Friday, December 31, 2010

A Sad Day for The Assemblies of God Denomination

Posted on September 8th 2010 by Ken Ham

The general presbytery of the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination, in session August 9–11, 2010, adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.” Here is an excerpt from the official AG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):

The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.

As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.

Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation.

(“The Doctrine of Creation,” 2010,

The following is an excerpt from AG’s 1977 position paper on “The Doctrine of Creation”:

This Bible record of creation thus rules out the evolutionary philosophy which states that all forms of life have come into being by gradual, progressive evolution carried on by resident forces. It also rules out any evolutionary origin for the human race, since no theory of evolution, including theistic evolution, can explain the origin of the male before the female, nor can it explain how a man could evolve into a woman.
(“The Doctrine of Creation,” 1977,, accessed 11/8/10)

What is sad to notice is this 2010 revision of such a strong statement about creation. The following is their statement on creation from the Assemblies of God website that was based on the 1977 position paper (that we presume will be modified to now fit their 2010 statement):

Why does the Assemblies of God hold a strong position on creationism? Could the evolution theory or portions of it fit into the Bible’s account of creation? Also, why is our origin so important?

The Assemblies of God has a deep commitment to creationism-that God is the Author and Creator of all life (Genesis 1:1; Psalms 121:2; 124:8; 146:5,6; Isaiah 40:26,28; 1 Peter 4:19). By the power of His Word, He created everything out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3). The visible was created out of the invisible, the material out of the nonmaterial, and the tangible out of the intangible.

However, by what means was His creative work accomplished? More specifically, did God employ a gradual process by which the world came into being? Did higher forms of life progress from lower forms of life? The advocates of gradual process are called theistic evolutionists. For them, God’s creative days recorded in Genesis may well have been eons of time.

Assemblies of God believers hold that the Genesis account should be taken literally. Admittedly, there is progression in God’s creative work. But each step was concluded: “And there was evening, and there was morning.” This points to a specific measurement of time. The most natural reading of the creation account therefore is to place it in parallel with a 7-day week. By doing so, the burden of determining time frames and development for various components of creation is avoided. Furthermore such a literal view of God’s creation process requires no more faith than theories of science-that our world evolved to its current state by the accidental collision of molecules.

For Christians, the question of origin is most critical. If mankind has merely evolved from lower forms of life, one cannot possess the special imprint of God’s likeness (Genesis 1:27; 2:7). If all of life is but the result of natural forces as told through various strains of evolution, it then becomes impossible to understand and know God through His creation.

Ultimately for most Christians it comes to this: if God is not Author and Creator of all that is, life offers little meaning or purpose for mankind. In evolution there is no judgment, and therefore no punishment or reward for the way we live. Through the view of evolution, lifestyle choices don’t matter. Instead life and creation simply evolve. But from the view of creationism, recognizing God’s handiwork and order, life takes on great meaning and renders significant eternal reward.

Actually, the difference between the 1977 AG statement on creation and the revised 2010 statement reflects the battle that has been raging ever since events from Genesis 3 took place. In Genesis 3, Satan tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s Word. Eve was asked, “Did God Really Say?” The apostle Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that Satan will use the same method on us as he did on Eve—to get us to a position of unbelief regarding God’s Word. What Satan was doing was getting Adam and Eve to question God’s Word, and to act as “gods.” In essence, Adam and Eve decided to make fallible man the authority over God’s Word, instead of judging everything against the absolute authority of God’s Word.

In the statement based on the 1977 paper, the Assemblies of God state, “The most natural reading of the creation account . . . ” And when a person reads this account, it is taken as the Word of God in Genesis as written, and we let God speak through his Word—and do not compromise the days of creation or the creation account with evolution. Obviously back in the 1970s, the AG was stating that we cannot take man’s ideas and reinterpret God’s Word. Amen!

Then note the major change in the 2010 revision. Now the Assemblies of God statement reads, “The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists . . . ”

In other words, they have now succumbed to the view—prevalent in the church today—that is undermining the authority of God’s Word, and ultimately is significantly contributing to the collapse of Christianity in our Western world. The AG with its August statement is now saying we have to take the fallible ideas of fallible humans and use these in authority over the Word of God.

