The Message and Christian Patriarchy--Introduction to a Series: Part 1
In the explosion following the revelation of scandal in the Duggar family, I felt it might be time to address something of an 'elephant in the room' amongst those who are out of the message of William Branham and attempting to move on in Christ.
When I first left the message, I still would have considered myself a "Holiness Pentecostal" "Christian conservative", and would have proudly labeled myself a "submissive wife" and a "believer in traditional family values". Privately, I held many of the same convictions that the Duggars do--including the belief that God alone should decide family size and that no unnatural measures to limit reproduction should be taken by Christian couples (aka--no chemical or barrier birth control). I believed strongly in homeschooling as the ONLY right answer for Christian families, and I believed that the only legitimate form of discipline is one based entirely upon scripture, which translates into spankings and words of admonition alone, and a rejection of child rearing practices derived from scholarly or secular sources.
Not that, in and of themselves any of these labels or beliefs are evil things or scripturally flawed. I had scriptural backing and a wider community of Christians that shared these convictions--so I felt justified, and to this day don't feel people that uphold these convictions have ill intent when executing them in their daily lives. Like myself and my family, we were doing the best we knew how, seeking to serve God to the best of our ability and understanding.
As time went on, however the Lord softened my heart to those Christians that didn't believe things the way I did, and with that softening came spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of the Lord's will for my life and for the life of my family as a unit--a Will that cannot be easily classified or labeled with such terms anymore. It took a shift in mindset--a departure from the rigidity taught in the message and an understanding that 'traditional' doesn't always equal 'ideal'. Now, I have changed quite a few of my beliefs, and have a better understanding of what it means to be "led of the Spirit" (John 16:13), to live in the freedom of Christ that He died to provide us (Romans 8:1-4), and what it means to study and test all things, holding on to what is good and discarding the rest (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
But this series on Christian Patriarchy is not about my beliefs, though I will often share what it is I believed and what I now believe about the various topics I'll be presenting for consideration. This is about the problems with the ideology scripturally (for there are several), the problems logically, the problems domestically within families that prescribe to this mindset, and the problems on a much larger scale for Christianity and for the world as a whole.
Stay Tuned for part 2 tomorrow: The Duggars (Christian Patriarchy) vs. The Message of William Branhamhttp://now.snopes.com/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-scandal/