Leslie A has a wonderful talent for turning my brain into a five lane highway. Often, she’ll accomplish this feat by writing something that exposes a subtle sin in my life — like my television viewing choices. In those instances, I’ll initially try to ignore her points until the Holy Spirit forces me to see that He’s used her to work on my sanctification. Over the years, I’ve grown to love her blog precisely because the Lord uses it to challenge me to live in holiness.
Last week, however, the five lane highway Leslie put me on had little to do with sin on my part and everything to do with a topic I have been wrestling with since last September. Her blog post this week didn’t address the topic at all, and in fact my application of it hadn’t occurred to her. Leslie wrote A Warning (and a bit of encouragement, too!) as a response to the overall disintegration of our world. And she certainly hit the nail on the head all the way through her article!
As she wrote about the Hegelian Dialectic, lightbulbs started flashing in my head, sending me racing down all five highway lanes at once. To explain my mental traffic, let me offer a brief definition of the Hegelian Dialectic:
The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution.https://christianobserver.net/what-is-the-hegelian-dialectic/
The Hegelian Dialectic will pit parties into extreme, polarizing positions on a given topic until a third party can help them arrive at some sort of consensus that said third party wanted from the beginning. Essentially, it manipulates the opposing parties into seeing their mediator as a final authority. Once consensus has been achieved, dissent is not allowed.
Upon reading Leslie’s explanation of the Hegelian Dialectic, I began driving down the highway on which feminism and extreme patriarchy currently drag race.
During the past several months, I’ve argued with both feminists and advocates of extreme patriarchy on social media, pleading with them to consider their respective positions from the counsel of Scripture. Admittedly, making a case against egalitarianism is much easier because Scripture explicitly condemns that philosophy. As a matter of fact, most complementarians would say that they accept patriarchy as the Biblical norm.
In one sense, I have to agree with them. Patriarchy simply refers to a societal structure in which men hold leadership roles. Worldly culture no longer tolerates this model, and their rebellion should be expected. The world has no interest in conforming to God’s standards. They reject His wisdom in creating men and women to work together in different roles. So complementarians who affirm patriarchy really do nothing more than affirm God’s order of creation. I stand with them on this basic premise.
Christian marriage calls wives to submit to husbands, but it also calls husbands to sacrifice for their wives. This loving sacrifice maintains the husband’s authority, as his love for his wife reflects Christ’s sacrificial love for the church. Obviously, Christ doesn’t make His church equal in authority with Him. He is still Lord, and therefore is worthy of our willing obedience. When a couple lives together in this way, they can’t help but gain a deeper understanding of Christ’s love for the church. What a beautiful way to live!
Egalitarianism destroys the beauty of male/female relationships by ignoring God’s wonderous creation of women. While Eve bore God’s image every bit as much as Adam did, her assigned purpose was to serve as his helper. His assistant. She she was equal in value, absolutely — but second in rank. Thus she completed her husband.
But extreme patriarchy carries submission to dangerous conclusions. I’ve actually read Tweets by women in the patriarchy movement that impose restrictions on women in addition to Biblical roles. Most notably, they insist that women not attend college, that women not work outside the home, and that women only vote if they vote exactly as their husbands vote.
This one-size-fits-all attitude clearly goes beyond the teachings of Scripture, introducing legalism and interfering with decisions that belong in families. Perhaps a father wants his daughter to receive a college education in case no one ever asks to marry her, or at least so she’ll be more well rounded and therefore more interesting to men. Perhaps a husband needs his wife to work outside the home so they can afford to live where his career takes him. Suppose a husband (as godly as the man I married) wants his wife to vote according to her own conscience rather than his.
Extreme patriarchy either turns women into mindless puppets, unable to cope if they become widows or it pushes them toward the very feminism that it wants them to avoid. I believe Satan’s design is the latter scenario. Consensus on the roles of women would most likely end up rejecting Biblical manhood and womanhood, settling on the very androgyny that feminism has already injected into Western culture.
Let’s affirm women as intelligent creations of God’s who serve Him in unique and beautiful ways.Follow my blog with Bloglovin