In our best-selling book Already Gone, we publicized the results of the statistically powerful research conducted by America’s Research Group on why two-thirds of young people are leaving the church when they reach college age. The bottom line is that the research showed that the children, at a young age, were already succumbing to doubts about God’s Word; the main reasons for this is because of what they are being taught at school (most went to public schools), the church is not teaching apologetics (i.e., teaching a defense of the faith, and teaching them how to answer skeptical questions), and many church leaders tell them they can believe in millions of years (and also evolution), thus compromising God’s Word. The young people see this as “hypocrisy” (church leaders telling them to believe the Bible, but then telling them they don’t have to take it as written in Genesis for instance), and thus, most of them end up walking away from their church.

The Hillsong Connection

One of the most influential pastors in the Assemblies of God denomination is Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong in Australia. (He is a leader of the Assemblies of God denomination in Australia.) Many churches around the world use the worship music that comes out of Hillsong; thus, Brian Houston is extremely influential in the Assemblies of God denomination worldwide. After I happened to see a video on television where he was teaching that one certainly didn’t have to take the six days of creation as ordinary days, I decided to research any printed statements of his on the topic of Genesis/creation. Here is a statement, which sadly, exhibits the same compromise wording consistent with the Assemblies of God’s 2010 revised statement on creation.

Pastor Brian Houston, Hillsong Church Australia, stated the following in an interview:

I believe in creation. The Bible starts in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If I waver on the first 10 words of the Bible I think I’m going to have problems properly representing the rest of the Bible. However, timeframes, over what period of time that was, whether there was room for any evolving in some areas of life as well, I’m more than open to that. I’m happy to leave that to the experts.

There is a transcript of interview at this link:

This statement certainly allows for fallible man’s beliefs (the millions of years/evolutionary ideas of the secularists) to be in authority over God’s Word. His declaration opens the door to reinterpret the clear reading of Genesis, as long as one just believes God is Creator. I find so often the statement in the church that as long as one believes God is Creator, how God created or how one takes the rest of the creation account in Genesis doesn’t matter. However, this is a major problem within the church that must be recognized in this era of history. Many church leaders are prepared to take Genesis 1:1 as it is written, but much of the rest of Genesis chapters 1–11 are reinterpret based upon what is called “science,” which means in reality that one takes man’s fallible beliefs about the past concerning millions of years and evolution and reinterprets God’s Word to fit with these beliefs.

The Assemblies of God denomination needs to be challenged. For all the mega-churches in the world, and for all the praise and worship that goes on in churches, our Western world is collapsing from a Christian worldview perspective. Whether it is England, all of Europe, Canada, or Australia (and it is happening in the USA), the Christian worldview is collapsing and church attendance declining. Increasing number of of the next generation are walking away from the church.

What is happening is that church leaders are succumbing to the pagan religion of the age! Yes, millions of years and evolution are part of the pagan religion of this age to explain life without God. As they succumb to this pagan religion and compromise God’s Word, wittingly or unwittingly, Christian leaders are undermining the authority of the Word.

But it’s even more than this!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

Who is the Word? The Word is Jesus Christ. When one puts fallible man’s ideas over the Word of God, then one is not just undermining the Word of God, but actually attacking the Son of God. We can only know the Father through the Son, and we know the Son through the Word. To compromise the Word of God is a very serious matter indeed.

I trust the Assemblies of God will repent of their revised statement on creation that has now opened the door to compromise with man’s ideas—with the pagan religion of this age. If the denomination continues to go down this path, generations will continue to leave the church and the culture will continue to destruct as the Christian worldview is undermined. It’s not numbers at churches or praise songs around the world that count, but whether one is faithful to the Word of God.

Now having said that, I do know there are pastors in this AG denomination who are horrified at the revised statement and take the stand they should on the historicity of Genesis. We pray they will be able to challenge the leaders in this denomination to shut the door to such compromise.

However, movements like Hillsong (that now have churches in a number of large cities), and any denomination that does not stand on biblical authority from the first book of the Bible as they should (and has opened the door to compromise biblical authority as we see in the above item), we will continue to see massive changes in a generation or two as the culture continues to decline from a Christian perspective—and sadly, as young people continue to leave the church.


It shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days

(Deuteronomy 17:19) And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them

We read the Bible everyday so that we relearn to fear the Lord Jesus Christ and to obey Him—the Bible defuses worldly terror and displaces worldly thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,


Essential Books From & About Church History

The Resurgence list of Essential Books From & About Church History.
(Last week, I posted The list from your fellow brothers sisters in Christ)


Know Your Heretics: Mani

Know Your Heretics
Justin Holcomb Director of the Resurgence
Know Your Heretics series

A self-appointed "helper of Jesus"

Manichaeism is based on the teachings of Mani (216–c.277), who founded a Gnostic-like, highly dualistic religion. He rejected all of the Old Testament and much of the New Testament. Mani claimed his religion to be the unadulterated form of Christianity. He referred to himself as “Mani, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the appointment of God the Father,” thinking himself to be the "helper" to whom Jesus alluded in John 14:16.

"Battle between light and dark"

The Manichean religion is a fusion of aspects of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Gnostic versions of Christianity—a pantheistic hodgepodge. Central to Manichaeism is the belief in a primordial feud between the powers of light and darkness. Mani taught that behind the universe lay two ultimate principles: God the Father reigns over the Kingdom of Light, which is spiritual, and a horrible prince rules over the Kingdom of Darkness, which is material. Both kingdoms are eternal and in perpetual conflict.

Too spiritual for the Resurrection

All material things, including the physical body, were viewed as evil and restrictive. This led the Manicheans to reject the biblical concept of the resurrection of the dead, the content of Christian hope.

In striving for release from their finite bodies through the obedience of simple moral laws, Manicheans were taught to hope for reincarnation as members of the elect who would eventually be delivered from the world cycle through the process of transmigration. Church historian J.N.D. Kelly describes this strange belief:

As he exists, man is tragically involved in the material order; he is fallen and lost. Actually, however, he is a particle of Light, belonging to, though exiled from, the transcendent world. He is of the same essence as God, and human souls are fragments of the divine substance. His salvation lies in grasping this truth by an interior illumination which may be spontaneous, but usually comes in response to initiation into the Manichean fellowship; and in the process of salvation, God is at once redeemer and redeemed.

Too spiritual for the Incarnation

The Manichean view of Christ is seriously different from the Bible’s. Due to the dualism of the religion, the body, being natural and material, is considered evil. For the Son of God to take on our nature would be to contaminate himself with evil. The Incarnation, a contradiction to this dualistic belief, was considered outlandish and implausible.

Perhaps the most famous Manichean was St. Augustine, who adhered to this religion for 10 years while he was at Carthage and then at Rome before he converted to Christianity.

Augustine wrote against Manichaeism in his Confessions and Against Faustus the Manichaean. (Faustus was the chief theologian of Manichaeism).

Christ above all

Manichaeism is clearly contrary to orthodox Christianity in that it insists there is no omnipotent God who is the creator of all things. Rather, the eternal struggle between good and evil places the force of good on equal footing with the force of evil. In contrast, orthodox Christianity asserts there is one God who existed prior to, and separate from, creation. God is not one with the world (as pantheism states), nor is he unable to defeat evil. On the contrary, Colossians asserts that Christ is above every earthly power and his victorious resurrection serves as the ultimate answer to the problem of evil.

“Contrary to Manichaeism, Christianity does not ascribe evil to creation, for the book of Genesis describes everything created by God as good and untainted by sin before the fall of Adam.”

Manichaeism today

The Manichean religion finds continuity with much contemporary new age spiritualism. The idea that “God is in everything and everything is in God” pervades culture, and the concept of reincarnation is prevalent. Contrary to reincarnation, Christianity teaches that salvation does not lie in overcoming evil through moral behavior and upright living. Rather, it consists in acknowledging one’s inability to do so and clinging to the one who has—the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Originally Posted By Justin Holcolmb from

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Know Your Heretics: Docetism

Know Your Heretics
Justin Holcomb Director of the Resurgence
Know Your Heretics series

Docetism was a heresy about Jesus that gained in popularity in the third century among those committed to Greek philosophy. Docetism is a term for a set of beliefs that were found in a number of heresies, including Marcionism and Gnosticism.

