Posts Tagged ‘Jennie Chancey’


Your father is your covenantal head. He is your covering.

Again, says who? She’s operating off the idea that husbands and fathers are federal representatives of their families in much the same way as Adam served as the federal representative of humanity. I haven’t seen a really good case made for this yet. Doug Wilson writes about it in Reforming Marriage… the concept that husbands are the ones who are responsible for their wives’ sin and all that.

Modern women chafe at the command that wives “obey their husbands,” because they want to maintain their own autonomy. This is incompatible with the Christian worldview… When we step out from under our coverings and try to do things “independently,” we deserve whatever happens to us (financial struggles, family arguments, failed marriages, disobedient children, etc.). But you will note that the responsibility still rests squarely upon the male head!

To a agree, I think what Mrs. Chancey says in the first sentence of this quote is true. I know that i have a difficult time with the command to “obey my husband” because I have a hard time accepting the idea that anyone else but Christ (or myself, if I’m being brutally honest) is “my boss.” But what exactly is incompatible with a Christian worldview? The idea that women can be autonomous? I can give plenty of examples from Scripture of “autonomous” believing women. But I guess I just need to remember that God can bless the right thing done the wrong way, or whatever the Botkins say.

I have yet to read a satisfactory answer as to why women need “coverings” or “authorities.” The best I’ve heard is “That’s just the way God designed it.” That’s not really a satisfying answer at all, unless you are male. Is there something inherently wrong with women that we need “protection?” I’m not sure they would ever admit that, but this kind of thinking certainly leads me to believe that they do… that they are taking the whole “women are the weaker vessel” thing a bit too far.

Again, I am looking for Scripture to support the idea of the man as the covenant head of the household and that the result of all this “sin” coming from working, independent women will fall on his head. Last I checked, I am responsible for my own sin.

We all died in Adam, you’ll remember. When Eve took the fruit and ate of it, it was Adam’s sin, because he failed to serve as Eve’s covering and head. It was Adam’s sin that killed the entire race.

Adam’s sin was not not NOT his failure to serve as Eve’s covenant head and protector when she ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam did not sin when Eve sinned. His sin was that He took of the tree and ate of it himself. Adam’s sin was that he disobeyed God and broke the covenant of works (The covenant of works was made in the Garden of Eden between God and Adam who represented all mankind as a federal head. (Romans 5:12-21) It promised life for obedience and death for disobedience. Adam, and all mankind in Adam, broke the covenant, thus standing condemned.) Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree. He disobeyed when he ate of it and was condemned. I see no command of God for Adam to serve as Eve’s covenant head.

So what does the single girl do? Scripture tells us that sons leave, but daughters are given. Daughters do not go out into the world to seek their place in it. They are to serve at home and sit in discipleship at the feet of older women and their own parents.

I’m wondering where God says that sons leave the home while they are single but that daughters do not. I see examples of that happening, but no command to that affect. I would attribute that more to the cultural condition of the time rather than due to an explicit command. There is no command in Scripture for daughters to stay home and serve until they are married. There is a command, however, for them to be about the Lord’s business: “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. (1 Corinthians 7:34b)”

She goes on:

Only older, “true” widows who have lived ogdly lives are given authority to maintain their own households, but younger widows are to return tot heir father’s house until they marry again (if over- see Leviticus 22:13)

Okay, let’s do look at Leviticus 22:13:

But if a priest’s daughter becomes a widow or is divorced, yet has no children, and she returns to live in her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat any of it.

Never mind that the entire chapter of Leviticus 22 is talking about priests and how they are to conduct themselves. The command is not for young widows to return to their father’s homes. In fact, there is no command here! Moses is making a type of in-then statement. If the daughter of a priest is widowed or divorced and she returns to live in her father’s house like she did when she was young, she may eat his food. There is no command here, not even for the daughters of priests of whom Moses is speaking in the context of the passage.

She is to study to become Mrs. Right… A man needs a “helper suitable for him.” He needs someone who can share his concerns, talk about them intelligently and help him come up with solutions.

I agree. But I found that learning how to do those things came after I married my husband. His needs are so specific and can’t really be generalized. That’s what being a “helper suitable” is all about. As a wife, I am suitable for my husband and him alone. God has created me with specific traits and skills that are suitable to bring alongside my husband to help him support his family and grow in the faith. I’m not sure the “relational stuff” can really be learned before you are married.

Daughters need to be taught how to add to the riches of their father’s household as a preparation for enriching their own future homes. If a daughter is not called to marry (the Lord gives her no desire to do so), she should serve in her parents’ home or help other Christian families in theirs (like the servant girls in Proverbs 31 oe like Dorcas). She should never venture out from under her father’s authority and protection. This sounds so backwards and servile in today’s society, but we musn’t care what the world thinks. We must cling to God’s truth and rejoice in it! The gospel is beautiful. It is health and life to meditate upon it. It is death to reject it.

