A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Teaching that a Husband/Father is Priest to his Family is Unbiblical and Promotes Abuse (Part 4)

The second chapter of Sam Waldron’s book, A Man as Priest in His Home, is entitled The Scriptural Warrant. His purpose is to demonstrate that Scripture teaches that a man is a priest in his home. In part 2 of this series, I showed that in fact every Christian is a priest. We offer ourselves as living sacrifices, we are the temple of God, and we function as priests when we bring the gospel of Christ to the lost and when we pray for the lost. Surely Waldron would not deny these things, and yet in his book the priesthood of the husband/father is a one-way affair. That is to say, he never speaks of the wife/mother’s priesthood.

This also means that as fathers, we must make sure that our children, at the appropriate age, develop the holy habit of spending part of each day in private prayer and the study of their Bibles. We must oversee our children to make sure they are practicing these disciplines. We must talk with our wife to make sure she is keeping a good conscience by having daily times of private devotions. [Waldron, page 49]

Though there is only one Mediator between God and men, here on earth there are many types and shadows of the great Mediator. One such symbol is a man who is a husband and father in his home. In this chapter [ch 6] we’ll consider that man’s special priestly role as a mediator of divine blessing to his family. [Waldron, page 55]

Once more, we will assume the best and believe that Waldron’s purpose is to call husbands and fathers to fulfill their spiritual duties to their wives and children. But to neglect the priesthood of all believers, which includes wives and children who are in Christ, is to create an office not authorized by the Lord. A husband/father is no more a priest than any other Christian. And those of us who are familiar with the mentality of the abuser can easily see that such a teaching fuels abuse. Where does Waldron discuss the wife’s priestly role, as a Christian? He doesn’t. And as a result he communicates to the reader that a wife must not “talk to her husband to make sure he is keeping a good conscience by having daily times of private devotion.” The picture Waldron gives is that of the husband doing to talking, not the wife.

Let’s consider Waldron’s arguments from Scripture that a man is priest in his home.

  1. Here is his “Spirtual Leadership” argument: [page 13ff]
  • “Priests in Israel exercised many functions of spiritual leadership identical to duties that a man must exercise in his home.”
  • Ephesians 6:4 says “And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Therefore, this verse says that men must practice spiritual leadership in the home.
  • In Eph 6:4, the man is addressed in regard to his home, “and the spirit is priestly” (“do not provoke your children to anger”). (Are you starting to feel the stretch and strain on Waldron’s logic here?)
  • “Fathers are to be gentle, wise and benevolent in their leadership, and we have already seen [in chapter 1] that priests are to be gentle and gracious in their ministries.”
  • “Such spiritual leadership involves performing in the home many of the functions priests carried out in Israel [intercessory prayer, communicators of blessing, directors of worship, instructors in Scripture, and judges in holy things.
  • “Such parallels suggest that men are indeed spiritual priests in their home”

I leave it to the reader to evaluate the validity of Waldron’s logic. For myself, I don’t see it and I don’t follow it. Old Testament priests did certain things that are similar to what a man does in his home. Therefore, the man is priest of his home. That’s a big leap over a wide chasm of logic and in my opinion, Waldron landed short of the other side.

What else does Waldron argue is Scriptural warrant for the husband/father priesthood?

  1. This is his “Early History” argument: [page 14ff]
  • “Second, priests in the Old Testament were viewed as spiritual fathers, so it is natural to think of fathers today as spiritual priests.”
  • “Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job all seemed to have acted as priests for their families by offering sacrifices and burnt offerings according to God’s original order.”
  • Waldron also refers to the era of the Judges where (in 17:10 and 18:19) Micah and others are trying to hire a priest to be “a father and a priest” to them.

So here, Waldron takes us waaaaayyyy back into early OT history and points us to people who offered animal sacrifices before the time of Moses, and to a couple of strange references in a strange era (Judges), and wants us to conclude with him that this is support for men today functioning as priests of their wives and children.

