real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

september 14

Podcast Logo “Last week I spent considerable time defining the terms of the patriarchy movement and some of its history. Today, before I welcome my guest, I would like to, again, define what I believe “patriarchy” is in the homeschooling community. At first blush, it doesn’t seem too much different than the message taught by Promise Keepers or that the new “In the Zone” ministries are promoting or even what Dr. James Dobson has promoted for the past 30 years…..and I welcome to my podcast Don Veinot.” Listen here for this week’s podcast Part Two of the Patriarch Series: The First of Two Interviews with Don Veinot from Midwest Christian Outreach.

Be sure to stop by Don Veinot’s website and blog where you will find more information on this topic as well as many other helpful resources.



  sarah wrote @

Karen, you are amazing and brave. Bless you.

  thatmom wrote @

Sarah, Thanks for those sweet words.

  Light wrote @

Karen, I enjoyed this podcast. It’s important to note that this hyperpatriarchy is not extending its tentacles only via the homeschool movement. I am a member of a PCA church, and we have several sister PCA churches in the same area. These are all what I would call “mainstream” PCA churches; you don’t see the type of hyperpatriarchy espoused like you do from PCA pastors Tim and David Bayly. However, in the past year there have been two incidences at our sister churches where elders had come under the influences of hyperpatriarchy. One of those influences specifically was Doug Wilson (who I used to consider somewhat extreme, until I learned about Doug Phillips! Now it’s all relative.) Don’t know who the other influence was. But in both cases, these two elders at two different PCA churches tried to make some unbiblical changes at their churches and import these beliefs and practices. Fortunately, both times they were nipped in the bud and the elders were asked to step down. Although there are homeschoolers in our churches, in neither case were these elders homeschooling their kids. All that to say, hyperpatriarchy has many tentacles, and we need to be aware these unbiblical teachers aren’t just limited to the home schooling world!

Keep up the good work.

  Light wrote @

Oops, I meant to type “unbiblical teachINGS” not “teachERs” (… although a case could be made for that, too …)

  thatmom wrote @


I appreciate your comments. If one’s exposure to the PCA was only what he read on the Bayly blog, it would certainly be skewed.

We were members of a PCA church at one time and I even taught at a workshop one year at the Mercy Ministries conference. It was interesting because in my home church, there were several southern-sympathizers who promoted their views openly. Even the pastor would comment about his views on the south from the pulpit. Then I attended the conference and met all sorts of people who were doing what they could within the PCA to bring about racial reconciliation. It was awesome and I was so greatly moved by the testimonies I heard from two ladies, one an older white woman and one a younger black woman, as they shared about bringing their churches together to bring about more than a century of hurt and prejudice. So I understand the extremes within the PCA on a variety of issues.

Patriocentricity is closely tied to its twin ecclesiocentricity, as I pointed out last week, and the views of women within both camps is scary and needs to be watched.

BTW, I recently read Mark Noll’s book called The Civil War as a Theological Crisis and anyone interested in the subject of patriarchy/patriocentricity/hierarchy in Christian circles etc. should read it. It will certainly help you answer questions about race, Dabney, etc. that come up as you read the patriarch materials, look at their catalogs, etc.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @


This was wonderful. I especially appreciate the frank discussion of the pessimism so prevalent in patriocentric thought (not that it is entirely limited to this pocket within Evangelical Christianity, however). Both you and Don elucidated that point right away, bringing up the fear of culture so prevalent in the movement. I wish that you had more time to discuss the extention of these fears and the pessimistic outlook that they have created for the lost within our culture. This is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of patriarchy for me: it is survival oriented as opposed to optimistically evangelistic.

You know, I was so brokenhearted after reading a portion of Ken Giles’s slavery chapter (The Trinity and Subordinationism), that I was unable to delve into Mark Noll’s book on the Civil War. I would also say that no study of this topic is complete without reading Noll’s book. “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” He details how our patriotism became entwined with Protestantism, in addition to the “wholesome living” aspects of Fundamentalism that are so prevalent in patriocentricity. It’s just another piece to the making of this puzzle. I can hardly wait until the new pieces that the next podcasts reveal.

  Grafted Branch@Restoring The Years wrote @

I need your help. Please, I appeal to you, write to me that I might correspond with you about something of great importance.

  joanna wrote @

Another great podcast Karen. I agree with the commentor at the top-you are indeed brave to be tackling this important subject head on.
Thank you very much for the time and effort you are putting into this subject. 🙂

  thatmom wrote @


I think as very interesting research project would be to make a list of the blogs that promote patriocentricity. (That is a hint for you for next week!)

