There is, inherant in man's depraved nature, a tendency to oppress the fairer sex, and in modern times that fairer sex has openly rebelled against this tyranny and become like their original oppressors. The sexes, like never before, have been divided into two warring camps that make their presence felt in our western culture at every turn - in the media, in education, in our laws, and inevitably in our homes. This civil war is met at almost every turn.
In the diagram below I illustrate the extent of this civil war and the forces involved, a war on many fronts.
In the beginning there was true patriarchy where the man was the head of the house and his wife/wives and children were submitted to him in righteousness. The first act of rebellion took place in the Garden of Eden when Eve, the mother of our race, rebelled against Yahweh and enticed her husband Adam to do the same. Instead of accepting responsibility for his part in the rebellion, Adam weakly pointed a finger at his wife and blamed her for 'making' him revolt too. From this time on there has been a civil war between the sexes.
My purpose today is not to analyse these different forces but to concentrate on one of them only, namely male chauvanism. And in particular I want to zoom in on a counterfeit form of 'Christian Patriarchy' which I consider to be no more than male chauvanism in disguise.
The modern Christian Patriarchy movement among contemporary evangelical Christians was spearheaded by myself in Europe, James W. Stivers and Mark Henkel in the United States,
independently and unaware of each other until years later.
I had been polygamously married in 1988 in Europe and had received revelations from Yahweh on this holy marriage practice, but there was not much advance of a 'movement' until a couple years after Mark Henkel, in 1994, began to independently publish a monthly newspaper in Maine (USA), wherein he was one of the first to bring forth and lay out the necessary exegetical fundamentals and revelations of the doctrine of Christian Polygamy's Scripturality, which others now later duplicate as the movement has since rapidly advanced. (Henkel's newspaper was called The Standard Bearer, published to a mass readership every month in Maine, U.S., and such teachings were later published online at his web-site, called Truth Bearer.)
And there was yet another man, too, who was independently writing about polygyny after that. Indeed, while I was living it in Europe from 1988, and Mark Henkel was teaching
it on the East Coast of the United States from 1994, yet another man, Ron (Lee) Tyler from the WEST Coast of the U.S. (in California), was later posting his own articles
about polygyny to the Usenet newsgroups a year later from 1995 onward.
All of this was, of course, before the concept of Christian Patriarchy would later first appear on the internet in 1996.
All three of us experienced considerable difficulties as was to be expected of this restoration in a culture fiercly hostile to everything except monogamy, homosexuality and promiscuity generally. Sudden and fierce persecution came from almost every quarter causing not a small amount of suffering but perhaps our greatest suprise, disappointment and shock came when two of us received persecution at the hands of a fellow 'patriarchal Christian' whose ambition it was to dominate and control the emergent Patriarchal Movement at any cost. Thus from the beginning of this movement there was a major split, the one stimulated by jealosy and fuelled by a desire for power (the Cain spirit) and the other to simply serve Yahweh (the Abel spirit). The long and short of it was that Cain succeeded in effectively 'killing' off Abel by slandering and marginalising him. It was not until 1998/9 that a 'Seth' was born in the patriarchal movement, an alliance of those who love the truth of Yahweh's ways.
Birth of the Counterfeit
One of the problems with the Cain and Seth wings of the Patriarchal Christian Movement is that they both use the same language and the only way to discern the two is to discern their spirits. For the one operates under a spirit of compulsion and the other under a spirit of freedom. To make matters more complicated, the Cain spirit liberally employs the language of freedom, reminding me of the caption that stood above the gates of every nazi concentration camp which read, Arbeit mach Frei! ('Work makes you Free!'). How often have we heard totalitarian systems trumpet 'freedom' and 'peace' - Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc., and yet the most vigorous proponents of this 'freedom' have invariably been the most cruel oppressors. It therefore behoves us to be very careful in judging any person or group based on the kind of language it uses.
The Bible warns us against this sort of activity in no uncertain terms. Cries for 'peace' in the Middle East have usually come from the mouths of the bloodiest terrorists whose aim to to achieve by negociation that which bloodshed failed to gain them. And the world, na´ve and foolish (never having learned the lessons of history), has supposed that terrorists have suddenly turned angels overnight. Why is it that mankind always seems to miss the obvious, namely, that evil, when it fails to triumph by shere force, always turns to subterfuge, using the weapons of the peace-makers for its own dastardly ends? There is an appropriate saying which I will interject here which goes: 'Communism rides on the back of Liberalism'.
It would indeed have been strange had the Patriarchal Christian Movement not been attacked with Satan's two chief weapons: brute force and subterfuge. And those of us who spearheaded Patriarchy have experienced both. In some respects (though don't think I am giving it a good reference!) brute force is the preferable because it is the most easily discernable. But that which was the most destructive to modern Christian Patriarchy was a counterfeit form that rode into prominence on the back of a totalitarian spirit, reminding me very much of the spirit that lay behind 19th century Mormonism and its form of polygyny. And I sometimes wonder if it is not a symbolic give-away to point out that the pioneer group of the counterfeit movement came to maturity in the very cradle of Mormonism itself before it later collapsed under the weight of its own charade.
I begin with the Mormon model because I think it is a very interesting example of what Patriarchal Christianity is not. In Mormon theology (at least before it was 'softened' following its abandonment of polygamy under US governmental pressure) the husband is almost a god to his wife. The Mormons teach that a woman cannot enter the highest degree of glory in the heavens without her husband who becomes (at least by implication) a kind of 'saviour' to her. A woman, to be exalted, is therefore 100% dependent on her husband. Indeed, she becomes a prisoner of a false theological system.
