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Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – Berean Daughter’s review

I must admit that this review tickled me.  Ya think she didn’t like the book?

I’m also impressed because while I read these books several times as a teen myself, I don’t think I had as much discernment.  I had no guidelines as to what I read.  Hey, I was reading books I was better than all the teens sitting at home watching TV, right?

When my oldest children were growing up we spent alot of time reviewing and critiquing books.   I was very critical of what my children read.  Essentially, better no reading than bad reading.  As I’ve matured in the faith some books no longer get a free pass (Chronicles of Narnia) like they did when the children were younger.  Fiction is also considered to be junk food.  Ok in small amounts, but not the steady diet and hopefully something that children can learn isn’t good for you.  Very few fiction books are worth the time, Pilgrim’s Progress being one of the exceptions.  Adults who only read fiction are wasting their time and decreasing their potential for spiritual growth.

When my oldest became teens they were in charge of reviewing books for the younger children.  I could trust them to do a good job and they had more time than I did.  My oldest daughter would often set aside a new book after a couple of pages because of bad words or bad attitudes.  Bad words did not mean curse words like some suppose but any words that my children were not allowed to use themselves.  So darn, OMG, and stupid would all fall in that category.

As a seventeen year old senior my daughter is pretty much allowed to read what she desires especially considering most of our books come free from Gutenberg Press.  Now she does have guidelines and we discuss books, plus she also has her 20 year old brother to ask about books. I would not have recommended her even bothering reading this book but since she is working on some book reviews of the average books a homeschool family may read she decided to.

I’m also relieved to know that she isn’t planing on pining away waiting on her “Mr. Darcy” to show up and always looking at every young man as a potential “Mr. Darcy”.  As we all know “Mr. Darcy” is just fiction, real young men and older men are sinners like us, hopefully saved by grace.

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Foolishness (Prov 15:2; Prov 15:14; Eccl 10:13)
Foolish women spinning their heads at every “eligible” young man that comes into view.


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Spurgeon on Public Schools

Can geography teach them the way to Heaven,

or arithmetic remove their countless sins?

The more of secular knowledge our juveniles acquire,

the more will they need to be taught in the fear of the Lord.

To leave our youthful population in the hands of secular teachers,

will be to sell them to the Ishmaelites.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Charles Spurgeon


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Family Integrated Church

What is a Family Integrated Church? Many people have no clue since very few have experienced them.

Is Challies’ definition correct?

These leaders claim that the Bible clearly teaches that we must not age segregate. Ever.

… the claims of FIC extend far beyond Sunday school. The film even suggests (not too subtly) that allowing your children to participate in any kind of program led by someone other than the father is a way in which you turn their hearts away from the father and toward someone else.

… making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church.

… It’s a destructive message

Does this describe a FIC?

By no means.

Family Integrated Churches come in all types, many denominations and there are sound Biblical ones and there are ones who peddle a false gospel.

The only accurate definition for a FIC is that worship and Bible study is characterized by all ages being together.

But does that mean they can never have separate activities?

Of course, not. If that was the case then they would be guilty of legalism. There is no real time frame that fits every FIC. Some always meet together; some usually meet together and a few just offer the option of meeting together.

Just as being a Family Integrated Family is a matter of the heart being a Family Integrated Church is a matter of the heart. It isn’t a set of dos and don’ts that bind us. It is actually the freedom to worship the Lord with your family.

FIC typically means that when the church is gathered together, the whole body of the church is gathered. No one portion of the church is shunted off to separate classes or separate worship services. But if there is a need there might still be individual classes or studies. For example: There might be a men’s meeting or a ladies meeting where the topic is not deemed suitable for young children. But that would be rare, can’t think of any we’ve had. Typically if we are having a special women’s meeting the women and all the girls over 12 are welcome. Twelve is just a general age range of transitioning the children to the adults. The younger children and the boys would then be with their Fathers. Then the same for the Men and older boys as needed. The idea though is that the children are still with a parent and under their authority.

The film even suggests (not too subtly) that allowing your children to participate in any kind of program led by someone other than the father is a way in which you turn their hearts away from the father and toward someone else.

Really now, if you take that to the logical conclusion then the mothers wouldn’t be allowed to lead their children in school or home. Grandfather wouldn’t be allowed to teach the boys to fish. Grandmother couldn’t teach the girls to quilt. However, when youth are spending more time with a youth leader than with their own father, you will risk some serious problems. This similar thing happens often in divorce situations. Maybe the father has the children one weekend a month. Often he takes the kids to the movies, out to eat, to the park, maybe buys them something they want; yet he rarely deals with the tough issues; the discipline, the school work, chores. Mom is the one left with the tough decisions and she can’t cater to the children each weekend. See how Dad could easily become the favorite while mom is complained about. Now apply that to youth groups. The youth leader takes the kids places, feeds them their favorite food, and supplies opportunities for friends to be together while requiring nothing in return.

