are sunday schools and youth groups not biblical?

I just finished watched Divided the Movie and have lots of thoughts racing around in my head. While I agree with so much of the identified problems, I don’t believe the solutions presented are broad enough for ministry within our culture today. Are Sunday schools and youth ministries “unbiblical?” Any thoughts?

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Comments

  1. Dave A says

    Mr. Smith,
    Just curious, with the past experience I have had with the FIC movement I am interested to know a bit more about your Church. I believe aways back you said all in your Church were H.S. and all wanted to go the FIC route and “pushed” you into it. If at one time there were others who were not H.S. what happened to them? Did they leave or did you? The reason I ask is I know of many FIC Churches that split off from an existing Church to form a FIC Church. If you check the NCFIC Church list most were started within the last 10 years. There are always exceptions to everything but I wonder if those who pushed were heavily influenced by Vision Forum, their materials and associates? From experience I know I was and I am just curious if that was the case here as well? This is not meant as an attack on you or your Church either.

  2. Laura says

    The point about FIC churches being “all over the place doctrinally” is true- I had a book years ago, I believe called “What about church”, that I think would fit in with FIC philosophically. I remember the theme was that it is more important to gather together with those who share your ideas on homeschooling, role of women, home business and dress, than to worry too much about doctrinal issues.

    Focusing on these lifestyle issues. and demanding conformity in them ,leads to much extra-Biblical legalism !

  3. says

    The notion that the RPW applies to all of life is absurd. To be clear, the RPW and living a life that reflects a genuine Biblical worldview are two entirely seperate issues. I have been part of four reformed congregations through the years and each of them had a distinct interpretation of how formal worship would be done. Even those holding tightly to the RPW had their pet issues, often changing at whim depending on the current elders. Now, trying to apply this to other areas of church life or even personal life becomes one giant open door to all sorts of not only confusion and fellowship issues but legalism and spiritual abuse. Can the NCFIC get any more elitist?

  4. says

    Dave, I have been watching the NCFIC since the early rumblings at Vision Forum a little over 10 years ago. The reason given for beginning this movement initially was to be able to help families find a place to worship so those in home churches would have more formal accountability. What came out of that was the one clearinghouse of info online that enabled families to connect based solely on the one issue of age integration. Of course, we all recognize the fact that there are an unspoken list of distinctives. Ask any mom in the movement what those are and their list has nothing whatsoever to do with the RPW or and doctrinal issues. They will list lifestyle preferences that they want for their families. nearly everyone will mention the betrothal and courtship possibilities. This is why evangelism is so low down the totem pole. They will use the phrase “like-minded families” to describe the people they want coming in to grow their church. This RPW of worship is a red herring. The sufficiency of Scripture mantra is another one. These phrases are thrown out to sound like their are more noble goals than their are. They are also terms they have assigned new meanings to so as to add to the confusion on purpose. Doug Phillps always says He who defines wins” and that is why redefining the discussion and ignoring any real questions is so crucial. This is why they will not engage in true dialogue.

  5. says

    About denominational distinctives….

    One ruse we have seen used over and again is to major on the FIC distinctive, draw in families of all sorts of backgrounds, many who have little awareness of the church constitution or book of church order, and it isn’t until down the road they realize the differences that will not be tolerated. I remember my husband telling one FIC pastor that he needed to be more open and honest about what I guess would be called that church’s interpretation of worldview, but the pastor refused. Eventually when people found out they were going to have to agree on things they had thought were nonessentials, it was ugly. There is often a bait and switch going on in these groups.

  6. says

    Laura, how funny that we were posting at the same tine saying the same thing!
    I would love to track down that book to see who wrote it!

  7. Todd Smith says

    Sometimes it is hard to process all the thoughts, questions etc. on a blog.
    One question for anyone to answer. Do you believe that FIC is a valid “option” for a Church if they desire to be that in practice? What I mean by that is that the Church only has age-integrated ministries, maybe even uses the label FIC. While at the same time maintaining the Gospel and Doctrine as paramount and as I mentioned earlier “In Essentials Unity, in Non-Essentials Liberty, In all things love.” For instance we as a Church body have taken doctrinal stances on non-essential to salvation issues for the sake of unity in the Church. Women’s roles in the Church is one issue. I have some people in my Church that believe Women can be Elders in a local Church. Our stance is that Women are not Elders or Preachers in the Church. We believe that is the biblically correct position but if a person believes a woman can be an Elder I don’t believe that will keep them out of heaven. But we take a stance for unity in the Church. Same with spiritual gifts or any number of other non-essentials. We have a doctrinal position.
    My question is: if a church takes the stance that FIC is a non-essential for salvation issue but for the sake of unity state this congregation is going to function without age-segregation ministries is that acceptable to those who post on this site? Or should no church in your opinion follow an FIC model if they so desire?

  8. says

    Mr. Smith, I believe FIC is a valid option because I believe in Christian freedom, even for Churches. I do not believe it a valid option if it is a major theme of the church. As a Presbyterian (and many Independents), it is the confession of faith agreed upon by all churches that defines any given church in the body of churches. There are lesser issues of freedom that mature churches may practice but should not emphasize. Frankly, our understanding of fellowship, ecclesiology, etc. are apparently different. To publish accusations of evolution and secular thinking without confronting one’s sister church *is* attacking, unloving and frankly uncourageous.

  9. says

    I agree with Shawn in that response. I do not believe that age integration is wrong, In fact, for most of our family’s church life, that is what we have practiced, even in churches that are age segregated. I have no issue with a church practicing it BUT as the main distinctive, I do think there is a problem. And as I mentioned earlier, FIC means far more than age integration, whether it is admitted or not. On the other hand, the NCFIC is NOT presenting this as a preference and IS saying age segregation is a sin, whether or not they are using that word. Could you explain what you mean when you say something can be unbibiical and not a sin?

  10. Dave A says

    I would also say that a local Church has the “freedom” to use or not use whatever ministries or “programs” it sees fit to as fulfilling its calling (which can include times and frequency of services, etc.). What the NCFIC and many FIC folk ARE doing is “calling” everyone to their particular methods and are certainly implying if not outright calling it sin (remember the movie….”maybe this is God’s judgement on the Church”). Romans 16:17…Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. What I see in this particular FIC movement is that it IS causing division within the body of Christ and it IS sin. Mr. Smith, this is why I asked you those questions at the top of this thread. For the most part the Churches or individuals with this particular FIC view (NCFIC)that has been discussed here, ARE creating division and I am curious if you are one of them? I certainly hope not. What I have seen repeatedly is that H.S. families within their particular Church adopt this NCFIC view via Vision Forum/NCFIC or its spokesmen and then try to force it on their respective Churches and when that does not work they “leave” and start their own “church”.

