Monday, November 12, 2007

Hegemony of the Family Integrated Church

The Adventures of Interracting With the FIC:

I attended a family conference several years ago in St. Louis with my daughter. I am an elder in a reformed presbyterian denomination. When the fact came out in conversations with others that I attended an “demoninational church,’” I was shunned by most.

One man actually attacked me verbally at dinner table. He looked at me with anger and disgust and remarked how denominational churches were not loving churches. I thought that maybe he should take a look at himself. Another remarked that his house group just follows the Bible; they do not need a formal leadership. I thought, well..."If they read the Bible, maybe they would see that God appointed elders and deacons as officers in the church."

I guess it must be OK to pick and choose the passages one wants to follow.

After being involved in a house church movement in my early days, I will take the stablility and accountabilty of a “denominational church” any day.

I’m sorry, but I’ve seen Doug Phillips kind before. They get much satisfaction and fulfillment out of controlling the lives of others.

My advise to his followers is this:

Read the Bible and see what it really says.
justanothermom said...
I would say that this is why Scott Brown (of VF's NCFIC) has chosen the SBC to belong to: it is a denomination that is essentially without any governance.But if you look at the history of Southern Baptists, there is a strong congregational componant of the churches - where the pastors/elders/deacons are answerable to the the congregation.However, Scott Brown and Jason Dohm have formed what is a growing group of "reformed credobaptists" that are still belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, although what they are practicing is far from what most Baptist would ever consider as SB. So, his church, at least, behaves more like what I think Presbyterian churches do - but without a governing body to keep the leadership in check.What I mean is, if you read through what happened at Trinity Baptist Church in 2006 (at, you'll see that Scott and Jason considered it their job to "rule" over their congregation (they use that word). That gave them the authority to constantly change their minds - to agree to something and then "upon reflection" change their mind as they saw "fit."And they were only accountable to "God" and "each other" (meaning other elders). And according to Jason, their dads. Although it was the congregation that would basically "elect" the elders, after that point, it was as if the congregation no longer had any oversight. It was the job of the congregation to "obey."At least within the Prebyterian church, there is another authority that can be appealed to. In SBC churches, the best you can do is just leave the church. (But you couldn't do this at Scott's church without being called a "quitter" and characterized as "giving up on the church." Indeed, there were those who considered joining the church like marriage - it was for good unless the church decided to release you to another church.)Overall, being from a SBC background myself, I like the autonomy each church possesses. But, only when the pastor/elders and congregation are submitting to one another. Not just one-sided.You are much more learned than I on church history - I think it is worth looking into to see how those within the FIC movement are basically redesigning their denominations (or trying to) for the purpose of being able to consolidate power. And calling it, of course, "reformation."On that note, it is Scott's stated purpose to slowly change the character of the SBC - it is why he is in Wake Forest and why he affiliates his church with the SBC (not a difficult task). Students of South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and College are able to retain their discount (for attending a SBC church) and still attend Scott's church. And indeed, he has been able to guest - teach some classes there!
November 18, 2007 3:16 PM

Cindy said...
justanothermom,Well, I don't think I know much church history at all. And it doesn't seem to make much difference because I believe that there's less traditional church government at play in the FIC. It seems more appropriate to note the techniques and patterns of manipulation to figure out what's going on. Recruitment and church growth seem more paramount than other considerations, given what I've observed.Thanks for your perspective. I'll ruminate on it. So much to ruminate!