  1. Waldron says that his third argument – The Model of Christ – is “an even more compelling reason that men must be priests in their homes.” Here, he quotes Ephesians 5:25-27–

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (26) that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (27) so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Waldron then reasons: “Since husbands are commanded here to love their wives in the same manner that Christ loved the church, it follows logically that if Christ’s work is priestly, a husband would in some sense be a priest to his wife.”  He goes on to claim that this conclusion is correct because of 4 words Paul uses that “have clear connections to the priesthood.”  They are: 1) “Gave himself up” which Waldron says is a priestly action. I agree that it is, in Christ’s case. 2) The word sanctify “also specifies a preistly action, 3) “Having cleansed” has “priestly connotations, and 4) the word washing is priestly.  Waldron then summarizes: “This priestly language makes clear that Paul is indeed thinking of Christ as a priest when he presents him in Eph 5:25-27 as an example of what a husband should be. A man must imitate Christ’s priestly behavior if he would be a priest to his wife in his home.”

Something is very wrong here. The emphasis Paul makes is “Husbands, love your wives.” And the example for that love is Christ’s love for the church. Christ gave himself up for her. This much certainly does apply to husbands. The husband must love his wife in a self-sacrificing way, denying himself. But to then take Paul’s further elaboration in vss 26-27 in which he describes Christ’s further work of sanctification of his bride, the church, and apply that ability and role to the husband…seems very problematic to me. Does a husband, as his wife’s priest, sanctify her? I don’t think so.

In his closing applications of chapter two, Waldron says this:

  1. “First, we learn something of what it means for us to be a priest to our wife. We must love her by showing an abiding concern for her spiritual welfare and progress, and we must seek that welfare by washing her with the priestly, cleansing water of the Word. We should also speak to our wife regarding these spiritual matters. We can’t teach her if we don’t speak to her. But these two things – loving and speaking – are just the ares where so many men fail. We must confess our sin to God, our wife, and ourselves, and begin by the grace of God to treat our wife in a priestly manner.”
  2. Wives and children should also respect a man’s priestly authority and support him in his priestly roles, even when he fails in them. Hannah is a wonderful example of this in 1 Samuel 1. Eli was far from an ideal priest, and Hannah must have known that. Despite this truth, she responds respectfully to his false accusation of drunkenness with a simple, “No, my lord” in 1 Samuel 1:15. Hannah’s example should encourage us to ask our wives and children to support us and submit to us even though our best efforts often fall short. When a wife uses her husband’s remaining sin as an excuse for her lack of respect, she needs to be reminded that there was only one perfect man who ever lived – and she isn’t married to him….It may be difficult to give respect to a sinful man, but those who don’t give him that respect will regret it in the end.

No, Mr. Waldron, a husband/father is not priest to his wife and children. There is no such priesthood taught in Scripture. All believers are priests, women as well as men, wives as well as husbands. In your teaching you are denying this priesthood of all Christians (whether you intended to do so or not) and you are enabling and encouraging wicked, abusive men in their evil. Those of us who know about the evil of abuse and who understand the wicked, entitled mentality of the abuser, deny what you have said here. We say that those victims who continue to give “respect” to  a wicked person are the ones who will regret it in the end.

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

(Go to Part 3 of this series)
(Go to Part 5 of this series)

45 Comments

  1. Brenda R

    So, if I were still married and my husband told me I should have my private time of study and prayer from 7 to 8:00 and I didn’t? What then, I stand in a corner? He smacks me around a little? He stands over me at the table, ruler in hand?

    I have a friend who is 79 years young. Love her to pieces. Our pastor during sermon once said that wives should follow their husbands. She told him after service, “Pastor, I was married for 53 years and you can’t follow a parked car.” So using this example, if the “priest” of the house is parked the rest of the family is doomed. The wife shouldn’t take responsibility for setting example for her children to pray and study the Bible.

    This whole priest thing this Mr. Waldron is teaching is out of touch with reality.

