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 The Faith Driven Family - Voddie Baucham

[b]The Family Driven Faith (Part 1)[/b]
[i]Taken from a Radio Transcript[/i]

Bob: Pastor Voddie Baucham thinks it may be time to rethink youth ministry in the church. In fact, at his church they don't have a youth ministry, but he still has lots of youth pastors – the fathers.

Voddie: We see men coming into our environment who have basically had their children stripped from them by the church, and these men come in spiritually impotent, and we look at these men and say, "No, sir, there's not going to be a youth group for your teenagers. Here's what we do – we look them in the eye and say, 'I double-dog dare you to go home and be the pastor of your home.'"

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, February 25th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll talk to Voddie Baucham today and find out what he's thinking about the church and youth groups and moms and dads. Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. I figure today I probably just ought to hand things over to you, and I can probably just leave the studio because I don't think …

Dennis: I think that's a good idea.

Bob: I don't think I'm going to get a chance to ask a question or make a comment for the rest of the program.

Dennis: You know, as we invited our guest to come into the studio today, I started thinking about the original boat-rocker …

Bob: Yeah?

Dennis: Jesus. Remember when He told his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side," and He went to sleep up in the front …

Bob: The storm started rocking the boat.

Dennis: There was a bit of a rocking the boat, and he taught them a few things about faith and trust and believing in Him, and He's been rocking boats ever since. And I thought, "I can't be the original boat-rocker, but I can join the club, and I feel like I've got a fellow boat-rocker in the studio with us – Voddie Baucham joins us on FamilyLife Today. What do you think, Voddie, do you think you're a boat-rocker?

Voddie: Oh, no, not at all. I don't know where you guys would get that from.

Bob: Don't play dumb with us, Voddie.

Dennis: You went to Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. I have to ask you – how did you get out of there? You had to cause some trouble when you went there.

Voddie: Well, one of the keys of being an effective boat-rocker is knowing when to rock, and so I just – you wait until you get your paper, and then you start rocking the boat.

Dennis: Oh, there you go, so you started rocking after you graduated. Well, Voddie is a pastor today, he's the author of a new book called "Family Driven Faith," and I don't think it's a novel idea, it's really, I think, a biblical idea. You think families need to be the ones who instruct their children in matters about God.

Voddie: I do, I do. [b]I think families are commanded to be the disciplers of their children; that they have a multi-generational vision and not just endure their children or survive their children but to disciple their children; to equip their children and to launch them into the world with a multi-generational kingdom vision.[/b]

Bob: And I think we have to be clear at the outset – this is not because you grew up in a family where this was how it happened, right?

Voddie: No, no, it really isn't. You know, it's interesting, I had an interviewer ask me once, you know, "What do you say to people who hear what you're talking about but they didn't grow up in a Christian home or a Christian environment, and they didn't have this modeled for them?" I said, "Not only can I speak to those people, I am those people."

I grew up in a single-parent home, raised by a single, teenage, Buddhist mother in drug-infested, gang-infested south central Los Angeles, California. Didn't hear the Gospel, come to faith in Christ until my freshman year in college, so I don't write this book because of a rich heritage that has been invested in me. In fact, for the last two generations, both sides of our family – my wife and I – there have been 25 marriages and 22 divorces. So we are not writing this because of the legacy that we've received. This is a result of the fact that we've determined not to repeat that legacy.

Bob: If I had known you when you were 16 in south central, were you trouble?

Voddie: You know, what's interesting, I really wasn't. An interesting thing happened for me. When I got old enough to find a little trouble, my mother realized that there were some things that I needed that she wasn't really equipped to give to me. So she shipped me out, and I lived a year and a half in Buford, South Carolina, with my uncle, who was a retired drill instructor in the Marine Corps. Hoowah! And I got out of trouble.

Bob: You did.

Voddie: So it was a tremendous, tremendous occurrence in my life, and one of the things that God really used to shape the man that I am today.

Dennis: Did he put you through boot camp?

Voddie: Oh, very much so, yes. It was – you know, what's interesting is if people hear that, and they think about my uncle, you know, screaming at me and all this sort of thing – I can't remember him every raising his voice at me. He was the kind of man who didn't have to. He did 22 years in the Marine Corps, three tours in Vietnam. I was living with GI Joe. He's the kind of man, when he walks into a room, space reorganizes itself around him, and you pay attention to what he says.

