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?

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

Comments

  1. says

    I remembered something interesting this morning. A few years ago Doug Phillips promoted house plans that Scott Brown had designed. As I recall, they included a large family area, a boy’s dorm room, a girl’s dorm room, and a private parent area. Doug talked about the importance of age-integrating the family members at home and warned that individual time for children to be alone promoted autonomy.

  2. Adam says

    Karen,

    If I might also add that there was someone on the Divided discussion forum that accused them of dishonest precisely because of the fact that Ken Ham didn’t know how his words were being used. Hence, I really don’t think Ken Ham can be accused of hypocrisy.

    It is also interesting that this has been done before. I know who Phylis Schlafly is, as my grandmother [who was my best friend and mentor] listened to her five minute commentaries every day while she was alive. Therefore, I know that she would never support the Christian Patriarchy movement. She herself is a constitutional lawyer! The idea of having a legal carrier is something that these folks will say is morally wrong because she would not be a “keeper of the home.”

    I think the way we should take this is much more simple than dishonesty. I think that more of what we have here is incompetence. Let me say bluntly that there is not a linguist alive who would agree with this hermeneutic. They are getting these ideas from *their* understanding of history and the reformation, and *their* understanding of philosophy. Yet, philosophers and historians tell me that this view of history and philosophy is grossly simplistic. I kind of had this idea as well when I found out that Doug Phillips was a pastor, but that his training was in law, and not in Biblical studies.

    When you have these kinds of oversimplifications, it leads to thinking that certain sources support your position when they do not. Hence, you can feel rather confident in using certain sources, because you can simply accuse them of inconsistency when they do not draw the same conclusions you do.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  3. Dave A says

    Adam, Dishonest or incompetent? The men that are at the front of NCFIC and Vision Forum are pretty sharp, genuine and have developed alot of respect. I would like to think they are not trying to be dishonset. For years I listened to their teaching and instruction, they see the problem, have an answer that is compelling, and have lots of “facts” to support their position. It was not until I actually started checking some of those “facts” that I realized the “facts” were either not true or severely distorted to support their position. Until then I, and I think many others in the movement, just accepted the statements as true. Have you ever read a book or listened to a message that listed or mentioned sources and just assumed they are accurately represented? So when I watched the obviously heavy propaganda movie divided, which I think is where this thread started, I had a pen and piece of paper and took note of all the “factual” statements made, of who made them, who they interviewed, what the Churches either interviewed or represented actually look like, and also I was looking for the Gospel message (which was absent except for the little blurb by Kevin S.). Afterward I went back and checked the accuracy of what was claimed. I had 6 pages. There has been plenty of reviews mentioned here already and I am not going to add another one. I would encourage everyone to watch it again and do the same thing I did, ecpecially those who may be reading this that are enamored with the NCFIC. Maybe I looked in the wrong places and got bogus information? Many of the “facts”, not all, are at best misrepresented, at worse???? I have lost much respect for the NCFIC, my fault, I personally placed them right up there with the Gospel and what they said to be Gospel, again my fault. Incompetent? I know that they had a staff of interns who spent countless hours researching this stuff for the movie and the “weed” book, it has been literally years in the making. Incompetent? A $1000.00 prize for those who show it the most. Incompetent? In some ways probably, in others??

  4. Jack Brooks says

    Civil War balls? Are you kidding me? Do they have little black jockies holding lanterns out front as the kids arrive? Do the children receive free memberships in the League of the South?

  5. Adam says

    Dave A.,

    The difficulty is in distinguishing between “facts” and “conclusions from those facts.” You need to have a broad and wide knowledge of your field, otherwise, when you look at certain things you discover in doing research, you will not understand how they fit into the bigger picture. It is all going to depend upon what your view of the bigger picture is.

    FWIW, I don’t really have any concerns with Civil War balls. In fact, I think that kind of dancing and fashion is rather elegant. I would love to learn that kind of dancing and go to an event like that. I am more concerned about the southern *ideology* being imposed back on the Biblical text. It is the *ideology* that is the problem. We need to allow the Bible to correct our ideology, and not presuppose a certain ideology, which we then impose back onto the Biblical text. We need to allow the Bible itself to develop its own ideology, and then adopt its ideology.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  6. Laura says

    I think the concern for me lies in the fact that I know firsthand that some who are involved in these balls are the “lost cause”, or pro South folks and that rather than just enjoying a historical, fun, reenactment, they are perhaps wishing for the “good old days”.

    If you read enough of their websites, you will pick up a definite pro south leaning. There is an attempt at impartiality but the language used to describe the south is much softer than that used to describe the north.One site talks about a goal being to “reeducate about the causes of the Civil War” (read: the Civil War was not about slavery), and how the Civil War was “free of modern concerns”(probably not for African Americans…).

    I have no problem with dances of any time period so long as dress and music are not sleazy. Being old fashioned does not make something more “Biblical”- I think that you would agree with that. I just see some problems behind the scenes with some of these events.

    Check some of their sites and links. We have an adopted African American daughter and I wonder how out of place she might feel at an event that tried to paint the Confederacy in a noble, favorable light?

  7. Adam says

    Laura,

    That is why I said the issue is the ideology. The balls themselves don’t cause me great concern; it is when these balls, or homeschooling curriculum, or anything else that is okay in and of itself is used to push a neo-confederate ideology that it becomes wrong. Hence, my focus is not going to be on speaking against the balls as much as it is going to be speaking against this whole notion of reading neo-confederate ideology back into the text. If it can be shown that neo-confederacy is not only inconsistent with the Bible, but contradictory to the Bible, then it doesn’t both me one bit if people want to have a “Pride and Prejudice” like ball, because the ideology is gone.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  8. Laura says

    Yes, I agree the issue is the ideology. Its just that as I see it right now, many of these events are based on the faulty ideology. It does not necessarily have to be that way. Blessings, Laura

  9. says

    Dave A.,

    I am quite interested in your story from cheerleader of the FIC to cautious. Perhaps some time you could write it out for others. Something to think about.

  10. says

    Dave A,

    If you would, could you email me that movie list of errors? (Why reinvent the wheel?). I can look into some of it and write it up: pastormathis at gmail.com

  11. says

    Dave says: “Adam, Dishonest or incompetent? The men that are at the front of NCFIC and Vision Forum are pretty sharp, genuine and have developed alot of respect. I would like to think they are not trying to be dishonset. For years I listened to their teaching and instruction, they see the problem, have an answer that is compelling, and have lots of “facts” to support their position. It was not until I actually started checking some of those “facts” that I realized the “facts” were either not true or severely distorted to support their position.”

    I do not for one minute believe that those within the leadership of the patriocentric movement are incompetent. Their writings are worded very carefully and their positions and presentations are crafted to convey a message even when it is not stated in a forthright manner. Sometime they say things they think no one will ever know to be not exactly true. One time, for example, I knew of a young law student who had failed the bar exam and yet was touted as a “legal scholar.” Another time I saw someone recognized as “an expert in medical ethics” when he had absolutely no background in medicine, a college degree of any sort, or a single published work addressing ethics issues, not even a blog. These people are well aware of the situation in the Montrous Regiment movie, have been for several years, and still have not corrected it. They just assume that no one of significance will ever dig around to find the truth. And then if you do, it is considered gossip and slander to question them. These are smart people, they really are. And great at marketing. I wish someone would come straight out and ask Ken Ham for a statement regarding FIC. That would be interesting.

  12. says

    I kind of like the idea of period costume balls, too. But they are being held by southern sympathizers so that sends up too many warning flags.

  13. says

    Mrs. Baker, surely you could not have read my articles on the Pros and Cons of the family integrated church to conclude that I said horrible things. Many people have told me how fair and balanced my perspective was. I would love for you to share specifics on your own church…I would really like to know some of the things I asked Pastor Smith about, which he still has not answered. Tapping foot here. Earth to Pastor Smith…

    Here are a few things that I would love to hear about. What are the age and schooling types demographics in your church? How many families are not homeschooling families? How many elderly families are there? Single men and women? What does evangelism look like? Missions?

  14. says

    Dave, I would love to have you share your thoughts, too. And please feel free to post your list of “inconsistencies” from the movie here as well.

  15. says

    Karen, Did anyone ask the women to publicly comment on Montrous Regiment that they were interviewed in? Have you tried to contact Ham? Has anyone? It is hard to get a hold of the big names.

    I ran into three gross factual errors in the book “Home Schooling: The Right Choice”. I mailed the author the error and correction (nicely of course!) and never heard back.

  16. says

    Karen, The examples you gave of violations of the Ninth Commandment are serious indeed. But the problem is how could anyone prove it? Especially on the internet. Did you have enough info to write up on it? Where you able to confront them in any way?

    I do pray that any such gross sins would be confronted just the same as if any who criticize them should be confronted when in error.

    The movie pulled of a similar sloppy usage of language: it called Mr. Phillips an “historian”! And another guy was a “theologian”!

  17. Adam says

    Karen,

    I guess what I am thinking is that their position could justify even those things. For example, in your podcasts that you did on the “Homeschool Leadership Summit,” you spoke of discussions of homeschoolers needing to make their own credentials. That would fit well in both of the scenarios you give.

    For example, a person who fails the Bar exam might still be a legal scholar, because he only failed at trying to get the world’s credentials, which, in this system, doesn’t mean anything. Also, just because you have never studied medicine or ethics at the collegiate level or anything else wouldn’t matter if you mean the “homeschooling” standard for competence. I also think you can explain what is going on in the movie you cite, because all they need to say is that those who do not agree with their conclusions are being inconsistent; yet, the only reason they think that they are inconsistent is because they are incompetent. Combine incompetency with the power to advertise that you speak of, and it creates something very dangerous.

    From what you have told me, I would say that the real problem, though, is not incompetency; it is, more importantly, pride. You said that they view themselves as our teachers, and that seems to imply that they could never learn anything from us. That right there sends up a red flag. Part of being a good teacher is being able to learn from your students. When you are unwilling to interact with fellow orthodox believers in Jesus Christ on the basis of scripture, and you demand that your position must be right without any discussion, then this is the kind of problem you create.

    What I don’t get is how you can have this kind of attitude, and be reformed. The five points of Calvinism are some of the most pride crushing teachings I have ever heard. It constantly forces you back to God’s word in order to continue to grow more and more. When you will not challenge your presuppositions on the basis of scripture, it really shows you are more committed to your own ideas rather then learning what is found in scripture. That kind of pride is very dangerous.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  18. says

    Shawn, I personally exchanged e-mail with Carol Everett and spoke on the phone with the Phyllis Schafly’s assistant. A friend of mine also exchanged personal e-mail with the prof from Scotland. All were horrified and I do nor know what they did with the information in the end. Frankly, to the average person, they have bigger fish to fry. To those of us in the nitty gritty of this stuff, it is a much bigger deal!

  19. says

    Karen, Wow. I’m impressed with your efforts to not only verify the accuracy of this movement but the willingness to follow through as you did. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts at finding the truth.

    I do believe after you informed them they had a duty to publicly retract or correct. It would not have been hard with one paragraph.

    I am seriously thinking about making a website (like patriarchy.org) or at least a facebook–facebook can do “sites” without friends right? And link all related articles (even one’s I do not agree with) for accuracy sake but especially rebuttals. I am gathering the comment discussions with fic guys for posting as well because illuminating things occur in comment sections.

  20. says

    Adam, you are absolutely correct, they consider these thing to be so because they have credentialed themselves. But they are also aware of the significance of those titles to a watching world, the “average person” if you will or “a reasonable person” as is used in a courtroom. They know that, for instance, calling some one an expert in medical ethics causes a reasonable person to assume certain things and they know it is misleading. If you see this one time you might not think anything of it but done repeatedly over a decade and by the same people is another story.

    Are any of you familiar with the “Rahab clause?” A number of years ago, a fellow named Rich Lusk who was/is on staff with Steve Wilkins, both proponents of Federal Vision theology, wrote an essay on when it was OK for Chistians to bear false witness for the greater good. He used the story of Rahab as an example and how God commended her. He explained that sometimes Christians have o follow her example today to advance the kingdom. I have called this sort of situational ethics we see with the patriocentrists the “rehab clause.”. They sincerely believe that misleading another person is ok as long as it advances the kingdom.

