Fearing God, Loving Children: The Way Back

  • The Birth Control Movie Project seeks to make the definitive films on the subject of Birth Control & its Impact on the Church, Marriage, & Family.” http://thebirthcontrolmovie.com/the-films/
  • There are 2 films, Birth Control: How Did We Get Here? which is currently available at www.thebirthcontrolmovie.com  and www.visionforum.com  and the sequel which is currently in production, Birth Control: Is It Up To Us?  A biography and Anthony Comstock is going to press and additional resources, e.g., study guides for the films and a text on birth control and the church are also in the works.

Comstock was a cautious man; he never described the objects he suppressed.  In like manner, the text is remarkably clear of explicit details, infamous names, book titles, etc.[10]  When dealing with such topics he was careful to not pique curiosity or sinful interest.  The Apostle Paul expresses this same sentiment when he implies that there are some things “not proper”[11] to discuss in detail.  Such caution is non-existent in the 21st century, and Christians would do well to emulate this in an effort to keep people from stumbling.

Christian parents have accepted the man-centric false philosophy that their children “need to make their own decisions.”  The conventional wisdom is “You can’t shelter your children forever.”  While this may be true when those children become adults and leave their father’s household, it is certainly not true in those formative years.  The Bible says that children lack wisdom,[12] and parents are to guide them every step of the way.[13]  Children are required by God to obey their parents.[14]  Protecting children from sin is a God-commanded function of parents and all adults,[15] as well as teaching respect for adults[16] and fostering family and spiritual affections.[17] (more…)

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When Contraception Was Outlawed!

This week is the 140th anniversary of the passage of the Postal Act of 1873, known today as the Comstock Act.  My friend Scott Dix is writing a book about Anthony Comstock titled, Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation, as part of The Birth Control Movie Project.

When Contraception was Outlawed!

When it comes to the history of birth control in America, very few are aware that contraception was actually illegal in the United States for over 60 years, reaching well into the 20th century (1873-1936), and that there were still some state laws against the prevention of conception on the books as late as 1965.  Many know about Margaret Sanger and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  But, they have forgotten where the battle waged in the early 20th century – over the legalization of contraception.  Planned Parenthood, which was founded by Sanger, was originally known as the American Birth Control League.  Birth control was the foundational battleground, not abortion.

Long before the tide turned to erode the prevailing attitude regarding the evils of birth control, largely through Sanger’s efforts, one figure stood out – Anthony Comstock.  In fact, Comstock didn’t just stand out, he stood almost alone. (more…)

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How to Sweeten Your Family Life

Joel Beeke and I have just completed a modernizing edit of William Gouge’s Of Domestical Duties. The first of three volumes is available now. Click Here.

Have you ever desired a seasoned friend, thoroughly grounded in sacred Scripture to help you troubleshoot your family problems? And then, just as you were hoping for someone to come alongside to help, suddenly, it happens again. It might be an explosion of anger, or a cold distance. Or perhaps it’s just a nagging sense of inadequacy. Sometimes it feels like there are invisible walls between you and the others in your home. You know that you’re not all that you should be towards your loved ones. You know you need to change. And yet, where to begin? Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down with someone older and wiser, someone you could trust, for some guidance on how to be a better husband, wife, father, mother, son, or daughter?

This book is just such an opportunity. In these pages, we hear the voice of a wise and loving mentor, calling us to the old paths laid out for the family in the Bible. It is like sitting down to coffee with a gentle grandfather and wise pastor.

William Gouge (1575–1653) was a godly husband and father to his family, and a spiritual father to many more. Born in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Gouge grew up in a godly home. He inherited a spiritual legacy and passed it on to future generations.

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How the World’s Greatest Explorers Dream Scuttled – the Defining Nature of Small Mistakes

Used with Permission from The Coldest Journey/Photo by Ian Prickett

After five years of preparation, a 68-year-old adventurer, Ranulph Fiennes, has been forced to pull out of what is known as, “The Coldest Journey on Earth.” While this high-powered title might sound like hype, it’s not. No one has ever walked across Antarctica in winter. Doing so is hard to beat in terms of adversity – near permanent darkness, howling winds, zero support systems or people anywhere, and lethally cold temperatures. Check out the gargantuan financial and logistical efforts necessary for this expedition. Why the pullout? One small error! The BBC reports: (more…)

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What Does True Repentance Look Like?