Dennis: I have to ask you, though, just given the description that you made, and you explained a little of it through your mother's wisdom to put you in touch with your uncle, what kept you from becoming a victim? Because usually young men, young women who grow up in that kind of setting, it's always somebody else's fault. They didn't do this, they did that, I'm a victim of my circumstances, but you didn't grow up and become that. Why?

Voddie: Absolutely not – a number of reasons. I think, first and foremost, is my mother. My mother had a lot of reasons to give up, a lot of reasons to point fingers, but my mother worked hard, and she did everything that she could to see to it that I became the kind of man that she knew that I could become. My mother was nobody's victim. She never lived like that, she never allowed me to live like that, she never blamed anyone for our circumstances, and if I can come out of the environment that I came out of, anybody can.

Dennis: There are a lot of people who are growing up today out of broken homes.

Voddie: Absolutely.

Dennis: And they are looking back on that and leaning on that like that's an excuse for not taking responsibility today.

Voddie: Absolutely, and if you do that, then you live your life as a perpetual victim, and those things are victorious over you and especially for Christian people. That's what gets under my skin, as though somehow we believe the blood of Jesus is not strong enough for certain circumstances.

Listen, the power that resides in me is the power that rose Christ from the dead, and nothing in my background is bigger than a dead Jesus.

Bob: [chuckles] I like that.

Dennis: Wow.

Bob: Given your background, and given what you didn't have in terms of spiritual training, when did the idea that family needs to be central in this, start to dawn on you?

Voddie: You know, it's interesting, there are several things that sort of brought that about. One is, my wife and I were married the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college, and I learned quickly that that happened because there were certain parts of the Bible that I was unaware of and hadn't discovered.

For example, a lot of my Christian friends were evidently quoting from a book, I don't know maybe 2 Hesitations that says, "Thou shalt not marry until after college," but I was unaware of this book. Or 3 Hesitations evidently says that "If you do, you certainly shouldn't have kids until after grad school," because our first child was born 10 months after we got married. So we were what you call "efficient."

Bob: And you had been reading the part of the Bible that says "It is better to marry than burn," right?

Voddie: Amen, amen. And I'm asking God for wife, and He brings me a woman who is everything that I asked for a bunch of stuff I didn't even have sense enough to know that I wanted or needed, so we got married. But here we were, and here's our legacy of all of these broken homes and failed marriages, and many of the people in our family, like a lot of my first cousins, they just never got married. Many of them had children out of wedlock and a bunch of others things, they just didn't get married because of the tragedies that we had seen around us, which made it difficult but drove us toward one another.

And we also realized that we had to train and disciple our children in ways that were different than what we were familiar with. So all of these things sort of came together to make us realize that we needed something different.

Dennis: You undoubtedly attended church like everybody else does – you start going to church, you have children, you put your children in Sunday school or the program that the church has for them, they grow up through Sunday school, they go into youth group, et cetera, et cetera, but one day it dawned on you, or over a period of time, the process of thinking in your mind changed where you go, "You know what? Something is wrong with this system. It needs to be different."

Now, if our listeners aren't ready right now, the boat is about to be rocked.


Bob: Especially if you're a youth pastor. Hang on, buddy.

Dennis: I just pitched him a softball, and he is about to take a swing at it, and the boat is about to rock.

Voddie: You know, I was a doctorate student at Southeastern Seminary. My supervisor was a man by the name of Alvin Reed. He had done his dissertation on the Jesus Movement, this revival in the late '60s, early '70s, among young adults here in this contry. And he was doing a lot of work in the area of youth ministry and things of that nature; had done a lot of work with youth – I had as well.

And it started off as sort of an academic pursuit – what's going on? What does the data say? And ultimately we came to a place where we realized somewhere between [b]70 percent and 88 percent of the young people who were being raised in Christian homes, they're leaving by the end of their freshman year in college. By the end of their freshman year in college, they are not part of the church following the Lord – again, kids raised in Christian homes.[/b]

Also, we came to discover during this time of working and researching together, that since the late '60s and early '70s, the number of youth ministry professionals has grown exponentially, but our youth baptisms and our rate of youth retention have declined steadily over the same period.

And so we're looking at this, and different people in our circles are coming to different conclusions and, after a while, it started to resemble the slavery debate. [b]There were a bunch of people over here calling for amelioration – we need to treat the slaves better. I'm over here by myself going, "No, brother, we need emancipation."

