One of the happier developments in the evangelical world - at least amongst fundamentalist Christians - is what I can only describe as the 'rebirth of domestic discipline' or 'DD' for short. This is a rather more modern term for 'Patriarchy' which, though commonly used in the Christian/Messianic Polygyny community, has acquired negative connotations in the language. A more technical term for both DD and Patriarchy is the Proactive Love Model of Christian Marriage (PL) which is many ways is more precise and certainly lacks the accrued negative connotations of the other two.
What is 'PL'? Instead of looking first at what the wife or wives must do in terms of submission and obedience, PL focuses on the husband and his responsibility to love his wife or wives first. PL focuses on the model which Yahweh has given us of the relationship between Christ and His Church (Messianic Community) by first looking God-ward at the way Christ unconditionally loves the Church (Messianic Community). The husband, in his turn, is supposed to mirror Elohim (God) by unconditionally loving his wife. "We love because Elohim (God) loved us first" (1 John 4:19). However, this love is not uni-directional ... it is PRO-ACTIVE, meaning that as it is the husband's duty to love his wife/wives, so it is the automatic duty of the wife/wives to obey and submit to their husband. As the wives submit and obey, he must in turn love and protect the wives.
But how, practically-speaking, does a man 'love'? Once again we come to a practical definition of the word 'love' which is never biblically a mere passive 'feeling' but it highly ACTIVE, much as the biblical word FAITH implies concommittant WORKS or DEEDS. This love, which is agapé in the Greek and ahavah in the Hebrew, is a 'God-mirroring' or 'God-copying' love. Yah'shua (Jesus) explained it when He declared that everything He said and did was in imitation of His Father, Yahweh-Elohim. The implication of pro-active love for polygamist husbands is precisely the same: we are to imitate Christ as Christ imitated the Father - as He is one with the Father, so are we to be one with Him, and so on.
Agapé love is PRACTICAL LOVE, and because it is Christ-like love, it is PRACTICAL GODLINESS. To love as Yahweh loves is to practically imitate all the ways of Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus). And to do that all we have to do is study the biblical rôle model that is given to us: of Yahweh's relationship to His allegorical wife Israel (wives, when Israel and Judah), and of Yah'shua's (Jesus') relationship to His allegorical wife the Church (Messianic Community). The way, therefore, that Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus) love, cherish, discipline, punish and reward Israel and the Church (Messianic Community) is therefore the correct way for a husband to do the same with his wives.
That this kind of relationship of husband to wife is the biblical ideal runs completely counter to modern so-called 'liberated' ideas of the politically-correct. In modern liberal secular terms, marriage is a partnership with almost identical rôles - authority and decision-making is considered to be a join affair. It isn't. Not remotely.
As we examine the Scriptures we see a crystal-clear pattern: Yahweh possesses absolute authority which He designates - He loves, chastises and disciplines His Bride, the Church (Messianic Community), keeping her accountable. Why, then, should the practical application of human marriage be any different if Yahweh has chosen to illustrate His relationship to His people by using marriage allegorically?
The main calling of a husband is to lovingly keep his wives accountable to his authority under Yahweh. For the wife fully centred in Christ, she will want no other system of government in her marriage and home, because she knows that this is the godly way. She will appreciate it when her husband corrects her when she lapses into sin, seeing not a tyrant but Christ working practically through her earthly head. The more she sees this Christ-like love and discipline incarnated in her husband, the more she will wish him to be her lord and master, just as the Church (Messianic Community) does of Christ. She will wish to be under his discipline ... she will wish to be his DISCIPLE.
The word 'discipline' conjures up thoughts of cruelty, harshness and abuse, doesn't it? At least it does for many. It is one of those words which the liberals have 'dirtied' like 'gay' and 'love'. As such, therefore, in modern English, it has mostly negative connotations. That is why I am not so much in favour of the older 'Domestic Discipline' for PL which conjures up an image of a brutish man hovering over a cowering wife with gritted teeth and whip in his hand. It may remind of the ways women are savagely treated in many fundmentalist Moslem homes.
But the kind of discipline I am talking about, whilst occasionally strict and perhaps even viewed as harsh, is really only a manifestation of true love. No Bible-believing Christian would ever consider Yahweh 'abusive' (though liberals and atheists might) for they know that "Elohim (God) is love", and that all He does is motivated by love and results in love.
By domestic 'discipline' I absolutely do not mean the symptoms of brutish unredeemed fruits of fallen male human nature: hitting, fighting, or BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sado-Masachism). By discipline I mean that the husband has the biblical right, moral imperative, and duty - within certain limits - to use biblical chastising. This will be a genuine manifestation of a husband's authority in the home and not just a sham.
