January 3, 2010
Philosophy of Modern Churches
Doctrine of Salvation
Purpose of Sunday Gathering
Not of the World
Growing Concerns at my Present Church
What We Should Look for in a Church
The whole “Purpose Driven Life” (PDL) excitement began to awaken in me an awareness that Evangelicalism was changing, being influenced by men such and Rick Warren and Bill Hybels (Willow Creek) who were in turn influenced by Robert Schuller who thinks the word sin should be abolished from Christianity because it makes people “feel bad”. False teaching was slowly creeping into mainstream evangelicalism, but in recent years has been accelerating.
I discovered another movement within evangelicalism called “The Emergent Church”. This is a loose philosophy of teaching that has many aspects among which is that the belief “doctrine divides” so there is a de-emphasis on doctrine and that we should just love Jesus. Without doctrine and careful adherence to the Word of God, how shall we know when “another Christ” (anti-Christ) is being taught purposely by deceivers or ignorantly by the deceived?
“But evil men and seducers will go forward to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
This anti-doctrine is coming out of post-modern thinking and the rejection of absolute truth. Adherents are saying that this is the way to reach the post-modern world. Along with this new thinking is the fruit of the ideas planted by Richard Foster 25 years ago, the whole contemplative prayer movement. Contemplative prayer is in reality eastern transcendental meditation with the result being some spiritual experience. Of coarse these teachers say this is God, but how would they know? They are practicing the very things forbidden by scripture and bringing apostasy into the church.
“But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,” 1 Tim 4:1
Willow Creek has gotten caught up in this lately, inviting modern mystic teachers both so-called Christian mystic and new age.
This also ties in with a new ecumenical movement. Spiritual leaders in this movement are finding common ground in there practices with Islamic Sufis, Hindu and Buddhist practitioners. Rather than being alarm that they are aligned with religions that are definitely NOT Christian but clearly pagan and questioning whether what they are doing is wrong, they so believe what they are doing is right that they conclude there are many paths to God and all religions are really one. This is absurd. The Bible however clearly warns of a one world religion and this fits the bill for a vehicle to get Christians to come around.
Careful study or God’s Word and of doctrine clearly warns of the dangers of this movement. I am however astonished at the list of “evangelical leaders” whose names are being associated with this movement and it is being hyped by “Christianity Today”.
Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan sounds good at first glance, but it is an ecumenical movement paralleling the U.N.’s “Millennial Goals”.
Evangelicalism is being led astray by undiscerning leaders. Only a few well known leaders are taking a stance against it and speaking up, among these are John McArthur and Dave Hunt.
Not only is sin de-emphasized
but the Atonement
coming under attack now described in Alan Jones’ book “Redefining
as “this vile doctrine”.
article: “ ”
When I was a new believer in College and read about a time that Jesus said:
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect.” Mat 24:24.
Paul spoke of the “falling
away” in 2 Thes
2:3, I couldn’t
imagine how Satin could deceive so many.
now I see how a watered down Evangelical church that
does not know
its doctrine and rejects discernment could be easily be duped.
As I stated in my background (see Appendix A) that I come from a position of being sympathetic (many years ago) to the Willow-Creek style teaching to make a church for the unchurched. This is what the “Church Growth Movement” is all about. The goal was to get people in the door by eliminating the barriers that kept them away. Bill Hybles used a marketing survey to start his church and applied what he learned. From the world’s perspective he was very successful. Willow-Creek is one of the largest churches in America and it formed the Willow Creek association of 1000’s of churches literally around the world following after its model, including my former church Stonebridge.
Yes seeker targeted churches
have found a
way to grow their
numbers, but are they truly making disciples?
The great commission does not
“Go into the world
and use their methods to get them into the door so they can have fun
to some messages loosely based on my teachings”
It says: “Therefore
go and teach all
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And,
with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.” Matt 28:19-20
Jesus also said: “…If
anyone desires to
come after Me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke
The message of the Gospel of
Christ is not
to appeal to the interests of the culture, or to their felt needs as is
20th and 21st century
America, but to actually
deny themselves. The
biblical method for
preaching the Gospel
to the lost is not on the basis of being culturally relevant, but
the opposite. It
calls people out of
their worldly minded culture and to think and act biblically. It strictly
commands men everywhere to
repent of their sins:
“Truly, then, God
overlooking the times
of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to
appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in
“Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Act 2:38
So in the desire to reach the
Christ, they miss
the “for Christ” part.
