Friday, February 13, 2009

A Summary of the Posts About Multigenerational Faithfulness

When I decided that to examine the loaded language term of “multigenerational faithfulness,” describing how Vision Forum and her affiliates refer to the term, I anticipated covering the concepts in just a few blog posts. Really... The ambiguous and nebulous term itself actually lacks substance in and of itself, so I did not anticipate that the term was indeed as loaded as it proved to be when I looked at exactly what they taught. I realized that the term was misleading, but I did not fully realize just how they used it to encapsulate so much of their core doctrine. Upon reviewing the downloadable sermons and written material available, I was quite surprised to realize just how much the term “multigenerational faithfulness” represents for Vision Forum and their affiliate teachers and supporters.

Even considering small sections of specific teachings became far more complicated that I anticipated, because of the subtlety of it all. That’s why the system works as well as it does. About 20 years ago, in a Minerth Meyer book that talked about manipulation in relationships, I recall how they pointed out the subtlety of the serpent. Snakes always avoid direct conflict unless making eye contact with prey or responding defensively to an immediate threat, and they do not knock on your door to announce their arrival when they want curl up on your living room couch. They find opportunistic ways to "sneak in" by concealing themselves in packages (Trojan horses) that you actually carry in yourself or they find breaks in the foundation of your home. I believe that concept of multigenerational faithfulness takes advantage of this same type of subtlety, offering easier answers to the uncertainty of life by playing on our best desires for our families. We tend not to see the subtle distinctions along the the periphery of the message, those subtleties that we would otherwise reject outright. We become distracted, enticed and engaged by the obvious message which offers an entire pleasant package, much like a salesman markets a product to us. Addressing the many subtleties I discovered throughout the course of the discussion amounted to quite a few blog posts.

Thinking that multigenerational faithfulness refers to only the wonderful idea of raising your children so that they will be faithful Christians that will likewise raise their children to be faithful Christians, you might not anticipate the other associated concepts. Some of the ideas like homeschooling are quite pleasant and desirable, but some of them are based upon very narrowly defined doctrines that a person does not readily identify from the term “multigenerational faithfulness” alone.
  • Gender Hierarchy and Roles
  • Unchallenged, Unquestioned Submission and Obedience
  • Obedience to Eldest Male in Husband’s Extended Family
  • Election Through the Covenant Community and Birth
  • Militant Fecundity
  • Law Keeping to Merit Grace
  • Replacement Theology and Dominionism
  • Homeschooling and Home Catechism

I identify these as the more problematic core doctrinal concepts associated with Vision Forum’s concept of multigenerational faithfulness, undergirding the other doctrines:
  1. Subjection to the curses of the Old Covenant (as opposed to freedom from the Law under the New and Better Covenant under the Blood of the Lamb)
  2. Covenant blessing comes through the physical seed of believers under the New Covenant, with those who profess faith in Christ replacing physical Israel which makes “militant fecundity” essential.
  3. Legalistic interpretation of covenant keeping through instructing children in a works-based salvation.
  4. Developing inheritance (spiritual, intellectual and material) through human striving, a semi-Pelagian endeavor that extends from the works-based salvation aspects of the belief system.
Click to enlarge graphic.

So to help you sort through these many complicated implications, this topical list of the posts on this blog dealing with multigenerational faithfulness details the specifics that each blog entry includes.