The local church or assembly is pastored (or should be pastored) by a similar authority figure who has the right to similarly edify, upbraid, congratulate, chastise and even discipline wayward sheep as the allegorical husband of his flock. The local congregation is a family just as the biological family is and must be governed in precisely the same way. A Pastor may not get out a whip and flog an adulterous member (though such, under more ideal millennial condition, might have the desirable effect of putting the fear of God up him) but he may scold him and even punish him by excommunicating him. Only when sin is dealt with in such a fashion in a strong and loving manner does a church or local assembly flourish. The same may be said to be true of a family.
A strong advocate of PL, Dawn Case, writes:
Modern feminism has attempted to shortcircuit the divine domestic mandate of husbands by equating 'authority consequences' with 'abuse'. But how can something be 'abuse' if it actually builds and and edifies? That authority can be 'abused' in the sense that it denigrates and causes psycholigical dislocation is by no means denied but this is not a fruit of godly authority. That it may cause a degree of pain is not denied, and nor do I apologise for it: the Government has caused me more pain than any human relationships in its taxation system but I do not consider that to be abuse - tax has to be paid. Nor would I accuse my physician or the surgeons that performed an operation on me in hospital of being 'abusive' because of all the physical pain they have caused me over the years, for their purpose and goal was upbuilding. My point is that it is wrong to look upon certain kinds of short-term pain as abusive. The question will be, therefore: what is abusive pain and what is not?
"A woman is to grow and blossom into a strong, vibrant, free and joyful woman of Elohim (God)! But some wives seem caught in destrictive habits and attitude problems and other things that leave them weaker than they need to be. For believers in Responsible Authority, at least part of the blame might be placed on not understanding Elohim (God's) method of producing such "peaceable fruit" (Hebrews 12 - chastizing) in a woman's life.
"The husband is to 'tend his garden' in love with prayer, loving her enough to help her change in the Christian Responsive Authority position. Passivity in a man is denial of manhood - he is called to love her as Christ loves the church (messianic community), and he cannot do that if he simply allows her to hurt herself while he has the authority (and therefore the responsibility) to step in and help love her through the areas of growth needed" (Responsible Authority and the Discipline Issue within the Context of a Christian Marriage, Introduction & Definitions, p.2).
The doctrine of Proactive Love or Domestic Discipline is not popular and most raised in the modern world have been indoctrinated against it. This might seem relatively harmless in itself until you realise that this secular teaching naturally and insidiously spills over into the spiritual for the way we look at out marriages will also be the way we look at Elohim (God). Today instead of the Church/Messianic Community looking at Yahweh with reverential adoration and obedience He is seen as a 'pal' or a 'sugar Daddy' with a practically equal status to His Bride, the Church/Messianic Community. Is it any wonder that the churches/assemblies have grown so shallow and superficial? - "a thousand miles wide and an inch deep," as one commentator from Asia noted of the American churches. Is it any wonder that most Christians/Messianics no longer know who Elohim (God) is?
Modern liberal culture is the most harmful obstacle to ever knowing Elohim (God) and Christ. And when Christians bring modern culture into the churches/assemblies, they destroy the churches/assemblies. Ironically, those who subscribe to the Biblical Proactive Love model are sometimes called 'cultists' when the true cultists are those who worship their CULTure! They worship their traditions instead of El Elyon, the Most High Elohim (God).
I frankly could not care two hoots what modern culture thinks about male-female relationships nor what they think about the Bible: as I and my brethren have said so many times, we care only what the Bible says about people and about culture. The eternal relationship between male and female is not open to discussion because it is conveyed scripturally as an absolute truth reflecting the relationship of Yahweh to Christ, and of Christ to the Church (Messianic Community). The doctrine of gender relationships is not therefore 'situational' or 'cultural' - it is eternal. The biblical doctrinal of Proactive Love is not therefore an option but a commandment and those who seek to redefine it by conforming it to man-made evolving culture are COMMITTING SIN. It is not an area for 'personal conscience' but of direct accountability to Yahweh. Peoactive Love is the only way that men and women can grow and mature into being the kinds of being for which they created. To follow any other path is to retard, distort and ultimately cripple the human soul.
Let Yahweh Define
The Word of Elohim (God) is inspired and unalterable, declared by Yahweh Himself and confirmed by the apostles (e.g. 2 Timothy 3:16). It is the yardstick by which all true Christians/Messianics measure life and the way it should be lived. Those who therefore disagree with Elohim's (God's) Word are disagreeing with Elohim (God). The matter isn't debatable.
