The officers of Stone Mountain Baptist Church hold to and teach patriarchalism. Patriarchy means father rule. We believe that men, as men, rule, lead, and lord, wherever they are men. By man’s created nature, he has this duty, and will be judged by God for how he discharges the execution of his nature.
As with many fundamental Christian doctrines, the patriarchy is inescapable through the Bible’s pages. That said, 1 Corinthians 11 stands out as an important passage in establishing a patriarchal understanding of sexual reality and law. In it, we read that the world is hierarchically ordered. God is the head of Christ, the Son in his office as the Chief Man, the Second Adam. Christ is the head of man. Man is the head of woman. This is a statement of being that establishes oughtness. Man is the head of woman. Man is the glory of God. Woman is the glory of man. Again, this is a statement of being that establishes oughtness. Man is not made from or for woman. Woman is made from and for man. No, man is not independent of woman. He ought not be haughty. But it is clear that the Bible doesn’t disagree with what we also know from experience. Women glorify men. They are made from man and for man. Man is head. Woman is helper. And this is true wherever man is man and woman is woman. It is the duty of man and woman to live at peace with what they are.
Patriarchalism is distinct from complementarianism in that complementarianism denies that man and woman are different in nature. Complementarianism tries to thread the needle between patriarchalism and egalitarianism by saying man and woman are equal in nature but different in role. This idea, fine sounding though it may be, cannot be held together with 1 Corinthians 11, which makes it clear that God made man and woman’s nature to be hierarchically oriented. Man and woman do not simply have variously assigned roles, to be taken up and put down in context. Man and woman are man and woman and are legally required to act as such at all times, within the order of God’s established hierarchy.
Patriarchalism is distinct from egalitarianism in that egalitarianism denies man and woman are different in nature or role. It asserts that man and woman are essentially the same and may do the same, as they believe themselves to be led.
This stands in direct contradiction to what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11, and also opposes Paul’s reasoning in passages like 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Paul’s reason for why a woman is not permitted to teach men in the gathered assembly is not rooted in some cultural norm at the time of his writing. Instead, Paul cites creation. “Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
Man and woman are creational realities to glory in, not bonds to throw off in rebellion.