Patriarchy – When False Doctrine Runs Amok

This  pastor is really upset with some men, men who should know better according to him.

Beth Moore with Men

Apparently Beth Moore and the three men with her were taking turns reading from a Bible passage at a conference run by a man. Even though she is merely reading at this point, and in company with three times as many men as women on the stage, and under the leadership of the man who organized the conference, it is too much for Mr. Miano (who describes himself as an international evangelist). This is blatant egalitarianism as far as he’s concerned: she’s exercising way too much authority for a woman and those men would have done better to boot her off the stage. How dare they let a woman read Scripture in public!

I wonder what Mr. Miano does with Bible passages that show women exercising much more authority than Ms. Moore does, because here’s what I think happens when people follow the type of patriarchy taught by Mr. Miano:

    • Mary’s Magnificat is a song by a woman so I’m supposed to skip those verses when I read the Bible, right? (Luke 1:46-55.)
    • Samaritan men shouldn’t have listened to the woman at the well tell them of Jesus because she’s a woman, right? (John 4:28-30, 39.)
    • Anna should’ve kept quiet when she saw baby Jesus in the temple because women aren’t supposed to speak in church. (Luke 2:36-38.)
    • Tamar never should have told Judah to provide her a child. Who is she to tell her father-in-law how to run the family? (Genesis 38.)
    • Abigail never should have helped David, right? She should have supported her husband Nabal even if he was wrong! (1 Samuel 25.)
    • Pilate was right not to heed his wife’s warnings about harming Jesus. After all, she’s not the husband in that family! (Matthew 27:15-26.)
    • I bet if King Josiah knew his officials were going to ask Huldah – a woman! – for advice, he’d have never let them do it. (2 Kings 22:11-20.)
    • The church would be so much better off if the apostles had just refused to listen to Mary talk about the empty tomb. (John 20:1-10.)
    • No wonder Philip’s daughters weren’t married. He let them prophesy? What kind of father was he, for crying out loud! (Acts 21:8-9.)
    • When Peter told the crowd in Acts 2 that women would prophesy, he must have meant only to other women. (Acts 2:14-21.)
    • Mary told the wedding servants to listen to Jesus. How could she exercise authority over them?! (John 2:1-11.)
    • When Jesus said even the rocks would shout out praise to him, he meant only the boy rocks, right? (Luke 19:39-40.) At least in public?

These seem extreme, but what else does Mr. Miano’s tweet mean except that any public declaration of Christ by a woman under any circumstance where men are present is not allowed?

And that’s the problem with patriarchy: it hinders the gospel, it stifles the word of God, and it’s just plain wrong.

***

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69 Responses to Patriarchy – When False Doctrine Runs Amok

  1. “And that’s the problem with patriarchy: it hinders the gospel, it stifles the word of God, and it’s just plain wrong.”

    And that’s all I have to say about that…! 😉

  2. nmcdonal says:

    Very well put together,Tim – there’s a difference between patriarchy and complementarianism. Just like there’s a difference between feminism and egalitarianism.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Nick, much appreciated.

    • Difference between patriarchy and complementarianism: I’d love to read more on this. Links, please?

      • Levi Boldt says:

        Some (but not all) complementarians are okay with women working outside the home and leading in business and/or government. But with respect to church and home, complementarians are merely patriarchists who aren’t willing to admit it.

        “For millennia, followers of God have practiced what used to be called patriarchy and is now called complementarianism.” – Owen Strachan, president of Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, http://www.dennyburk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/5-Strachan.pdf

        “At the end of the day, however, this really isn’t an argument about words. Whatever we call it (complementarianism, patriarchy, hierarchy), Moore’s point still rings true…

        “You’ll also find out that after all the feminist propaganda is stripped away, biblical patriarchy isn’t such a bad designation after all. It’s simply what the Scriptures teach about manhood and womanhood.” – Denny Burke, http://www.dennyburk.com/complementarianism-or-patriarchy-whats-in-a-name/

        “”If complementarians are to reclaim the debate, we must not fear making a claim that is disturbingly counter-cultural and yet strikingly biblical, a claim that the less-than-evangelical feminists understand increasingly: Christianity is undergirded by a vision of patrarchy. This claim is rendered all the more controversial because it threatens complementarianism as a ‘movement.’ Not all complementarians can agree about the larger themes of Scripture – only broadly on some principles and negatively on what Scripture definitely does not allow (i.e. women as pastors). Even to use the word ‘patriarchy’ in an evangelical context is uncomfortable since the word is deemed ‘negative’ even by most complementarians. But evangelicals should ask why patriarchy seems negative to those of us who serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the God and Father of Jesus Christ.” – Russell Moore, http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/49/49-3/JETS_49-3_569-576_Moore.pdf

    • Egalitarianism fits quite nicely into feminism, thank you.
      Feminism is really a misnomer because most -isms describe a construct in which one group is dominant over all others based on one characteristic, such as racism and sexism. Feminism isn’t really about women becoming the dominant sex, but about equality for both/all sexes.

