Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Web of Multigenerational Faithfulness

(CLICK to enlarge graphic.)

In previous blog posts, I started to tackle this subject of multigenerational faithfulness. If you are interested in this topic and you have not read the prior posts, please go back and read them. I would have continued this, but I just didn’t want to have all of these things on my mind over the holidays. There are four previous posts:

As I note in these previous posts, the term “multigenerational faithfulness” sounds like something very desirable, but it has multiple layers. I don't believe that those who promote the concept give the listener informed consent about all that the concept entails by giving out only vague information when the concept is introduced and promoted. Because of the subtle techniques used, the unsuspecting person may be drawn into other beliefs that they would not wilfully choose otherwise. Because the less desirable concepts are kept below the surface, the listener may invest themselves in the peripheral concepts first. By the time the less desirable beliefs and concepts present themselves as the deeper layers appear, because people like to be consistent and tend to deny when they have been deceived, they are very likely to buy into and just accept these other concepts without thinking about them objectively. This is true of most manipulative groups that conceal the full scope of their teachings. If they were open and honest about the full nature of their beliefs, most reasonable people would reject them outright. But after one has been enticed emotionally, offered what seems like a viable solution to a problem or promised some benefit, the whole package becomes much more difficult to reject. The person's own good nature and best virtues, to be consistent and rational, are thus used against them resulting in their own deception and exploitation.

After much reading and reviewing of audio available online, I believe that the concept rests upon and cannot be entirely separated from the following concepts as noted below. There may be additional ideas in addition to these I’ve identified, but all of these elements seem to be interwoven into the concept, based upon the teachings of Doug Phillips, Bill Einwechter, Geoff Botkin, and Voddie Baucham.

Web of Multigenerational Faithfulness Concepts:

1. Gender Hierarchy and Roles

2. Unchallenged Submission and Obedience (includes “first time obedience” in children)

3. Obedience to Eldest Male in Husband’s Extended Family

4. Election Through the Covenant Community and Birth

5. Militant Fecundity

6. Law Keeping to Merit Grace

7. Replacement Theology and Dominionism

8. Homeschooling and Home Catechism

There are those who profess to be Theonomists who believe in error that Theonomy advocates what the FBFI identified as an Old Testament legalism as opposed to New Covenant ecclesiology. They essentially live as Christians who follow the Old Covenant Law, subject to the legalistic requirements, standards, blessings and cursings that the Israelites followed. In personal correspondence that I had recently with Andrew Sandlin, he noted this in response to these concepts:
Historically the church has seen Jesus as the True Seed of Abraham, and all those united to Him in faith are heirs of the Abrahamic promises (Gal. 3). While those promises include, in general, glorious pledges to our children, one of the errors of the modern patriarchy movement is to turn those promises into a technique of works-righteousness in which parental law-keeping (defined as rule adherence) secures multi-generational blessings. But for Moses, at the heart of the law is the Gospel, and it is this Gospel that seems tragically absent from much patriarchal ideology.

Below, I have noted the main concepts and Scriptures used by those who promote the Vision Forum concept of multigenerational faithfulness.

Core Concepts of Multigenerational Faithfulness
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, with those who profess faith in Christ replacing physical Israel. Therefore, these new Covenant Christians live as though they must procreate to fill the earth as opposed to first observing the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to make disciples through conversion of sinners.

3. Legalistic interpretation of covenant keeping through instructing children.

4. Developing inheritance (spiritual, intellectual and material) through human striving.

For your own review, below is an overview of the Vision Forum “multigenerational faithfulness” concept and the Scriptures from which they derive their interpretations. I post them here for your benefit and review. Consider the criticisms that this view is supported primarily with Old Covenant Scripture rather than a balance of Scripture from the New Testament as well.


Scriptures Used by Vision Forum
to Support Multigenerational Faithfulness

Deuteronomy Chapters 5 & 6

Moses issues these commandments to the physical nation of Israel, but they are set off with warnings and cautions. For multigenerational faithfulness to operate, one’s works must be pure in order to ensure that the consequences of our actions are not extended to the 3rd and 4th generations that follow us (Deut 5:8-9). But the goal is to work toward the dominion mandate (Gen 18:18-19) by heeding the Law in our lifetime, training our children and thus obtaining a blessing that extends to thousands of generations (Deut 5:10; 6:10-11).

  • Deut 6 The Shema (parallels Eph 6)
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

  • Deuteronomy 5:8-10
8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Blessing of Mercy (earned through keeping of the Law):
10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

  • Ephesians 6: 1-13
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The Covenant Blessing Comes Through the Physical Seed of Abraham
  • Genesis 18:16-19
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
  • Psalm 25
Unto thee O Lord do I lift up my soul... let me not be ashamed; let not mine enemies triumph over me...His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth...
  • Psalm 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
  • Psalm 112:1-2
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Generational Faithfulness Contingent Upon
Covenant Keeping Through Instructing Children

  • Deuteronomy 4:9
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons
  • Deuteronomy 11:19
And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and
when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
  • Deuteronomy 32:46 -47
46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
47 For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
  • 1 Peter 5:5
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older.
  • 2 Peter 1:5
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge

Inheritance (spiritual, intellectual, material)
Inheritance When There Are No Children in a Marriage
  • Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
  • Numbers 27:9-11
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.