    • It’s out of touch with the reality of this fallen world, and Jesus was very much “in touch” with this fallen world. Jesus never laid down rules like this because it would have been pointless. The law was to show us how hopeless we are — how much we need Jesus. The End.

      It is the law of LOVE that is to govern marriage. The law of LOVE!!!!!

  2. Oh my. So much here.

    I will give him this. He does appeal to Christ. Fails miserably, but at least he did try.

    He is taking Ephesians 5 to places it cannot go. Paul elaborates on what Christ did for us not for the purpose of men doing the same thing for their wives but to demonstrate the attitude Christ had. He is confusing positional responsibility (let alone ability!) with attitude. Husbands are not positionally responsible for their wives’ sanctification. This should be obvious as if such were necessary then what about single women? (Or does Waldron condemn singleness?) Also, there is nothing unique to husbands in anything he says. The entire church is called on to have that same attitude toward one another (Phil 2:1-11, for example).

    I am seeing this as being just as problematic for men as for women as it puts a burden on them that God does not give.

    • joepote01

      “I am seeing this as being just as problematic for men as for women as it puts a burden on them that God does not give.”

      Oh, absolutely, BIT! Try being responsible for someone else’s behavior and for their relationship with Christ! We can’t do that…we cannot be responsible for an outcome over which we do not have control…someone else’s personal choices. We can be responsible TO our loved ones, to love, encourage, help and pray for them. We cannot be responsible FOR their choices. Trying to just leads to frustration and despair…

      God, Himself, does not even go there. Christ loves us and offered Himself up for us, but not even God will force someone to choose Him. God holds human freewill sacred…and so should we.

      If being a perfect parent guaranteed the result of godly children, then all mankind would be living holy lives in accordance with our Heavenly Father’s perfect will.

      • Bewildered

        As a husband and father who bought into this I found it terrifying. My wife on the other hand, loves it. She sees it as absolving her from responsibility. She can just point at me and say, “It’s all your fault because you’re the head and priest of this family.”

      • Bewildered – I’ve been there. Not really from the standpoint of completely buying into the whole partiarchal teaching, but definitely in feeling SO responsible for the marriage relationship, and like her abusive behavior was somehow my fault…that it was somehow a reflection of my failure as a husband…

        I’ve come to realize that this is common for victims of abuse. Read some of the posts and comments in this site, and you’ll start seeing a pattern of the victim/survivor of abuse feeling an incredible weight of responsibility and guilt for the abuse. It seems pretty universal, regardless of gender.

        It’s interesting that this patriarchal teaching seems to provide ammunition for abusers of both genders to use against their victims. By muddying personal responsibility for personal behavior, they open the door to the abuser blaming the victim for making them be abusive.

    • Brenda R

      BIT The teaching in many polygamist cults is that women MUST be married or they won’t get into heaven. So if a husband dies or is excommunicated they marry that woman off fast to someone else. Makes me wonder what his next book will be on. Most of the men in the OT had more than one wife.

      • bluesinaminor

        brenda, he’s very very close to that teaching already here. He is claiming that Ephesians 5 is teaching that if the husband loves his wife properly she will be sanctified. using a more obvious deduction process than his own, you could deduce that the unmarried woman is therefore not able to be sanctified. or you are going to have to have two ways of being sanctified – one for married woman and one for single woman.

      • Brenda R

        I would really like to see how he makes that one Biblical.

    • Forrest

      The usual teaching that goes along with this is that the single woman must remain in the parental home. So she is “sanctified” by her father. This is a common teaching among cults.

  3. joepote01

    I am a priest in my home. I pray for my wife and my children. I also pray with them. I remind them of God’s goodness. I encourage them. I love them and attempt, in some feeble sense, to demonstrate Christ’s love to them, while also reminding them that God loves them much more than I can. I serve them, as best I know how, to provide for their needs and help where I can.

    My wife also does these same things, for me and the children.