Matthew 3:1-12 says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” You can listen to my message on this text here or you can read the transcript here. Here is an excerpt from one section:

So we must define repentance accurately. Repentance is a radical, seismic transformation just like Isaiah said, “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight.”

True repentance is like an earthquake of the soul that changes the configuration of your life, and it is like the restructuring of the earth that happens when the hills are brought down and the valleys are raised up. This is the radical restructuring of life that is true Christianity. (more…)

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Peter Bradrick and the NCFIC Internship

Peter Bradrick has always been an integral part of the NCFIC internship program. This year, however, he will play an even greater role. Here is what he says about it:

I am excited about partnering with Scott Brown and the 2013 NCFIC internship to make this a unique and powerful season of fruitful discipleship for the young men that join us. I will be taking the intern class through intense physical and mental exercise, training, and challenges. Additionally I will be teaching them presuppositional apologetics and spending consistent time in one-on-one discipleship. This internship is a season for a young man to set aside a period of time for concentrated service, discipleship, and growth. And I am dedicated to helping these young men seize this opportunity and leverage it to lay a solid foundation on which they can build for the rest of their lives.

The deadline for internship applications is February 28. To learn more, click here.

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Not so Pure Yet…

Jonathan Edwards notes that no matter how wonderful and transforming awakenings are, there are still resident sins and the common human weaknesses that follow us, which may cause stimulate scorn among onlookers:

We are not so pure, but that we have great cause to be humbled and ashamed that we are so impure; not so religious, but that those that watch out for halting may see things in us whence they may take occasion to reproach us and religion: but in the main, there has been a great and marvelous work of conversion and sanctification among the people here; and they have paid all due respects to those who have been blessed of God to be in instruments of it. Both old and young have shown a forwardness to hearken not only to my counsels, but even to my reproofs from the pulpit.

(Pg. 86, The Jonathan Edwards Reader, Yale Nota Bene)

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The Puritans on Children in Church

We should bring our children with us to the publick teaching, so may our private teaching prove profitable. Oftentimes divine truths are as nails, one teaching sets them in, and the other teaching fastens them; one plants and the other waters, and so of both God gives increase.

We should bring the word publickly taught home to our children, by repeating it to them, and requiring it of them. It is not enough that we with others teach them, but we must see what they learn, enlivening things upon their hearts at home, by holy counsel. At our houses we should harrow in that good seed which hath been publickly sown, that so it may be covered the closer and root the better in the hearts of the children and servants.

from “Family Religion Revived, or a Treatise as to discover the good old way of serving God in private Houses; so to Recover the Pious Practice of those Precious, Duties unto their Primitive platform.” By Phillip Goodwin, p. 401-402 (1655)

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The Battlefield of My Father’s Youth

Perhaps no other individual battle is as well-known by the general populace as the battle for Iwo Jima. Some claim that the most famous picture in the history of photography was taken there of the men raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. This was the first foreign flag raised on Japanese soil in many generations, and it meant the death-knell to Japanese expansionism and ultimately the end of the Pacific war.

Thousands of Marines were ushered into eternity while doing their duty. Many of my father’s fellow pilots were lost until, one day, he found himself to be alone in his tent, the last one alive.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson said it well:

Storm’d at with shot and shell,

Bravely they rode and well,

Into the Jaws of Death,

Into the Mouth of Hell…[i]

Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, the commanding general of the Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific said, “It was the most heavily fortified island in the world.” [ii] The tactical challenges were unmatched by any other battle.

There was no hope of surprise. The enemy had all the high ground, exposing our troops to every form of firepower. Every square yard of dirt was under Japanese crosshairs. Iwo Jima was a fight entirely on the enemy’s terms. (more…)

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How to Build Your Family Economy One Block at a Time

Please consider joining me at the Economics Conference May 8th-11th in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of us have been involved in the home education movement for years, or maybe even decades. We have learned the importance of family-integrated education where a father leads, and where parents nurture the hearts of their children in daily discipleship. Others of us have been involved in family-integrated churches, where we have rediscovered unity in family relationships, the responsibility of the father to lead and disciple, and many of the long-forgotten, biblical principles related to family-church relationships.

Now families are looking at the entire family economy as a critical element in this family reformation. Without re-integrating family economies, it becomes difficult to re-integrate the family in the other areas. Since the industrial revolution, the capitalist corporations and socialist systems have slowly displaced the family economy. Many fathers are not able to disciple their sons and daughters effectively because the economic sphere, which makes up about 80% of life fractures the family. Many families desire to work together, but they simply don’t know how.

