Things that modern “Patriarchs” don’t want you to know

Since so many modern, passionate “patriarchs”, seem to have the solution to society’s moral decline, I thought I’d bring out some of modern patriarchy’s little known details. Many women in the so-called “biblical womanhood” society would love to tell you what your sacred calling is, and your responsibilty to live up to their standards, but some of them have things in their backgrounds that they neglect to tell you when they’re putting down the majority of God-fearing women who’ve existed over the millenia. Things like, they’ve been married before their current marriages, who’ve held jobs because they needed to support their children, and who write books now putting down women who find themselves in the same situations. They’ve even married men who’ve been previously married while in the pastorate, who’ve started their own presbytries. However scandalous that sounds, or if you’ve read it before, I’d like to mention a situation in which I have personal knowledge.

What some of these self-proclaimed “patriarchs” would NOT want you to know is that they can be quite hypocritical in their everyday dealings, without even being aware that they are faced with a world they can’t change with their faulty, dominioneering teachings. Their theories on life will fall flat and cause them some chagrine, if not some hard lessons in compassion and humility. That is, until someone like me — who has a penchant for noting the most ironic details at times in these situations — points it out to the class.

One “patriarch-in-training” had a joyous event occur. He and his “full-quiver-only-or-you’ll-get-a-rolling-of-the-eyes-look-from-her” wife just bought a house for their growing family. Oh, that’s not a big deal, you say? No, usually couples do that. However, this is funny because the husband is a first generation modern “patriarch” (is that an oxymoron?), but his sweet mother, whom I’ve met, is a Real Estate Broker who just got them a sweet deal on a foreclosed home. So, the little niggly detail about her being a working woman, interacting with men and women probably of all walks of life of humanity, has actually BENEFITTED the patriarchal man’s little dynasty. The mother is a career woman. She sold him a home. She probably did everything she could to save them a bunch of money. And yet she is the kind of woman that PATRIARCHY would denigrate because she is independent of a man solely caring for her financial needs.

“[sniff sniff] Is that the smell of burning irony?”

Maybe there’s a clause for her because, like the proverbs 31 woman saw a field and bought it, then that is the legal loop-hole that she has. If she were working in an office for another man, though, she’d be in danger of BLASPHEMING THE WORD OF GOD, according to Jennie Chancey’s blog article. The patriarchal man’s mom may have just made it by the skin of her teeth, if she works for herself.

Or, or… what about those women and men who have blogs in the “family reformation” genre that tell other Christians how to live, or the young men supposedly showing the young generations how to be “rebelootinarians” or something like that, who remind us how to not be persuaded to live like the world but have their websites hosted by GoDaddy, a company that supports porn sites. (Read another person’s thoughts here on hypocrisy and morals and GoDaddy website hosting). Hmmm, and to think these types of folks, especially their passionate friends, like to judge the fact my husband works for an “evil” fast food corporation (and not organic, ‘God-kissed’ natural foods) that has — gasp! — clowns as spokesmen that help very sick children in hospitals! Funny how that works.

If I were in a better mood I’d be laughing. I’m just not enjoying the modern homeschool/”christian” thinking out there. I follow the Gospel of Jesus, not all the legalistic stuff that is being mass-produced at homeschool conferences these days.


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11 Responses to “Things that modern “Patriarchs” don’t want you to know”

  1. Kathleen Says:

    So, when you donate to one of these so-called “non-profits” like the one that produces the content, conferences and monetary gains to the young men who are making around $70,000 per speaking engagement at their conferences, you’re putting money in their pockets to go to college, as well as spread their message of not being like the world, and doing ambiguous hard things.

    You’re also contributing to their website hosting on a site that has its dealings in online porn. As long as they are going to preach that women belong under the authority of a man, that only true biblical living resembles their way of living (which they’ve already taught that true biblical living is owning and running your own business, homeschooling, etc.), then I’m going to point out details that would make them hypocrites of their own rhetoric.