    Our children sometimes model the same priestly behavior toward us, praying for our needs, encouraging us, and helping us.

    This priestly ministery is simply a matter of loving and serving others as God enables us to.

    Why complicate it? Why try to turn it into some special calling for the father/husband exclusive of the mother/wife? Why pull in a bunch of vague references to scriptures with marginal (at best) input on the topic, pulled out of context?

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

    That’s pretty straightforward. Why make it complicated, convoluted, and harder to understand and follow?

    • Estelle

      Exactly, Joe. It’s all about the one -another-ing.

      I love how Richard Gillard puts it in ‘The Servant Song.’
      ‘I will hold the Christ-light for you
      In the night time of your fear.
      I will hold my hand out to you;
      Speak the peace you long to hear.’

      This, to me, speaks of what it means to be a priest.

      • joepote01

        Yes, exactly! Well stated!

    • Brenda R

      Amen. This life is complicated enough without making it harder.

  4. I consider myself a complimentarian in the new wave sense, but I get the impression that people who make a big deal about the roles of men and women think that abiding by these roles (or rules) is what will save us. If scripture is looked at through the lens of the role, then maintaining the role allows you to pick and chose what verses apply while ignoring the plain commands of scripture.

    Using Eli and Hannah as an example of the validity of a husband’s priestly role has me thinking, huh? What about God’s judgment on Eli and his sons?

  5. IamMyBeloved's

    Oh ugh. I have never seen the reasoning behind the “priestly father” or “office of husband” explained before, even though I asked for specific Scriptures regarding the same. This explanation is the first I have seen and it makes the aspect of this teaching all the more terrifying and wrong. No Scriptures, just taking one office, that of the appointed line of Priests in the OT, and making things up, to give the same to a husband, even declaring it to be divine. I wonder if this is the same concept that causes leaders to abuse, in that they believe that they somehow hold a divinely appointed priesthood over the believers. Scary, but knowing the truth can certainly make us free – as we can see from this explanation, that it is not Scriptural and denies that we are all priests unto God.

    Under number 2, we are no longer required to make sacrifices, so even if the father/priest isn’t making official sacrifices, isn’t the implication still there? That would make it wrong, just by implication.

    Jesus revamped the entire man – woman thing, when specific instructions were given to us, regarding marriage and the man’s role and the woman’s role. Nowhere, does Jesus say that the man is to act as a priest in his home over the rest, but says that we are all priests; never does Jesus say that the man has all the voice in the home and gives all the directives – he simply says he is the head, without giving detailed descriptions of what that looks like – EXCEPT to say that a man is to be about the business of laying down his life for his wife. The same holds true with true shepherds of Christ’s flock. They are trying to make the home a separate Church. *shudder* This is one of their teachings is that the Church is made up of families, and therefore the family is all in all and if you have good families, you will have a good Church. The truth is, that the Church may be made up of “families”, but that is not a Scriptural command, that we start making the Church a meeting place for families, who have their own priest (the office of husband) at home! *more shuddering* The falseness of this teaching, is that there are lots of people who make up the Church, who are the only saved ones in their family, and they enter alone! What are we to do with those people? Deny them access because they are not coming in as an entire family unit?

    Number 3 is just plain blasphemy, as it denies that Christ is the high priest and only priest we now need to have. Next they are going to say that men should bathe their wives. Sick. A woman is forbidden from following a man who leads her away from God or wants her to submit to his sin, even if the sin isn’t against her personally. That is wickedness and wives are not commanded to follow the husband there.

    What follows thereon from Waldron’s theology, is enough to make any woman remain single for the rest of their lives – even the ones who have never been married. I am actually nauseous and I was just getting ready to eat a Snickers bar. Hmmph.

    • I am actually nauseous and I was just getting ready to eat a Snickers bar.

      Don’t let this man ruin a perfectly good chocolate bar! Think happy thoughts! 🙂

    • …the Church is made up of families, and therefore the family is all in all and if you have good families, you will have a good Church.