  11. says

    Mr. Smith,

    I have interacted with some pastors who defended FIC. None of them have taken me seriously enough to interact with me as you have done thus far.

    Thank you.

  12. says

    Mr. Smith, you asked:

    “I would be curious to how you define the word “Worship”? I would argue that worship is not what happens between 10-noon on a Sunday morning but worship is a way of life. How I conduct myself not only in a Church service but 24/7.
    I would also argue that there is a regulative principle for education in Scripture. We are to teach with a Biblical worldview in mind. That means all subjects are subject to the Word of God, Math, Science etc. In fact, Math makes no sense at all without a Biblically ordered worldview.”

    I believe worship is two-fold: informal and formal. Informal would be “all of life” (as you describe above). Formal would be two-fold: public, formal worship (Sunday) and other forms of focusing on God. This latter part is summarized in the Westminster Confession (the one Mr. Brown quotes in his book): “in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or willfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by his Word or providence, calleth thereunto.” (WCF 21.6)

    This is the historical position of the Reformed faith and confessions. The Regulative Principle of Worship *only applies* to public, formal worship. Informal, everyday “worship”–drawing a beautiful sunset–is not regulated the same way as public, formal worship. Reading the OT will show that God was zealous of His worship such that the priests were punished for adding to worship and non-priests killed for interfering with the priestly office. Why? Because worship–a focused adoration of God–is different than the rest of life wherein we do not so focus upon God but think about drawing sunsets, changing diapers and playing video games. Deut. chapter 12 is a good contrast of this: God regulates the sacrifices and place of worship in one way but allows the
    “desire” of the Jews free-reign outside of worship: 14 “but in the place which the LORD chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the
    unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike….”

    To confuse informal worship with formal worship is to throw all of life in confusion. (I’ll cover the “regulative principle of education” later).

    Do you believe that Mr. Brown, in his chapter on worship, in the Weed book, applies the RPW to all of life? I did not find that to be the case.

    thanks,

  13. says

    Note, Deut. 14:23 as another illustration, 23 “And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.”

    Is not all eating always before the LORD since He is omnipresent? Yes. So, what means God by this? Clearly God is differentiating between everyday eating (what we “desire” v.26 and 12:15) and eating of the sacrifices and participating in the temple (formal and public) worship.

  14. Laura says

    Dear Pastor Smith:

    Thank you for your reply to my questions (August 16th).

    This has been said previously but bears repeating- by your willingness to discuss these issues and refrain from dismissing everyone who does not share your belief on non-essentials as “sinners”, you distinguish yourself from the pack.

    The issue to me is two fold. First, I think that there are teachings brought in under the guise of the FIC plan that are divisive, man made and destructive. I have not seen any such ideas promoted by you or what you describe as your church, though I am concerned when I hear that all your families are homeschooling families. NOT because I don’t love and support homeschooling- but because we have been in “homeschool” churches and the focus seems to inevitably shift to the importance of externals and exclusivity over more important priorities. That is not to say that you would pastor over such a situation.

    Second, while many here would prefer age integration in church- and may or may not care for traditional Sunday School- these matters are up to individual families and should not affect your standing as a believer.

    I don’t think many on this site would disagree with your thinking in answering my questions.

    On college- I agree, just as I think that girls should not be kept from college, I don’t think that it is for everyone, male or female. We have everything in our family from tech school to master’s degrees, depending on goals and interests. We lean more toward college than you do, probably. One thing I have noticed in the more conservative circles is that dads are accountants, teachers, engineers- and their sons run lawn mowing businesses. Now, that is an honorable profession-and can be very lucrative.I am NOT putting that down at all as long as it is a CHOICE. If a person desires their own business, there is nothing better than pursuing it. My point is that there again, I see parents trying to live out experimental models of lifestyle in the lives of their young adult children rather than let the individual child find their own path in God’s plan for them.

    On the Confederacy- I find it very ironic when I am sometimes accused of being in favor of a strong arm federal government when I debate the Civil War.

    In general, I would support the constitutional freedoms that our states were designed to have. The exception would be in the event of a denial to persons within that state of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Segregation, racism, and certainly slavery would fall under that for me. Therefore, I think when such an abomination of freedom takes place, it calls for the feds to stop it.

    We can debate about the causes of the Civil War, but I have enough direct quotations from Confederate leaders and their documents to satisfy me that slavery was a foundational issue. Indeed, it would not matter if it was a side issue. It had to be stopped.

    I find it interesting that many states rights people would have no problem with a federal law banning abortion (which I would strongly support). Where is the consistency?

    On Voting- I agree that ideally there would be agreement in a home on political matters, though often Christians can have legitimate debate on the best way to further those concepts. I think there are those in the FIC movement that would like to repeal women’s right to vote.

    On Children- As a mom of 11, I believe wholeheartedly in the blessing of children. BUT- that does not necessarily mean that I believe it MORE than a mom of 1 or 2, 3, 0r 4, or that I believe it LESS than a mom of 14. I think the important part is that as Christian parents, we recognize the awsome gift that He gives us as parents.

    I couldn’t comment on that book because I read it so long ago. Some books I have read on the subject (and some moms of many that I know ) try to imply that unless you have as many children as you can turn out, that you “lose you blessing” on any children you do have. I heard that said during a ladies devotional at a baby shower where there were several older Christian moms of 2 or 3 grown children. I was almost sick. The arrogance of these extra- Biblical ideas!! I might add that the 2 or three children of these “unblessed” Christian moms are pastors and missionaries.

    THAT is what I am concerned with here.

    Just to clarify… And again, thank you for your openness to reason together with other Christian – I think that is how things are supposed to be.

  15. says

    Laura, your experience as listed above has been mine as well. This truly is not about age integration vs age segregation per se. It IS about maintaining fellowship with “like-minded” believers.