  21. Jack Brooks says

    That’s a corruption of the Rahab story. Some Christian ethicists say that Rahab (and the Egyptian midwives) sinned, but God forebore with it. Others say that protecting innocent human life (Jewish babies, the spies) was the exception God allowed. I follow the second view — that you never need to tell a criminal the truth, if the truth is going to empower them to commit murder. But those two samples obviously don’t excuse wholesale deception.

  22. says

    Two things of note for those who want to be informed of this (mostly one-sided) debate:

    1. Public dialogue with Mr. Wolfe of Wolfe Ministries. He defends FICs. I question him. Starts today:

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f117/dialogue-family-integrated-church-proponent-mr-wolfe-69184/

    2. Blog dedicated to FIC issues, allegations and errors:

    http://familyintegratedchurchmovement.blogspot.com/

    (Someone already took the shorter name this spring but has not written anything…)

  23. Adam says

    Karen,

    I think I understand what you are saying. I guess what I am seeing from these people is that they are caught in their own little world. To understand them, you must think like them. What people need to realize when they hear these people using words is that they have their own terminology that they have imposed on the scriptures. They have a different language game than the Bible, although they may use the same words.

    You are very right that it is something that can be deceiving to outsiders. It almost reminds me of when I was talking to some Mormon missionaries [no doctrinal comparison intended], and they kept talking about God as “Heavenly Father.” After a while, I finally realized that, when they used the term “Heavenly Father” they meant father in a biological sense, namely, that we were birthed via sexual relations between God and some woman.

    It is similar to what is going on here. You need to understand how these people are using their language in order to understand what they mean by things. If you don’t understand what they mean by things, it can be very misleading. I do think that it necessitates clarification on their part, but, as far as they are concerned, they are just being “Biblical.”

    Also, ya, the Federal Vision is very, very wacky. Have you ever heard of James Jordan’s “Interpretive Maximalism?” It is extremely fallacious. Greg Bahnsen criticized this hermeneutic before he died, and warned about its connection to the sacramentalism of James Jordan. Now, it has blossomed into a full-blown movement. I wasn’t aware of that misuse of the Rahab passage, however. The point of the passage is the woman’s faith in God-not that she lied to bring about God’s kingdom. The point of the text is not to bring about God’s kingdom, but it is the judgment upon the Canaanite nations for their idolatry. That is why it is so significant that Rahab recognizes the Lord as the God of heaven and earth.

    Because of IM, the FV just has all kinds of crazy, wacky ideas. It would not surprise me if they tried to read the conquering of the kingdom back into the story of the conquest of Canaan, and thus, confuse the two events as if they are the same thing. Granted, the Bible does draw a parallel between the two, but never is that parallel explicated in terms of Rahab and her lying to protect the spies. That is something that must be argued if you are going to assert it.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  24. says

    @ Adam,

    This might seem off topic but here is something to think about.

    James Jordan’s problem is that he is starting from a physcial/biological view of the curse and Genesis 1. Then he switches to a “covenantal” reading and then switches back to a physical/material/biological interpretation of the end. That is why he can have Daniel 12 fulfilled (Resurrection of Corporate Israel) and also have a yet future casket resurrection. (DeMar does the same thing and readily admits it.)

    The reason I point this out is that ALL futurist theology agrees with this view of the curse. You, Shawn, Jordan, Swanson, and the FIC crowd are all starting from the same point (YEC view of Genesis and “the death” of Adam as biological). All say that Jesus’ work is still incomplete and we are still awaiting final salvation. This opens the door to perversions like the FIC preaches and on the other side the misunderstanding that people like Shawn Mathis preach (that the family goes away in the “new heavens and earth” and is only a temporary institution that God has made.)

    Until we are willing to honestly re-examine our own traditions and basic assumptions you are always going to have this problem. The legalism that creeps into reformed churches (and others) comes because those churches are preaching that salvation is not complete and therefore we are still under the old covenant order.

    If however, we understand that Jesus fulfilled all he came to do, when he prophesied he would, our complete outlook would change. If we understand “the new heavens and new earth” as the new covenant (as opposed to the 1st heavens and earth = old covenant) we would finally start to understand how family life reflects our relationship with the Body, but can’t be elevated to stature of idolatry.

    John 17 gives us the Biblical definition of eternal life. It is relational and fellowship, not physical bodies living forever in re-made earth. Acts 26 gives us the definition of the death that Christ was raised from, and it was not biological death.

    As Dallas Willard says “Christianity is not just about getting into heaven after we die, it is about getting into heaven before we die.”

    That reality is what will destroy the power of legalistic structures, set up by fear based preaching, so people can somehow work and earn God’s favor and thus achieve their version of “salvation” because they are told that we are still waiting for it.

    The problems with FIC are deeply theological. The problem as I see it, is that those trying to “fight” it are starting from the exact same basic assumptions and therefore can’t fully distinguish themselves because in the end their theology is cut out of the same mold. It is the same model with the only difference being the year.

    Where did Swanson come from? What was being preached in his former church that he just expanded on and took it to the next logical conclusion? The same question should be asked about all the other FIC leaders. Those are the questions we should be addressing if we want long term freedom from this particular Pharisaical sect.

    Blessings,
    Micah

  25. Adam says

    Micah,

    You seem to be assuming that something must be either covenantal or physical. I would say that this is a false dilemma. God’s covenant involved the time/space continuum, and still to this day does. Consider the promise to Abraham that he would be heir of the world. That is something Paul points to as fulfilled in the gospel going forth to all nations.

    Also, I would not say that the work of Jesus Christ is incomplete. I would say that his work is currently being applied to us. For example, I may be guaranteed a new car, because I worked for the money, and then went down to the auto dealer, and put down the money, but that doesn’t mean that I will be able to get the car right away, especially if they do not have it in stock, and have to order it. Does that mean my work is incomplete? No. It just means there is a period of time where I must wait in order to get my car. Have I bought a new car? Yes. Do I own a new car? Yes. However, that does not mean that the car is out in my driveway.

    Also, Jesus did say that in the eternal state people would no longer marry nor be given in marriage:

    Matthew 22:29-30 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

    Again, it is a total false dilemma to say that eternal life is either knowing God, or eternal biological life in a new heavens and new earth. 1 Corinthians 15 very clearly talks about the same seed that goes into the ground coming up out of the ground. Also, the death Christ was raised from was physical death, as he told his disciples to touch him, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones, thus proving the physicality of his resurrection [Luke 24:39].

    Also, again, I don’t see where the old covenant=old heavens/earth and the new covenant=new heavens/earth. Certainly they are related, but they are not the same thing.

    Also, be careful about confusing a rejection of legalism with antinomianism. The command “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is just as binding today as it was back in the time of Moses. The answer is not to get rid of commands, but to actually go back to scripture to see which commands we need to obey, and to read them in their context. However, we obey these commands, not because of the fact that we are somehow adding something to the work of Christ, but because that is what a heart changed by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit desires to do. When that is your desire, there is no need to engage in exegetical stretches to find new commands we must obey, because you love God’s commandments so much that any other commandments just seem artificial.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  26. says

    Adam,

    You seem to be making my point. In your paradigm, Christ has accomplished nothing. We still suffer the penalty for sin (bio-death), the “world” is still under a curse, and we are still under the curse.

    If Adam’s spiritual death brought physical death, then why doesn’t spiritual life and forgiveness bring about the reverse of that?

    If Christ paid the penalty in our place why do we still “die” the death of Adam?

    As for your proof texting of Matthew 22 please refer to this show where I address this exact issue. Many preterist have addressed it. It would be nice if people familiarized themselves with opposing arguments before they tried to proof text things.

    http://podcast.ad70.net/the-journey/

    If you look at the parallel passage in Luke 22 you will see that Jesus puts the levirate marriage law that the Sadducees are asking about within that age (OC age) that was about to pass away. He even tells us when the resurrection would be. In the age where the son’s of God were revealed!

    This is contrary to the OC age where the Covenant was propagated by biological means, hence the levirate marriage law. In the New Covenant you can have as many children as you want because children are spiritual. Paul, John and James show us this. “Dear little children”. The New Covenant is not bound by biology or blood lines. There is no more marriage because there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek in the New Covenant.

    On the other hand, the FIC guys are preaching an OC system. Karen has pointed out and documented how they say that having biological children is the pre-ordained way of expanding the kingdom. However, they don’t understand the nature of the real Kingdom because they are living in the OC kingdom that passed away in AD 70. Sad, but true.

    So, are you a son of God? If so, then you live post resurrection. Do we know if Paul was a son of God? I hope you affirm that? Did he ever attain the “salvation” that was “nearer now than when he first believed”, 2000 years ago.

    Your analogy falls flat. The author of Hebrews is clear that “salvation” only comes with the 2nd appearing of Christ. (Per the types and shadows of the OC day of atonement sacrifice. The High Priest had to come back out of the Holy of Holies and then the people knew they had “atonement” for that year.)

    So if you deny that Christ has appeared a 2nd time, then you can’t honestly say that anyone is a son of God, or that there is “salvation” according to Hebrews. (And the rest of the Bible)

    You also have to deny the inspiration of Hebrews. Clearly, Christ was promised to appear a 2nd time to THOSE WHO EAGERLY AWAITED HIM! Check out 1 Corinthians 1 to find out who was “eagerly awaiting the revelation of Jesus Christ”.

    As far as 1 Corinthians 15 goes, please check out Alan Bondar’s series posted at http://www.newcovenanteyes.com or Sam Frost’s “Essay’s on the Resurrection”. I don’t want to hijack this thread, but I will say, please make sure I am dead before you bury me, unlike Paul’s example of burying the seed and THEN it dies. (Hosea has some clues as to who the seed was.)

    You never addressed my point. Shawn Mathis and Kevin Swanson have the same theology. Most FIC leaders come out of the Reformed world. It just happens that Swanson takes things a little farther down the road.

    All of you have the same basic assumptions beginning in Genesis and you all deny that the Body of Christ is living in the consummated New Covenant World. Until you are willing to re-examine traditions of men in light of Scripture you will always be turning out this sort of stuff from your own churches. You will always be fighting those wanting to go back to living under law with a no-good-news-yet Gospel.

    Where did K. Swanson come from?

    Blessings,
    Micah

    P.S. Acts 26:23 says that Christ would be the FIRST to RISE FROM THE DEAD. Please don’t argue that he was the first to rise from biological death. (Also, Adam was the first to die the death of Adam but Able expired biologically before Adam.)

  27. Laura says

    Micah, I am curious as I have never been exposed to the ideas that you expound upon.

    Do you mean that you believe we are already living post resurrection?

    What about marriage ? I agree that the size of our family is a personal matter between ourselves and God. But, I know people who would theologically agree with Adam or Shawn who agree with you that we are no longer under OT law.

    What do you believe as far as where the earth is headed in relation to Chris tand His kingdom- I wouldn’t think rapture! Post or ante- millenium? Subduing the earth for Christ and handing Him the keys to the kingdom? What do you think of a “new heaven and a new earth”?

    It is a very valid point that whatever our doctrinal belief, it is important to follow it to the logical conclusion. Thank you for your patience with those such as myself who are not clear on your positions.

  28. Laura says

    Sorry- big typo! line 6- read “Christ and His kingdom”.

    Also I need to clarify that I would not imagine most of us here believe we are bound by OT law.

    I think I am suffering the effects of a moms home school planning meeting last night and I will have a second cup of coffee as soon as possible-Blessings, L

  29. Adam says

    Micah,

    It is not a matter of familiarizing yourself with opposing arguments; it is a matter of the hermeneutics that you use to get to those arguments. The problem with hyperpreterism has always been its hermeneutics, and thus, when you understand their hermeneutics, you understand where the mistakes will be made before they are made. Let me give you an example. The way the Sadducees are framing this argument is that all of these events have happened in the past. When they describe what happens in verse 26, they use the aorist tense, which is very clearly past. In other words, they are presenting these events as having already taken place, as a logical result of what Moses commanded. However, in verse 28, they switch to the future tense, “whose wife will she be?

    What they are saying is, if all of these men kept on dying, and this same woman had to marry all of these men, when these men and the woman are resurrected, whose wife will she be, since all of these marriages have already taken place? Procreation is merely incidental and the reason for multiple marriages that have already taken place in the past. However, their question is, specifically, “whose wife will she be” [v.28] if all these marriages have already taken place [vrs. 25-26]? It is in response to this question that Jesus says that, in the new heavens and new earth, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage.