So, this (the above) is the gospel? My husband read this and finally started to get why all this stuff is so troubling to me. It is death to reject patriocentricity because THAT is the gospel. Wow.


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A while back, I found these letters written by Jennie Chancey published on a website and I’d like to interact with them a bit here.  Jennie is well-known for “speaking” her mind and she certainly doesn’t pull any punches here.  Please take the time to read the original letter (the link to the second letter will bep published when I have time to interact with it).

“Letters from Jennie… On College, the workplace, etc.”

Unfortunately, too many modern Christians look everywhere else for answers before turning to the Word (just look at all the “Christian” psychology and counseling books in Christian bookstores).

Okay, I know that this letter was written many years ago, but I do still find it ironic that Jennie has co-authored a book that does the very thing she is writing against here.  Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God is one of those “counseling” books that she rails against here.

I do agree with her premise though.  It is must easier to buy a book from Amazon about whatever ails us than it is to pick up God’s Word and search for the answer.  I am guilty of thise myself and many times over!

So many families believe that a young woman, like a young man, is “free and independent” at age 18 or age 21 and should leave home to strike out on her own.  This is in total opposition to God’s teachings.

There are a few issues to discuss here.  The first one I’d like to point out is that Mrs. Chancey offers no scriptural basis for this statement.  In fact, she offers very little scriptural support in her entire letter.  She makes bold, sweeping statements and, apparently expects her readers to take her word for it because she doesn’t give much support from the Bible at all.  If a belief or action is in “total opposition to God’s teachings” but is commonly believed or practiced by a society, wouldn’t it be prudent to explain why such a belief or action contradicts God’s Word from Scripture itself?

Additionally, Mrs. Chancey states that young men are permitted to be “free and independent,” but that young women are not.  Again, a Scriptural basis for this statement would be nice.  She points out repeatedly in her letter that men are to leave when they get married whereas women are given in marriage.  Women are never permitted to act independently of their “covenant head.”

And yet, the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus comes to mind.  Here is a young girl, unmarried but betrothed, and still living in her father’s house, under her parents’ authority.  The angel Gabriel appears to her and tells her that she has been chosen to bear the Savior of the world.  She agrees to bear that child.  Her father is not consulted.  Her father isn’t even TOLD of the incident.  Mary agrees, on her own, to allow the Holy Spirit to overshadow her and give her the baby.  She declared “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

I’m not trying to make a grand, sweeping case using one example… and yet, this is a pretty BIG example of a young, unmarried woman acting independently of her “covenant head.”  Who was Deborah’s head?  Who was Lydia’s head?  Who was Phoebe’s head?   Who was Mary Magdelene’s head?  Who was Mary of Bethany’s head?  Who was Marthat’s head?  Who was Miriam’s head? Miriam, the prophetess, was unmarried.  There is no mention of her father, only her brothers, Moses and Aaron.

As to whether or not a daughter or a son, should leave home to “strike out” on their own?  I believe that is a decision to be made between parents and children in individual families.  I do not see a case made against that in Scripture, nor do I see a command or a precept that sons are free to be independent, while daughters are not.  Do we see examples of independent sons and dependent daughters?  Absolutely!  But it behooves us to ask ourselves if this is because it is commanded by God or if it is rooted more in the cultural mores of the time.

Starting in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy), we see that God made woman for man.

And here I would disagree again.  God made the wife for her husband, not the woman for the man.  The natural outworking of Mrs. Chancey’s statement is that all women must be under the authority of all men and that simply is not the case.  I don’t think that she even believes this.  Her statement is probably just poorly worded.  What she is saying is that women were created to be helpers to their husbands and that wives are in subjection to men because it is part of the created order and not due to the Fall.

Conversely, man was made to protect, cherish and nourish the woman.  Men who are not doing that and are not loving their wives as Christ loved the church are covenant-breakers.

If that statement is true, then all husbands, including her own, are covenant-breakers.  Men are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church, but no man does this every moment of ever day.  Do we really need to call them “covenant-breakers?”  Especially when you weigh that statement against this one:

Women who refuse to stay home and obey their fathers or husbands are also covenant-breakers.  They are inverting God’s created order, which is God-Man-Woman-Animals.  Today we have Animals-Woman-Man-God.