The truth often shocks our weakened moral sensibilities so please expect to be shocked and even offended. There is no sin in being offended so long as we acknowledge that our offence must not remain but be healed in Christ. Offence against the Word comes from having our consciences wrongly trained. We become sensitised by wrong thinking patterns to react against good when we should be embracing it. Retraining the conscience takes time. So if you are offended, please at least make a MORAL DECISION TO AGREE WITH YAHWEH and pray for the grace and power of His Ruach (Spirit) to retrain your conscience. Unbelievers call this indoctrination. The truth is that training the conscience to react positively to that which is false is the real 'indoctrination'. It is an immotive word for most and implies disagreeing with someone who strongly maintains an alternative belief or position and who teaches it to others. We'll not agree with the unbelievers so let's simply let it at that: teaching ANYTHING you belive in is 'indoctrination'. The difference is that I am indoctrinating the truth not because 'I' believe it but because Yahweh Himself has said it is the truth.
Part of growing up in Christ involves being RENEWED - that is, 'made new' or 'changed'. To be walking in Christ means to be renewed in our thinking and feeling on a DAILY BASIS (2 Corinthians 4:16). It's not just a question of learning a set of values but about the transformation of our whole way of being. It is not as easy as we might at first thing but requires constanht application and relearning until it becomes NATURAL. To believe and promulgate what the world teaches is to become a liar in common with it:
It is a fact, which I have determined from my own experience, that renewing the MIND is a lot easier than renewing the HEART. I know plenty of people who are convinced of polygamy in their minds but whose hearts are in complete rebellion. Nevertheless, we must start with the mind: to convince someone in his heart before his mind always leads to an unsatisfactory conclusion because the mind must, in the process, be suppressed to some degree. Yahweh created the human body with the head on top and the heart underneath. If He had wanted to give us a graphical picture of the supremacy of the heart over the mind He would have put our hearts in our skulls and our brains in our pericardiac cavity between the lungs!
"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:9-10, NIV).
I am not saying, incidentally, that we should become like Mr.Spock of Star Trek and deny our feelings. Absolutely not. Cut a man's heart out and he's dead. Cut his brain out and he's dead too. The two are mutually inter-dependent: indeed, it's the heart that sends blood to the brain to keep it alive.
I have taught consistently throughout my ministry a fourfold hierarchy which is immutable when it comes to proper spiritual growth and development:
RUACH (SPIRIT) > MIND > HEART > BODY
Every false system starts somewhere other than the Ruach (Spirit). Our atheistic hedonistic society starts with the body, inverting everything. Existentialists, common among which are charismatics, start with the heart and let their feelings define truth. Society as a whole is mostly feeling-based and it has led them down every imaginable false path.
The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) teaches the truth first of all to our spirit. Our spirit must then bear witness to our minds which must bear witness to our hearts which must bear witness to our physical body as a whole. That is the direction in which truth percolates down from heaven.
Men, in their natural construction, are more mind- than heart-centred. Women, on the other hand, are more heart- than mind-centred. And both, when they neglect either of these, soon become body-centred. The evolution of our society into a basically 'feeling-orientated' one is owed mostly to the powerful influence of feminism which even men are adopting, itself the baleful influence of a demoness called Hecate. The result has been the effiminisation of men and the masculinisation of women.
The Bible teaches that men and women can't exist without each other. The woman needs the man's headship and love, and the man needs her obedience and femininity for both to be complete. That the woman is placed into a submissive position does not make her inferior for it is written that it is the WOMEN who reveal the SONS OF ELOHIM (GOD). Mark that well. Properly submitted women bring MEN into maturity and into godliness. They are mutually dependent. And once they are seen as a WHOLE, all the silly notions of inferiority disappear.
What does this in practice mean? It means that I, as a man, cannot flow into my wives until they yield and submit to what Christ has given to me. And until I am able to empty myself into them, just as a man physically empties his seed into his wives, I am unfruitful. The spiritual seed, left within me, can only rot, like the manna retained for more than one day. Unsubmitted, the woman cannot receive the spiritual seed. But just as the woman who receives physical seed is able to RETURN an increase in children to her husband by nurchuring it in the womb, so a woman who receives spiritual seed is able to RETURN it to her husband as an increase in RUACH (SPIRIT).
This truth was revealed to me gradually over the years. Actually, a man stagnates and dies if there is not this spiritul exchange. And if the woman does not yield, she stagnates and dies too. The Biblical principle of submission and obedience is for the blessing of both genders. I have have watched my yougest wife who is submitted and in obedience to me spiritually outstrip feministic women in spiritual wisdom two or three times her age. She is in constant GROWTH whereas the feminists have spiritually STAGNATED. They are so spiritually repulsive that it is no wonder that most of their relationships with men are so short-lived. Three years is considered to be about the average lifespan of male-female relationships of such an orientation.
