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The Who’s Who and What’s What of Poisonous Patriarchy in Contemporary Christianity: Introducing Brian Sauvé

Brian Sauvé of Refuge Church, Ogden, Utah

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

This is the first in a series of posts (The Who’s Who and What’s What of Poisonous Patriarchy in Contemporary Christianity) highlighting current church leaders who promote and teach Patriarchy. Some church leaders encourage men to assume a position of power and control in their homes over their wives. This power-over structure is harmful, demeaning, and depersonalizes women who were made in the Image of God.

I recently ran across Brian Sauvé’s tweets and found them troubling. It is because of his tweets that I decided to take it a step further and create a series of posts on him and other men just like him. I am sick and tired of dealing with the fallout of women who have been harmed by these practices. And it’s not only the wives, it’s their children, too.

Introducing Brian Sauvé, the first in our series of pastors or church leaders who promote the dangerous teachings of Patriarchy. You can find his Twitter account here. Go ahead . . . I dare you.

Here was the first tweet I saw from this dude:

Let’s learn more about Mr. Sauvé

Who: Brian Sauvé, Pastor of Preaching & Liturgy, married with 3 children; Bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies, writes at Deeply Rooted Magazine, For the Church and his personal blog, Mouse & Mane.

Name of Church: Refuge Church in Ogden, Utah

From their What We Believe page:

Theological Distinctives: “Our Elder Team broadly subscribes to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, a Reformed confession.

On Gender Roles: “We believe that  God created men and women in the image of God and therefore absolutely equal in dignity, worth, and value. We also believe that men and women are divinely designed to be different and thus to occupy different—yet complementary—roles within the Church and the home, specifically in the areas of teaching and authority. Because of this, only men may serve as Elders at Refuge Church. We affirm a Christlike father-rule within the home, often referred to as biblical patriarchy.

Calvinism: “We believe that God is sovereign in salvation, that he ordained to raise the spiritually dead through the resurrecting voice of his Spirit, bringing them to salvation in Christ. The Shepherd calls and the sheep hear his voice and obey. We are therefore jovial Calvinists.”

Brian’s personal reading list can be found here. Take note of how many books by Doug Wilson he endorses. :::::ding, ding, ding::::: You will also see books by Doug’s son, N. D. Wilson.

Personal Website: https://www.briansauve.com/

I’ve included more samples of tweets for your enjoyment:

Image may contain: text that says 'Brian Sauvé @Brian_Sauve Aug 3 I don't think many wives realize the incredible power they have to set a tone of joy in their homes. Smile at your husband and kids. Be hard to offend. Lead-don't be led by-emotions. Be sexually inviting. Put hot food on the table. This simple stuff is potent, ladies. ー 00 N'
Image may contain: text that says 'Jan Kragt @jgkragt Aug 3 Replying to @Brian_Sauve Should the hot food be put on before or after the sexual invitations? h Brian Sauvé @Brian_Sauve Aug 3 Before and after is ideal, but both are acceptable. 1 1 14'

Some people have great responses:

17 thoughts on “The Who’s Who and What’s What of Poisonous Patriarchy in Contemporary Christianity: Introducing Brian Sauvé”

  1. Funny, I started reading the quotes from Sauve and thought ‘sounds like DW’!! I wish I had not be so poisoned by that thinking that it feels comfortable and familiar to me.


  2. What is gross dudes obsession with women smiling? Is this a reaction to people asking men not to tell women to smile all the time? It sounds like they are constantly asking women to fake emotions. It’s so gross.