  16. Todd Smith says

    Hey all,
    I just wanted to let you know that I am not trying to ignore any questions or comments being made. I am enjoying the discussion. Lack of time limits my response somewhat. I try and check back into the site to see what else has been posted but work and family call and it’s hard to find time for all.
    While we may not see eye to eye on every point of Scripture or Doctrine it has been good for me to learn and to try and understand what others are thinking. So I appreciate being able to ask and answer questions, and visit about these things.
    Karen you asked how something can be unbibical and not a sin. Let me try and answer that by using a different topic than age in the Church. I believe that God created the world in 6 literal 24 hour days. As I read Scripture and study that out that is the conclusion I come to. Dear friends of mine in my congregation believe God created the earth (no evolution) but he did it over a long period of time. They believe and believe they have studied it out and think the Bible supports that. On my side of the equation I can’t figure out how that can be a Biblical position. But using the same Scriptures they come to a different interpretation than I do. In our church that is a non-salvation issue. What you believe about that will not get you into or keep you out of heaven. However, one of us is right and one of us is wrong. I think I am right. My friend thinks he is right. We both love each other and agree to disagree. I believe my friend holds an unbiblical position (i.e. not supported by Scripture) but I don’t go around calling his belief sin. (technically we are all sinners and none of us is perfect in the way we look at every aspect of the Bible. We try and follow it to the best of our abilities)
    On children I don’t think a person who has 6 is more blessed than a person who has 1 or 2. What I don’t like is the attitude of a lot of Christians today that work so hard to prevent children. Especially when there are couples aching to have them. We have four but we’ve spent years avoiding God’s blessings if you will. I don’t know if He would have given us more but I wish I would have let Him be in control of that area of our lives. I also have a dear friend with two children who told me he would rather put a gun to his head then to find out his wife was pregnant again. I do think that Voddie Baucham (not sure if he is a favorite or not for some) has it right in this area when he says the modern Christian attitude is: A boy for me, a girl for you praise the Lord we’re finally through. I see that in a lot of Christian families and my message back in June reflected my own repentance where I have called a curse that which God has called a blessing.

  17. says

    Pastor Smith, a couple thoughts:

    I basically agree with your views of family size. Sadly, it is not the view that patriocentrists typically hold. I believe moms respond to their teachings about this on a greater gut level than dads do because carrying a little one is so near and dear to our hearts. I did a series of podcasts on this very topic a while back and discuss the concept of “militant fecundity” which is a term Scott Brown himself coined. Once you understand what he means by using that phrase, it puts a lot more of the FIC movement into perspective. “Evangelism” is best done, according to those in this movement, by having large families and planning a 200 year vision for them. This is one reason I am very skeptical of their emphasis on spreading the Gospel. I would be certain it will have this interesting and creative twist to the Great Commission.

    http://thatmom.com/podcasts/militant-fecundity-vs-children-as-a-blessing-series/

  18. says

    Pastor Smith, re: unbiblical does not equal sin

    How do we define “biblical?” I think this is really important. We have been reading through Judges this week in our family worship and I am repeatedly struck by the outrageous stories that make you cringe…the knife in the fat king’s belly, Jael and the tent peg, etc. Are these behaviors “biblical?” Well, they are part of the narrative of the Bible, yes. But are we supposed to follow their example? Why or why not? And what distinguishes these narratives from others that have been turned into commands?

    Having read your thoughts here, I do not necessarily place you in the patriocentric camp but I do believe the leadership of the FIC movement sits squarely in that camp and are leading it. They have many things that I see as nonessentials of the faith that they have called “biblical” and if others don’t practice them, use the word “unbiblical” as a kinder, gentler word than sin while really meaning the same thing. There are whole books that practice this. Have you seen this at all?

  19. Adam says

    Hey Everyone!

    Wow, how many times can you miss the point?:

    There is no command against age-segregated youth ministry in the Bible?

    This idea comes from the assumption that if the Bible does not expressly forbid something, it is therefore allowed. There are serious problems with making this the standard for determining the will of God. It denies the authority of principles, positive commands, and normative patterns established in Scripture. It also denies the principle that the Bible speaks to all areas of life and that it is sufficient to equip the man of God “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

    If we accept the premise that we are only obligated to obey the Word of God when there is an express command, then we are forced to grapple with a number of other issues. For example, there is no command against polygamy, but Christians believe polygamy is wrong because of the patterns and commands of Scripture that define marriage, not because of a direct command against it…

    Explicit negative commands are therefore not necessary to show that something is contrary to the Word of God. Even though there is no express command against systematic age segregation, we argue against it because it does not properly fulfill the principles and commands of Scripture which apply to youth discipleship, and it goes against the primary examples of gatherings involving the whole people of God.

    1. That is an abuse of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Paul is speaking in the context of the regula fide [teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness]. He is speaking of the man of God doing the work of God in the church of God, not “all areas of life.”

    2. Again, the issue is pragmatics. At best what this post shows is that you do not need a prohibition in terms of syntax [you shall not] in order for something to be considered wrong in the Bible. However, what you *do* need is to demonstrate that the Bible intends to rule something out by what it says. Going back to speech act theory, you need to show that the illocution of the locution is to rule out something, or to limit something to only one thing. It is in *this sense* [the intent of the text] that there is no prohibition against age specific ministries.

    3. Age specific education would only go against the commands and principles of scripture if that is all you had, unless Scott can prove that the intent of those speech acts is to limit the application to only those particular methods. That does not work in honoring your father and mother, protecting human life, or any other command that we might apply. Secondly, as far as patterns go, again, the burden of proof is on Scott to show that the intent of those patterns is to create something as normative for the church. Remember the “Ten Biblical ways to find a wife?” If he cannot do that, then he is, again, simply missing the point.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  20. says

    Mr. Brown knows that biblical examples are not necessarily binding by their mere existence (A Weed in the Church, p. 73).

    Mr. Brown also uses a category of “patterns” which are normative (required), “widely regarded as godly examples, consistent with the commands and principles in God’s Word.” (p.75)

    Mr. Brown’s definition, as far as the debate goes, is loaded in his favor (self-serving) and circular: it rests upon the very issue in debate: *does* God command *only* or *mostly* age-segregation in all, most or certain gatherings? When that question is answered, then examples are binding or not depending on the answer.

    Lastly, there is a via media, third way, a middle way, that is missing here: Christian liberty. The examples offered (outside of worship) are *suggestive* but not *commanded* In fact, Christian liberty means taking the context and health of the family, church, individual, time, circumstance, etc. into consideration.

    Age-integration may be *wrong* in some instances: consider a woman’s meeting (ala Titus 2:3ff)–what to do with the children? Maybe a younger, responsible girl can watch them in the room down the hall while the older women instruct the younger women?

