National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (Part 1)

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by wpe3bql, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. wpe3bql

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    May 15, 2015
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    I never heard of this organization until last month when a group from my church attended some workshops at its Wake Forest, NC, headquarters.

    Last year the organization, which isn't specifically Baptist but holds to many Baptistic tenets as far as Church-Family interrelationships are concerned, published A Declaration On The Complementary Roles Of Church & Family.

    While the NCFIC has this declaration copyrighted, its contents so closely follow what most Baptist churches with which I'm familiar contend, I feel that the NCFIC would not be opposed to my sharing what it published last year. Anyway, here is what the NCFIC has declared on this subject:

    A 21st century statement based on the authority and sufficiency of Scripture for the necessity of harmony and biblical order between the separate but complementary jurisdictions of the local church and the family.

    In the names of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe that the church and the family are institutions, ordained and established by the sovereign triune God who created the heavens and the earth.

    God's infallible revelation, the Bible, reveals that both the church and family are integral parts of the unfolding of His eternal purpose to glorify Himself, communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and "teach all nations," teaching them to observe all that He has commanded (Matt.28:16-20; 2 Tim. 3:1 6).

    This gospel of God's grace, revealed through Jesus Christ, is delivered to each generation by the church's faithful proclamation of the Word of God (Ps. 145:4; Luke 4:18; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 4:2-4).

    Furthermore, God commands Christian parents to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4), which includes evangelizing their children in the gospel of grace, and teaching them the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that Christ has revealed and commanded in His Word (Deut. 6:1-8; Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:14-15).

    The complementary spheres and and the biblical roles of the church and the family as set forth in Scripture are crucial for fulfilling the Great Commission.

    Because of this, the world, the flesh, and the Devil wage fierce and unrelenting warfare against the church of Jesus Christ and the biblical order of the family. Consequently, Christians must rise up to defend the biblical order of the church and the family without compromise.

    A Time of Spiritual Warfare
    This declaration arises out of an era of spiritual warfare where the church is embracing cultural norms and compromising on critical elements of church life, resulting in widespread collapse of biblical family life.

    A lack of understanding and unfaithfulness to God's Word in local churches and in the homes of professing Christian families has contributed to this decline of biblical Christianity and has endangered the condition of biblical family life in our churches.

    Unfaithful (1 Tim. 4:1) or incompetent (2 Peter 3:36) handling of God's Word in the church leads to unbiblical practices. These unbiblicial practices and traditions of men contribute to the destruction of church and family life, which brings further harm to our children, and ultimately causes the collapse of a godly society.

    These traditions of men minimize and even replace God's authoritative revelation (Col. 2:8). This has rendered the church of Jesus Christ more vulnerable to false teachings derived from Secular Feminism, Secular Humanism, Secular Psychology, Biological and Social Darwinism, Atheistic Marxism, and other unbiblicial ideologies.

    These vain deceits are common in our society and have infiltrated many churches that have embraced worldly paradigm for church and family life.

    Rather than being defined by the unifying elements of biblicial order for worship and discipleship, local churches are often conformed to contemporary, secular, and pragmatic philosophies which segregate, divide, and overthrow the biblical order (Phil. 1:27-28).

    Rather than the Word of God being our "wisdom and...understanding in the sight of the nations" (Deut. 4:6), we have adopted the ways of the unregenerate and have conformed to the conventions of contemporary culture. One of the bitter fruits of this compromise is weak, fragmented churches and families.

    Solutions to These Circumstances
    We believe that the biblical solution to this problem is confessing our wrongs practices, repenting of our errors, and reforming to God's revealed standard. We must confess our failures and reject the unbiblical traditions of men that make the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13).

    Then we must wholeheartedly believe, follow, and teach all that God has commanded in His Word. In this way, both the church and the family will have the strength to honors the commands, patterns, and precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, and be strengthened to serve Him more faithfully in this world by lovingly obeying Him.

    Our fervent prayer is that God will raise up churches in which the Scriptures are honored, proclaimed, and obeyed as the only rule for both doctrine and practice; resulting in the strengthening of churches and families through the rejection of all unbiblical doctrines and practices. As a result, the church and the family wiil be equipped to make disciples of Jesus Christ in a biblically faithful way and to build God's house in accordance with His

    The Importance of This Statement
    While this statement addressed important matters of church and family life with significant consequences for good and for evil, we donot believe that the way the church and family intersect is the most pressing issue before the modern church.

    Rather, the most pressing issue in the church today is the communication and acceptance of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, resulting in a full trust in and obedience to it as it is revealed in Scripture (Matt. 28:16-20). Thus, the need to speak to this issues of church and family life at this time in history arises from a significantly deeper problem than the complementary roles of church and family.

    This deeper problem is the modern day rejection of Scripture as fully sufficient for church and family life, and the need to return to biblical order in the church and family. This underlying matter of the authority and sufficiency pf Scripture is at the heart of this declaration.

    Our Intent in This Declaration

    In this statement,we seek to identify specific biblical requirements for both the church and the family, to recognize various departures from the Word of God concerning the church and the family, and to present scriptural teachings that addressed some of the problems in church and family relations.

    Article I --- Scripture Is Sufficent

    We affirm that our all-wise God has revealed Himself and His will in a completed revelation--the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments--which is fully adequate in both content and clarity for everything pertaining to life (salvation) and godliness (sanctification), including the ordering of the church and family (Deut. 30:11-14; 1 Cor. 11:1-12, 14:34; Gal. 1:8-9; Eph. 5:22-6:4; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-4).