  2. Mrs. C Says:

    From Chancey’s blog:

    “I’ve yet to hear from one woman (aside from the militant feminists) stuck in a “real” job who doesn’t long to return home”

    I guess that means that if you tell her you like your job, she will assume you are a radical feminist?

    I actually *agree* that the biblical *ideal* would be for a woman to stay home or have a home-based business… but… I just have so much on my own plate that I don’t have the time or want to take the risk of offending God by getting into everyone else’s “stuff” and sorting it out for them.

    IMO, there are LOTS of VERY clear-cut biblical mandates we could all work on first.

  3. Kathleen Says:

    That quote from Jennie Chancey says more about what she thinks, right there. Women who have jobs or careers that they actually gain some kind of satisfaction are “militant feminists”, who, in my understanding of what she’s trying to say, inwardly loathe themselves for their rebellion.

    Did she ever get a Psychology degree? Because she’s so far from the truth with many women believers that I know. What does that say about men who long to be at home because their jobs are stressful? That they’re in an unbiblical place, too?

    Maybe they are, if you follow the current “blarb” in the homeschool conferences and teachings I’ve personally heard time and again from some of these teachers. Men should own their own businesses, employing the family to raise up multi-generational dynasties, oops, I mean businesses. That’s so the men guard themselves from becoming “weak and lacking in confidence” (I have those quotes posted and in audio from one of them) by working for another man. The goal in these groups is a servant structure that props up the “leadership.”

    I would agree that for me, staying at home for most of my marriage has been a blessing — for me. It’s also had its drawbacks. My husband probably could’ve used some help financially, because I see him working very hard. However, I have worked outside the home, tag-teaming my husband with the childcare when my children were young, and I would have been condemned by the likes of Jennie Chancey and her group’s teachings. Which, I’m sorry to say, is becoming more and more mainstream in some homeschool/”christian” circles. Vision Forum, the people who run with them (Harris, Baucham, McDonald, Swanson, Chancey) are all becoming the headliners at the conferences and their books/teachings are being promoted more in the homeschool catalogs. Harris even suggests in one of his speeches, that we have gotten used to having modern appliances in our society’s kitchens, and that, wouldn’t it be more ideal to have people come to your home to do the work that an appliance would do, like a toaster? (He’s talking about servanthood here, and I’ll find my link and post it here). Who will take notice of the exclusionary teachings? Well, I am and several other people, too.

    I also agree that staying at home, or having your own business (if a person can handle the responsibilities), can be ideal — for those who can do it. Wouldn’t it also be ideal if a man and a woman could get married and go back and live in the Garden of Eden, too? That they wouldn’t have to toil or sweat, or wear clothes or have pain in childbirth? I’m kidding, of course, but just to point out that we live in a world that isn’t ideal anymore. These folks are trying with their reconstructionist, weird ideas to turn the society into a Utopia through their efforts. I think the Bible has something different to say about that. Man’s ways are not God’s ways.

    I’m with you; I’ve been searching and searching for years to come up with an idea that I could promote from home that would earn money. I’ve just had too much on my plate as well. It’s true that I’ve been convicted in my heart to work on the attitudes that I deal with daily because of these teachings. I pray for understanding and grace and peace and love. THESE are the more important things I need to work on.

    Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate any feedback.

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Hey, I found the link and quote where Mr. Harris talks about toasters and modern appliances, and how we should return to the “biblical” way (remember that term when you want to actually check it with Scripture) of running a household, according to his weird ideals.

    This is the audio of the 2006 “The Seasons of Life for the Christian Homeschooling Family” by Gregg Harris. It was held at the CHE of Colorado
    Found here:

    [There are so many holes and strawman arguments that I don’t even know where to begin. He preaches so many preferences in life. Here is just the most dynastic, exclusive, elitist teaching I have ever heard an admitted christian ever claim. I’m astounded he didn’t hear how it came across. I’ve included the first part of the section of his speech about the Schaffers because I wanted to quote in in context. The second paragraph is where he’s built his argument and I’ve highlighted the most pertinant parts of his argments towards women having servants.]

