Ask The Pastor — Isn’t The Family Whatever We Decide It Is?

Dear Pastor,

Your insistence that a family is a group of people who have blood ties seems restrictive to me. After all, “Home is where the heart is.” Also, your insistence that Lesbians can not love one another strikes me as uncharitable. Two women can embrace one another in love no differently than a man and a woman can embrace one another in love. You can have fun with your idea of your family and I’ll have fun with mine.

Peace, Love, and Happiness,

Josephine Calvin

Dear Josephine,

One could easily hear the strains of relativism in your statement, “Have fun w/ your idea of your family and I’ll have fun with mine.”

“Your truth is ok for you and my truth is ok for me.”

But God clearly says that Lesbianism is sin and that such people will in no wise enter into the Kingdom of God (See Romans 1 & Galatians 5). Secondly, Scripture consistently displays family as a blood bond normally characterized by a shared belief system, though the aspect of a shared belief system is quickly slipping away in our contemporary setting. The exception that Scripture makes for family as a group of people sharing a bond of blood, in terms of family, is legal adoption.

It might be a proverb that, “Home is where the heart is” but in a Christian normal world, allowing for the exceptions that inevitably occur, the heart would find the home in blood family.

I looked up several definitions of “Family,” and they all included the idea of blood bonds. One just can’t make up the meaning of words as they go. A belief that one can is expressive of post-modernism.

Here is one definition of family,

1. a group descended from a common ancestor.

People can not make themselves a family unit anymore then they can make themselves a school of fish. Now, certainly arrangements exist where persons are functioning as a family, but the fact that they are functioning as a family puts the proof to the reality that they are not family. Otherwise the metaphor would not have to be used. So, yes people who truly care for each other can function as a family but that does not make them a family as a family is a group descended from a common ancestor.

Now, I know there are huge movements out there that are trying to redefine family to mean whatever group of people may assemble on any given day. But if such a movement succeeds in redefining the word and concept of family the loss will be a stable meaning to the word and will introduce even more instability to our social order. In point of fact I would say that the attempt to redefine family is a subtle attack on the Christian definition of family in favor of a post-modern definition of family.

There is no possibility of “Peace, Love, and Happiness,” where man walks outside of God’s revelation found in Scripture.

Compartmentalized Modern Man

In a return to sanity the home and family would once again become the center around which all other reality would orbit, simply because in a sane world home and family would once again be the reality that matters most. Because of the triumph of modernity, man has counted politics and macro-economics as the things that matter most — the things that are normal. However, in a sane world it would be the home and family that would be the things that matter most. Certainly politics and macro-economics have their place but their current import reveals how abnormal we have become.

And why have Christians fallen into this trap of modernity? Well, one reason is, is that as modernity has used politics and macro-economics to destroy the family as the center of lived out reality, Christians have believed that they are compelled to fight back with politics and macro-economics. Having been defeated by the techniques of collectivist ideology they have had little choice but to defend themselves by means of a similar ideology in the name of home and family. They have had marginal success in the contest.

A healthy culture would return to the family and home as the center serving as the integration point that puts an end to our current compartmentalization that makes home and family largely irrelevant. Modernity has modern man compartmentalizing everything from everything else so that everything stands un-connected to everything else, and this process has started largely because we have compartmentalized what should have been the integration point — home and family — from everything else. Because of feminism women have been compartmentalized from their place and role in the home and family. Because of evolutionary capitalism men have been compartmentalized from their place and role in the home and family. Because of the industrial revolution the craftsmanship found in home economics has been compartmentalized from the home and family. Because of instant entertainment, infotainment, and edutainment that has been compartmentalized in their own bailiwicks away from home and family, home and family no longer are a place to find creativity, or the fellowship that results from such creativity. Even the Church has been compartmentalized away from the home as the denial of covenant theology as found in revivalism and anabaptist “theology” has atomized faith from home and family. The home and family, which used to serve as the integration point for all these functions and roles, is a useless unit and as a result compartmentalized modern man now finds himself a passive and malleable consumer of all that which he used to actively produce or be produced in him in the context of a healthy home and family. Now however, with the success of modernity and the compartmentalization project, home and family has been reduced to a mere bed and breakfast weigh station for a handful of individuals who mindlessly gather there for a snatched meal and a night’s sleep.

