Examining "Christian Patriarchy," Quiverfull & "God-given Authority"


Matthew 23:8-12 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.



Over the last several decades a new sort of movement has developed in Christendom. It cannot be called a denomination because the beliefs are espoused by people from various churches and groups, and some of them differ quite a bit. The ones I will be dealing with here fall primarily under these categories: "Christian Patriarchy", "Family Inclusive Churches", "Quiverfull", and "God-given Authority." There are other names for some of these groups, but these cover the bases.  Some of the strands overlap in some people and in others they may only actually hold to one aspect of the overall movement. All of these groups/ideologies have been heavily infused into the homeschool movement because most of them strongly support homeschooling. A number of the people involved in these groups will tell you that they do not follow a movement or a man, and yet you will find them involved with groups and listening to people who are obviously in the movement. Some of the men and women who are prominent in the movement are also esteemed, quoted and recommended by people who are not exactly part of the movement. This can cause confusion, and it also leads to the influence and spread of the Patriarchy Movement in other spheres.

Proverbs 5:6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

The notable men who are/were leaders include, but are not limited to: Doug Phillips (Vision Forum), Scott Brown (NCFIC), Voddie Baucham (Voddie Baucham Ministries), Doug Wilson (Christ Church; Moscow, Idaho), Bill Gothard (IBLP, ATI), Jonathan Lindvall, R. C. Sproul Jr. (Ligonier Ministries), Michael and Debi Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries), Rick and Jan Hess (authors). There are others who are somewhat lesser known, or are mostly known in their own state or area.

Some of the women who follow and teach these things include, but are not limited to: Mary Pride, Jennie Chancey (Ladies Against Feminism), Stacy McDonald (Your Sacred Calling), Nancy Campbell (Far Above Rubies), Nancy DeMoss (Revive Our Hearts).

Prominent families in the movement include: the Duggars (19 Kids and Counting, ATI), the Bates family (Bringing Up Bates reality show, ATI), the Botkins, etc.

Organizations and groups that promote various aspects or have at one time include: Chalcedon, Institute of Basic Life Principles, Advanced Training Institute, ALERT, etc.

Others who have influenced various aspects of the movement include: Rousas Rushdony, Robert Lewis Dabney, Hebrew Roots/Torah observing, Dominion Theology, The Shepherding Movement, etc. 

One more couple that I believe has been influential in these groups in some ways is Aubrey and Helen Andelin the Mormon authors (respectively) of the two acclaimed books, Man of Velvet and Steel and Fascinating Womanhood. Despite being devout Latter Day Saints, this couple's writings were accepted and read by many Christians.

There are a number of other attributes of this overall movement that are shared by some to all of the adherents.  These include, but are not limited to: "Purity Culture", Stay at Home Daughters movement, "Modesty Culture", Stay at home wives, homeschooling, historical re-enactments/lifestyles, political activism, Prolife activism, father-daughter covenants, etc.

I will not try to give specific beliefs of the various groups or sects within the overall movement. Because of the large variety of people there is a large variety of views, and if you declare one thing to be "what they believe" a certain number will answer, "We don't believe that, therefore we are not part of that movement", when indeed they are.  There is no fixed set of beliefs other than the unbliblcal exaltation of the father's place in the lives of his family. However, I will say that Reconstructionism has played a large role in the forming of this ideology, and that some basic Reformed thinking is necessary in most cases (whether the people realize they have picked it up or not).  In general there is also a heavy leaning on the Old Testament to prove their position.


Articles, Items of Interest and Sub-sections

Do Fathers Own Their Daughters?

Examining Michael and Debi Pearl

The Pearls are more members of the what might be called the "Authoritarian Movement" or "Patriocentric families." They are definitely in the "Family Inclusive Church" movement.  To my knowledge, they do not have patently Reconstructionist teachings and they don't support Quiverfull beliefs in general.

Is "Biblical Patriarchy" Biblical?  (under construction)

Similarities Between Mormonism and the Patriarchy Movement

Spiritual Abuse and Those Who Crave It

The Arrogant Patriarch by Frank I. Snyder

Thoughts on the Resignation of Doug Phillips and the Closing of Vision Forum

What About the Duggars?