    “So to become a stronger family we need to make our homes households that serve all seasons of life. For the students in your home: make your home a delightful place of consistent discipline, quiet study, deepening friendships with fellow enthusiasts. Your home should be a facility that facilitates delight-directed study for all your students. For the householder as a husband and father: make your home a productive place, of creative work, and profitable business, and management of investments. For the homemaker as a wife and mother: make your home a nurturing place of loving affection, unity, comfort, beauty, and good taste. You know, these things are not just a matter of consumerism. It’s not a matter of buying lots of things, it’s a matter of how to make things out of what you have. I love the story of Francis and Edith Schaffer, in La’Bri Fellowship in Switzerland. And how with very little, Edith Schaffer would take tea and muffins and you would come away feeling like you had been at something spectacular. It was her way of serving it; it was the whole atmosphere in which things were done. She was constantly supporting her husband in the important work that he was doing as a teacher by creating an environment in which his teaching had a setting, had a context that backed it up.

    As wives and mothers that’s … that’s the adventure that God has called you to. And it is perfectly appropriate for you to have staff. One of my criticisms of our modern culture is we’re trying to get toasters to do what maids used to do. We’ve got our appliances, we’ve got our dishwashers, we’ve got our blenders, we have our toasters, we have our, our… self-cleaning ovens. But you can’t have your toaster watch your children while you go off and help a sick neighbor. I think we should reconsider how we get the housework done and look at building teams of members, neighbors, young women mentored, discipled. When you go to other parts of the world, they don’t use all these appliances. Instead they make work available to other people, and it makes life much more pleasant for everyone involved. I’m not talking about exploiting the poor; I’m talking about serving others by giving them gainful employment and allowing them to be a part of what God is doing in your household. I think we would prosper MORE if our wives were able to manage staff rather than having them BE the staff. You know, they have a saying in business, and this applies to the men as well, that if you don’t have a secretary, you are one, because there will be secretarial work to do. And in a business context they realize that if you don’t give a man a good administrative assistant you will not get your money’s worth out of his hours, because he will be doing a secretary’s work, an assistant’s work. So, it makes absolute sense to go back to the BIBLICAL MODEL. Look at Proverbs 31; the first thing she did in the morning was to give portions to her maidens. She wasn’t standing around with a mop in her hand and a no-wax floor. She had staff.”

    Then Mr. Harris continues to instruct what the church should look like.

    Here’s a quote:
    ” I’m not talking about exploiting the poor; I’m talking about serving others by giving them gainful employment and allowing them to be a part of what God is doing in your household.”

    Uhh, what about these servants OWN households? Aren’t they supposed to develop their own ideas and dreams and plans? What’s most important, I guess, is these elite teachers’ vision and their family. This reminds me of the Jennie Chancey quote she wrote one time about wives of slaves in the the south during the civil war waiting at home, being keepers at home while their husband/slaves worked the cotton fields and that was a happy little life for them. Has she ever read history? But I digress.

    These teachings tell us what they really think about the majority of fellow believers they may encounter in life, who aren’t as priveledged as they perceive themselves to be. I’ve seen their requests for volunteers for their vision, too, and it benefits them monetarily and allows them to build their ministry (please define how they minister? by their teachings?)

  5. Kathleen Says:


    “When you go to other parts of the world, they don’t use all these appliances. Instead they make work available to other people, and it makes life much more pleasant for everyone involved. ”

    Riiigghhtt. Emptying someone else’s urinal and scrubbing an elite’s toilet is always pleasant for everyone involved. Just ask Jennie Chancey who, when she was pregnant, she had her dear hubby … you thought I was going to say scrub the toilet? No, she had him call one of the dedicated “mother’s helpers” from her church to come scrub her toilet. Why couldn’t Mr. Chancey clean his OWN toilets? That’s women’s work, I guess, and what a better way than to indoctrinate the young teen girls in the church with hands-on experience at their leaders’ home. I read it somewhere from their archives.

