The Biblical Family and the Spread of the Gospel

From a heart clearly burning for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom, Paul Washer gave his last message of the conference on the subject of the importance of Biblical family life for the spread of the gospel.

Too many missionaries labor fruitlessly because, in contrast with their words, their families are not examples of what Christ can do in the midst of a people. When Christ is in the middle of a home, when it is all about Him, that home overflows with love and joy.

“My home should be such that when someone walks in they say, ‘I want this. I really want this.’” People need to know what it looks like when a man filled with the Spirit loves his wife and children.

When they see what Christ can do in the context of our closest relationships, they see the power of the Gospel.

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A New/Old Blog A Comin’

Two things are about to happen. Soon, we are launching a more focused NCFIC blog, AND an old yet revived, revamped, improved www.scottbrownonline.com.

Here are the details:

A More Focused NCFIC Blog:

First, we will make a change to the NCFIC blog by focusing the topics and having FIC church leaders around the nation contribute to it. This will do three things:

1. It will focus the blog on FIC issues.

2. It will give exposure to other FIC leaders.

3. It will show people who they can talk to in their regions.

Why? There are so many more new churches and families that are engaging this discussion. It needs a laser beam focus in order to answer questions and frame discussions. We want the people coming to the NCFIC blog to quickly get the scoop on FIC issues. So our goal is to provide a highly-targeted information source for the new wave of existing church transformations.

An Old Yet Revived, Revamped, Improved www.scottbrownonline.com:

Before we launched the new NCFIC web site in January 2009, my blog was known as www.scottbrownonline.com. It was more general, but it was always filled with things related to the reformation of church and family life — because that is an area I am keenly interested in. In 2009, we simply folded my blog into the new NCFIC site.

Before that time on www.scottbrownonline, I spoke about a much wider range of issues than I have been on the NCFIC blog. Now, I am going back to that with the new version of www.scottbrownonline.com.

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Now We Have a Genderless Preschool

The trend lines are running in favor of a genderless society – so called. We recently heard of the “genderless baby” in Canada and the ghastly reports of “gendercide” in India. Now we have the genderless preschool in Sweden. It is a government funded, “No ‘him’ or ‘her’; preschool [that] fights against gender bias.” This school, for children age 1-6, is part of a radical, government initiative to erase gender distinctions and give the female gender a competitive edge.

AP staff writer Jenny Soffel reports that, “At the ‘Egalia’ preschool, staff avoid using words like ‘him’ or ‘her’ and address the 33 kids as ‘friends’ rather than girls and boys.

Everything breathes of gender freedom. “From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes.

A 31-year-old teacher at the school, Jenny Johnson, argues, “Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing…Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.

“Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.”

One of the most telling and tragic scenarios is this one: “‘A concrete example could be when they’re playing ‘house’ and the role of the mom already is taken and they start to squabble,’ she says. ‘Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on.’

One of the requirements of achieving this genderless society is the management of language. For example, “Staff try to shed masculine and feminine references from their speech, including the pronouns him or her — ‘han’ or ‘hon’ in Swedish. Instead, they’ve have adopted the genderless ‘hen,’ a word that doesn’t exist in Swedish but is used in some feminist and gay circles. ‘We use the word ‘Hen’ for example when a doctor, police, electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten,’ Rajalin says. ‘We don’t know if it’s a he or a she so we just say ‘Hen is coming around 2 p.m.’ Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view.’

These efforts will fail. It is impossible to wipe out the imprint of manhood and womanhood, no matter how hard people try. The innermost being is irrevocably stamped male and female. Under the garments is the unassailable witness to it. In the end, manhood and womanhood is not wiped out. Rather, human beings are terribly sickened and truncated and abused.

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New Cut of Divided Showing in Houston – Thursday, June 30

Divided
You are invited to a free showing of Divided by Grace Family Church at 3801 Liberty Drive, Pearland, Texas 77581.

Time: 7:00PM.

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Drop in, and say hello to elders Rick Griffin, Scott Head, and Kris Lee.

[vimeo 13467660 582 280]

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On Falling Into Sin

“It is not falling into water that drowns, but lying in it. It is not falling into sin that damns, but lying in it without repentance.”

Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2009; written 1668), 62.

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July 4 and Several Family-Integrated Churches Celebrating Together

On July 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM, we are gathering several local churches to fellowship, hear speeches from FIC elders, and enjoy the goodness of the Lord that rests upon our land. If you would like to bring your church, please RSVP to dbrown@ncfic.org with the name of your church and the estimated number of attendees. RSVP deadline is June 30, 2011 at 5 PM. This event will be located at the large tent at 3721 Quarry Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587.

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Love the Church Audio Now Online for Download

Whether it be for your church or your family, the topic of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is of key importance in the Christian life.

With more than 30 messages ranging from speakers like Scott Brown, Doug Phillips, Paul Washer, and Dr. Joel Beeke, this set speaks to a wide range of topics including Christ’s love for the Church, Church planting, evangelism, Church membership, the controversial topic of parachurch organizations, and much more.

To aid in either study or family worship, the NCFIC has put together a companion study guide, which contains outlines and questions for many of the messages in this audio set.

God values the church, such that He sent His Son to die for her. He calls her “His inheritance” and “the apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:9-10). This is the reason why the people of God should prize her.

Please take full advantage of this free audio set resource and the companion study guide, and pass it along to your friends and neighbors.

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The Sweetest Words Known to Man: “But I say to You”

In Matthew 5, Jesus contrasts two voices, “You have heard that it was said” vs. “But, I say to you.” When Jesus says, “You have heard it said” (Matt 5:27-32), He is referring to those vain add-ons and short sighted simplifications to the law. These sayings had made the Old Testament law a concoction of human imagination and invention rather than the revealed nature and character of God. Jesus gives the remedy with the statement, “But, I say to you.” With this statement, the Son of God offers an accurate exposition on the law. He offers the true antithesis to false teaching and exposes how a proper understanding of the law regarding adultery is actually a focus on the desires of the heart and not on the works of man. This true understanding shows how every law of God unleashes and promotes love and reveals that it is a true treasure profitable for our soul. Listen here.

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The Reunited Bible Study is Coming

In a few weeks, we plan to make available a companion Bible study to Divided and A Weed in the Church – the Reunited Bible Study Challenge. As a resource for individuals, your church, or small groups, this Bible study will take you into the Word of God to examine it on the issue of youth ministry in the church. It challenges you to ask, “Is the Bible sufficient for youth ministry?” With this set – the film, book, and Bible study, you will be prepared to learn and engage the Scriptures on a subject which runs deep in Christianity: “How does the church reach the next generation with the gospel?”

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Announcing a Re-cut Version of Divided

Last fall, the NCFIC launched the film Divided and the book A Weed in the Church as a spearhead against the modern youth ministry methods of the church.

Recently, the NCFIC released a re-cut version of Divided, with additional scenes, a new bonus feature, and a redesigned cover.

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Advice on Family Prayer

I have posted this before, and am doing it again because it is so helpful… On April 16,1604, Matthew Henry preached an abundantly practical sermon to the families gathered in his congregation. (You can get the entire sermon from our store, under the title, Building a God-Centered Family.) One part of the sermon was for equipping them for prayer in their households. Here is what he said,

Five things especially you should have upon your heart in your family prayer, and should endeavor to bring something of each into every prayer with your families:

1. You ought to make family-Acknowledgements on your Dependence upon God and his Providences as you are a family.

give unto the Lord the Glory due unto his Name;

Give honor to God as the Founder of Families by his Ordinance, because it was not good for man to be alone; as the founder of your Families by his Providence, for he it is that buildeth the House, and setteth the Solitary in Families. Give Honor to him as the owner and Ruler of families…

2. You ought to make Family-Confessions of your Sins against God; those Sins you have contracted the Guilt of your Family…

How sad is the Condition of those Families that sin together, and never pray together, that by concurring in Frauds, Quarrels and Excesses, by Strengthening one another’s Hands in Impiety and Profaneness, fill the measure of Family-Guilt, and never agree together to do any thing to empty it.’

And even Religious Families, that are not polluted with gross and scandalous Sins, yet have need to join every Day in the Solemn Acts and Expressions of Repentance before God for their Sins of daily infirmity. Their vain words, and unprofitable conversation among themselves; their manifold defects in relative duties, provoking one another

3. You ought to offer up Family Thanksgivings for the blessings which you, with our Families, receive from God.

Many are the mercies which you enjoy the Sweetness and Benefit of in common; which if wanting to one, all the Family would be sensible of it. Hath not God made a Hedge of Protection about you and your houses and all that you have…

4. You ought to present your Family-Petitions for the Mercy and Grace which your Families stand in need of.

Daily Bread is received by Families together, and we are taught not only to pray for it every day, but to pray together for it, saying ‘Our Father, give it us’. There are Affairs and Employments which the Family is jointly concerned in the Success of, and therefore should jointly ask of God Wisdom for the Management of them, and Prosperity therein. There are family cares to be cast upon God, by Prayer, Family Comforts to be fought for, and Family-Crosses which they should together beg for the Sanctification and Removal of.

5. You ought to make Family-Intercessions for others also.

There are Families you stand related to, or which by Neighborhood, Friendship or Acquaintance, …
utmost Corners of the Earth, and to them that are afar off upon the Sea.”

A Church in the House, A Sermon concerning Family-Religion, by Matthew Henry
 

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Jesus’ Way of Dealing with Lust

Jesus teaches His disciples about adultery of the heart and specifically how to think about it and deal with it. Here is my Sunday sermon on that subject – an exposition of Matthew 5:27-32.

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On Men Who Feed on Disputes

Thomas Boston, commenting on “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” says, “It is a sign men have no spiritual hunger when they are more for religious disputes—than the practice of piety. Some men feed only on difficult questions and controversies (1 Timothy 6:3, 4). These pick bones—and do not feed on the meat. They have hot brains but cold hearts. Did men hunger and thirst after righteousness, they would propound to themselves such questions as these, ‘How shall we do to be saved? How shall we make our calling and election sure? How shall we mortify our corruptions?’ But such as ravel out their time in frothy and useless theological disputes, I call heaven to witness, they are strangers to this text. They do not ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness’.”

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Starve, Run, Amputate – This Sunday

In this day of internet access and public immodesty, the Christian man has a ceaseless war with his eyes. But this Sunday, there will be help from heaven for Hope Baptist and Sovereign Redeemer. We are both preaching from Matthew 5 where Jesus addresses the issue of adultery of the heart. Jason Dohm writes this about this important issue on his blog. In various ways, we will both be encouraging our congregations to starve, run and amputate whatever causes adultery of the heart.

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A Note to New Church Members

At our church we have just inducted around 20 new members. Much has been said on the matter of church membership so I will not add to it here (see 9 Marks on the issue here and a message I did here).

Here is a note we sent to the church to remind them of the seriousness of church membership.

You are covenanting with these people and as such are creating new responsibilities that you will have toward them. This is also a good time to consider again, the seriousness of taking a church membership oath. These new members will be taking an oath, by promising to abide by the requirements of our membership covenant. This is a very serious matter, and we as elders take it very seriously. When one takes this oath, to covenant with Hope Baptist, we want all to know that it is the intention of the elders to hold accountable those who take it. Please read the section on oaths and vows in the Baptist Confession of 1689 for clarity on the importance of oaths. Following is our church covenant for your review

Hope Baptist Church Membership Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to repent, believe and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and profess our allegiance to Him, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. Acts 2:38, Mark 9:23, John 11:26 Heb.11:6,John 1:12-13, I Pet. 2:6, Matt. 28:19-20 Romans 8:1

We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love. 1 Cor 13:1-13, Eph. 4:1-6, John 13:34

We will seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances and strangers who have not repented for saving faith in Christ; to be in prayer for the spiritual awakening of the lost in our community, and to be a faithful witness of the gospel both here and to the remotest part of the earth. Matt. 28:19, Luke 24:44-48, Acts 1:3-8. Gen 12:3

We will strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; and to submit to its leaders as they are faithful to Christ. Hebrews 10:24-25, Hebrews 13:17, I Thess.4:12-15

We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations. I Cor. 9:1-27, Prov. 15:15, Job 34:19, Matt. 5:3, Mark 10:21, Luke 4:1

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others; nor avoid the meetings of the church. Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 5:5, Acts 2:42-47

We will also maintain family and private devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith and demonstrate the love of Christ in all of our household relationships. Eph. 6:1-4 Psalm 78 Deut. 6:1-9

We will watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment. Matt 19:15-20 Col. 2:9-10, Eph.5:1-2, Eph. 6:18

We will abstain from gluttony, drunkenness, illicit drugs, materials, entertainments or practicing things which jeopardize our own or another’s faith. Psalm 1:1-6, Eph. 5:3-12, Col: 3:1-17, II Cor. 12:20, Romans 1:30, Lev. 19:16, Eccl. 10:11, Galatians 5:21, Deuteronomy 21:20, 1 Corinthians 6:10, Proverbs 23:21, Psalm 101:1-2

We will cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; strive to avoid all scriptural prohibitions, such as tattling, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to refrain from speaking evil of one another; to be slow to take offense; to think the best of one another; and always ready for biblical reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay so far as it depends upon us. Psalm 19:14 Psalm 34:13-14, Eph. 4:29, I Peter 3:8-12, Matt 5:21-26, Titus 3:10, Prov 26:20-26

We will, if necessary, submit to biblically defined and regulated church discipline for the purpose of reconciliation with God and man and we accept that refusing to communicate or to flee is to usurp the power of the church and break this covenant. Matt. 18:15:20, Heb 12:11, 1 Cor 5:1-13, 1 John 2:19, 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Cor 2:1-11, Luke 17:4

We will, when we move from this place, if possible, unite with a church which upholds the “Essential Doctrines” defined in the church constitution and where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant.

The commitment

The new members affirm that they have reviewed the church constitution, affirm the covenant and understand the implications of taking an oath. Our constitution requires that new members sign a statement of their commitment to these principles. We say, “Understanding and agreeing with the Church Covenant and the Hope Baptist Church Constitution, I commit myself to this church body. I understand the church’s policies regarding church discipline outlined in scripture and I consent to be bound by them.”

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