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Raising Christian Children In An Un-Christian World

I'm a Dad.

I've been a Dad for 12 years now.

It's tough.

I know, "Newsflash!" right?

Lately, I've noticed a dramatic and significant increase in the challenges of being a parent in the 21st Century as my son has just entered 7th Grade and my daughter has just entered 6th Grade.

What makes this abrupt change even more frustrating and surprising (even though I knew it was coming) is the fact that it's arrived with a ferocity and intensity I thought would be lessened a bit due to the fact that my kids attend a private Christian school and have their entire lives.

In light of all of this, I recalled a series of podcasts I saw on Issues, Etc. with Pastor Jonathan Fisk on this very same subject, which is worth highlighting here today.

 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 1 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 2 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 3 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 4 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 5 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 6 
AUDIO: Raising Christian Children In An Age of Progressivism - Part 7


What a phenomenal series of discussions on this very important topic for families and both parents and grandparents alike!

Seriously, Pastor Fisk remains true to the "Worldview Everlasting" approach and philosophy, which is a laser-like focus on the issues that matter and asking all the right questions while also providing the right answers...even if they might convict and hurt us in the process.

Here are just a few notes that I took during this 7-part series...

-- You're certainly not alone if you feel like a failure as a parent each and every single day! 
-- Do we know what we believe and why we believe it? 
-- I know we are not to live in a spirit of fear, but the cultural trends are downright frightening if we take a moment to simply stop and catalog all of them, and it's enough to keep any parent (or grandparent) up for hours at night! 
-- Is it possible that the biggest obstacle to raising your kids properly in an "Age of Progressivism" is the Church itself? 
-- Going to college isn't (or shouldn't be) as "automatic" as it once was for my generation and others before it 
-- Do we realize how much we've capitulated our Christian schools to the culture? 
-- Do we truly recognize and understand the role that modern technology plays in helping and/or preventing our efforts to raise our kids today? 
-- The biggest challenge we face in our post-modern world is that common sense, logic, and thinking doesn't count or matter anymore 
-- Today, it's quite challenging to get our kids to reason as opposed to just reacting emotionally all the time 
-- As difficult as it is for us to be completely consistent with it all the time, we fathers and mothers need to demonstrate to our children that catechizing ourselves is still important to us, and that we truly care about continuing to learn and study God's Word and the Catechism whenever we can 
-- The average parent today seems to think that they don't have authority over their children or that their children can say "No!" to them and that the way to raise a child is to let them have their way and do what they want all the time 
-- A "seared conscience" and a "hardened heart" is, sadly, becoming more and more common today 
-- Don't let the Law and how it accuses you as a parent to deter you from raising your kids with the admonition and fear of the Lord 
-- You cannot raise your children as Christian parents to become Christians themselves without the appropriate boundaries 
-- James 5:12 is a GREAT Bible verse for us to take with us into parenting! 
-- Regardless of the harsh realities all around us each and every day, we need to regularly remind ourselves that God loves our children even more than we do


Now, if you would like to dig deeper into this topic, then you should research the "Doctrine of Vocation" as well as the "Three Estates" as they are taught and understood by us Lutherans.

As Martin Luther wrote...

"But the holy orders and and true religious institutions established by God are these three: the office of priest, the estate of marriage, the civil government."


In short, the "Three Estates" are simply "The Church," "The Family," and "The State."

To put it another way, "These are the three estates created and instituted by God. These estates are how God has ordered the cosmos. These estates are how God gives and protects life. The threes estates are all over the writings of the Lutheran's, and especially Luther."

So, our "good works" done as parents can only be properly understood within the context of this Doctrine of Vocation and the Three Estates as it pertains to the family. Pastor Melius recently present on the estate of the family at the "2017 Steadfast Lutherans Regional Conference - The Three Estates" in Denver, CO last month.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, raising Christian children in an un-Christian world is not an option for us, but an expectation, and yet, our ordinary and daily work (challenging work!) done in faith as parents is the highest calling that many of us will ever have.



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to "Confessional Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 4 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavily influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I will defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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