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A Believer’s Influence

March 24, 2017
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Ever considered that your presence and union (familial) carries with it a great influence? That believers have an ability to permeate things that are unholy? That the grace that’s given to you can also bless others?

Growing up in my late twenties, I encountered a few verses in Corinthians that really shook me. 1 Corinthians 7 is a chapter that talks much about marriage. A part of marriage involves both man and woman, husband and wife, as well as their children. In this passage Paul is laying out parameters for how the husband and wife are to relate to one another due to their spiritual state.

The spiritual presence of one believer is POWERFUL.

“For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

What’s amazing from these two verses is that Paul is saying if the unbeliever wants to stay married, regardless of the temperature and pattern of your marriage, you do not divorce. Why? Because the unbeliever has been ‘sanctified’ simply through a marital union with the believer. The unbeliever is blessed simply for being connected to the believer in the primary family. God has always been big on families, and Paul is showing us that God has not changed one bit.

Then Paul goes on to say that the children who would be unclean if the parents divorced are now in fact holy because of his or her familial connection to a believing parent. Does that not rattle your cage a bit?

The unbelieving spouse and child are now in a different spiritual category. Notice the terms: unbeliever to sanctified and unclean to holy. That’s all due to the believing spouse and parent.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around it all but I cannot deny what the text is saying. It is clear that families with at least one believing parent are able to bless the entire family unit. The unbelieving spouse is considered sanctified though unsaved. The unbelieving child is considered holy though unsaved.

Indeed, the spiritual presence of one believer is powerful according to Paul’s inspired text.

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SBC Won’t Raise My Child

August 28, 2013
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Cat’s out the bag…I’m an unashamed Southern Baptist! I find my denomination to be a stalwart of truth on one hand and in the media being maligned (sometimes deservedly) on the other hand. It can be a catch-22 many times. As much as I enjoy standing with the thousands of brothers and sisters seeking to be faithful to the local church with a Baptist distinctive, there is one area I must say ‘no’ to and bow away from.

In most Southern Baptist churches, there is this vein of bible teaching that brings a shredded fear to my bones and chalkboard scratching noise to my ears. And thanks to where I live, I’m privy to the Baptist Messenger newspaper that focuses on what prominent local Southern Baptists are doing in their churches as well as general teachings for the reader to peruse from. And then there’s this page that seems to¬†never change – the ABCs of the Gospel. The SBC won’t raise my child.

The ABCs stand for acknowledge, believe, and confess. These all sound like great terms, and they are in. These are all bible terms. So what issue might I have with the acronym? I don’t find the gospel anywhere in it. And believe me I’ve searched and suffered through the variety of ways of explaining the great, awesome, and fruitfulness of the SBC acronym. The SBC won’t raise my child.

Generally speaking, Southern Baptist preachers are calling people to acknowledge who Jesus is, believe in what Jesus did for you, and confess it with your mouth. I find this to be no different from the Campus Crusade for Christ motto “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” That’s what scares me. No mention of sin; no mention of repentance. I mean c’mon…we’re specifically called ‘people of the Book’ and we pull stuff like this. The SBC won’t raise my child.

There’s a lot to be thankful for within the walls of Southern Baptist life, however, biblical child training isn’t one of them. Don’t let a denomination raise your child. Let the Christian Scriptures.


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