      This is just not true. It is not the right lens to look through and Jesus said as much on more than one occasion. He talked about the trouble being a believer would be to earthly family relationships, said His mother and brothers were those who did God’s will, and told the guy whose father had died to let the dead bury their own dead.

      There are so many disenfranchised believers all over the world, and even in America (and Australia, Barb!) who are estranged from their families because of their faith.

      You cannot base the church structure on family. It won’t work. Of course there are families in churches, but the church is made up of believers… who may or may not have earthly families in which there may or may not be other believers.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Exactly, BIT. This is why this teaching is so false! You said it exactly, that the Church is made up of believers, but these people prefer to believe that the family is all in all to God, not individuals. These priests of their home also get to indicate whether the individual members of their family are able to take Communion. it is part of the husband’s priestly duties. Nice, huh? It is great when the entire family is saved, and serving the Lord, but that is so often not the case and God sees us as individuals, not grouped within a family – that is except His family. This is however, how the whole movement Waldron is speaking on behalf of, sees the Church and is focusing on it that way, thereby making it into family and husband (ie male) worship.

      • There lies the fatal mistake in making the “Family” the “Focus” of the church. Perfectly said, BIT!

  6. Wisdomchaser

    On a lighter note when Jeff C said “That’s a big leap over a wide chasm of logic and in my opinion, Waldron landed short of the other side,” Immediately I pictured Wiley Coyote just before he goes splat.

    I am just recently separated from abusive husband. He is a trucker and listens to a lot of Christian radio. He came home spouting some of this nonsense and I told him “no thanks I was quite capable of standing before God and being responsible for what I did or didn’t do all by myself because of what Jesus did for me.” Of course the reality is I wouldn’t be alone before God because Jesus is right there with me being my advocate. My husband didn’t really have an answer to what I said so he didn’t say anything and that was the end of that. I only wish the other stuff he did and said could have been stopped as easily.

    • Immediately I pictured Wiley Coyote just before he goes splat.

      Ha! 😀

      • joepote01

        🙂

      • Jeff Crippen

        Well, this isn’t exactly it, but close – http://youtu.be/Gq_bjaI0NTo

  7. Happy2bhere

    This is the kind of twisted around truth that keeps some of us immobilized. Men and women are different, yet equal. We are ultimately responsible for our own souls! This type of teaching is like an abuser magnet. I can see how an abuser can easily use this against his wife. The part that states a wife is to submit to her husband even when he falls short/sins is a good catch all to erase wrong doings. My spouse keeps talking about how he wishes women today could be how they were in the “good old days” before women’s lib when they knew how to respect a man and worked at home. Staying at home and having time to care for your family is a blessing, if youre not married to a dictator. My spouse’s good old days thinking pops in my mind when I read controlling material like this. I wish these people giving out advice could realize that abuse throws off the balance in everything and you really can’t be how God wants while enslaved to an abuser.

  8. bluesinaminor

    does anyone else notice that the things these guys want their wives to do, which they need to ‘supervise’ are not commanded in scripture anywhere? no where is washing dishes commanded. (feet yes, dishes no) and while I’m not saying its not something desirable or good (as indeed is washing dishes) a daily quiet time is not commanded in scripture. While meditating on Gods word is commanded, turning it into a routine with a daily time slot works wonderfully for some people but not for others. for decades i beat myself up about not being able to get this routine down. of course the ex had it down pat and left visible evidence of his Godliness by leaving his bible open on the desk. (maybe i was supposed to read that page? missed that if i was!). i have problems with any routine including washing dishes (which never bothered me till Mr Waldron tied it to my salvation!!). i have found i do better with anything and everything if there is no ‘must’ time slot – if I don’t work to a timetable. When I have to do routine things my mind wanders and i write a piece of music in my head or solve the crisis in the middle east! this is not good when reading the bible. Yes, I know the world doesn’t work without routines and yes my kids were late to school a lot!! i read and think about scripture a lot more when its not a chore.