    This is also seen by the fact that Jesus starts the answer to his question in the same way that the Sadducees framed their question: “in the resurrection” [en te anastasei] [vrs. 28, 30]. In other words, Jesus is pointing out that the error in their argument is what takes place “in the resurrection.” If Jesus’ response to their question is that they are conceiving of the resurrection as having to do with people who are past dead when they are not, then why does Jesus repeat the very words of their objection in agreement? Jesus’ point in response to the Sadducees would simply be that *marriage* is irrelevant in the new heavens and new earth. Hence, asking whose wife she will be in the resurrection is asking an irrelevant question.

    Also, it completely destroys the punch of Jesus’ second statement that they will be “like the angels in heaven.” Are we to seriously believe that what Jesus meant by that statement is only that the angels do not engage in levariate marriage, but do, in fact, marry???????

    Also, when Paul speaks of salvation being nearer to us then when we first believed, he is speaking of *final* and *ultimate* salvation, where the work of Christ is finally fully applied to us. If you look at the context, it is speaking of holy living and sanctification. What he is talking about is the fact that that work of the Holy Spirit in applying the work of Christ to us is closer now then when he first began.

    That is the same thing with the passages in Hebrews. You seem to be assuming that word can have one and only one meaning. Consider the fact that the average person has a vocabulary of twenty thousand words. Yet, linguists have shown that the average person will express four to five million ideas in their lifetime. The point is that this means that words have got to have more than one sense and meaning. This was the point in D.A. Carson’s work on the “love of God” that God and his love can have many different senses. I would likewise argue that the word “salvation” can have many different senses as well.

    This is especially the case for those who “eagerly await him.” Where do you get the idea that “those who await him” means “those who await his second coming?” No. It contains, more consistent with the context [esp. vrs. 25-26], our hope and trust in Christ. In fact, that is how the standard Greek lexicon of Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich understand this usage. While that certainly may include the fact that he is coming again, it does not include that alone, as the context makes clear. Also, I believe he will again appear to those who are already dead because he will raise them from the dead. Hence, he will appear again to those that eagerly hope in him, both who have passed away and those who are still alive at his coming.

    Also, I am well aware of the hyperpreterist misuse of the present tense at 1 Corinthians 15. The problem is that the present tense has a huge range of semantic functions, even to discuss events that are future [eg. “I am going to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2)] and even things that are generally true [“the wind blows” (John 3:8)]. Hence, the point would simply be to talk about the nature of the resurrection itself [similar to the present tense usage in John 3:8], and not to deal with the timing of the event itself.

    Also, jumping to Hosea is jumping to a different context. In the context of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is specifically talking about a seed dying first, and then coming up as a plant in the specific context of the resurrection.

    It is the same problem with Acts 26. Again, you assume that, if the resurrection is spoken of in non-physical terms, that it cannot be physical too even though Luke 24:39 clearly indicates that it is.

    Again, all of these mistakes [imposing a dualistic worldview onto the text, the assumption that words like “salvation” or “resurrection” can only have one meaning] are all *hermeneutical* issues. I am willing to take on hyperpreterism on the basis of the scriptures, but before we can do that, we have to discuss how we are going to treat the scriptures. We have to discuss the nature of how human language works, the multifaceted nature of human language, the way in which discourse is both shaped by the past, and shapes the past, and a whole host of other issues that I have never seen hyperpreterists address in their writings.

    Language is a complex phenomenon. Ironically, it is failing to recognize this that causes folks like Kevin Swanson and Scott Brown to come to the conclusions that they come to. The way I escape the dilemma you have set down as either patriarchy or hyperpreterism is to say I reject the hermeneutics of both as they are both grossly simplistic in their view of language. Hence, I am more than willing to test what I believe up against scripture; the problem is, the scriptures are human language, and, before we can discuss the scriptures, we have to discuss how human language works and operates before we can then apply those principles in order to ascertain the meaning of the text.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  30. Adam says

    Laura,

    Micah is a hyperpreterist [aka pantelist, full preterist, etc.]. He believes that the second coming of Christ has already occurred, that the resurrection has already taken place, and that sin and death will continue for ever ad infinitum. It is very dualistic in that it insists upon a firm separation between the material and the immaterial, as you can see by the fact that he insists upon dichotomies such as the physical and the covenantal. In this sense, as even hyperpreterist David Green has pointed out, they are similar to the gnostics in their worldview.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  31. Dave A says

    Shawn & Karen,
    I would love to post all the “problems” I found while watching the movie Divided, I just do not have to time right now to do it in depth, it would take me hours & hours. Many of the errors have already been brought up. One of LeClerc’s first statements is “how can I trust the Church?” This is why I have said the NCFIC is at root anti-church. From the beginning and all the way through the movie that is a common thread that is pushed, take note of all the general refrences to “the church” and “the modern Church” and all the fault is laid at the “Church” in general. From my experience many families in the FIC movement have had and do have an issue with Church authority.
    As mentioned before Ken Ham and Britt Beemer are used for their research data and the film almost depicts them as in agreement with the NCFIC and the NCFIC’s solutions. The book “Already Gone” by Ham & Beamer draws a different solution to the problem of the youth “leaving”. My opinion and others have mentioned it here is that the “gospel” is not proclaimed, there is the easy believeism, just pray the “prayer” and your good to go.
    Sometime when I get the time I will try to email you Shawn.

  32. says

    Dave A., I understand. I am not seeking anything in depth just obvious things like you just pointed out about LeClerk. I first saw the movie in the dark so my review only dealt with the over-arching themes.

    thanks,

  33. Dave A says

    Here are a few more: I previously mentioned Derwin Gray (Trnasformation Church) and how at least I got the impression from the interview that he was of the same mindset as the NCFIC. Some of his quotes were; “The Church has to be the family”, “students do not need to be segregated as a whole but integrated into the Church” and I mentioned another a few posts back. I checked his Church’s website and they have nursery, a ministry for young children during the service and even a youth ministry that meets on Sunday nights. That was not the impression I got from the interview.
    A mindset that the NCFIC has is that if a ministry, education model, ect. was not founded on a “Biblical” model then it is wrong. I do not know how many times (V. Baucham) that I have heard that “it can not be reformed if it never stated with a “Biblical” model”, “how can you reform something that was never correct to begin with?” That is their basis against public schools and it has transfered over to church ministries. That is why they try to attack the “origins” of S.S. and “segregated” education.
    Doug Phillips attack on Robert Raikes is flat out wrong. He was not the “father” of S.S. He had a great influence on it’s growth in England. The curriculum it is said was the word of God. It was not “completely outside the Church” as Doug Phillips claimed. They had to look long and hard to find that “detractor” they quoted, Rev. Thomas Burns. John Wesley said “I verily think these S.S. are one of the noblest specimens of charity which have been set on foot in England since William the Conqueror”

  34. Dave A says

    The attack on “modern education” by Doug Phillips; “Modern classroom design is from evolution” (no proof of that statement made) “never seen before, not part of american history” (true?) “modern invention meant to accommodate evolutionary thinking” (really?) “Christian Church is borrowing from evolution” Not a single one of his statements is backed by any proof other than “he” said it.
    Scott Brown; “promoters of age segregation were ALL at war with God” I have to admit that I did not have time to fully check out that statement but it is a bit much. “patterns of the N.T. were ALWAYS age integrated, never segregated” (no scripture proof given) “scripture has alot to say about age integration” (again none given) if there is so much why do they not even give a single example? All
    Scott Brown says is that it was modeled at the churches of Colossae and Ephesus but not specefic example, as far as I could tell he never gives a single proof text for any of his claims.
    V. Baucham “O.T. and N.T. have very clear pattern of children in worship with parents.” He at least gives 4 references, Duet. 6, Ps. 78, Proverbs, and Eph. 6. It is a bit of a stretch to say that those give a “very clear” pattern.

  35. Dave A says

    The interview with Boyd Dellinger; “usurp fathers authority by turning hearts to him as youth pastor”, “Biblical standard of Fathers turning hearts to children” (Shawn deals with this Mal. 4:6 view) Is it ever right for a persons heart to be turned toward their pastor/pastors? The NCFIC gives the impression that it should not be. What impression does the N.T. give? Did the apostle Paul have the “hearts” of any in the early church?
    Doug Phillips; “God gave the role to the family to make the family work, He did not give it to the Church” (again no scriptural proof text) what really is the role of the Church then? “Central theme of scripture is to take responsibility, be self governing, take responsibility for yourself.” Now that one REALLY bugs me because it is REALLY WRONG, Christ is the central theme of the entire Bible! If you start that far off it’s no wonder that Doug Phillips ends up so far off.

  36. Dave A says

    Scott Brown; “Scripture does not picture the Church taking care of orphins and widows” he goes on to say that it is up to the individual families and not the corporate Church. What about Acts 6 and the 7 men who are chosen to care for widows?

    What is troubling is the answer given at the end as to how to fix the problem of the youth “leaving” the faith.
    V. Baucham; “Do not pass on the responsibility of training children to someone else, trust the word.”
    Doug Phillips; “Train Dads, focus efforts on discipling families, seeing family and Church to live in harmony with each other, family honor juristiction of Church, Church raising up families by discipling fathers.” (He should read Matt. 28:16-20)
    Swanson; “Rebuild fatherhood”
    Scott Brown; “Progressively over the last 200 years the Church had set aside the sufficiency of scripture for the discipleship of the next generation.” “The cause of the problem is that the Church has abandoned the principles for the training of the next generation.” (my interpretation of that, return to the good old days).

    I don’t know how many times this has been said but there is no gospel in their solution at all, none. 2 Timothy 4:2, preach the word…….. 1 Cor. 15:3 Paul said..of first importance, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.
    The real solution to the problem of loosing the youth is that they are sinners that need to be saved, not just “moralized” by a whole bunch of rules, but regenerated, a new creature in Christ.

  37. says

    Dave: good start! I’ll take it from there.

    As for the history of education, see my blog, ChristianNurture.blogspot.com
    You are write about “the historian”: no evidence and worse counter evidence they never brought up.

    “The real solution to the problem of loosing the youth is that they are sinners that need to be saved, not just “moralized” by a whole bunch of rules, but regenerated, a new creature in Christ.”

    Amen brother,

    take care,

  38. Laura says

    If Doug Phillips says that modern public school is a ” product of evolution”, is he accidentally affirming that he believes in evolutionary process and that modern public school is the superior species???? (Just joking)

    I suppose he means that age segregation and modern education are vehicles used BY evolutionists to indoctrinate?

    Though I think that most of life should be inclusive of a variety of age groups, I think it is normal and healthy that sometimes, persons of the same age group fellowship and learn together.

    These things I am reading here really sound anti-church and increasingly cult like with an emphasis on every man being his own little king of his universe. As I said days ago, I would not be surprised if polygamy was the next step.

    Did that pastor really say that the church has no business helping orphans? Wow.

  39. Laura says

    Adam- at the risk of being tedious, what is the preterist doctrine of heaven and hell? Is it orthodox? Do they believe that this present age will continue on indefinitely? Do they believe in theocracy or dominion and if so, through what means? What interpretation do they have for what is typically called the millenium by mainstream protestants?

  40. says

    @ Laura,

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I may comment on Adams post next, but first, notice how he made my exact point in his second post: He said:

    “Also, when Paul speaks of salvation being nearer to us then when we first believed, he is speaking of *final* and *ultimate* salvation, where the work of Christ is finally fully applied to us.”

    There you go. You don’t have “ultimate” salvation yet. There are many things he chose not to address (Acts 26:23 for example), but there is no point in arguing out on here.

    I linked a show that I did on the marriage issue. Here is the link again and the link to the whole series I did introducing preterism and graced based parenting.

    http://podcast.ad70.net/the-journey/

    http://podcast.ad70.net/category/the-journey/micah-martin/

    I would recommend listening to the first four shows. Many of your questions will be answered in those shows.

    Have you ever noticed all of the time statements in the NT? Matthew 24 is a good place to start. Jesus tells his disciples that some of them would be alive when he returned. Daniel 12 confirms that the “time of the end” that the Bible talks about (and the Resurrection) would happen when the “power of the holy people was completely shattered”. It all happened in AD 70 when Jesus returned “in the Glory of His Father” and brought a complete end to the Old Covenant “world” or “age” and consummated the New Covenant (Marriage) and brought complete salvation per Hebrews 9.

    Jesus is the point of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. What Adam lost, Jesus restores. It was a fellowship death that Adam experienced (the day he ate) and it is that real fellowship that Jesus restores.