Blog Posts Addressing
Examining Multigenerational Faithfulness

  • Overview of the Web of Multigenerational Faithfulness (MGF)
    • Includes the Scripture references and proof texts for multigenerational faithfulness. Also refers to THIS POST quoting the FBFI 2006 Resolution criticizing the Family Integrated Church, offering some of the same criticisms of concern regarding multigenerational faithfulness
  • Origins of the Term
  • The Spiritual Eugenics of MGF: More Social Darwinism
    • Examines the reasoning behind why Vision Forum views childbearing as God’s primary means of advancing the kingdom of God and the gnostic “higher life” Christianity which promotes elitism and separatism within certain groups of Christian homeschoolers.
  • The Layers of Extra-biblical Belief: The 200 Year Plan
    • A review of Geoff Botkin’s method for planning dominion for one’s family, extending to 200 years. Geoff Botkin worked for the Great Commission Ministries, one of the most well-documented Bible-based Shepherding-Discipleship cults and was business partners with it’s founder Jim McCotter. Review the history of Geoffrey Botkin’s activities HERE. The Great Commission Ministries followed the dominionist focus of reaching the world for Christ in one generation, with a particular interest in both communication media as well as recruiting young people on college campuses.
  • Is Wilson Pro-Abortion or Just Following MGF?
    • Discussion of the elitist mentality that stems from the view that God’s elect should restrict love, Christian service and ministry, offering it only to those who are perceived to be God’s elect under the concept of multigenerational faithfulness. (Those who reject God and will be numbered among the non-elect hate God and should be treated accordingly, per the mindset.) Examines Doug Wilson’s imprecatory prayers, particularly the prayer that the unborn babies of the non-elect should die in utero.
  • Do New Testament Believers Become the New, Physical Seed of Abraham, Propagating the New Israel Nation of Christians Through the Womb?
    • Review of “Protestant Exclusivism,” and the odd interpretation of Replacement Theology observed by Vision Forum under the guise of multigenerational faithfulness aimed at the fulfilling of the dominion mandate.
  • Lack of New Testament Support for MGF
    • More discussion of the Old Covenant and works-based perspective of multigenerational faithfulness based upon the aberrant interpretation of the very few NT proof texts used, particularly those shared by the Shepherding/Discipleship/Submission doctrines.
  • Return of the Daughters (MGF's Model for daughters as property)
    • A specific recap of Vision Forum’s teachings on the husband/father as the center of the home, wives and daughters as helpmeets that objects who exist to serve their patriarch’s “covenantal vision,” as well as the significance of submission to the oldest patriarch in the extended family system.
  • First Time Obedience (FTO)
    • Introduction to FTO:  The Selfish Sin of Shyness
      • A review of the submission required under multigenerational faithfulness as Vision Forum’s carryover from Bill Gothard’s submission teachings with various examples of this demand for unquestioned obedience without credulity. First post specifically examining “First Time Obedience” in young children.
      • RESPONSE TO BAUCHAM'S CHARGES that he was taken out of context concerning statements he about corporal punishment in a 2007 sermon (2013 blog post).
    • FTO Part I: Parental Convenience
      • A review of the principle of sacerdotalism and parental convenience (as a control issue in dysfunctional families) as rationales for requiring “First Time Obedience” and “leaps of faith” required under multigenerational faithfulness.
    • FTO Part II: Spiritualizing All Activities
      • Review of the tendency to make every banal daily activity one of great eternal spiritual significance as a consequence of works-based salvation. Includes a discussion of viewing personality traits that do not fit the belief system’s paradigm as sinful as well as the building up of all gender related activities as sacramental for the impartation of inward sanctification.
    • FTO Part II Addendum (Spiritualizing all activities and unquestioned submission)
      • Blog host’s personal experience with inherent personality traits treated by parents as sin, the idolatry of seeking parental approval, and the consequences of requiring unquestioned submission with the use of guilt and shame that predisposes one to easy brainwashing and compliance with thought reform. Includes a section from Biderman’s Chart of Coercion addressing the powerful effects of devaluing individuals in religious settings.
    • FTO Part III: Poor Development of Analytical Thought and Problem Solving Skills
      • Discussion of the development of how perfectionism, works-based salvation and First Time Obedience squelch problem-solving skill and prevent the development of critical thinking under the guise of multigenerational faithfulness.
    • FTO Part IV: Theological Concerns
      • A specific review of the theological problems in Voddie Baucham’s defense of First Time Obedience as well as the refutation of the practice from Scripture. Echos concerns noted in this previous blog post concerning Baucham’s “Family Driven Faith” book.
  • RC Sproul, Jr’s Take on Multigenerational Faithfulness: “When You Rise Up”
    • A brief review of RC, Sproul, Jr’s book about “covenantal homeschooling,” which notes a particularly disturbing passage that describes a nine year old girl who cannot yet read but is praised for “learning what God requires.”
  • Thoughts on Fear-Based Obedience: It is Hollow and not Holy
    • Notable quotes and considerations from both Andrew and Richard Sandlin that help to put multigenerational faithfulness into perspective.

Additional Posts on Submission Doctrine and the Shepherding Discipleship Movement

Additional Posts on Loading the Language
*Loading the Language
*The Term “Biblical” Becomes a Thought Stopping Cliche?
*"Biblical” Modifiers and Discernment
*The Selling of An Idea

Voddie Baucham on Corporal Punishment and Shyness in a Young Child from Under Much Grace on Vimeo.

The Ultimate Tragedy:

Another tragedy... is a problem of multigenerational nature. The serious dysfunction in a founding family will be absorbed by the children’s families and then their children’s families, a ripple of misery extending farther and farther down through the years. The dependency or dysfunction may change... But it’s there. It’s almost always there, wreaking it’s damage.