Kristin and Ted Kluck Write of the Familiolatry in the Modern Church

Kristen and Ted Kluck have penned an excellent article on the Gospel Coalition blog, which discusses the very same thing I have discussed many times: the rampant idolatry of family in today’s church. I was pleased that the mentioned those who say that you must have “marriage at 21 with five kids by age 30 (five is the new two).” As if God and his purposes mean nothing. Here is a little teaser from the article:

This stuff of many women’s fantasies includes an adoring, faithful spouse; attractive, obedient kids; people who depend on you, love you, give you a reason to get out of bed, regularly stand up and sing your praises. And it is idolatry, just like money, power, and fame. It’s the thing that causes the mom in your women’s Bible study to post the 67th picture of her daughter’s birthday party on Facebook. It’s the reason for the magazine-quality family pictures all over the house. It’s why the mother-of-the-bride obsesses about her daughter’s wedding and treats it like a part-time job. It’s (at least in part) why Christmas letters get sent and then end up making their recipients feel mad and competitive.

What makes it even trickier and more confusing is the value the Bible places on family. It is the building block of a just and moral society. It is a hedge of protection for the traditionally vulnerable children and women. The Bible has much to say about the blessing of a godly spouse and a houseful of children and includes lots of good directives on how to keep those relationships healthy and godly. Parents are charged with the precious task of directing and guiding our children’s hearts towards God, so it is easy to think of family as an unqualified good. “Family values” is practically synonymous with “orthodox Christian.”

If so, then why do I feel so convicted, sometimes, about worshiping at the altar of family?

My question is, have we made family an idol with things like the radical family integrated churches who say that age specific discipleship is a sin, with things like the notion that delay of marriage is a sin, deliberate childlessness is a sin, the notion that one cannot defeat sexual sin without marriage, and the acceptance of the radical Christian Patriarchy movement? Why is it that all of these things bizarre, unbiblical teachings point back to one thing: family? We as Christians really do need to reexamine our priorities, and ask ourselves whether our families are means by which we can serve God, or whether we have placed our families at the position of God. I hope that more articles like this are published, so that people will consider the possibility that we have gone way too far in our exaltation of family in the modern evangelical church.

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One Response to “Kristin and Ted Kluck Write of the Familiolatry in the Modern Church”

  1. Christy Says:

    All my thoughts exactly, now that I am out of that fog for three years.

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