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Where have all the fathers gone?

Posted by truthtalklive on November 26, 2007

What is the role of the father in discipling his family?

Todays Guest is: Scott Brown (www.scottbrownonline.com)

Attention east coast listeners, Scott is hosting a special event on this topic (Uniting Church and Family conference), for more information log on to(http://scottbrownonline.com/ScottBrownOnline/NCIFC_CONFENECES.html)

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17 Responses to “Where have all the fathers gone?”

  1. Harold said

    This issue has really been resonating with me. I recently had my 19 year old son give me a copy of Dr Voddie Bacham’s new book entitled Family Driven Faith. My son is in a gap year program that enables kids to live in a biblical community and to learn a biblical worldview.

    I read this book and it really allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my soul. I am a leader in my church, I work full time for a very well respected parachurch ministry and I am huge on discipling men. I am always in a discipling realtionship with 3-4 men who I train to disciple others.

    I say all of that to say this…..I can count on one hand the number of men who truly I can say lead their family every day in a biblical manner. By doing daily bible reading, prayer and worship. I am not one of them and I want to be and need to be. My passion for disciplship will be directed in this direction from now on. The family has got to be a priority and someone has to lead the charge on a local level. Thanks for this topic and many blessings as you lead your families.

    Blessings!

    Harold Jones

  2. Kenneth said

    I agree with Scott. I take my role as family shepherd and priest very seriously. God holds me accountable for the spiritual wellbeing of my family, not the church leadership.

    I am a part of the brethren assemblies and we emphasize the headship of the man and the Biblical roles of both father and mother. We have no distinction between so-called clergy and laity and do not look to a “pastor” to train up our children.

    There is no examples in the Scriptures of children being separated from their parents at church meetings, and definately not having a paid staff of youth pastors. We need to do what the Bible says and leave all the modern concepts of “church” behind.

    Great show today!

  3. ADB said

    It’s hard to err on the side of authority of scripture, but maybe the guest went too far. Looking at it as the “sole” authority for faith and practice can lead to some interesting results. All of our paper and modern writing intruments would be gone in favor of papyrus and parchment. There would be no more books in our churches, we would be using scrolls. The point is that, all of our churches practice things that were not done in scripture, and to try to go down that road would lead to absurdity. All of us are shaped by tradition whether we admit it or not. Our evangelical churches nearly have altar calls or invitations of some sort after the sermon. This comes not from scripture but from the revivalism of the early 19th century. The Bible is the ultimate authority for faith and practice, meaning that we should not ever do anything that is forbidden by scripture. The New Testament does not mention Sunday Schools, but does that mean that they are evil and to be abolished- of course not. The danger is that we will make the Bible into what it is not, (a primer on educational practices in this case) and in so doing commit idolatry.

  4. John said

    Kenneth………..J.?
    If so, then welcome back.
    Our brethren has missed you.

  5. Kenneth said

    I just find the modern youth ministry to be lacking. Especially when Barna research shows that 90% of churched youth will walk away from the church at age 18. It is obvious that the church is not doing something right. Christian men have for too long been sitting on the sidelines while Christian women and “clergy” have been training up the kids.

    Sunday school is not evil, yet if it is taking the place of the father/child relationship(and most Sunday schools are) then it is anti-Biblical and should be stopped. Youth ministry is not evil, yet if it is taking the place of the father/child relationship(and most youth ministries do) then it is anti-Biblical and should be stopped.

    What kind of effect would it have on the family structure if the child was to be beside of his/her father and see daddy worship the Lord, read the Scriptures, pray, etc.? It could very well change the direction of the childs life from being a part of the 90% to being a part of the 10% that is grounded in Christ.

    Mom can do a lot, church leadership can do a lot, but nothing can take the place of the strong Christian father who takes his role Biblically and seriously.

    The Christian men in a local church should be encouraged if not expected to participate in worship, teaching, prayer, singing, etc. And they should definately be expected to take a vital part in their own childs upbringing and spiritual wellbeing.

    It doesn’t take a paid church staff to teach our children. It doesn’t take a paid church staff to do anything in the church. We could live without the salaried “clergy” but it is obvious that the church can’t survive without strong Christian fathers/husbands.

