Some Answers for Critics
Over the years, many people have written both positively and negatively about the NCFIC. Here are the six most common mischaracterizations and one true characterization.
The NCFIC redefines the nature of the church as a “Family of Families.”
False. Our understanding of the nature of the church is consistent with the historic doctrinal statements of the faith including the second London Baptist Confession of 1689, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism and The Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Many years ago, we said, “the church is a spiritual family of families.” Some said we were presenting a new definition for the church when in fact we were not speaking of the nature of the church at all. All we meant is that a separate jurisdiction – a family – comes to church and it needs to be acknowledged as such and equipped to be a biblical family. We were not redefining the nature of the church.
The NCFIC believes that the church is an extension of the family.
False. We do not believe the church is an extension of the family, rather they are separate yet complementary institutions.
The NCFIC wrongfully places the family over the church in priority.
False. We have plainly stated that we believe the church is supreme among the institutions for it is eternal while the family is temporal.
The NCFIC believes that the church should be family based.
False. We do not believe that the church should be family based. We believe that the foundation and center of attention of the church ought to be the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. Further, we believe that families form critical building blocks of the church in the sense that families send their members to church and if you have weak and unbiblical family life, you will have a weak church.
The NCFIC believes that that the church can only relate to family members through the father.
False. We do not believe that the church must always work through or communicate through a father. We believe that the church has authority to discipline and instruct every individual believer in the family not just the head of the family, or through the head of the family.
The NCFIC believes that the whole family must always be together for all gatherings.
False. We have never said that the whole family must be together for all gatherings nor have we said that “the church has no right to teach its members and the children of its members in situations where the entire family is not present.”
The NCFIC believes that the biblical pattern for church life is age integrated.
True. We believe that the indisputable discipleship pattern presented in the Bible is age integrated and not age segregated. Further, we maintain that the comprehensive age segregation that rules the church today is a violation of the patterns of Scripture and that the biblical burden of proof lies with those who practice it.
The National Center for Family Integrated Churches has written a “confession” that explains its understanding of the necessity of harmony between the separate jurisdictions of church and family.
We have a number of free audio messages on these subjects where we plainly state our positions on the audio resources section of our web site. Check out messages entitled, “What is a Family Integrated Church” and “The Biblical Case for Family Integrated Discipleship.” Also, let me recommend that you listen to “What About Home Churching?” where we make a case for what is a true church and why many churches meeting in homes may be unbiblical.