The modern church would argue
that the old
work anymore. First
I would say that we
haven’t been doing a good job in preaching the true Gospel of
sin and then grace, but a gospel of what can Christ do for me here and
Secondly I would argue that the
work either. Yes
they get them in the
door, but they don’t do much with them when the get them there. How can I say this? Just
look at polls by Barna and Gallup and
see if today’s evangelicals differ much from the average population in
areas of morality, absolute truth, existence of hell and other topics
major point of difference. Why
they have not repented. They
A further danger I see is that
churches are ever
looking for the next thing. They
polls saying that Americans are becoming more spiritual. By this I do not mean
but seeking some sort of religious experience.
Modern thinkers have rejected absolute truth in favor
truth based upon experience. In
minds, a spiritual experience verifies its reality.
If one through “contemplative prayer” has a
spiritual experience, it must be true.
is no biblical discernment here, remember doctrine
doctrine is out, and discernment along with it.
One emergent leader talked
Christianity has to be
dismantled. He is
not sure what must or
will take the place of its creeds and doctrines, he is only sure that
must go. As I
mentioned, the emergent
church is pursuing this path and following suit close behind are the
likes of the
these large churches
go, so goes the way of evangelicalism.
is what I fear will happen to all our churches if
they don’t wake
up and start to practice Biblical discernment, recognize the signs of
and the falling away that marks the end times.
at the words of Jesus:
“He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening, you say, Fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, Foul weather today; for the sky is red and gloomy. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot see the signs of the times!’” Matt 16:2, 3
So I see today’s churches as sincerely
reach the lost but using unbiblical methods and a
impotent gospel while growing in numbers.
the pews (or chairs) are being filled with the
undiscerning and whose lives are indistinguishable from the culture
(update 5/25/06) Here is a
quote I saw today
from John MacArthur's book "Ashamed of the Gospel"
Like the modernists a century ago, churches in the user-friendly movement have decided that doctrine is divisive and that peace is more important than sound teaching. Wanting to appeal to a modern age, they try to frame their message as a friendly, agreeable, and relevant dialogue. Unfortunately, it is often the most "relevant" topics that the church can ill afford to agree on. The pet doctrines of our modern age-radicalism, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, and other politically charged moral issues-pose the most obvious problems for user-friendly churches. Their undefined theology and seeker-sensitive philosophy do not permit them to take a firm biblical stance on such matters, because the moment they defy the spirit of the age, they forfeit their marketing appeal. They are therefore forced to keep mum or capitulate. Either way, they compromise the truth.Top
How did we get to such a place?
As I said
above, as I see things, it has to do
with a sincere desire to reach the lost, but using man’s
few passages I have heard
in defense of these unbiblical methods are Jesus dining with sinners
9:9-13 where Jesus dined with sinners in Matthew’s house, the Mars Hill
and Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 9:22.
First in Matthew, Jesus did not
over for a
worldly show; he went to where they were.
called them sinners and likened them to the sick that
doctor. Further he
called them to
repentance. This is the same approach he used with the women at the
Mars Hill sermon (Acts
17:23-32) is often
used to say we
need to be culturally relevant. Paul
not invite anyone at Mars Hill to the local church where they would
culturally relevant service and message.
was doing street evangelism. He
prop, in this case an altar to “the unknown god”
to tell them
about a God who was unknown to them.
finished by saying God is gracious and will overlook their time of
and that He “strictly commands all men everywhere to repent.”
Now Paul’s statement:
We cannot take this to mean
that we must do
takes to get them the door and keep them there so they might hear the
Let’s look at the following things:
· What did Paul mean?
· How is someone saved?
· What method has God given us for evangelizing?
We have to back up a couple of verses to see examples that let up to his concluding statement. Paul said that though he was free he became a servant to all. To the Jew he became a Jew. To the one under the law he became as one under the law. To those outside the law he became as one outside the law (although really under the law of Christ). And finally to the weak he became weak.
