boggling to me. But if a system goes as far astray as this one seems to have gone, the system will need to be forsaken in order to truly follow Jesus Christ. This won’t be the first time it’s happened in history.

When it’s time, it’s possible to leave well (and I pray you can connect with Spirit-filled Christ-lovers on the outside who will help you do so), still honoring your parents in the ways that truly matter, without uttering words you’ll later regret, leaving to truly follow Jesus rather than simply to follow your own way.

I pray with you that lost relationships will one day be restored, based on the love and joy of Jesus Christ rather than on earthly authorities and earthly systems and earthly idols. I pray to our Father God that His Son Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth, will truly reign in the hearts of those who have worshipped a system, a person, or an institution instead of the Savior of the world. I pray that He and He alone will be glorified in the lives of those who claim His Name.

O Lord God, speed that day.

“Be appalled at this, O heavens! Be utterly horrified and dumbfounded,” says the LORD. “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me—the spring of living water—and they dug their own cisterns—cracked cisterns that hold no water.”    

This Scriptures is Jeremiah 2:12-13, on which this song is based:

 Return to the Waters

words and music by Christiana Mayfield (my daughter)

Return to the Water, taken from Jeremiah 2:12-13

Posted by Christiana Mayfield Music on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

There’s a spring of living water, As fresh as love, as clear as truth, and never bitter. And some have tasted of that water And decided they’d rather hew themselves a cistern.

And the cistern—it is broken, And the people they are choking In the mud At the bottom of their hole.

Return, oh return to the water! Return and let your soul be satisfied. Return, oh return to your lover! Then in Him will be your glory forever.

And the spring is still beside them More alive than life itself and strong as thunder. But they won’t turn, though their tongues are dry and swollen. And even the heavens, they look down on them and wonder.

They’re afraid and horrified That the people have despised The light That was sparkling before them.

Return, oh return to the water! Return and let your soul be satisfied. Return oh return to your lover! Then in Him will be your glory forever.

Then in Him will be your glory forever.

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5 years ago

Springs of living water! May all who are thirsty, come and drink what He has to offer.

Virginia Knowles
5 years ago

I thought of this old blog post of mine after reading part 1.

Jeff Crippen
Jeff Crippen
5 years ago

Patriarchy is the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus specifically warned us all about. Let’s see, He said something like…BEWARE. Pretty strong word. The spirit of Rome is not only responsible for giving rise to the Popish system, it is also always at work in every local church striving to effect the very same power and control structure in order to bring us into bondage. In patriarchal systems, papacies are formed. A false priesthood is established that meddles in and controls even the most intimate and personal parts of our lives (like marriage and family). God’s instruction to us in regard to dealing with it? Be done with it. Come out of it. And be free.

Sam Powell
5 years ago

This is wonderful. Thank you

5 years ago

Very well said. A while back I was yet again grieving over my sin and I came across Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ I know that this is talking about unbelievers, and how they wanted the power of Christ, without the Person, but as I examined myself I prayed “Lord, help me to want you!” I thought what would these people look like today? What kind of power would I want? As I looked at my life I wanted the power over sin, I wanted to finally be good, not that desiring righteousness is wrong, but I was convicted that I was pursuing only righteousness, and not Christ. Thank you for reminding me that it is the Holy Spirit that changes people, He is my righteousness, satisfaction, and my friend.

Rachel Nichols
4 years ago

That Bible verse about rebellion being as the sin of witchcraft was used against King Saul. Patriarch. Authority figure. Later, when David ran from Saul to save his own life you won’t find Samuel using that sermon against him. The supporters of the Patriarchy would have it the other way around.

Marjorie Garrett
Marjorie Garrett
4 years ago

Christ has the prior claim on one’s life, because Covenant children belonged to Him from before the foundation of the world, long before they were entrusted to the parents who were to raise them to follow Him. Parents and children do not belong to one another, really. All people belong to God alone.

Joy Forrest
3 years ago

Thank you Rebecca! You’ve hit on the thing that grieves me most with all of the abusive “Christian” families we see. We see the children walking away from the faith altogether, because they were given a false version of Him. How I pray they come to know the true and living God, who is love.

susan's saddle stands
2 years ago

i have done lots of research on patriarchy/complementarianism vs. egalitarianism. I have read many blogs that espouse each “system” and why they believe their view to be the proper translation of God’s word. Here is what I have found.

The pat/comp blogs—
1– claim they have the exact truth of what god meant man to be and woman to be and what their roles are to be in life
2– they extrapolate to much detail what those roles are to the point of minutia and micromanaging. .and seem to put many more rules and requirements on women than on men
3—many of them use only the english surface translation though there are some who make their case and points by using the greek word meanings.
4— if you disagree with them they say you are going against God, even saying a person is sinning if they do not follow pat/comp.
5—they use their beliefs to make rules that would have every christian family look and live like a family from 1950’s white america (honey, I’m home) –they do not realize that black/Mexican women have had to work in the homes of others for years as maids and cooks and that women in 3rd world countries live in little more than 1 room shacks and their life revolves around working outside the home in fields and going to market.
6— will block you if you disagree with them, thus not allowing for normal discussion of why or why not their views might be what god actually meant.

on the other hand egal blogs
1-present their case by telling what certain key words the ancient languages mean, many of them having been educated in those languages AND the culture of the time that scripture was written trying to give a view of what life was like at the time that scripture was penned. .
2- they do not say you are sinning if you do not believe what they write -they simply present their evidence
3- will not block you if you present a different opinion

here is what one blog wrote to me after i told them why i did not believe in pat/comp teachings. They accused me of slurring them because i disagreed —————-“(Mr. X has sought to faithfully study and teach God’s principles from His Word. “Patriarchy” is normally a slur to speak ill of the male-led order God set up in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. “Legalism” is normally a slur for those that have standards stricter than we feel is necessary. Some of that may feel like micromanagement, but it is straight out of the Bible. Those that long to see the Kingdom of God come, and His will done, on earth as they read it in Scripture are drawn to Mr. X—- Others find him very offensive. But . . . he will never change.”


[…] [Emily and I didn’t know each other in those days. But here she is describing exactly what I wrote about in that same year, 2017. That the families who followed a patriarchal cult-like leader were replacing the springs of living w….] […]

susan's saddle stands
7 months ago

—case in point about following scripture in a legalist way….if we truly were to do that then none of us would own dogs, since all those many verses in the bible are all negative about dogs. dirty, filthy, scavengers, keeps company with whores. –yet they are the most beloved of pets in modern society…. why? — i call it redemption. so if god can redeem the lowly dog from how it is described in scripture, why not the lowly woman, who after all “caused” the entire fall of man?

Last edited 7 months ago by susan's saddle stands
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