    It is a huge study but start with the time statements in the New Testament. Pay attention to who is being written to. Every book in the NT was written to a particular audience in a particular time. The Corinthians were “eagerly awaiting: the revealing of Jesus Christ from Heaven. They weren’t disappointed.

    Jesus promised to come in the “Glory of His Father”. In the OT, God always came “riding on the clouds”. Do a word search (clouds) on Biblegateway and you will see this theme in the OT. “Coming on the clouds” was typical judgment language in the OT and it is no surprise that Jesus came in the same way.

    Feel free to email me and I will try to answer any questions or point you in the right direction.

    micahmartin5@gmail.com

    The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to bring life and life more abundantly. I have already shown that according to John 17, eternal life is defined by relationship. That is a reality for those in Christ and not something we need to wait for.

    The other good news is that there is no “great tribulation” in our future. Satan has been destroyed (Romans 16/Revelation 20) and the dwelling place of God is now with man. Jesus is the new Temple and we are living stones!
    Temples are where the Deity resides. When God destroyed the Jerusalem from below, the New Jerusalem came down out of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5).

    The law no longer condemns us but it is written on our hearts!

    Now permit me to give you one example of why it is important to be willing to re-examine ALL of our theology in discussions like this.

    1) All of the FIC guys and the guys that are on this board trying to fight them, all start from the same assumptions.
    2)Many FIC guys come directly or are still affiliated with certain reformed denominations. (For example, Kevin Swanson got his start in Shawn Mathis’ church. Shawn’s OPC church planted Kevin’s Church. (Go figure)
    Essentially, there is no difference in their theology, they just have a slight difference in practice.

    This renders someone like Shawn (or Adam) impotent when it comes to arguing against someone in his own denomination.

    For example: Gen. 3:16, the curse on the woman:

    To the woman he said,

    “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
    Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

    Shawn, Adam and FIC guys all take this in a literal way.

    1)Physical pain in physical childbirth.

    2)Individual women will want to “subvert” their husbands and the husbands will be “domineering.” (Marital strife)

    Now, you have to understand that all of these guys believe women are still suffering the curse, even the ones that have been forgiven and have come into Christ! So the curse is because of sin but forgiveness of sin doesn’t do squat to remove the curse. (And the poor woman still physically dies at the end of her life because Christ’s payment on the cross didn’t pay that bill.)

    More bad news… Being in Christ does nothing for the second half of the curse. Pick up any conservative parenting or marriage book and the author will say the reason why the woman has to submit to the husband is because they have to deal with the curse. (Some say the curse is kind of reversed in Christ but they turn around and affirm that rest of the curse (on material creation) is still in FULL affect. (Yes, Christ died for you and me, and slugs, bugs, bees and trees.)

    So, if Shawn or Adam agree with this basic premise they can’t argue effectively against the FIC guys because according to Genesis, if this curse is truly of the nature they interpret it as, then yes, the FIC guys have a point. Men must make their women submit and a whole host of other legalistic doctrines. (And it means the Christ’s work on the cross has so far been in-effective to reverse the effects of sin.)

    And just when you thought it doesn’t get any worse for the poor woman… it does. When does the curse get removed in this paradigm? At the end of time, when we all get new bodies and live in a new heaven and new earth. BUT, we won’t be having children then because there is no marriage. (Adam and Eve were married before the fall, were supposed to get it on and have biological kids before the fall but when Eden is restored there is no marriage and no hanky panky except we do have the “self same” bodies, glorified at that, but no glorified sex and we are like angels). Maybe that is the reason teens are leaving the church, they hear the part about no sex in heaven (or is it the new heavens and earth?) even though they have glorified biological bodies with wings like angels.

    So no woman in the entire history of mankind get’s to have a baby in the Edenic state!!! So that curse really never get’s removed!

    OK now let’s compare an interpretation that sees this curse in a “covenantal nature” instead of biological. In this paradigm we can let the Scriptures speak for themselves and we can easily see how Jesus reverses this curse.

    Gen. 3:16 “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.

    Curse still in effect over the Covenant People (Israel)

    IsaiahIsaiah 26:18
    We have been with child, we have been in pain. We have, as it were, brought forth the wind…we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth…

    Isaiah’s vision of the “new creation” or “new Covenant”
    Isaiah 65:23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble, for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

    Galatians 4:22-26,31 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is (Old Covenant economy), and is in bondage with her children—but the Jerusalem above (New Covenant economy) is free, which is the mother of us all…So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

    Can you see the correlation Paul makes. The old Covenant was in bondage (Jerusalem below / OC Israel under Law)
    The new Eve (Church) is from the Jerusalem above and is free, and having KIDS!

    The mandate to be fruitful and multiply is only fulfilled by Christ and the Church (The new Adam and new Eve!) It isn’t talking about how holy the Duggars are for having 19 kids (but you can’t argue against that legalistic interpretation if you agree with the basic biological interpretation assumption.)

    Notice what happened when Adam was in a “deep sleep”…. Eve was made from his side.
    Notice what happened when Christ was in a similar “deep sleep” (death) on the cross… from his side flowed “blood and water”. The new Eve was made from the New Adams side in the exact same way!

    But this time they would fulfill the command to be fruitful and multiply. The dead body of Adam ((Israel) look at Hosea 6:2, 13:1 and notice where Paul is pulling from in Hosea when writing 1 Cor. 15!) was raised as the Body of Christ (new Covenant Israel) and Jesus and his wife have been having kids (without the pain of serving under the OC system) ever since.

    Sorrow in childbirth = Removed in Christ!

    Ok, now we are having some fun reading this love story called the BIBLE!

    Hang on to your hat cause here we go again:

    Gen. 3:16 Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

    Have you ever wondered how you desiring your husband is a curse? If we are reading this in the old paradigm it makes no sense. I can tell you from my perspective that having my wife desire me is certainly no curse. But remember we are looking at this covenantally and are letting the Bible speak for itself.

    Eve desired the fruit and ate. Old Covenant Israel was married to the law and was ruled by it. They desired the law instead of Christ and therefore proved that they were under the curse of the woman.

    John 5:39 You search the Scriptures (Law and Prophets) because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

    Galatians 3:10-13 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

    Christ came to redeem his bride from this curse and released her from our old husband:

    Romans 7:1-4 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

    Romans 8:1,2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Now the Church no longer desires the old husband but her new husband Christ:

    Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you.

    So there you go. In Christ, the curse on the woman is totally reversed!

    This also destroys ALL of the Patriarchy arguments and FIC arguments by destroying their fundamental and basic assumptions.

    The Bible is about Christ and how he RESTORED (past tense) the relationship that was lost in the Garden. We don’t have to accept a life filled with suffering the curse of Adam and Eve. It no longer exists for those in Christ. We have eternal life right now! We can Know God and his son Jesus (Now that is some beautiful marriage language right there!) John 17

    We don’t have to wait for the car to be delivered. It has been sitting in the garage all along. It is time to open our eyes and see that it is there and that there is a world of adventure out there for a newly (or old, depending on how you look at it) married couple with billions of kids!

    That is some good news!

    I hope that sparks some questions and intrigue. Feel free to email me with any further questions. I would be happy to walk you through the more than 100 near time statements about Jesus returning during that generation that are recorded in the New Testament. That is a great place to start.

    Blessings,
    Micah
    micahmartin5@gmail.com

  41. Laura says

    Thanks for taking the time to address my questions. This will keep me busy for a while, I suspect..Blessings, Laura

  42. says

    @ Adam,

    I am glad you finally admitted that we do not have “ultimate” salvation yet. Thank you.

    Also, you made this statement:
    “Also, jumping to Hosea is jumping to a different context. In the context of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is specifically talking about a seed dying first, and then coming up as a plant in the specific context of the resurrection.”

    I find that statement amazing from someone of your learning. Paul uses an “inclusio” where he puts the entire discourse of the resurrection of the dead ones in the context of Hosea. (verse 4 = Hosea 6:2 through verse 55 = Hosea 13:14)

    The only way you can make the statement above is if you believe that Paul is talking biologically and not corporately because you will not find any kind of biological death in Hosea. However, you will find that Paul follows Hosea’s living parable (and the names of his children) perfectly.

    The name of Hosea’s first child is… Jezreel. It means “God scatters or God Sows”! Imagine that.

    You also said in that statement: “Paul is specifically talking about a seed dying first, and then coming up as a plant in the specific context of the resurrection.”

    Please go back and read 1 Corinthians 15 more carefully.

    Here is Paul.
    35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

    Did you notice your error? The seed is sown FIRST and then it DIES! (Hosea’s third child… “not my people”. God killed Israel because of sin)

    That is why I say, please make sure I am dead first before I am sown and I will take my chances.

    Also notice “the dead” is plural and what kind of body (singular) do they (plural) come. It is clearly talking corporately!

    I have just shown how your eagerness to run to tradition blinds you to what is in the Scripture. You denied that Hosea is Paul’s context (refuted by Paul’s own use of Hosea) and you are re-arranging the words to fit your pre-supositions (refuted by Paul’s word’s in the right order and analogy, a seed is sown first and then it dies. If you don’t believe me consult any gardening manual.)

    Once again, you are making my original point for Karen’s audience.

    Until we are willing to step back and re-examine the most fundamental assumptions that our traditions cause us to bring to the Bible we will never make any progress against people like the FIC movement. They all are born out of the same theology that you and Shawn preach (and usually they come from your own congregations). You will continue to give birth to them as long as you all start from the same basic assumptions. (In this case, the biological (and marital) view of the curse.)

    Unfortunately, you seem to be unwilling to even examine your traditions in light of Scripture. I hope that attitude changes.

    Blessings,
    Micah

  43. says

    Dave, I am so glad to read all these insights from you. I have linked back to your comments at a sight where there are a bunch of women reading and thinking about this film. They need to hear your thoughts.

  44. says

    “The real solution to the problem of loosing the youth is that they are sinners that need to be saved, not just “moralized” by a whole bunch of rules, but regenerated, a new creature in Christ.”

    Absolutely!

  45. Todd Smith says

    Shawn,
    I’ve had a few days to think and process. While I have not signed the NCFIC Confession nor is our congregation listed that does not mean that I am not supportive of what the folks at NCFIC are trying to do.
    I can’t answer for any of these other guys because I do not speak for them. I can only answer for myself.
    As a father and a Pastor both “Divided” and “A Weed in the Church” challenged me to focus on my role as a parent (leave the age-segregation issue aside for a moment). As a parent I realized that I had not been doing my job as a father. I had not been disciping my children the way I should. I had not been teaching them enough at home. Some yes, but I was content to let Sunday School teachers and Youth leaders do it for me. That for me was sin and I needed to repent of that. I did not use these other teachers as a supplement to what I was doing at home I allowed them to disciple my children for me and that was sin on my part.
    Now that I am trying to do what Scripture teaches me as a father to do in training my children in the things of God I am seeing new fruit in our family. I am seeing a difference that was missing in our lives. Without the folks at NCFIC I would have simply continued down the road of taking my kids to Church and thinking that was good enough.
    Now to the issue that seems to elicit emotion — age segregation. I think all would agree that the main objective of Sunday School, Youth Group, any age segregated ministry is to teach children/youth the word of God. The main objective isn’t to entertain the children but to teach them. At least I hope we could agree on that.
    Here is where I am at. If I am doing my job in teaching my children the things of God every day. If I am doing the things Scripture admonishes me to do as a parent then I believe age-segregated ministries like Sunday School and Youth Group become “unnecessary”. If their main focus is to teach the Word and I am doing that already then they are not needed.
    Then the issue is that is great for dads who are doing that but what about those who are not? Ok, If they are Christians and they are not following what Scripture calls fathers to do then they are sinning and need to be called to repentance. If they aren’t Christians then that gives a father in the Church an opportunity to mentor a young man or an older woman mentor a younger woman as in Timothy.
    If my children simply want to get together with friends we’ll invite another family over and do something fun together. Or we’ll let our children enjoy friendship and fellowship with other children. But when I step up and be the dad then there is no need for the church to expend time and money in other programs.
    Would you agree with that assessment or not?

  46. Todd Smith says

    The materials and people associated with the NCFIC have changed our family and have helped us to be in the Word more than we have ever been in our lives. I owe them a debt of gratitude and if challenging people to be more in the Word comes across as having an ill agenda for the Church or hurting others or is misguided I am confused.
    Families in our congregation are seeing revival because of the NCFIC (that is not to say that others are not seeing revival). But the NCFIC has helped get families in Wyoming focused on God’s Word and turned the hearts of fathers to children and the hearts of children to fathers. We have been blessed. I am sorry others of you have not been blessed by these folks.

