- MISSING FROM ACTION
- A Powerful Historical
Response to the Crisis among American Men.
"The homes of our land have
become battlefields for domestic power struggles."
Comments to those who have just received a copy of the book,
MISSING FROM ACTION
We would like to share a word
or two with you regarding the content of this book. Authors
Hardenbrook and Somerville have gone to the heart of a very serious problem,
and in so doing, touch several nerves deep within both the male and female
psyche . Their motive in writing and our motive
for sharing are not to cause pain, but rather to bring healing and hope.
As you read what they’ve written, you may experience some emotional
distress or indigestion. Please keep in mind that your condition will
serve as a catalyst in your quest to find answers to this grave crisis
facing our families and society.
After scanning the Table of Contents
and reading the Acknowledgments, Preface, and Chapter 1, I
immediately suggested to my wife that we read the book together, on our
living room sofa and aloud. We would strongly recommend this approach
to couples, as you will frequently feel the need to stop and discuss the
subject matter with your marriage partner. If you’re not married,
you’ll do well to read it alone. If you would like someone to talk
with, my wife and I are available via the email link next to our names
below. Given the nature of the material, we would discourage using the
book in any group setting or Bible study fellowship.
Comments to those who are reading PART I of MISSING FROM
first three chapters, Part I, focus heavily on the plight of fathers,
husbands, and men in general. The authors have, except for Chapter 6,
either intentionally or unintentionally omitted much direct discussion
regarding mothers, wives, and women. We mention this not so much as
criticism, but to make readers aware of the authors' dominant perspective on
a very complex problem. The general premise of their book is that a
majority of men have become "feminized"
 and thus shamefully irresponsible.
The authors are given to only an occasional remark on how women have
contributed to or exacerbated the problems. 
The problems of men are our own
We have lost our way to true manhood and thrown responsibility to the
wind. Now we’re reaping a whirlwind. If we men continue to
refuse to be men, women will continue to move into the roles of service
and responsibility men have traditionally filled in the past. p. 17
...the increasing failure of the
American male to exercise this responsibility is a primary reason why
men are confused about what it means to be a man in modern America.
In response, my wife states, "The problems
of women are our own fault, as well. Rather than humbly
refusing to take a place on the Victorian pedestal [p. 121], women
gladly accepted the position and subsequently became puffed up in their
minds and hearts. While men may have become guilty of sins of laziness
or abandonment, women became guilty of pride and insubordination. Men
and women have both been guilty of violating the spirit of Matthew 7:3-5,
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no
attention to the wood plank in your own eye?""
Further, Hardenbrook and Somerville appear
unaware of the rise and trickle-down influence of New Age gnosticism, with
its feminist agenda and matriarchal emphasis on goddess worship. See
NEW AGE, NEW ABSOLUTES. What would seem distant and removed
is becoming the driving force behind radical feminism and its sibling,
Christian feminism. The average Christian woman is woefully naive how
these worldly and ungodly ideas and attitudes have infected literature
sitting on her devotional shelf at home. Can we honestly blame men for
Consequently, in contrast to the
theme found in this book as well as today's Christian men's movements [most
notably Promise Keepers], an effective solution will require men and
women to admit their culpability, and for both to take responsibility for:
1) becoming established in the truth of Scripture, in particular the
given by the Lord Jesus Christ via the Apostle Paul, and then 2)
re-establishing biblical marriages and families. Without this, "the
homes of our land" will continue to be the "battlefields for domestic power
struggles." p. 213
The task will be neither simple nor easy
as the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and family are complex.
Dozens of book reside in our home library. Write us for recommendations.
Comments to those who are reading PART II of MISSING FROM
Part II, the authors begin laying the groundwork regarding their
"cure" for the problem of gender inversion in American society. In
Part III, they will unfold their solution. Before you begin
reading Part III, we will describe right up front their answer and
also explain where they’ve gone wrong. In spite of their errors, the
authors have much of value to say to all Christians, no matter what your
denominational preference may be.
you peeked at the Appendix at the back of the book, it may not come as a
surprise that Weldon Hardenbrook is "Father" (Archpriest) John Weldon
Hardenbrook. Fr. John oversees Saints Peter and Paul Church, Ben
Lomond, California. His church is affiliated with the Antiochian
Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, one of many denominational
expressions of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. Weldon
Hardenbrook was ordained in the Orthodox church back in the early 1970s.
