Dear Church, We Are a Family
Imagine how great our witness would be if only Christians would recognize that we are a family — and we can be a healthy, happy, blessed family. Every person needs and longs to be part of a family filled with love, enjoying meaningful relationships.
Think about it: People join clubs, associations, lodges, churches and other organizations seeking to be part of a family. Teenagers longing for it often join gangs in an attempt to satisfy that felt need. Even members of the Mafia refer to themselves as a family and recognize “godfathers.” The reality is, we all need Father God to discover the only way to live in joyful harmony while building our lives and relationships on sound principles which provide a sense of security and belonging. As a family we can stand together, against all assaults, on the foundational principles so essential during the many challenges and attacks against God’s first institution, marriage.
One of The Stream’s Ten Principles states, “Marriage and the family are the fundamental social institutions.” You can’t sustain freedom without them. The enemy of the family is deception and dissension, leading to division and the loss of commitment, unity and purpose. We see this in the tattered state of the family in America. We see it in the quarreling and division in the family of believers, the Church. We recognize it, but that doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands and accept it. We should all pray for the healing of our families and the church family, referred to in the New Testament as “the body of Christ,” and also pray for the healing of our nation. This is the best hope for the preservation of the American dream.
Please — evangelicals and other Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, let’s meet at the feet of Jesus. I count among my friends Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Charismatics, Catholics — I could go on and on. We disagree on things — some trivial, some not so trivial. But we all love the Lord and are seeking to follow him. Whatever Christ-centered group you may support, let’s become a family and seek the absolute best for every member.
Let’s also not be shy about being involved in the public square. I suggest we all come to the table of reason to share concerns and sincerely and humbly seek what is best. We must find answers, solutions and effective ways to address serious challenges and problems. Sure, we will disagree over some important things, but let’s not cling to this or that sectarian position simply because it’s some particular party’s position, or because it’s what this or that crowd you admire says is the politically correct view. Let’s pursue truth together while seeking to exalt Christ and God’s Word with love for one another, all while seeking the best for everyone.
I believe it is critically important to recognize what the title of a once-popular TV series implied: Father Knows Best. Of course, we know not all fathers always know best — many are actually missing or, at best, dysfunctional. But there is One who does know best. The power source and wisdom America’s founders referenced as “Divine Providence” stands ready as our Heavenly Father to lift us all out of every pit of deception, debt and defeat. God says healing can come to the land and the nation if His people called by His Name “humble themselves and pray,” seeking His face while turning from our rebellious, self-seeking practices and allow Him to heal our hearts and land.
He is eager to restore us and, as the Old Testament prophet Joel said, “make up for the years the locusts have destroyed.” He can do it. Let’s begin by seeking Him and the family unity we all need. Allow any friction to sharpen us and give us all keener understanding of the times and discover necessary steps to peace, security and prosperity to be enjoyed (not worshiped) and shared with those who are less fortunate.
We launched The Stream because we saw a pressing need for people of faith to work with courage and conviction from a common ground of shared principles rooted in reason and biblical morality. These are the indivisible foundation stones of a free and flourishing society. And it is at The Stream that you can hear many gifted, well-informed and wise voices every day, as well as news that matters to believers and other concerned Americans.
Begin even now praying for all representatives and candidates who are considering running in next year’s election, and encourage them to sincerely seek answers rooted in reason and biblical truth. Keep in mind, there is no problem that people created in the image of God, aided by God, cannot effectively solve.