    That one seemed to throw Mr. Brown off (see here:

    (24.20”) Friel: “Are you opposed to men’s groups and women’s groups?”
    Brown: “No, no, I’m not.”
    Friel: “OK. So, where would I be wrong in saying, ‘OK, wait a second. Shouldn’t they all be integrated so that they could all benefit from the generations?’”
    Brown: “Yes. Generationally. Absolutely. Yeah, generationally they should be together. This morning I asked, I think 50 guys, for a bible study at 6 AM. And most of them brought their sons. This is a men’s bible study.”
    Friel: “So, we can be divided by sexes if you will but bring the kids, grandpas come to, everyone is involved.
    Brown: “Yeah, right. I think Titus 2 gives you gender segregation but it is not age segregation for the older women are teaching the younger women.”
    Friel: “OK. I’m just trying to figure out where you are at here. OK. The ladies get together. It’s the new mother’s group to learn how to be a great mommy. There using Ted Tripp’s book and it’s all wonderful. And the kids go down to the nursery down to the hall to be taken care of while the new moms do the bible study. Are you opposed to that?”
    Brown: “[pause] Well, I think, I think that depends on how that looks. I mean, is the constant pattern of this church to separate the children from their mothers and their fathers.” [25:50”]

  21. Adam says

    Shawn,

    The problem is that you have to distinguish between examples that are binding, and examples that are not. I assume that he would try to use what you wrote here:

    Mr. Brown also uses a category of “patterns” which are normative (required), “widely regarded as godly examples, consistent with the commands and principles in God’s Word.” (p.75)

    The problem with this statement is its ambiguity. What do we regard as “Godly examples?” Why is one thing considered Godly, but another not? Not only that, but what do we regard as “consistent with the commands and principles in God’s word?” That is not readily apparent. For example, is it inconsistent to eat pork when the Bible forbids it? Again, the issue is what the text is trying to accomplish, not what the command says qua command. Commands themselves are found in contexts that will affect what they are trying to accomplish as well. Also, how do we get these “principles?” What is the methodology, and how is it consistent with how language functions? Why is it a principle that we must protect human life, but not that we must draw water up by a bucket? That is consistent with Biblical commands, and it is clearly Godly to draw up water with a bucket.

    Again, linguistically, this is a hermeneutical issue. My differences with Scott Brown come from the fact that we simply approach the Bible differently. That is why I still don’t believe he has really addressed the issue.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  22. says

    Adam, Yes, his whole explanation (even in his book) has more questions than answers. The approach to Biblical interpretation borders on the naive approach of many a Fundamentalist (I was one of them). His problem is two-fold: hermeneutics broadly and then the regulative principle of worship/discipleship/whatever narrowly.

    All the explanations used are just other ways of the NCFIC saying: “our way is right” but not to have actually dialogue with men who have studied Berkhof or Faribarin or the confessional approach to interpretation (like LCQ 99 that I sent your way).

    Most people, however, are lost when the word ‘hermeneutic’ is used, so I tend to explain the issue in other ways. But that is just me.

  23. Laura says

    Hey, I don’t want to bring politics as such into this discussion but does anyone have any reliable background information on any of the candidates out there that would suggest that any of them may have some ties with the patriarchy/V.F./ATI crowd? I think that this information is important particularly since these types really look to the political system as a means of saving the U.S.A….

  24. Adam says

    Wow, is Scott Brown dense or what?:

    The big question is this: “Where is the clear biblical proof for segregating the church by age?” This is where the burden of proof lies. Scripture shows what seems to be an almost exclusively age-integrated world for worship, instruction, prayer, and celebration. After many years, I have never seen a credible exegetical argument FOR age segregation. I have heard dozens of arguments for age segregation that are not based upon the Bible, but none that are grounded upon the Bible.

    1. He must have never read anything I have written.

    2. Hasn’t the whole question all along been “What do we mean by ‘Biblical?'” Scripture shows a world where people draw up water by buckets exclusively. Scripture also shows a world were, exclusively, people do not honor their father and their mother by having a special day set aside for them. Ergo, indoor plumbing is wrong, and, ergo, mother’s day and father’s day are wrong. This statement is way too ambiguous.

    3. What is meant by “exegetical?” Exactly what would have to be proven before Mr. Brown would accept that age specific education is Biblically acceptable? He doesn’t realize that his standards for what would be exegetical proof would completely destroy almost any application of the text itself.

    4. What is really crass is that Scott Brown doesn’t realize that, before you discuss exegesis, you have to discuss hermeneutics. *How* we interpret the Bible, and *how* we apply the Bible is logically *prior* to the question of exegesis. Scott Brown has an incredibly naive view of language. His hermeneutics on some texts [“honor your father and your mother” and “thou shall not murder”] are completely inconsistent with the way he handles this issue. One cannot skip the crucial step of dealing with *how* one interprets the Bible, if one is going to be fair in dealing with this issue.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  25. Todd Smith says

    Hello All,
    I would love to hear direct responses to the new video of Voddie Baucham posted at NCFIC today. What I would like to hear is where you agree with Voddie and why and where you disagree with Voddie and why. Thanks for the continued discussion and feedback. The video is about 38 minutes if you have the time.
    Todd

  26. Adam says

    Todd,

    I will try to respond to that video when I get a chance. I am studying for comprehensive exams this semester and, though I am interested in responding to Baucham [I have already responded to him on Genesis 1:28, and am almost finished with a response to him on Psalm 127], my time is limited.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  27. says

    Todd, Perhaps it would be better to move your question to puritanboard.com or my ChristianNurture.blogspot.com ? It’s getting crowded in these postings. It loses momentum when people see 300+ comments: it scares them. If I hear no response, I’ll put up Voddie’s response on my blog and go from there.

    –shawn

  28. Todd Smith says

    Shawn,
    That would be great. Do I need to go to one of those sites and post something? Or will you simply put something on your blog.
    Todd

  29. says

    Just saw something today I had missed before: The NCFIC and Vision Forum have the very same board of directors. Explains away so much of the attempts by those supporting and advancing the FIC movement when saying it is made up of mainstream thinkers rather than extremists.

  30. says

    My review of Mr. Baucham part one is up

    Karen, if you want to keep your blood pressure low, don’t read Phillips blog posting on the 11th. That marks the 10th anniversary of NCFIC. What is interesting and sad is that this new D6 conference (Deut. 6) will not let NCFIC show their movie after they already signed-up. I say show it! Then give a thirty-minute critique.

  31. Adam says

    Shawn,

    That would be very interesting. It certainly would be the first time I have ever seen Swanson challenged directly.

    I am still amazed at the marketing this movie is getting. The Washington Post had an article on it today, and USA Today did as well. These guys seem to have the connections and the big bucks to put their names out there.

    Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of secularism, people are looking for things that are “radical” and “counter-cultural.” The problem is that people will eat this stuff up without considering whether or not it is *Biblical.*

    Someone told me once that scholarship is not something that you buy; it is something you do. Unfortunately, with all of the publicity this movie is getting, it appears that you can just market your ideas, without any concern for the truth. That is a sad testimony about the state of Christianity and the world today.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  32. says

    Shawn, this would be awesome! Do you live close enough to Kevin that you two could discuss this face to face in front of a camera? That would really be helpful for so many people to see!

  33. Adam says

    Hey Everyone!

    Man do these guys have a ton of audacity. They are just amazed that a youth ministry conference denied them a booth. Yes, that conference Shawn was talking about is a youth ministry conference!

    I don’t even know what to think of that. Do you think the patriarchalists would open their conferences to booths saying that patriarchy is a result of evolutionary theory, that it is unbiblical, and, indeed, contrary to what scripture says? Yet, they are just incredibly surprised that anyone would turn them down.

    I wonder if they would be consistent and allow Karen, Shawn, and myself to set up a booth with literature criticizing the Divided movie at their next conference. Nah, probably not.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  34. says

    @ Adam,

    This is old news. The leaders behind this movement have always tried to silence opposition. I am not surprised they are now reaping what they have sown.

    http://planetpreterist.com/news-5589.html

    @ Shawn,

    That was a good one about Kevin S. actually entering into a public discussion where he would be held accountable for his words and would have to actually engage in Biblical exegesis. My side hurts from laughing. Back to reality…

    Blessings,

    Micah

  35. says

    Shawn,

    I rest my case: http://generationswithvision.com/Broadcasts/broadcasts/18106

    Like I said, Kevin having the cojones to actually enter into a public discussion where he is accountable for what he says? Back to reality… Shawn, you have known Kevin longer than I have, you really should know better.

    I can’t believe I just wasted 30 minutes listening to this show. I only listened because I don’t post stuff that I haven’t read or listened to.

    There is so much wrong with this broadcast but I will try to keep it short.

    #1) At least Brown has some false humility. Kevin and Dave don’t even cover up their pride, arrogance, and elitism.

    #2) Kevin mentions the great apostasy over the last 40 years. That is funny because that coincides with the publication of Morris’ and Whitcomb’s book “The Genesis Flood”. Maybe the great apostasy has something to do with an ultra literal hermeneutic that fundamentalism has bred over the last 150 years, only to be perfected in the last 40? Maybe that is the fruit that Kevin is seeing but he just can’t recognize the tree?

    #3) I love how Kevin calls this revolution (FIC) a “Copernican” revolution. Doesn’t he know that Copernicus was the “theistic evolutionist biologos founder” of his day?

    #4) Kevin equates the nation of Israel in the first century with the nation of the US in the year 2011. I think the OPC needs to send Kevin back to seminary for remedial classes.

    #5) Apparently Sunday School (one hour a week) is the sum of Duet. 6. (that is why it is not allowed) and since private school is outside of a parents literal house, Duet. 6 is impossible to fulfill. (Notice his comment about the evil Christians school.) Then at the end of the show he was singing the praises of himself for having a bunch of guy’s at HIS house (outside of their own home and away from their own parents) because HE was discipling them!!!

    #6) These guys do think that Sunday Schools and non FIC people are in sin. THEY SAY THAT THEY NEED TO REPENT! Kevin corrected Brown when Brown said that churches need to change. Kevin made the point that they need to REPENT, i.e. if your not FIC, you are in sin. What else do they have to say to get people to realize that they think Sunday Schools or non FIC churches are living in sin?

    #7) I love how Kevin praises the fact that USA Today and other Newspapers carried the stories about Divided but on other occasions these “rags” are directly from the pit of hell.

    #8) They talk about getting the parents involved. (I thought this one took the cake but it doesn’t.) This is particularly hypocritical because CHEC (the organization that Kevin led, thanks too who…) doesn’t let Christian parents choose between Christian curriculums. The Christian curriculum has to be approved as Christian enough (which has to be more Christian than even Kevin’s own denomination that he is supposed to be submitted to) by the elite at CHEC.

    http://planetpreterist.com/news-5589.html

    I just can’t get over the irony that these guys are crying about being excluded from a conference after the way they have treated other Christian organizations at their own conferences. Not to mention saying that the people involved in the D6 conference are in sin for their particular method of church organization. Kevin talks about “reaping what a person sows” or “reaping the whirlwind”. Why doesn’t he see this exclusion from the D6 conference as God’s punishment on him for excluding other Christian organizations from his conferences? Maybe Shawn could ask him that?

    #9) Brown talked about how his position was a “proposition” and the D6 position was about “conversation.” He mentioned how that was a major problem. Let me translate: Because his proposition (interpretation) is correct and more holy, then the conversation should end and everyone should submit to him. Ahh, gotta love the fundamentalist, everything is so black and white.

    #10) And the one that takes the cake, besides the accusation that these youth group types are driven by money right before Kevin peddled his own books, is when they actually accused the D6 type people of being the modern day Pharisees. Oh man, that was good. Talk about testifying against yourself.

    Shawn, I challenged Kevin to a public debate on the bodily resurrection of dead corpses at the end of time. He would not even defend that position privately with only the other elders watching. (Talk about a stacked deck in his favor) He will publicly call those who disagree with his interpretation “heretics” but he won’t even rise to the level of the morality and decency of the Catholic Church of the 1500’s and give the “heretics” a chance to defend themselves publicly. (That goes for the origins issue as well.)

    At least von Eck had the backbone to face the heretic in a public setting, much less a private setting with only your fellow elders watching.

    It will be the same tune with you or any other “sinner” and “apostate factory” that challenges his inspired and authoritative interpretation on this issue. The only thing I am wondering about is how does a Dakota’s Presbytery meeting go… awkward?

    Ok… back to reality and a world I can respect.

    Blessings,
    Micah

  36. says

    Micah, I just listened to Kevin’s podcast and found it to be typically Kevin…my way or the highway, harsh terms,etc. while I agree that Scott Brown sounded more reasonable, perhaps even kinder, he didn’t really disagree with Kevin. In essence, family segregation is sin in their eyes.

    I heard a couple other things that were interesting….Kevin talked about a discipleship group that meets in his basement that is made up of 4 or so adult men and 7-8 guys who are 17-20 years of age. He did not say, however, that the fathers of these young men were the adults who were there. I wonder what that situation is. Didn’t mention turning the hearts of the sons to their fathers as he often does. I know of other churches who have welcomed young men into their groups for this sort of study in spite of the fact that their fathers were willing and able to disciple their own sons. I believe this is to teach these young men with a reconstructionist agenda. Brown has mentioned several times the group of young men from around the country who have come to stay in his own home and to be discipled by him. Why is that ok? Because it is them? What about the young men who travel to live with Doug Phillips and do the same thing?