  6. ADB said

    Kenneth,

    I would agree to a point. Sunday School and Youth Groups, even if done very well, do not replace what a child should receive at home and do not absolve parents of their responsibilities. If I remember my church history correctly the Sunday School movement arose in the late 19th century as a means of teaching children who otherwise would have gotten no Christian education. One problem with Sunday School is simply how it is carried out in many churches. As one NT scholar has put it it, “they are often mutual exchanges of ignorance.” Several people who have not read or studied a text sit down and talk about what it means without any clue what they are talking about. Churches can survive for a season without pastoral leadership, but that’s not really the New Testament model where from the earliest days certain people were recognized as having particular gifts and then been entrusted with the role of preaching the word and presiding over the Lord’s Supper. The best pastoral leadership encourages the laity of a church to engage in ministry and to develop their gifts. Ideally the clergy are not the “hired hands” who do all the ministry of a church, but are the appointed shepherds who preach the word, administer the sacraments, and oversee the life of the church. All too often congregations tend to “sit back” to let the pastor/staff do all the work. Much of the evangelism work, care for the sick, and a zillion other things can be just as effectively done or even more effectively done by the laity. From a pastor’s perspective that’s my take for what it’s worth.

    Best Wishes.

  7. Kenneth said

    ADB,
    I’ve also read on the Sunday school history – one reason is that the Methodist church had circuit preachers that would go from church to church preaching. When he was at one church, the other church would have a Sunday Bible study(Sunday school) and vice versa. The fad caught on in other denominations and here we are with a modern Sunday school. Nothing wrong with Sunday school per se, only when it takes the role of father out of the picture. All church activities should be a “help” to the father, not take the role of father.

    Your other comments I would disagree with. I believe we tend to elevate certain people to a high level in the church, one that is only reserved for Jesus Christ. Pastoring is a gift of the Holy Spirit, while elder and deacon are the only 2 offices mentioned in the church. Yet, even these offices are never set in Scripture to a level we see in our churches today. There is no set pattern in the N.T. epistles of the communion service, most of the time it was celebrated during a “love feast” as in 1 Cor. 11. There was no “clergy” officiating over this and Paul addressed the whole church, not Pastor/Bishop/Elder/Father/Reverend so-n-so.

    I don’t agree with a paid staff for a church. I believe it is not needed, and not really Biblical. A church will function without a paid staff – I fellowship at one now and it has been growing for the last 17 years, with no “clergy” of any sort. Yet, there is every aspect that you would see in the N.T. epistles – communion, teaching, prayer, singing, etc.

    In Christ, Kenneth

  8. Douglas said

    I agree that men need to be responsible husbands/fathers and assume more active leadership in their families and churches in regard to the faith. However this should not mean that women are relegated to a lessore role. Mr. Brown stated in his radio broadcast that women should go back to the home and submit to the leadership role of the husband.
    Men should be the leaders in church not women. He then made an unbelievable,even absurb statement that (quote)”God is so serious about men being the leaders in church that if a women has a question about the faith they should not ask the pastor but their husband.” The problem with this theology is that it is not biblical, as Mr. Brown so claims. He takes a literal interpretion of the bible, an approach to biblical understanding that misses the rich meaning of scripture and leads to an abuse of the bible and an injustice to God’s word. In his view, conveniently overlooked are the leadership roles of women who traveled with the Apostle Paul, ie, Junia, Priscicalla. Mary Magdalene was known as the “Apostle to the apostles” in the early church.
    My wife happens to be an ordained minister. I know many dedicated women clergy, one who is a bishop, who are providing creative, Godly, leadership to church and world leading many into a relationship with Christ. I suppose Mr. Brown believes this is wrong. I for one would not want to presume upon who God calls into leadership in the church. Mr. Brown is basically placing limits on the power of God by saying that only men can be pastors and leaders in the church and home. A prime example of what happens when the bible is taken literally.

    Praying that we let God be God and get our own agendas our of God’s way,
    Doug

  9. Kenneth said

    This says it all “my wife happens to be an ordained minister”. You bias will not let you see the truth of the Scriptures. Mr Brown was quoting Paul’s epistles to Titus and Timothy. That is very Biblical.