    We deny/reject that God's Word is inadequate for church and family life and that we need to adopt the traditions of men from an entirely secular forms philosophy, psychology, pragmatism, entertainment, corporate business models, or modern marketing techniques.

    (NOTE: NCFIC' Declaration will continue in Part 2 of the OP on this document.
  2. wpe3bql

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    May 15, 2015
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    National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (Part 2)

    Article II --- Christ Is The Head Of The Church
    We affirm rhat our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, having purchased it with His own blood, and that He rules His church by His Holy Spirit through His Word in order tp make known the manifold wisdom of God and to bring glory to Himself (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 28:18-20; John 17:17; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:19-23,3:10, 4:15, 5:23; Col. 1:18).

    We deny/reject all man-made inventions and rules that disregard the Word of God, exalt man, and usurp the Lord Jesus Christ's headship of His church.

    Article III --- The Only Hope Is Jesus Christ And His Gospel

    We affirm that the only hope for the church, the family, and the fallen world is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ al.4:6; Luke 1:17; John 14:6; Acts 2:29, 4:12, 16:30-34; Eph. 2:12-13).

    We deny/reject that there is any hope for the church, the family, and the fallen world apart from Jesus Christ and His gospel or that family members are able to performs their functions, be properly reformed, or experience true bless except by the power of the gospel, saving and sanctifying its members.

    Article IV --- God Created the Church And the Family

    We affirm that almighty God is the sovereign Creator and Preservers of His people and all the institutions that bring blessing to mankind, including the church and the family, are thus deserving of our honor and humble obedience to His Word (Gen. 1:28; Pss.
    46:1,77:13-15,95:6-7,100:3,119:73; Prov. 18:10; Matt. 16:18,19:6; John 14:15; Col. 1:16-17; James 1:17; 1 pet. 4:19).

    We deny/reject that we, being mere creatures, have a right to refashion the church and the family according to our vain imaginations be altering God's prescribed government, worship, discipleship, gender roles, assignment of responsibilities, or any other normative patterns revealed in Scripture.

    Article V --- The Church Is Eternal While The Family Is Temporal

    We affirm that the church is the bride of Christ and the family of God, that in heaven people "neither marry nor are given in marriage," indicating that the family, which is part of the creation order, established for the fulfillment of the dominion mandate here on earth, ceases to exist in heaven, but that here on earth and in Christ, the family becomes a vehicle for the demonstration of the relationship between Christ and His church and for raising children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Gen. 1:26-28,18:19; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 22:29-32; Eph. 22-23,6;1-4).

    We deny/reject the notion that the family supersedes the church in time, function, or in the strategic and eternal place the church holds in the plan of redemption, the kingdom of Christ, and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

    Article VI --- Families May Be Divided By The Gospel
    We affirm that the gospel may divide families, because the gospel can "set a man at variance against his father," that "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me," and that we ought to obey God rather than man if there be any conflict between the commands of a husband or parent and the commands of God (Matt. 10:35-37; Acts 4:19-21,5:21).

    We deny/reject that loyalty to the family shiuld ever supersede obedience to God as set forth in His Word, and making the family into an idol.

    Article VII --- The Church And The Family Are Complementary In Role And Function

    We affirm that the church and the family were designed to be complementary, compatible, and harmonious because the family is commanded to raise "godly seed," for the next generation, and is the proving ground for church discipline, protection, fellowship, and worship (Mal. 2:1 5; Acts 2:42; Eph. 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9).

    We deny/reject that the church and the family have competing purposes. and that the church or family may disregard God's commands for the church and the family in worship, instruction, discipline, fellowship, or missions.

    Article VIII --- Elders Managing Their Household Well
    We affirm that a biblically ordered home home, including the way an elder loves his wife and raises his children, is of great importance to the church because elders are qualified and test partly by how they manage their household, as well as how the household responds to his rule. "For is a man know not how to rules his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God' (1 Tim. 3:4-5; Titus 1:5-9).

    We deny/reject that the biblical qualifications for the home life of an elder or potential elder should be dismissed or minimized or that churches can ignore the equipping of fathers to lead their own houses according to the Word of God, bringing up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and having their "children in subjection with all gravity" (Eph. 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:4).

    Article IX --- The Church And The Family Provide Overlapping Jurisdictions
    We affirm that the local church and the family are separate, yet provide overlapping jurisdictions so that each member of the family who is a member of a local church is under the instruction and correction of that local body, where delegated divine authority is exercised for the equipping , maturation, admonition, and strengthening of the family and for the restraint of evil, while at the same time the local church must acknowledge and uphold the jurisdiction of the family (Matt. 16:18,18:1 5-17,28:19; 1 Cor. 4:15,5:11-13,7:3-5; Eph. 4:12,5:22-33,6:1-4; i Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1,14-15,5:17; Titus 1:7,9; Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Pet. 5:3).

    We deny/reject as unscriptural the concept of the autonomous family in total isolation or insubordinate to the church, as well as the tyrannical church that tramples on or belittles the legitimate exercise of authority within the family.
    NOTE: NCFIC's "Declaration On The Complementary Roles Of The Local Church and Family" is to be continued in Part 3 of this thread that I've started in this forum. --- WPE3BQL

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