Is There Hope For Our Children? (Independent Baptist Truth Revolution #17)

My husband asked me to guest blog for him this week. I asked him why and he told me that he wanted a woman’s perspective of the Independent Baptist movement. Since I grew up in this movement, and have been in the ministry my whole life (my dad was a pastor) then I guess I am qualified to give a woman’s perspective. Much of my thoughts have been in my head for many years, but as my children are getting older my thoughts have become much more serious to me. What am I teaching my children?

Jimmy and I have been burdened for some time with the rut that much of our movement seems to have settled into over the years. We see our generation leaving our movement and the preaching then says, “Well, that is what happens when this generation wants the things of the world and gets more liberal”. We argue that complacency and stubbornness to stick with tradition are just as wrong a heart as a heart that is leaving to find a more comfortable place to worship The Lord. We also argue that many of our generation are leaving BECAUSE of a hunger for righteousness…not in spite of it. If this is the case, and we believe that it is, then something drastic must happen in our movement if it is to be rescued.

I am a mother. I think of what we are passing on to our children. My questions are from deep within. What am I offering my children in this movement? A system? A religion? A list to check off in their lives to be accepted? Will they be raised in a church to grow up and leave it because it has disappointed them? Will we follow certain leaders so much that if they were to fall into sin my children would be disillusioned and doubt God? Am I feeding them a philosophy of works based sanctification that gives them the idea that if they can keep it they somehow will be a little more favored of God, for them to grow up and know it is impossible and then always feel that God is disappointed in them? These are questions that have processed in my soul.

There are many wonderful Independent Baptist churches still out there. But there are also many that are not. It is for these members that Jimmy writes. It is for these mothers that I write. It is for our children and the next generation. There has to be some shifting in the thoughts of many of our churches or our children, if they desire to know the Lord, may very well walk away. They already are. Jimmy and I see a shift in our movement. We still see a future and we don’t want to walk away (although we have been tempted). Instead, we want it to return to its roots. A movement that originally simply pulled away from a big brother system that tried to tell other people what they must believe and support as a whole even against what they personally believed. We have turned into the big brother system and we believe that God is working in a generation that is once again saying that we will not ignore our personal accountability before God. We feel we are part of a generation that is taking it back to what it once was, and what it should be again.

Here is my desire for my children and what I believe to be the heart of many of the mothers in our movement:

I am thankful for my goodly heritage, but a heritage is not what I want to pass down to my children. I want to give them Jesus.
I don’t want them to know about God. I want them to know God.
I don’t want to teach them to just ask Jesus into their hearts. I want them to learn to have His heart.
I don’t want them to live like Jesus. I want them to learn to get out of the way and let Jesus live through them.
I don’t want them to act friendly. I want them to be a true friend.
I don’t want them to work for God. I want God to work on them.
I don’t want them to be held captive by the law. I want them to be captivated by the love of Jesus.
I don’t want them to just preach the Gospel. I want them to live it.
I don’t want to teach them to influence people. I want to teach them to show others how to be influenced by Christ.
I don’t want them to walk an old path. I want them to walk with the Ancient of Days!
I don’t want them to have the old time religion. I want them to have a fresh relationship every single day with Jesus.
I don’t want them to just attend church. I want them to be a example of what being a part of the church…a living organism…should be to others.
I don’t want them to do the right kind of things. I want them to be the right kind of person.
I don’t want to groom them to be spiritual leaders. I want them to learn that the only way to be spiritual is to be a follower of Christ.
I don’t want them to ever think that they have arrived, or that their parents have arrived. I want them to know that we are all on a journey that constantly changes and we all have much to learn until the day we die.
I don’t want them to ever think they can earn Gods favor. I want them to know that none of us can, but He graciously bestows it on us because He loves us.
I don’t want them to think they can do right. It is not in our flesh to do right. I want them to learn that if God dwells in them, it is only His goodness that will come through us, and that is why we need Him so in our lives.

I have hope for my children! I pray that they will desire to be real with God and to seek His Word for their lives. I pray that they will first see that in my life! I pray that by the time they grow up, they will be a part of the generation that has gotten back to Gods Word as the guidance of their lives.

All articles in the series here.

Guest Blogger Alicia Reagan
Check out my wife’s wonderful blog where she simply writes her heart. She shares life as a wife, mother, pastor’s wife, and paraplegic. I love her! She is my partner in crime! Check out her articles to help the disabled too!



26 thoughts on “Is There Hope For Our Children? (Independent Baptist Truth Revolution #17)

  1. This is probably the wrong post to write this on, but it was this post that reminded me of some thoughts I’ve long held in private, but believe they ought to be aired. It’s about the modern Fundamentalism movement.