  47. Adam says

    Oh Boy……

    I woke up this morning looking to see some more of Shawn’s dialogue with pastor Wolfe, and I found this post specifically referencing this thread, and accusing Shawn of being somehow on an anti-FIC hobbyhorse for somehow saying some of the things he has said on this thread. Here were the quotations he referenced:

    “Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence”
    napoleon bonaparte

    The movie pulled of a similar sloppy usage of language: it called Mr. Phillips an “historian”! And another guy was a “theologian”!

    As anyone can see, that is a gross abuse of what Shawn said. Here is what I wrote in reply:

    nasa30,

    I was a part of that thread on Karen Campbell’s website, and so I have to protest your misuse of that quotation of Shawn. If you look at what Shawn said in context, you will find that we were discussing the misuse of quotations from women like Phillis Shlafly, where they were interviewed and used for films without their knowledge. Karen Campbell specifically called up these women, and asked them about it, and they said they had no knowledge that their quotations were being used in the way they were.

    What I said is that I thought the whole issue was one of incompetence, since many of these folks jump to irrational conclusions. Several others wanted to call it a violation of the ninth commandment. The point is that Shawn and I were actually writing in defense of these folks character, saying that we didn’t think they intended any malice, and it was in that context that Shawn gave that quotation from Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Also, as far as the quotation of Shawn where Shawn said, “The movie pulled of a similar sloppy usage of language: it called Mr. Phillips an “historian”! And another guy was a “theologian”!” Do you deny that Mr. Phillips is a trained lawyer, and not a historian? Also, is it not true that some of the people interviewed in the film are likewise not trained in theology, but some other field? There is nothing wrong with pointing out that a person does not have the background to do what they are doing, because they don’t have the ability to examine the argumentation fairly. Do you not remember Dave Hunt trying to do a book on Calvinism, when he didn’t even have reading knowledge of Greek or Hebrew? I am sure that you would most definitely say that Mr. Hunt was wrong for doing that!

    The difference is that Shawn *is* a historian. He has told me some of the people he has studied under, and they are people who we would all recognize as responsible church historians who teach or have taught at major reformed seminaries. I am not saying that everyone in the movie was incompetent. However, Shawn is exactly right that some people who are not trained in certain areas were lifted to the position of it being their profession, when they have no training in the area whatsoever.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  48. says

    Pastor Smith,

    May I just remark that I find it very interesting that you are willing to come to my blog and discuss these things but seem to only be willing to address the men in these discussions. I have (very graciously) asked you several times to answer specific questions in order to better facilitate dialogue but as yet you have not responded, one way or another, to me. I am not wanting to make any mountains out of mole hills here but am wondering why this is. I ask because in the past there have been other men who have done the same thing and they were part of the patriocentric paradigm, thus they felt that it was appropriate for them to discuss things only with other men or have suggested that they interact with my husband. I am just wondering if that is your position as well.

  49. says

    Adam, how unfortunate that this was the response to Shawn’s fine insights. I hope that, while they are reading here,they will note all the other comments, especially the ones Dave has offered this am.

  50. Todd Smith says

    thatmom,
    My apologies for not addressing you directly. Mr. Mathis had asked me not to answer the other questions and speak directly to his questions and I was trying to finish that exchange.
    I am not sure what you mean by a patriocentric paradigm? I believe that a husband is a spiritual head of the household, does that make me patriocentric? I don’t have an issue talking with men or women.
    Perhaps in a Q & A format if you would re-ask me one question at a time I will do my best to answer it. I don’t remember all the questions you asked before and don’t have time to scan through all the posts. Perhaps one at a time would work best.

  51. Dave A says

    Todd Smith,
    Praise God that the NCFIC has helped you to see your responsibilities as a dad and praise God that your Church has benefited as well. I am going to assume that all who have been involved in this discussion would agree that men need to lead their families. The obvious fact that many men do not, in my view, is a direct result of the curse put on man at the fall. Reading your posts reminds me in some ways how I must have sounded not that long ago, I would have been right there with you. You as a Pastor (I assume you were before embarking on the fic view) have a particular responsibility within your Church of gaurding the “flock”. I do not know about you but I have a propensity of going from one extreme to the exact opposite and in so doing miss the balance or you could say fall in the ditch on the right or the left side of the road, legalism or liscence. Finding the balance is the goal. If you as a Pastor can avoid several things such as: not making the family the center of your Church; not loosing the Matt. 28 great commission to make disciples of ALL nations and not just within your Church but worldwide, that would include those who do not look just like you (homeschool only, etc.); to maintain the N.T. purpose of the local Church, to use ALL the parts of the body analogy (given by Paul in Eph. 4), that you as an individual or individual family are totally incomplete without the corporate body, corporately functioning as a whole, that could include times of others helping you with the teaching and discipleship of your children (surely we as fathers could not claim to know everthing and refuse help from others who God may have gifted in an area where we were not); to keep the “main thing the main thing” (and that is not family integration); to make the bond of your Church Christ and Christ only. That is certainly not an exhaustive list nor a perfect one but I think if you keep those in mind you will avoid what some here are trying to warn others of, and that “we” have an issue with.
    As far as age integration/segregation I think the issue is whether that is viewed as a matter of first importance or viewed as secondary importance. If secondary and that is your calling within your Church, wonderful.
    The revival that I would like to see is one in which the Church of Jesus Christ sees the glorious grace of His finished work on the cross, to be transformed by the gospel and truly live a cross centered life.
    Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
    ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!
    Thru many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
    The Lord has promised good to me; His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.

  52. Todd Smith says

    Dave,
    I didn’t disagree with a thing you said! Well done.
    My problem is the extreme views coming from the some who don’t like the concept of FIC at all (I hope all could agree that there can be extremes on both sides of the issue). I don’t take issue with balance at all. But when I have said that I won’t be sending my children to youth camp because of my conviction I have been told that is “judging others” and being “critical” of others. Even though I didn’t tell anyone else not to or preach from the pulpit they shouldn’t. I will be ostracized for not sending my children to VBS next year, that without telling anyone they should or shouldn’t. If someone in my church wanted to have a youth meeting they would be free to do that but then they shouldn’t be critical of the parents who didn’t want to send their children or offended if nobody wants that right now. I am worried that because for my family we don’t see a need for age-segregated ministry any longer (and while we don’t force anyone to take that view) our view is not tolerated but we are told we are wrong to think that way. I don’t think that is showing grace to one another. Instead, in many circles I am being treated like I have horns coming out of my head.

  53. says

    thatmom,

    Mr. Smith is correct. I asked him to answer me directly so as to avoid “swamping” him. He was gracious enough to comply. And I beg your indulgence in the matter.

  54. says

    Dear Smith,

    I rejoice that the NCFIC jumped started your motivation and pointed out your deficiencies. My hope is that God will use the book and movie to do just that to thousands of families.

    Even so, as a friend elsewhere commented: it is not the 90% of this movement (or any movement) that is the problem it is the 10% that detracts from the fine solutions offered.

    “Modern classrooms” and age-segregation are *not* of the Devil (Phillips) or evolutionary (Brown). At the least, given the thin evidence offered it is an uncharitable declaration that should be withdrawn and at worst a violation of the Ninth Commandment. The fact that these mean wrote the NCFCI confession informs any unbiased observer of what they meant when they wrote it.

    That is what many of us are responded to with facts of history (yet to be refuted) and biblical truth (yet to be fully interacted with). If they dropped such unsubstantiated rhetoric there would be little public debate I’d think.

    You stated succinctly: “Here is where I am at. If I am doing my job in teaching my children the things of God every day. If I am doing the things Scripture admonishes me to do as a parent then I believe age-segregated ministries like Sunday School and Youth Group become “unnecessary”.”

    And ask me if I agree. I do and do not.

    I do if you are thinking of the typical money-driven ministry at large churches. Or the worst case “youth group” as pictured in Divided. Or the typical ministry that drowns out family time with an overabundance of meetings, get-togethers and the like.

    On the other hand, I do not agree if the church is relatively healthy and trying to fulfill Titus 2:3 (older women instructing younger women). The text, by Reformed hermeneutic, is not only for women but by extension (mutatis mutandis) by men. And it is not for mothers to daughters (different words) but older to younger (neos, Gk.).

    How this is fulfilled the Bible does not specify. It could be informal (on the fly, ad hoc, on the spot, short term, etc.) or formal: what today we call “school,” broadly conceived. In fact, I believe given the differing gifts of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12), it would be contrary to the Word for families to think they could never (or rarely) have their child learn from anyone but their parents or in public worship.

    I hope that clears things up.

  55. Laura says

    Maybe I am incredibly obtuse and perhaps simplistic but I cannot understand why, if a child is dicipled by their parents all week long and is exposed to the worldview of their parents day in and day out, that a couple of hours per week in a classroom setting is going to undo everything- even if, God forbid, some of the time is fellowship. Particularly if the teacher is a God fearing person, which you would likely want to determine ahead of time. Years ago we were dead set against Sunday School and I don’t think it was indicative of any insight on our part- rather, that we felt we had to adopt a certain lifestyle lest our shaky formulaic faith tumble like a house of cards.

    Anyway, it seems like contradictory reasoning to me. We are opposed to public school because- ” wherever a child spends most of their time is where thay will be influenced most”. Then we go on to say that “two hours a week with peers at Sunday School or Youth Group will unravel everything we do at home the whole rest of the week.” Do we have so little trust in OUR relationship with OUR kids?

    Sometimes I fear we treat our children as though they were guinea pigs in a grand Christian experiment where all the results have been recorded and announced before they happen depending on what side you are on. This may sound almost heretical- but I just am not sure that it’s that big a deal. I could be wrong, but to me the FIC model emphasizes control and fear more than relationship and grace.

  56. says

    “do not know about you but I have a propensity of going from one extreme to the exact opposite and in so doing miss the balance or you could say fall in the ditch on the right or the left side of the road, legalism or license. ”

    Dave, I believe this is truly a part of the curse!

    While I agree that men should be leaders in their homes, this has been pushed so far down the continuum that the results are unbiblical thinking and teachings which are harming too many families.Each of the men promoting the NCFIC agenda are part of that far, far end spectrum.

  57. says

    “The revival that I would like to see is one in which the Church of Jesus Christ sees the glorious grace of His finished work on the cross, to be transformed by the gospel and truly live a cross centered life.”

    Amen! Sadly, the 200 year vision VF promotes and which is the overarching agenda that the NCFIC is part of, does not mention this.

  58. says

    Pastor Smith,

    Thanks for responding and your patience! I have learned it is much better to ask outright if I want an upfront answer!

    You said “I believe that a husband is a spiritual head of the household, does that make me patriocentric? ”

    No, not necessarily.

    Here is my definition of atriocentricity ~

    * Taken from the Latin and Greek root word “patr” meaning father and the word “centric” meaning “situated at or near the center.”

    * The term was specifically coined to describe the philosophy of family life promoted within some extreme Christian and Reformed homeschooling communities that teaches that God gives a “calling” in life to only men, specifically fathers, and that the purpose of the wife and children is to fulfill the father’s calling.

    * Those who embrace this position believe that it changes only when a son assumes his own household responsibilities by taking a wife or a daughter is given in marriage when she can then leave her father’s home, her new purpose being to fulfill the calling of her husband.

    * Though there are varying degrees of this taught within different groups, the father is sometimes described as the “prophet, priest, and king” of the home and there are other common ideals that often accompany patriocentricity, such as militant fecundity, family integrated church, neo-feudalism, as well as neo-agrarianism.

    Those who are leading the NCFIC, at least the better known ones, would be considered to be patriocentric.

    I will be happy to run my questions by you one at a time.

    The first thing I am curious about is your perspective on growing your church. You already said that you have families who do not homeschool. Are they on the same page with you regarding age segregation, since they obviously practice it outside the church? How does that work? And is there a hope or expectation that they will homeschool eventually?

