Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Father

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, FATHER. Gal. 4:6

God's not a "Parent" nor "Mother", but a "Father".  The word "father" is the Greek word "pater" which means:

"Generator or male ancestor; The originator and transmitter of anything; God, the Father."

The concept of fatherhood or patriarchy confirms that ALL comes from or originates in Him.  Pater is the root of such words as "patriarch" and "family" (patria). When we turn in faith to God, we are receiving the heart of a Patriarch.

God's reflection of His authority in the earth is also seen in patriarchy.  This is why Adam was created first before Eve. This is why Adam named all of the animals. This is why Eve was created for Adam and came from him.  This is why God first came to Adam for an account of what transpired in the Garden of Eden.

This is why God selected 12 patriarchs through whom to establish His old covenant. This is why Jesus also selected 12 patriarchs through whom He would build His church.  We find that these 24 patriarchs form the foundation and gates of the holy Jerusalem from above (Revelation 21:12, 14).  It is surmised that they are even the 24 elders casting their crowns down before the throne (Revelation 4:4).

Pater being the root for family (patria) also explains why the man leaving his mother and father and cleaving to his wife is so important. He is the "originator" (pater) of his own family unit at that time.  This is why the woman takes the man's last name. This is why the wife and children submit to him. This is why he is the "head" of the family, because the family unit is grounded in the identity of the man.

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." I Corinthians 11:3

In the same way, the identity of God's children - born of His seed - is grounded in Him. This is the truth of patriarchal authority, as reflective of, and perfected by, God the Father.

"Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me." Jeremiah 49:11

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."James 1:27

There is something that both widows and orphans lack...and that is a patriarch. Yet, God is a Father to the fatherless and a Husband to those without a husband.

The gift and grace of God's presence amongst His people IS the return of a patriarch's heart. This is the promise that ushers in the New Testament.

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5-6

John the Baptist came before Jesus in order to turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers.  Consider a similar text describing John's ministry:

"And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Luke 1:17 

Note the juxtaposition here.  Instead of saying that John turned the heart of the children to the fathers, Luke says that he turned "the disobedient to the wisdom of the just".  This tells us two things: 1) The children who have no regard for fathers are disobedient; and 2) Appreciation of the need for patriarchy is the "wisdom of the just".

John the Baptist was preparing the people to receive a love and appreciation for patriarchy, because such is a reflection of the authority of God.  This is the only way in which they would be able to recognize the coming Messiah.  Otherwise, they would be offended by Him, by His message, and the patriarchal authority in which He walked.  Did not Jesus Himself indicate that the reason the religious leaders could not receive His words was because they did not have the Father (John 5:23-47, John 8:27-55; John 14:9-20)?  It is the same today.  People want to profess faith in Jesus Christ based upon their own terms and not through obedience to the Father.

Jesus Himself came as a Son in submission to the will of His Father.  His life illustrated a purpose and authority to do only what His Father commanded.  When instructing His followers how to pray, this is the same model Jesus presented to others; that we would approach God as our "Father".

And how did Jesus describe those who were offended?

"But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses." Matthew 11:8

"But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts."  Luke 7:25

Those who rejected John's message were expecting to see a soft man!  Someone who spoke softly, who said and wore soft things; someone who pampered himself, desiring to be served and waited on rather than to move out in power to proclaim the things of God.  Jesus is describing what in modern day vernacular one might call "Sissies!"  They shirked back from the austere things of life in order to be accepted by the people.

Even today, most of the church world gravitates to men who are soft.  The most popular ministers are those who are matriarchal, stroking people's emotions rather than commanding them to obey the word of the living God.  Like the people of Jesus' day, men, women, and children have grown to be offended by patriarchal authority.  As a result, they have rejected the message of truth and fashioned a "god" in their own image. 

This is why the leadership God ordains for His church is also patriarchal.

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" I Timothy 3:2-5

"...ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." Titus 1:5b-6

Before one can be ordained by God to lead His people, one must first prove to be a righteous patriarch.  A man must be able to show himself faithful as a husband and a father because this is a reflection of the character of God.  As stated above, He is a Husband and a Father to His people.  This is not a suggestion, but is God's command.  The proving ground for leadership in His Body is that one be established as a Godly husband and father.

I'll end it with this.  Too many professing Christians claim that they can disregard God's words because they are led simply by the Spirit.  This is a false statement and the doorway to deception and error.  The Spirit of God was sent to remind God's people of His words, not replace His words.  The Spirit and the word work together to birth and mature God's children.  If the Spirit leading you is doing so in a way that is diametrically opposed by God's word, then you are being led by a false spirit.

Patriarchy is not the contrivance or perversion of man's imagination, but it is the reflection of the nature of a holy God. When we fight against patriarchal authority, we are fighting against God Himself.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to that. feminism has destroyed such an important aspect of life. even men of today are afraid to be men lest they be labled all sorts of unflattering things. I want a husband who is a man, not some twisted version of a sister. Not taking charge in the home. not being the head of the family. I wonder where I will find a Godly husband. but the Lord will provide. Still, I have the perfect Husband and Father in him.


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