Each example is of Paul
empathizing with the
whom he was sharing the gospel. He
wanted to help them see that he was no different, not better nor worse.
was a sinner saved by the
grace of God.
“Faithful is the Word
and worthy of all
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
As a former pastor of mine put
it, we are
all on a level playing
field before a holy God.
“for all have sinned
and come short of
the glory of God…”
To come to the conclusion from
that we must use
the world’s methods to reach the world is absurd.
There was actually a parable about the Kingdom of God compared with a wedding feast that all sorts of people were invited to in Matt 22:1-14. One person was there who did not have on a wedding garment. He was kicked out! Jesus wrapped it up saying:
“For many are called,
How is someone saved?
This should not be any secret
here. It is through
the preaching the message of
the Gospel, the “Good news”. But
news isn’t good news unless you first are aware of the bad news. But this kind of preaching
is not popular
these days. So
called preachers like
Robert Schuler do not even want to mention the word sin because it is a
negative word that makes people feel bad.
2 Cor 7:10 says this is absolutely necessary.
For a full discussion of the subject see How is someone saved?
The Bible shows us that
evangelism is done
preaching of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Paul preached Christ crucified. This is foolishness to the
world but to them,
“to us being saved, it is the power of God”.
He did not put on a circus or use the world’s
For more information on how to
gospel, see: http://www.livingwaters.com/
In the end I believe that
has stooped to use
of the world’s methods, because believers are too afraid and/or too
do personal evangelize as described in scripture. (I am guilty as
desire to grow in this area) It is easier to invite someone to a
& fun event.
The purpose of the Sunday
morning service is
not for the
making sinners feel comfortable in hopes they will eventually hear and
to the gospel. Sunday
services are a
place where believers gather together to worship God and be equipped
ministry. As such
it is not to be man
focused but God focused. An
may come in and observe, but it may be a new and different experience
him. To the
unbeliever, the things of God
foolishness as we saw in 1 Cor 1:18.
this we do not have to apologize or be ashamed.
we must show kindness and respect as is becoming
Worship should be of highest
the heart. Songs
should be those of praise
nature, character and glory of God.
giving and celebration of the ordinances of baptism and communion
done with respect and reverence. One
thing I see rarely in any church these days is a quiet sanctuary where
pray and make sure there heart is prepared for worship before the
Teaching should be expository
so as to
preach the whole
console of God (Acts 20:27) for the edifying or building up of the body. The following passage
explains what the
outcome of this is.
Surveys today show that among
those who call
“Christian” there is little to no evidence it makes a difference in our
behavior or in the behavior of our kids.
is calling me to question if our churches are failing
us? Why is there no
difference? Has the
world gotten into the church? A
partial answer to this is that we are so
trying to attract the world into the church to “reach them” that the
getting into the church. The
to be the spotless bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-27).
we are so identified with Christ, we can’t
expect the world to feel at home.
we can expect is criticism.
“If the world hates
you, you know that it
hated Me before
it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own.
because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the
therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you,
servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me,
also persecute you. If they have kept My saying, they will also keep
No matter what we would like to
we are living
the way Jesus asks us to live we cannot expect the world to love us. James teaches us:
“… Do you not know
that the friendship of
the world is
enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of
the enemy of God.” James 4:4
Why then are we trying? We are a light to the
world (Matt 5:14) but men hate the
their deeds are evil (John 3:19).
Further, we are called to come
“Do not be
unequally yoked together
for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what
partnership does light have with darkness?
what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what
part does a
believer have with an unbeliever?
what agreement does a temple of God have with
idols? For you
are the temple of the living God, as God has said, ‘I will dwell in
walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore come
out from among them and
be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean
will receive you and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My
daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:14-18
The world and its culture have
engrained in the
thinking of the modern church. To
we think like the world and even live like the world.
The church is made up of the elect or “called
out ones” and we are called to become “holy as He is holy”
“but according to the
Holy One who has called
you also become holy in all conduct, because it is
holy, for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:15, 16
It is tough to do this and make
think like the world
because they are of the world. If
as God asks, we will become a “peculiar” or special people for his own
(Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:9)
“who gave Himself for
us that He might redeem
all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous
We should be different
world and when they
see us they should see a difference. They
should see not just cultural differences but genuine
Can a church
different, holy and yet loving and reaching out to a hurting world?
