The Church Friendly Family: Part I

I am currently reading The Church-Friendly Family.  For a man like myself in a church like mine it is a very important book. Pastors Randy Booth and Rich Lusk explain the relationship between the family and the church. They avoid the error that many of us commit of making the family the center of God’s work. But they also avoid the mistake that many contemporary evangelicals commit of making too little of the family. They show that when God’s family is put first then our families are strengthened. If our families are Christ centered then our families will be Church centered. I will have a more comprehensive review of the book later. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Pastor Randy Booth who wrote the first half of the book where he writes about, Family and Culture, Family and Worship, Family and Education, and The Family Table. 

“Following Jesus begins with forsaking our relationships with other people, ourselves, and our possessions. All of these relationships are corrupted by sin. As soon as we come to Him, He sends us back to all those relationships, to ourselves, and even to all our material possessions to truly love them as new men in Christ.  We now go back to our wives and husbands and children and begin (by the grace of God) to rebuild a city, a community of grace. The streets need to be swept, some demolition must occur, and the ruins must be repaired.” (p. 9-10)

“There should be a self-conscious oozing out of love for God, and instruction from the Word of God, omnipresent in our families.” (p. 11)

“When the question is asked about you as a father, one response should dominate: ‘He loves his family.’ And when the follow-up question comes—‘How do you know?’—they say, ‘We see it in his sacrifice for his family’s sake.’ He is there when they need him. He is there before they need him. He defends, he confronts, he feeds, he protects, he weeps, and he rejoices with them and for them. He never asks them to do what they haven’t already seen him do. He is masculine, courageous, and loving; clear, resolute, wise, and gracious; imitating the heavenly Father in every way possible. This is where Christian family culture begins.” (p. 15)

“With the Church and through the Church, societies live and die, rise and fall.” (p. 19)

“Worship of God is the true center of every society.  God cannot be worshiped rightly in any culture without that worship challenging and dislocating all idolatries. To focus on right worship of God is to declare war; it is to throw down the gauntlet.” (p. 21)

“Maintaining covenant priorities requires constant vigilance.” (p. 23)

“Every religion vies for power and control of our culture, and everyone has a religion. One of the most useful tools in the quest for power over the lives of men is found in the educational system.” (p. 32)

“Your calling is to inculcate­­­—that is, to internalize—in your children affection for the things of God.” (p. 35)

“They [Christian schools and home schools] become retreats from the world while we wait for the return of Christ to rescue us. Students are sheltered and often naïve. The antithesis to this is seen in the few Christians who recognize the need for Christian education to be a boot camp that prepares children for service in the world. Rather than retreating from the culture, children are prepared to conquer the world for Christ.” (p. 42)

“What a man thinks of the Lord’s Table is a clear indication of what he will think of Christ, the Church, and theology itself.” (p. 48)

“We begin each week gathered around the Table as children to be instructed and nourished just before we are sent out to live. And so, too, we go to our homes and gather around smaller tables to be instructed and nourished, and from there we fan out to live and to love. The liturgy is practice for life.” (p. 50)

Take Up and Read

My first link is probably my favorite. Trevin Wax lists ten questions pro-choice candidates never get asked but should. While he limited it to candidates, I think this list would be great to keep in  mind when talking to anyone who is pro-choice. Make the pro-choice person answer the hard questions.

In case you missed it a Republican candidate for Senator in Indiana said that a child conceived by rape is a gift from God. The liberals promptly tarred and feathered him. My favorite lumberjack disguised as a pastor, Douglas Wilson, give some insight into how to a handle situations like this. He also explains the difference between abortion and killing people with drones.

Here is a wonderful quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer about true leadership. He notes that a leader’s job is to disillusion his followers. He must tear himself down as an idol and point to the ultimate authority, which is God. How many pastors and politicians fail to do this? How many voters and congregants want to make idols out of their leaders?

Tim Woody alerted me to this article on how pornography can be answered by the Gospel.  Tim Chester shows how porn, like all idols, is a lie that leaves you dead and empty. He shows that the answer is God.

Most of us assume we shouldn’t vote for President Obama. Jared Wilson gives some concrete reasons for why he cannot vote for him. There are certainly reasons that I would add to his list, but this is a good place to start.

Finally, my friend Brian Nolder, a fellow CREC pastor in Pella, Iowa, had this article printed in his local newspaper. It is a good, sane, biblical view on the upcoming election. Men who trust in princes always think the next election is either Armageddon or the Promise Land. Pastor Nolder reminds us it is neither.