Seriously, mapping all of this out has been helpful for me. Once I began to see patterns and the pieces began to fit together, somethings became predictable.

One thing that you mention is so very true…the resulting pessimism I have seen that comes from the promotion of the paradigm.

I know you probably were thinking in a different direction, but here is just one pessimistic aspect to all of this…..There are people who think they cannot even begin to homeschool their own children because they cannot get fit the paradigm. Take for example, just the income someone would have to pull down in order to do all the things suggested by VF…the products, the historical trips, the conferences, etc.. And when the family is large, it becomes even more problematic. It makes me wonder if the promoters have ever even had a conversation with a real mom who is trying to figure out how to just purchase curriculum for all her children on the budget she has to work with.

Then, as you implied and Don and I talked about, the paradigm demands that we abandon much of the culture. Look at what is happening with the VF film festival. A few years ago when Doug Phillips was promoting it, he took the opportunity to pronounce all of Hollywood to be lost and beyond hope. However, the very week that he made that statement, World Magazine carried an article about the 10,000 plus membership of Christians in Hollywood who are determined to present a Biblical worldview to those in the culture who will be watching their films. Think about that…..who in the mainstream, lost culture would give the time of day to the films that VF is producing? Look at “The Return of the Daughters” or “The Monstrous Regiment of Women.” Both of those would be laughed off the screen by a culture that already thinks Christians are weird. His films are merely preaching to the choir rather than winning the lost for Christ. My guess is that his real target audience is homeschooling families who are not quite as “Christian” as the paradigm demands.

Now, compare those films with the wonderful “Amazing Grace” that came out this year. Seen by your average film-goer in theaters around the country, the winsome approach to presenting the transforming power of the Gospel message was an awesome testimony of God’s grace. Yet, that film was never once mentioned by VF. If one of their goals is to promote wholesome, Godly movies, why would they not promote that film? Hint: Perhaps it is because Phillips loathes abolitionism?

Cindy, you have correctly assessed the movement…it is survival oriented rather than optimistically evangelistic.

  thatmom wrote @


You also bring up another great point. The brand of Christian living promoted within patriocentric camps is absolutely old-fashioned Americanism rather than Biblically Christian. The two are too often confused, along with a little June Cleaver thrown in.

  sarah wrote @


I agree with you about DP’s audience being Christian families who have not yet seen the light. If only because that is how he is going to build his income – what pagan is going to stumble on VF and think it’s anything but nutty? Someone who is already an evangelical or fundamentalist Christian is their only plausible audience.

If you read much literature in the patriocentric camp, one senses their evangelistic mission is confined to procreation. Having given up on the culture, they build the body of Christ via birth.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Sarah wrote: “Having given up on the culture, they build the body of Christ via birth.”

Oh Sarah,

Someone on Jen’s Gems website (perhaps it was Karen?) as “Salvation through the womb and not the cross.”

As one that God has not blessed with children of my own, I am of no value and looked at with great distain by those in this patriocentricity. So I offered what I had to give through caring for my ill husband but also the sick via employment, but that too is prohibited. I am doubly cursed by them, and perhaps they consider me twice fit for hell. I don’t know. They detest discussion of “non-normatives” like me and extend no grace or understanding to my husband nor to me.

And it seems that I (the wife) take all of the projected distain and pressure, and none is directed at my husband at all. It makes no sense to me. It seems that women bear the responsibility for making this system work and take all the blame when it does not. All the while, the husband in this system seems to be accountable for much less. The woman seems to be the fulcrum for the system while the patriarch gets the benefits and the benefit of the doubt as well. For one as me, it offers NOTHING but hopelessness.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

Karen wrote:

I think as very interesting research project would be to make a list of the blogs that promote patriocentricity.


I don’t think that I could take on that depressing project. I’ve already linked to several sites via my websites that promote critical thinking and freedom from these types of high-demand, socially cultic groups. That should be sufficient.

And then, if one considers Kevin Giles to be valid, then many of the patriocentrics also teach an heretical view of the Trinity. Giles argues that the crowd at CBMW actually hold to the heresy of the eternal subordination of Jesus in order to support the ontological (substance) superiority of man over woman. (The justification of slavery is also supported by this doctrine of God, but ethnic groups have a higher standing than women. God forbid that you are a woman that belongs to a non-privledged ethnic group.)