    • Brenda R

      I study my Bible one day at 1:00am, the next 6:00 am and maybe the next 3:00pm. I don’t watch the clock and no one else has the right to tell me when and how I am to do it. That is between God and me. I don’t need supervision to do household chores or an exact routine handed to me other than being to work on time and I have a flexible schedule there too. I work completely independent at work and get the job done. I can do the same at home in the same manner.

      As far as washing dishes is concerned, both male and female have a pair of hands that can wash a dish. I see no where in the Bible where specific chores are given to a particular gender. Obviously, men are created physically stronger and there will be things they can do that I could not. Of course, they aren’t going to go through child birth either.

    • sometimes I see these battles as just personality conflicts. The rule-makers and people who love to live by schedules see that as the more “Godly” way to go about things. Those of us fly by the seat of our pants and never have the same day twice — well, maybe that’s Godly too. 🙂

      • bluesinaminor

        amen Katy. took me many painful years to discover that. its the same as the morning/night person argument. why can’t we just delight in how different we all are?

      • Oh Blues, you mean I can relax and just be myself? Whew. Decompression time!

      • If God required me to wake up at 4 am to have my study time with him, He and I would have no relationship. Because I am a frail night person who can’t do basic math before 10am. lol
        no worries – He adores you 🙂

  9. The emphasis Paul makes is “Husbands, love your wives.” And the example for that love is Christ’s love for the church.

    Yes, Paul’s instructions to the husband end either at “love your wives” or “gave Himself up for her.” To extend them beyond that point doesn’t work because there’s things going on there that the husband can’t do (sanctify her, present her spotless, etc.). And to my Lutheran ear, Waldron’s claim that husbands “wash their wives with the water of the Word” makes it sound like husbands are supposed to re-baptize their wives every day. I know he doesn’t mean that because obviously he’s Baptist, but it makes me laugh anyway.

    Also, that argument from Hannah and Eli has to be the most mind-blowingly tenuous connection I’ve heard in a long time. The only one more tenuous was from a Seventh-Day Adventist so that’s really not a good thing.

    • joepote01

      Yes, that’s some pretty convoluted circular reasoning on the Hannah and Eli example.

      Basically, “We noticed some similarities between how men are told to love their wives and how OT priests were told to minister to the people. From that, we’re going to conclude that all husbands are priests of their homes. Therefore, we conclude that since Hannah showed respect to Eli the priest, even though he was imperfect, wives must show honor and respect to their husbands no matter how fallen, sinful, or depraved they may behave.”

      Again, I have to wonder, does this guy even listen to what he’s saying and critique his own illogical arguments, or does he just spout this stuff off? This is not logical reasoning! More like circular arguments intended to confuse…like what a defense attorney might argue to a jury when he has no legal case and must rely on confusion instead…

  10. Brenda R

    Theology like this is why churches are taking “Baptist” out of their names. I have been in Baptist churches my entire life, but recently I know of 2 here locally that have taken “Baptist” out of their name because of the stigma that seems to be in the news lately. Our beliefs haven’t changed one bit, but the churches have grown a few times over.

  11. bluesinaminor

    i just looked at an article which has nothing to do with the current topic – its actually about the charismatic gifts. But Waldron says this when asked to point to scripture that says we shouldn’t prophesy:
    “I don’t need to. Because we don’t only base doctrine on the explicit teaching of Scripture, but on reasonable deductions from Scripture.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2013/11/strange-fire-debate-between-michael-brown-and-sam-waldron/
    when we move beyond scripture in any way we are on very dangerous ground. who defines ‘reasonable’? I can prove any crazy doctrine i like using this premise.