So much for her claim that she doesn’t expect all women to live exactly as she does, but that’s beside the point.  I’m not sure what she means by “created order” because if we are basing our views of gender roles on the order of creation then wouldn’t animals be on top?  They were created before men!  I know that’s a stretch since animals aren’t created in God’s image, but stick with me here.  Men and women are equal image bearers of God.  Most complementarians would say that men and women are equal in essence or being and unequal in function or role.  I’m still debating whether or not complementarians can actually claim equality in essence because it is by virtue of a man’s “maleness” that he is placed in authority over the woman.  Male authority isn’t about body parts.  Its about being male.

Getting back to it though… so women who refuse to stay home and obey their fathers or husbands are covenant-breakers.  How so?  I’m looking for a full-time job because my husband asked me to.  I am neither refusing to stay home nor acting in disobedience to my husband so how, exactly, am I a “covenant breaker”?  I know she’s referring to “working women” like me, but I’m still hoping for an explaination at some point.

Moving on to the books of the law, we see in the case laws (these are the laws which tell us how to live the ten commandments) that God puts a daughter under her father’s protection.

Chapter and verse please.  Oh, you mean Numbers 30?  The sole scripture that is ever used to support this kind of argument?  Well, how many holes we can poke into that one!  All children, daughters and sons, are commanded to obey their parents and to honor their parents in the Lord.  No distinction is made between mother and father.  I would put forward that a daughter is just as much under her mother’s authority and protection as she is her father’s.  I see that idea permeated throughout Scripture as we see women involved in the affairs of their families, women bringing their children to Jesus for healing, and women becoming Christians and having their entire households baptized by virtue of their faith.

This post is plenty long and I’ve just done the first page of Mrs. Chancey’s letter!  Some concluding thoughts as I wrap up: Jennie Chancey, Doug Phillips, the McDonalds, et al, all operate on the premise that the Bible speaks to each and every single aspect of our lives, no matter how big or small.  I recently listened to Doug Phillips’ CD “How to Think Like a Christian” wherein he details what ails American society and the Christian church and how the solution to that is to look to the Bible for answers.  Well, I have news for Mr. Phililps- the Bible does not answer every question posed to it.  It just doesn’t.  And sometimes the idea that it does is carried way too far and it ends up trumping Christian liberty and creating rules where God has not.  This kind of thinking breeds the kind of legalism that Vision Forum, LAF, Family Reformation Ministries, Kevin Swanson and others propogate.  No, not works to merit salvation, but the kind that creates laws where God has not.  The kind that comes up with commands where God has allowed for liberty.  The kind where obscure Scriptures (and the obscure ones are just as important as the “biggies”) are used to create an entire paradigm of thinking and lifestyle that are then to be imposed on the entire Christian church.

I would like Jennie Chancey to respond to this story from Peets Coffee about their new “Las Hermanas” coffee:

Las Hermanas

Crafted for Peet’s by a sisterhood of growers on their own plots of land, Las Hermanas coffee is smooth and balanced with the brightness of spring’s new crop.

“In 2001 we first bought coffee from a small cooperative of women farmers in Nicaragua. Year after year, this co-op has produced exceptional coffee, and over time we have built a direct relationship with the group of inspirational women, which has given them control over their own destinies and livelihoods. As a result of our long-term contracts and the premium prices we pay for their quality coffee, “the sisters” have developed their community and their co-op in ways that inspire us anew every year.

Membership in Las Hermanas has empowered these women to move from subsistence to sustainability, from impoverished landless laborers to smallholders free of crushing debt. They now own their own land, have access to cooperative financing, agronomical training and social programs. For Maria Elia Castillo – who struggled even to send her children to school before joining the cooperative – selling Hermanas coffee has brought vast improvements to her quality of life, providing daily necessities we would take for granted. Things as simple as a table and chair so her family can eat a meal together, or beds for her children. Formerly a landless laborer, she is now a successful member of the community whose children are not only able to attend school, but are also learning about environmental and social stewardship, ensuring that the next generation of Las Hermanas has more opportunities than Maria could have dreamed of.

We have also been able to support the women of Las Hermanas through our work with Grounds for Health

Every member of Las Hermanas has their own story of hope and inspiration that we at Peet’s are proud to tell – and proud to support through the sale of this fresh, sweet, new crop coffee.”


If Mrs. Chancey’s precepts are indeed God’s precepts, then they should be lived out everywhere, at all times, in all nations, and in all circumstances.  Financial hardship and lack of “proper authority” are no excuse.  And yet, the women of Las Hermannes would not be able to survive if they didn’t have this coffee farm.  Send Jennie’s letter down to them and see how fast it would be thrown into the fire.  For the vast majority of the world’s population, especially the world’s Christian population, living these principles is just impossible.

I’m not sure how to end this post.  Suffice it to say that there’s more and it gets worse.

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