    Scott Brown said that he wanted to go to the D-6 conference with a proposition rather than to be part of a conversation. This cracked me up. In other words, they wanted to make a presentation rather than actually listen to anyone else. Can you imagine anyone doing that to them? I was also amused at Kevin’s comment about youth ministries being in it for the money. Why has he never criticized the patriocentrists for doing the same thing? I know for an absolute fact that there are those who consider what they are doing a business and a career rather than a ministry and in certain circumstances will describe what they do as such for their own advantage.

    Finally, this was the funniest thing of all….. Kevin kept talking about the popularity of the Divided movie, saying repeatedly it had gone “virile” when he meant to say “viral.” Pure Freudian slip!

  37. says

    Karen,

    I agree, Brown only has false humility. More passive aggressive type rather than Kevin’s strait forward arrogance and ignorance.

    I also caught the mis-pronunciation, or what I thought was a mis-pronunciation. I just looked up “virile”! Oh man, that just made my day. I laughed so hard. I reminds me about when I was young. There was nothing worse than another homeschool kid trying to be “hip” and “cool” and up to date with all the cultural fads and slang. Usually, they just made fools of themselves because of their ignorance. Not much has changed.

    Yes, Kevin has a “Shepherding Center” at his house. Most of the boys there are from his church, with Godly fathers. It is kind of like an “inner circle” graduate school type thing. If you got your child far enough along they could get the privilege going to the “Shepherding center”. Kind of like Sunday School, but 5 or 7 days a week. LOL (From what I understood, it was kind of patterned after F. Shaeffer’s commune thingy.)

    They are training the “next generation” of homeschool leaders (lord help us).

    BTW, I wonder if AIG will be at the D6 conference peddling their new Sunday school and vacation Bible school curriculum. I’m still waiting for Kevin and Scott to level their barrels at them for contributing to the “great apostasy.” Somehow, I think I will be waiting as long as I would for Kevin to interact with Shawn publicly.

    Blessings,
    Micah

  38. says

    “viral” (what Swanson meant to say): “The adjective or adverb viral and the noun virality may refer to any viral phenomenon, that is, an object or pattern that is able to induce some agents to replicate it, resulting in many copies being produced and spread around.

    In medical Terminology “Viral” means pertaining to a virus.

    More specifically, the terms may be used in reference to:

    a biological virus
    a computer virus
    viral marketing, the use of existing social networks to spread a marketing message
    a viral video, a video that quickly attains a high popularity through the Internet”

    “virile”(what Swanson said): “of a man, Having strength, energy, and a strong sex drive.”

  39. Adam says

    Karen,

    It is really hard to know what to say to all of this.

    First of all, I would like it if the people in the NCFIC would just simply come out and say it if they believe we are in sin for having youth groups and Sunday schools. Be honest with your readers.

    Second of all, I really don’t find much value in broadcasts such as this unless they are going to be specifically addressing arguments from the other side. The reason is specifically because of the fact that there is not going to be too much disagreement between them. Also, with a few exceptions, I have found that these people simply will not dialogue with the strongest of their opposition. Hence, I don’t expect them to really show knowledge of the strongest arguments against their position, and hence, to simply listen to them toot their own horn is a waste of time.

    Thirdly, I think that this tells us more about Scott Brown and Kevin Swanson then it does about what the Bible teaches. The reason I say that is because of the arbitrariness in their hermeneutics at precisely this issue. The fact that they are putting their teachings as *the* correct interpretation of scripture, avoiding their opponents who could challenge them on that level, and putting their teachings as the center of the discipleship of children shows, at least in my mind anyway, that these folks are confusing their interpretations of scripture with what scripture actually says. That is a very dangerous thing to do.

    Now, I am not saying that we cannot arrive at the correct interpretation of scripture, as there is an objectivity to language. However, even in basic hermeneutics it is possible to make a mistake. If you don’t have the humility to engage in a discussion with your strongest critics in order to put your interpretations through the fire of consistency, and you have to, instead, indoctrinate little children who do not have the ability to check these things out, well, then, you are telling us more about yourself then you are about the text of scripture.

    Take, for example, the Arian controversy. During the Arian controversy, the orthodox Christians fought against the Arians by disputing their understanding of scripture, and by providing their own understanding. In other words, the battle was fought and one at the level of hermeneutics and exegesis. After a while, a position that is arbitrary, such as the position of the NCFIC, will simply be unable to continue in the discussion. It is through this kind of rigorous testing by your strongest opponents that your position will prove to be Biblical.

    Fourthly, I am really starting to believe, in contrast to the above method of putting your position through the scholarly fire, that folks like Scott Brown and Kevin Swanson are mostly about marketing gimmicks. They get articles in USA Today. the Christian Post, and the Washington Post; they get high quality video production; the have books, videos, study guides and conferences. The list keeps on going on with the amount of marketing that this film and the NCFIC is getting. Yet, the must substantial criticisms of this movement are never addressed. Again, all of this sounds like a marketing gimmick with little or no concern for truth.

    Of course, the problem will come when someone who has been indoctrinated by this movement finds this blog or Shawn’s blog, or any other blog that is sound and fair in their criticisms of this movement. When, by the grace of God, people start leaving the NCFIC because they cannot withstand the strongest arguments of their opponents, that will be the downfall of the NCFIC. The truth always wins out.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  40. Adam says

    Man, this whining by the folks in the NCFIC about not being able to spread their propaganda at a conference owned by people who they say are doing something unbiblical influenced by pagan philosophy is really getting old.

    Not only that, but if you actually click on the link to the survey, you will find that the survey has nothing whatsoever to do with the NCFIC. The question of the survey is:

    Where would you prefer younger (primary-age) church members to be during Sunday morning worship?

    In the main worship service (age-integrated) – 72.71%

    In a separate worship service (age-segregated) – 27.29%

    Of course, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of the NCFIC. The issue is not whether children should be in the main worship service, or in a children’s church. I can say that children should be in the main worship service, and still not hold to the position of the NCFIC. In other words, even I could vote with the 72.71% on this one. The issue is whether *all* forms of age specific ministry [Sunday schools and youth groups] which may not even be part of the main worship service are wrong.

    Also, they were not even supposed to speak about Family Integrated Churches at this conference; they were simply supposed to have a booth to promote their movie. The logic of this makes perfect sense too. If you were holding a convention on confessional protestant Christianity, would you allow an atheist group who says that the God of the Bible developed from the Canaanite god El, that the Bible is full of a bunch of fairy tales, and that belief in the Christian God is immoral? Probably not, unless you were going to provide a forum to give a response to them.

