On today's broadcast, Voddie Baucham, pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, points to the fallout society has seen as a result of Christians and non-Christians failing to obey their parents.
On today's broadcast, Voddie Baucham, pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, points to the fallout society has seen as a result of Christians and non-Christians failing to obey their parents.
Voddie: First of all, the Fifth Commandment is the first of the horizontal commandments. There's Ten Commandments, the first four are vertical, last six, horizontal. Number one on the hit parade of the horizontal commandments, the man-to-man commandments, number one is honor your father and your mother, which means there is nothing that the church can teach a child that is more important than honoring their father and their mother.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, October 3rd. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. So just how important is this principle of honoring our parents? We'll find out from Dr. Voddie Baucham today.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Tuesday edition. You are still saying "amen," and even a day later you are still holding up the hornet's nest and saying, "Come on, preach it, Voddie."
Dennis: Well, I brought the hornet's nest in on the broadcast earlier this week because it was symbolic that we had a guest here on FamilyLife Today, or at least the message we're featuring here by Dr. Voddie Baucham, who is a Southern Baptist pastor, and he was speaking to a group of Southern Baptist pastors at the Texas Baptist Convention, and I think in Houston, and I spoke to a group of pastors one time and actually bought – that's right, folks, I bought a hornet's nest off eBay, and …
Bob: You know, there are going to be people looking in eBay right now.
Dennis: They will. What do you pay for a hornet's nest? But I bought this years ago before the price of hornet's nests went up down in Florida, and it's a big one. It is a monster. But there's not many guests we've had on the broadcast for two days, but the hornet's nest, we've had here on the table for two days.
But you are about to hear a message that is going to stir you, I think, as a parent, to action. Dr. Baucham is a straight-shooter, as you're going to hear. He is passionate, and he is calling these pastors as well as parents to take responsibility for their assignment to spiritually love and lead and serve the next generation.
Bob: And as we start part 2 of his message, he's talking about one of the most familiar verses that parents know of in the Bible – Ephesians 6:1, but he says we better understand that verse in context.
Voddie: "Children, obey your parents and the Lord, for this is right." Now, in order to understand the context of that verse, you've got to back up to the paragraph before it. You back up to the paragraph before it, and you start with, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the church." The problem with that is, you get there, you've got to back up to the paragraph before that one to see the context of this section – "Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord." The problem with that is that it is the beginning of the section, but it's got no verb. I know what you're saying. You've got a verb right there – "be subject" – isn't that the verb? It ought to be italicized in your Bible. The reason it's italicized is because it's borrowed from verse 21. In the Greek, there is no verb there in verse 22. So it's borrowed from verse 21. The problem with starting with verse 21, if you start with verse 21, you start at the end of a paragraph, and you can't do that.
So in order to understand the context of Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 1, you've got to go all the way back to Ephesians, chapter 5, and verse 15 – trust me, we're going somewhere. When you back up to Ephesians, chapter 5 and verse 15, here is what you get – you get three contrasts, and then you get three commands, and then you get three contexts, all right? Three contrasts – let's look at them beginning at verse 15.
"Therefore, be careful how you walk not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil." That's contrast number one. Contrast number two, next verse – "So, then, do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is." That's the second contrast – don't be foolish, understand the Lord's will. Third contrast, "Did I get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit. On the third contrast, you get three commands. Those three commands are connected to the third contrast. Look at what he says beginning with verse 19. How do you know somebody is living a spirit-filled life? Verse 19 – "Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord." If you show me a worshipful person, I'll show you a person who is, more than likely, being controlled by the spirit of God. Show me a person who is not a worshipful person, and I'll show you somebody who, more than likely, is not being controlled and is not yielding to the spirit of God. You can't tell me that somebody is spirit-filled, and they're not worshipful. The two just don't go together, fair enough?
Look at the next verse, here is the next command, verse 20 – "Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." So you are a worshipful person; secondly, you are prayerfully thankful – prayerfully thankful. Show me somebody who is prayerfully thankful, and I'll show you somebody who is probably being controlled by the spirit of God. Show me somebody who is neither prayer nor thankful, and I'll show you somebody who is not spirit-filled. Fair enough? Those were easy.
