by Emily from Christian Patriarchal Watch List For Parents as quoted from Facebook
“Is there a test that will tell me if I’m more of a prophet, a priest, or a king?”
This is a quote from a young male church planter. He goes on,”I’ve gotten this question a lot lately, and to my knowledge, no such assessment exists.[emphasis added] Most leaders, however, will recognize themselves quite readily in one of the three general profiles…” http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/…/prophet-priest-an…
You may have noticed that there is a massive church planting movement spreading across the country. You might even go to one of these churches. Many of these churches are very hip and cool, have really engaging websites, are very millennial and distressingly many are highly patriarchal and are into this neo-monarchical view of male leadership. We have tons of them here in New England and in fact many of these networks are targeting New England. I know people who go to these churches and many do not realize that in their founding DNA they are infused with this “new” men-as-prophet-prier-king leadership philosophy which has become popularized in the past 10 years or so which is encouraging young men to start churches and discern whether they are a modern-day “prophet”, “priest” or “king”. And guess what, this is not just their role in the church but also in the family.
I feel morally compelled to alert people to this mindset because it is creeping into so many churches and para-church organizations and so many don’t even know it is happening!!! From what I can tell is is being led by the neo-Reformed theological world but it is getting popularized beyond this niche. It is highly logical and linear and seems to be appealing to young men who barely out of seminary who are still in that highly egoic life stage where they have a high need to fashion themselves as preeminent and a cut above others.
Let me resist the impulse to further commentary and let you hear right from various sources. (the worst is at the end so slog to the end or skip ahed) What do you think? Is this what you want American Christianity? Is this the religious climate you want to raise your daughter in? And your sons? If you have been in the evangelical subculture, have you sensed this shift from the more softened husband as “servant leader” to this more monarchical “males is king” tenor? Is this highly stratified gender norms compatible with the post-colonial, post-monarchical more level vision of society that most of us presume for our daughters and our sons to grow up in?
“If you’re a leader in the church, here’s a helpful chart to think through strengths and inclinations using the grid of prophet-priest-king. These three categories are used to contrast… see here for how they are helping men discern which type they are…” (see chart to discern if you are a male prophet, male priest or male king) http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/…/triperspectival-leader…/
Here’s a blog where you hear some dialogue between these cutting edge new thinkers: “I recently had a dialogue with another pastor about the office of prophet, priest and king in church leadership. ”
“As a result of our union with Christ by faith, we are positionally prophets, priests and kings. We are by virtue of His own office-holding, His merit and the indwelling Spirit. We exercise these imperfectly in keeping with our finitude, sinfulness and the reality of the Body needing various parts.
Prophets- communicating God to people & for God to people.
Priests- communicating to God for people & bringing people to God.
Kings- bringing the reign of God to the church & this world (via mercy, elder-rule, stewardship, discipline, parenting etc.)
Spiritual Gifts given to individuals => for the good of the church => for the benefit of the world => for the glory of God. We tend to take links out of that chain!
Prophets tell you where we need to go.
Kings know how to get where we need to go.
Priests make sure we feel God’s presence & loving concern while we go there.”
Here is a new book called Church Planter by Darrin Patrick which helps men sort through which “office” they are:
“Based on the offices of Christ (prophet, priest, and king), this triperspectival approach has been popularized over the past five years but to my knowledge not been widely accessible in book format. Patrick argues that the three basic skills of being a pastor or church planter is leading (king), teaching (prophet), and shepherding (priest). One way to assess each perspective is to consider the questions each one answers. The prophet answers the what question (speaking God’s truth to God’s people); the priest answers the who question (considering who needs care, encouragement, counsel); and the king answers the how question (giving oversight to the systems and structures to accomplish the mission of the church)”.
Here is the “best” summary in a popular Reformed journal that I have found online (you have to register for most of these church planting online journals) which clearly delineates how this church planting movement is encouraging men to be prophets, priests, and kings in the church and at home:
Exploring a Husband’s Role as Prophet, Priest, & KIng
In theology, Christ occupies the classic, threefold office of prophet, priest, and king. Let’s explore how this relates to you.