  3. As the son of a (late) woman minister in Mennonite Church USA, I approve this message…

    • Tim says:

      Speaking from a position of experience there, Robert!

      • A quote from my mother that epitomizes some of her time in a male-run church, expressed to my father after coming back from a denominational board meeting:

        “Those MEN! Don’t they realize that it’s not about the programs, it’s about the relationships?”

        I think the church could USE more women in leadership if for no other reason to remind us of this simple truth.

  4. EricaM says:

    I can’t really come up with a good response, because yours is so excellent. Also I burned the bacon when I was trying to do so. I should probably watch the stove. 😉

    (Also, I loved the “girl rocks” comment! I’m so ashamed of those girl rocks!)

  5. Gail Wallace says:

    That’ll preach! Well done, Tim. And isn’t that John Piper on the stage? What was God thinking when that amazing teaching gift was bestowed on Beth Moore anyway? The woman can preach! I’ve always thought it ridiculous that she is allowed by the SBC to preach from the pulpit in other countries (India is the one I’m aware of) but not in the U.S.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Gail. It’s Piper and Louis Giglio and someone else with her. I’ve gone through 3 of Moore’s video studies and learned tons of Bible from her. Mr. Miano would tut-tut at me, no doubt.

      • Maureen says:

        I think the third is Francis Chan. It might be fun to say I recognized his shiny head, but Beth Moore already made that joke on stage. We watched the whole conference online last winter – fabulous.

  6. Mary Anne says:

    What do these guys have to say about Judges, Chapter 4? Especially “because of the course you have taken, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Not to mention what happens when Jael gets into things . . .

    There’s a wonderful story by L.M. Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame) called “The Strike at Putney.” Here’s a URL for anyone who’d like to read it:

    http://www.classicreader.com/book/3575/1/

    Let’s just say the church in this story finds out what happens without the participation of the women . . . *smirk*

    • Tim says:

      That’s a great story you linked, MA. Montgomery is so good with words, and her humorous wit shines through every line. Love the phrase “theological coquetries”!

    • Beck says:

      They say that it was shameful for him to be delivered into the hands of a woman, and jael used deceit and shame (giving him milk and not wine) and so, rather than a noble end, it was in shame, at the hands of a (blech) woman.

      • Tim says:

        And yet general Sisera was so “brave” as to hide in the tent of a woman rather than face his enemies. There’s a real man’s man for you!

        On Jael, by the way, here’s my favorite depiction (courtesy of the comedic talents of Rachel Stone’s father): Jael Having A Precious Moment.

  7. Jeannie says:

    Girl rocks … rock!

  8. lauradroege says:

    I appreciate this post very much, Tim. I’ve also enjoyed reading the comments! Robert’s comment about what his mother said was great. Our old church (Presbyterian, PCA) had all-male leadership, and when they started making drastic changes to the church (ones that hurt relationships and did away with Sunday school, which hurt tightly-knit classes like ours was), several of their wives warned them not to do this. They didn’t listen. Two publicly apologized to their wives, saying that they should’ve listened to their wisdom. But the damage was already done. The men had focused far too much on programs, trying to run the church like a business, and forgotten that church is about relationships! I’ve often wondered if all the mess that happened would’ve been prevented had the church had both male AND female elders. Neither gender should ignore the wisdom of the other gender.

    • Tim says:

      that is a great cautionary tale, Laura. And I agree, the comments today are on fire!

    • Laura, I find it interesting that I experienced something similar, except it was myself and a MALE colleague who were advocating for greater emphasis on doing things relationally . Not that it did us any good – we both ended up being encouraged to leave… 😦

      • Tim says:

        Asked to leave? Yikes!

        • Actually, when I asked the question directly, “Are you asking me to leave this church?” the ‘leader’ I was speaking to got very upset and hot under the collar. He didn’t have the guts to say that’s exactly what he wanted. But when you are “advised” to resign from leadership, removed from your ministry, have your personal conversations monitored by an elder’s wife, and are generally treated like a pariah, you tend to feel the ‘encouragement’ to leave 😛

        • Tim says:

          Encouraged to leave for sure.

    • Jennwith2ns says:

      Agreed, regarding BOTH. I work for a mainline-ish interdenominational church and right now our entire head leadership is female. Which in some ways is great, but I feel like we’re missing out on what men have to offer, too. It’s really frustrating that this patriarchy thing has historically been so entrenched, because I feel like it it causes both men and women and the whole church to lose out to extremes.