    A woman asking the pastor instead of her husband is going to lead to confusion and division in the home. She should ask her husband(if he is a Christian) and if her husband can’t give an answer, he goes to the church leaders. It is Biblical, ever since the beginning of mankind. God has placed the man as the spiritual leader in the home, in the temple of old and in the church of new. That is His plan.

    Doug, when should we and when should we not take the Bible literally? When it seems to contradict our beliefs? Or, when in context it warrants a not-so-literal interpretation?

    Paul gave some pretty clear qualifications for one desiring to be an elder or deacon. Even most men will not pass the test set forth by the Holy Spirit through Paul. The “husband of one wife” factor means no woman will pass that one test. Read the Greek and see if it means “spouse of one spouse” or if it truly means “husband(male) of one wife(female)”.

    My wife is a stay-at-home mom. She doesn’t see that as degrading on her. She gives input and helps make decisions, yet her role is different, not inferior to mine. Her role is by no means a lesser role than mine, it is just different.

    One last point – God the Holy Spirit will never give “new revelation” that contradicts His written word. In other words, God is not going to “call” a woman into the office of a Bishop/Elder(same thing) when His word says a woman cannot be an elder/bishop or deacon. So, even if Mr Brown won’t say it, I will. No woman is called by God to be a “pastor”. God is not the author of confusion and the indwelling Spirit will not contradict Himself. We are to be conformed to the Word, not conform the Word to us.

    In Christ, Kenneth

  10. Douglas said

    My bias does not allow me to see the truth of the scriptures? What about your bias?
    “My wife is a stay at home mom.” Which, by the way I admire. It is certainly not degrading.
    Read the New Testament carefully and you will see that Paul had women apostles such as Priscilla and Junia. Many sound biblical scholars do not think Paul wrote Titus and Timothy, which were written later when patriarchy was influencing the order of the church and denying women freedom of expression. Read the writing of Joan Chittester and Richard Rohr.

    God has placed man as the spiritual leader in the temple and home, according to many biblcal texts, but this does not mean that women cannot have a place of leadership in home and church.
    God intends there to be a partnership between man and woman. To deny women ordination is to deny the movement of God’s Holy Spirit in their lives, which is not “new revelation” but the movement of God as God sees fit. Your last paragraph above places limits on the power of God. What do you say to women who feels the call of God in their lives to lead a church and preach? That they are liars? That they are defying God? My wife has been a minister and church leader for 30 years and has lead many lost people to Christ. Every church she has pastored has grown by leaps and bounds with many coming to confess Jesus. And God did not call her to do this?
    As far as taking the bible literally, I will ask the same question. “When should we and when should we not take the bible literally? How many literalist “sell everything they have a give it all to the poor?” I can make the same argument. Literalism can be selective also and it often is.
    In Christ,Doug

  11. Kenneth said

    Doug,
    Your last questions first – We take the Scripture literally, in context. “Sell everything and give it to the poor” is literal, but in context to the other passages, what does it mean.

    You are reading a book that you don’t even know for sure is accurate? If Paul didn’t write Timothy and Titus, then who did? And what gave them the authority to write it? So, you are saying our Bibles are corrupt and untrue? That there is error in it?

    Would I say a woman is lying about being “called of God” to be a pastor? Not necessarily, yet feelings are not our test of faith. Our standard is the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit will never contradict the Scriptures – calling a woman to the office of elder or deacon would be contradicting the Scriptures.

    By the way, no woman was ever referred to as an Apostle in the Scriptures, nor were they referred to as Elders.

    I think the problem is how we view the Scriptures – either they are accurate for all matters of faith and life, or they are not. Your posts lead me to believe that you are not convinced that the Bible is accurate. If you don’t believe Paul wrote Timothy and Titus, then there is an obvious issue here. No reputable Greek scholar that I am aware of will deny Paul’s authorship.

    To deny women ordination is Biblical Doug. Not sexist or degrading. Many men are not qualified to be a church leader. God has standards that are laid out in Scripture. Also, man ordains, but that is not Biblical either. Ordination by a denomination is not Biblical. My wife is not my partner. We are united as one – she is the “body” and I am the “head”(I Cor 11). A partnership in marriage is not Biblical. It is to be 2 coming together as 1.

