What have we learned from this controversy over “Family of Families”?
The missionary George Whitefield said that “critics are the unpaid guardians of the soul,” and so we are grateful for both dialog and diatribe. It has shown us that we see through “a glass darkly.” It has demonstrated that in our attempt to explain heavenly things, we often struggle to find human language that meets both the heavenly and the earthly standard. Sometimes we are genuinely misunderstood. Other times men do their best to twist our words, make us worse than we are and find themselves unable to correct their erroneous mischaracterizations. At the end of the day, we understand that we are imperfect men trying to be faithful to the faithful testimony of scripture.
We have no intention to abandon the use of the phrase or the concept behind it. It is a very important principle that undergirds a biblical understanding of church and family life. We think Swindoll said it very beautifully and Baucham explained it with the kind of precision that should answer every question for all to see that it fits within the range of biblical thinking. We think that Kostenberger explained one of the stunning aspects of this as he describes the importance of a marriage under the headship of Christ in God’s redemptive plan….
My name is Andy Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. I am grateful to the Lord for Scott Brown’s leadership of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches.
The movement to harmonize the God-ordained roles of both the family and the church has its roots in the scriptural mandate for each. The same God that settles children in families to be trained and nurtured in Christ also sets individuals and families together in churches for mutual accountability and encouragement in the faith.
It is my prayer that God will use the NCFIC to accomplish His purposes for both the family and for the church of Jesus Christ.
Come join us for a night to remember as the new and controversial film, The Mysterious Islands comes to Durham, NC for a special premiere screening! Meet the film’s executive producer and cast in person and get a behind the scenes experience you will never forget.
The Screening will take place November 17, 7:00 p.m. at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC. For tickets call 919-560-3030 (Adults $7, Ages 6-12 $3, 5 and under are free).
Does Individual Church Membership Dissolve Family Relationships?
In many modern churches, the family is barely acknowledged. The result is neglect. This creates a brand of church life where the family is not encouraged or nourished to be what it is meant to be. The resulting damage to the church is breathtaking. This direct relationship between church and family is the reason why it can be appropriate to use the term “family of families” in the same way that Swindoll, Baucham, Kostenberger, and the NCFIC have.
In Christ, we have more than one family; a biological family, and a spiritual family. Both are our “real” families but they are different. For example, one is eternal while the other is temporal. Both are important and have distinct, yet complementary purposes.
Following is a list of Kevin Swanson’s conference messages:
Scripture Is Sufficient For Your Educational Decisions
Does God have anything to say about the education of a child, both in terms of the method and content of that schooling? Pastor Kevin Swanson says, “Absolutely!” In fact, the foothold that humanism has secured in the western world is almost entirely due to the method of education used to create the renaissance, the enlightenment, and the social revolution since. Kevin makes the point that education is the very belly of the beast that has destroyed the Christian faith in the west, and any true reformation of faith will begin right here.
Following is a description of Geoff Botkin’s conference message:
Applying The Sufficiency Of Scripture In The Botkin Family
What is the difference between dads who “get it” and those who don’t? Dads who get it have discovered the ways scripture can lead them out of captivity into freedom. American families have been beguiled by philosophy, empty deception, elementary principles of the world and the traditions of men. Geoffrey Botkin examines the ways scripture is the sufficient rule and guide for fathers to take loving command of their families. All family members can find comfort in applying scriptural obedience to life in an orderly home as they work together to build an orderly civilization.
By saying, ‘the church is a family of families,” are we confusing the church and the family?
When Andreas Kostenberger used the phrase “family of families” to describe the church in his excellent book God, Marriage and Family,1 I doubt anyone accused him of trying to redefine the church. And rightly so, because he was simply pointing out the significance of a particularly important family relationship (marriage) that exists in the church for God’s strategic purposes for spiritual warfare and the proclamation of the gospel. In this sense, the family exists as an entity under the headship of Christ and so the church exists in the same way. The family and the church are separate, yet connected in carrying out Christ’s overall plan.
We have plainly stated that the family is not the church and the church is not the family; they are separate yet complimentary jurisdictions.
Some have connected the statement, “family of families” with concepts of covenantal family and church membership. Some have suggested that we confuse the regenerate and the unregenerate in the church and make them the same because they are part of a family. We have never done this. We do not believe that every family member is a member of the true church. On the contrary, we maintain that the true church is composed only of individual redeemed sinners.
Hello, this is Joe Morecraft. I think that one of the strengths of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches is its desire to apply the comprehensive sufficient authority of the Bible to home and family and church life and I pray God’s blessings upon them toward that end.
Pastor Bryan Pollock, of Pilgrim Bible Church, breathed his last yesterday. He was a faithful, bible saturated, gospel preaching, and happiness promoting pastor, who held up the light of God’s word in his community. One Sunday morning last year, I had the joyful privilege of sitting under his preaching where my soul was fed, comforted, and confronted. Johnathan Langford, one of the NCFIC interns, who came from Pilgrim Bible, had this to say: “I loved Pastor Pollock. He was faithful in preaching and honoring God. I have always seen him as a strong man, though he was not tall or broad shouldered, yet he was a mighty man of God that I looked up to. He wielded the Sword. He was a true pastor to his flock and truly loved the church. I went to him frequently. It was pastor Pollock who sowed seeds that later bore fruit in my conversion.”
Here is a snapshot of life at Pilgrim Bible from their web site,
“At Pilgrim Bible Church, we believe that true, Christ-exalting worship should involve a loss of and a death to one’s self as the worshiper becomes caught up in the majesty and magnificence of God, and it should engage the whole man as he becomes “lost in wonder, love and praise!” At Pilgrim Bible Church such Christ-centered and Christ-exalting worship is our goal. We believe that necessitates a careful and systematic expounding of the Scriptures each Sunday coupled with the singing of hymns and some choruses that are both doctrinally rich and lyrically beautiful. We believe the church should both sing as well hear and ponder its theology! We also believe a family should worship together. At Pilgrim Bible Church, we believe that fathers serve as their family’s worship leaders and that they should be taught by the church how to prepare their family for the Lord’s Day so that worship can be, in some fashion, a meaningful experience for all.”
Please pray for Bryan’s wife Susan and their nine children.