I have no vested interest in converting others to a family integrated model of church. It is not a salvation issue although essentially it can be related to one’s theology. However, it is important to share with others so that they can study the issue themselves. If a person chooses then to reject it, that is between them and the Lord. But most have not even considered the issue or worse rejected it based on flawed information.

There is a wide range of ecclesiology represented in FIC. There is no one view of church that can be pegged on every FIC. Generally though all do subscribe to the father’s being the spiritual leader but even in that, how it is lived out is totally different in each church and even in families of the same church.

There are several “loud and belligerent” women who have left some seemingly extreme FIC and attack any semblance of the idea everywhere. They are busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13) running to and fro leaving comments and writing diatribes against FIC. Challies had a few of those folks comment on his post. Some have rejected Christianity and many have divorced because they rejected an extreme FIC, patriarchy, quiverful, dominionistic “cult” with false teaching for lack of a better word. The same extremes of false teaching happens in segregated churches also just often not as “loudly”. However, they may not have even been in such flawed churches after all. You never know. When someone rejects the faith they often exaggerate problems and issues to validate their rejection.

There will always be extremes to watch out for. As long as a person continues to go back to the Scripture comparing everything to that one plumb line we may stray at times but we will always come back to the center at some point. Sometimes it takes the extreme to see where just a little skew in the direction at one point can lead us way off track in the future. Think the airplane flying .5 degrees off course and how far off course they will eventually be.

Just as all age-segregated churches would not want to be characterized by Peanut Butter Evangelism non age-segregated churches should not be characterized by the worst of FIC. FIC does not necessarily include what is characterized by the terms Patriarchy or Quiverful. There are some churches that combine all three but the majority do not at least to the extreme level. Yet the average person would lump my church in that mix. Because we do have family integration, fathers are the head of the home, and a majority allow God to direct their child bearing.

While many FIC homeschool, homeschooling and FIC do not have to go together. Our church has homeschool children and public schooled children. The even more surprising fact to some is that our FIC church has young single adults, senior adults, and young marrieds without children. Many people think that FIC’s tend to only have large homeschooling families.

We have older couples, single youth, married childless couples, working wives, homeschool children, public school children, large families, small families, divorced families and we welcome any combination of the above. Yet no matter what, fathers will be encouraged to lead and disciple their families. We do not have separate classes. We meet together for Bible study prior to the worship service. Yet we have two elders and one of them does not homeschool and his wife works fulltime outside the home. Most of our church activities are family oriented. We have our cookouts together. The elders playing football right along with the youth and children. The whole family goes to Six Flags together as a church group. Birthday parties are family celebrations. The children are studying the formation of the English Bible right along with the adults. They ask good questions and are filling out the study sheets. They aren’t learning Noah took two animals into the ark for the 100th time.

I know many other churches that are FIC. Some are churches that meet at homes. Others are churches which strive for a more Acts type model with everyone sharing together and no actual preacher preaching a sermon. One church I know has an integrated SS and worship time yet offers children’s catechism classes.

… making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church.

I’m sure there are churches that have made family integration the main focus; however, I haven’t seen any. Family integration is the means to an end. It is not the end itself. Our goal as a church should be to worship the Lord in a manner He desires, to teach the believers and to go and make disciples of all nations.

I’ve been in both age segregated and FIC types of churches, even grew up in youth groups. Neither model is perfect nor will they ever be perfect here on earth. Nothing we do will guarantee that our children are among the elect in the last days. I am confident in God’s Sovereignty and that He will do what is best for each of us. However, even so, I will work diligently to be obedient and do the absolute best I can to have my children taught God’s Word in a sound Biblical manner. That for me means homeschooling, being home with my children, supervising outside influences (media, internet, friends, and teachers), a family integrated church and a sound Biblical church. FIC in a sound Biblical Church is the best church model I know for my children to hear God’s Word outside the home and if it is ever not sound we are there to hear it and to discuss the matter with our children.

 


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Family Integrated

What is family integrated?

First of all I’ll start off by explaining family integrated families. Did you realize some families are family integrated and some aren’t?

A family integrated family is one who works and plays together as a cohesive unit. A non-integrated family is a family that consists of a multitude of individuals. We homeschool and many would say that if you homeschool than naturally your family is family integrated. But that isn’t so. I have known many public schooling families that are more integrated than some homeschool families.

