By M.M. Johann of The Tenets of Unbiblical Patriarchy. Originally posted here. This is part of a new series critiquing Vision Forum’s Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy. Please remember that while the contributors to this website are united in our belief that there are problems with the teachings of Vision Forum, we come from a variety of diverse perspectives.
5. A husband and father is the head of his household, a family leader, provider, and protector, with the authority and mandate to direct his household in paths of obedience to God. (Gen. 18:19; Eph. 6:4)
Gen 18:19 – For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
That speak of God knowing Abraham, the father of all believers. It does not teach anything about what a Christian father is. This use of it in TBP is proof texting.
Eph. 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Yes. Interestingly enough, the same word that is translated fathers here, is translated as parents in Heb. 11:23
5a) A husband and father is the head of his household,
The text does not teach it. If bringing someone up in the training and adminition of the Lord is headship, then the father (and mother?) is head of the children. The head of his household? “Household” is a bigger claim than “children”, and “the head” mean more than “a head.”
b) a family leader,
He should lead his children, but where does it state he should lead his wife, or sisters or brothers or anyone else in the family?
This is not in the text. And making provision only a male gender role is contrary to 1 Tim 5:16. Technically it is true that husbands/ fathers should provide, but the point of including this in TBP is to claim it as a gender role. And that turns a technical truth into a lie.
d) and protector,
This is not in the text.
e) with the authority and mandate to direct his household in paths of obedience to God.
He has the mandate to direct his children in the ways of God by Eph. 6:4. If the translation as “parents” of that same word is correct in Hebrews, his wife does too. His children are not synonymous with his household. His wife is part of his household, and nothing said up to now show he can direct her. (I think that both husbands and wives can lead spouses closer to God, but it is up to TBP to prove their point if they can.)
Does every father –Christian or not, knowledgeable or not – have the authority to lead his household in paths of obedience to God? Eph. 6:4 does not state it. TBP say a father (without even specifying the father’s religious view) have the authority to lead his household in paths of obedience to God. But the Bible verse itself speaks to believing fathers, and don’t mention authority. The verse could even imply that he need to get the knowledge, wisdom, authority or whatever is needed, to do so. It does not tell he already has it.
Other ways Christians understand this:
(No extra notes here)
Summing it up
How reliable is this tenet? I will use a color code:
The color code:
This is not Biblically defended 5. A husband and father is the head of his household, a family leader, provider, and protector, with the authority and mandate to direct his household in paths of obedience to God.
(If the word household were replaced with children, the tenet may have fared better.)