The Duggars (Christian Patriarchy) vs. The Message of William Branham (Part 2):
The intersection between the Christian Patriarchy movement to which the Duggars prescribe and the message will be all too familiar. Though the Duggars are pretty mainstream doctrinally and align fairly consistently with Southern Baptists and similar groups, the Duggars have a few more peculiar doctrinal positions. Many of the things that make the Duggars so iconic in American pop culture are things William Branham also taught and message believers (MBs) likewise hold to as absolute truth:
1) Both the Duggars and MBs believe that women and men have distinct, non-intersecting roles and purposes in the plan of God, in society, in church, in the family, and in a marriage. Both believe that women should be at home with their children and not working outside the home. They believe that women should submit to the will of their husbands in spiritual matters and to the authority of male leadership in the church--even if their personal convictions differ strongly with the men 'over' them. Both believe that women should be the primary caregivers to children and men should be responsible for finances, and that men have the final authority on all family decisions.
In a marriage, this submission is even more pronounced. Michelle Duggar has stated that she, as a wife should make herself sexually available to her husband at any time he desires, and that this is part of her duty as a wife. William Branham, likewise taught that women are designed in order to be available at all times as part of their flawed, Satanic design (65-0221M, paragraphs 158-162).
2) Both the Duggars and MBs believe that women and men should dress in traditionally gender-specific clothing. The Duggars do not allow their daughters to wear pants or shorts--not even the youngest girls under 5 years old; Duggar boys do not wear shorts. Anyone familiar with the message know that this is practiced in the message as well and for the same reasons: modesty, and gender specificity.
3) Both the Duggars and MBs believe that women should have long hair and that this constitutes a 'covering', and that men should have short hair. Though the Duggar girls are allowed to cut and style their hair, they maintain hair below their shoulders.
4) Both the Duggars and MBs eschew all things considered 'worldly'--which seems to be a matter of personal interpretation for both. The Duggars over time have loosened up on their standards of dress. At the beginning of their show's airing, the Duggars wore exceptionally plain clothing and little to no makeup; today, however it is clear they have changed their convictions. The girls wear makeup; the styles are much more modern. MBs likewise have a wide range of interpretations on what it means to dress 'worldly'.
They also share a conviction against most forms of entertainment--secular or modern style music, television or movies, organized sports, and a plethora of other things deemed 'worldly' by either parents or some other authority (in the message, this could be the recordings of William Branham, a pastor, or a respected personality in the message).
5) Both the Duggars and MBs believe that attaining higher education is an unnecessary and foolish endeavor for a Christian--effectively spiritualizing the more simple career choices prevalent in both--manual labor, skilled labor and other similar pursuits. Not to say these career choices aren't good ones--but eliminating the possibility of other choices can keep children that would otherwise be successful from ever achieving their full potential. Some kids, after all, make wonderful carpenters. Others should do accounting; and still others should be rocket scientists.
I point all this out in order to show that the Message of William Branham does indeed share many of the same beliefs that the Duggars do--that the Message is, at its core, a Christian Patriarchy group, and that in order to understand the real issues with the Christian Patriarchy movement as ex-message Christians we must examine what we believed and may still believe. These similarities that I've pointed out may seem shallow, but with further study we will hopefully begin to see that these similarities point to more fundamental correlations between the two movements--correlations that should be examined by those of us seeking to move on and discover the Truth of God's Word moving forward.
We must be willing, as we delve into complex topics, to admit that we too were a part of this problem. For some of us, admitting that there is a problem at all will take time, prayer, and study. Just like we laid the issues with the prophesies, life stories, erroneous doctrines, and twisted scripture found in the message out before the Lord for correction, we must also lay these doctrines out for examination and correction.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow: Sex Scandals and Christian Patriarchy