A family integrated family as a general rule lives life together. Meals are eaten together. When one part of the family has something special, say a music concert or a sports event, then the whole family strives to be there. Even if the actual event isn’t interesting to everyone they attend for the benefit of each other. Family integrated families tend to fellowship together with other families. So a birthday party for one child would include friends and family of all ages. Not a five year old party for five year olds. While there will be some individual activities that only one child participates in as a general rule those are limited. No Johnny going to baseball, Billy at piano and Susie at ballet all while mom and dad struggle to coordinate schedules of who’s picking up whom when.

While homeschooling does make being family integrated much easier that isn’t always the case. Some of the most fractured and segregated families I know are homeschooling. Little ones are left with grandma regularly while others participate in their activities, momma in her Bible studies and crafts while Dad is off hunting or fishing. Rarely does the whole family sit down to a meal together. Johnny, Billy and Susie are here there and yonder with co-ops and activities, often having to ride with others due to conflicting schedules.

Is there any set amount of time that a family must spend together to be family integrated? Must they spend all their time together? No. It isn’t necessarily a matter of time. It is a heart issue. It is the difference between being a grouping of individuals or a family unit.

How do you know which your family is?

Does it seem odd to you when one child is not with you? Like you’ve forgotten something?

Is it rare for the family to be together in the car, at the table or even on trips?

Do your children feel like they need a friend with them in order to have fun?

Do your children have friends whom you really don’t know?

Are you and your spouse tagging off constantly on who’s picking up whom?

Do you find yourself correcting attitudes and beliefs in your children and wondering where they got that?

Do you at times wonder where your child is? Is it Tuesday music or Tuesday Soccer?

Does scheduling issues cause you to allow children to go off with folks you really don’t know rather than have them miss activities?

There are people who would say that we need to develop the individual. Too much family would hinder a child’s ability to be the person they could be. Yet what that does is encourage a selfish self-centeredness. Our focus is to never be on ourselves but on the Lord. So why start out by teaching our children to focus on themselves and their desires?

So what is a family integrated family?

It is a family who strives to live together, learn together, serve the Lord together, minister together, share together, worship together, grow together and in the end spend eternity together.

Are you Family Integrated?

Next we’ll look at a Family Integrated Church.

 


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Divided The Movie & Challies

Divided, the movie is available to view for free.

Modern Youth Ministry is
Contrary to Scripture

Will you take action to change that?

Divided the Movie Tim Challies’ response:

Your church is heavily influenced by evolutionary thinking. It is founded on principles created by pagans and for pagans. You have succumbed to hellish thinking and imposed it upon your church. At least this is the case if your church has a nursery or a Sunday school or any other kind of program that involves dividing people by age. That is the rather audacious claim of Divided, a documentary that is being heavily promoted by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC). Divided is a film about youth ministry. Kind of. At its heart it is a movie that promotes Family Integrated Church (FIC).

What do you think?

Does it really matter what we think?

Can we back it from Scripture?

Not that I’m a pragmatist but really what does the evidence show?

Is the movie and the response both done in an inflammatory manner which negates the value by causing an emotional response?

Added: Odd, after watching the movie I didn’t find it as inflammatory as I was led to believe it would be from Challies’ initial post and response. 

 


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Already Gone – Video Download

Available for free for one week only!

Already Gone – Video Download

by Ken Ham

The trends are frightening, but this DVD shows how to win back our families, our churches, and our world!

The next generation is already calling it quits on traditional church. Next Sunday, look around, two thirds of the young people in your church are already disengaged from the message they are hearing. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening in the most solid “Bible-believing” churches.

In this important DVD, Ken Ham discusses the profound cultural changes taking place in our Western world, as God’s Word is rejected and man’s fallible ideas are welcomed. Ken relates some of the shocking statistics presented in the book Already Gone that reveal the reasons why young people are leaving church and abandoning the faith of their parents.

The church is failing to give children real answers to their questions. We are losing our kids long before college. But this is far from a hopeless situation. Ken explains how we can fight back for our children, and what we can do to ground our children in the faith and prepare them for the challenges of the secular world.

HT DEFCON


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Would Your Children Take Your Advice About A Spouse?

In Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice? I shared that I wouldn’t have taken my parent’s advice about a potential spouse.  However, I could honestly at this point say that at least my oldest two children would listen and consider advice from my husband and I.  They are the only ones who are teens and mature at this point.  The others will remain to be seen.

Why do I think my children would listen when I wouldn’t have?