  59. says

    I don’t think we have discussed this before, but wanted to mention some of the NCFIC history. I remember the first Uniting Heart and Home conference in St. Louis that launched this movement. While we did not attended, there were men from our church who did. Phillips talked about the reasons he had for wanting to begin the NCFIC and a big part of it was that he was seeing so many families dropping out of the traditional church and doing home church. He felt very strongly that there needed to be a strong church authority structure. It was made clear that this was not some sort of attempt to create a new denomination because there were those who held strongly to opposing views (mostly on baptism) that wanted to participate. Interestingly enough, both Mormon groups and the Moonies LOVE VF products and also link to his stuff. So do some of the kinists. As has been pointed out, the NCFIC entertains strange bedfellows.

    In contrast to this, Bill Gothard, one of the earlier patriocentrists, always maintained the importance of families remaining in local traditional churches as a testimony of “righteous living.” I am not sure if he still teaches that but he and Doug Phillips do work together and share favorite families like the Duggars. Again, strange alliances and theology that is all over the map.

  60. says

    “Sometimes I fear we treat our children as though they were guinea pigs in a grand Christian experiment where all the results have been recorded and announced before they happen depending on what side you are on. This may sound almost heretical- but I just am not sure that it’s that big a deal. I could be wrong, but to me the FIC model emphasizes control and fear more than relationship and grace.”

    I totally agree that control, fear, and lack of organic relationships are central to this movement. But I see it as a HUGE deal in that the homeschooling community is the target audience for this message and it isn’t just about age segregation. There are all sorts of other things being taught but people have got to open their eyes and look for it.

  61. says

    Karen, et. al.,

    “but people have got to open their eyes and look for it.”

    And that means doing the hard research I have done over the years. Too many people are lazy when it comes to investigating new people and new ideas. It is easier to swallow the bait of the “upfront” talks that sound good without slowing down and looking for the hook.

  62. Laura says

    Karen and Shawn- I DO think it is a very big deal to bring out all this wrong teaching… that is one reason I have been so blessed by this site.

    I think we all have to be very clear that some are being led astray, some are being spiritually abused, and there have to be LOTS of us willing to say that the emperor has no clothes.

    What I mean by “I am not sure it is that big a deal” refers to the way that I think that people who are enamored with FIC seem to be taught that to do Sunday School or not to do Sunday School is the single most important factor in Christian parenting,as though all the evils in society and decline in our culture can be traced to it. As though maybe Charles Darwin’s real aim was to promote Sunday School in the church, and changing the way science was taught was just a side effect.

    It is VERY foolish to ignore cultural and peer influences in our children’s lives. But I see a sort of pendulum effect where maybe some are becoming almost neurotic about the small stuff. I recently heard a discussion between an older teenage home schooler who wanted to walk across a parking lot after co-op class with a few homeschooled friends to buy a coke at a convenience store. The conversation turned so serious as to imply to eavesdroppers (such as myself) that the boy was asking if he could spend the weekend with Bonnie and Clyde…rob a few banks…etc.

    THAT’S the kind of thing I mean by making a big deal.

    Indeed, I think rooting out these toxic teachings and reasoning together to bring sanity to the discussion is a VERY BIG DEAL!!If we are lazy about that, the whole community of homeschooling Christians will be tainted with nuttiness.

    Just wanted to clarify my point.

  63. says

    I am frustrated that the first part of the comment section is not appearing. I can’t seem to find any place to tweak this…any thoughts?

  64. Adam says

    Sometimes I fear we treat our children as though they were guinea pigs in a grand Christian experiment where all the results have been recorded and announced before they happen depending on what side you are on. This may sound almost heretical- but I just am not sure that it’s that big a deal. I could be wrong, but to me the FIC model emphasizes control and fear more than relationship and grace.

    I think this is a large part of the problem. I also detected this when I was talking on Tim Challies’ blog with one of these guys’ supporters. The reason is that he wanted to just blindly take one of the Proverbs and absolutize them. Anyone who has studied Ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature knows that you just simply cannot do that. Now, that doesn’t mean that there are no absolute statements in the Proverbs, but what it *does* mean is that an individual statement is not automatically absolute.

    What this has shown me is that we seem to think of each other in terms of a cause/effect relationship. However, the very nature of wisdom is that we must go beyond a simple cause and effect relationship to gain the skill to understand what we should do given our context. That is not to say that there are no absolutes, but that not everything is a matter of absolutes. It requires wisdom to distinguish between these, and that is the whole point of the wisdom literature itself, a point which these folks seem to have missed.

    Because of this, we seem to treat each other like Pavlovian dogs, and think that, if you just ring the bell, they will automatically salivate. More precisely, if you just discipline in this way, or do church this way, etc., they will automatically turn out okay. According to the scriptures it is not that simple. The human constitution is very complex. I will never forget my theology teacher referring to man as a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual being. There are at least four aspects to the human constitution, and probably more. The point is when you have even two people interacting, you have up to sixteen different aspects interacting at once. That is extremely complex, and defies a Pavlovian explanation. Hence, one needs skill and wisdom, rather than a deterministic cause/effect scenario.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  65. says

    And once it is established that these movements aren’t the “biblical way” of raising children, we need to recognize that there is absolutely no data whatsoever on the fruits of things like the FIC environment or courtship and betrothal….another reason we must avoid being so absolutist!

    BTW, Adam, I have thought of you this week as we have been reading through the book of Joshua. There are so many accounts of things the children of Israel did that we would never want to copy or even emulate. Reminds me of your piece in the earlier comments about choosing a wife!

  66. Todd Smith says

    Karen,

    “The first thing I am curious about is your perspective on growing your church. You already said that you have families who do not homeschool. Are they on the same page with you regarding age segregation, since they obviously practice it outside the church? How does that work? And is there a hope or expectation that they will homeschool eventually?”

    I will attempt to answer these questions and then you can give me follow up questions or ask a new one and I appreciate your patience as well.
    I guess I misspoke earlier. Currently all of our families that have children in the Church Homeschool their children. In my 5 years at this Church it hasn’t always been this way but currently it is. We welcome anyone and that is not a test of fellowship. The families in my Church kind of pushed me into FIC. They didn’t all go to a conference or get together and plan anything but through the past several years many had been leaning this way. Others watched “Divided” and then went back to Scripture and felt this was biblical. In Jan. of this year I got together with 9 sets of parents and asked them what they wanted to do and they said they wanted to stop Children’s Church, stop having a nursery and just use the room as a cry room for mothers, stop divided classes during midweek and stop age segregated Sunday School. So we went to the Elders of the Church and asked them about it and to look into it. They felt it was a Biblical way to go and if that is what the parents wanted to do they thought it was ok to do. So we immediately stopped Children’s Church and nursery attendants, at the end of March we stopped the midweek classes and the first of June we went to one Sunday School class with all ages together. That is our abbreviated story.
    So yes all of our families right now are on the same page with the idea of age segregation.
    My wife and I have homeschooled our 4 children since 1996. Our oldest just graduated this year. We have been on the board of the Homeschoolers of Wyoming for 4 years and I have served as the President of that organization for one year. So I am pro-homeschooling. For me it is not a test of fellowship. I have friends who have children in public schools. I have friends who are public school teachers. We disagree on this issue. It is my conviction that education is not neutral and that Christians should have their children educated from a Biblical perspective, whether that be private or homeschool. I believe public schools do more harm than good because all subjects need to be looked at from the lens of Scripture. On a foundational level government funded education should not be promoted by anyone who believes in the Constitution or Scripture. Education falls under the jurisdiction of the Family primarily and the Church secondarily. The State should have no basis in education at all. If Christians could agree that the State/Government has no business Scripturally being involved in education I wouldn’t care if parents homeschooled or used a private Christian School. So I would never force anyone to believe my thoughts on education but I also have the freedom to try and promote and pass on what I believe. I would think that would also be in the area of age segregated ministries in the Church as well. I didn’t force any of our families to move in this direction (they kind of pushed me). But now I believe that these other ministries are unnecessary if I am doing my job as a father. You want to start a Sunday School class or Youth Group in our congregation, you have the freedom to do that, but don’t be offended if none of the parents take you up on that offer and want to place their children in that program, that is up to the parents.
    I know I went beyond the scope of your questions so I’ll stop for now and await your reply.
    God Bless,

  67. Laura says

    Dear Pastor Smith: I would agree that ideally, parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children, and that the church does well to support them in this. The Christian Church is responsible for founding many renowned schools and universities. The Christian community has been labelled anti education, anti science, anti arts in recent years- sometimes rightfully so, I think- but we all know it was not always that way, nor does it have to be.

    I think, thogh, that from early times in U.S. history there has been occasion for towns and cities to have established public schools.(I could argue that the “General Welfare ” clause in the Constitution might apply to children whose parents do not want to provide an education). Of course, in those days, the philosophy of these institutions would have embraced at least a culturally Christian world view. Do you think that the government should be taken OUT of the school business, through legislation, or is it more a matter of parents choosing well for their own children? Also, we go back to Adam’s point that we must be careful of saying that something is not “Biblical” simply because it is not in Scripture. You could say that it is not “Scriptural” in that it is not spelled out in Scripture- but that does not automatically mean it is not Biblical.Neither is heart surgery “Scriptural”, by those parameters.

    What I am getting at, and I may be misreading your position on school is this- we can argue all day about whether or not the government ideally should be involved in education, health care,retirement Social Security- these type of societal things. We can debate HOW they got involved, too. (My personal opinion is that if the Church had been functioning properly, Christians might still be the primary source of aid to the poor, for example) HOWEVER- I think that we speak in ideals and principals and sometimes forget people.

    There are thousands,if not millions, of children out there whose parents cannot or will not provide for them educationally or otherwise.Would it be nice if suddenly they all could attend a good Christian school? Certainly. But
    we waste time dividing ourselves over these issues. Many sound and Godly people have gone through the pub ed system, and many will continue to do so, by choice or necessity. We have to reach people with the gospel message first, and trust that God will work in them as He did in us. They may not agree with us on these important issues- so should they be forced into homeschooling?

    I might add that at one time, I placed great stock in Christian political reform. I have come to believe that if God had wanted Jesus to be a political activist, we would have read more about it in the Bible. Instead, He put Him in a cruel and secular society where He dealt with individual people- one soul at a time. The only real change in anything comes not through arguing principals or making laws, but in the changed heart of a rescued sinner.

    I have enjoyed reading this discussion. It is most challenging !

  68. Todd Smith says

    Laura,
    Just to clarify. I would never force anyone to educate their children the way I do. But because of my convictions I can argue that I think the way I do it is better than other ways. A is better than B or C. People can disagree with that.
    And just because I believe Government should be out of the education business does not mean that I feel we should throw children out on their ears. What we need to do is to move towards the privatization of education. Maybe not all at once but over time.

  69. Laura says

    Pastor Smith: Thank you for clarifying your thoughts.

    You may find this incredible, but I have personally had discussions with Christian people (of the conservative, homeschooling persuasion) who have expressed the following:

    The government should have NO involvement, even as a last resort, with health care for the poor. Since I always like to lead the questioning through to the logical conclusion, I have gotten these people to tell me the following: First, their family should help (what if there is none or they are poor also?) Second, their church (what if they are unchurched?) then, their town or city (perhaps they are transient and have no real community. If they do, wouldn’t the city use tax dollars to help anyway?) Last, if there is no where to turn, the fact that these people might DIE ON THE STREET OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL IS A CONSEQUENCE FOR THEIR HAVING REJECTED CHRIST!!! I emphasize this because I cannot believe it. I have actually been told this…

    Why do I digress on health care? Because the same people who have expressed the above go on to say that the government should have no involvement with education either. Same set of conditions, same conclusion- IF A CHILD ENDED UP HAVING NO EDUCATION, THAT WOULD BE DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND PERHAPS THE PERSON COULD WORK THEIR WAY OUT OF THIS SITUATION AND END UP BETTER FOR IT.Are we going back to the days that Charles Dickens wrote about?

    So, I am very sensitive to those who say that government should be entirely out of these type of areas. Having been involved in inner city ministry, foster care, and foster adoption, I know that there are a multitude of kids who have no alternative (to say nothing of those who just want public education).How do you propose that government get out of it? How the person proposes to fix things tells you a lot about their idea of who Christ is, I think.

    Now, here is the interesting part. I am familiar with one church-very conservative, the people very “get government out of everything” and “let’s have Old Testament law in place in America” . This church does a great job teaching scripture,and the children memorize entire psalms, but I have never heard of an outreach to the poor or any effort to connect with the down and out. Much is made about protecting our borders sending illegal immigrants back.There is much ado about supporting conservative political candidates. There is concern about unsaved visitors, lest they be a bad influence to the youth.