In short, his "cure" for the
feminized American male as well as the curse of matriarchy is the
re-establishment of patriarchy in both family and church.
Patriarchy is the biblical and
traditional blueprint for family life. The American home has no chance
for survival without it. p. 216
While both forms of patriarchy and
matriarchy were cultural norms found among of the ancient earthly people of
God (Israel) and the Near East, it would
seem the authors are either unable or unwilling to differentiate between
different forms of patriarchy; nor do they seem to acknowledge the negative
side-effects of some historical and contemporary expressions of male
authority. For Frs. Hardenbrook and Somerville, a biblical patriarchy
will only be found in a revival of sacramental, ascetic, ecclesiastical
religion -- namely the extension of Eastern Orthodoxy. Much of the
last part of the book is an apologetic, an evangelistic introduction into
the tenets of his "evangelical" brand of Eastern Orthodoxy. We believe
this approach falls far short of the need of the hour – in fact, any hour.
[Update 12/6/98. Hardenbrook, Somerville, and 18 other men were
deposed, defrocked, and excommunicated by their Antiochian Orthodox
denominational machinery during the summer of 1998 for being a "schismatic
Shown below are our brief comments on
Chapters 4, 5 & 6:
CHAPTER 4 - In an effort to explain
how the process of feminization began, the authors begin with colonial
America. They notably point out that theology historically
has been "a manly topic," that colonial men reveled in theology,
and that early America enjoyed a "patriarchal model of family structure."
While husbands and wives were considered equals, each had a role
which contributed to the overall well-being of the family and each other.
This view is confirmed in the fine work,
Never Before in History. The authors further assess the condition of 17th century women, the
relationship between fathers and sons, and early colonial courtship. Not until we arrive at their discussion of "Extended Families" did
we detect a proverbial 'fly in the ointment'. The authors finish this
chapter with a eulogy to the old-world clan
system of family. In a typical clan, absolute authority is vested
in a senior family member. While one may be able to identify the
existence of clans in ancient Jewish culture, this 'umbrella-type'
organizational structure is contrary to Christian teaching. Pastor Ray
R. Sutton makes these observations in this book That You May Prosper:
When Christianity began its trek
across this barbaric part of the world [medieval Europe], there
was a constant "Hatfield vs. McCoy" type of feuding. The family
had absolute power to convict and even execute its own members.
The [Protestant] Church broke down the clans through its court system.
It argued that the father does not have absolute authority. The
'check and balance' on his power is the court of the Church.
Clans... simply transfer to the father
[patriarch] the kind of authority which the Roman Catholic Church
officially invests in the Pope. A father [patriarch] becomes a
final court of earthly appeal, one who can veto a marriage.
This is radically anti-Biblical.
For a biblical understanding of marriage anchored in Genesis, pre and
post Fall, we point readers to Dr. Richard M. Davidson's magnum opus
FLAME OF YAHWEH: Sexuality in the Old Testament, Hendrickson, 2007.
Specifically see Chapters 1 & 2.
CHAPTER 5 - The authors
continue their diagnosis with a look into America's "spirit of
independence." However, their understanding of American history will
strike most well-read American Christians as rather strange. They
erroneously assert that America's break with England and "political liberty
in the colonies" spawned a "distinctly novel American anomaly, the
independent church." Have the authors' affiliation with Eastern
Orthodoxy blinded them to the centuries-old abuse and corruption of
religious bureaucracies -- the State Church? Are they unaware or have
they forgotten the histories of the European independents such as the
original Protestants, Puritan/Congregational Independency, Anabaptists,
Waldensians, Baptists, and Brethren? Do they accord no
cause/effect to the widespread secular influence of the Renaissance and the
18th century Enlightenment which affirmed, in the words of historian Thomas
Langford, "the radical independence and competent rationality of
human beings"? Since it appears to be these authors' goal to establish
themselves within the "true" Church, readers should be forewarned of their
subtle and not-so-subtle efforts to discredit the entire Western tradition
of Christianity. Beware!