Verse 21 – "Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ." Show me somebody who submits to proper biblical authority in their life, and I'll show you somebody who is spirit-filled. Show me somebody who does not submit to proper biblical authority in their life, and I'll show you somebody who is not spirit-filled. Now, go to chapter 6 and verse 1 and look at it in context – "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." In other words, three contrasts, three commands, on the third command you get three contexts – context number one, wives and husbands; context number two, children and parents; context number three, servants and masters.
Here is what he's saying in verse 1 – "Show me a child who is not submissive to their parents' authority, and I'll show you a child who has not yielded to the spirit of God. So, number one, we see the centrality of the home in the context here. He says, do you want to take the spiritual temperature of a young person – you take the spiritual of a young person by whether or not they are submissive to the authority of their parents.
Secondly, look at the centrality in the home in his use of the fifth commandment. Look what he says there – the next verse – "Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with the promise that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." Now, as Americans, we're rugged individualists, so the first thing we want to do with this verse is we want to say, "That's talking to the individual child." Child, you obey me, you'll have a long, prosperous life.
No, no, understand the significance of the fifth commandment. First of all, the fifth commandment is the first of the horizontal commandments. There's ten commandments – the first four vertical, the last six horizontal. Number one on the hit parade of the horizontal commandments, the man-to-man commandments, number one is "Honor your father and your mother," which means there is nothing that the church can teach a child that is more important than honoring their father and their mother.
Now, not only do we see it because of the position, secondly, we see it because of a promise. That's the first one with a promise. That's huge. Do you know what the first four commandments are? Commandment number one – "I'm God, you don't get another one."
"Lord, can we get a promise with that one?" "Uh-uh, no promise, just do it." Commandment number two – "Don't even make nothing that look like me."
"Okay, God, can we get a promise with that one?" "Uh-uh, just do it." Commandment number three – "Don't even mess with my name." "Okay, God, that's kind of serious right there. You've got to give us a promise on that one." "Uh-uh." Commandment number four – "Don't even mess with my day." "Now, wait a minute, now, you know, I want my boy to be a baseball player and most of the teams, you know, you have to go and we've got to play on Sunday sometime and, God, I'm sure you'll – "Don't mess with my day."
"Do we get a promise with that one, Lord." "No promise." Commandment number five – "Honor your father and your mother." "I get a promise with that one, God?" "You better believe you can. On that one, I'll give you a promise." Do you see the importance of the fifth commandment? The fact that it's the first one with a promise screams of its importance. Now, listen to this – the fifth commandment was not for the individual child, it was for the community of faith. Here is what the fifth commandment is about – remember, we get them in Deuteronomy 5. In Deuteronomy chapter 6, what does He teach us? He teaches us how to disciple our children in our homes. He teaches us – "Listen, Israel, hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your hearts, and you shall teach them diligently to your sons. When you lie down, when you rise up, and when you walk along the way, disciple your children." Can I give it to somebody else to do? No! It is your job as parents.
Listen to me – you're clapping, but almost every one of you has a youth ministry in your church that is operating unbiblically, and I'm not talking about including more parents in what we do. I'm talking about changing the entire paradigm. Why? Because here is the purpose of the fifth commandment – God says you are my people, but you are about to go into a pagan land where they worship pagan gods. If you want to continue to be my people, here is what you must do. Number one, you must have a boatload of kids. That's what it means to multiply greatly.
By the way, when He sends them into the Promised Land, what does he say to them in Deuteronomy – that they are to multiply greatly so that when he sends them into the Promised Land, they won't disappear as God's people. When He sends them into exile in Jeremiah 29, what does He say – "Multiply greatly." You want to avoid disappearing in the midst of a pagan culture? Outbreed them.
There are some of us in the room who need to repent because of our attitude toward children and because of what we've said to people communicating our attitude and not the biblical attitude toward children. Some of us need to get on our faces before a holy God because we have mocked being fruitful. Children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward, our attitude from here is why a lot of people out there aren't having enough kids.
It starts with us, and it all goes back to prosperity. God help us. We're dying one generation at a time because we refuse to receive the gift that God wants to bring through the womb.