“Jesus Felt No Pain”

Unlike many early heresies that denied the divinity of Jesus, Docetism eliminates his humanity. Suggesting that Jesus only appeared to be human though he was in fact not, Docetism derives its name from the Greek word dokeo, which means “to seem or appear.”

Those holding to Docetism believed that there was one eternal father who was eternally transcendent and therefore unable to experience any sort of human emotion of suffering. The idea that Jesus became human flesh (John 1:14) and experienced life as a human was unthinkable and offensive to this philosophy.

The Gospel of Peter, an apocryphal book, illustrates a Docetic view. It says that during his crucifixion, Jesus “kept silence, as one feeling no pain,” which implied, as church historian J.N.D. Kelly notes, “that His bodily make-up was illusory.”

Jesus Truly Suffered

The orthodox early church was strongly opposed to Docetism.

Irenaeus thought the teaching was so dangerous that he wrote a five-volume work (Against Heresies) against one of Docetism’s prominent teachers, Valentinus (c. 136–c. 165).

Ignatius said that it would have been foolish for him to have been imprisoned for proclaiming one who merely appeared to suffer for his sake:
Turn a deaf ear therefore when any one speaks to you apart from Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David, the child of Mary, who was truly born, who ate and drank, who was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and truly died….But if, as some godless men, that is, unbelievers, say, he suffered in mere appearance (being themselves being mere appearances), why am I in bonds?

Polycarp makes the strongest possible charge against the Docetists by saying that “everyone who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an anti-Christ,” echoing 1 John 4:2-3.

Jesus Came in the Flesh

As theologian Stephen Nichols points out, much contemporary popular theology tends to “view Jesus as sort of floating six inches off the ground as he walked upon the earth.” Downplaying or rejecting the true humanity of Jesus is common today, but it does not fit with the biblical picture of Jesus given to us in the Gospels.
While on earth, Jesus experienced hunger (Matt. 4:2) and thirst (John 19:28), showed compassion (Matt. 9:36), was tired (John 4:6), felt sorrow to the point of weeping (John 11:35), and grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52). Yet, in all of his humanness, Jesus never sinned (Heb. 4:15).

Like Us in Every Way, Yet Without Sin

Avoiding Docetism is important because, as the author of Hebrews writes, Jesus “had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17).
It is because Jesus was tempted as we are that he is able to sympathize with us in our weakness. Put bluntly, the whole of the atonement rests on Docetism being false. On this point, T. F. Torrance writes: “Any docetic view of the humanity of Christ snaps the lifeline between God and man, and destroys the relevance of the divine acts in Jesus for men and women of flesh and blood.”

If Docetism is true and he was so heavenly that he only appeared human, then we no longer can place our confidence in Jesus Christ, who as truly God and truly man serves as the mediator between God and men.

Originally Posted By Justin Holcolmb from

Essential Books From & About Church History

The Resurgence asked a question of what the church thinks are the most essential books from and about church history. Here are the best of the best from your answers.
(Next week, I will re-post The Resurgence list)


Monday, December 20, 2010

People Are Truly Good At Heart!

Posted at
on Monday, December 20th, 2010

An comment directed to Ray Comfort:

"It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." from the Diary of Anne Frank (last entry). Your God damns her to hell after the hell she lived through. Your suggestion that she deserved eternity in hell because your God is so just is revolting."

The Response by Ray Comfort:

It seems that you are more upset at God, rather than the Nazis. Are you agreeing with Anne Frank, that the Nazis weren't that bad after all? I hope not. And why would you be even slightly concerned, when you don't believe that Hell or God exist?

Also, you have no reason to be upset because the Germans devoured the Jews. This is the process of evolution you champion; and if God ultimately devours Anne Frank, your cruel process of evolution continues into eternity.

Rather, you choose not to believe that God is rich in mercy, and because of that, you end up with a revolting image that you have created in your own mind. The merciless Jew-damning god you are so upset by, doesn't exist.

