Dr. Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College in Virginia, has expressed regret that he did not step forward and speak out against the unscriptural "Patriarchy" teachings promoted by Vision Forum and Doug Philips. At least Dr. Farris has done so now. It is not easy to detect the subtle differences between the normal, conservative, and scriptural view of male leadership, and the peculiar distortions of so-called Christian patriarchalism. Many of the elements in error in Patriarchalism spring from an over-equating of Israel with the Christian Church, which at its root is an interpretive and theological error. Rules and regulations from Moses' law about family structure are ported over, by the barrelful, into the New Covenant era. There was nothing but a focus on covenant continuity, but precious little alertness to covenant discontinuity. There seemed to be no acceptance of the Romans 14 principle of freedom of conscience on unrequired matters. And for a movement that claims to have the highest regard for God's law, there is (in my opinion) precious little awareness of what is not-law. For instance, the practice of a single woman living at home with her father and mother until marriage might in some circumstances be wise, or best, and certainly is a choice free to be made. But it is not a commandment from God, and those who teach that it is are guilty of being false witnesses of God.
Jack is the teaching elder of Ironworks Pike Community Church. He is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary http://www.ciu.edu.