Can we call
lost out of the world with the Gospel?
church is to be the church that is biblical, it can’t be conforming to
world. It must be
different. It may
be hated, it may be misunderstood but
it can still carry out he mission it is called to do; to be the bride
and a light to the world. If
we are to
be a light to the world and the world loves darkness we cannot be like
world and still shine.
No church is perfect,
especially if I am a
member. All have
there strengths and
all are in need of prayer for leadership, ministries and the
are a body of imperfect
people growing in
Christ and learning to serve the King.
A series of events over the
years has raised
my concern for
the well being of my present church.
one thing was a cause for alarm, but the cumulative affects of all of
reached a point of great concern.
I have been at my present church since 1999. The children’s ministry was thriving and a real outreach to the community. Many kids invited friends to AWANA and soon those kids were inviting their parents. Sunday school hour had good teaching for the kids and Adult Bible Study Fellowship classes (ABF) had a number of options for adults to attend. The ABF and small groups were a source of fellowship and training. Teaching centered around doctrine, expository teaching of a book, surveys of the bible and discernment in the area of false religions. Many good classes were offered and I enjoyed and grew from participation in them. As my church grew and specifically the children’s ministry grew, the classrooms became too small. To accommodate the childrens ministry, the number of ABFs was reduced. It was time to look at expanding the facilities and I joined the Design team for the purpose of designing a new building that would hold the entire congregation in one worship service along with creating more classrooms for ABFs. Five years later we still have no expanded building and only a handful of people are involved in an ABF at an offsite location. The result of a lack of ABF participation is a slow deterioration of doctrinal knowledge of our members.
Children’s Sunday school curriculum:
For several years my wife taught children’s Sunday school classes. The material used was of good quality. At one point about 3 years ago, a decision was made to switch curriculum to one that had more fun and less content. The concern of the leaders was that some kids were getting bored. This falls in line with what a lot of the mega-churches are saying that today’s kids are so media saturated that we have to provide that same level of excitement to keep there attention. My wife reviewed the curriculum and was disappointed at how watered down it was. None-the-less it was here to stay. My wife felt uncomfortable with the curriculum and no longer teaches.
Topical vs. Expository Preaching:
Topical preaching is also a trend in the Evangelical church. Mega-church Willow-Creek does this exclusively as did Stonebridge for its Sunday services. While topical preaching can be an effective way to cover a subject, this can be done from expository teaching as well. The benefit of expository teaching is that it tends to make sure all things are taught, not just a handful of things over and over as does the health, wealth and prosperity churches. I noticed that when our new pastor taught from the “Sermon on the mount” for the “Jesus: uncensored” series, he censored out Matt 5:31-32 that dealt with divorce. This is obviously a topic on which the modern church has completely waffled and he didn’t want to touch it. I did ask him about it and he said he might cover it the next time he speaks on the “Sermon on the mount”, or possibly during the current “Extreme Home Makeover” series. So far he has not. The problem the modern church has with expository is that the Bible covers many topics that are no longer popular.
The ever increasing use of videos and gimmicks:
In the service we are again
placate the culture of
this world through media to “get their attention”. I
don’t think this is necessary. A
couple of years ago I was running sound for music rehearsal when
a Harley into the sanctuary. When
composed myself, I asked: “what was the meaning of this”? Pastor Jason said they
were toying with the
idea of using for a joke to break the ice at the beginning of the
service. I objected
and the idea never
would someone think
this was a good idea? Look
response to a misuse of the temple:
“saying to them, It is
written, ‘My house
is a house of
prayer," but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ” Luke 19:46
His point was that His father’s house was a holy place that should not be treated disrespectfully. Yes I know that God now dwells in the hearts of believers so we are the temple, but there is a place for housing the corporate temple with respect during worship.
Given that, when the body meets for corporate worship, shouldn’t we clothe that temple appropriately as with expectation to meet with the King of King’s? Now many roll out of bed into their jeans and T’shirts advertising their favorite whatever.