Don't forget that when Anne Frank said that she believed that people were truly good at heart, she was still in hiding with her family. Her naive faith in human goodness may have been shaken when she and her family were taken to Auschwitz in 1944, and her father was wrenched from her, and was no doubt murdered.

At 15 years old, she was then forced to strip naked, disinfected, had her head shaved, and was tattooed with an identifying number on her arm. She was then used as slave labor until disease caused her skin to became badly infected by scabies. She was then moved to an "infirmary," that was in a state of constant darkness and infested with disease-ridden rats.

The last time Anne was seen by two of her friends, most of her precious family were dead. She was bald, emaciated and shivering. In February, 1945 she told her friends that she didn’t want to live any longer. In March of the same year, she tragically died.

America has it's own holocaust, with government-sanctioned murder of over 50 million babies, since Roe vs Wade. Around 200,000 people were murdered in the U.S. during the 1990’s, and 30,000 slaughtered recently by the Mexican cartel, in drug wars. If you truly believe that man is good, then leave your front door open tonight. The odds are that you will be a statistic in the morning.

I'm hoping to see Anne Frank in Heaven. I hope to see you there also.
For Evangelism Resources, please visit


Friday, December 3, 2010

How I Pastor My Family

By Justin Hyde from

Many people ask me, "What do 'family devotions' look like at your house?" or, "How do you pastor your family?" or even more simply, "Do you pray or read the Bible with your wife and children?" Here is one attempt to answer those questions.

1. Routine

Our family works best with a routine. My wife and I, and our children, have a reasonably regular weekly schedule. Our "family devotions" fit into the larger rhythm and routines of our household (e.g. dinner, bedtime, etc.). Additionally, it is important to note that there are explicit and implicit aspects to our daily spiritual devotion. The bulk of the explicit aspects happen at night between when I get home from work and when I go to bed.

2. Intentional Evenings

I get home from work between 5:30PM and 5:45PM each night. But I have to prepare myself before 5:30PM so that I can hit the ground running when I walk in the door. Though I am invariably tired from my day's work, I have to remind myself that the most important part of my vocation happens after 5:30PM, not before. I am tempted to mentally "clock out" on my drive home, which would be easy. Yet I have to consciously prepare myself to give more energy, more attention, and more dedicated focus as soon as I walk through the door and am greeted by my 5 year old son, 3 year old daughter, newborn son, and wife than I have all day. This takes prayer, practice, and intentionality. It's easy to fail. Husbands/dads, don't clock-out on your way home; be ready to be present and engaged; don't let your kids or wife expect to hear your formulaic: "I'm tired;" turn your phone off (I recently read something like this: "If you touched your wife as much as you touch your iPhone your marriage would be in a much better spot."); cancel your cable TV; repent of your addiction to new projects, hobbies, and distractions. Wives, be gracious; be forgiving; learn and grow with your husband; make your home inviting and pleasing; manage the stress level (for you and the kids) before dad gets home (i.e. don't let the water boil all day so that it's boiling over the top right when dad's car pulls up).

3. Time To Play

We eat dinner at 6:00PM. So I walk in the door and devote myself to the kids for 20-30 minutes. Rarely do I take 5 steps into the house before having a 5 year old around my left leg and a 3 year old around my right leg (and now, often, a baby in my arms). Dads, your kids are ready to see you. Ready to punch you. Ready to kiss you. Ready to play. Ready to build. Ready to read. And of course your wife needs this from you too if she's making dinner or just needing a break after her long day. Husbands, remind yourself daily that your wife is likely more exhausted than you are by 5:30PM. Serve her well. This is also a good time to teach the kids about setting the table, helping to pick up the living room, honoring mom, serving a younger sibling, etc. But mainly this is a good time to play.

4. Mealtime

We always eat dinner together around the dinner table. My wife is hospitable, creative, thoughtful, carefree, and eager to worship through a shared meal. Our table is often decorated with candles, and sometimes flowers. We drink wine. We celebrate. We laugh. We joke. We make silly faces. We eat great food. We often, almost without fail, enjoy a dessert. We hold hands to pray. We take our time. Our children are watching and learning and savoring all of this.