There is nothing in the Scriptures that leads us to a systematically age-graded ministry – nothing. Beyond that, when we do look at the Scriptures, and we look at discipleship, God gives us this entity, this institution called "the family" as the place where this multi-generational discipleship takes place. [/b]

And then, thirdly, what we've been doing in these age-graded ministries has failed miserably. I put those three things together, and my answer was we need to let this go. Again, not everybody was ready to get there, but that was the only conclusion that I could draw.

Dennis: So if Barbara and I were down in the Houston area, and, say, had our six children back in the days when they were growing up, and we came to your church on a Sunday morning, what can we expect to find in terms of education for our children? I've got some teenagers, is there going to be a youth group?

Voddie: No, sir. No, sir, there is not going to be a youth group for your teenagers. Here is what we do when men come to our church – we look them in the eye and say, "I double-dog dare you to go home and be the pastor of your home." That's what we do.

Dennis: A double-dog dare?

Voddie: I double-dog dare you to go home and disciple your family. It's your job, and we're not going to do it for you.

Dennis: Is that in the book of 4 Hesitations?

Voddie: That's right, that's right – no, that's 1 Hesitations right there – the double-dog dare.


In all honesty, we see men coming into our environment who have basically had their children stripped from them by the church. You know, we go to go church, and everybody goes off in their different directions. We look at men and say, "Hey, listen, we're trained professionals, don't try this at home," and these men come in spiritually impotent. They are not the priest, prophet, provider, and protector in their home. And we look at these men and say,[b] "God has given you an incredible calling. We are here to equip you, we are here to assist you, and we are to hold you accountable as you go and disciple your family."

And what we are seeing, guys, is men who are coming to us – and this is within weeks. They're coming to us, fighting back tears, saying, "I wouldn't give anything for the way my wife and my children look at me now." We're having women come and saying, "I've been praying that my husband would step up and be the spiritual leader of my home, and now it's happened. Our marriage is renewed."

It is amazing what we are seeing in the lives of family as we are seeing men step up and be the priests, prophets, providers and protectors in their homes.[/b]

Bob: Okay, well, let me take that, though, and let's say you have a church full of men stepping up and doing it right – can't there by a youth group alongside that as a sub-contractor?

Voddie: My question would be why? Why would we do that? Is there anything – if you went to the Bible, and if all you had in the Scriptures would you come away saying, "It is absolutely necessary that we have this systematically, age-segregated ministry for our young people?" Where does our impetus for that come from? It does not come from the Bible. You don't find it there.

Bob: But – and I hear you, but I'm thinking if, with what you're doing, it sounds like men ought to come to church and everybody else stays home.

Voddie: Absolutely not, because when we come to church, we all come to church together as families, and we see this transformation begin to take place within the lives of these young people and within the lives of these families as they worship together.

Bob: So a pastor who would say, "Well, I hear you, and we've got kids in our service as well, and we're trying to challenge dads to do what you're trying to challenge dads to do, but on Wednesday night the youth group gets together, and we've got a young pastor, and he's ministering to those high school and junior high kids and it seems to be a good thing that the families appreciate." You would say it's a problem?

Voddie: I would say a couple of things. Number one …

Bob: Now he's – he's not sure how much he wants this boat to rock, is he?

Dennis: Bob's trying to see how far you're going to rock this boat.

Voddie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Number one, let's just say, "Okay, great. We've got this Wednesday night service for the youth." What purpose would we have for that meeting? Why do my children need a pastor who is not my pastor? That's my first question. And it automatically assumes this myth called "the generation gap" – that my children somehow cannot understand the language of a culture that is not their own. That creates egocentrism in my children; that creates animosity between my children and myself; it also creates an allegiance with my children spiritually to a person who is seen as being able to minister to them because they understand my children and their culture.

[b]My children's responsibility is to understand culture at large, not to think that the world revolves around them. Well, what if the youth minister is just teaching the Word, and it's solid. Well, if he's teaching the Word, and it's solid, how come they can't come in where the rest of us are having the Word taught, and it's solid.[/b]

Again, the Scriptures do not dictate this segregation. They don't even allude to this kind of segregation, and the only reasons that we can come up with for this kind of segregation come directly from our culture and the un-biblical portions of our culture that move toward this age segregation.