    The problem with a booth like that is that there is not way to give a response. As I said, I would be glad to go to the D6 conference, and deliver a paper on the hermeneutical errors of NCFIC [provided I had the money to do it], and I am sure that Shawn would be willing to go and deliver a paper on the historical strengths and weaknesses of the NCFIC, and likewise, Karen would, I am sure, be glad to go, and deliver a paper on the practical implications of this position, and its relationship to the Christian Patriarchy Movement.

    The problem is, when all they have is a booth, none of this is even possible. Again, it is a matter of them wanting to promote their position with marketing gimmicks without ever having to have it criticized by someone who knows their position. When someone stands up to them, and says that they will not promote their movie without having a forum to respond to their claims, then they are accused of being “afraid.” Simply amazing.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  41. Kerri A. Fedele says

    Karen,
    Thank you for this excellent, informative and balanced website. I am so excited and thankful to have found you just last evening. You are a kindred spirit indeed!

    May our Lord bless you with His wisdom and grace and you share His heart of mercy and love.
    Kerri

  42. Gladys says

    I am strong support of the NCFIC! Scot Brown is a breath of fresh air and a wonderful stand in for Doug Phillips. Plus I don’t think he ever did no woman wrong. All churches that practice age segregation is wrong. Plain and simple! Just look it up. You’ll see. Now some narrow minded folks may say that the scriptures are taken out of context but that’s just their opinion and is not really so important when you consider the end results. My church is family intergrated and we are the best church around. Believe me I can tell some real hum dingers about the other churches around here and how messed up they are!! Find an FIC church and start to see godliness bloom in your family then you’ll see how horrible the others really are and how blessed it is to be doing god’s best! Like my momma used to say whenever us kids wanted to do something she didn’t like: “Do god’s best and forget the rest!” And believe me Momma knew all about the crap other families were involved in and it wasn’t just small potatoes either!

  43. says

    Gladys,
    You made an assertion, “churches that practice age segregation. . .[are] wrong” without providing scriptural support. Perhaps you would do so; remember to make certain they are in context and that the citations are not merely narrative passages.Remember, all passages are not prescriptive, some are descriptive only.

  44. Susan T says

    1. Careful there Gladys – “pride goeth before a fall”.
    2. It is situational ethics to argue that the ends justify the means.
    3. I do hope/pray that your “best church” is reaching out with grace & truth to those “messed up” churches around you…
    4. But before you reach out, please consider 1 Samuel 16:7 “God does not see the same way people see; people look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
    5. Proverbs 18:13 in today’s launguage “Oh, how foolish- to decide without knowing the truth.”
    6. Because as my husband says “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it really is a duck.”
    7. The evidence is all over this blog and in all the reference articles: many times FIC has been made an idol and its leaders have been idolized and the concepts pushed forth w/accompanying scare tactics, have divided churches over secondary issues/men’s preferences. See Ex 20 and Phil 2.

  45. Gladys says

    Get to know these guys. Do some research. Mr. Houston came to WBC from a failed church plant and (by his own words in the tele-conference) started a “five year de-programming” plan. I do not think that the people in the church knew what they were in for. The NCFIC crowd will often do just what they want in order to ‘help’ the flock. In this case there was no honesty, there was an agenda that was carried out without the knowledge of the congregation. That is wrong. Many folks left WBC over the issues that Mr. Houston brought up. While he did much good it may be that it was only to cover up the main program. (See Paul Washer’s video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMeBbeuSYt8 to see just how these guys move in and change a church.) I am NOT saying these men are not saved, or that they mean to harm the body of Christ. What I am saying is that we are warned in scripture to beware of false prophets (teachers) that come as ‘angels of light’. We are also warned that such events will increase in the end times.

  46. Chuck Sanford says

    Of course Sunday School is Biblical. Well, specialized teaching is, and specialized teaching is all that Sunday School is.

    In Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4, we are given lists of the spiritual gifts God gave mankind. Every time, teaching is listed as one of the spiritual gifts. If God is giving people the special gift of being able to teach, doesn’t that mean He wants them to teach? Isn’t that all Sunday School is?

    In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul tells us that he became like various groups of people in order to reach them. That means he provided specialized teaching in a way that those groups could understand.

    Sunday School, Youth Group, Children’s ministry; they are not meant to replace the Christian Parent’s job of teaching their Children. I get that sometimes that is how they are treated, and when that happens, they don’t work. Imagine if you used a hammer to try to fix a computer. You’d break the computer, but it isn’t the hammer’s fault. These things are important tools, don’t throw them out! Just please, learn how to use them.

  47. says

    Chuck, your logic makes perfect sense. However, I hope you don’t think that logical thought will have much impact on those who rant and rave about this topic. If logic meant anything they’d see the flaws in the extreme patriarchial arguments.

  48. Ian says

    1Jn_2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    Tit_1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

    “Sunday school” is completely unbiblical. You do not find “school” in the Bible mentioned in a positive light. School is an institution and invention of man.

    While “teaching” may be a gift, that does not mean that a gifted teacher should put together a classroom and have students. You can teach people outside of a classroom. In fact, you can teach people BETTER outside of a classroom. And when it comes to teaching the word of God, the Bible is clear how it should be taught in Titus 1:3; through PREACHING. I love the Bible, and love church. I HATE Sunday school and all other forms of school. I want to learn from a man of God who is fired up about what the BIBLE says, and who PREACHES it and compares spiritual things with spiritual…. in other words someone who explains one Bible verse by going to another Bible verse.

    Children need to hear Bible preaching, too! But instead they are separated from their parents, something that is also totally unbiblical, and taught in a school setting….usually by a woman, in direct contradiction to the commandment of the Bible:

    1Ti_2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    This is why churches in America are as dead as a doornail. Instead of following Biblical principles, we are patterning everything after the world. And the world is in opposition to God. Why not do it God’s way? Have church with PREACHING, and then go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in (to God’s wedding banquet, by getting them saved). People go to church and get a Christian version of school, a sermonette, then go home feeling good to their televisions and sports games. Do you really think the Apostle Paul started churches like this? Do you think Jesus had church like this? Notice he SENT the disciples out two by two BEFORE his face?

  49. says

    To Ian:
    Let’s start with “Sunday school is completely unbiblical”. Please clarify what is required for a concept or principle to be “biblical”. Does the phrase/word have to appear in Scripture? If so, then the Trinity is unbiblical.

