Cool; Vision Forum “Ministries” has a mission statement. Its title is
Preserving Our Covenant with God through Biblical Patriarchy and Multi-Generational Faithfulness
What covenant? They think they have a covenant? How can you have a covenant with someone you’ve never met or had any kind of bilateral communication with? And how can you sign multi generations up to anything? Why do future generations have to be “faithful” to something you’ve agreed to?
Item 6: Reinforcing Godly Masculinity and Femininity
Meaning, masculinity and femininity as seen in High Noon. All men are to be like Gary Cooper and all women are to be like Grace Kelly. Simple.
Item 7: Understanding Family Culture as Religion Externalized
With Daddy as God. Simple.
Item 9: Developing Biblical Worldview Through Presuppositional Thinking
Oh that’s a really good one. Decide what you presuppose first, and then develop your biblical worldview; that way no actual thought is ever required.
Item 10: Training Character by Hebrew Discipleship and Home Education
Item 13: Preparing Men to Stand in the Gates
The better to smite the feminists and atheists.
Camels With Hammers says
As a college freshman at Grove City College, I took a class which devoted the entire semester to studying and advocating presuppositionalism. I was young and impressionable and spent a while trying to make that epistemology work. I can confirm at the end of my investigations, it is indeed hopeless bullshit.
Ophelia Benson says
Congratulations on your escape!
I don’t mean to be tiresome, but each time I see something like this I think “surely this is a hoax, right?” I used to think I had a very effed-up family atmosphere, but they were nowhere near this demented.
Ophelia Benson says
I know, I know – it so often seems like parody. If only it were.
Libby Anne says
Jennifer – Believe me, this is no hoax. And actually, Vision Forum is very popular in Christian homeschool circles.
Actually, this is the very problem I ran into. The leaders of this movement promise their followers multigenerational faithfulness. It’s not that they think you can force your kid to believe this stuff, it’s just that they think that if you raise your kid right, they will believe this stuff, because they’re so sure they’re right!
As to “Hebrew discipleship” – Deuteronomy 6 instructs fathers to instruct their children while the walk, while they sit, while they eat, while they lie down, etc, and patriarchalists take this literally and call it “Hebrew discipleship.” It’s also taken as a mandate for homeschooling, as you can’t do this if your kids is away in school all day.
I poked around on their site a bit, and found the Statement of Faith, which includes the following:
Assuming such a being were real, why would you want to worship such a clearly egotistical, narcissistic being? How worthless must you believe yourself to be, in order to wish to worship and glorify someone who’s every action is geared toward more glory for itself?
Sam C says
I’m afraid Ophelia that your opinion seems to be worthless according the Moroniarchs’ tenets:
Unless of course your father or husband told you to say this? That might be permitted, but I’m not sure!
I imagine a lot of saner Christians (the ones who understand Jesus’s core message of “hey, let’s be nice to each other” and don’t try to impose their beliefs on everybody else) are sickened by the Moroniarch’s abuse of their sacred texts to support vicious prejudices. I’m not a Christian, but I know this is nothing like what the Sermon on the Mount preaches.
Their final tenet inadvertantly has some accuracy:
Yes, it’s true that God doesn’t exist, never existed, and never will exist. An eternity of non-existence, praise the theistic void! Omnipotence has rarely been so impotent.
Eric MacDonald says
Actually, the covenantal idea is strongly biblical. God entered into a covenant with the people of Israel. The church, remember, is the new testament (read covenant), in Jesus blood, with God, so at the heart of the Jewish-Christian belief is the idea of a special quasi-legal agreement with God into which the whole community enters.
That’s why I addressed myself recently to the ABC Rowan Williams’ Berlin Lecture, because there he thinks of the solution to some of the problems of ordered society — he like the pope thinks of modern pluralist society as a society in breakdown — in terms of convenantal faithfulness, and he contrasts this with the hyper-individualism that he deplores. And there is no question that the pope is thinking along these lines. It might be said that we are dealing here with a Christian Zeitgeist, since they all seem to be homing onto the same few central ideas at the same time.
It is perhaps worthwhile considering that this is the same kind of tendency which was at work in 381 when Theodosius issued his edict rescinding religious toleration, and then, by stages, the church began to take over even the private lives of citizens of the Empire. The best way to take over private lives is to take something private, like child-bearing, and make it into a public trust. They won’t start with beliefs, they’ll start with things that can be controlled by public law, and then, gradually, achieving that, they’ll move on to other less tangible things. And don’t think these people are not capable of this much self-consciousness about what they are up to. They are. It’s significant that people like Francis Collins is already being taken to task for pandering to the enemy. This is straight-forward religious fascism, and it can be surprising successful in a very short time.
Eric is spot on regard the ‘Edict of Intolerance’ in 381; in fact, there’s a tremendous book written by Ramsay MacMullen, a classicist and Roman law specialist, on the extent to which Christianity had to persecute its way to mastery of the Roman Empire, especially in the Western Empire (Gaul, Hispania and Britannia, as well as Italy proper) where the status of women was higher. It’s reviewed by a distinguished Australian medievalist here:
Camels With Hammers says
Really? Here’s Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:
See that! According to Jesus if you do not obey the entire patriarchal misogynistic homophobic draconian brutal law of the Old Testament even more unerringly than the self-righteous pharisees do, you don’t go to heaven.
And how about this section on the evils of sexual attraction and divorce:
Wow! How progressive of Jesus! It’s a shame that people get the idea from this message that women have no rights of autonomy or that men would experience self-loathing over their desire for women and resent the women on account of that self-loathing. If only they paid closer attention to Jesus’s teaching that you may not EVER divorce (even for domestic abuse?) or marry one of those filthy divorced women! If only they got it clearer that just having sexual attraction is tantamount to being an adulterer, they’d have MUCH more humane, egalitarian, and healthy views of sexuality and relationships between the sexes.
Ophelia Benson says
And don’t forget our friend Charles Freeman’s book AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State.
High Noon? High Noon ends with the faithful wife being the one who abandons her religious beliefs out of a combination of love and courage, disobeys her husband, and takes out baddies on her own initiative. You’d have to find a much more regressive, childish fantasy than High Noon to encapsulate this kind of wannabe-patriarch’s pipe dream.
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