Dennis: Okay, I'm going to ask you a question. There are some listeners going, "Okay, I hear you." His church has to got to be 200 or 200 people. I mean, there is no way you could build a church that ministers to a lot of people but just listening to you and having tracked with you, your church is a little bigger than that, isn't it?

Voddie: You know, it's really not. Our church is 200 or 300 people. Of course, we just started last April.


Dennis: How fast is it growing, though? Are you attracting other families?

Voddie: It is growing rapidly, our church is growing rapidly, and there are families coming from all over the place, and here is what's interesting – there are a lot of families who are now coming to our church, and they're saying, "Hey, we know Bill and Susie, we know who they were, and we know what's happened to them. Can ya'll do that to us?"

We're seeing people who are coming in now and understanding that there is transformation and family revival taking place all over our church, and they're coming because they desperately need that.

Dennis: I don't want to be misunderstood about my statement of "only 200 or 300 people." I grew up in a church with 200 or 300 people, and I owe my salvation, humanly speaking, to the faithfulness of a pastor who taught the Book of Romans.

Voddie: Amen.

Dennis: But what I was getting at is in this mega church era …

Voddie: Yes.

Dennis: … where we have big programs, lots of entertainment, lots of bells and whistles, you just started in April. What are you going to do as this thing gets larger? Are you going to break it down into smaller churches?

Voddie: Absolutely. We are a church-planting church, and so we are already looking at our next church plant. We want to plant family integrated churches all over the Houston area, all over the country, all over the world. We desperately want to do – there is a desperate need, and there are people all over the country who are contacting us because this is resonating with them.

There are a lot of people who come to our church in the same predicament. Their oldest child just got youth group age, and they're terrified, because they look at the youth group and go, "I do not want that." And so they're coming, and they're saying, "Something in us was screaming for family discipleship, screaming for us to play the role that God has called us to play," but our churches are such now that, you know, and, again, people don't want to admit this that once you have the youth group culture, it goes from "can" to "should" to "must." We "can" have kids in the youth group to we "should" have kids in the youth group to we "must" have kids in the youth group.

Bob: I've talked to folks who have visited a church on a Sunday morning, and they are starting to walk into the service as a family, and somebody stops them and says, "Your kids go over here."

Voddie: Absolutely.

Bob: And they say, "Well, we'd just like to have them in the service with us," and they go, "That's not allowed." And I go, now, wait a sec, something is wrong there.

Voddie: Well, let me tell you something else. I can put my hands on three men who I know personally who have been fired from their positions at their church because they did not send their kids to the youth group. Because you're not sending your kids to the youth group, you're sending the wrong message to the rest of the church.

Dennis: Well, this isn't the book of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Hesitations.

Bob: No, and he didn't hesitate much at all, did he?

Dennis: He didn't. [b]This is Ephesians, chapter 4, Paul wrote these words. He said – and he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, now listen to this purpose clause – "For the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ until we all grow up and attain the unity and maturity of the faith." Now, where does the work of service start? Does it start at church or does it start at home?

Voddie, you don't know this about Bob and me, but for years we've said the work of service starts at home.[/b]

Voddie: Amen.

Dennis: And what the church should be doing is equipping moms and dads, husbands and wives, to know how to begin that work of service where it matters most – at home. And, frankly, when we heard what you were doing down there, we just – Bob and I gave high fives, because I know there are going to be those who don't appreciate your work. You undoubtedly have rocked some boats within the Southern Baptist Convention …

Voddie: Oh, yes.

Dennis: Oh, yes. But, you know, the original boat-rocker is always calling us to something better, and I think if we're followers of Christ, we're going to find better ways of getting things done.

Bob: Well, and here's the thing – there may be folks who come away with a different conclusion about what you do in a church related to children's ministry or youth ministry, but I don't think you can go to the Scriptures and come away with a different conclusion about our responsibility as moms and as dads to pass on our faith to our children to make the spiritual handoff to the next generation, and that's what's at the heart of the message of your book, "Family Driven Faith." It's a book that we've got in our FamilyLife Resource Center.

...You know, even when we try our hardest as moms and dads to raise sons and daughters who have a heart for God, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that they will walk with Christ through their teen years or in their 20s or even for a lifetime.

I was talking to a friend of mine today whose teenage daughter got in with the wrong group at school and started doing drugs, and mom and dad had to step in and make some hard choices, and I thought about an interview we did a number of months ago, Dennis, with Elyse Fitzpatrick on what happens when good kids make bad choices, and this week we'd like to make a copy of that CD available to our FamilyLife Today listeners.

It's a free gift we'd like to send you, especially if you find yourself in this situation or if you know someone who is in this situation with a teenage son or daughter who is making wrong choices. If they're looking for some help and some hope, you can call 1-800-FLTODAY and request a copy of this CD. We're making them available one per caller and, again, the number is 1-800-FLTODAY. We're especially hoping that those of you who have never gotten in touch with us here at FamilyLife might call and ask for a copy of this CD.

Again, the toll-free number is 1-800-FLTODAY, ask for the interview with Elyse Fitzpatrick or the interview entitled, "When Good Kids Make Bad Choices," and we'll get it sent out to you at no cost.

And let me also encourage you to be back with us tomorrow when were going to be joined again by Voddie Baucham, and we're going to talk about what moms and dads can do to help make sure that we're pressing God's Word into the hearts and minds of our sons and daughters. I hope you can be with us for that.


 2008/2/26 17:38

 Re: The Faith Driven Family - Voddie Baucham

[b]Family Driven Faith (Part 2 of 2)[/b]

[i]Taken from today's radio broadcast of Family Life Today[/i]

Bob: Voddie Baucham wants to see more children growing up today like Timothy in the Bible grew up – with their fathers and mothers and grandparents teaching them God's Word.

Voddie: [b]I just tend to believe the Word when it says "all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness; that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, which means there is nothing to which God will call my children for which the Word of God will not equip my children." So my job is to get as much of the Word into them as possible. That way, whatever it is that God intends for them to face, they'll have the tools necessary to overcome.[/b]

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, February 26th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll talk today about what you can do to get God's Word into the hearts and minds of your children. Stay with us.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. I was getting a little seasick on yesterday' program, you know what I mean? The waves were starting to crash in the studio. You talked about boat-rocking as we started this conversation this week, and it got a little choppy, don't you think, in the studio?

Dennis: I think you and I both felt the tilt of the whole of the boat, and Voddie Baucham is, I think, used to kind of moving it around a bit.

Bob: But you know what? And Voddie is back with us. Voddie, welcome to FamilyLife Today.

Voddie: Thank you.

Bob: I was just sitting here thinking, the thing that causes the waves to get choppy is when the wind blows, and the wind blows wherever it will …

Voddie: Amen.

Bob: John 3 says the spirit of God moves the waters, and I think the spirit is stirring some things up in churches and in families today, don't you?

Voddie: He most assuredly is, and that's what's exciting – being a part of a movement of God, and this is undoubtedly a movement of God.

Dennis: You are pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church near Houston, right?

Voddie: Yes, sir.

Dennis: And your philosophy of ministry is you want to equip husbands and wives, moms and dads and, for that matter, even singles …

Voddie: Yes.

Dennis: … to know how to develop and build godly homes and instruct the next generation, right?

Voddie: Yes, that is it. That's who we are.

Bob: That's also at the center of the book you've written, which is called "Family Driven Faith," and you are encouraging husbands and wives and moms and dads to take a spiritual responsibility that we have sub-contracted out. You're saying it's time to fire the sub-contractors and step back in and do the building yourself.

Voddie: Do the building, do what God has called us to do and, more than that, reclaim this incredible privilege that is ours. It is a privilege for me, as a father, to disciple my children; to pour my life into my children. That is a privilege that God has given me.

Dennis: Voddie you use an illustration in your book about how you were leading your family in faith while there was a little bit of a boat-rocking storm occurring in the Houston area. She was called "Rita." You led your family in prayer?

Voddie: Yes, we were there. I was schedule actually to go to Atlanta to preach when Rita was on the way and had a ticket to fly – Rita was looking like it was bearing down on us. We weren't sure if Rita was going to turn, things started happening rapidly. So we needed to all get out of town. The highways were packing up …

Dennis: Oh, I remember the pictures of the …

Voddie: It was awful. And so we just got together, turned everything off. We were watching 24-hour news trying to figure out what was going to happen with Rita and just prayed. I called my travel agent, we couldn't find tickets for everybody to fly, so we just turned everything off, and we just prayed.

We got finished praying, turned things back on, looked at what's happening with the storm, the phone rings, it's my travel agent. "We got tickets for all of you, you and your family, but you have to leave now to go to the airport." So we just put everything together, we go to the airport, because the part of town we live in, we went against traffic the whole way. So we had no traffic getting to the airport. We get there in the nick of time, we get on the plane, we fly to Atlanta, we all get there and enjoy that week, but we took a deep breath and sort of looked at each other and said, "Let's not ever forget the way God worked this out."

