Defining Kingdom Family
Definition of the Family: A group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption
enabling interaction between members of a household in their respective roles.
God has ordained the family as the fundamental institution of human society. It was established
by his inaugural act of marriage between a man and a woman. The Bible defines the family
through God’s instructions for married couples to have children, whether by birth or adoption.
Let me stop here and address a family that I have a great deal of respect for -The Single Parent
Family. We believe that a child needs the influence of both father and mother for healthy
development in life and relationships. At the same time, we recognize that God’s grace is
sufficient and that He is a Father to the Fatherless and a Husband to the Husbandless. We also
believe He is a guardian to children without a father or a mother and a friend to a husband that
has lost a wife. We believe God, by His grace, can use the void left from a missing parent to
accomplish His eternal purpose of building Christ-like character in single parents and their
children. We believe a single parent and his or her children are a family and the Bible contains
principles for them to grow as a family.
We believe the local church should be the home for the single parents, providing their children with
odly people to serve as role models in place of the missing parent. We are committed to exhorting Christians within the local church to creatively meet the needs associated with single parent homes. We are committed to confronting and encouraging single parent families by developing biblical principles to assist those who struggle in the role of a single parent.
Scriptures: Ephesians 3:14-15, Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 8:15, Romans 8:26, John 1:12,
Galatians 3:29, Psalm 78:5-7, Psalm 68:5, 1 Corinthians 7:32
According to Abraham Lincoln, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people. It is our
conviction that the family is the backbone of the Christian Church and society as a whole.
History shows that if any society wants to survive, it must uphold, strengthen and continue to
build upon the biblical institutions of marriage and family. Purpose of the family: Is to be a
picture of our spiritual relationship with Him. The other side of this truth is that our
relationship with God is to be a pattern for the relationships within the home. The Bible
begins with Genesis with the family and ends in Revelation with the family of Christ and His
bride the church. This is the true family of Christ. In between, God provides timeless blueprints
for family life, which is followed in a spirit of humility and obedience, providing us with the only
true way to maintain healthy family relationships. We want to affirm the biblical model and
challenges we face in considering how we should live within the walls of our homes. It is offered
in the spirit of love and humility, not of judgment or contention. We freely acknowledge that
we, like all people, have often denied the biblical truths of family life by the way we live. We
desire, however, to live by God’s grace in accordance with the principles stated herein and to
pass these principles on to future generations so that He will be honored and glorified as our
families reflect His character.
Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-28, Ephesians 3:14-15, Romans 8:15-23, John 1:12-13, Galatians 3:29,
Psalm 78:5-7, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Isaiah 54:5
Copyright ©| Advancing the Kingdom of God Ministries | 2013 122 | P a g e
ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
by Dan Darling
It’s amazing how loaded a two-word answer can be. If I’m in a room full of public school teachers, it can come across as condescending and dismissive of public education. If I’m in a room full of home school parents, it can make me sound like a hero. If I’m surrounded by Christian school parents, it might elicit pity.
I don’t think there is any more divisive topic among Christian parents than the topic of education. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a way to have strong convictions about the type of schooling we prefer for our children in this season of life and still acknowledge that this is a complex issue and an issue that might lead Christian people to different conclusions.
I’ve lived on all sides of this issue. As a Christian school kid, I thought, for long stretches of my childhood, that I was superior in spirituality to those kids who attended public schools. I also thought I was a bit more sophisticated than the rubes who homeschooled. Much of this was fed me by my well-meaning, but (in my view) misguided teachers who acted as if the only option for serious Christian parents was to enroll in a church-sponsored school.
Then something happened. I grew up and saw Christian school kids and home-school kids who left the faith, destroying the narrative that a Christian school automatically churns out kids who love Jesus and are ready to engage the world. What’s more, I witnessed the vibrant faith and missionary heart of friends and family members who attended public school. We had looked down on their parents because they “sacrificed their children” in “godless, state schools.”
This taught me that parents really are the main spiritual influence in a child’s life (humanly speaking). Educational choices matter for a variety of reasons, but there is no fail-proof method that guarantees an outcome of perfect children.
As a pastor, I also saw the potential for this issue to divide the body of Christ. So I worked hard to cultivate a spirit of Christian liberty about educational choices. In my church we had parents who chose a variety of options and we affirmed the worth and dignity of every kind of student and discouraged any kind of overt recruitment to any one style of education.
The choice of education for our children is a very important issue. Every parent should weigh the factors: the quality of their local schools, their own financial situation, the educational needs of their children, and the commitment needed by the parents. We should also acknowledge the good and bad in each option. And we should consider that some options might be good in different seasons of a child’s academic career.
What’s more, while we may be passionate about one particular style, we should obey the spirit of 1 Corinthians 8, where Paul counsels us from using Christian liberty as both a platform for legalism or an excuse to flaunt our freedoms. The unity of the Church is more important than the important (but non-essential) area of education. The educational choices of parents is not a matter of theological orthodoxy. So we must be careful not to judge other parents. Instead, we should cultivate a humble spirit about our own decisions and extend grace and love to others.
Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC).
The Brain and Education
Education is the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process. Originally American educational institutions were places of training and admonition in the fear of God. Students were instructed in a context of a worldview that put God in the center of life. God was the foundation of all areas of learning. Our leading universities such as Harvard, William and Mary, Yale and Princeton were all founded or lead by religious leaders. Today these universities are on the top of the education mountain. While they should be a beachhead for kingdom influence globally, they are instead teaching philosophies or belief systems which do not line-up with the knowledge of God. Christian colleges and universities are not teaching from a kingdom perspective. Seminaries are even more toxic because students come with the assumption that they will learn more of God’s ways.
While we are not interested in politicizing the educational system, we would like to make the reader aware of the schools of thoughts prevalent in our institutions of higher learning. These doctrines, philosophies or belief systems are often referred to as “ism’s”. Various teachings include:
a belief that human interests and mind are paramount
a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief
unrestrained freedom of thought and behavior; freedom that supersedes morality
a belief that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown or unknowable
disbelief in God
All these beliefs are operating in the educational system. And we wonder why children who come out of college no longer believe in God. 87% of higher learning schools, elite schools, espouse this way of thinking; 72% of all schools. We are not advocating not sending our youth to college. What we are saying is that there needs to be a transformation in the entire educational system. It is our belief that God has given the Body of Christ the grace to take the mountain of education.
Two Sides of The Human Brain
As we address the subject of how we think and process information we must understand that there are two sides of the human brain that process differently. They are referred to as the right brain and left brain. Primary differences in the processing of each side are as follows:
Concept of time
Why? And How?
Mode of learning
Upon entering school children are predominantly right brain processors and thinkers. After a few years of education 90%h are left brain dominant. 98% of high school graduates are left brain dominant. Statistics show that the further they go in education the more left brain they become. The left brain does not access the things of the Spirit of God. It is conditioned to reject a Creator God and rules out supernatural answers of anything. We will at different times pull from both sides of our brain. The conditioning we receive through education causes the left-brain to be stronger and when the right-brain speaks we tend to ignore it.
It is true that women have a more difficult time ignoring the right brain. They are designed by God to be more right brain dominant while men are created more left brain dominant. Females are gifted with intuition which is generally considered as an inferior brain power.
God uses the brain as a gateway to education, thus it is important to understand and protect it.
Excerpt "ATK Manual"
Education should reflect the truth about God and man so that the truth shall make us free. May we seek and promote the true meaning of life through education.The "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and wisdom is the goal of education. There can be no true wisdom that does not begin with a proper "fear of the Lord."
Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your kinsman. -Proverbs 7.4
Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship (Ex 31:3-5).
Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments (Ps 119:66).
Can teachers respond when a student directly asks them about their faith or spiritual beliefs?
In general, teachers can respond when a student directly asks them a question about their personal beliefs. But teachers can get into sticky situations if they use the questions to begin giving what amounts to a church sermon to the entire class. That’s why it’s best to keep the answer focused on the exact question the student asked.
Teachers can also run into claims—especially when very young students are involved—that it wasn’t clear whether they were explaining their personal beliefs or those of the school. So it’s also a good idea for teachers to preempt their answers with a clear statement that they are expressing their personal perspectives.
Can teachers pray or do Bible studies with other teachers?
Teachers can engage in religious-freedom activities with other adult educators before and after school. This can include after-school Bible study and prayer groups for teachers or the distribution of invitations to religious-themed community events among educators (if the school already allows teachers to distribute flyers to one another about community related activities). The U.S. Department of Education itself issued a memorandum acknowledging this, which stated that, “Before school or during lunch, for example, teachers may meet with other teachers for prayer or Bible study to the same extent that they may engage in other conversation or nonreligious activities.”
Can teachers give factual explanations of Christianity and/or the Bible in their classrooms?
Yes, teachers can provide classroom instruction about Christianity and the Bible in a way that meets state academic standards and related curriculum requirements, especially when doing lessons about history, culture or literature. But keep in mind that teachers must address these topics in an objective and purely educational manner—i.e., it must be academic, not devotional.
Did you know that some state academic standards actually encourage instruction about Christianity? For example, California sixth graders are expected to note “the origins of Christianity in the Jewish Messianic prophecies, the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth . . . and the contribution of St. Paul the Apostle to the definition and spread of Christian beliefs.” In Massachusetts, seventh grade students are expected to describe “the origins of Christianity and its central features.” Gateways to Better Education has more excellent resources on references to Christianity or religion in state academic standards.
The U.S. Supreme Court has also affirmed that the “Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, ethics, comparative religion or the like” (Stone v. Graham, 1980). And even in its infamous ruling against adult-led Bible reading in public schools (Abington v. Schempp, 1963), the Supreme Court acknowledged “that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”
If you are an educator and a believer don't lose heart, know who you are and whose you are.
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