    • Jeff Crippen

      blues – I believe there is reference to “reasonable inference” or something similar to that in the Reformed confessions of faith. Here is an example from the Westminster Confession: VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.[12] Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:[13] and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.[14]

      So for example, the doctrine of the Trinity is an inference from the fact that God is one, and yet Father, Son and Spirit are God. Good and necessary inference, you see. Now when it comes to other issues that are not so plainly inferred in Scripture, it gets trickier, as you are alluding to here. One very important related rule is that we must always let Scripture interpret Scripture. And specifically, we must let the clearer parts of Scripture interpret the less clear parts. I just think that Waldron failed in this particular book and that his “good and necessary inference” – wasn’t.

    • joepote01

      Well…in the paragraphs included in this post, his arguments are not reasonable, nor do they follow the rules of deductive reasoning.

      They are, however, outside the explicit teaching of scripture. So he’s correct about that part, at least.

      Now if only someone could explain to him the definitions of the words “reasonable” and “deduction”… 😉

  12. thepersistentwidow

    In the interview Waldron did concerning Charismatic gifts, http://www.challies.com/interviews/tongues-signs-wonders-an-interview-with-dr-sam-waldron-part-2 , Waldron states:

    “I do think that one of the reasons charismatics have been so successful in promulgating their views among Evangelicals is because Evangelicals themselves have come to a place where they have very loose and subjective understandings of important portions of the Word of God. They tend to apply promises and assertions of the Word of God that had originally a very specific context to themselves inappropriately.”

    I guess it just depends on what your pet doctrines are.

  13. bluesinaminor

    absolutely jeff. I’m a little familiar with the Westminster confession. What bothered me about Waldron’s quote above was that he didn’t need to point to scripture to support his argument. If you’re deducting in Westminster confession style you will have scripture to point to – more passages, i think, than if you had a verse that clearly stated what you claim. And while I admit i haven’t read his book ‘A man as priest in his home’ the above excerpts you have shared have very little scripture in them and as you and others have pointed out some very strange leaps of deduction.

  14. anonymous

    (I’m not sure is this is the correct place to post this) Is this idea of “priest of the family” and patriarchal mentality the reason my husband keeps insisting that if I or the children do not obey him, then we are not obeying God? He keeps insisting that we submit to him/ must be under his authority or we will not be under God’s authority. (I feel like it’s a club he wields..”if you don’t do what *I* say then you are also disobeying God”)

    • Is this idea of “priest of the f family” and patriarchal mentality the reason my husband keeps insisting that if I or the children do not obey him, then we are not obeying God?

      I can’t speak with certainty about exactly what goes on inside your husband’s head in respect of the excuses he uses to justify his abuse of you and the kids, but I can say with confidence that many abusive men who are familiar with Christian teaching do use the notion that a man is priest in his home as an added justification for the way they rule harshly over their families. It is a form of spiritual abuse: taking a notion that is supposedly derived from scripture and using it to justify their self-serving lifestyle and their cruelty to those they should be nurturing.

      In the case of the ‘man as priest in his home’ notion, we at this blog argue that it is not solidly based on scripture and that the arguments which claim it can be solidly proven from scripture are quite weak. But an abuser doesn’t care how weak an argument is, because logic and respect for scripture are not what drives him: what drives him is his desire to exert power and control over those in his family and his deep seated belief that he has the complete right to do that. So any excuse will do. He adds as many excuses to his armory as he can find in order to have lots of excuses to bring out when people challenge him. The more excuses he has, the more he can throw people off the track when they confront him and try to call him to account.

      It’s called Responsibility Resistance Tactics and abusers are masterful at it. They actually see it as a fight, and they wage it as a battle. Even when they are appearing to be quiet, humble, conciliatory, negotiating, respectful, etc, they are still fighting, but it’s covert. They are doing all those things with manipulative intent.

      • anonymous

        Barbara, you are so right. thank you for helping me take one more step out of this awful fog. thank you.

Trackbacks

  1. The Teaching that a Husband/Father is Priest to his Family is Unbiblical and Promotes Abuse (Part 3) | A Cry For Justice
  2. The Teaching that a Husband/Father is Priest to his Family is Unbiblical and Promotes Abuse (Part 5) | A Cry For Justice

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