Dennis: You led your family in faith, and that's really what it's all about.

Voddie: Amen.

Dennis: You speak, in your book, about helping your children develop a biblical worldview, and one of my favorite things to do when my children were teenagers, and they'd bring a friend over to our house for dinner, or we'd take them out to eat, or we'd ride back from a volleyball match or from a football game together, and we'd stop and get a hamburger afterwards is I would ask them, after I got to know them a little bit, "What's your worldview?" And my kids would all go, "Oh, Dad! I can't believe you're doing that to my friend! Good grief, you're embarrassing me!" and it was really interesting.

I mean, I'll bet I asked – well, a couple dozen, three dozen, four dozen kids, I don't know, I mean, over the years it got to be kind of fun to watch them squirm. I only had one ever give me any kind of a satisfactory definition of what their worldview was.

Now, many of them had a worldview – it was about self.

Voddie: Right.

Dennis: But you believe there are certain components of a worldview, and I really like your definition. You say it's what you believe about God, about man, about truth, about knowledge, and about ethics.

Voddie: Yes.

Dennis: Do you want to comment on those five just real quickly, because I think there are a lot of parents right now who could really benefit from just hearing you talk about that.

Voddie: Yes, and that's why we devoted a whole chapter in "Family Driven Faith" to this idea of worldview, because, number one, we wanted to communicate that it's the responsibility of parents to shape their children's worldview, but I realize, I mean, research has shown us that less than 10 percent of all professing Christians in America operate from a biblical worldview. So we need to sort of outline what that is, and those five components are not original to me. People who have been writing and teaching about worldview for a long time have talked about these five main components. Some of them put a couple more, but what we believe about God, about Man, about Truth, about Knowledge, about Ethics – the two main competing worldviews in our culture are Christian theism and secular humanism, and if you look at those five points, what do we believe about God?

Christian theism believes in a theistic God, a God who is a necessary, intelligent Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Secular humanism is inherently atheistic. What do you believe about man? Christian theism believes man is special creation – the crown and glory of the creation of God.

Secular humanism believes that man is the result of random evolutionary processes. About truth, Christian theism believes it's absolute. Secular humanism – it's relative.

About knowledge – how do we know? You know, secular humanism believes in naturalistic materialism – nature is a closed system. There is nothing outside of nature, so only what we observe in nature is the way that we know things. Christian theism believes in general and special revelation.

And about ethics, Christian theism says ethics are absolute. Secular humanism says ethics are cultural and negotiated. So what's ethical in one culture is not necessarily ethical in another. What's ethical in one time period is not necessarily ethical in another. And so when we do this, and what I tried to do in the book, is to show people how much we've been influenced by the worldview of secular humanism so that they'd realize that that's almost our default position when we begin.

Dennis: Give us an illustration of who you have recently taught your children a biblical worldview – just practically in everyday life.

Voddie: Well, we just had a family vacation, and we went on a cruise. We did an Alaskan cruise, you know, started in Seward ended in Vancouver. While we were on this Alaskan cruise we saw some of the most beautiful things that there are to see in nature. We're in Glacier Bay, and we're, you know, sitting there in front of this humongous ice floe, and we're watching the calving of this glacier, you know, parts falling off, it's moving at a rate of about six feet per day. It's unbelievable, and we sit there and look at this, and I say, "Isn't it amazing that there are those in our world who believe that this is just the result of random processes, and they do not have the opportunity to look at what is happening here and understand the majesty of the Creator of the Universe."

Bob: And the worship, yeah.

Voddie: Absolutely. This is glorious, and it's evidence of our glorious Creator. That's a worldview issue, you know? When we sit and look at things like that, those are worldview issues.

Dennis: I have to smile, because I was recently with my daughter, Rebecca, who is an adult. She is 25 years old, been married for a couple of years, and we were in Arizona near Sedona, and Sedona is – has to be the humanistic capital of the world. I mean, there's all kinds of mystical stuff – shops in that town and …

Bob: Harmonic convergences take place [inaudible].