However, this compartmentalization project has not stopped with compartmentalizing man away from home and family. Successful in abstracting man away from home and family, the compartmentalization project has successfully turned modern man’s thinking into a morass of compartmentalization so that truth is no longer seen as holistic and integrated but is seen as a undifferentiated cascade of unrelated facts. Modern man is walking and talking unit containing universes of contradictions made possible because of the ascent of the compartmentalized mind. Modern man believes one thing in the realm of history which is contradicted by what he believes in the realm of philosophy which is contradicted by what he believes about current events, which is contradicted by what he believes about his Christianity. But none of these contradictions matter because the mind has been compartmentalized so that nothing that modern man thinks about in one area comes into contact with anything he thinks about in another area.

All this compartmentalization also explains the rise of the “specialist.” Because of the rise of the specialist we know more and more about less and less. This wouldn’t be so bad if we had some generalists among us who could take what the specialists are learning in their tight little compartmentalized worlds and provide a integration point that would help make sense of all this data. This used to be the job of the Theologian but today the Theologian has likewise become a specialist so that much of his “knowledge” is just so much abstract compartmentalized theorizing that comes into very little contact with the rest of our disciplines. Some “Theologians” are even insisting that theology shouldn’t exceed its boundaries of specialization insisting that each specialization should have its own autonomy. Theology seldom provides integration any longer.

So, this compartmentalization, as it has become the prevailing motif in the West has finally changed our University system into a Multiversity system. The whole idea of University originally was to find unity (hence the “Uni”) in the diversity of disciplines. The University proclaimed that there was a integration point. However, today the University has not integration point unless one counts integrating into the void as a integration point. What we have today is Multiversities where students go and learn that all that exists is the compartmentalized. There are particulars galore but no universals to hold the particulars together. (Though how you can know what the particulars are apart from a Universal to define them is anybody’s guess, but that is just another contradiction that we have to live with in our gloriously compartmentalized world.)

The reality of compartmentalization goes on and on. Existentialism compartmentalizes man from man’s nature. Postmodernism compartmentalizes Truth from truth, Radical Two Kingdom theology compartmentalizes the redemptive realm from the creational realm. Very little is integrated and as a result modern mind, being multi-minded, is unstable in all his ways.

Dostoevsky & McAtee On Christianity & Collectivism

The radical declares,

“Everyone belongs to all, and all belongs to everyone. All are slaves and equal in their slavery… Slaves are bound to be equal. Without despotism there has never been either freedom or equality, but in the herd there is bound to be equality…. The moment you have family ties or love you get the desire for property. We will destroy that desire; we’ll make use of drunkenness, slander, spying; we’ll make use of incredible corruption; we’ll stifle every genius in its infancy. We’ll reduce all to a common denominator! Complete equality!”

The Possessed
Fydor Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky was a 19th century Russian writer who explored the human psyche, particularly as that psyche was conditioned by ideology and religion. In the quote above we find that Dostoevsky understood the nascent proto-Marxist type ideology which he believed were Demon like ideas from Western Europe that was possessing Russia.

It is interesting that even in 1873 Russia, Dostoevsky could identify the heart of collectivism that remains with us yet today. Dostoevsky understood that the end of equality, absolutized, is slavery.

The thing I really want to tease out from this quote is Dostoevsky’s connection between collectivism and the destruction of family ties. The collectivist attack on property requires an attack on family love. If various forms of Marxist collectivism is to be successful in its desire to extinguish private property it must, at the same time, extinguish Biblical notions of family. The simple idea that a man and a woman come together and form a new, yet extended social unit that is itself strengthened with the blessed arrival of covenant seed is an idea that arises not from Natural law but from Scripture. So, when the collectivist wars against property, he must do so, if he wishes to be consistent by attacking the family structure, which is itself an attack on Scripture. This reality puts those “Christians” who insist that the Bible has nothing to say about social order issues on the horns of a dilemma. Either they concede that the Scripture does speak a word about the nature of the family or they are left with pulpits that are silent on these issues preaching to atomized individuals that Jesus died to redeem as isolated from any previous, current, or future familial identities. A very odd way of preaching for those who subscribe to covenant theology where “the promise is to you and your household” is a key cornerstone of Reformed Federal theology.