Consider this question: Does your family have a biblical, family-integrated vision for work, financial management, inheritance, tithing, mentorship/higher education, hospitality, care for aging parents, roles for older daughters in the home, health care, and the countless other decisions you will face? Please consider joining me, Kevin Swanson, Doug Phillips, Geoff Botkin, Joel Salatin, R.C. Sproul Jr., Erik Weir, Dave Tucker, and over a dozen other speakers this May 8th-11th in St. Louis, Missouri. Maybe you haven’t thought much about your family economy. This will be your opportunity to gain a vision and develop your family economy for generations to come!

This 4-day Mega-Conference will include family-friendly activities and events each evening, and over 40 keynotes, panels, and workshop sessions that will give your family a practical, exciting vision for what God can do in your family’s economy in the decades ahead!

Visit www.FamilyEconomics.com for more information or to register. (Please note, the conference is already almost 2/3 full and nearly always fills to capacity prior to the event, so register soon!)

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Lessons of Manhood from Iwo Jima

Today is the anniversary of the World War II Pacific battle of Iwo Jima. It is important that we remember this historic battle and draw lessons from it for our sons to teach them about manhood. Here are twelve lessons of manhood that I wrote about in a book called Preparing Boys for Battle:

1. Quiet fathers impoverish their children. (Psalm 78:1-9).

The experiences on Iwo Jima should warn us about the effect of clamming up. The common story of the Iwo Jima veterans is that they kept silent about their experiences and denied their children an understanding of their heritage. This pattern, which was almost comprehensively followed by Iwo veterans, is a warning to fathers about the consequences of clamming up and keeping stories of God’s faithfulness inside by not telling their children the praises of the Lord. (more…)

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Who Is My Mother and My Brother?

In Matthew 12:38-50, it is recorded of Jesus: “And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'”

Are you of relation to Christ? If so, what evidence do you have that it is true?

Our church went through this passage of Matthew and discussed this profound statement of our Lord.

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Absolute Dependence

Jonathan Edwards points out one of the wonderful effects of true awakening on people in the church – a sense of absolute dependence.

The drift of the Spirit of God in his legal strivings with persons, has seemed most evidently to be, to make way for, and to bring to, a conviction of their absolute dependence on his sovereign power and grace, and universal necessity of a Mediator, by leading them more and more to a sense of their exceeding wickedness and guiltiness in his sight; the pollution and insufficiency of their own righteousness, that they can in no wise help themselves, and that God would be wholly just and righteous in rejecting them, and all that they do, and in casting them off forever: though there be a vast variety as to the manner and distinctness of persons convictions of these things.

(Pg. 70, 71, The Jonathan Edwards Reader, Yale Nota Bene)

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What Is the Heart of the Gospel?

There can be no personal transformation, no holy family life, no sanctified church life or any kind of life without the foundation of the Gospel. In July 1886, Charles Spurgeon began his message with this statement:

The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. They who preach this truth preach the gospel in whatever else they may be mistaken; but they who preach not the atonement, whatever else they declare, have missed the soul and substance of the divine message.” He goes on to say, “I will speak upon THE GREAT DOCTRINE. The great doctrine, the greatest of all, is this, that God, seeing men to be lost by reason of their sin, hath taken that sin of theirs and laid it upon his only begotten Son, making him to be sin for us, even him who knew no sin; and that in consequence of this transference of sin he that believeth in Christ Jesus is made just and righteous, yea, is made to be the righteousness of God in Christ. Christ was made sin that sinners might be made righteousness. That is the doctrine of the substitution of our Lord Jesus Christ on the behalf of guilty men.

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When Desires Are Too Passionate and Hopes Too Optimistic in Marriage

It always makes for trouble in relationships when there is an expectation of perfection. Here is a clip from a sermon stating the details of how this happens and how to address it:

Half the miseries and disquietudes, half the interruptions of conjugal peace and domestic felicity, arise from desires too ardent, and hopes too sanguine; both parties, at their first entrance into the nuptial state, especially in youth, are apt to form to themselves ideas, very inadequate and disproportioned to the condition of human life; to entertain delusive notions of a romantic and visionary paradise, where the earth is cloathed with perpetual verdure, the flowers never fade, and the fruits are immortal; but when instead of this, they begin, perhaps in a short time, to feel the thorns springing up under their feet, (more…)

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