    Another church I know seems to be almost blind to politics. The pastor , staff, and volunteers work tirelessly with inner city kids and families. Because they reach out to liberal minded philanthropists and community leaders, with a message of hope, they obtain a grant to actually run a small private church school to help kids who are failing even in the substandard inner city school. Teachers have learned Spanish. In the face of much discouragement, the work goes on and nobody is written off as a lost cause. The message of the gospel is not watered down or compromised in any way, but people are met WHERE THEY ARE with the good news. Some still don’t make it, but the ones who do are rejoiced over.

    If this is what we mean by privatizing education, then I would be all for it. If not, there would indeed be many many children “thrown out on their ears”.
    I love political science and theory, but only place it of secondary priority, because I think that people and their needs are the Christians first concern. I have encountered- and not from anything that you have written- some real arrogance and elitism among some conservative Christian homeschoolers in the area of lifestyle, education,etc. If there is one thing that I feel sure God will chastise, it is pride- and I know that first hand, believe me.

    Let me add that we have homeschooled for twenty years and have several more years to go. I would not trade it for the world and I am thankful every day that I live in a place where I can have such a choice.I am not a big fan of public ed- though I think we will always need at least some provision for it- but wouldn’t the best remedy be for churches to get back into the education arena by providing AFFORDABLE schools for children- and adults? Thank you and God bless-

  70. says

    Thanks, Pastor Smith, for your reply. One of the reasons we became weary of the FIC type of a church was how inorganic it all was. Homeschoolers typically are well able to interact with all sorts of people of varying ages. In our FIC, we were the oldest couple (in our early 50’s at the time) and my mother, who was in her early 80’s, was the only elderly person. All the families basically looked alike. There was little to no interest in having other families who weren’t like us come to the church. In fact, it was advertised as a place to worship with like-minded believers, which didn’t mean doctrine but meant lifestyle. In fact, within some of these groups, there is little difference in personal interests…all the women sew, craft, quilt, bake and all the young women do likewise, AND play the piano or violin. 🙂

    Do you all have a strategic plan for evangelism? Are you getting feedback from visitors who attend? What sorts of community projects do you get involved with?

  71. says

    A couple things FIC leaders have said homeschoolers need to be involved with is bringing about an end to both public education and the department of child and family services. Both appear to be quite self-serving to me. I personally would not want to see what my community would look like without either. I know the churches wouldn’t be able to meet the demand. In fact, I can remember the begging many of us had to do to get churches to even send a paltry sum of money to support the crisis pregnancy center when it was started.

    A few years ago when the center seemed to be mostly a diaper give away service, one pastor talked to me about the problem, which he knew I recognized and had challenged during the years I volunteered there. I told him that I thought that, as believers, our goal ought to be to build relationships through the ministry and as they girls come to Christ, to mentor them and help them make wise decisions for the future. One thing I suggested was that each supporting church send two women to a Bible study, working through Susan Hunt’s book Spiritual Mothering. Then, each of those women would go back to their individual churches and go through the book study again with more ladies, preparing a network of older women who would be willing to mentor one on one girls from the CPC. He looked at me in disbelief and told me that he couldn’t think of one single woman in his church who would be interested in that! And this was at one of the most evangelical, Bible believing churches in our area! At least he was being honest. And this is precisely why the government in in charge of education and health care. Basically, most Christians are too into their own lives to care about others. And, from what I have seen, in the FIC, it is no different. Single mothers from CPC’s would never be candidates for the wives of young men in these churches.

  72. Todd Smith says

    A few more thoughts on education and outreach to the poor and needy. I think we can all agree that the Church (in general) has really dropped the ball in these areas and government has taken over. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to reverse the trend completely but I think Christians should take a more active role in these areas.
    I guess I need to define what I think about “public” or “government funded” education. A good place to start would be to get the Federal Government out of education. The Dept. of Ed. at the Federal level only began in the 1970’s during the Carter Administration and I think most would agree schools and test scores and a whole lot of other things were better when there was more local control.
    I also like the idea of the earlier days of our country. Yes there may have been “public” or “community” schools but they were often privately funded and locally controlled. I wouldn’t have an issue with parents in a community starting a school and hiring teachers and paying for their children’s education. Or Churches or individuals. I think I would like to get away from the idea that my property taxes are forced from me to pay for “government education” that goes against my beliefs. I would be willing to donate to help others who couldn’t afford to educate their children but I don’t want to be forced to donate or lose my home. I think we have lost a lot of freedom in that area. And I think in America we have come to believe that education is a right provided by government instead of a privilege. Should we help those who cannot afford it? Yes and in areas of food and clothing and health care as well. Most Christians will never feel the need to be generous or want to help those in need if they think the government is doing that job for them.
    Now to answer some specific questions:
    “Do you all have a strategic plan for evangelism? Are you getting feedback from visitors who attend? What sorts of community projects do you get involved with?”
    In the paragraph before these questions you mentioned FIC Churches tending to be groups of like-minded believers in lifestyle. I guess I have found that in my almost 20 years of ministry now most Churches tend to be like this whether or not they are FIC. Christians have the tendency to only be around Christian friends, etc. whether or not they are FIC oriented or not. At least that has been my experience and it takes effort for Christians to get out of the Christians ghetto so to speak.
    We have had an Outreach Group in our Church for many years that has tried various events to get into the community. We have a booth at the local community college and give out school supplies to the college students each fall, we participate with another congregation in town to do a large harvest party in the fall and they have a carnival and give away bikes to kids in the community, we do a live drive through Nativity every December and have 5 different Churches in town help us put it on. We have done water give aways at soccer games, parade floats, we try and use various ideas to reach out to those in our area. Currently I am working on a project in conjunction with the Movie Courageous coming out Sept. 30th. I agreed to sell 1000 tickets for opening weekend and we are trying to get a pair of tickets to every Law Enforcement person in our county.
    Not a Church program but we have homeschoolers in our Church we are involved in various community activities and use those as opportunities for evangelism. We have several families involved in 4H, we have some taking Tikwando lessons, our family is involved with the local hot air balloon club and help put on the cities hot air balloon rally each summer (lots of avenues for outreach and prayer), and I am serving on our City Council as not only a means to give back to our community but an opportunity to interact with others I normally wouldn’t and pray for evangelistic opportunities as well.
    Feedback from visitors, we do ask for it. Sometimes we get it. The ones who stay say it is the most friendly church they have ever been around and like most Churches you don’t hear from those who don’t come back. since all of our families wanted to go towards an FIC model we have not lost anyone who wanted children’s programs.

  73. says

    “Most Christians will never feel the need to be generous or want to help those in need if they think the government is doing that job for them.”

    I so agree with this. Such a problem and I don’t see a remedy in the near future. As long as people are being taxed so heavily, the church would never have the resources to even begin to do what needs to be done. And,of course, there certainly needs to be a huge change of hearts.

  74. says

    “The government should have NO involvement, even as a last resort, with health care for the poor. Since I always like to lead the questioning through to the logical conclusion, I have gotten these people to tell me the following: First, their family should help (what if there is none or they are poor also?) Second, their church (what if they are unchurched?) then, their town or city (perhaps they are transient and have no real community. If they do, wouldn’t the city use tax dollars to help anyway?) Last, if there is no where to turn, the fact that these people might DIE ON THE STREET OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL IS A CONSEQUENCE FOR THEIR HAVING REJECTED CHRIST!!! I emphasize this because I cannot believe it. I have actually been told this…”

    This attitude is absolutely prevalent. I hear ya.

  75. says

    “I might add that at one time, I placed great stock in Christian political reform. I have come to believe that if God had wanted Jesus to be a political activist, we would have read more about it in the Bible. Instead, He put Him in a cruel and secular society where He dealt with individual people- one soul at a time. The only real change in anything comes not through arguing principals or making laws, but in the changed heart of a rescued sinner.”

    Cal Thomas came to pretty much the same conclusion after his heavy involvement with the Moral Majority. I think we need to concentrate on the demand side rather than the supply side of social issues.

  76. Todd Smith says

    While I would agree that Christians should never look to political reform as a substitute for Gospel reform — the fact that all of us need Christ and the transformation of the Gospel.
    That being said, Christians cannot abandon politics. We need Christian leaders just like we need Christian Scientists and Lawyers and Doctors, etc.
    While politics can not save us we need a lot more Christians involved in governing from a Biblical basis and seeking God for wisdom in how to rule. That means Christians need to be involved.
    We should avoid extremes of both side in the political arena as well.

  77. Adam says

    Karen,

    BTW, Adam, I have thought of you this week as we have been reading through the book of Joshua. There are so many accounts of things the children of Israel did that we would never want to copy or even emulate. Reminds me of your piece in the earlier comments about choosing a wife!

    That is why I said that the main issue is with their hermeneutics. They don’t have a consistent hermeneutic. Unfortunately, their hermeneutic is not new, and it has a checkered history. When you ignore an entire field of linguistics [Pragmatics] in formulating your arguments, language simply will not abide it. As you point out, you can’t interpret the Bible consistently in this way.

    The problem is that I have yet to see any of the followers of the NCFIC address this problem. The fact of the matter is that the closer these guys get to actually dealing with this problem, the more silent they become. All of the questions that caused Scott Brown to pause in his discussion with Todd Friel were based on this very problem. When I pointed out the connection between the usage of plastic communion cups, and the command to celebrate communion, it didn’t get a response over on Tim Challies’ blog.

    BTW, this political machine continues to really impress me. One of the major criticisms of the NCFIC has been related to the gospel. Well, now they are having a conference on the gospel. It is simply amazing the way these guys can put out videos, conferences, books, etc. They must have an infinite deposit of money.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  78. Deborah says

    Considering some of their supporters, including some pretty well-off people, it doesn’t really surprise me that much they can crank out so many conferences and videos–they have a loyal following.

    Really enjoying this discussion, everyone, great thoughts all around. Thanks for the “meat” 🙂

  79. says

    After-the-fact answers from the NCFIC only proves they have not thought out their system very well. They should be quiet, admit they were too hasty and start talking with people who are asking the serious questions. People hitching their cart to this horse are only adding boldness to leaders who have shot first and asked questions later.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith had over 100 well-trained, known, godly men who debated the issue for years before finishing the confession. NCFIC pulled it off one summer with a handful of anonymous men.

  80. Dave A says

    There is another “conference call” tonight by the NCFIC. NOTICE how they have just now put “the gospel” in there..
    Divided Conference Call Update
    Greetings NCFIC friends,
    You are invited to a conference call to discuss what is happening from the enormous response to Divided. We have received many emails, calls, and letters with questions and prayer requests. But for many, the journey of church and family reformation has just begun!
    This reformation has, at its heart, the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture. Since there is nothing more important on planet earth than the communication of the gospel, Divided is focused on the manner in which the gospel is communicated in the church and the home. Our proposition is that while the Bible gives many details regarding how the gospel should be communicated to youth, the modern church has ignored them and chosen other methods – mans inventions. The root cause of the fallout among our youth is the same one causes all other departures – a rejection of the sufficiency of scripture, which is nothing less than the sufficiency of Christ.
    This conference call will take place this coming up Monday 15, 2011at 8:00 Eastern time. During this conference call you will be hearing from Scott Brown (Director for The NCFIC) along with three pastors from around country tell their stories and answer critical questions from personal experience.
    These men have a wealth of experience to share with those who find themselves at the crossroads of the traditions of men and obedience to scripture.
    Joining us will be:

    Left to Right: Craig Houston Pastor of Westside Baptist church in Bremerton, Washington, Paul Thomson Pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, Matt Hudson Elder at Basswood Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
    A difficult task
    What these men dared to do was not easy. But, with much prayer, teaching, and faithfulness these pastors have made significant strides in dismantling various worldly practices in their churches!
    The opportunity
    This is an opportunity to encourage and challenge your pastors and church leaders to join us on this call.
    We are looking forward to laboring with you in turning the hearts of the people in our churches back to the sufficiency of scripture. Please consider joining us on this call. We pray that God would encourage and strengthen the body of Christ through these efforts.
    To participate in the call, please call the number below and enter the code at 8:00 PM (EST).
    Details about the call:
    Date Monday, August 15, 2011
    Time 8:00 PM (EST)
    Telephone number to call: 218-862-1300
    Conference code: 730738
    Duration: 50 mins.
    Please RSVP by e-mailing your name, e-mail address, and telephone number to
    projects@ncfic.org
    Blessings,
    Tony Hernandez