1. The Role of a Prophet. A prophet represents God to people. In the Old Testament a prophet would face the people and speak. Jesus was a prophet who spoke the Word of God to the people and was, in fact, the Word incarnate. A prophet speaks for God.
A husband is to be the family prophet. He represents God to his wife (and by extension his family, the fruit of their union). When his wife reacts emotionally, he calms her with His wisdom. He proclaims the gospel of faith to his family. He provides biblical instruction and training to his wife and children without becoming legalistic. He prepares family devotions, and encourages private devotions. He is the arbiter of family values. He insists on regular church attendance. He is a messenger from God to his family.
2. The Role of a Priest. If a prophet represents God to people, then a priest represents people to God. In the Old Testament a priest would turn his back to the people and mediate for them before God. Jesus is the High Priest who mediated between people and the Father by the sacrifice of His life. A priest mediates before God.
A husband is to be the family priest. He represents his wife and children to God. He spends time in prayer each day remembering the needs and concerns of his wife. He prays for the salvation of his children. Like Job, he asks the Lord to forgive the sins of his children. He sets the spiritual temperature in the home. He sacrifices his life for theirs. He is a mediator to God for his family.
3. The Role of a King. A king takes responsibility for the welfare of his people. He provides both justice and mercy to his people. Jesus is a king from the line of David. A king provides for and offers protection and security for his people.
A husband is to be the family king. He provides for the needs of his family. He works diligently to earn enough for food and shelter. He administers discipline with fairness. He quickly forgives and overlooks offenses. He acts in a manner worthy of receiving honor. He treats his wife with consideration and respect. He is careful not to be harsh with her. He is a provider for his family.
Husbands are to be the anointed spiritual leaders of their wives. Tell your men: “God has anointed you to lead your wife as her prophet, priest, and king. Because of the fall, your wife, according to Genesis 3:16, has a desire for you that is best rendered, “a desire that borders on disease.” So you must be gentle and wise because she is more fragile than you. It is God’s will for your marriage to work. Give her a voice in the marriage. After God, but before all others, make your mate your priority.”
Of course, all of these blogs are encouraging men to be benevolent monarchs but anyone I have spoken with who works in the domestic violence world knows that an I-am-King mindset is not a healthy psychological mindset to have in an intimate relationship and yikes not one we want to be bringing into our churches. So laden with irony… WWJD? Jesus never acted like a king nor did he encourage anyone to do do. Please watch out for this mindset and speak up if you see even any glimmer of it. One little regression leads to another… and another… In a world where women and girls are still very much suffering from this mindset, please lets not let this become normalized in our churches or parachurch organizations. To suggest that boys are born to wear a crown and girls not is just so irresponsible in the humanitarian climate of our world where girls are still born into such a low social status. All of us are born with spiritual crowns to share in God’s “dominion” in the world. (Genesis 1) Not a dominion of one group or person over another (we have seen various apartheid-like social structures throughout human history and these are not kind to anyone) a dominion to co-create with our Creator a more just world.
For more on this distressing, yet highly popularized movement, see this watch list I created: https://sites.google.com/…/neo-reformed-church-planting-net…
Thank you for taking the time to be aware. For the sake of our world’s girls and women but also for the sake of our Creator in whose image we all are made. Any ideology, no matter how holy or sacred it may sound, that says some of us are born to rule and wear a crown and others are born to be ruled and serve is not speaking for God. If you are not sure if your church or organization is into this ideology, the first red flag is if there are no women on the leadership team. (Some churches are more out there with their monarchical view of leaderships and are using the title “Ruling Elders” or “Shepherd Kings”.) From there, you may need to do some “holy sleuthing” and click, click, click on the organization’s website to see what networks it is in.
happy sleuthing for the sake of humankind