REBUILDING THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY #1: Prioritizing Your Faith

I want to start a conversation by asking a question…not a debate…not an accusation…I have no interest in lighting a fire and contributing to a firestorm of opinions, but just an honest moment of personal introspection that the Holy Spirit might use and will ultimately be determined between you and the Lord.

Just how important is your Christian Faith? Really?

I have found that what we say contrasted with how we prioritize demonstrates where our hearts truly land. We can say, “Jesus is Lord of my life and our family”, but how does that really look?

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REBUILDING THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY: Introduction

Everyone knows that something has changed with the American Family. Compare the depiction of family in 1950’s television with 2017 and the difference is stark. The very definition of family has been radically changed much less the very environment with which we function as family. I grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s with no cell phones, only 3 channels on the TV, and rotary phones that hung on the kitchen wall. A 20 volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelf was our internet and I took photo’s on a Kodak camera that you placed at your belly and looked down into the lens. While some moms worked, most stayed at home with their kids and dad was the sole breadwinner. We laugh when we say it, but America was indeed a lot like the Cleaver household in the old sitcom, “Leave it to Beaver”, and the problems we faced were similar. Boy, have times changed. The family has been under assault since Dr. James Dobson started his radio show and writings nearly 4 decades ago. To his credit, he saw the spiraling trajectory long before most of us ever thought much about it. Unfortunately, a new generation hasn’t heeded the warnings of a previous generation and now collapse is ever closer.

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Lessons From The No-Spin Zone

By now, I suspect, all cable news junkies and most of the celebrity obsessed populace has heard of the dismissal of the FOX News giant, Bill O’Reilly, due to sexual harassment allegations and accusations . I am not going to recapitulate all the evidence and innuendo that has surrounded his release because that is easily researched through your search engine online. The fact is, there is a significant part of the population that is cheering for his demise as well as a significant part that is convinced it’s a smear campaign to eviscerate a powerful conservative voice. I suspect those of us who are but mere mortals neither connected to celebrity politicians or journalists will forever be guessing what the real facts might be in this debacle. That being said, it is neither judging nor condemning to analyze the situation and offer some “no-spin” lessons we might walk away with in the midst of another moral circus. After all, as O’Reilly would often say analyzing in the Factor’s “no-spin zone”, “I too, am your humble correspondent and it’s time the spin stops here.”

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REBUILDING BLOCK 10: Uniting Bible-Believing Churches

In my opinion, one of the greatest strategic successes political candidates and parties apply against the church is what is know as “divide and conquer”. The reason we have difficulty advancing our causes and concerns is because we have no civic leadership advocating for them. The reason we have no political candidates willing to provide leadership in advancing our causes is because we cannot elect them. The reason we cannot elect them is because Christians have a hard time moving in unity to become a type of monolith movement that can influence election outcomes to their advantage. Politicians and parties know this and do everything in their power to dilute our influence and keep our influence spread thin. The easiest illustration to offer is the primary system of selecting candidates. The 2016 GOP primary process offered at one time over 15 candidates for president. Of that number, I could easily identify 4 or 5 candidates that might have made an acceptable choice for many committed and consistent biblical worldview voters. The problem was that our voting block diluted their impact among those 4 or 5 by spreading out our votes and consequently the less than stellar candidate navigates his way through the pack and becomes the nominee in a system that cannot think beyond a 2-party paradigm. When the general election takes place, the Christian assumes for their vote to matter they must choose between the “lesser of two evils” in order to avoid catastrophe from the opposing candidate. It is a scenario we have consistently seen for several decades now and inevitably all we get from it are the “table scraps” of political movement with regards to the great moral issues of our day. The millions of evangelical voters who could move rapidly to rebuild this nation into a Christian civilization will never see it happen because we haven’t figured out how to move as one.

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REBUILDING BLOCK 9: The Priority of Revival

The Church has as a part of its mission and call a prophetic mandate. What I mean by the word “prophetic” is that the Church reminds the individual and the culture of it’s responsibility towards God. The biblical word most associated with that prophetic calling is the word, “repent”. The Church, led by it’s pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets and apostles, declare repentance to a lost and deteriorating world. Repentance means that there has been a change of mind with a corresponding action (fruits) that demonstrates a true heart transformation. Reformation without heart transformation is at best challenging and perhaps ultimately impossible. Christian civilization may be embraced because it demonstrates to the human mind the only viable, long term worldview which will beget any sense of liberty and success, but it is maintained because the hearts of individuals and communities have legitimately been touched by the presence and power of God. This will only occur when genuine revival takes place by the plan of God.

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