Note: I uncovered this post buried in my unfinished Drafts file. I can’t think of anything else to add, and I’m not sure what else I had planned, so I am just going to post it as is. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I am praying that this year’s (2010) homeschool conference, set for March, is free of patriarchal theology, unlike the past few years’.
Do I dare call them tenets of the faith? Considering their faith is founded on their own works, I think I dare not. These are just some random thoughts on what Rick Boyer spoke on at the conference:
Youth Groups Are Bad
I’ve already expounded on this: While I feel that it is important for kids to attend church with their parents, I also do feel that it’s important for them to be able to grow together and learn together too! Our youth group is large (150 kids, give or take a few, each Wednesday night), and it functions as it’s own church. The leadership is fantastic, the parent involvement is very high, and the students take ownership of the ministry by getting actively involved. Without this youth group, I know of many kids by name who would have never darkened the door of any church, never mind ours. And they are on fire for God!
Sunday School is Bad
Again, the Family-Integrated Church movement consistently pushes that everyone must worship together. This isn’t necessarily a BAD thing, but in large churches, it is difficult at best. Our church does a family service on every fifth Sunday of the year. Each month that has five Sundays, those are the ones we have family services. I love them! But do I want to do that all the time? Uh, no thank you. It is a fact that we grow and develop our Christian brotherly relationships when we are in small groups. Our children have that opportunity, and my 11th grader LOVES her Sunday School class because she DOES learn so much! They also attend services (6th grade & up are always in the main service, kids in children’s church) and that is a positive thing as well.
The Father is the Priest of the Home, the Center-of-it-All
I cannot even tell you what crosses my mind when I think about this! Not ALL men are the priests, nor would you want them to consider themselves priests, of their homes! Some men lead their families very well, some sadly do not, and some SHOULD NOT. It is the within this so-called Christian patriarchal doctrine where common sense gives way to ultimate authority, and the men have taken it upon themselves to BE that authority, rather than the Lord. That’s a scary prospect, and for a woman living under that and having no say whatsoever in her own life, it is a tragedy. And as much as we joke with our 14 year old that we have arranged her to marry a certain particular young man (and I emphasize JOKE!!!), we’d never dream of actually DOING that. It’s in fun, mainly because she doesn’t think much of this young man and has known him her entire life, and while we love his family, it is just all in good fun. She is free to marry whomever the Lord brings to her, however that works out (after college Lord, please let her wait until after college).
Dating is Bad
I’m sort of on the fence about this. I was an unsaved teenager who lived a pretty reckless lifestyle. I know firsthand what secular dating is. I also know that my kids know a whole lot more about themselves and about family values than I did. Because of this, our rule is no dating prior to 16, and at that time the potential young men are under close scrutiny, and Mom and Dad are involved in it. This means we get to know them, have them over, keep things under a group activities type situation with maybe a date dance (Homecoming, Winter Formal, etc.) but always supervised.
We also sit them down at the beginning, together AND separately, to have them define their personal boundaries for us. “I want to know NOW, What are your boundaries?” If they don’t know, we don’t give them a chance to pursue anything until they DO know. You can’t draw a line after things have started moving. Draw the lines, then proceed. If I notice that my daughter is forsaking her devotional time or other church activities for the boy, I will bring it to her attention immediately. She and a boy actually stopped seeing each other, on their own, because they both noticed they were doing just that. Good for them! I’m not 100% for teenagers dating, but it is do-able if parents stay involved. Really.