December 3, 2007 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following is by Dan Greenfield who is the pastor of a church associated with the Ohio Bible Fellowship:

In recent years, new dangers to Christ’s Bride have arisen, oftentimes noticed but sometimes even promoted by men and ministries who should know better. Amazingly some of these threats originate from the most unlikely of sources--the Christian home!

These dangerous threats to the church believe that the family is the most important institution, resulting in a refusal to acknowledge the primary, central role God has given the local church in doing his will in this age. Frequently, the movements that allegedly seek to strengthen the Christian home bring either division in local churches or complete abandonment in favor of “home churching.”

To be sure, not all families that home school their children seek to undermine their local churches. Indeed, my children have always been educated at home! However, this movement is easily susceptible to the dangers that can corrupt a biblical view of the local church. Often home schooling families turn their complete focus toward themselves, distrust any outside authority (especially the church), or elevate family concerns over that of the corporate church and other believers. A self-sufficient and suspicious attitude affects their attitude toward the church: We do not need public or Christian schools and we do not need the church either, apparently.

Instead of sound doctrine guiding the activity and fellowship among families, the uniting factor among homeschoolers is--home schooling! It has been my frequent experience that families stop coming to church because of the negative peer pressure from home school families outside of our church that have unbiblical doctrinal beliefs and practices. I have had fathers tell me, “Church is good for families that need help,” and of course theirs does not, so they do not fellowship. I have had others tell me, “Our family is having problems, so we’re not going to come until we get those problems solved.” Two opposite beliefs, but one common denominator: family always trumps the church!

God expects believers to grow in their faith by growing together in God’s Word. The growth and protection Christians need to experience occurs as believers assemble as a local church. It will not happen by individuals or families attempting to do it on their own. Christians and Christian families need each other to grow in their Christian faith. God has established the church--the local church--as the means for fulfilling his ends in this age. I Timothy 3:15 is very clear--the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, not an individual or the family!

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

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