Is “family values” part of the church’s task?

God’s plan for the world some kind of family life from the beginning and still does. I have a wife and son. But there is no indication what that pre-Fall family was supposed to be like in enough detail to pin Christian hopes on it — precisely because the focus of biblical narrative is on creating a redemptive event EVEN WHILE WHILE FAMILIES WERE DOING WHAT THEY DO. Whatever families were supposed to be, God apparently felt the need to proceed on and redeem creation by additional means!!!!

The orders of creation are broken now and insufficient as agents of grace. Hence, a New Creation. Since we don’t know what God intended the family to be like before the Fall in any detail, and clearly the family as an institution never accomplished anything like a “redemption”, arguments that imply that God’s plan to redeem culture is through the family are not biblical.

The truth is, christians talk about families changing their culture when their churches aren’t changing their culture.

In the NT, the culture warriors were the pharisees and zealots.

Tom Wright’s work has demonstrated just how much Jesus’ refusal to be a zealot got him in trouble.  He may not have changed Simon’s name to “ex-zealot” (I don’t think he changed John’s name to “ex-fisherman”) but after they met Jesus John left his nets in the boat with his family — and Simon was no longer a zealot.

The pattern, again, is beyond dispute: whatever you did as a “zealot” you stopped doing when you met Jesus. In every case.

There is no remedy for sin — either its power or its guilt — except a personal response to the redemptive work of Christ. One person at a time.  Nothing else.  To preach otherwise is not only futile, but heretical.

John called a Jewish ruler to obey the law.  There are still prophets in the church, as well, whose office is to declare God’s heart and mind out loud.

There is nothing wrong with christians speaking publicly and calling sin sin — homosexuality, adultery, witchcraft, drugs, etc. But a christian who does not at the same time remember and say that you cannot find power to be free from sin except through Jesus is no longer speaking as a christian.

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