Feminists have tried to separate men from women and create a new unisexual species. You might as well outlaw electrons and protons and try to build a universe with just neutrons! Feminist doctrine is utterly destructive for human beings.
But let's not pass all the buck to the feminists. The brute male maccho's are no different. They are declaring the self-sufficiency of the male principle and consider female principle as a mere sexual play-thing. They too are scheduled to self-destruct spiritually and are revolting to all those women save those who have degenerated into torture, BDSM (bondage, dominance, and sado-masachism), etc.
I once dared to look at a website devoted to BDSM and left in a state of shock. Women were willing to become sex-slaves - to be beaten, raped, etc.. It was their erotic kick. How utterly degrading and sick, the ultimate expression of male satanism. Female (feministic) satanism, however, is to be seen in the Wiccan Hecate religion, in which male worships female.
Proactive Love is the diametric opposite of BDSM. It is rooted in Biblical Truth, love, and gentle concern. Love and gentleness do not, however, negate discipline. Discipline, rather, is the VESSEL in which these are able to be contained and flourish. Furthermore, this biblical discipline is not just limited to children but extends to HUSBANDS (by Yahweh) and WIVES (by the husband) as well.
The Bible defines everything we need to know about human relationships for us. The following, with slight modifications, are courtesy of Dawn Case:
Those who have been into a feministic lifestyle and have been converted to true biblical proactive love and domestic discipline will discover, in gradual or faster increments, that in entering the stream of spiritual truth that these things enable a person to feel LOVED and brings the DOMESTIC WAR TO AN END. Of course, cynics have their well-drilled replies to such assertions forgetting that Christian/Messianic submission is not turning a woman into a military robot but about making her into a FREE WOMAN. It would be wrong to claim that all wives enjoy the discipline (goodness, I don't enjoy Elohim's/God's disciplining of me!) but they DO like the positive results in their lives and marriages.
- DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE (DD): A belief that the husband is to be submitted and under authority of Elohim/God, and the family (wife and children) are in turn under the husband's authority. DD also means the the responsibility to take action (e.g. limited forms of guarded discipline within paramaters, and limited commands).
Authority is the power to influence and motivate those under your authority - evaluating them can lead to positive or negative consequences. Authority without the ability to create consequences is a denial of the very concept of authority.
There should be general guidelines so that things remain SAFE and PROPER. There are, furthermore, other authorities (principally the CHURCH/MESSIANIC COMMUNITY, but, when this is not functioning correctly, also the POLICE and GOVERNMENT) that place safety balances on the husband's ability.
A Sergeant that cannot command a private/GI under him isn't really a Sergeant. Authority without ability is merely a hoax. Or worse, it is s satanic lie to undermine Elohim's (God's) chain-of-command and loving wisdom.
- RESPONSIBILE AUTHORITY: The man is responsible before Elohim (God) to lead his wives and has the authority to act upon his wives and not merely 'suggest' changes. Marriage is not a democracy where the concensus (especially in polygamy) prevails.
- BDSM (Bondage, Sado-Masochism): This is erotic power-playing with pain. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Domestic Discipline (DD) or Proactive Love (PL) but is sometimes confused because of such things as spanking and people being wrongly referred to as 'dominants' and 'submissives'.
DD/PL is not about master/slave relationships. DD/PL is about equal partners with different rôles and responsibilities before Yahweh. Neither husband nor wives are slaves to the other but are "co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17) and of great dignity and worth ... they just have different jobs.
- ABUSE: In Biblical terms, this would mean any non-spanking hitting or harm. For example, a Christian parent may feel ok to spank their child - but would NEVER wish to slap, hit or in any other way hurt the individual! Discipline is FOR the person's ultimate good, while abuse is harm to the person.
That is why DD/PL wives can be very clear that they do not see discipline as abusive - like many things in life, it is a short unpleasant thing with as positive purpose (like a runner who forces their body when tired, or a mother giving birth).
- EROTIC PAIN (as opposed to discipline's pain): the kind of pain caused in BDSM, and is done for fun and sexual reasons.
DD/PL is NOT about having sexual fun but instead creating loving homes where power struggles, a wife's insecurities, a husband's passivity and manipulative games are (imperfectly) replaced with love, respect, calmness and gentleness.
The issue is not whether a woman can do manly things, or vice versa, because both genders are able to to that which was not ordained of Elohim (God) for them up to a point - some women have made great national leaders but they have paid the price of losing a degree of their feminity and damaging their marriages. The issue is about becoming what one is supposed to be, because becoming what one is supposed to be is the only path to true happiness. And is there anyone who does not want this?