  6. Mrs. C Says:

    I can kind of see hiring some work rather than letting an appliance do it for us to promote gainful employment in the underclass. Only think of what jobs have been lost to machines and how the people who have been replaced feel about it. Or sometimes I think if only we had more national pride and were able to label items “Made in America by AMERICANS earning an AMERICAN living wage AND with medical benefits” and have them sell nicely. You know? Nobody seems to care even when things are labelled “Made in China by children” (ok, almost). Good luck even finding clothing and the like made in the US by *anyone* regardless at this point, but I digress…

    But the toilet thing with a teen girl is a little… disturbing. I wondered instantly about what MOTHER would allow her little girl to scrub some guy’s toilet when there was no physical need in the family (ie. the man COULD have done it himself!!)… what does that say to the girl? Is there an underlying kind of a sex thing there? Am I reading too much into this? That here is a girl taught she is to be that subservient, and to a man not her husband to boot.

    I think perhaps that radical feminism has caused the “Christian” culture’s pendulum to swing so far in the opposite direction that outsiders look in and go, “Nuts, all of ’em!”

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi Kate —

    I’m just catching up on your postings for the past few months. I may be incorrect, but weren’t you a part of Harris’ church at one point? Where did the falling out come in and why, if you don’t mind me asking. I completely agree with you on the whole “ideal” thing versus the realities of life. My husband is out of work and may very well be for some time, and it’s simply not feasible that I just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. I have to have a job to support the family for now, and that’s the end of it, although I’ve worked for years and don’t have to struggle to find something right off the bat, thank God. I don’t necessarily find the entire patricharchy (rightly done) thing unattractive and I think there are a lot of women looking for a man who will actually stand up and lead and take responsibility. There’s just too little of that in the world period, and certainly too little in Christian circles. That being said, it’s simply not feasible that it can always be so cut and dried. I think “doing hard things” also has to include things that are out of the scope of our comfort zones, and that sometimes means women HAVE to work, whether that’s the ideal situation or not. I would love it if my husband made enough money such that the rest of the family could just, you know, do whatever we wanted and buy things and just keep the house pleasant for him, but that’s not the way the world works, unfortunately. In fact, I see less of an exhortation to men than I do a condemnation of women in these very traditional circles, and that irks incredibly. Doug Wilson actually has a more fair take on that than most in the VF sphere, and he’s hardly a liberal.

    I hope all has been well for you and may God richly bless you and give you peace. BTW, everybody give it up (for now) for my girl, Sarah P. She’s an exciting piece of the puzzle and has actually gotten me interested in this election cycle in a positive way.

    Take care,

  8. Kathleen Says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Yes, I used to attend Harris’ church, and I’ve written a bit of my disagreement with some of the extra-biblical teachings being taught from the pulpits, and in their conferencesthere by Harris and other men following after him.

    Here’s a post I wrote about my frustration:

    Elizabeth, if you went to that congregation, and if you and your husband sought council to know whether you were doing the right thing (working outside the home to support the family income) they might very well tell you that you were out of God’s order — in a polite way, of course.

    Harris himself promoted the video “The Return of the Daughters” and suggested that everyone be challenged and consider the teachings in that video by the Botkin sisters/family.

    Harris frequently, in nearly every venue open to him (Sunday sermons, homeschool conferences) promotes the idea that the “biblical” way of earning a living is owning/operating with your kids your own business. He prooftexts and is pragmatic about his theology in these areas. He doesn’t take criticism and when I have confronted him on the exclusive teachings about “owning a business”, he’s turned it around on me (in my own home, in front of my husband) to tell me I was dealing with some kind of dark spiritual issue on my part. This is classic manipulation; not dealing with the facts and turning it around on the other person.

    So, after I felt humbled at that point, I was convicted to forgive and forget. That was over a year ago, but his teachings kept springing up and getting more and more reinforced by the type of people that agree with him. In some of my post comment sections, I have actual audio of him making the very statements that show just what I’m talking about.