While the authors do have several valid
points in this chapter, they simply have the 'cart before the horse'.
The roots of radical independency and unaccountability are traced to the
Enlightenment and those denominations which drink at this well.
See our article THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE. European and
American Christian separatists have fought, many times at the expense of
their blood, to free the Church from dead ritualism and to restore the lost
"connection with the Head." [Colossians 2:19].
CHAPTER 6 - Our authors have
provided solid evidence that the 17th and 18th centuries marked the
widespread demise of genuine masculinity. For Messrs. Hardenbrook and
Somerville, the 19th century is characterized as the beginning of feminism,
the "reign of the Victorian woman" -- a reversal of role -- gender
inversion. Consistent with their fundamental axiom, men are again
solely to blame.
Hear me out: it was not the fault of
the women. American men were the chief architects of this
fantasy of Victorian feminism. p.123
Men saddled women almost exclusively
with the burden of being the collective moral conscience of America.
Their choice of words paints a picture of a
largely passive female -- always a questionable image. However, if
their portrait is accurate, yesterday's women are certainly a far cry from
today's manipulative dominionist.
The authors then chronicle a 5 step process
by which men "systematically divorced themselves from virtually every
meaningful area of moral responsibility."
- The Erection of the [Victorian]
- The Moral Surrender of Men
- Women Take Over Home, School, and
- The Elevation of Motherhood over
- Women Take Responsibility for
Public Mercy and Moral Reform
Strong medicine! The average condition
of today's male is tragic. To support our contention that American men
are not alone is this crisis, we call the reader's attention to the recent
THE FULL MONTY. In this movie, a group of unemployed British
steelworkers struggle with loss of male identity and purpose. The
motley crew addresses their angst by becoming male exotic dancers -- a
role once reserved for the opposite sex. The movie is a
comedy only for those who've never been touched by the plight of "down and
Similar to Messrs.
Peter Gillquist, Jon Braun, Dick Ballew, and Jack Sparks, Weldon Hardenbrook
was a 1960’s refugee out of the ecumenical/Arminian para-church
organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, International (CCCI). See his
comments on page 221. Due to the serious theological errors of
CCCI, particularly in the realm of the Christian
life and spiritual maturity, these men suffered a "great deal of frustration
and disillusionment." Campus Crusade, under the leadership of the late
Dr. William ("Bill") Bright, erroneously promotes a form of "instant
spirituality" which is said to result from their mechanical/rote "by faith filling with
the Spirit." This concept is built on a misinterpretation of Ephesians
5:18. See http://withchrist.org/filling.htm.
It was the bitter experience of repetitive
failure (sin syndrome) that drove these men to abandon CCCI and then even
turn their backs on the evangelical Protestant realm. All of the leaders
mentioned above, including Franky Schaeffer – son of the well-known Dr.
Francis A. Schaeffer, became clerics (for a time) in a version of Eastern Orthodoxy.
In the early 1970s shortly before their departure, Miles Stanford wrote:
…there are those whose disillusionment
has driven them into error. For example, we think of several
leaders who are no longer with Campus Crusade, namely, John Braun, Peter
Gillquist and Hal Lindsey. True to CCCI principles, these highly
talented young men were dependent upon confession of sins for the
filling with the Spirit and the expected spirituality. Lack of
results resulted in total disillusionment.
Their understandable reaction caused
them to go to the opposite extreme, to do away with confession of sins.
They reasoned that since their sins were already forgiven, why confess
them? Instead, just thank God and continue on. Mainly due to
this [erroneous] teaching as set forth in Gillquist’s book LOVE IS NOW,
many have been turned aside from the privilege and responsibility of
confessing their sins, thus seriously damaging their fellowship with the
Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
From the website
Pokrov.org we read this account:
formerly known as: Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC) and the
Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission (AEOM)
In 1973 a group of former staff
members of Campus Crusade for Christ joined together in forming the "New
Covenant Apostolic Order" (NCAO), which was made up of house churches
established throughout the United States. A new denomination emerged
from NCAO in 1979 with the official announcement of the formation of the
Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC). The group's stated goal was "the
restoration of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." In 1987 most
members of the EOC joined the Antiochian Orthodox Church (AOC) and
became known as the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission (AEOM).
