real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

more thoughtful articles from sonlight’s john holzmann

John Holzmann from Sonlight keeps cranking out his reviews of the recordings from the CHEC Homeschooling Leadership Summit and I, for one, am thankful to hear his assessment without actually having to take time to listen to them myself right now. (I am trying to finish up the Quiverfull book and need just a little break from all things patriocentric after marinating in the muck this past couple of weeks.)

I had a couple thoughts as I read his perspective on Voddie’s presentation. First, John appears to be a man of discernment in that he acknowledged all the good things that were taught and then he stepped back and looked at what was really being said under the layers.

The times I have listened and read Voddie, I have had a similar experience. He is a dynamic speaker and his passion for the homeschooling family is contagious. But the hyperbole wears thin, as it does with Phillips and Swanson, leaving me thinking again about Jesus’ approach to those to whom He ministered.

Our Savior was tender and compassionate to people who were searching but He reserved His greatest condemnation, indeed, His outrage, for those who added to the Word of God, placing burdens on the backs of others. Voddie and the other patriocentrists seem to think ministry to homeschooling families should be packaged in exactly the opposite way, the “accountability” (translated brow beating) is to be a regular part of “ministering” to families in order to whip them into shape so that they will embrace the nonsensical extra biblical teachings coming from this camp. Bereans need not apply.

Secondly, the thing that popped off the page to me from John’s article was Voddie’s notion that the family is the “primary teaching unit in the New Testament.” The Scripture used to make this statement ought to be about as helpful as Voddie’s insistence that Numbers 30 is proof that a girl must remain at home with her father until marriage. It seems to me that the “primary teaching unit” in the New Testament is the church universal made up of whomever has an ear to hear, whether it is a group of disciples sitting along the shore of a lake, men, women, and children who have come either in groups or singly, to hear the Master teacher, or two sisters in their home, one eagerly and intently listening at His feet. What have I missed?

Finally, Voddie’s thoughts on the example leaders ought to establish in their homes was interesting. I agree that the family lives of many pastors leaves something to be desired. But in Voddie’s world, a pastor’s wife working outside the home or a pastor’s daughter desiring to go to the mission field would translate into the man not being qualified to pastor. I shudder to think what would happen if one of these kids (or even a mom) who is a believer but who marches to the beat of a nonpatriocentric drummer were to appear on the scene.

Which brings me to the second article this week that John published that has taken me several days to chew on. He wonders why there couldn’t be some sort of “Better Business Bureau” type of organization for those who want to be leaders in Christian organizations or movements. Sharing Dr. Paul Martins’ insight that the majority of Scripture references that address false teachers have to do with behavior rather than teachings, the concept is an interesting one.

Currently, what seems to happen, from my own experience and that of others I admire, is when someone even asks for clarification on a teaching OR when someone reads things that cloud the character of a “leader” and questions them, Matthew 18 is hurled in their direction and they are accused of gossip, libel, and slander. Never mind the Biblical example of Paul publicly admonishing Peter in Galatians 2 or Paul actually naming names of those who were unfaithful to him in ministry, even personally, in 1 and 2 Timothy. If someone can figure out how these things can be honestly brokered, I think it would be a good deal. But all I can say right now is “Good luck” or “good providence” as it were.



  Luke Holzmann wrote @

Great points. Thanks for sharing your insights.


  gpmm wrote @

Karen, you wrote:

“Currently, what seems to happen, from my own experience and that of others I admire, is when someone even asks for clarification on a teaching OR when someone reads things that cloud the character of a “leader” and questions them, Matthew 18 is hurled in their direction and they are accused of gossip, libel, and slander. Never mind the Biblical example of Paul publicly admonishing Peter in Galatians 2 or Paul actually naming names of those who were unfaithful to him in ministry, even personally, in 1 and 2 Timothy.”

Paul actually named names, yes, but that does not necessarily mean that accusations that are published on the internet are always godly. You know that.

The interesting thing that I have noticed is that when someone tries to defend those you label as “patriocentristic”, they’re not given an opportunity.

Case in point: I tried to post something to the TW site the other day, and it is still awaiting moderation. In the interest of spreading the truth (and after all, that should be the goal of every Christian – the truth!) I will try to repost it here:

I thought I would come out of lurkdom to comment on something I have been thinking about lately. Thatmom commented on the article by Abane – Don’t Believe Everything you Read on the Internet. I have noticed that others have joined in saying that we ought to be careful in this regard.

Tim Challies writes, “I want to say a word today about watchblogs or discernment blogs or whatever you want to call them. I am referring to blogs that specialize in sharing bad news. They share stories and videos and anecdotes about Christians and churches and supposed Christians and supposed churches. Day after day they offer examples of all that is wrong in the church. They may vary what they offer a little bit, but what is true of them is that they offer a steady diet of negative content related to the church in general or perhaps related to just one person or one ministry. You know of some of these sites, I am sure.” The article can be found here:

I think it’s worth clicking over and having a look.

If you are truly interested in the truth about James and Stacy McDonald and their ministry, click over to the following blog:


  thatmom wrote @


I wanted to begin my response to you by pointing out that I do not moderate comments and have RARELY removed any comments that are left on this blog or on TW. When I have removed comments, it has been because I felt they were mean-spirited or provided private information I thought ought to remain so.

The reason that comments sometimes don’t appear is that those that contain more than one link are considered to be spam as they come in and I don’t find them right away. I found your comment this morning when I logged on and haven’t been “behind the scenes” on TW for a few days. I hope that helps explain why your comments didn’t appear. I will be going to TW later today.

