A Fatherless Church

RevivalSpiritual Warfare
“Choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served…Or will it be the gods of the Amorites…? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, nlt).

It has been argued, and quite persuasively, that fatherlessness is the primary cause of our current societal decline. Statistically, 43 percent of U.S. children live in a home without their fathers, and the results are categorical:

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from  fatherless homes. (U.S. Dept. of Health/Census)

 

  • 85% percent of all children who show behavior disorders  come from fatherless homes. (Center for Disease Control)

 

  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless  homes. (National Principals Association Report)

 

  • 85% percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless  homes. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)

These statistics should in no way demean the heroic efforts of single parents across the county, but they certainly highlight the need for fathers. Fatherlessness is damaging our nation and even our church. Paul wrote, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers” (1 Corinthians 4:15, esv). The apostle Paul communicates to us a reality that is perhaps truer today than it was in his own time. The American church is teeming with instructors. Just turn on your TV or walk into your local Christian bookstore, and you’ll hear hours of instruction and see volumes of teachings at your fingertips. This hive of instruction and abundance of teachers can be a good thing, but it could never replace the need for fathers.

Take a look at what Paul had to say about the hour we find ourselves in:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3–4).

It appears that Paul is conflating an abundance of teachers with a backslidden church. Why? The office of the teacher plays a vital role in the fivefold ministry that God has given to the church for the perfecting of the saints, and for the work of the ministry. What’s the difference between an instructor and a father? Why do those with itching ears seek to heap up teachers, rather than cling to fathers? Why is there such a shortage of father figures in the American church?

The reason we find ourselves in this predicament may be surprising: freedom! The Bible warns that we shouldn’t allow our blessing to become our curse; in this case, it seems that we may have stepped over that line just a tad. With freedom comes an abundance of choices. Thank God we have such freedoms in our nation. Imagine what would happen if kids had the freedom to choose their parents or if students were allowed to choose their teachers? Faced with such
a choice, would a teenager choose the parent or teacher who demanded excellence from them, or would they choose the one who allowed them to do whatever they wanted?

Human nature dictates that people will follow the path of least resistance, so when presented with a choice between a father and a teacher, many will choose the latter. Why? Teachers give you information, while fathers give you discipline. Teachers inspire, while fathers demand accountability. Teachers talk about God, but fathers speak for God. Is it any wonder Paul says that mankind will “heap to themselves teachers” (2 Timothy 4:3)? Due to the plethora of teachers and instructors now available to the average Christian, the overwhelming current of the culture demands that pastors with fatherly tendencies ease up, pull back, and demand less in order to compete.

True spiritual fathers are trying to prepare us for life, and life eternal, while others are just trying to get our attention. Teachers will use any means necessary to pique our interest, while fathers will simply demand it. A popular church growth strategy today is to preach about change but never demand it—and it is working. People love to feel like they’re being challenged, as long as they are never really required to change. Teachers talk about God, but fathers speak for God.

If we want a revival of spiritual fatherhood then we must all be willing to become as children. We must humble ourselves and submit even when it’s uncomfortable. In the end, we’ll be better for it.

This is an excerpt from the book Encounter
If you would like to read more check out the link below.

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Tags: Revival, Spiritual Warfare
Tags: Alan DiDio, End Times, Revival, Spiritual Warfare

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