Finally, in case you don't understand what He said by the context of this passage, and in case you don't understand what He said by Him pointing to the Fifth Commandment, how about a plain, black-and-white, straightforward word? Verse 4 – "And, fathers" – and fathers – "do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." It doesn't get clearer than that, folks.
The context of this passage says the home is central in the evangelism and discipleship of the next generation. The fact that He points to the Fifth Commandment screams that the home is central in the evangelism and discipleship of the next generation, and then, in case we didn't get those two hints, he says it in black and white – "Fathers, disciple your children." Fathers. If we believe this, then why is it that we've done everything in our power not to allow that to happen.
And I hear you. We're going back to this whole thing, I understand that, but they're just not equipped, they just don't know. Here's what's interesting. If the people in your church are not tithing, you don't start a ministry to tithe for them, do you?
No, you simply teach them and expect them to do what the Bible says is their job. If it works for tithing, why don't we think it will work for the discipleship of the next generation?
So what do we do with this? I'm not telling you you ought to go fire your youth pastors tomorrow. That's not what I'm saying here. But we have to completely revamp our philosophies. In the last couple of minutes that I have left, let me give you a few things that we must do. Number one, I beseech you, if you don't have a biblical view of children, get on your face before almighty God and repent. And if you have been mocking children from your pulpit, and if you, like one pastor – one pastor that I talked to recently, he said, "Brother, when you said that here's what I thought – the first thought that came to my mind was last week I talked to my people and I told them that we thought my wife was pregnant, and when I said that, I told them that after we found out that she wasn't, I said, 'Whew, we had a close call.'" He said, "I need to go get on my face right now, because I communicated to my people that children are a cure and a scourge and not a blessing."
Do not make a mockery of children. You encourage people to welcome children into their homes. You throw a banquet when that woman walks into your church with six or seven kids behind her. You honor her and let everybody see you do it because if it weren't for women like her, we'd have no future.
Secondly, you have youth ministry in your church, and you have a mission statement. You line it up against what we looked at in Scripture, and if it's wrong on its biblical and theological merit, you crumble it up, put it in the trash and start over. Because it will not change until we change our entire mentality about what it means to disciple the next generation. Our entire mentality has to change.
Thirdly, and this is the toughest one to talk about – we have to adopt a biblical view of church leadership. I want to tell you something – there are two skills required of a pastor and only two skills. There are a lot of character qualities that are required but only two skills. Number one, he must be able to teach. Number two, he must manage his household well. Our churches are filled with biblically disqualified pastors.
Titus, chapter 1, makes it clear – if you do not have faithful children, and if your children are accused of rebellion or dissipation, you are disqualified biblically. And you hear that, and I know we hear that, and we go, "Oh, brother, that's harsh. Nobody's perfect." Listen to me – the same passage says – and here's what boggles my mind – same passage, same paragraph – "must not be addicted to wine." That says he must not be a drunkard. He must not drink in excess. We say he can't drink at all. Listen to me, I'm not a drinker, I'm not promoting drinking. I've never had a drink. Not drinking is easy for me, and it's easy for most of you because most of you never drink, and you stick your chest out and pop your collar because you don't drink. It means nothing to you unless you've been an alcoholic. It is not hard for you to do. Discipling your family is a different story, and it amazes me that in the same paragraph we take one of those requirements and raise it and the other one and lower it.
Do you want to know why our families are in turmoil? Because most of you, when you got hired at the church that you're at right now, they never even met your family. They heard you preach and voted on you. When the Bible says if you're not discipling your children in an exemplary fashion, you are not worthy of being called a pastor.
From the top down, we are wrong on the family, and we are losing the culture war one family at a time. And we have gotten so pathetic that now there is a euphemism in our culture called the "PK." Why do we use that term as a euphemism? Because pastors' kids who live like they were raised by the devil has almost become the norm. If the church is a corporation, that's completely acceptable, because all you have to do is stand at the top of a machine and make sure that people go in one side of it and out the other, and that there is more of them going through the machine next year than this year, but if the church is a family of families, and if God is serious about families being expected and equipped to disciple their children, then the people who stand at the helm had better be exemplary husbands and exemplary fathers. And until we believe that, we'll continue to lose the culture war one family at time.