Dennis: Oh, my goodness, it's unbelievable. And we went on the pink jeep tour, all right, and we're out going over these mountains and everything, and Wild Bill was our guide. And I began to kind of bait him and see where he stood in terms of his worldview. And it became clear he didn't necessarily believe in the same God that we had, but we had a good opportunity to talk with him and not in a defensive way, but this instruction of our children doesn't stop even after they become adults.

Voddie: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, can I give you one more example?

Dennis: Yes.

Voddie: We were watching television recently, and they have all these commercials. There is this one oil company that has these commercials where they have man on the street type people talking about what the oil companies need to do. And there is this one where the guy goes, "You know, I think oil companies, they have to look for alternative forms of fuel. They have to invest in solar power, they have to invest in this, they have to invest in that," so this guy goes off, and I look at my older kids, and I say, "What did he just communicate?"

They go, "What do you mean?" I said, "What's the job of an oil company?" And they thought about it for a minute, my daughter chimes in, and she goes, "Well, probably to make as much money as they can in oil." I said, "Yes, it's not their job to look into alternatives. It's their job to make as much money that they possibly can for the people who are investing in their oil company. If we want alternatives, let's go risk our own money and beat them to it so that we could" – well, that's a worldview issue. Is it the responsibility of those who have whatever business it is out there to do what we think is best for all of the rest of us while we sit down and wait for them to satisfy our needs and desires? Or – or – should we be entrepreneurial ourselves? Should we go out and try to find these things ourselves?

Well, a lot of people look at that and don't believe or don't understand, rather, that not just secular humanism but Marxist socialism is creeping into our culture, and that's a very socialistic mindset to take.

Dennis: You know, it's interesting, I just was noting how you are instructing your children is through the use of questions.

Voddie: Yes.

Dennis: You don't just instruct them or preach at them, but you ask them questions to get them engaged …

Voddie: Absolutely.

Dennis: … to ultimately cause them to think, and if my wife was here, she would be chiming in, and she would be saying, "If you really want your children to grow up and have a Christian worldview, you have to teach them to be critical thinkers of what's happening in this culture.

Voddie: Yes.

Bob: Voddie, one of the stories you tell in your book is about a family who had a son named Thomas, and they were, like most parents, trying to raise their son to do well in the world, but they came to a point where they said, "This isn't working."

Voddie: It's interesting – this family approached me, and we had a discussion about their son, and they were very troubled about their son because of the life that he was pursuing. And I had a real heart-to-heart conversation with this dad who basically said, like many Christian parents, you know, "We did everything." And Thomas had gotten involved in some things in college that they weren't very pleased with …

Dennis: And when you said he did everything, he did everything for the child.

Bob: They brought him up in the church.

Voddie: Right, brought him up in the church …

Bob: Took him to Owana, or whatever …

Voddie: Yeah, did all the things, made sure they had the church with the best youth group that they could have and all this sort of – you know, that's what they meant by "We did everything." But this was a family whose life was basically ruled by the god of sport. And that's the altar that young Thomas grew up worshiping at – the altar of the god of sport. There were times when they would not be at church for weeks because of different tournaments or, you know, and regularly, seasonally, they would be gone for long stretches.

Well, what does that teach young Thomas? That teaches young Thomas that there are certain things that trump the Lord's people, the Lord's day, you know, and so they did everything that they could to make Thomas the best ball player that he could possibly be. Thomas goes off to college, and he begins to compromise, and he begins to compromise as he's part of this community, this team that he belongs to. He gets to do things to excel at sport that completely go against a biblical worldview and biblical faith. And I just looked at this dad and just said to him, "You tell me that you did everything. But when you think about the way you raised Thomas and what you taught him to value above everything else, can you honestly say that what he is doing right now is out of character?"

And he got upset with me initially, but eventually when things cooled off, that dad had to say, "You know, Thomas is really doing what we taught him to do."

Dennis: And you're teaching something different in your home.

Voddie: Amen.

Dennis: You're teaching your kids how to worship God, how to honor God. Could you take us into your home and share with us what family worship looks like at your house? Now, this is with a 17-year-old …

Voddie: Yes, 17, 14, 3, and five months.

Dennis: That's got to be an interesting experience.

Bob: That looks like a zoo, I can tell you what it looks like.

Dennis: I remember those days at the dinner table. I mean, anyway, take us there. Tell us what occurs.

