But most Christians continue to participate, enthusiastically or reluctantly, in expressions of church that have been inherited from the Christendom era. Indeed, the largest and most vibrant churches are traditional in style, conservative in doctrine, autocratic or managerial in leadership style, patriarchal, and institutional. - Stuart Murray (The Naked Anabaptist, p.94)
Why, Mr. Murray, is a church committed to "patriarchal" values something to be lamented? Hasn't the whole thrust of your book been an emphasis on the Anabaptists uncanny ability to submit to scriptural rather than cultural values? But where, pray tell, will you find "egalitarianism" decreed in scripture? Moreover, where in the history of your beloved Anabaptists will you find a group who agreed on good conscience to appoint women as bishops, elders and ministers of the Word? Is this naked Anabaptism or is this naked emerging church jumping into bed with the so-called "post-modern" sexual construct?
Since I would like to be trained in the footsteps of my Mennonite forefather's in preferring the whole of scripture rather than bits and pieces, allow me to belt out a hearty "bring it on!" for a restoration of patriarchal values.
In keeping with the scriptural model, and thus the model given to us by the infallible Lord of heaven and earth (who does not change like shifting shadows), I welcome a church and a society which can freely say:
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands....For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. 1 Peter 3:1a, 5-6a.
It is the example of the infallible scriptures that the wife call her husband "Master". I welcome this, and I thoroughly condemn any so-called "Anabaptist" model which would critique it (and thus scripture, and thus God).
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:23-24
I welcome with rejoicing a church and a society which teaches women to submit to their husbands as the church (supposedly) submits to Christ as Lord. This goes far beyond mere complementarianism to a direct hierarchy. The church will never issue commands to Jesus or compel Jesus to submit to it....in the same way the wife will never find herself in a position of lordship over the husband, nor will she ever take on his role of being the head and the one who issues commands.
Both the complementarian model and the egalitarian heresy mirror a church which thinks that it is on equal footing with Jesus and can do all of the things He does to the point where terms like "Lord" and "head" and "Master" become absolutely worthless and empty ways of describing Jesus. If Anabaptism prefers Jesus to culture, it can only oppose these two models with the most fierce and vicious hatred as movements of the devil, finding their source in the pits of Hell and perdition rather than from God, who does not issue doctrines willy-nilly.
Anyways, I want to digress at this point into a subsidiary rant. Insomuch as modern day "Anabaptists" stumble on these very clear scriptural points and teach others to do the same, they have forfeited all right to critique and to judge the church's of "Christendom" which have supposedly relatavised the teachings of Jesus in favor of a cultural ethos. How are they any less guilty of doing this? "Christendom" locates the ethical system of the Sermon on the Mount in some distant eschatological kingdom, and Anabaptists point the scriptural teachings on women to an aberrant infiltration of Jewish culture.
Believe it or not, the Sermon on the Mount has something to say about this:
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Here then is your "Anabaptist" commitment to the Sermon on the Mount. They disown clear christic teachings on the relations between men and women, and the position of women in the church, as being "cultural" rather than "scriptural"....moreover they boast in doing so. And then they cast fierce judgment on "Christendom" for disowning the Sermon on the Mount as ethical mandates for a future era rather than principles which are binding on all Christians today. This is precisely the hypocrisy which the Sermon on the Mount condemns....thus the Anabaptists of today can only emphasize the Sermon on the Mount in a nominal way which, biblically speaking, is a fallacious and excrescent way.