  81. Adam says

    Wow, do they not realize that this is just rhetoric? Let me rephrase this whole thing:

    Greetings NCAMDFD friends,
    You are invited to a conference call to discuss what is happening from the enormous response to our movie. We have received many emails, calls, and letters with questions and prayer requests. But for many, the journey of reformation in honoring father and mother has just begun!
    This reformation has, at its heart, the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture. Since there is nothing more important on planet earth than the honoring our mother and father [as God commands it], our movie is focused on the manner in which we honor our father and mother in the church and the home. Our proposition is that while the Bible gives many details regarding how we should honor our father and mother, the modern church has ignored them and chosen other methods – mans inventions, namely, mother’s day and father’s day. The root cause of dishonoring parents is the same one causes all other departures – a rejection of the sufficiency of scripture, which is nothing less than the sufficiency of Christ.
    This conference call will take place this coming up Monday 15, 2011 at 8:00 Eastern time. During this conference call you will be hearing from Scott Brown (Director for The NCAMDFD) along with three pastors from around country tell their stories and answer critical questions from personal experience.
    These men have a wealth of experience to share with those who find themselves at the crossroads of the traditions of men and obedience to scripture.
    Joining us will be:

    Left to Right: Craig Houston Pastor of Westside Baptist church in Bremerton, Washington, Paul Thomson Pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, Matt Hudson Elder at Basswood Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
    A difficult task
    What these men dared to do was not easy. But, with much prayer, teaching, and faithfulness these pastors have made significant strides in dismantling various worldly practices in their churches!
    The opportunity
    This is an opportunity to encourage and challenge your pastors and church leaders to join us on this call.
    We are looking forward to laboring with you in turning the hearts of the people in our churches back to the sufficiency of scripture. Please consider joining us on this call. We pray that God would encourage and strengthen the body of Christ through these efforts.
    To participate in the call, please call the number below and enter the code at 8:00 PM (EST).
    Details about the call:
    Date Monday, August 15, 2011
    Time 8:00 PM (EST)
    Telephone number to call: 218-862-1300
    Conference code: 730738
    Duration: 50 mins.
    Please RSVP by e-mailing your name, e-mail address, and telephone number to
    projects@NCAMDFD.org
    Blessings,
    Tony Hernandez
    National Council Against Mother’s Day and Father’s Day [NCAMDFD]

    There comes a point in time where messages get so absurd, that parodies such as this one can be easily written. Such is what happens when you confuse the sufficiency of scripture with regards to that which is binding on the heart of a Christian with the idea that scripture must spell out its significance in every single scenario; it results in utter absurdity.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  82. Laura says

    Pastor Smith- I certainly agree that Christians should not abandon politics or any other field that they feel drawn to. I don’t think we should hide out and not be involved in culture and society by any means. I have been guilty at times of having misguided priorities in this area, though. I come from a very politically involved background and still enjoy the discussion- but I have trouble because I no longer fit in neatly with one side or another.

    I don’t think that anyone here has any issue with you on your preference for a family integrated church. To me, the problem is that I see the FIC concept, appealing to many Christians, as a Trojan horse type issue that some would use to usher in a plethora of strange, unhealthy and non-Biblical pratices and beliefs to conservative Christian churches. I do not think that your model of non- age segregated church and activities has anything to do with these ideas . For example, do you think it is wrong for girls to attend college? Are you very enamored with the Confederacy? Do you think women should vote? Do you think it is un Biblical for a family to ever limit the number of children they have for any reason? These are some of the things I see behind the FIC front. I would never say that I thought it was in error for a family to prefer a “family integrated church”, in and of itself. It is what comes along with it that I think is way off kilter.

    Thanks for your patience and I hope I have not seemed critical of the choice to avoid age segregation at your church.

  83. says

    Laura, Trojan horse is the correct analogy. Making the sufficiency of Scripture the central point is a ruse. The concept of age-integration is NOT what it is all about.

  84. says

    Dave, any report back from, this week’s call session?

    Pastor Smith, did you attend this one? Do you agree with that sufficiency of Scripture is central to this issue? It sure seems to me that you don’t see age-segregation as sinful, but rather, a preference. It also seems that making it a matter of SOS, it becomes set in concrete and nondebatable. Am I reading this correctly?

  85. Todd Smith says

    Laura,
    I’ll try and answer your questions first.
    do you think it is wrong for girls to attend college?
    Not as a blanket statement. For some yes. We thought our son shouldn’t go to college and are instead are doing correspondence classes and internships as he studies for Pastoral ministries. Personally brick and mortar colleges are often a waste of money and with the opportunities online through a variety of sources young men and women can get degrees if they want them without spending all that money. I would say look at all your options. I do believe I as a father have a duty to protect and look after my daughter.
    Are you very enamored with the Confederacy?
    Not probably what you mean by the word enamored. I enjoyed seeing the other side to the issue with the movie “God’s and Generals”. Both sides had some good Constitutional points. But I don’t think that makes me pro Confederacy. I think we’ve lost some States rights since that time.
    Do you think women should vote?
    Yes, However it did get me thinking when I heard a message about how sometimes husbands and wives are divided in politics and that there is a point to consider that homes used to be unified in that area. Please don’t take that statement to say I want to go back to women not voting. I didn’t say that. I tell my congregation to match candidates with Scripture and vote for the one who lines up the best regardless of party. I do think husbands and wives should be in agreement with which candidates line up best with Scripture but that is between them.
    Do you think it is un Biblical for a family to ever limit the number of children they have for any reason?
    No, but I think we as Christians have missed what Scripture says about children and we have despised and hated children instead of considering them a blessing. I did a message on this in June. You can listen to it here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=68111535593 I do like the book “what the Bible says about having children” I think most all of it is accurate. There was one Scripture in the beginning that wasn’t in context but the rest was good.
    I’ll do another post for other questions.

  86. Todd Smith says

    Karen,
    Pastor Smith, did you attend this one?
    Yes
    Do you agree with that sufficiency of Scripture is central to this issue?
    I do but I think that there seems to be too much emotional angst on the non-FIC side on this. I didn’t get any hatefulness portrayed by anyone during the conference call last night. There wasn’t any, if you don’t agree with us you are less of a Christian attitude at all. There was no attacking of anyone. In fact, again last night they went out of their way by the three Pastors saying we didn’t want to hurt anyone or criticize anyone’s motive for any type of youth ministry we just don’t agree with the mode. These Pastors tried to go out of their way to not attack anything done in the past in making this change in their churches. That doesn’t mean all want to go in that direction nor are they forced.
    It sure seems to me that you don’t see age-segregation as sinful, but rather, a preference. It also seems that making it a matter of SOS, it becomes set in concrete and nondebatable. Am I reading this correctly?
    I wish some of you would have listened in to the call. I think there is some misinterpretation. I come from a background that uses the phrase, “In Essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love.” There are those things that are essential to salvation where we as Christians all have to agree, i.e. Jesus is the only way to heaven, etc. Non-essentials to salvation (meaning what you believe won’t keep you out of heaven but are important) are many. End times is one. I have strong feelings about that and I could say that my belief I believe is the most biblical and that others are not. Maybe that means I am saying that is sinful by saying it is unbiblical but it doesn’t become a test of fellowship. Our Church doesn’t have women Elders or preachers, others do. And on and on you could go with those illustrations each one could be labeled as sinful by those on the other side of the doctrinal divide if you will.
    I guess what I am saying is that I have heard in these conference calls and even in the “Weed” book is that these guys bend over backwards to try and not offend but they feel like they can defend their position as the right one. Feel free to disagree, defend your own position but I don’t think there is any conspiracy.
    I could say I wish all the churches in my town were FIC but that wouldn’t wreck my fellowship with other Pastors who thought I was a kook because I wanted to follow an FIC model.
    I guess bottom line is my preferences are important and I would defend them theologically but as long as they were in the non-essential to salvation category I couldn’t impose them on others. I could persuade but not impose. I do see the argument that the FIC uses for sufficiency of Scripture and I agree with their premise that this could lead down other roads that would compromise the Gospel. Again it depends on whether or not you want to look at the patterns in Scripture and say that’s the way to do it or if you want to say we have freedom to do it in other ways. I think Mr. Brown makes this clear in speaking of the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Normative Principle of worship. Believe one and you’ll follow his line of thought. Believe the other and you won’t and Christians have debated that for centuries.

  87. says

    Mr. Smith,

    There seems to be some “passing in the night” between yourself and others in this comment section. “Emotional angst,” etc. is not the concern. The concern is making a less-than-tertiary issue front page with a movie, book, etc. *That* is much effort to put forth for non-essentials of the faith. But, then, I do not think they believe it is non-essential issue since they see it as sending children away from the faith and contrary to the Word.

    You state: “but it doesn’t become a test of fellowship”–I am glad to hear that. So, does the NCFIC make it a test of fellowship? Yes. They have a confession my church cannot sign but another church of like faith and practice *does* sign–how is that uniting our churches? How is that being of the same fellowship? Even independents (I’m Presbyterian) can see that is *not* focusing on important issues (like the loss of the Gospel in the churches that have even signed the document). And it has become a new, defacto test of fellowship with churches 1) signing it 2) adding the moniker FIC to their church name, website, etc.

    Lastly, you wrote, “I think Mr. Brown makes this clear in speaking of the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Normative Principle of worship. Believe one and you’ll follow his line of thought. Believe the other and you won’t and Christians have debated that for centuries.”

    I again urge you to carefully read my first three articles on this matter (here. The second article in particular demonstrates that the issue is NOT worship. It is activities *outside of worship* that myself and others are discussing. If you wish to help move this discussion further, it is imperative that this point be made clear. That and the fact there is no regulative principle of education in the bible or church history.

    No one has countered my articles. Or Adams’. They stand in the history of the Reformation. This new hermeneutic does not.

    take care,

  88. Todd Smith says

    Shawn,
    Emotional angst refers to reaction I have received from people who felt they were being attacked by the book and movie even though in going through a page by page review of “Weed” Mr. Brown goes out of his way not to attack. Unless you view his position as an attack.

    Regarding your fellowship of Churches how does a Church using the moniker FIC hurt or damage your congregation? Or threaten your fellowship with them? I guess in our fellowship of Churches each congregation is autonomous and we have some Churches who use only hymns, and some who use more modern music. They may use different titles or names to describe them but our unity is in Jesus Christ. I would be willing to sign the NCFIC Confession but I don’t see how that would separate my congregation from my sister congregation in the next town over. They are simply trying to follow God’s Word to the best of their abilities and so am I.

    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. Which is why I would argue (not force) that Christians should not be involved in public schools. I don’t think you can teach subjects without a Scriptural perspective. The Biblical speaks of politics, economics, etc.
    So I think we would disagree on the definition of Worship and what that means. And whether or not an FIC and non FIC church can be in unity and not make it a test of fellowship. Our moving in this direction has not damaged any relations with any other Church or my relationships with any other Pastor.

  89. Dave A says

    Mr. Smith, I believe Shawn’s point about the RPW is that it is and has been historically used as a “principle” to govern the corporate worship service of a church, not to govern ones life apart from that corporate worship time. For example if you use Joe Morecraft’s book “How God Wants us to worship Him” (which is where the NCFIC gets much of its view of the RPW) you would not be able to shake hands and greet one another. One of his positions is that during the corporate worship setting, greeting one another is adding to God’s plan and should not be done. Some churches after the first couple of hymns/songs they have a time to “greet” one another and any visitors. So how would you apply such thinking to all of life? I do agree that we worship God by all we do 24/7 BUT you CANNOT apply the RPW to that, it is totally absurd to even try. What you and the NCFIC appear to be advocating is a pick and choose method which is what many folks have an issue with.

  90. Dave A says

    Mr. Smith….your statement: Regarding your fellowship of Churches how does a Church using the moniker FIC hurt or damage your congregation? Or threaten your fellowship with them?
    The problem that I have seen is that the FIC moniker becomes THE focal point of the particular Church. I am not a historian (maybe one could chime in) but I do not, nor do I recall ever having seen the “family integrated” moniker of any sort attached to any church in all of history except for the past decade. Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc., there are “firsts”, “seconds”, named after towns, but FI.???? That is why the NCFIC list of Churches is all over the place doctrinally, “family integrated” is primary, doctrine is secondary. It does not matter how many times they deny that last sentence their practice shows it to be so. You will know them by their fruit.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *