Surrendering Family Functions to Great Institutions

These historians observe that slowly, over the generations, we have surrendered the functions of family life over to institutions,

“Sociologists define the function of the modern family as twofold: the ‘socialization’ of the child, and the channeling of the adult’s sexual and emotional need. In the past, however, the family had other very important roles. It functioned as a defense organization, a political unit, a school, a judicial system, a church, and a factory. Over the centuries these functions have been surrendered one by one to the great external institutions of modern society, the State, the Church, and industry”

From Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages by Frances and Joseph Gies (married couple, respected Medieval historians) (pages 6-7).

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The Danger of Coming to the Bible With a Theory

One of the central themes of our ministry is to appeal to church leaders to engage in the practice of expository preaching so that they bring the voice of God to the church and not their own. This exalts the glory of God in the church and protects it from subjection to to a particular mans hobby horse. It guards and limits men so that they do not emphasize their own favorite subjects and verses and themes and theologies and practices. Our prayer is for the whole counsel of God to fill the church of Jesus Christ so that it is His words and ways that are exalted. Our desire is to train our men to handle accurately the Word of Truth so that God is glorified. Even though we cling to this safeguard of expository preaching, we are still subject to a danger as we interpret scripture. As fallen human beings, we often cannot see everything because of our interests, callings, prejudices and spiritual blindnesses. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones offers a very sobering and cautionary note on this problem. He cautions us about approaching the Bible with a theory instead of our theory coming from the Bible. I include his words here, because it is our desire to avoid this error. As we work through scripture, we must consider the problem that Lloyd Jones reveals,

There is nothing more important in the Christian life than the way in which we approach the Bible, and the way in which we read it. It is our textbook, it is our only source, it is our only authority…You can easily read [Paul’s] Epistles and be no wiser at the end than you were at the beginning because of what you have been reading into what Paul says, wresting them to your own destruction. Now that is something which we must always bear in mind with regard to the whole of the Bible. I can be seated with the Bible in front of me; I can be reading its words and going through its chapters; and yet I may be drawing a conclusion which is quite false to the pages in front of me.

There can be no doubt at all that the commonest cause of all this is our tendency so often to approach the Bible with a theory. We go to our Bibles with this theory, and everything we read is controlled by it…If you read half a verse and emphasize over-much some other half verse elsewhere, your theory is soon proved. Now obviously this is something of which we have to be very wary. There is nothing so dangerous as to come to the Bible with a theory, with preconceived ideas, with some pet idea of our own, because the moment we do so, we shall be tempted to over-emphasize one aspect and under-emphasize another.

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1959-60), 6-7.

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Spanish Language Version of Feminine By Design Now Available Here

Thanks to the efforts of Silena Salyer, Jorge Ruiz, Luis Candor and others, we now have a Spanish language version of Feminine By Design, The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood, or Diseñada para ser Femenina – Los Doce Pilares de la Feminidad Bíblica

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Love the Church Early Bird Registration Ends October 15

Don’t forget to register for the NCFIC National Conference, Love the Church,  December 9-11, 2010. Early bird registration prices of $85 for individuals and $400 for families ends on October 15.

With speakers like Paul Washer, Joel Beeke, Doug Phillips, and Joseph Morecraft, you won’t want to miss this exciting conference on the Church of Jesus Christ.

Register Now

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The Folly of Projecting Consequenses

In counseling with people over the years and through wrong decisions in my own life, I have observed that we often do not do the right thing because we have presumed on the future. We project the consequences of obedience, by thinking we know the cause and effect, and we shrink back from obedience.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6, “He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.  As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.”

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John Knox on the Law and the Grace of God

There is no more controversial subject than how the Law of God applies today. Here John Knox, masterfully and precisely explains,

“We confess and acknowledge that the law of God is most just, equal, holy, and perfect, commanding those things which, when perfectly done, can give life and bring man to eternal felicity; but our nature is so corrupt, weak, and imperfect, that we are never able perfectly to fulfill the works of the law. Even after we are reborn, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth of God is not in us. It is therefore essential for us to lay hold on Christ Jesus, in his righteousness and his atonement, since he is the end and consummation of the Law and since it is by him that we are set at liberty so that the curse of God may not fall upon us, even though we do not fulfill the Law in all points. For as God the Father beholds us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, he accepts our imperfect obedience as if it were perfect, and covers our works, which are defiled with many stains, with the righteousness of his Son. We do not mean that we are so set at liberty that we owe no obedience to the Law–for we have already acknowledged its place–but we affirm that no man on earth, with the sole exception of Christ Jesus, has given, gives, or shall give in action that obedience to the Law which the Law requires. When we have done all things we must fall down and unfeignedly confess that we are unprofitable servants. Therefore, whoever boasts of the merits of his own works or puts his trust in works of supererogation, boasts of what does not exist, and puts his trust in damnable idolatry.”

– John Knox, Scots Confession 15

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Fancy Prayers – Spurgeon Weighs in

Here is Charles Spurgeon on fancy prayers,

“I pray that you will never think well of fine prayers, for before the thrice-holy God, it is unbecoming for a sinful suppliant to play the orator… The tail feathers of pride should be pulled out of our prayers, for they need only the wing feathers of faith. The peacock feathers of poetical expression are out of place before the throne of God.” – Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, pg 11

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Worship is Like Going to a Mall?

The United Methodist Church, the third largest denomination in the US is undergoing a remake as leaders try to find out what makes churches grow -in the midst of their dying denomination. They have gone to their own people to determine what works and does not. So… they are doing what many churches have done in order to fully secure their apostasy. Instead of going to scripture, they went to the people… assuming, surely they have the answers. The message is, don’t bother with the Bible, statistics are enough! Here is a summary statement from one of the “successful” pastors with a church of “nearly 6200.” He said,

“it has offered both traditional and contemporary worship services for years. At a contemporary service, congregants kick back with doughnuts and coffee, a live band plays music and clips from Hollywood movies are shown to illustrate Gospel messages. “Worship is like going to a mall,” Millard said. “There are all kinds of stores. Some people like specialty shops. Some like department stores. When you have variety, people can go where they like.””

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Albert Mohler on Why Aren’t ‘Emerging Adults’ Emerging as Adults?

This is a very helpful analysis of an essay that appeared in the New York Times.

He makes this very insightful comment.

The church would demonstrate the power of the gospel in a whole new way by assisting young people into the successful and faithful transition to adulthood, celebrating this transition as a matter of spiritual maturity to the glory of Christ. These young adults are desperately needed for the cause of Christ, and many are indeed making their way into authentic adulthood with faithfulness, energy, conviction, and excitement. Let’s pray that their example is infectious.”

One way the church continues to dumb down and delay maturity is by continuing it’s unbiblical practice of age segregation.

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“Mutant form of Christianity” – Teens Becoming Fake Christians

Here is another article , this time from CNN, on the demise of youth in the church today. The author begins,

If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning: Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible…. She says this “impostor” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.”‘

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Marriage Retreat Photos

 

For more photos Click Here

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Big news from the IndoctriNation film project: $10,000 Matching Funds Opportunity!

One of the men in our church is producing a documentary film entitled “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America” and will be hitting the road next week in a big yellow school bus with the homeschool family of filmmaker Colin Gunn and a small film crew. They will be traveling from Texas to Massachusetts and documenting the American tragedy of compulsory, statist education and its devastating effects on our faith, our families and our freedom.

A very generous donor has offered to match the next round of donations up to $10,000, which means that every dollar donated toward the production of the film will effectively be doubled. If you feel moved to donate to this important worldview and culture war project, this is the time to do it!

To make a donation and to watch a trailer for the film, visit www.indoctrinationmovie.com.

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Florida Megachurch Ends Age-Segregated Worship

 

We have observed that there is broad discussion in the mainstream church regarding age segregation. Pastors who now embrace at least some of the principles of the sufficiency of scripture are questioning the practice like never before. I believe that in the next decade, we will see thousands of established churches abandon age segregation. I don’t believe that this Florida church has abandoned age segregation in it’s normal programming or youth ministry, but have at least on one level, have addressed it in the main worship gathering of the church.

The church, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, “recognized that many churches in the U.S. are following the lead of the advertising world by targeting specific age groups and employing the separate contemporary and traditional worship services model.”

‘That may be good business but it’s bad worship; it’s bad church,‘ he stated plainly.

Outlining what we believe is the most important problem of age segregation in the church, he spoke of the unity of the body of Christ,

He listed some of the drawbacks of segregated worship. In a traditional worship service, the church inadvertently communicates that God was more active in the past that He is in the present, he said. In a contemporary service, the church communicates that God is more active in the present than He was in the past. But a church must communicate God’s ‘timeless activity,’ he indicated.

