Posted by: James McDonald | November 14, 2007

What Happened to the Patriarch’s Path?

2001 McDonald Family PictureI received the following comment recently – “What happened to the Patriarch’s Path? I used to enjoy the articles and discussions. Why can’t I find them any longer?”

Instead of answering it as a comment, I decided it best to make my answer a blog post.

How time flies! Just look at our 2001 family photo amidst the picturesque Texas bluebonnets. My, how the children, and our family size, have grown. When this was taken, our old ministry, The Patriarch’s Path, was quite active! 

As some may know, years ago I created a website called the Patriarch’s Path. This site became a repository for articles from friends who were striving to support biblical families. It became surprisingly very active with thousands of hits per day. Eventually, we set up a discussion forum that had hundreds of users. It was our first Internet baby!

But God brought new opportunities to us. Our speaking, publishing, and writing ventures began to consume more time, and I took on weekly preaching responsibilities at our church. Since our desire was to be focused on living out what we taught and training up our children in the ways of God each day, we found little time leftover to maintain our site, the Patriarch’s Path.

Also, many of the articles we wrote were rushed – sometimes nothing more than an email post turned “article of the day!” Many times we discussed our need to schedule time to get back to our old articles to edit and delete where necessary. But months turned into years and we never found the time.

Also, our theological views and teachings, as well as those of some of the authors hosted on our site, matured and changed over the years. How many people believe exactly the way they did on every point of Scripture ten years later? Sanctification is a process and God still shows me errors in my thinking.

In addition to that, new divisions arose within the church. Debates raged over terms and definitions. We found ourselves in a conundrum as we studied these issues. While we agreed with the earlier writings of some of the authors, their newer works concerned us. While we certainly considered them Brothers in Christ, we could no longer endorse them wholeheartedly.

And the discussion forum was as active as ever – but without moderation! That concerned us as well, as we felt responsible for what and how issues were discussed – yet we didn’t have time. We began to feel overwhelmed.

So, we were faced with multiple dilemmas: The site had not been updated for years; certain theological changes of some authors concerned us; the discussion forum was out of control; some of our articles needed a good edit; and we did not have time to do the work.

So, the decision was made to pull the site down and consolidate our efforts on the local ministry God had called us to in Central Illinois. In addition to that, as God granted us time, we would focus on our writing.

Our personal positions on the issues of family and faith have changed very little over the years. These can be found on the page, “What is Family Reformation?” Thus the spirit of the site is being continued on our blogs and through our ministry.

As we have time, we plan on going through all of the articles, one at a time to ensure their accuracy. When that happens, as promised we will relaunch them on a new and improved Family Reformation Ministry website! So, pray for us to have time!

Thank you for your question – and your understanding.


  1. Just yesterday, Stacy reposted one of the most popular articles from The Patriarch’s Path, But I AM Submissive! More to come!


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