I. THEY ARE TRYING TO OPERATE OUTSIDE OF GOD’S DESIGN.
The failure of the mixed church has led many godly families to be estranged from their church or to give up trying to be a part of a local body. If this continues for some time, the consequences are often severe and begin to become evident in the lives of the children.
“For the body is not one member, but many…and the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you;’ or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary…now you are Christ’s body, and individual members of it.” – I Corinthians 12:14, 21-22, 27
II. THEY ARE EXPOSED TO STRONG DECEPTIONS.
Church leaders provide God-given protection when they are properly honored as part of God’s design, just as fathers and mothers do for children. When this protection is missing or rejected, it exposes families to Satan’s deception and power (I Samuel 15:23). The bondage of pornography, the lure of rock music, and the embrace of strange doctrines are often symptoms, when found in committed families, of the lack of elders to guard and guide and a church family to caution and admonish.
“And He gave some as…pastors and teacher, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11
“Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” – Hebrews 13:17
“And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.” – I Thessalonians 4:14
III. THEY DO NOT HAVE ALL THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
The family is God’s design, but it is a subset within His design of the church family. No individual family has all the gifts or strength of resources to accomplish what God has planned for them. God does not supply what is needed the way we want Him to; He supplies it according to His design.
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body and individually members of it.” I Cor. 12:26-27
IV. GOD RESISTS THOSE WHO ARE PRIDEFUL AND REJECT PROPER BIBLICAL AUTHORITY.
The entire problem does not lie with the failure of our leaders and our churches. An independent spirit is often found in many strong families. It is not easy to stand alone in our day. Many of these families have had to proceed on their own, even against strong opposition from friends and family. However, we must be careful that this does not lead to a prideful attitude towards the church and its leaders.
“You younger men, likewise, submit to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – I Peter 5:5
Families that find themselves without leaders and churches that support their biblical convictions need to cry out to the Lord for the provision of those He has appointed (Ephesians 4:11) and the discernment to identify them (Psalm 25:12-15).