    (all of this is, but that definitely jumps out)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I dealt with this early on in my marriage and that question stayed with me….was I supposed to fake it? I’m sure I addressed it then….but the idea that someone would tell someone that is astonishing. Another thing….if someone is not happy, rather than tell them to smile, why not figure out why they are not happy?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How much of Brian’s list could be easily transferable to a Muslim man? No knocks to Islam. In both cases it seems like they place a high premium on the exterior dress of women.
    I’ve also wondered how Muslims and some complimentarians (Piper and his followers to be clear) both believe nothing happens in our universe without the express will of God (or Allah.) I think Piper even said a leaf doesn’t fall from the tree without God willing it so.
    While homeschooling my four kids, we studied the history of the world and learned how there was a lot of knowledge and learning in Islam until a certain faction took it over. They said there was no need to make discoveries about the Earth/Universe. If anything happened, it was because Allah willed it. I can look up specifics but it happened many hundreds of years ago.
    With both comps and Muslims, there are lots of lists and rules for many things in daily life.
    And, of course, it’s the men who make up the everchanging lists.
    I would LOVE to see a comp woman get permission (Ha!) to make a list of how a perfect husband should look regarding clothes and facial hair, showing emotions, handling their personal sexual needs, etc.
    It’s all about control, which in my personal experience walks hand in hand with a religious spirit.


  5. What is gross dudes obsession with women smiling?

    Stimpy Happy Helmet Syndrome.
    “Are we SMIIIIIIILING Today?”

    As for this Brian “Beard-o” Sauve, judging from the Twitter thumbnail he is wearing the exact same style of facial hair as “Landru”, the French “Bluebeard” serial killer of 100 years ago.


  6. Mr. Sauve’s lists strike me as intellectually lazy, among a number of other things. “Wearing dresses more.” A burka is a dress, but probably not the “dress” Mr. Sauve had in mind. Is it really that hard to say, “Wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive”? Or is it that we don’t want wives to be confident?

    I also find it ironic that half his tips for wives imply using sexuality to get what they want, while also saying wives should not be led by their emotions. Men can be led by sexual desires, but women better rein in those emotions!

    “Wearing dresses more. Smiling a whole lot. Cultivating sexual responsiveness.” Telling women to use their looks and sex to get what they want from their husbands is only going to cause wives to DISrespect their husbands for lack of self-control. “Don’t bother trying a compassionate and well-reasoned discussion to persuade your husband, just go straight to the short dress and swaying hips!”

    And he thinks this is “manly?” Give me a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. HUG, you crack me up, I call them Taliban beards.
    Wild Honey, Then they turn around and accuse women of manipulating them, “sigh” or and self-control, that’s only for women not men. Not much.


  8. I’m out of church for now, if this is all that’s out there. Not much to choose from these days.
    It’s amazing the stress I used to feel when I would walk in the doors and the relief I felt when I exited the building every Sunday.


  9. Sooo…it seems like “smiling femininity” and “feminine dress and manners” are more important to this guy than his daughter having a strong faith…could he be IDOLIZING this characteristics?

    And seriously, his list is contradictory. He wants to manipulate his daughters…but he wants them to grow up to be unmanipulatable.


  10. @HUG, @Pearl, I’ve notice the same weird thing about patriarchs and the beards. There’s an article on Brian where he looks like this normal guy with a wife and kids, then all of the sudden he’s got the sternum-length beard. I wonder if those are going to start being called “wife-beaters” like the white tank-tops.

    I don’t want to be the “Calvinism apologist”… but I had this realization within the last week or so. Calvin and Westminster were 1400-1500. That was before we decided owning slaves was immoral and that wives were not property traded from father to husband. So, on the one hand, I think we need to understand them as somewhat radical within their own culture. However, the new realization is that people who see that era as the pinnacle of the church, not surprisingly, also see that pinnacle as including things like patriarchy and slavery. Even child abuse was not a “thing” until 1864 when someone thought as a legal principle that children should have at least the same rights as animals.

    It’s the same people, I think, who idolize the Founding Fathers – who were pretty cool, but still owned slaves some of whom they raped, had mistresses and came to an agreement that a slave only counted as 3/5ths of a person.


  11. I also find it ironic that half his tips for wives imply using sexuality to get what they want

    Isn’t that called “Pussy Politics”, i.e. Sex as MANIPULATION?

    Don’t know about this manly-man, but getting manipulated that way triggers a very different reaction in me. A NEGATIVE reaction. But then I’m just a beta cuck to whom trust and companionship was always more important than scoring and orgasm.

    And he thinks this is “manly?” Give me a break.

    It is if he’s the type of manly-man whose dick rules his life.
    (Looks down into pants) “COME ON, CRINGER! WE GOT WORK TO DO!”


