Last night I was having a chat with my wife about the responses on Facebook to my post about spanking children. We very quickly left thinking and talking about one person’s response to considering the broader debate which rages on the Internet concerning Christian Family Life. Because families are so important to the Kingdom of God, I think it would be good to just dig into this a bit further and see what the Bible has to say about this issue.
The purpose of this specific post is not to really begin to lay out any new information but to make some observations about the current state of the debate.
First, there seems to be a lot less Christian behavior coming from Christians than the Bible requires. Much of the criticism of the views of other people is taken up with attacking the person rather than criticizing the theory. This is a fallacy and should be avoided at all costs. I might not like someone else and I might have a very low opinion of them. Still, my feelings towards someone do not invalidate their viewpoint. The Apostle Paul wrote these words: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Many of these conversations are sorely lacking in grace!
Second, we should remember to never, ever judge a theory by its abuses. People make mistakes and some people will latch on to an idea and take it to such an extreme place that they have moved into error. This does not make the original idea wrong. For example, we believe fasting is a good thing and something all Christians should do as part of their Christian life. Someone could take this to an extreme and starve themselves to death. Would this make fasting wrong? No, of course not! A more relevant example is the way people talk about the submission of wives to husbands. Does the Bible say wives should submit to their husbands? Yes, it does. Have some husbands abused this concept so much that they have destroyed their wives’ individuality, usefulness to God and Christian witness? Yes, they have. Does their wrong behavior make the Bible wrong? No, it does not.
Finally, my own personal observation is that the people who are generally perceived to be ‘fundamentalist’ seem to do a much, much better job of basing their beliefs and actions on what the Bible teaches. The criticisms leveled against them are often based on something other than their understanding of the bible. When we have discussions about living as members of the Kingdom of God wemust use the Bible as our guide. All other sources of information and help are secondary to the Bible.
There, now maybe I can have a look at what it means to be a “Christian Family.”