As far as the accusation that I don’t allow dissenting views on patriocentricity, I have a hard time understanding that. I have opened this blog up for anyone to have a discussion with me on the various teachings in this movement. Most recently I invited Bill Roach from CHEC, who left a few comments here, to have that discussion here on this blog and he refused, instead offering to meet with me if I am ever in Colorado. What more can I do with that?

I also have opened this space up for Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancey to dialogue with those who have MANY questions about their teachings. They have also refused to do this. And, interestingly enough, one of the top hits on this blog is that list of unanswered questions! I am one among many who are wanting some things cleared up.

On the other hand, Stacy has moderated comments on her personal blog and no comments whatsoever on the most recent blog you link to. Could you please explain, then, how we can have public discourse about patriocentricity? And where I have refused to allow for dissension? I am truly puzzled by that accusation. Please ask yourself which group is more interested in discussing these issues?

You mention the McDonald defense blog and yes, I have seen it. You state “If you are truly interest (ed) in the truth about James and Stacy McDonald and their ministry, click over to the following blog:” Can I ask you how you are certain that the things on that blog are true? Have you done your research? Do you have documentation? Have you spoken with, for example, the ex-spouses? (don’t even the McDonalds state that one perspective seems right until another one comes along, quoting from Proverbs?) Or have you talked with spokespeople for the RPCGA? Are you aware that there is already official documentation online that provides contradictory information on James’ depostion? Have you seen any documentation for ordination? Do you even know, from reading that blog, the name or location of the church where it occurred? Do you understand how LLC’s work?

GPMM, from what I have observed, years of secrecy and and dissembling of information have made it difficult for many who question the patriocentrists. IF you have any suggestions for how you think this could all be resolved, please share your thoughts here. I am open. Sincerely.

  thatmom wrote @

GPMM, you might also want to check out this article I wrote about a year ago about those who are what I call Christian exhibitionists who cry foul when they are critiqued.

  Kathy wrote @

I noticed that Stacy had linked to Tim Challies’ post on her blog, because it seemed to deliver that message of “hesh up now” to those critics of her, James and patriocentricity. in general.

That post did stir up some commotion, and I saw the discussion at Teampyro’s blog, which is connected with John MacArthur’s church. They do get into some fingerpointing and namecalling themselves, mostly of the emerging church and liberal evangelicals, as you might expect. Phil Johnson and others basically said there is a difference between healthy discernment and the online discernment ministries, or ODM’s, They called them “a blight on the church and an impediment to the cause of truth”, “especially those who have no accountability to or involvement in a real church with a serious pastor and legitimate elders” (hmmm)

I imagine you know these ODM’s when you see them–click on the name of a certain pastor, speaker or author and you will find a list (not necessarily in context) of the blasphemous things he or she has said. Not to say that some of them don’t deserve criticism, but the method and message leave something to be desired.

Phil also said, “It needs to be said that “calling people out for damnable heresies that are causing people to drift away from the true faith” is a shepherd’s duty, not an option—and it can be quite edifying if done well.”

Another quote: I think what Tim Challies is saying is that it’s unhealthy to fix one’s attention on error full time rather than spending most of our time dwelling on things that edify. If that’s all he is saying, I say (as heartily as possible) AMEN! (Philippians 4:8). But if someone wants to seize that point in order to suggest that it’s always better to be an encourager than a critic, my reply is: That very attitude is largely responsible for getting us into this mess in the first place.”

“But let someone dare to voice an objection to a troubling doctrine in the latest best-seller making the rounds on campus” (or the homeschool conferences)
“—even a denial of the Trinity or some other soul-destroying soteriological or Christological novelty”(or extrabiblical and eisegetical patriocentric teaching)
“—and the very people who profess to hate criticism (and who work so hard to seem agreeable in their dealings with with the unorthodox) will heap the nastiest kinds of vituperation on the soul of the one who has dared to criticize unorthodoxy and thereby threaten the ‘unity’ evangelicals” (or patriocentrists)
think their timid silence has won them.”

“This is a huge problem. It’s the main reason these abominations are multiplying so quickly and growing steadily more sinister.”

Guess what, Tim Challies agreed, and may later clarify what he meant to say. “I do think that what you express here is very close to what I had hoped to express and that what you and I believe on this issue would be very, very similar.

This defense of true discernment and calling out of false teachers and false teaching with Biblical reasoning probably won’t make Stacy’s blog, just as the second post of Richard Abanes was brought up by a poster there but elicited no further comment. The first post of Richard’s seemed to say “stop criticizing and gossiping”, but in his followup he made it clear he was criticizing the ODM’s and said this. “Let me be very clear: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ACCURATELY, LOVINGLY, BIBLICALLY, AND TRUTHFULLY defending the faith and the Gospel by pointing out the errors of public teachers/preachers (or churches and organizations). We are not only to defend our own personal faith when asked (1 Peter 3:15), but when necessary, we are to preach the word of God, as well as “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2).”

Sorry for all the quotes and HTML (hope it works, and hopefully my point can be understood).

  gpmm wrote @

Karen, I apologize for jumping to conclusions about why my post did not go through. I didn’t know that any post with more than one link would be tagged like that.

I don’t intend to engage in debate here regarding the McDonalds or any other Christian family. I just wanted to post the link to the blog that gives a different perspective from what I have read on TW. Thank you for allowing that to go through.

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