The Purpose Driven Life and the use of Rick Warren’s material:
Our new pastor came in January
of 2004. About the
time he came, our church was just
about to start a “40 Days of Purpose” campaign based on the book by the
name by Rick Warren. Before
it started I
heard a report warning about it. I
copy of the book and read half of it before we were to start the
campaign. I was
horrified at what I saw. The
widespread abuse of the paraphrase “The
Message” was typified in this book. Rick Warren had his ideas all
and then sought a few phrases from any translation
could find to support it. These
verses are often taken out of context. His gospel of salvation was no
all. It was all human centered psychology, appealing to the flesh for
and purpose in life with a Christian veneer.
read the entire book and added my editorial comments in
I approached the pastor on this shortly after he started but said that it was approved by the leadership before he got there. He acknowledged my concerns but didn’t want to do anything about it. I can’t fully blame him as a new and young pastor to the church. I do question why the elders didn’t more carefully screen the material or use discernment. I did express my concerns to one of the Elders who agreed with my assessment, but he basically said “the train has left the station” and there was nothing else to do.
I had hoped that after the PDL campaign that nothing more would come of Rick Warren’s influence, and for a time nothing did. Rick Warren has many follow up programs but none were mentioned.
Celebrate Recovery (CR) bypassed the approval of the Elders
A little over a year later
Warren program was
going to be introduced called “Celebrate Recovery”.
(See “The Berean Call” newsletter about a
first hand review of CR at http://www.thebereancall.org/Newsletter/html/2005/oct05.php
the people involved with
program are sincere in there desire to see people freed from there
they are really using the worlds methods. Here
is a quote from “The Berean Call”:
“The issue is not
whether we should
minister, but how we
should minister: man’s way or God’s way? Man’s way, or a mixture of
teaching and ungodly counsel, is contrary to God’s way. Man’s way leads
death. Applying Scripture to man’s way leads to a slower death, akin to
would result when pure water is added to a toxic drinking fountain. We
desperately need to take heed to God’s admonition through the Prophet
“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the
living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can
water” (Jer 2:13). TBC”
I was not aware of it at the time but another person who held my same concerns as I had desperately tried to warn leadership but was ignored. If fact the elders were sidestepped in the introduction of this program, which is alarming to me. Again this program uses the technique of man’s ideas backed with phases selected from various paraphrases’ often out of context.
Change in leadership structure:
This happed at the 2004 congregational meeting. Part of the change was required by the Christian and Missionary Alliance to bring it into conformity with their guidelines. Another aspect which I remember being a yellow flag to me was to allow for more flexible changes in leadership in regards to ministry. The thought was that waiting for annual congregational meetings is too far apart and would “slow things down”. I always felt that quarterly meetings like I was accustomed to at First Free would be better for just such a reason. The ability to make changes without congregational approval makes leadership less accountable. I am not sure if this is related to the Elders being bypassed on the CR issue or not.
Recommended Books by False Teachers with no warnings:
In January 2006, my pastor spoke on spiritual disciplines. When we think of spiritual disciplines, what comes to mind are things we encourage in a daily “quiet time” with the Lord such as prayer, bible reading, memorizing scripture and meditating on scripture. I don’t remember much about the sermon, but he recommended the book “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and some other books. I read this as a young believer in college and rejected its false teaching then. In the book Richard Foster advocates meditation that is in fact based on eastern religions and many other false teachings including the teachings of Carl Jung and so called “dessert fathers” who in turn got there teachings from the eastern religions. There had been section on astral projection in the first edition(s) that I hear has been removed from the 25th anniversary edition, but that hardly makes it okay now. Pastor excused the book as basically having a lot of good stuff that really helps and stretches him and besides we should always filter everything through scripture. I said to him that you can’t just recommend books without a warning for the dangerous teachings in them, especially for immature believers who wouldn’t know any better. He commented that almost no one is going to read books from his list anyway. This is no excuse and still he does not intend to warn others about these.
Another brother independent of
came to him with
the same concerns but no action was taken to “purge the leaven”. This brother told me that
the other books he
recommended are by other emergent church authors including Erwin
McManus which I did not know about at the time.
it comes to false teaching:
1Cor 5:7,8 Therefore purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Not Taking Discernment Seriously:
Related to the last two
subjects, I feel
that while my
pastor heard and understood my concerns, he was quick to defend his
reluctant to take any corrective actions.