It was interesting that he made an unusual connection with racial segregation,

The megachurch pastor also said he doesn’t view separate worship services by style or age as any different from racial segregation, except that it’s more subtle.”

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Hymn Writer Cowper – A Poem Against Age Segregated Public Education – 1784

 

William Cowper, friend of John Newton, the great hymn writer and poet was against age segregation and the rise of public schools. He wrote a VERY long poem in 1784 called, Tirocinium: A Review of Schools. Here he declares himself against public age segregated education. In the poem he identifies the foolishness of the kind of education that contradicts the Bible.

Here are some excerpts to give you a general feel for his message,

And, common sense diffusing real day,
The meteor of the gospel dies away. Such rhapsodies our shrewd discerning youth
Learn from expert inquirers after truth;
Whose only care, might truth presume to speak,
Is not to find what they profess to seek.
And thus, well tutored only while we share
A mother’s lectures and a nurse’s care;
And taught at schools much mythologic stuff
But sound religion sparingly enough
Our early notices of truth, disgraced,
Soon lose their credit, and are all effaced.
Would you your son should be a sot or dunce,
Lascivious, headstrong, or all these at once;
That in good time the stripling’s finished taste
For loose expense, and fashionable waste,
Should prove your ruin, and his own at last;
Train him in public with a mob of boys,
Childish in mischief only and in noise,
Else of a manish growth, and five in ten
In infidelity and lewdness men.
There shall he learn, ere sixteen winters old,
Tha authors are most usful pawned or sold;
That pedantry is all that schools impart,
But taverns teach the knowledge of the hart,
There waiter Dick, with Bacchanalian lays,
Shall win his heart, and have his drunken praise,
His counsellor and bosom friend shall prove,
And some street-pacing harlot his first love.
Schools, unless discipline were doubly strong,
Detain their adolescent charge too long;
The management of tyros of eighteen
Is difficult; their punishment obscene….

For public schools tis public folly feeds.
The slaves of custom and established mode,
With packhorse constancy we keep the road,
Cooked or straigh, through quags or thorny dells,
True to the jingling of our leader’s bells.
To follow foolish precedent, and wind
With both our eyes, is easier than to think;…

That youth takes pleasure in, to please his boy;
Then why why resign into a stranger’s hand
A task as much withing your own command,
That God and nature, and your interest too,
Seem with one voice to delegate to you?
We hire a lodging in a house unknown
For one whose tenderest thoughts all hover round your own?

Alas poor boy! – the natural effect
Of love by absence chilled into respect,
Say, what accomplishments, at school acquired,
Brings he, to sweeten fruits so undesired?
Thou well deserv’st an alienated son,
Unless thy conscious heart acknowledge – none;
None that, in thy domestic snug recess,
He has not made his own with more address,
Though some, perhaps, that shock thy feeling mind,
And better never learned, or left behind….”

And seems it nothing in a father’s eye,
That unimproved those many moments fly?
And is he will content his son should find
No nourishment to feed his growing mind
But conjugated verbs, and nouns declined?
For such is all the mental food purveyed
By public hackneys in the schooling trade;
Who feed a pupil’s intellect with store
Of Syntax. Truly, but with little more;
Dismiss themselves when they dismiss their flock,
Machines themselves, and governed by a clock.

To form thy son, to strike his genius forth;
Beneath thy roof, beneath thine eye, to prove
The force of discipline, when backed by love;
To double all thy pleasure in thy child,
His mind informed, his morals undefiled.
Safe under such a wing, the boy shall show
No spots contracted among grooms blow,
Nor taint his speech with meannesses, designed
By footman Tom for witty and refined.
There, in his commerce with the liv’ried herd,
Lurks the contagion chiefly to be feared”

Pull down the schools – what! – all the schools in the land;
Or throw them up to livery-nags and grooms,
Or turn them into shops and auction rooms.

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Voddie Baucham Weighs in on Andreas Kostenbergers Chapter on FIC

Voddie ends his piece with these words,

One day someone is going to write an accurate assessment of the FIC. They are going to visit actual churches, talk to actual members and leaders, listen to actual sermons, and interact with actual statements. Unfortunately, today is not that day.”

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