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Transitioning from Traditions to Reformation

Posted on Jul. 25, 2011

Admittedly, there are extremes on both sides. Some pastors rush in with the zeal of new-found convictions only to begin blowing things up before the people even understand the most basic explanation of what has occurred. Some pastors who take a wise and gentle approach find that even a single hint in the direction of change has ensured that they must now begin a job search.

It would be nice if this were a “How to Transition a Church from Traditional to FIC with No Scabs, Scars, or Limps” sort of article. But, there is no such formula. Change is hard. Reformation is dangerous. And it is hard for sinners to repent. Yet, there are some wisdom principles in the Word that might be helpful to those seeking to lovingly lead the flock that God has placed them in to a deeper obedience in the area of family and church.

Before giving any practical suggestions, it can’t be overstated that the real commitment behind Family Integration and truly any reformation is a commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture for the sanctification of His bride. These issues must be firmly grounded and their implications thought through and lived out prior to leading any real reformation within the body.

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What Dulls Our Appetite for Heaven?

Posted on Jul. 25, 2011

Yesterday, I preached on fasting from Matthew 6:16-18.

Fasting To Set Oppressed Free

 

I dealt with the question, “If Jesus assumes His disciples fast, then why don’t we?” There are several answers, but one stands out. We don’t fast because we don’t care. Our hearts do not burn with enough sorrow for the lost, the broken, the divorced, or the wayward child. John Piper explains why we don’t care:

It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

Jesus said some people hear the word of God, and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then, “as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). “The pleasures of this life” and “the desires for other things”—these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God…

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Announcing ScottBrownOnline.com and Free E-book Giveaway

Posted on Jul. 22, 2011

I have just launched scottbrownonline.com.

Before we launched the new NCFIC web site in January 2009, my blog was known as www.scottbrownonline.com. It was more general, but it was always filled with things related to the reformation of church and family life—because that is an area I am keenly interested in. In 2009, we simply folded my blog into the new NCFIC site.

Before that time on www.scottbrownonline.com, I spoke about a much wider range of issues than I have been on the NCFIC blog. Now, I am going back to that with the new version of www.scottbrownonline.com.

The current NCFIC blog will be more focused and have contributions from FIC church leaders around the nation.

1. It will focus the blog on FIC issues.

2. It will give exposure to other FIC leaders.

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Family Integration is not Central but…

Posted on Jul. 20, 2011

The issue of age-integrated discipleship and how it relates to every ministry in church life is not of central importance. However, what makes the issue extremely important is that it drives a discussion about something that is central - the authority of Jesus Christ in His Church. It causes us to ask a most important question: “Are the words of Christ sufficient?” “Has he spoken enough to us in order to govern ministry to youth and families and the lost?”

This divisive issue raises hackles that must be tamed by Scripture alone.

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Tim Challies’ Harsh Review of Dividedthemovie.com

Posted on Jul. 20, 2011

Tim Challies has just launched a provocative review of our film, Divided. I thought it would be helpful to supply some clarifying information that may not have been represented in the review. I have appreciated reading Tim Challies’ blog for many years, and I consider his ministry to me a blessing. I will continue to glean from him.

Tim made an unfounded remark when he said that the NCFIC is “making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church. It identifies a genuine problem but attempts to solve it in a way that elevates methodology instead of the gospel message.” This is completely false and contrary to what we have always maintained rather publicly. In the FAQ section of the NCFIC web site, we make this statement under the heading, What is the NCFIC’s Purpose:

...We do not believe that family-integration is the only—or even the primary—issue in selecting or establishing a local church. But it is unquestionably a defining issue of our day as the modern church has lost the essential familistic culture that we see modeled in the New Testament.

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RC Sproul Jr. on What is a Family-Integrated Church?

Posted on Jul. 19, 2011

Our friend RC Sproul Jr. has written an issue of his “Kingdom Notes” on, “What is a Family-Integrated Church?” I always look forward to getting the “Kingdom Notes” newsletter, which comes weekly. It is always a refreshing read. It is full of insight and powerful observations. You can sign up for it by clicking here.

Though it sounds rather complicated and perhaps a smidge experimental, the concept is both simple and ancient. A family integrated church is one that encourages keeping families together by keeping them together. It is a church where families together study the Bible, where families together worship the living God, where families together serve both the church and the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

We fight against a Devil that desperately fights against the family. While we are on guard, as we ought to be, against assaults on the family in the political sphere, we often miss the serpent’s subtleties. The broader culture attacks our families by dividing them. It constructs demographic groups to replace family identity. Each group has its own language, its own clothing, its own music, its own events, its own identity. Our homes, once symbols of togetherness, have now become little more than apartment complexes, designed to keep us apart. Each family member not only has his own room, but in many homes his own phone, television, music system, gaming system. We don’t even share dinner together as Mom rushes off to her book club, Dad heads back to the office, Junior catches a ride to little league practice, and Princess heads off to the youth group meeting. Messages taped to the refrigerator are the apex of our togetherness.

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How Important is Age Integration in the Grand Scheme of Things?

Posted on Jul. 18, 2011

Defining the Importance of this Issue

All crises are not created equal. Some problems in the modern church are worse than others. The most devastating problem the church faces in any era is the perversion of the gospel and, therefore, the church must always endeavor to preserv

e and to present the gospel clearly. Perversions of the gospel of Christ should always be met with the most aggressive stance and authoritative arguments after the pattern of the apostle Paul, who said: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). Paul m

et this problem among the believers in the Galatian churches, addressing it with passion, clarity, and fatherly concern: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you,” and, “I am afraid for you” (Gal. 3:1, 4:11).

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Divided Update

Posted on Jul. 16, 2011

It has been one week since we launched Divided for free online.

There have been over 18,000 people who have played it.

What happened? People were forwarding the link and posting it on Facebook. I was on six radio interviews, and we purchased a full page advertisement in World Magazine. We are encouraged! We think that this has the potential to reach thousands of people.

We have very specific ads, which we would like to purchase in order to increase the viewership ofDivided. Would you consider helping us, by donating to help spread the message of Divided?

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