  12. While homeschooling my four kids, we studied the history of the world and learned how there was a lot of knowledge and learning in Islam until a certain faction took it over.

    Mohammed abu-Hamid al-Ghazali, Incoherence of the Philosophers, 6th/7th Century Islamic Calendar (after the Mongol Invasions burned through the Caliphate).

    al-Ghazali was a contemporary of Thomas Aquinas, and both wrote on the same “Faith vs Science” issue — how to reconcile Greek Philosophy/Natural Theology with Revealed SCRIPTURE. And came to completely opposite conclusions. Sound bite summaries:

    Aquinas reconciled the two as human knowledge/wisdom being a subset of Divine Knowledge/Wisdom. Great as far as it goes, but only a (fallible) part of the whole of knowledge/wisdom.
    al-Ghazali rejected any relationship between the two; completely separate and opposing sets of which FAITH FAITH FAITH must prevail. (His example was a burning cloth is not really burning; God is willing the heat and flame and ash into existence and the cloth out of existence. No relationship whatsoever between the two. In’shal’lah.)


  13. @HUG, @Pearl, I’ve notice the same weird thing about patriarchs and the beards. There’s an article on Brian where he looks like this normal guy with a wife and kids, then all of the sudden he’s got the sternum-length beard.

    In a lot of cultures, the bigger the beard the more Manly the man. Like the beard size is a direct indicator of levels of Sacred Testosterone and amount of Precious Bodily Fluids.

    In Old (pre-18th Century) Russia, beards were part of The Image of God (always portrayed as having a more-than-sternum-length beard) and shaving was Denying God’s Image.

    In Eastern Rite liturgical churches (i.e. Orthodoxy) clergy and monks always let their beards grow. Fr Orthocuban’s blog once stated that the characteristic way for Orthodox laymen to flake out was the “Monk-a-Bee” (wanna-be Monk), dressed and bearded to outdo the monks, fasting and mortifying more than any monk, yet never actually taking vows or placing themselves under the authority of a bishop or abbot like a real monk. Like More-Monk-Than-Thou cosplay. And ZZ Top/Duck Dynasty beards were part of the package, like beard length was THE mark of True Devotion.

    And remember the Taliban’s obsession with Proper Islamic-Length Facial Hair on all men?


  14. One women’s health study regarding “smiles” stated: “Studies have found that what women intend as mere friendliness is often misconstrued by men as flirtatiousness and a signal of sexual interest. ”

    Would that mean, if the goal is friendliness it’s best not to smile…?

    I took note of the “un-manipulatable” item on the list of Brian’s aims for his daughter and thought of double standards, too. I wonder if he plans to model that for her by not being manipulative? And I wonder whether he will help her develop critical thinking skills in order to cultivate this trait in her?

    In one of several discussions that I had with a really good attorney I expressed that I felt bad about not being able to “see”, in the moment, the manipulative tactics of someone. He assured me that he, too, would have trouble with that, in the moment, and that it is more to do with how “those people” are. Given time to evaluate the situation for us, this attorney was perfect and we navigated the situation safely.

    I have no idea whether I smiled during our interactions or not, or whether he did. I think we were intensely talking about ideas and threat/attack, manipulative practices and legal boundaries. I felt like there were really good ideas/counsel to listen to and, also, I felt heard. My contributions and efforts were used in the process and his legal expertise and relational manner were greatly appreciated. I think his aims for his daughter would be quite different than Brian’s.


  15. Instant, unquestioned obedience is the exact opposite of “un-manipulatable”. My church background thought that teaching children to selflessly obey would somehow prepare them for a life of service to God, but instead, it made them unthinking pawns of spiritual abuse. I wonder whether “a life of service to God” was wolf-speak for people who will serve an abusive pastor.

    That said… despite the fact that my parents expected that of us, I think they were duped like many of the parents sitting in the pews, thinking that this was a Biblical formula of raising righteous kids.


  16. And to think that “perpetual smiling” by the woman as a requirement to the fake gospel coming out of the mealy mouths’ of p’astor m’en!

    Indeed, the truth of our Master Jesus are true as “the days are getting darker” within the false “c’hurch.” Now, the sin(?) of not smiling?



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