Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Protesting Patriarchy and the Passionate Housewives


April 4, 2008 UPDATE

Well, it has been several months since the release of the book "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" and the authors' initial promotion efforts. When the authors released information announcing the taping of radio interviews with Family Life Today and Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I wrote the following letter to those ministries to ask them to consider suspending the broadcasts. In March of 2008, Family Life broadcasted the interviews on two different radio broadcasts, featuring both authors. I did receive word from Family Life stating that they do not believe they are responsible for putting featured authors to the level of scrutiny that I assumed they would by screening all the doctrine of such featured guests. I never heard any response from Nancy Leigh DeMoss in response to the following letter. (I am also unaware if she aired the interviews.)

I did not know it at the time, but notable persons at Family Life authored publications and articles for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This organization features many sound teachers on the subject of gender and the church, but they also promote many teachers and concepts that I believe teach false doctrines regarding both Trinity, gender and the significance of the connections between the two subjects. Many of these teachers believe that gender issues are not a matter of Christian intramural debate but rather matters that directly relate to Biblical Authority. For some of their board members and featured teachers, CBMW speakers state that rejection of some of the more rigid views about patriarchy and hierarchy are tantamount to "open theism" and a rejection of God's Lordship over all creation, something tantamount to radical, liberal feminism that has gone unrecognized in the Evangelical Church. Though I would probably have still contacted Family Life, I would not have expected a favorable response. I am not surprised that they aired these interviews.

When my husband attended college, at the bottom of all his exams, there was a statement that each student was requried to sign reading "My name is my honor." My great concern for the ministries that have featured these products and guests surrounds the concept that by inviting these guests to share their platform, the ministries are actually putting the honor of their name and ministry at risk. People trust reliable sources, and I believe that these ministries lend the benefits of their own reputations to guests that they feature. It seems that these ministries that have interviewed Mrs. Chancey and Mrs. McDonald deny that they lend their own credibility to their guests. They do not believe that either directly or subtly, they convey the benefit of their names or their honor to them. I maintain that this is a naieve assumption.

So I offer my letter of protest here online as an example for those reading here. Please feel free to refer to this example should you wish to convey this message to a ministry that might feature a teacher or ministry with whom you take issue. Consider that "Your name is your honor."


(added to undermuchgrace 15Oct08)

Response (FamilyLife) 12/06/2007 02:43 PM

Dear Cynthia,

Please accept our apology for the lengthy delay in our response. We appreciate your patience.

We again want to extend our appreciation for your correspondence. Your concern for God’s word and for the family are commendable, and we are also grateful that you think enough of FamilyLife to share your convictions with us.

Regarding our interview with Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald, and their new book "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God," please be aware that no date has been set for the broadcast. Additionally, as is often the case, we do not endorse all of the personal convictions of our guests and instead strive to confine our on-air discussions to areas of agreement. Rest assured that our interview with these guests does not relate to Doug Phillips or Vision Forum. Nonetheless, we are in the process of reviewing this broadcast before scheduling it to air.

For a complete picture of FamilyLife’s views on marriage and family, we encourage you to read "The Family Manifesto" at http://www.familylife.com/about/what_were_about.asp. Of particular interest to you may be our sections on wives and on mothers. These sections read as follows:

- Wives

"We believe God has charged each wife to fulfill the responsibility of being her husband’s ‘helper.’ We believe a wife will give account to God for how she has loved, respected, and given support to her husband. We uphold the biblical truth that she is of equal value with her husband before God. We reject the notion that a wife should assume the leadership responsibilities of her husband. Likewise, we reject the notion that a wife should passively defer to the dominance of her husband. We believe that her responsibility is to willingly and intelligently affirm, respect, and submit to her husband as the leader in the relationship and in his vocational calling. Therefore, we are committed to exhorting a wife to be in support of her husband by accepting and excelling in her responsibility as his helper. (Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-6; Proverbs 31:10-12)"

- Mothers

"We believe God has uniquely designed women to be mothers. We believe the greatest way a mother can love her children is to love their father. We also believe God has created a woman with an innate and special ability to nurture and care for her children.

"Therefore, we believe mothers are the primary people who execute the vital responsibilities of loving, nurturing, and mentoring children. We believe these responsibilities should be met before a mother contemplates any other duties. We believe our culture has devalued the role of a mother by placing greater significance on activities outside the home than on those inside the home.

"We realize there are cases where a mother will find it necessary to work outside the home (e.g. financial distress, single parenthood); however, we also believe some couples have made career and lifestyle choices that result in de-emphasizing the mother’s role as nurturer. Therefore, we are committed to presenting a biblical framework through which couples can rightly evaluate their priorities in light of a mother’s role. We are committed to elevating motherhood by rightly assessing its exalted value in God’s economy of the family. We are committed to exhorting mothers to model love for God and His Word, to model love for her husband, and to love her children. (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 2:7; Proverbs 14:1, 31:1-31; Deuteronomy 6:6, 11:19; Ezekiel 16:44-45)"

Thank you again for taking the time to write. May God bless you as you seek to know Him and bring Him glory.