In a decision in 1995, the leaders of
AEOM and the AOC agreed that the AEOM would no longer be a separate
group within the AOC. A February, 1998 schism within a formerly AEOM
parish in Ben Lomond, CA led to the creation of the Orthodox Christian
Brotherhood (OCB) led by Weldon (John) Hardenbrook who was de-frocked by
the AOC. Two-thirds of the parish left the AOC to join the OCB. Most
recently the group has become affiliated with the
February 14, 1998
Letter by the AOC laicizing and suspending the AEOM clergy.
Further, information available on the Internet suggests that many in
these groups were distinctively charismatic (no surprise) as well as
devastated by the heresies of so-called healings and demonism.
Weldon Hardenbrook and the exiled parishioners founded a
in Felton, CA.
Dan and Diane
psyche – the soul or spirit; the mind functioning as the center of thought,
feeling, and behavior, and consciously or unconsciously adjusting and
relating us to our social and physical environment. American Heritage
Dictionary of the English Language
 By "feminized" the authors mean:
…a conditioning process
in modern American culture in which men have been trained to respond to
people and situations in ways that are more akin to historical female
behavior patterns than they are to historical male behavior patterns. p.
example, the authors only touch lightly upon and express "surprise"
at female behavior.
I cannot begin to
relate how many women I have heard over the years talking about the need
for their husbands to be the spiritual leaders of the home. Then, to my
surprise, when their husbands began to take that responsibility, many of
these same women resented it. Why? Because when men begin to establish
spiritual leadership, they threaten women’s [Victorian] role of moral
supremacy. p. 130
This resentment may be the "tip of an
iceberg." Her opposition and irresponsible behavior, engendered by
this resentment, low self-esteem, and lust for power, has left a tragic
trail of wreckage throughout Western society. Also see
THE FEMINIZED MALE:
- responds to people and
situations in ways that are more akin to historical female behavior
patterns than they are to historical male behavior patterns [p.19]
- has thrown responsibility to
the wind [p.17]
- is not committed to his
wife, kids, regular job, or aging parents [p.27]
- has forfeited ultimate
responsibility for moral and spiritual leadership in human affairs
- has lost the traditional
understanding of what it means to be a man and a father [p.20]
- is in turmoil [p.13]
- is confused [p.23]
- suffers from an identity
- may be the 'Wimp'
who continually surrenders and avoids conflict at any cost -- the coward
- is infused with feminine
[typically his mother's] fears
- stands for personal comfort
over principal [p.24]
- lacks the virtues of pluck
and levelheadedness [p.31]
- Examples: Woody Allen,
Frasier and brother Niles
- may be the 'Archie
Bunker' who masks fearful ignorance with a facade of macho
verbiage -- the living lie [p.39]
- at time exercises a
tyrannical leadership style as a cover-up for lack of genuine
- has a repressed sense of
personal impotence [p.28]
- Examples: Al Bundy
- may be the 'Tough Guy'
who strives for unobtainable heights of strength and courage, void of
human sensitivity -- a warrior without a soul [p.39] (e.g., those
driven by obession to climb Mt. Everest at the expense of life itself)
- Examples: Steven Segal,
Bruce Willis, Arnold S.
- may idolizes the
and thus live vicariously through others -- the fantasy [p.39]
- can't quote Scripture or
remember his own anniversary, but gains stature with his peers by
quoting the most obscure sports statistics [p.39]
THE MASCULATED FEMALE:
- ignores or usurps her
husbands leadership [p.80]
- falsely believes her
husband's authoritative manliness is a detriment to her personal
- may suffers from low
- may experience extreme
fatigue and time pressures [p.83]
- may wrestle with severe
loneliness and depression [p.84]
- is typically starved for
genuine romance in her marriage [p.85]
- considers herself the
superior moral director of society [p.119]
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