5. Cleanup

After dinner we usually clean up (sometimes we wait until the kids are asleep). The children help with dishes, help put things away, help clean up. It doesn't take long and the payoff in relaxation and focus is often worth the price of clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. Yet regardless of whether we clean up now or later, our attention is devoted to the children from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. After dinner, we play. We read. We build towers. We go on adventures. We explore. We tickle.

6. Bible Time

At 7:15PM we all start winding down and I tell the kids: "15 more minutes of ____, and then it's 7:30PM." My kids know exactly what I mean. At 7:30PM it's Bible time. We all gather in the living room (if we're not there already); we get the Bible; and the kids pile on my lap. For the longest time we read the ESV Illustrated Family Bible. This Bible uses the actual ESV text but the stories are selective and the images are great and colorful. Recently, we began using The Early Readers Bible only because Jonas received it as a Christmas gift. This is a great Bible too, but it's not the actual ESV text, which I prefer. It's a Bible written for young readers. Our 5 year old can blast through this easily, and sometimes I'll let him read during our devotional time, though rarely. At this stage I think it's important for me to lead this time and shepherd them as I read aloud. The great thing about The Early Readers Bible is the questions after each section. Very helpful. Dads, it's important for you to call the family together. Don't force mom to keep looking at her watch, to always be waiting for you, to nag you to get started. Call the family together. Get the Bible. Know where/what you're reading. Lead your family. Wives, this may be new or unfamiliar for many dads. Go easy on him. Encourage him. Honor his leadership. Don't undermine. Don't criticize. Model respect and love for your children to see. And remember, the kids are watching.

7. Questions & Answers

After we read a section of Scripture I ask questions. I ask questions about the story, about the characters, about the doctrines or themes within the story, about applying the text to the real life of 5- and 3-year-olds. In addition to asking questions about the text itself, our children also memorize the Small Children's Catechism by Chris Schlect I cannot overstate the importance of catechism in the home. Someone has said, "Preaching without catechism is like building a house without pouring a foundation." So true. Other helpful resources are The Big Book of Questions and Answers (Sinclair Ferguson), My 1st Book of Questions and Answers (Carine Mackenzie), and Big Truths for Young Hearts (Bruce Ware)

8. Family Prayer

Then we all pray. We take prayer requests (this is important because the kids need to see dad asking mom how he can pray for her). And each of us pray. Sometimes I ask the kids to pray for certain things. Sometimes I ask the older to pray for the younger. Sometimes they want to say the Lord's Prayer (which means you need to help them memorize it when they're two or three). Sometime it's random. Moms and dads, you need to guard this time so that the children don't grow to despise it. This needs to be an encouraging, graceful, loving, fun, sometimes silly, patient, and fruitful time. Be honest with one another. Teach your kids how to care, how to be sensitive to others' needs, how to articulate what they're feeling. Make disciples.

9. Bedtime

Now it's bedtime. Love those kids. Hug and kiss and tickle and snuggle like crazy.

10. Explicit vs. Implicit

Most of the above routine is explicit training and devotion. Yet each of those elements fit into the larger mosaic of what it means to be a part of our family. These explicit elements would only go so far (but not far enough) if not paired with the implicit aspects of the daily spiritual development that are more subtle and mundane. The implicit aspects are the constant opportunities to listen to your kids, to talk to them, to tell them about Jesus, to tell them about something you read in Scripture, something you've wondered about God, to connect the dots between dinner and worship, to live a life of celebration and sacrifice. The legitimacy of your "devotion time" is only as solid as the legitimacy of your devotional life. In other words, I reap the rich spiritual benefits at 7:30PM each night because I tilled the soil that morning, during the day, at dinner, and so on. Quality time doesn't replace quantity. In fact, you can only enjoy the quality because you've invested in the quantity. The implicit is the foundation that sustains the rest, only most people don't see the foundation so it's easy to ignore. Please know, I fail often. I need much grace. God has given me a forgiving wife and patient kids. Husbands/dads, this is the most important work you'll ever do, and it will have more impact than anything you could imagine. Wives/moms, encourage your man to lead; create conditions in which he can succeed. Couples, be patient and forgiving. Don't be short-sighted. Love well. And savor your time together. May God help us pastor our families well.

Originally Posted at