In His grip,

Jim Mitchell


With the release of Vision Forum's new publication "Passionate Housewives Desperate For God," the authors have interviewed with both "Family Life Today" and "Revive Our Hearts" to discuss the book and their views about housewives, "patriarchy" style. Stacy McDonald anounced that both she and Jennie Chancey will receive airtime on both of these well-known radio broadcasts on her blog, "Your Sacred Calling."

I sent the following response to both organizations, requesting that they reconsider the broadcasts so as not to lend more notoriety to patriarchy and Vision Forum (not to mention financial gain). At the very least, I asked that those who oppose Vision Forum's concepts of patriarchy be given equal airtime. Since the time that I sent off these requests, I've been in contact with Don Veinot who was more than willing to participate in an on-air interview.

Won't those of you who believe that Vision Forum's version of "Biblical Patriarchy" is spiritually abusive consider protesting these broadcasts as well?

Contact Family Life
Contact Revive Our Hearts


11/02/2007 06:02 PM
(original minimally altered to provide direct links from this webpage)

My dear Brethren in Christ,

It has come to my attention that you interviewed both Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald concerning their new publication “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.” Their affiliation with Vision Forum, their publisher, extends beyond the typical relationship between author and publisher. They both enjoy close relationships with the leadership at Vision Forum and zealously embrace the Vision Forum model of “Biblical Patriarchy.” I’m certain that you prayerfully considered featuring this book on your radio broadcast, so I would ask that you also consider presenting the case of those who take issue with their concepts of patriarchy. As I believe that this book represents a legalistic system of religion that is spiritually abusive, I wish that you would consider pulling the interview from consideration for broadcast because of the conferred notoriety that “patriarchy” will receive from inclusion on your broadcast. If this is not a consideration, please do prayerfully consider giving equal airtime to those who have extensively studied their ministries and have followed them for many years within the Homeschooling movement. Many unsuspecting and well-meaning Christians have been culled into their movement and many have suffered terribly.

I would ask that you read a recent publication examining just a few of the many doctrines and teachings of Vision Forum. (I am certain that the author of the article, Don Veinot or perhaps his associate Norm Geisler would be willing to speak on the air.) The Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc., after receiving many calls and inquiries about Vision Forum and its founder (Doug Phillips), researched the issue and published an article entitled
“Who Will Be First in the Kingdom?” (It’s featured as the headline article.) MCO also did a series of blog pieces that followed up on the article which also offer some additional insight into the issue. It was the most requested journal issue in MCOI history and the blog pieces concerning patriarchy have received the greatest response of any other.

**Doug Phillips - New Paganism?
**"The Crux" on Vision Forum and Patriarchy
(Blog articles concerning Vision Forum's views on patriarchy and the correspondence between MCOI, Doug Phillips and Brian Abshire.)

Another (brief and easily read) article by Andrew Sandlin (founder of the Center for Cultural Leadership @ www.christianculture.com) entitled
“Hegemonic Patriarchy”. This article (and the one listed above it on the website) were written in response to the 2003 version of the “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy” which declared the education of children outside the home, the employment of women outside the home and the education of adult women to be sins. This version of the “Tenets” is no longer available because of these obvious inflammatory declarations. It is the belief of many who have left this ideology and the VF system that they continue to demand these moral imperatives of their followers even though they have softened their language within their publications.

This movement is very insidious, as they often seek good ends however their means are often very questionable. I myself attended a church that espoused much of the same ideology as Vision Forum, and I came to learn that many of their practices are in fact spiritually abusive. Please see the monograph on
Spiritual Abuse on the Watchman Fellowship website. They also feature another article of interest.

“Biblical patriarchy” is much like the legalistic mandates and moral imperatives that characterize the Romanistic teachings of Bill Gothard, however the Vision Forum advocates are much more aggressive with their Christian brethren than those followers have ever been. They have a well established practice of threatening legal action and intimidating critics through inaccurate neologism, pejorative, moniker and other ad hominem attacks from the pulpit, within local communities and online. Their intolerant ideology prescribes rigid practices of preference for the body of Christ, and exacts aggressive measures for noncompliance in their legalistic demand for purity. Not only is there no grace for noncompliance within the body, but there is great animosity projected at the lost within our fallen culture. Rather than a love for the lost, the Vision Forum camp within patriarchy abstains from culture, preferring a neo-tribalistic if not gnostic model of self-preservation. They are taught to withdraw from culture rather than engage it for Christ.

I beg you to contact me or the Midwest Christian Outreach for further information. I’m certain that Don Veinot would be willing to speak with you about these matters as well.

Don Veinot
Phone: (630) 627-9028

Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.
P.O. Box 446
Wonder Lake, IL 60097-0446

Most respectfully and until we all come into true unity of the faith,

Cynthia Kunsman

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