Modern Mormonism would take exception to what I am writing for whilst they still maintain this doctrine they have also fallen victim to political correctness and over the last three decades have been modifying their temple ceremony to make it appear as though women no longer need to slavishly obey their men anymore. However, my purpose is not to use their double-minded approach to marriage but to focus on late 19th century Mormon polygamy because here the spirit of Cain was all too evident. Brigham Young, who first made Mormon polygamy public knowledge (after Joseph Smith, the Mormon founder, had spent the better part of a decade lying to keep it concealed from the public), was very little interested in what women felt about polygamy, and in many a sermon told them to cheerfully "shoulder their burdens" and simply be content that they were birthing potential Mormon priesthood-bearers and mothers. He repeatedly told them that he did not care about their feelings and at one point gave his own wives the choice of either totally submitting to his autocratic rule or getting out.
Having presented to the world such a heartless version of polygamy (many Mormon women committed suicide or ran away), and coupled to a false religious system to boot, Satan was not about to be so unsubtle again in his attempts to undermine Christian Patriarchy. With the public mind already strongly turned against polygamy because of the activities of Smith and Young, there was very little that he had to do until the 1980's and 1990's when again Yahweh broke into Christendom with TRUE Patriarchy. Satan was not slow to act and, using one of his most successful weapons, attempted not only to hijack the Patriarchal Christian Movement but also busily set about defaming those whom Yahweh had chosen to begin it.
His plan was very simple indeed, and one he has used over the centuries to corrupt Christianity in general. Using almost entirely the truth, he set up a counterfeit movement with nearly all the correct doctrines, scriptural exegeses, and godly principles but ensured that a core of darkness lay at the centre of it all: a greed for power and prominece and a spirit of oppression.
You will remember that this is how the early New Testament Church/Messianic Community was destroyed. And although there was always a problem with certain doctrinal issues, the real threat to the Church of God/Assembly of Yahweh in apostolic and post-apostolic times came from men who wished to have power centred on themselves. It began with men like Diotrephes who refused to acknowledge the authority of the apostles (2 John) and who was probably, in every other respect, basically teaching true Christian doctrine. He may even have been born again (originally). This same spirit was to crop up again and again leading ultimately to the institutionalised Roman Catholic Church with a political head, Constantine, who was a SUN-WORSHIPPER.
Every work of Yahweh is always accompaned by a counterfeit - ALWAYS - and that counterfeit will invariably make out the true form to be counterfeit when it fails to marginalise it. Satan will engage in a war of words and character assassinations in order to create as much smoke as possible to cover his real intents. And he will always have obliging servants seduced (in the case of the polygyny movement) by offers of more sex (an illusion in true polygyny) and POWER - power over women and power over other patriarchs.
So what is going to happen in the Patriarchal Christian Movement? Basically the same as in the Body of Christ generally. The enemy will follow his usual pattern of planting tares (weeds) amongst the wheat in the hope that the tares will outnumber the wheat and eventually choke it to death. Many times it has seemed throughout history as though Satan has accomplished his aims but each time he has failed in quenching the truth which has remained as an infuriating irritant to him. When the irritant is quiet so he remains quiet, busily getting on with his work of corrupting and enslaving. But when the irritant speaks, his voice is raised in loud and railing protest. You wait and see, for I prophesy in the Name of the Lord Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) that as True Patriarchy gains greater profile, the countrefeit will yell 'imposter', 'thief', 'liar' and 'heretic'! I guarantee it will happen BECAUSE THIS IS SATAN'S WAY. And by this sign you will know that it is Satan who lies behind the counterfeit!
The tares and the wheat will grow up side by side until Christ gathers the wheat together on the one side, and the tares on the other. The tares He will burn in His fury but the wheat He will carry off to the grannary of heaven.
The Sign of Signs
"Then how are we to know what is true patriarchy and what is not? What will the sign be?" you may ask. The women will be submitted but not oppressed, fellow patriarchs will submit to one another in love but not be suppressed by any pope-figure demanding obeisance, the patriarchs will be strict but gentle and loving towards their wives and be submitted to the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus). They will be known not so much by their words or correct doctrine (important and vital though these certainly are) but by their spirit. These are men not out to build their own private kingdoms (as the Mormons were) but exist to serve one another in a spirit of Christian charity and equality. They will not go silencing and giving the cold shoulder to those who disagree with them or who chide them when they fall into sin but be humble and full of grace. Their women will adore them and, because they are filled with the glory of holy polygyny, desire more sister-wives for love's sake and not because they feel under any compulsion from their earthly lord and master to recruit for his status-bringing harem. For I have observed that some men, who are led by a false spirit, feel that unless they are able to recruit as many wives as possible that somehow their status is undermined, and so there is a competitive spirit amongst the counterfeit patriarchs as they scramble to find more wives.
You know, women in their natural spiritual state want to be submissive and they will even submit to a tyrant until pressed too far, even to defending him to the death no matter what evil may be in his heart and perpetrated with his hands. It is the natural disposition of godly women to do this and for this reason the men have an enormous responsibility to check themselves. Indeed, the patriarchs should be lovingly checking one another instead of waiting to be controlled by a tyrant to whom they must give unswerving devotion because they will otherwise spend their time sycophantically trying to please an earthly head instead of obeying their Heavenly Master. That is not so say that there are not leading patriarchs, for this is indeed the biblical pattern (as with Peter, James and John), but it is to say that there is a difference between godly submission and tyranny.
We shall indeed see what happens in the future. In the meantime FICP and and others will move forward with a view to cultivating the true spirit of patriarchy so that the world may know the difference between Yahweh's work and Satan's counterfeit. May you, the reader, be honest and searching enough to know the difference, as you must do so as not to lose so precious a salvation as is given through Yah'shua (Jesus) the Messiah. Amen.