Thursday, April 02, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

My wife Joy recently read to me a very brutal and judgmental discussion regarding parents, Christian or otherwise, who choose to send their children to public school. I will take the high road here and avoid any discussion about how disgustingly hypocritical it is for anyone who is a Christian to write such judgmental things about people (one of the comparisons was calling parents, that includes my mom, my wife, me, and just about all of the people I attend church with and the elders and their wives therein, more guilty than Herod). What my wife read to me was militant and oozed with self-righteousness. I could not possibly imagine God looking down on the person who penned this writing in pleasure nor did I hear one word in the writing that could advance the kingdom of God TODAY, when we as adults are called to action.
Wondering if I should feel convicted by what I was read, I went to the only two places I know for trustworthy and Godly answers; scripture and my churches elders. Thank God for those gifts. The answer that has been shared with me was one that has led me to lean even more on the grace of Christ.
One of the verses I often hear when being condemned for having our children in public school is " raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.". Other translations of this verse replace discipline and instruction with the words nurture and admonition. This verse is found in Ephesians 6:4. However, upon just a closer look one finds that this verse is actually quite the dud for someone looking to condemn mothers who choose to have their children publicly schooled.
Why is that? Because the verse is addressed to who? Fathers. The verse reads "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." And yet I never find a verse in scripture that gives me permission as a father to shun that duty or pass it off on my wife, public school, or a tutor. Is it time for me to panic, quit my job, and start spending each day teaching my children phonics? Yikes, but what about the verses that command me as a father to provide for my family? Plus, if I do all this alone, what is the need for a wife?
Then I remembered something that I was missing in my thinking. I remembered Jesus. I remembered the fact that law was nailed to the cross with Christ. I remembered verses that promise that if my wife and I simply believe in Christ and trust God that God qualified my children as holy. I remembered that Christ is the one in control and that the only commandment that Christ left is to preach the word so that others may find Christ.
My prayer is that all across the Christian landscape that we can stop judging one another. We must stop condemning the world. Do what Christ leads you to do and gladly accept the fact that your life is pleasing to God so long as you are trusting in Him. Rejoice in one another's diversity and work together to spread God's word in a way that Christ could smile on. Let's stop patting ourselves on the back, dig for Biblical truth, and preach the word.

-- Post From My iPhone


Jason said...

Post a link to that article. I need to read it.

Dave Brumley said...

I don't have the link. My wife read it to me off her phone.

Jason said...

Maybe this is what you are referring to?

Dave Brumley said...

Again Jason, I am not sure what she was reading from. Thanks for the link though, I downloaded the .pdf and just read through the first couple of chapters. So far I have seen a great deal of his opinion written out but not much of it backed scripturally so I wouldn't be surprised if what my wife was reading is not the same thing or strongly influenced by that sort of "learning." I will enjoy reading that book (I hope that reading this doesn't make me less pious - read the post about Christ and piety and man's written opinions to get that joke). The author was a great man and evangelist. One thing that I always found funny about him though was how he fought against the piety of the Papal church and the Chruch of England at the beginning of the Evangelical Revival but then later included piety in the title of his books. I wonder what changed?

A question though. Assuming that you read the book you referred me to I would like to get your opinion on what J.A.J. speaks of on pages 26-28. He is discussing his belief that women should be allowed to hold the same offices in church as men. Does a woman have to do that to be considered pious or can only women who reach a proper level of piety hold those offices. Man, all this law that people add to scripture is exhausting to keep up with. Jason, as a deacon in the Church of Christ (I am assuming this is the Jason I know & love), what's your take on this? Does the Calvinist Mr. James here have it right and we're wrong or should we only pick and choose what parts of James' writings we agree with? Should women, as the book you referred me to claims, be allowed to be elders and deacons in the church?

Jason said...

A simple google search for "more guilty than Herod" found quite a few things - the top of the list
was that e-book. I wasn't referring the book to you - I simply added the link for anyone else who might read your blog so they can comment if they wish.

Could this be the link to the discussion Joy read to you?

I found it, too, in a Google search for "more guilty than Herod". If that is not it, would you mind finding it or asking her to find it? A link to the actual blog post or article would be nice
for your readers.

Dave Brumley said...

Just a few comments Jason:
#1 - Surely you can understand my assumption of thinking that you were referring that book as you did not clarify if it was or was not the source. That being said, thanks for the link to the book it has been eye-opening and made for some good reading this past weekend. If I was a fan of man-made law and opinion I would have been in heaven reading it.
#2 - I would still enjoy you answering my question regarding what was found in the book regarding female leadership in the church. That would be helpful and I eagerly await your response.
#3 - Thanks for the latest link. I will assume that you just posted it without reading it too. It didn't sound like what my wife read to me but it did at least post the quote from J.A.J. in context. I failed to see how what J.A.J. was writing though could be seen as a condemnation of public schooling. If you could draw that connection for me I would appreciate it. That would probably be helpful to my readers, since that was your initial concern.
#4 - I did get the actual link from my wife but choose to refrain from posting it for two reasons. I would not want to promote or send traffic to self-justifying ignorance such as that. Also, I have close friends and family who I know would be very offended (not condemned, only scriptural truth condemns, not a quote by J.A.J.) should they read the words of this judgmental person. Surely you can see my reasoning there and can refrain from asking for the link again.
#5 - It would really be appreciated if you would address the context of my original post regarding the verse taken out of context that I discussed. As a father who I respect, I would enjoy hearing your opinion on the scripture that says "fathers...raise your children in the instruction and discipline...."

Anonymous said...

Johnny D. Hinton likes this exchange.