I’d rather not devote time to development and publish a list of these websites so that more people can be directed into the fallacy and potential heresy of patriocentricity 😉

Maybe I could continue to add to my growing list of counter-patriocentricity sites instead?

  Annie wrote @

Hi Karen

Enjoyed the second one as well. One aspect which I find most disturbing in this hyper patriarchy movement is the culture aspect . I am sure all of us in all “camps” believe that the truths in the Bible are culture independent equally applicable to everyone in all situations. When we proclaim the truth of John 3:16, it is equally applicable from the slum dweller in the streets of Bombay to the heiress in Beverly Hills. BUT when someone has a personal agenda about something and tries to pass it off as BIBLICAL such as women voting and girls going to college, forbid family planning with BCP, women as KAH etc, then it becomes dangerous ground. I am from India (been in US for a while now) and it is a completely different situation there. My family has always been reasonably well off but I know that if both my parents had not worked, we would not be able to make ends meet. And THAT is my problem with all the “rules” of patriarchy. It is not applicable to all cultures. Biblical truths are not for just North America. If they say THE Biblical Model of family is women as KAH, 10 kids in the family, daughters all working for the fathers “vision” try saying that to the family in the streets of Bombay where the father is bedridden, mother is working to put some food into the hungry children’s mouth and pay for the dad’s medical bills.

Well, what is the point? They will probably blame it on feminism.

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Annie,

You made such a great point…how many of these things that are taught as “presuppositional” would actually be taught as such in other cultures, in other times and places?

You mentioned the topic of family planning. I know this is a big one in homeschooling circles and I would like to share my personal thoughts about this.

This topic, to me, is more one of a heart issue than it is a physical issue. Each couple and each person needs to examine the heart for reasons that they want or do not want to have children. Sometimes people have very selfish reasons for not wanting to have children. Other times, people have very selfish reasons for WANTING to have children. Within some homeschooling circles, there is even a competition, as though having children and believing that they are God’s blessings, which is true, somehow makes you one up spiritually. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

As far as birth control is concerned, sometimes people are put into the position to have to use birth control because they want to preserve their fertility for the future. Having baby after baby is not always the wisest thing for every couple. This is personal and should be taken up with the wife’s doctor. Anyone who interjects their opinion on these matters, unsolicited, is, in my opinion, crossing a line.

You also mentioned the birth control pill and I think it needs to be said that it is an abortificient and it, as well as other sorts of birth control that cause abortions or make the uterus hostile to a fertilized egg, are unacceptable for Christians. Here is a link for further information on that:

  Annie wrote @

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your response. The funny things is I love large families, lots of kids, i don’t use the pill, i would like to home school our children if God chooses to bless us with them, I am a comfortable complementarian -in fact I should be on the ideal patriarch’s path. But I also have enough sense to know that what is right and good and acceptable for our family is not the same for EVERY other Christian family around the globe. I do think children are a blessing, but I do not see anywhere in the Bible to have all the blessings you could possibly get in a lifetime without regard to health. Its a personal decision of each family. But then again, I am selfish, a sinner, and a whitewashed feminist because I went to college and I am not a KAH since the day I got married.

As far as theology goes, I am dispensational and so, I do not believe that “Be fruitful and multiply” is mandated to Christians now. So theologically I disagree with them anyway.

With regard to the article you linked, it gave me a lot to think about. I personally don’t use BCPs but I am not going to say any more about it, as I don’t want to get off topic.

I think suffice to say that with all their over the top ” Biblical” rules, they are putting unnecessary burden on families trying to live for Christ. Why do we need to listen to them when we can go to the One whose yoke is easy and burden light?

  thatmom wrote @

Annie, your response is priceless. As is the case with many of us who are challenging patriocentricity, we love children and homeschooling! Many of us have large families. I love being a homemaker and caring for my husband. But I haven’t ruled out working once my children are grown and I vote and believe women have their own callings from the Lord so I am in that “feminist” camp as well.

It is so funny… the feminists I am a wacko homeschool mom. The the patriocentrists, I am a “white washed feminist.” Damned if I do, damned if I don’t!

  A Gracious Home » Things to check out wrote @

[…] posted her two part conversation with Don Veinot of the Midwest Christian Outreach. You can find Part 1 and Part 2. Karen also has the upcoming October schedule which will all be interviews with Spunky […]

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