      • Tim says:

        That’s a good point, Jenn. I was at the WCCW writer’s conference the past couple days and one of the leaders told me that the board consists entirely of women, and she’d like to have me do one of the short talks in the large group sessions next year in order for the attendees (about 75% women) to hear from someone different from them.

        Well, if nothing else, I’m different!

        • Jennwith2ns says:

          That’s great–congrats! Actually, the one writer’s conference I went to back in 2007, was largely female as well. And there was a panel of people who wrote for niches in Christian magazines–and there was not one “niche” for men. I felt like … that’s a problem.

      • Laura Droege says:

        I totally agree, Jenn. There needs to be a balance, and both genders need to have the humility to listen to the other.

        • Jennwith2ns says:

          YES! And I fear in many cases, church men are so afraid to let women lead, and church women are trying so hard to assert ourselves over that mess, that both humility and listening fly right out the window.

  9. Kathi says:

    And if you’re going to read Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, make sure you skip over the names of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.

    Because women.

  10. A nice article. Thanks for writing it. I and Lisa Ackland Carriere are doing an interview book of women in ministry, which we hope will encourage more women to enter the ministry. Information is at http://www.cliffordwilliams.net/womensministrystories.

  11. Beth Caplin says:

    Amazing how the Bible has been read for thousands of years, and only now do we figure these things out.

    Or maybe that’s just the result of Scripture being read and interpreted *only* by men for so long?

  12. Amen, Tim! Amen and amen. Gonna go back to my rock impersonation now. 😉

  13. Julie Anne says:

    Coming from an environment of Patriarchy and hierarchy where women are used for man’s pleasure and for making babies, your words continue to be a breath of fresh air. It’s still new to me to see men defend women like you do. Thank you. Oh my word, the tears in my eyes as I think of how women have been marginalized in church and in their homes because of man’s perception of authority over them, even spiritual authority where they presume to act as mediator between God and their wife. Miano’s teachings are destructive and oppressive. They are shaming and squelch the life out of women. It is so wrong. Thanks, friend.

    • Tim says:

      This is such a blessing to me, Julie Anne, thank you so much for your encouragement. And thank you too for the work you do on your blog.

  14. Pastor Bob says:

    I will not justify this discourteous, disrespectful behavior with the nice term”patriarchy.” This is an example of rude ungodly behavior. To stick to this example alone for a moment, there are many women who have demonstrated superior reading skills to the male counterparts. I will go so far as to state that the voice is far more pleasing to the ears. The “evangelist” referred to, as stated above is way out of line, and manufacturing excuses on the fly.
    That being said, there are plenty of other reasons why women should not be summarily blocked from leadership, leadership within ministry, and being in positions over men in ministry related fields.
    Please tell me someone found a way to set this “evangelist” in his “place.”

  15. Ruth says:

    A joy to read your positive take on this appalling situation. Where was I when this awful sect behavior started? I just don’t remember anything like this, growing up in a busy church world that encompassed more than a few places…bleh!
    I’m quartz crystal with a touch of smoky quartz ( guess that smoky bit needs exorcising ).
    Thankyou for a wonderful blog and such considered, careful and kind responses to so many people-including me- who find comfort here. You are an easy man to trust Tim, not easily said about many, and very consistent. Go Tim!

  16. Ruth says:

    Seems some people believe God said ‘I AM’, and some others interpret that as ‘ I MAN’, bit skewed I think, how weird is the modern world, still in awe at just how weird. I must have been living UNDER my rock for too long…… Lol

  17. On Miano,

    Even though she is merely reading at this point, and in company with three times as many men as women on the stage, and under the leadership of the man who organized the conference,

    This kind of reminds me of the Bechdel test.

    If he watches Hollywood movies or TV shows, he probably thinks two women on the screen at any one time is “too much”

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  19. Bridget says:

    What?

    Isn’t Miano the one who somehow justified “sitting under the teaching” of Joni Eareckson Tada? Maybe that was just because JohnnyMac did it too?

    Where is the consistency? 🙄

    • Tim says:

      I hadn’t heard about him endorsing Joni Ereckson Tada, but his tweet about Beth Moore seems like it would prohibit any man from reading and learning from any woman.

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  21. Good points from Scipture.

  22. hi this is a nifty site that you’ve, thank u 4 sharing it with us.

  23. Pingback: Patriarchy on the Equality of Women and Men | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  24. Karen Keil says:

    Your list is quite interesting, but you don’t address the passages in the epistles in which we are told that a woman should not exercise authority over a man (in a church setting, at least) and you conflate talking to, and helping, and other things with exercising authority over in many of the passages you mentioned. I am not opposed to your presenting a valid argument in favor of complementarianism, but straw men do not a valid argument make.

    • Tim says:

      That list is mainly to address Mr. Miano’s unbiblical position that it everything about Beth Moore reading scripture with those men is wrong.

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