    One comment he made this year was that men who don’t learn to “do hard things” (there’s also the constant promoting of their seminars/books), in the context of starting a business, etc., are “weak and lacking in confidence”. He’s also stated in another audio sermon that he wants to see his congregation be a congregation of “EmployERS” rather than “EmployEES”. This is the doctrine he teaches and emphasizes. Those who work for another man, or a corporation, are really not as “biblical” as those who work for themselves.

    As far as a woman working outside the home; they are following the Vision Forum model more and more, as I have talked personally with many women/families there that LOVE Vision Forum. One woman there was visually stunned that I’d “let” my 18 year old daughter take some college classes. She disapproved. They’re mostly anti-military, too, which makes it interesting to watch how those young men keep it on the down-low mainly. The congregation is more impressed with “Huck’s Army”.

    And the over-arching theme that’s encouraged among the women is domesticity, preferably total organic style. I got an earfull when I met a woman for the first time there that didn’t know my husband was gainfully employed as a supervisor at McDonalds. She was passionate about how evil corporations were. I’d like to see a little more passion in the Gospel area, frankly.

    I have so much more that I could say, considering my family has interacted on a personal level with the Harris’ since 2001, with a couple of years’ respite in between. The exclusivity just oozes out of them, and I believe they use people to their personal advantage.

    It’s been very difficult to go through, and humiliating to admit to yourself you’ve been manipulated into following things that aren’t the Gospel.

    Thanks for asking, Elizabeth.

  9. Kathleen Says:

    This post actually comes before the link I just gave you. The comment section has more information in it.

    Here is another blog post that expressed more of my concern for the teachings and attitudes encountered at Harris’ church. My comments in the comment section tell more of the story:

    I promise I’ll stop ranting sometime. Friends who have come out of spiritually abusive situations/churches have told me I’m going through the classic stages when one comes out of them. It takes time and processing. I TOTALLY love the Gospel and God’s Holy Word, and I hate it when people use it for their own manipulative means, even if they don’t know they’re doing it.

    The interesting thing is, that there are a good number of people who are going through very similar circumstances with Harris’ son Josh Harris at Covenant Life, and CJ Mahaney. There seems to be a battle going on with that kind of exclusive, Top-down authority, extra-biblical teachings and “leadership” in some heavily Harris/Mahaney influenced churches.

    These are the people that are holding the conferences, selling the books, leading churches and building empires in the homeschool world.

  10. Kathleen Says:

    OH! And one last thing. Gregg came to my blog after I posted a comment in a local paper, under a pseudonym, because I didn’t want to reveal my son’s identity there. So, Gregg came here and confronted me. He didn’t try to reconcile in person (he lives 4 minutes away). He didn’t address my points on his teachings. No, it seems the elders of my church congregations saw my comments I made. Gregg then called my husband (not me directly) who hadn’t even seen what I’d written yet. Gregg asked my husband to ask me to take down my blog post “because it’s harmful”. My husband, not being the confrontational type, said he’d ask me.

    Of course I said “No way in he** will I take it down”, because I could see how this was turning. He just can’t handle anyone questioning his teachings. He’s surrounded himself with yes men and has had a history of doing these types of things to people he can’t control (I have a friend that used to attend the same church as him years ago. He was very condescending then, too, but that’s another story.)

    I happen to be a woman who actually studies the scriptures for myself, without believing that my husband has to interpret the Bible for me, or be my earthly priest (the eldership believe the CBMW article on the husband being “Prophet, Priest and King” of his wife and family). That’s a twisting of scripture. It’s idolatry.

    So, when my husband was talking to Gregg about this, Gregg responded with something like, “The elders and I will be discussing this together about what to do”. Does that sound like I was even considered in this equation? No. That told me everything I needed to know. I knew that I had to leave that congregation, after all the grief I’d gone through with many of their “inner circle”, and the constant condescension. The Gospel is trotted out like a carrot to lure people in to a gnostic, ascetic set of teachings there.

  11. Sharing my concerns « Kate’s Chosen Says:

    […] Mr. Harris talks about a model household, and toasters, and modern appliances: click here to read and listen. […]

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