    “…school is not mentioned [in the Bible] in a favorable light”. Please prove the assertion by citing all the references to ‘school’ and then allow us to ascertain if the citation is positive or negative.

    “School is an invention of man”. Are you suggesting that anything not explicitly described in the Bible is something to be avoided? Sort of makes driving a car or using a computer problematic, doesn’t it?

    Let’s be clear about the difference between a Sunday School class, adult or children, that is pre-worship service and a “children’s church.” In my church (a PCA congregation) children ARE in with their parents. Only a few infants or toddlers are in a nursery. Sunday School for children is usually taught by woman and there is no biblical prohibition against that. If so, Timothy is a problem since his grandmother taught him.

  50. Ian says

    In order for something to be Biblical, the concept has to be taught in scripture. Of course, the Trinity is Biblical, 1 John 5:7 in the KJV teaches it. The concept of church is Biblical as we see it in the New Testament. The concept of preaching is Biblical, as demonstrated in the above posting. The concept of a classroom or school, where someone teaches a classroom full of people in an interactive type of setting is not found in scripture. We see Jesus preaching both publicly, in the Temple, and privately, like the woman at Sychar’s well. This is a pattern that is also reiterated in scripture in Acts 5:42, where the apostles preached in the Temple and in every house. They TAUGHT and PREACHED Jesus Christ, but it was not in a classroom. You don’t ever find Jesus speaking softly and having a question and answer session. He preaches. Look at the Prophets in the Old Testament…..they all preach and preach hard, usually messages people don’t want to hear.

    The following mentions of “school” are found in the Bible:

    Act 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
    Act 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
    Act 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

    Paul went into the school of one Tyrannus when people were hardened and believed not. Interestingly, we find the same thing in the other mention–people didn’t believe God, and in the next scene we find someone at school:

    2Ki 22:11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
    2Ki 22:12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
    2Ki 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
    2Ki 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

    Notice, the context is that Israel had departed from the Lord, and the King pulls out the law and finds out how far the nation has went astray. They are only able to find one woman in a school…. If school was God’s model, surely the school would be filled with God fearing people.

    You can also just observe modern Christianity….where most people don’t know the Bible, don’t know what they believe, and think Jesus was basically a hippie who just taught “love”.

    I don’t see “Sunday School” or “Worship Service” in the New Testament. I see preaching in the Temple and every house (soul winning) (Acts 5:42). In other words, church is for saved people to hear the word of God from a Spirit filled preacher, get fired up, and then go OUT and preach the gospel to every creature like we are commanded (Mark 16:15). This is why the Bible says a preacher’s FEET are beautiful (Romans 10:15) ….because that’s what he uses to take the gospel to the lost.

    Again, all you need to do is look at the modern American church. Almost all of them have Sunday School, yet go ask young adults who grew up in Sunday School to tell you how to be saved, and show you from the Bible how to go to heaven. That is the most basic thing every Christian should know. Then ask them if they believe the Genesis account of creation is true, or if they believe in evolution. See how well Sunday School and Worship Service is doing. Then go to an old fashioned church with a preaching service and active soul winning, and ask everyone there the same questions. You will then understand what I’m talking about.

  51. says

    Ian, before I spend time responding I’d like to ask you this question: “Do you believe that ONLY the KJV is the word of God and that all other translations are deficient and to be avoided?”

  52. says

    I’m going to address two of the points in Ian’s post for the benefit of other list-readers.

    First regarding 1 John 5:7, or as it is known by Bible scholars (which I am not), the Comma Johanneum. Space does not permit a lengthy reply so I’ll make it short and suggest the reader do their own homework. The Comma Johanneum is regarded by most scholars as inauthentic to the original Greek manuscripts and likely a Latin corruption. The first modern Greek text in 1516 did not include it. It subsequently made its way into later manuscripts that formed the basis for the Textus Receptus upon which the King James Version (1611) is based. Simply stated, because 1 John 5:7-8 is disputed and likely an addition, I stand by my early statement that the doctrine of the Trinity is not explicitly taught in the New Testament. It is implicitly taught and the orthodox doctrine was not fully articulated until Nicea.

    “School” and the Bible.
    Ian started out by suggesting Acts 19:8-10 proved school was a bad thing. Let’s examine the passage. For three months Paul had been spending time in the synagogue in Ephesus reasoning and discussing scripture with those in attendance. At some point enough people became angry with what he was saying that Paul and his disciples left the synagogue. Located in the city was some kind of hall owned by man named Tyrannus. Paul apparently made arrangements to use this facility to continue his ministry.

    Now some details: The Greek word translated as ‘school’ in the KJV and the NAS is found only here in the New Testament. According to Strong’s Concordance it means, “leisure, hence disputation (that for which leisure is used), by extension school.” Likewise, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says it means, “a place where there is leisure for anything, a school.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this sounds anything like a modern-day school. It reminds me more of the general store of the 1800’s where men sat around a pot-bellied stove and argue politics. I should add that nothing is known about Tyrannus so anything about why Paul was using this hall is pure speculation.

    Next Ian cites 2 Kings 22:11-14. Here is a perfect example of why you should not rely entirely upon the KJV translation. Verse 14 says that Huldah “dwelt in Jerusalem in the college.” Ian goes on to say, “They were only able to find one woman in a school…” Unfortunately the word translated as ‘college’ should likely be rendered Second Quarter or New Quarter as found in better translations — including the NKJV. It refered to an area on the western hill of Jerusalem (see 2 Chr 33:14; Zeph. 1:10). KJV-Only adherants, who often think that the actual English translation is inerrant, will certainly dispute this.

    As for the remainder of his post, arguing would not be benefical to anyone.

  53. says

    To me, the almost tragic characteristic of the vast majority of Christians who so strenuously argue against issues such as age-segregated Sunday School, or who insist that the Bible ONLY teaches home schooling, or that effective and biblical discipline MUST include spanking, is their apparent inability to properly exegete a text. Exegesis is not always easy and there are rules for proper execution. Just because a person is a believer does not ipso-facto mean they know how to apply and use all of the tools of interpretation. Additionally, I suspect many (most?) have an inconsistent hermeneutic — presuming they even realize they filter everything through their hermeneutical lenses.

    Whenever I’ve written articles are posted to blogs such as this I always try to make sure readers know clearly what my presuppositions are — what my hermeneutic is. For full disclosure: I am confessional, Reformed, Presbyterian (PCA)i. If the reader does not fully understand what those three words mean it would behoove you to do some homework. But, remember to carefully check your sources. Believe it or not, everything on the Internet is not true or correct. 🙂

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