Until the 1970’s, evangelicalism separated faith and works and everybody lived in Faithtown, more or less. But many grew tired of living in Faithtown, especially since it appeared that living in Faithtown led to all of those “Carnal Christians” and “Easy-believers” and “Cheap Disciples.” But once you were “saved” and you lived in “Faithtown,” why would anybody want to drive four miles north to Worksville?
That’s when the Discipleship Ministries of the 1970’s and 1980’s appeared! For everybody that was saved living down in Faithtown, who wanted to be discipled in Christian principles, these Discipleship Ministries would bless your life! So, many of these fine folks moved four miles north to Worksville, leaving Faithtown behind.
Sadly, some of these raised their children in Worksville, four miles north of Faithtown. After awhile, these children grew very tired of Worksville. They becameembittered, depressed, exhausted, and frustrated with their parents. So by the 2000’s, many of these children moved four miles south to Faithtown, where there were no more rules – only "relationships," whatever that is. Most of them stayed in Faithtown for a few years, and then just moved off to San Francisco.
This, my friends, is how the evangelical faith gradually dies a miserable death, because it fails to operate in the realm of apparent-theological paradox. Evangelicals were never very accomplished at living with paradox – you know, James and Paul. Faith without works is dead, being alone (James 2:23,24). Or put another way, we are justified by faith alone that is not alone.
Where do you live? As far as I'm concerned, the just shall live by faith, everyday. Never, ever separate your life and works from your faith!
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I would recommend a presentation on Child Training that we have worked on for a long time. The message brings some very critical theological balances to play into life. The most up-to-date version of it was delivered at Vision Forum’s Baby Conference available atvisionforum.com or a slightly different program in our store.
For example, parental control freakiness is nicely resolved by a proper theological balance of sovereignty and responsibility.
Perfectionistic, merit-oriented, slavery to the law is resolved when one sees the proper relationship of rules and relationships.
Narrowing applications deny liberty, but maximum diversity of application (not to mention liberty from slave-based corporations, banks, and governments), will appear when we embrace the unity of the principle and the liberty of application. We call this the “Doctrine of the Trinity.”
Fatal errors in child-raising occur with bad theology. Believe me, I have traveled in and out of many conservative denominations, sects, and ministries over my 46 years in the evangelical faith. I would encourage you to get my talk on Child Training, if you haven’t heard it yet.