Concerning my warnings about
he said he was very aware of the movement.
said something to the effect of: “I don’t agree with
all that they
say, and clearly some things are wrong but still they have some
things to say. I am
going to keep
studying them.” If
he admits they are
“clearly” teaching false doctrines, we should have nothing to do with
Bible speaks clearly here:
But there were also false
people, even as there will be false teachers among
will bring in destructive heresies, even denying
the Master who
them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2Pe 2:1.
If anyone comes to you
and does not
doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor speak a
to him. 2
Beware of false
prophets who come
to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Mat 7:15
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1John 4:1
“holding fast the faithful Word according to the doctrine, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9
He was also told that if we made changes to correct the wrong things, that many of the people would stop coming. This is pragmatism and goes back to the saying: “What it takes to bring them in is what it takes to keep them here.” They know this and are afraid to correct things and for the fear of losing people.
Watering Down of the Congregation:
Following on from the previous
point, if we
are afraid to
make corrective step we will continue to lose people who want to be
to grow in the Lord biblically and be replaced by those who are looking
it takes to bring
them in is what it takes to keep them here.”
have lost many in the past few years who were very
members. We now
have a more immature
congregation, and many here because of PDL.
it is good that they are in church, but to what
end if we can’t
teach the whole counsel of God without driving them away.
Director of Youth Ministries:
In our first meeting with Ben we asked several questions. The answers seemed to be carefully worded so as to placate our concerns. There was as sense that youth workers can relate to our kids better than with their parents, and that parents are working off an old paradigm. Here is a quote from the annual report for the 2006 congregational meeting:
“…we must be willing to learn as leaders and parents in order to be equipped to deal with a changing world. Our schools are changing, our families our (he meant are) changing, our students are changing, so why shouldn’t the ministry?!
times of change,
OUCH! It feels like push the old fogies out of the way, their irrelevant. It seems to me that man’s problems are the same as they were right after Adam sinned. It seems to me the answer in the Gospel that has not changed in 2000 years. It seems to me that Paul’s statement in Romans still holds true:
“For I am not ashamed
of the gospel of
Christ, for it is
the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew
also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
In later meetings he seemed to
involve the parents
more which is a good thing. Still
that relating to youth culture is a key emphasis, maintaining the idea
entertainment as a mean of teaching is necessary and fun being a big
Further, I don’t support the
adolescence needs to
be extended into a persons 20’s. For
family as they go through their teen years, I want them to be taking
relationship with the Lord more and more seriously.
I want them to be equipped to make biblical
decisions for their circumstances in life and be spiritual leaders. Hebrew boys were
considered men at the age of
13 and women at 12. I
want my children
making a difference in the world not just being baby-sat.
1Co 13:11 When
was an infant, I spoke as an infant, I thought as an infant, I reasoned
infant. But when I became a man, I did away with the things of an
(most translations use “child”
“infant” but it is
a good translation from Greek meaning immature, babe, child)
· Be a family that loves God and wants to live for him in all aspects of our life.
· Raise a godly seed:
· Home schooling
· Learn to share the gospel
A family that lives for God:
As spiritual head of the home it is my responsibility before the Lord to set the pace for following God. This means I need to set the example, provide for family devotions and discussions, and set standards and guidelines for the home. I must live in the joy of the Lord and help my family enjoy living for Him. We need to do more things together as a family, not only in fun but in serving and witnessing.
· be filling our minds with the Word of God
· be willing to and follow through with obeying what he speaks to us through his word
· lead by example
· talk to our kids about what we do and why we do it
· show them how to obey
Raising a godly seed:
This starts with a vision. Doug Philips spoke about how some Christian parents are happy that their kids don’t smoke, drink into drugs or sex. They think they have done their job. But he says “that’s no standard at all!”
My family was a “good Catholic family” that didn’t get into trouble. But just going to and participating in church did not keep the next generation from looser morals. The Bible speaks of active discipleship of our children.
“Hear, O, Israel. Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall carefully teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut 6:5-7
Note the words “carefully teach” and the emphasis that it is done throughout the day.
I don’t support the idea that adolescence needs to be extended into a persons 20’s. As for my family as they go through their teen years, I want them to be taking their relationship with the Lord more and more seriously. I want them to be equipped to make biblical decisions for their circumstances in life and be spiritual leaders. Hebrew boys were considered men at the age of 13 and women at 12.