    It has its real roots, not in the Fundamentalism movement at the turn of the 20th century, and up until WWII. Its real roots go back to the 50s and 60s, and the era of the civil liberties movement. What happened is that when the laws changed to desegregate schools, etc. that a new movement began–away from the cities, away from the public schools. It was called “white flight”, and while the Christian school movement had many good characteristics and reasons to exist, I’m afraid that one of the main, but unspoken reasons was to re-segregate. Of course, one does want to protect one’s children from evil influences, etc. and I am sure that many schools and churches thought they were doing the right thing, but the primary impetus for the whole movement away from the cities and away from the public schools was to avoid desegregation. That, dear friends, is the dirty secret of fundamentalism today. It is a sad truth, and one I’ve run against in my many travels on deputation and on furlough. It is this desire for segregation that is at the root of what today we call “separation”. What is called separation today is anything but biblical separation. Its real name ought to be segregation. Think of how people today must segregate their trash into recyclables and non. In some cities in Japan, people have to segregate their household waste into a dozen or more containers. You see, once you start to segregate, it become easier to keep segregating into ever smaller categories. When it comes to segregating humans, though, it gets quite ugly, because everybody who doesn’t fit your own category ends up being treated like trash. It’s a horrible thing, and when my eyes began to see it, I could no longer ignore it.

    The problem is it is very insidious, and many/most people do not realize how it destroys, not only those who are segregated from, but those who are doing the segregating. (I suspect that many people are more sensitive to this issue than others, and they are the first to see the dark side of fundamentalism)

    I have more thoughts, but wanted to share these as food for thought.

    • I appreciate your thoughts. I was in one of those stagnant Independent Baptist Churches in Cincinnati as a kid. I was saved but was taught nothing about a relationship with Christ in that church. I was only taught what I should not do and everybody spent a lot of time questioning whether others were “really saved” or not. Some of them threw out their tvs, and then tried to throw out the pastor for some reason or another. They spent a lot of time fighting and gossiping in that church. I didn’t learn about a relationship with Christ until I got older and did my own reading, studying, and listening to radio programs. I belong to a Baptist church now but I have attended Christian churches, non denominational Christian, and even a charismatic church (not for me). In all those different settings, I learned something about having a relationship with Christ, but not in that Independent Baptist church I went to as a kid.

  2. I should have added that I really appreciate your post, and your thoughts. We have struggled with these same issues in our family. Since we live overseas, though, we are not so exposed to the movement–only on furlough, and that is what scares me the most. They are thrust into churches that, in our eyes as parents, seem good, but they see more than we do, because it is all new to them. And they are not sure what to make of it. We have had some interesting discussions. πŸ™‚

  3. Great article! I grew up in a pastors home. Me and my wife can relate to the questions you have about how you want to raise your children. We dont have kids yet, but we struggle sometimes with some of the things we were taught in the independent baptist realm and whether we want to pass those on to our children. We just want them to live, serve, and obey out of a real love for their Saviour.

  4. I appreciate your heart Ma’am as we have the same concerns for our children as well. We have gotten away from the simplicity in Christ & have substituted our RELATIONSHIP with him for RELIGION. 2Cor 11:3; 1Cor2:5; Phil 3:10. It’s HIM Gal 3:10. Fortunately our Heavenly Father allows us the avenue of prayer for our children.

  5. Reblogged this on aliciareagan and commented:
    I am guest blogging on my husband Jimmy’s blog, He has been writing to Independent Baptists, which we are, in a series for several weeks. He and I have together worked through so many of these issues, and he has asked me to write an article for him that shares the woman’s point of view. I share my heart here…

  6. Pingback: It’s Time For An Independent Baptist Truth Revolution! | The Reagan Review

  7. i was just talking to my husband about this very thing. thank you for writing this post. my heart breaks when i am overwhelmed & i forget to give this over to God. πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Is There Hope For Our Children? (Independent Baptist Truth Revolution #17) | Finding Liberty in Grace

  9. This is a struggle. My family has been able to visit churches the last few years and it has been an eye opener. It would be nice if our IFB churches could find the balance. I don’t want to sacrifice doctrine and service, but I love to be in a church that is not stagnant. It seems there are few that have both.

    I do not know this speaker, but thought this message about the 3 Chairs was good…and similar topic about raising our children to know God.

  10. Alicia…I really appreciate your blog post. I could not agree with you more. As a mom of 4, I relate completely. My husband and I have recently left our IFB church for the reasons you have stated in your post. I want my kids to have a real relationship with Christ and not to just play church. Your quote: “I don’t want them to do the right kind of things. I want them to be the right kind of person.” really resonated with me. Being a member of an IFB church for 45 years, I was always taught to do right and to earn favor with God. I now know that God loves me no matter how many SS classes I teach or how many times I go to church during the week. Thank you for your thoughts. I have been so encouraged this morning by reading you and your husband’s posts.

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