I don’t really know except that their life has been so different from mine growing up that honestly it is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • Intact family
  • Homeschooling
  • Christian faith
  • Living out our Christian faith daily (although flawed at best)
  • Different type of church life
  • Less peer pressure
  • Parental guidance for choosing friends
  • Living life as a family instead of individuals together in a house
  • Friends with similar values
  • Seeing others who have valued their parents input
  • Preaching to support the concept of parental guidance

Although the proof is in the pudding, or in other words until the event happens we won’t really know what will happen.

Do you have any clue why your children might listen better than you would have?

Or do we as parents always self-deceive ourselves?



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Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice?

In light of the post yesterday about the difference between Lot and Abraham in helping their children choose a spouse, what did or didn’t your parents do?

Would you have taken their advice?

My parents had very little input into my marriage, not that I asked for it either.  However, even if they had desired to give advice or share their wisdom I probably wouldn’t have listened.  I came from a broken family and between my parents there were a total of at least four divorces.  So needless to say I wouldn’t have considered their opinion important or useful.  Also neither were actively striving to live as a Christian nor attending church so that would have also played into my decision to not take their advice.  (Not that I had a good understanding of being a Christian myself.)

My experience shows that we as parents must earn the privilege to assist our children in choosing a spouse.

Would your children listen to you now?

What would you have to do to get your children’s heart so that they trust you and your wisdom?



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What He (or She) Must Be … Abraham vs Lot

In Genesis 19 we are first introduced to Lot’s daughters.  We see that Lot has misplaced priorities and lacks faith in the Lord to protect him and his family in Genesis 19:8 when he offers his daughters to the men of the city.  There is no need to try and validate Lot’s actions and make them seem less heinous than they are.  Lot’s family is obviously lacking in many points that make for a healthy family.

Next we are introduced to his sons-in-laws.

Genesis 19:14 (ESV) So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

That is the sum of what we know about them beyond the fact that they are destroyed with the city.  Question is why were Lot’s daughters even betrothed to these men?  They obviously lacked faith in the Lord.  They weren’t respectful and honoring to their father-in-law.

If you’ve read Voddie Baucham’s book “What He Must Be…”  you would realize the importance Father’s should place on whom their daughters marry.  Baucham’s book covers areas of faith, character, and responsibility, I wrote about it previously.  This quote is from the book.

“… I cannot give my consent to a man who is not a follower of Christ.”

But that is exactly what Lot did not do.  His sons-in-law made fun of Lot and his God who was going to bring destruction.  But Lot had no choice right?  What else could he do?

Look at what Abraham did.

Genesis 24:1-4 (ESV)

1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,
3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell,
4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Abraham was not going to allow a pagan Canaanite to be the wife of his promised son.  So Abraham sent his servant back to his relatives to seek a wife for Isaac.  There is no doubt that Abraham’s heart was seeking to serve the Lord and do the best he could for Isaac.  The Lord had previously expressed that Abraham would “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord”. (Genesis 18:19)

There can be no doubt that the Lord did answer the prayers of Abraham and his servant in providing Rebekah for Isaac.

What might have been the difference in Lot’s life and his family if he had done the same as Abraham and sought non-Canaanite husbands for his daughters?

As you see later in the life of Lot, he lost the heart of his daughters.  They did not trust their father to do the best he could for them.  They could not even count on Lot to find them another husband, believer or not, when they were living in the cave.

Like so many righteous men in the Scripture, Lot failed at his parenting and protecting of his children.  That failure has eternal consequences.



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Youth Groups – When Will the Church Notice The Problems?

We are in a church now with no youth group, at least nothing beyond a few youth sitting together at a table for lunch. It is nice to not be having to worry about what is being pushed on the youth in order to be relevant, hip or cool. Previously we attended a church that did have a youth group, although my children were not a part of it, I was still concerned about the other youth and the effect the youth group would have on them. So often when I voiced concerns with leadership they were shrugged off as being just silly ideas from that “silly, over-protective homeschool moma.” Funny thing is the secular media has started voicing the same concerns over and over again about church youth groups.

DefCon has posted some more of the secular media articles about church youth groups. I think it is well worth reading what the world is seeing in our churches. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out the obvious to us. 🙁

The state of the youth of the church.

When we decry the current condition of the youth in our churches (and the church as a whole) we are usually met with angry resistance. Now the condition of the youth (and the church) has gotten so bad that even secular news outlets are sitting up and taking notice.

The Wall Street Journal has recently reported on the sad state of the youth in American churches in an article aptly titled The Perils of ‘Wannabe Cool’ Christianity.

But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?

Truly is what you see in most youth groups Christianity? or is it World?



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