One aspect of my essay on Vision Forum’s “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy” was how VF, in my opinion, misapplies certain Old Testament narrative passage as regards daughters to our contemporary (i.e., post 19th century) society. A recent article by Steve Macias (see http://www.stevemacias.com/ladies-from-kings-daughters-to-queens) was brought to my attention because it elaborated on the VF position; I want to comment on that article here.
As I state in the About portion of my blog I think it is vitally important when reading articles, especially those on the Web, to be aware of the author’s theological presuppositions. That’s why I want to make a few comments about Steve Macias before I examine his paper. Steve is a member of a church that is affiliated with the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. Prominent men also associated with CREC include Doug Wilson, Peter Leithart, and Steve Wilkins. Since these three men espouse what has become known as the Federal Vision or Auburn Avenue Theology, in addition to Christian Reconstructionism or Theonomy, I am safe in assuming Mr. Macia holds the same views. I discuss the implications of Christian Reconstructionism in my Essay so I will not repeat them here. I do not address the Federal Vision; along with many others I regard this view as aberrant at best and heretical at worst.
My first objection to Macias’ paper occurs in the very first sentence: resorting to emotional extremes by calling the feminist movement a “child-and-family-hating worldview.” Please understand, I am in no fashion suggesting that feminism is a benign movement, although I would draw distinctions between the militant feminism of the 1960’s and those women who are simply advocating for the rights and equality of women within the general society. (I am, however, opposed to the ordination of women as pastors or elders within the church.) To say that a female campaigning for equal-pay-for-equal-work, or that an unmarried young woman working as nurse hates children is an absurd statement. It does nothing to advance his argument.
According to Mr. Macias the Bride of Christ, i.e., the Church, began at Calvary. Here’s what he wrote: “…Just as Adam was put to ‘sleep’ and had Eve taken from his side, Christ is put to death and from the wound of blood and water in His side is born his Bride.” I find his statement curious because the historic Reformed view has been that the Church has existed through all ages, including the Old Testament period, and consists of all of the elect. Dispensationalists, on the other hand, assert that the Church began at Pentecost.
Several times throughout his paper Macias makes comparisons between the Trinity and the earthly father-daughter-groom relationship. Drawing such comparisons is very risky. The danger exists because one could easily develop an incorrect view of the Trinity. Each of the members of the Trinity are of the same essence (homoousios is the Greek term) though they are distinct persons. Although the father, daughter, and husband are distinct persons they are not of the same essence but of similar essence ( homoiousios ). Some comparisons can be made as regards the relationship between the members of the Trinity and the relationship between a husband and wife, but I’m dubious of including the daughter’s father in this mix.
Macias next references material either written or spoken by Dr. Voddie Baucham (Steve does not give the actual reference) which will form the basis for the remainder of his paper. Let me say at the onset I agree with much of what Dr. Baucham has to say on such subjects as sin, salvation, sanctification, and the like. What I do find disturbing are his patriarchal views regarding daughters, his extreme views on the education of children (suggesting parents are sinning if they don’t home school), and his position on the FIC movement.
Most of what Steve writes from this point on I have already responded to in my Essay on Tenets 22 & 23, so I will not repeat what I’ve written. There are, though, a few things he’s written that I want to specifically comment on now.
Voddie Baucham is quoted as saying, “Why would He [God] give so much attention to the well-being of young women under the Old Covenant but abandon them to laissez-faire fathers under the New? This is inconceivable.” I actually had to chuckle when I read this the first time. Baucham, a Baptist, used the very form of argument that Presbyterians (and other Reformed folks) use to support infant baptism. Here’s what Dr. Michael Horton wrote in Modern Reformation (Mar/Apr 1995): “Why should we withhold from the children of believers the sacrament ordained by God in the New Testament if they received the corresponding sacrament in the Old.” My point here is not to argue for or against paedobaptism; it’s just to point out that Dr. Baucham apparently will use the “Old Covenant/New Covenant” argument when it suits him but forget when it doesn’t. (There are other logical errors Dr. Baucham makes in his statement that I will not elaborate on here.)
A common logical fallacy is the false dichotomy or false dilemma. Here’s an example: Cats and dogs have four legs. This animal has four legs. Therefore, it is either a dog or a cat. The fallacy presumes there are only two options. But obviously, in the example above, the animal could have been a horse, pig, or cow. This is the kind of error Macias makes when he states: “Implicit in the responsibility to protect his daughter from predators is a necessary proximity condition.” Is it possible for the daughter to be living a great distance from her father and still be protected from danger? Of course. She could be living with trusted friends or relatives, or in a cloistered community. There are more than two alternatives.
I find some of Macias’ statements outlandish and without a single bit of solid Scriptural support. Take this statement, for example: “In a very real way, daughters represent to the world Christ’s act of redemption.” Is he really saying that the world can look at my daughter and see a representation of Christ’s propitiatory, substitionary, vicarious death that brought redemption to fallen mankind? He must be kidding!
Marcias writes: “Fathers are to be actice in their daughter’s route to marriage, filtering out men who fail to fear God and scaring away potential predators.” While this sounds noble on the surface, I fear it may degenerate into the father approving only those suitors who are in full agreement with his theology. For example: Father A is a postmillennial, Reconstructionist, who is an elder in a Baptist church. Daughter A meets Suitor A at her church and Suitor B who attends another church. Suitor B is a solid believer. He attends a Presbyterian church and is amillennial and not a Reconstructionist. I suggest Father A would reject Suitor B only because he is a paedobaptist and does not share is eschatology. I reject the notion that the father is acting Biblically in doing so.
End of Part 1.