Voddie: Well, our family worship time is usually in the mornings, and so we gather, and we have breakfast together. And then after our time of breakfast, we'll either go and sit at the piano, and we'll sing and worship together in song for a while. We'll read the Scriptures together, we'll go through the catechism together, we'll pray together, we'll pray for each other. And we do it after our breakfast time together, because that's a very stable part of our schedule, so we wanted to attach it to something that we were going – and we're going to eat, man. So we do it after we eat breakfast together, and that's how we start our day.

Bob: How long does that take? To read the Bible, sing a hymn?

Voddie: You know, family worship sometimes goes from 10 to 15 minutes to sometimes we're there for an hour. It just depends on what's going on. Sometimes we just – God just lands on us, you know? And …

Dennis: And sometimes it's so chaotic …

Voddie: You know, it's usually not chaotic, and the reason it's usually not chaotic is because it's a part of our daily schedule, and it's something that we train our children to do from a very early age. So we do not allow chaos in family worship.

Dennis: You give some tips in your book. You say "It begins with the head of the household, it must be scheduled, keep it simple, keep it natural, it's mandatory, it's participatory."

Voddie: Yes.

Dennis: How do you make it a time when they participate?

Voddie: Well, Scripture reading. You know, they'll read Scripture. We'll as them – we teach them about biblical interpretation and the skills of observation and interpretation and application, and so we'll go around the room. We're looking at a passage of Scripture, and we'll go, "Okay, everybody give me an observation, you know, everybody come on, let's move to interpretation, let's move to application, so that we're all participating. We all sing together. Sometimes there will be another child who will choose the songs. The catechism is interactive so, again, prayer, sometimes we'll have one of the children to pray, sometimes we'll all pray, sometimes we have a "praise one another" time, we call it and basically we'll go around the room, and we'll pick a person who will be the central person, and each person has to say something about that person who is the central person and just offer a praise to God for some aspect of that person's personality or character or what they bring to our family. So we're always engaging the whole family in this process.

Bob: You know, some folks are hearing this, and they're going, "In the morning, I've got to get off to work, the kids have to get off to school, and even at night we've got the kids who are involved in this, and I just don't know how we'd make a daily family worship work at our house."

Voddie: If that's the case, if I can just be very honest and very blunt …

Bob: Well, he is a boat-rocker, here it comes, here it comes, get ready for the waves.

Voddie: If that's what people are saying, then their priorities are out of whack. Quite honestly, if you don't have time to give to God, if that's what a Christian family is saying, "We don't have time to give to God," then your priorities are out of whack. Sometimes there are things we need to let go.

There is a man in our church, for example, who had a very significant job with a very significant income, and his job was incredibly demanding on his time. This man came to us and said, "Guys, I need you to pray for me, because God's just convicted me, and if I'm going to make the commitment that He's calling me to make to the discipleship of my family, I can't keep this job." He quit! He found another job. He's making less money, but he now has time to invest in the discipleship of his family.

Bob: I'm starting to get a little seasick here again here today, you know? The waves are starting to pick up here as Voddie's going preaching.

Dennis: Well, that's the way Christ made some of his most important points, and, you know, in the midst of that storm, He called the disciples to faith, and faith isn't passive, faith is active. And I think the question for every listener is, "Okay, you've heard us talking about this today; you've seen Voddie's example of what he's doing, and how he's going about it. So what?" What are you going to do about it? What's the application for your life? And take a step back, maybe, and perhaps it's not as radical as this gentleman he was talking about who was going to quit his job, but perhaps it's radical enough you turn off the television or you find some extra time in the morning, but you find some time. You carve out in your schedule a regular time to be able to impart to your children as well as your spouse …

Bob: Again, you're saying you don't have to do it the way Voddie and his family do it, but we've got to ask the question what are we going to do and what is God calling us to do, right?

Dennis: That's exactly the point, and it's not necessarily what Voddie is doing, it's what are you going to do about it? And, Voddie, I have to tell you, you are a boat-rocker, and you're in the club, there's no doubt about it. We've not heard the last from you, I'm certain, as the boat continues to rock, but …

Bob: … but keep rocking it.

Dennis: I agree, and both Bob and I were really looking forward to meeting you because we've followed your ministry and already featured you on the air with one of your messages you gave at your church, and you're a good man, and we appreciate you, and we're thrilled to have you on FamilyLife Today.

Voddie: Bless you, brother, it's an honor. I am excited about what you guys are doing, have been doing, and I really am honored to be a part of this program.


 2008/2/26 17:42

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