Listen to this from Richard Baxter in "The Reformed Pastor" – "If you were ungodly and teach not your families the fear of God nor contradict the sins of the company you are in nor turn the stream of their vain talking nor deal with them plainly about their salvation, they will take it as if you preached to them that such things are needless, and that they may boldly do so as well as you.
We will never be able to tell our children to raise and disciple a houseful of warriors for Christ if we don't begin to do it from the top.
Bob: Well, again, that is Dr. Voddie Baucham who is – well, he's preaching. He's gone from preaching to meddling, I think, don't you?
Dennis: I wonder if they elected him president of the state …
Bob: … convention?
Dennis: … convention as a result of that message? We'll just see about that. That will be cool if they do. He was a straight shooter, though, no doubt about it. You know, I think there are two applications here very quickly. Number one, if you have a pastor you have a relationship with, and you can get a copy of this message, call us and order a copy and get a copy of a book I wrote called "One Home at a Time," that really spells out how to go about doing this – the very thing he's talking about. I think all of us, as laymen, underplay sometimes the influence we can have on our pastors to encourage them – not to condemn them and not to throw a stone at them like we've been talking about throwing stones at hornet's nests, but I think a message like that can encourage him where perhaps few can.
But then, secondly, as a parent, don't blame the church, don't throw a stone at your pastor if they haven't done what he's talking about for you. Instead, you get busy about your responsibility and perhaps this book, "One Home at a Time," will lay the charge and the challenge and mandate down to you in a very crisp, clear way, and that was really my goal, Bob, in writing this book. "One Home at a Time" spells out how we need to retake the soul of America and recraft the next generation by going to work at home in our own homes, one home at a time, and spiritually leading and loving our children, and I think this book does a great job of giving laymen and women and pastors a way that they can do that.
Bob: Yeah, a big part of your premise here is that the fiber of a nation really is a reflection of what's going on in homes, and if we're doing well in homes, we're doing well as a nation, and if we're not doing well in homes, then we've got problems as a culture.
We've got copies of your book in our FamilyLife Resource Center. Our listeners can go to the website, FamilyLife.com. In the center of the home page, there's a red button that says "Go," and if you'll click that button, it will take you right to a page where you can get more information about Dennis's book. You can contact us to order a copy, if you'd like. There's also information about the message that we've heard this week from Dr. Voddie Baucham and a book that he has written, which is called "The Everloving Truth – How Faith Can Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture." It's a very helpful book for us as parents. Also something for high school or college students to go through and, again, there are copies of it in our FamilyLife Resource Center. You can get more information about the book when you go online at FamilyLife.com or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY. That's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and we'll let you know how you can have this sent out to you.
You know, our team here at FamilyLife, I think, has come up with a great way this month to say thank you to those of you who are listeners who can help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today with a financial contribution. We are listener-supported, and so those donations that come from folks like you are essential for our ministry. And, not long ago, your wife Barbara was speaking with a group of women on the subject of what a wife can do to help her husband be the man that God wants him to be. The ladies loved the message, and so we thought we would make the CD of this message available to any of our listeners who can help us in October with a donation of any amount to support the ongoing ministry of FamilyLife Today.
Go to our website, FamilyLife.com, there's a donation form you can fill out there, and as you're filling it out, when you come to the keycode box, if you'd like the CD from Barbara Rainey, just type those two letters, "CD" into the keycode box, and we'll know that you want that sent to you. Or call and make a donation at 1-800-FLTODAY and just mention that you'd like Barbara's CD, and our team will know to send that out to you as well. Again, it's our thank you for your financial support of this ministry, and we do appreciate hearing from you.
Now, tomorrow, talking about passing along faith to the next generation, Sean McDowell is going to be joining us. Some of you know his dad, Josh. Sean is a high school teacher from Southern California, and we're going to talk about what high school students believe and about what they don't believe and about how we can press biblical truth into their hearts even when it feels like we're swimming upstream sometimes. That's coming up tomorrow, I hope you can be back with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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