    In Christ, Kenneth

    One last point – Joel Osteen has the largest church in America. Does that mean he is called of God and is teaching the Word of God? Not at all. Benny Hinn has thousands who flock to his “healing meetings” but does that mean he truly heals? Not at all. Numbers mean nothing as to whether something is true or not.

  12. Anonymous said

    Kenneth.
    thank you for your response.
    It is obvious that you love the Lord, as do I.
    It is difficult to have dialogue with someone who takes the scriptures literally.
    I believe in the authority of scirpture but one must also draw from reason, tradition, and experience in interpreting the scriptures, less we fall into the danger of missing what the messages meant for the writers and the people to whom they were writing.
    The bible is the revelation of God to his people and the story of God’s people in relationship with God and one another. You are in danger of turning it into a “rule” book and limiting the power of God by saying that the Holy Spirit will not contradict scripture. I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement it just seems to be dogmatic.
    I wish you the best. And apprecite your witness.
    Read Marcus Borg, Henry Nouwen, John Wesley, Richard Rohr.
    There are many scholars who take a different approach to the faith that is vital and true.
    By the way. Many scholars disagree on who wrote Titus and Timothy and many do not think it was Paul.
    Check with some professors at various seminaries…not just the fundamentalist ones.
    Many blessing in Christ to you.
    And again. Thank you for your faithful witness.
    We are one the same team.
    doug

  13. Kenneth said

    Doug,

    I disagree with you. We are not on the same team. I uphold all of the Scripture as inerrant and God-breathed. You say there are three books(1&2 Timothy, Titus)in the Bible that are false and shouldn’t be in there. The same professors you want me to talk to would probably also say that the first 5 books of the Old Testament were not written by Moses.

    Which other books of the Bible are false and need to be done away with? Scripture is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword – that is why you have such a hard time with verses that say your wife cannot be an elder/bishop. Instead of trying to defraud Paul, why not just submit to the word of God?

    I think one of the big problems is that American Christianity has lifted the office of elder to a throne of glory, one with a large salary, housing allowance and prestige. Is that Biblical? I don’t believe so. We have separated the body into two categories – clergy and laity. Again, is that Biblical? I don’t believe so. Take away your wife’s title, the prestige, the financial “blessings” and then would your wife desire to be a bishop/elder? If the congregation stopped saying “Pastor so-n-so” or “Reverend so-n-so” to your wife, would she still desire the office of an elder/bishop? If she went through the persecution that Paul, Peter, John, etc of the New Testament went through, would she still desire the office of an elder/bishop? I doubt she would. Every pastor that I know says “God called me to pastor.” And yet their actions always show the desire of their heart. They want that title and all its Americanized benefits. They want to look from the pulpit in their clergy attire down at the laity and hear the laity say “Good job Pastor, excellent message Reverend, that blessed my heart Bishop.” The office of an elder has gone from a Biblical role into a business title and the “pastor” serving as president CEO of the company.

    Again, we will not come to an agreement on this. The women pastor issue is the least of my worries with you. You deny the accuracy and inerrancy of the Scriptures, denying Paul’s authorship. That is the road of apostacy, even herecy.

    I hope you will reconsider your doctrine and theology.
    – Kenneth

  14. John said

    Heretics are not always wrong, Kenneth.

  15. anonymous said

    Kenneth,
    Regarding pastors- there are several possibilities 1) you attend the most off the wall church in the world, 2) you have never actually known one (they certainly don’t do it for the money đŸ™‚ or 3) you were abused as a child by a minister or 4) you have never actually bothered to read Acts or any of Paul’s letters describing leadership in the church.

  16. Kenneth said

    Anon #15,

    Since I fit none of those. I’ll have to post a #5) I have read the book of Acts and Pauls, evn Peters letters describing leadership in the church. I also am involved in a local assembly that seeks to live out new Testament, New Covenant principles. This means we have no single “pastor” nor a distinction between clergy and laity, nor a paid church staff, nor women “pastors”.

    – Kenneth

  17. Meanwhile, here’s what the fatherless generation is saying:

    http://www.myspace.com/thefatherlessgeneration

    and

    http://fatherlessgeneration.blogspot.com

    Our givers of life have given us a lifetime of tears.

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