I submit Christians must enter into this great war that has been being waged since the garden. It was in the garden where the first successful salvo against Biblical Christianity was fired against the family as the Serpent attacked family ties, bypassing Adam’s authority to beguile Eve, in a successful attempt to sell the poison of man’s equality with God, which resulted in a collectivism against God. In point of fact the greatest need in the Church today is to realize the threat that egalitarianism is to Biblical Christianity. The drive to fuzz and deny all distinctions, to erase all notions of biblical hierarchies (Husbands w/ headship over wives, Parents w/ headship over children, women the weaker vessel compared to men, Employers w/ headship over employees,) and to flatten out all God ordained differences is the worldview that currently is the greatest threat to Biblical Christianity in the West.

Without Biblical distinctions regarding gender, roles, ethnic groups, and authority structure, we will be amalgamated into the herd reality that Dostoevsky warns about. It will be a herd reality where a few elite are, in essence, the Farmers over the undistinguished and undifferentiated mass herd. Those who advocate complete equality in terms of “equality of identity” are the enemy and they are the enemy because Scripture identifies them as such. They are the enemy who overthrow the 5th commandment where a distinction and hierarchy of parents is required before they can be honored. They are the enemy who overthrow the great commission where a distinction of nations is required before those nations can be baptized, discipled and taught to observe all things taught by Christ. They are the enemy who overthrow Galatians 3:28 where a existing distinction between Jews and Gentiles, Slave and Free, Men and Women, must exist before there can be comfort that all can be justified in Christ. They are the enemy who overthrow the 8th commandment where a distinction must exist between what is my property and what is not my property before any forbidding of theft can make sense. Egalitarianism is the enemy and egalitarians are the enemy precisely because their egalitarianism strikes at the heart of God’s revelation. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the Father of egalitarianism is to erase the distinction and hierarchy between the Creator and the creature. They desire to make God and man a common denominator. That is the ultimate distinction that is under attack in all of these penultimate battles.

Kinsey & Hefner’s America

The introduction of sexual license among college-age men as a societal norm began in earnest in American Culture in the 1950’s. This project, introduced by Alfred Kinsey and popularized by Hugh Hefner created a market for immodest and sexually adventurous young women, which in turn helped to legitimize the idea of female promiscuity. In the 1960’s, once immodesty and promiscuity had become acceptable for some women, the pressure increased for all women to adopt these behaviors in competing for the attention of men. This was especially true of the youngest of marriage-age women of that generation, whose personal morals and values had been influenced by a decade of sex-saturated pop culture.

The wholesale entrance of women into the world of sexual ‘freedom’ created a number of societal demands; the “liberation” of women from Christian expectations about marriage and child-rearing through a feminist political movement (enter Better Friedan and “The Feminine Mystique” — 1963, enter NOW formed in 1966), contraception on demand w/ Griswold vs. Connecticut – 1966, abortion on demand w/ Roe vs. Wade -1973, and finally through ‘no-fault’ divorce beginning in the early 1970’s.

All of this in turn has brought us to the “gaying” of America. Once Christian heterosexuality and family life was obliterated it was a small step to normalize Sodomy. If there were no standards that needed to be attended to for sexual norms among heterosexuals or no standards that needed to be attended to for family life then who was to say that Sodomy was an aberration?

As an example, though perhaps on the face of it, it is counter intuitive to assert, Playboy has served as a tool for gay social engineering. One could make the case that all porn is essentially homosexual because it is in fact created by men for the sexual gratification of other men. That is pretty gay if you think about it.
Further, on a more practical level, the existence of a thriving porn industry serves the ‘gay’ cause by morally corrupting the men who use it, making them less likely to oppose the homosexual agenda on moral grounds and makes them more likely to support public policies which legitimize sexual hedonism of all varieties.

The result of all of this sexual hedonism has been the de-Christianizing of America and the advance of the agenda of the pink triangle army. Census data published in 1998 reveals a fourfold increase in divorce from 1970-1996, while the population of cohabiting couples has more than doubled.

The resultant ripples of destabilization from the sexing of America on American culture has been dramatic. Since the advent of sexing of America in the 1960’s we have seen the escalation of crime (Fatherless homes breed criminals), the proliferation of STD’s, and the escalation of mental illness and chronic substance abuse. These are all the consequences that one might expect of a generation raised in unstable families.

The information for this post was taken from Scott Lively’s “Redeeming the Rainbow,” though I have repackaged the language somewhat.