A Dog in That Fight?

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In this place I have previously posted a note concerning my friend Pete Hurst, and his web site <http://www.patriarchy.org/>. I have worked with Pete for a number of years, and in just a few weeks I am heading out to speaking at the worldview conference his church sponsors in Virginia. Pete has, with my standing permission, posted various things on his site that I have published elsewhere and with which (not surprisingly) I agree. In my experience, the pastoral situation addressed by the site is a very real problem.

But it should not be assumed from this that I agree with everything on the site. For example, I differ with the article written by Mark Horne on church membership and voting by household — we have practiced head of household government here at Christ Church for years. At the same time, it should be noted that we are not exclusively “patriarchal” in our practice because we have women who are heads of their households, who attend our congregational head of household meetings, and who vote in our church elections. If Lydia were a member of our church (along with her household), she would vote.

In addition, it has also been brought to my attention that this site has something of a backstory, and it should not be assumed that I am up to speed on that backstory, or that I have taken sides in it. I do not want to take a passing dog by the ears. There are excesses in the patriarchy movement, and someone needs to address it. But it is not my view that any particular leaders in what is known as the patriarchy movement are guilty of those excesses.

As a side note, Pete has let me know he has no intention of publishing any testimonies of refugees from the patriarchy movement unless those testimonies are thoroughly vetted, and everything is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. I have been on the receiving end of slander enough to be grateful that Pete knows he needs to be skeptical about stories that are brought to him in the mouth of one witness. Of course, the same thing goes for those who are talking about what Pete’s motives might be.

In all this, I have (and intend to continue to have) cordial, working relations with Pete Hurst (who has invited me to work with him at these fine worldview conferences), Phil Lancaster (whose book Family Man, Family Leader is on my desk), Mark Horne (who is a fine thinker and Canon Press writer who has done some marvelous work), and Doug Phillips (whose organization Vision Forum has been a vendor at the ACCS Convention where I am going next week). I have no doubt that I have differences with all of them. Some I know about, and some I don’t. No reason we shouldn’t seek to work through those differences like Christian gentlemen.

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