Preserving the Family in a Disintegrating Society (1)
Written by Jack Westerink
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Reformed Practice - The Family

The Disintegration of Society
I don’t think anyone of us would deny that Western Society has been disintegrating very rapidly in the last 50 years. North American culture is being secularized, and all references to God, the Bible, and especially to Jesus Christ, are being removed so as not to favour any one particular faith or risk being offensive to others. People forget that they are offending Christians, but that seems to be acceptable today.

Think of the controversy in June 2002, when an atheist parent living in California objected to his daughter having to recite the American pledge of allegiance. The words “under God” that were added to the pledge in the 1950’s were considered to be offensive by the parent because he does not believe in God. A circuit court judge ruled that the pledge contradicted the principle of separation of Church and State. President George Bush has asked the Supreme Court to disallow the case.

At the November 11, 2002 Remembrance Day Service in Dundas, the Anglican chaplain addressed God in prayer as “God of all names”. Addressing God in prayer with the name of Jesus is offensive to Jews and Muslims and other faiths, so it is avoided today.

There was a lot of discussion about what to call the decorated fir tree in the Toronto City Hall lobby in December 2002. The term “Christmas tree” was said to be discriminating against other faiths, so some said it should be called the “Holiday tree.” Finally, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, a Jew, got fed up and said it was a “Christmas tree,” and that was final. This discussion made headline news across North America.

In the spring of 2003, the Canadian federal government decided to revise its drug strategy in order to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana (less than 30 grams). The proposed Bill C-38 is confusing the Police about whether or not to lay drug charges because the judges are already throwing many of these cases out of court, even before the bill has been passed.

Canada’s federal Bill C-250 adds “sexual orientation” to the hate propaganda section of the Criminal Code. This may mean that the Bible is classified as hate literature, and that preaching against the sin of homosexuality breaks the Criminal Code.

In a move that shocked many Canadians, the Ontario Court of Appeal determined on June 10, 2003, that Canada's definition of marriage is discriminatory and must be altered. The ruling took effect immediately, and sparked strong reactions across Canada. The court ordered Toronto city clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses immediately to several homosexual couples. If the ruling stands, Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in North America to legalize gay marriage.

The last months have not been good ones for Canada. Almost every week we get another shocking news report that indicates the direction we are headed. The biblical standard is steadily and consistently being removed, and the majority opinion of people is becoming the standard.

Satan Focuses his Attack on the Family
Satan’s desire has always been to destroy the Church of Christ. If Satan can destroy the family, then he can do major damage to the Church of Christ. God Himself said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). We also read that “the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12: 4b).

Families are the building blocks of human society. A strong family unit is also a building block of the Christian Church. A society and a Church that do not protect the family, undermine its very existence. When the family goes, anarchy is the logical conclusion, and everything falls apart. In 1834, Noah Webster said:

Families are the origin of nations; the principles instilled into

youth in families, and the habits there formed are the germs of

the principles and habits of society and nations. If children are

left without restraint and culture in early life, many or most of

them will be rude in manners, and turbulent members of society.

(Webster, Noah. The Value of the Bible and Excellence of

Christian Religion. Durrie and Peck, 1834 [Reprint, San

Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1988],

p.72.)

The apostle Paul warns Christians in Ephesians 6 that they are at war with the devil:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand

against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh

and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against

the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual

wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole

armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,

and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:11-13)

Nowhere do we read in scripture that a Christian can take off his armour in this life. The fight with the threefold enemy (Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh) ends only at death. The only time the Christian can take off his armour is when he enters glory. In heaven, the weapons of warfare are no longer needed. Then the Christian can lay down his crown at the feet of Jesus.

More than ever, it is the duty of Christians to put on display for society what God’s standard for a family ought to be. This is the only standard that can produce meaning, happiness, and fulfillment. The ultimate hope for humanity is that when they see the distinction in Christian families, they may be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Our children are the future of our Churches. They are the future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, elders, deacons, and ministers of the gospel. It is vital that we instil in them a total Christian world and life view. We cannot separate the sacred from the secular. There is no dualism in life. All of life is religious.

Satan’s strategy for attack on the family comes from many different angles. In future articles we will focus on three of them:

1.Lack of Leadership in the Church and Home

2.Feminism Affects Our Thinking

3.Lack of Discretion in Family Entertainment

Jack Westerink was the principal of Rehoboth Christian School in Copetown, ON and is an elder in the Hamilton Free Reformed Church. This article was previously printed in the FRC Messenger and is republished here with permission.