Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Beyond Patriarchy?

Recently, I saw a pastor's take on patriarchy; the argument was that we are "finally" moving "beyond patriarchy" and God could not be more pleased with this. God is, so they say, happy that we are finally breaking free of our long chains of male domination. Or something. 

It is, of course, a distinctly feminist religious position and one that, sadly, is coming to gain more and more favor among the people of God. Yes! they cry. Yes, we are finally on the brink of living the kind of life God had intended for us, shaking free of all this "male" and "female" baggage and simply being Christians.

Because, you know, in the beginning, God created them Christians, Christians He created them, and He said that this was very good. 

But the problem with this kind of broken, worldly theology is not just that it smacks against the very Creation of God and claims something that God never intended; it rails against the very heart of God, who has always called Himself our Father. 

It is impossible - not just difficult, not just troublesome, not just problematic - to take a faith that has historically, since the beginning of its time, worshiped God the Father and to proclaim that this same Father has always longed for His people to stop living in a patriarchy. (For those who need it, patriarchy is a social system in which fathers are the ones responsible for leading, guiding, etc.) When we say that God the Father never intended for us a patriarchy, we are also saying that He never intended us for Himself. 

That's a problem. And not a little one. 

This is the greatest challenge that faces theology today - we continue to reshape our God in our own image, taking the things of this world that make sense to us and then forming our God to fit them or approve of them or even, in some weird way, to have to designed them, even when what we're buying into goes directly against what God Himself has said to us. In a world that has become all about how we feel about it, we have begun to make our God the same way. 

Feminism makes a lot of feminists happy (they think), so God must clearly be a feminist. Feminism corrects some of the problems that humans have made in their societies (they think), so God must clearly be a feminist. And then we even go back through our Bibles and reinterpret His stories through this new lens, changing the very lessons that God was trying to teach us. 

Not only is it killing our faith, it's killing our God. In the same way that feminism has come to emasculate men and count this a victory, it has castrated God and called this good. In the same way that feminism lifts women up only by breaking men down, it has lifted up humankind and broken down God and called this good. 

It's a dangerous theology, a very dangerous theology indeed. By its doctrines, we lose the very heart of God, the very nature of Him, and we lose ourselves, what it means to be both men and women of God, and we lose our communities, what it means to be His people.

This is not at all to say - hear me on this - that God does not love women. That's not it at all. We are not going to argue, nor should we ever have argued, that God favors men, chooses male over female. Not in the slightest. But recognizing that God loves women does not make Him a feminist. Recognizing that God does not favor male over female does not make Him a feminist. If we'd listen to His wisdom on this issue, we'd see that God is exactly what He always said He was:


I'm going to spend a few more days on this and expand on a couple of ideas and arguments because this is important. It's important because this feminist ideology is the kind of junk theology that sounds more and more "reasonable" to the world, but it gets us further and further from God, ourselves, and each other.  

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