Monday, December 19, 2011

The Family Integrated Church

While perusing my Vision Forum 2012 catalog a few months back I noticed a movie titled, "Divided." I read the brief description of the movie and thought, "Hm, sounds interesting." Since then I have been hearing little bits and pieces of what a Family Integrated Church (FIC) is. What I'm gathering is that the FIC does away with things like Sunday School groups and youth groups divided by ages. Families would attend a Sunday School or family group together instead- as one family. Here is their website, which I found and began looking at today, if you'd like to look into it further.

The thought of how our church is run has been rolling around in the back of my head for those few months. I have yet to see "Divided" but plan to when we start our subscription to Puritan Picks this January. (My husband and I are getting the subscription as a mutual Christmas present to each other.)

So, where am I going with this?

Honestly, at this point it would have still been a thought that was rolling around in my mind somewhere had I not read two articles today in The Home Educating Family Magazine. I have not subscribed to this magazine as of yet but have been interested in their Facebook posts, giveaways and what treasures their magazine may have. I have tried to order a subscription twice in the past but for some reason, just did not get all the way through the process. How I got this free issue, I don't know. It just showed up in the mail yesterday.

As I read through the article titled, "Mission of the Family, Mission of the Church: A critique of the Family Integrated Church Model" in the 2011 Issue 3 printing, I heard the argument against the FIC. I put the magazine down and gave it some thought. Then I re-read the article. I also read an article review of the movie "Divided" in the magazine.

Something just wasn't clicking for me.

How could a magazine that believes Deuteronomy 6:7, say that the idea of a FIC is a poor idea?

One of their main arguments is that singles and the elderly are left out of the picture in FICs. Why would that be? If EVERYONE is attending Sunday School together then why would that exclude an elderly person? Why would it exclude a young adult? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the purpose of the FIC. Are they wanting a church full of JUST families? That would be hard for me to believe. Especially when I know of some of the homeschool fathers that support FIC such as Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham. If I am wrong, please let me know!

In the review of the "Divided" movie HEFM argues that "It is notable that the film does not offer any measured response to FIC. There are many conservative, biblical Christians who reject FIC and I am sure it would not have been difficult to interview a couple of them. Leclerc does not allow any of them to speak." That's like asking why Ken Ham doesn't include the response of an evolutionist in any of his films. Realistically, documentaries are mostly one sided, no matter what the documentary is about, so that argument isn't valid.

"I see young people abandoning the church and though I am saddened by it, I Am Un-alarmed." What???? I read that sentence over and over trying to have that make sense.

Then in the next article, "I believe there is little debate...when it comes to fathers being...servant leaders of their homes and the family growing in love and admonition of the Lord while worshiping Him together in Spirit and truth." (bold emphasis mine)

Isn't that what the FIC is for, not against?

"A look at the demographics of the FIC movement reveal that FIC's are predominately made up of homeschool families with K-12th grade students. That statistic undermines the very term 'multi-generational' " My question to that would be, "Who do you think is going to begin the FIC churches, a bunch of teenagers?" No, it would be families that want to worship together as a family.

My only conclusion then is that a home schooling magazine that encourages Christian parent to bring their children home to be educated would be condoning a traditional church that separates a family for the better part of Sunday, that sends babies off from the security of their parents, lumps a bunch of young children together in one room and sends teenagers off on Sunday nights (or whatever night you have youth group) all to be taught from someone else other than their parents? Sounds to me like............well............. government school.

I could see Christians that already send their children to public school questioning FIC, but Christian homeschoolers?

With all that said, this is something that my husband and I will have to give a lot of prayer to. I'm not suggesting that anyone leave their traditional church at this point. We have no plans of looking elsewhere for now. It's just a thought that will need a lot of wisdom and guidance from the Lord.

What are your thoughts on Family Integrated Churches? I'd really love to hear!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Homestead Happenings

I'm not quite sure how it seems that we have less going on at the homestead right now yet I feel as though I don't have the time to blog?

The garden was put to sleep this fall with a cover crop seed mixture that was put together by one of our local farms.

The new piggies are doing well- it will be March/April before we butcher again.

Work is still busy for my husband as we must have set some type of record here in Northern California for the driest December to date. I do believe that our normal rainfall in December is just over 10" and I wouldn't be surprised if we've only managed 2" so far. Plus, the next 10 days shows plenty of sunshine!

Timber Ann found a favorite book of hers under a dresser... or bed.. or tucked away in a closet somewhere. It's been missing long enough that I didn't think to put it on our Favorite Book List, but it is certainly one of her favorites. Now that it has been found we're back to reading it daily. She likes to read it to me from memory. While it's not a Christian book, it upholds values that have seem to have been forgotten by this country... A daddy that goes off to work to provide for his family. A mommy that stays home to raise her children and educate them. One that loves to spend time with her little ones, not ship them off as quickly as possible. One that is diligent. A family that eats supper together. It's called Little Mommy.

Layton has been a busy Lego beaver and has been creating all kinds of things. He brought me this dragon the other morning before the sun came up.

Tomorrow he turns 5. Ah! Where did the time go? He was just a newborn sleeping on my chest. He was just a toddler learning to talk. And now, 5? I want to cherish every single day that I have with him because the time passes all too quickly. Soon he will be grown with a family of his own and I'll look back wondering how all of that life happened in just a blink. What a sweet, sweet blessing he is to me.

Happy Birthday Layton!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

IndoctriNation: A Review

My husband and I watched the documentary "IndoctriNation" by Colin Gunn the other night. We were blown away. And we're already homeschoolers!

Here's a quick synopsis of the film- Mr. Gunn and his family load up onto a used school bus they found on Craigslist and take off traveling around America to learn about the origin and history of compulsory schooling, as well as talk to pastors, educators, authors, students and parents about public schooling.

I loved the array of people that are interviewed in this documentary. People like Ken Ham, Doug Phillips, Erwin Lutzer, and John Taylor Gatto (who as far as I know isn't even a professed Christian.)
This documentary shares verse after verse, far beyond Deuteronomy 6:4-7, to give Biblical reasoning for educating your children at home.
It also has some surprising twists (well, surprising to me at least.)

What we enjoyed the most from this film was not that it convinced us to homeschool, since we've already been convicted to do so, but that it made me rethink the way I homeschool in general. Why am I comparing my children to the children in schools? Who's standards am I trying to measure up to?

This film is also highly encouraging. It reaffirms your entire reasoning for homeschooling. I am so thankful that I purchased it as we can now watch it as often as we'd please.
I would encourage all Christian families to watch this film and then pray about what the Lord would have you to do with your children.

Here is the movie trailer:
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