This section has various articles dealing with the Duggar family, famous for their T.V. reality show 19 Kids and Counting. Their presence in the Patriarchy Movement is large because of the worldly fame and their popularity with Gothard's ministry (and because of their rather large family). They have been sought after by many for various events, and they have made the most of their fame.  The recent fall of Josh Duggar has reportedly put a damper on the family's popularity.

When Small Men Cast Large Shadows (under construction)

Why Do the Women Look and Sound Alike? NEW

Why Is A Wife Blamed for Her Husband's Unfaithfulness?

Why We Are not "Quiverfull" 

Also On this site:

Absalom - Marks of A Usurper

A Few Words to "The Mother Club" on Behalf of the Hurting Ones Outside

Blaming Grandparents Unbiblically

Who Rules Over You?


Links on Other Sites:

Disclaimer on all version other than the King James Authorized Version
and probably some content.

In the Patriarchal World

Bill Gothard Resigns from IBLP - Sexual harassment accusations finally bring Gothard down after years of abuse.  For further information read other articles and testimonials at that web site.

The Duggars: How Fundamentalism's Teachings on Sexuality Create Predatory Behavior - This article deals with Josh Duggar's first exposure and explains why Bill Gothard's teachings on sexuality create an environment that facilitates this kind of behavior. [Note: An extra disclaimer on this source, as he has moved into a more liberal and uncertain perspective since I first read some of his things.]

Reconstructionist and Dominion Theology

One of the key issues with the Patriarchy Movement or "Biblical Patriarchy" or whatever you prefer to call it, is it's close, unseverable ties with the Reconstructionist Movement and Dominion Theology. It is of serious importance for the Bible believing Christian to understand what the latter two believe regarding the state and end times because these beliefs heavily influence the ideologies of the Patriarchy Movement first and last. They may take on many various forms, some of which might at first seem "godly", but a closer investigation in light of the basic purposes of Reconstructionism and Dominionism will always bring us back to the fact that the ultimate goals of "Biblical Patriarchy" are off base from true New Testament church teachings and the faith once delivered to the saints.

Backward, Christian Soldiers - The Spiritual and Historical Regression of Dominion Theology -- By Alan Morrison, Pastor of  Eindhoven International Baptist Church, The Netherlands. 1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Coalition On Revival "COR"- A strange bedfellow for the Patriarchal Movement, yet closely involved in Reconstructionism at large and having close ties with the Shepherding Movement which has influenced "Biblical" Patriarchy (Read about the Botkins' connection to the Shepherding Movement). This page is a compilation of various sources on the subject.  This is not bedtime reading.  These people are for war - and anyone who doesn't submit is a potential target - including other believers. Psalms 140:1-2 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

The Shepherding Movement - This movement has had an influence on the Patriarchy Movement, but also has ties to Dominion Theology and Reconstructionist beliefs.

Reconstructionism also plays a role in The New Eschatology - which is a New Age (in church) explanation of End Times.  Reprinted from "The Belfast Berean." 2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Calvinism and Reformed Beliefs

The Patriarchy Movement is also heavily influenced by Calvinism.  Because of this, it is common to find many in the Patriarchy Movement are of a Calvinistic or Reformed persuasion. Consequently it would be useful to give this belief system a look in order to understand some of the ways it informs "Biblical Patriarchy." Shunning, segregation of the elite and the laity, emphasis on legalistic rules, obsessions with historical personalities and groups to the exclusion of Jesus Christ, and other aspects of Patriarchy are undoubtedly affected by Calvinist tendencies. The ideology of "covenant homes" and all that entails, and the transfer of all the Jewish Kingdom promises to themselves are particularly Reformed in origin. [Please note that all Calvinists and Reformed do not believe in "Biblical Patriarchy" or parental authority in the way we are discussing here.]

The Calvinist Debate - by David Cloud


graphics by Mary Stephens