Monday, May 16, 2011

Blog Spotlight Monday - Commandments of Men

Lewis Wells has created somewhat of a stir on the web with his blog Commandments of Men.  To use his own words, Lewis provides "Editorial and commentary on the dark, hyper-fundamentalist side of the Christian faith, including movements such as Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Courtship - and the dangerous hold those teachings are taking over the Christian Homeschooling movement and industry - Family Integrated Churches, the Religious Right, and more" as stated in his current blog subtitle.  His blog, in such a short time, has been responsible for a good percentage of site traffic on my own blog.

The main catalyst for Wells' blog was a failed relationship he had with a woman.  It failed because of her family's involvement in the relationship - a family that practiced ideals within a movement known as Patriarchy.  He looks at many of the beliefs in this movement and similar other movements, such as the courtship movement.

I'm not a stranger to the ideas of the Patriarchy and courtship movements, and had some terrible experiences when I was single with trying to put Joshua Harris's book "Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye" into practice.  I've been part of churches and circles and have had friends that have had ties with or endorsed some of the views that Wells examines, and have heard stories from friends that were just as wacky and bizarre as Wells describes from his own experience.  What it all boils down to is that many of the beliefs in these movements are simply commandments of men rather than true biblical commands for living.  Hence his blog title.

My favorite quote Wells uses, and shows on his blog, is from CS Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under live robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."  I'm extremely experienced with what can happen when men add their own ideas to God's and promote the product as godly.  What I'll do, instead of taking up the fight in this blog post, is to point you to Lewis Wells' blog Commandments of Men so you can read and decide for yourself. 


  1. Geez, I am a homeschooling, patriarchal father of eight who believes in courtship. I think he is talkin' bout me!

  2. Hey, Arthur, thanks for the comment. I saw some of your recent posts and wondered how the label "patriarchy" might be viewed differently by each of you. I'm afraid I wasn't able to pay close enough attention to your posts and should probably go back and read them again someday. Is he talking about you? I'm not going to moderate a feud, here, so maybe I should back off! ;)

  3. Can it be said that all these issues can be both supported and rejected with spiritual conviction and God's Word?
    Then Mr Wells needs to do a little reading in Rom. 14 & 15 about not looking down, judging, refusing relationship, those for whom Christ died. God is the one who makes us stand, not whether we have exactly the right position on patriarchy, dating, etc. If a believer claims to be "strong" and not weak, then the greater burden rests on him to take the mature ground. This passage is very powerful in these regards.

  4. I was kidding Steve, I have never heard of this guy although I am guessing he is not subscribing to my posts!

  5. Lewis is dealing with very real abuses within certain sections of Christianity.

    As a former homeschooler who loved homeschooling and never wanted to get out of is, I was still troubled by the hostile take-over that I observed the neo-patriarchy movement actively engaged in at homeschool conventions and elsewhere.

    However men describe patriarchy or whatever they believe that it is, what Lewis is addressing needs to be addressed because the abuses are very real, occuring today, and should not be ignored.

  6. BTW Steve, I would encourage you to read and let me know your thoughts on my series on patriarchy. I hope the spirit it was written in comes across differently than Mr. Wells and his vendetta.