Faith and Family

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NOTE: This is Day Four of the devotional guide of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the “Significance” series (a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

In his “Faith of the Fatherless,” psychologist Paul Vitz of New York University showed that many famous atheists throughout history (such as German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who declared that “God is dead!”, Scottish skeptic David Hume, British agnostic Bertrand Russell, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists and who filed the lawsuit that won “a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools”[1]) “felt abandoned or deeply disappointed with their fathers.” [2] According to Vitz,
That a child’s psychological representation of his father is intimately connected to his understanding of God was assumed by Freud and has been rather well developed by a number of psychologists, especially psychoanalysts… In other words, an atheist’s disappointment in and resentment of his own father unconsciously justifies his rejection of God. [3]
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Someone said, “Home is where life makes up its mind.” To paraphrase a Chinese proverb, “The strength of the nation and the church depends upon the strength of the family.” When the family goes, the church and the nation goes as well. That shows that the family is important to our God. 

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In fact, it is the first of the three institutions that He created (the other two were the government and the church). No wonder that, when the apostle Paul explained how we could walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1b), he devoted a detailed chunk of his letter to what scholars’ dubbed as “household rules” (See 5:21-6:9).

Simply put, our family should reflect our faith. That’s why the church should complement the family. “[The] Christian household was the basic expression of the Christian community.” [4] Whatever we teach and do as a church should make families Christ centered followers.

Significant Step

Pray for a family in our church. You may call or text them for their prayer requests. (But respect their privacy if they don’t want to share details about their needs.) Just assure them of your loving prayers.

[1] “Madalyn Murray O’Hair,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair, accessed February 27, 2015.

[2]  Lee Strobel, “Fathers & Faith: New Poll on Struggles with Dads and God,” Investigating Faith with Lee Strobel Newsletter, http://ow.ly/JIw9F, accessed February 27, 2015.

[3] Ibid. Emphasis added.

[4] Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book (PH: OMF Literature, 2002), 351.

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