Promoting Patriarchy and Fighting Pantheism, plus Adventures to the Amazon and to Space (!)

Vision Forum’s Ten Lessons from 2010 and Ten Visions for 2011 is a great overview of this organization and a glimpse at what we can expect from it in the coming year. You can read the full report here and my discussion of the reflections on 2010 here.

In 2011 Vision Forum will continue promoting its vision of the family by nurturing “manhood,” fostering “multigenerational faithfulness” and promoting “biblical” homeschooling. The organization promises to continue its:

outreach to the Christian family: turning the hearts of fathers to their families; proclaiming the nobility and glory of motherhood; reviving the doctrine of “women and children first;” embracing the blessing of children and the sanctity of human life; building a culture of virtuous boyhood and girlhood; reinforcing godly masculinity and femininity; understanding family culture as religion externalized; teaching history as the providence of God; developing biblical worldview through presuppositional thinking; training character by Hebrew discipleship and home education (and) communicating the applicability of the law of God.

 

On the surface, these goals seem rather benign, if quaint, naïve and outdated. But just below the surface, this is Christian Reconstructionist dominionism through biblical patriarchy. If you are a reader of my work here at RD you will recognize the coded language in the references to providential history, biblical worldviews, presuppositionalism, and biblical law. The “glory of motherhood” and the “blessing of children,” includes the ideas that these are to be the only life choices open to women and that limiting the number of children in any way (including contraception) is a violation of God’s plan and promotion of a “culture of death.”

Vision Forum begins this week with “Charting Manhood in a Lost World,” an adventure in the Amazon billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to muck through the Amazon like a man, with men, on a manly adventure.” (Emphasis added but, yes, that’s the actual text.) VF also promises an announcement of the details of a “manhood boot camp,” to prepare young men for life and manhood by offering a “framework of how to dress, speak, talk, and walk like a man (offering) a healthy vision to model excellence as a potential suitor, and provide clear, biblical guidelines on what they need to accomplish before pursuing a woman’s hand in marriage.”

Long engaged in the creationist movement, in 2011 VF will continue to play a central role in the recent effort to mobilize creationists to challenge environmentalism as an alternative (anti-Christian, dangerous and deadly) religious worldview. The Amazon Adventure promises the opportunity to learn about the “great battles with environmental pantheism from the epicenter of the fight,” as well as to “observe exotic and strange creatures, evaluating them from a distinctively Creationist perspective.” 

VF also plans to launch “Reforming Food and the Family,” an effort to apply biblical principles to the place of food in our lives and the ethics of food production assessing the issues raised by the “anti-Christian Green Movement,” especially government control and regulation of food production.

VF’s “most ambitious project to date” is A Journey From Earth to Space to Refute the Pantheists and Declare the Glory of God.

What is the Earth? Our mother? An object of worship? The product of an evolving universe? Or is it something more? Why is this complex, carefully balanced, glorious blue-orb floating in space here to begin with? Does it represent the most important location in the all of the universe, because here God declared that man was to subdue it and exercise dominion over the land, the plants, animals, and natural resources for His glory? Or is it even more? Is it in fact the location of the greatest event in the history of the cosmos—the incarnation of God Himself, His death and resurrection, and by those acts, the true hope of redemption for man and the earth itself.

While the manly-man adventure to the Amazon is a literal adventure, this trip to space is actually a documentary, intended to “address the defining issue of the 21st century—the battle over sovereignty on this earth.”

jingerso@unf.edu'

Julie Ingersoll is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida. She is the author of Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles and is currently writing a book on the influence of Christian Reconstructionism.