1Co 13:11 When I was an infant, I spoke as an infant, I thought as an infant, I reasoned as an infant. But when I became a man, I did away with the things of an infant.
(most translations use “child” instead of “infant” but it is a good translation from Greek meaning immature, babe, child)
I want my children making a difference in the world. There seem to be few who have a vision for what God is calling them to be when the graduate from high school (or even college for that matter). I would like to be working with my kids and praying for them for a vision of what God wants for their lives both daily being led and long range. I want them to be able to be leaders in a world that needs leader of character, humility and integrity who seek God for the strength and wisdom to lead.
Becoming involved with the home school movement brought us in touch with those who hold a more separatist view of Christian living. Public schools are referred to as “Pagan Seminaries” and there is a lot of truth to that. Our kids at a tender young age are not equipped to be missionaries. The do not have the ability to discern good teaching from bad. Humanism is the religion of public schools and it is taught in virtually all classes at all grade levels.
I was at first very skeptical of the idea of home schooling. We started at a very difficult time in our life. After attending my first home schooling conference I was convicted and convinced it was the right thing to do. It has been hard and has its challenges. I started teaching My daughter in the 6th grade and am in my fourth year. It has become much more time consuming as she entered high school. In kindergarten and 1st grade she was in the public school. She was influenced by the kids around here and in 1st grade one was a very bad influence. Home schooling was a hard transition for her but now she really appreciates it. She has made friends and church and in the home school groups. These kids are being raised with values similar to ours and not those of the public at large. This is important to reinforce the values we are trying to instill, rather than work against us.
I believe because we home
school, apply the
bible to our
lives and love our children as best we know God wants us too, we have
good relationship with them. Both
strong willed and “expressive”, yet in the end they know we care about
have their best interest at heart.
than just sheltering them from the world however,
exposure to the world with us beside them to help them know how to
what the see and experience from a God-centered point of view. This is how they are
prepared for life.
Supportive of Home schooling & Christian Schools
As for us we are home schooling and committed to doing so and helping others. I would like to have my church fully supporting that idea, not being neutral to the idea.
I believe the church should recognize this and not be afraid to speak out on the issue of public schooling and the indoctrination of humanism taught there. I believe Home schooling and Christian schooling are the only options with home schooling preferred. Even Christian schools need to be kept to a high standard with books and materials and teachers carefully screened. Some may argue that they can’t afford to home school or send their kids to Christian schools. The church should see the need and be willing to help out. Home schooling can be done inexpensively if there is a stay-at-home mom. If living on one income is hard, churches should help couples to learn to do that if possible. Some financial assistance may be necessary. Churches should establish Christian schools for their members.
The family is the key social unit that God created. This can and should include extended family and adopted family. By adopted I mean that in a more broad sense than normal. With our mobile society, there are often single people and widow(er) and even single parent families that are missing a healthy home structure. Strong families can “adopt” others in the church body into their own to share in the riches and strengths of family relationships. The church should try to integrate families as much a possible in service, worship and other activities. Graded education is a product of humanistic principles long forgotten. Where possible integration of the ages should be done that the younger might learn to from the older and develop biblical respect for those who have more life experience.
There should be emphasis placed on the role of husband/father as spiritual leader and teaching/training for how a man is to be that leader.
This affects all aspects of church from preaching, worship, evangelism, discipleship and caring and community outreach.
All programs and teaching should have a high view of scripture and use it frequently.
Spiritual discernment is to be valued, especially in regard to the false teachers that the Bible repeatedly warns will come into the church and that will be part of the coming apostasy. Elders are the spiritual watchman of the congregation and as such should see discernment as a vital part of their ministry.
How does a church fulfill the Great Commission while we present the bride of Christ spotless? Emphasis should be on training individuals in personal evangelism and discipleship. New believers are welcomed into the congregation and accountability relationships established to see that they do not get lost along the way.
Worship should always be God centered with an emphasis on reverence and respect for the King we serve.
The church should be separated
without being “out
of touch" with the world around us. We are to be the light of the world
and not hidden.
This is a church in the Milwaukee area (Brookside) that knows about the dangers I write about here that we attended before moving to South Carolina.
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