I recently listened to a Christ the Center podcast on the Family Integrated Church (FIC) movement, interviewing Sam Waldron. Here’s a synopsis of assertions made. I basically agree, and I pastor a church registered on the FIC website!
- No biblical mandate can be found for homeschooling or for forbidding a nursery at church. FIC has too much wooden-ness and rigidity on these issues.
- To say ONLY a parent can or should teach their child lacks appreciation for gifts God has given in the church.
- Is the Church a "family of families"? Voddie Baucham doesn’t see this as a good way to say it. It’s trying to be covenantal without the theology. It doesn’t reflect rightly the jurisdiction between church and family. The church then loses jurisdiction over wives and children. This is a hyper-family focus, and ignores singles.
- We need to distinguish between speakers and leaders of a movement, and those who are leading churches that identify as FIC.
- FIC bypasses the church and looks to Abraham and Job as our pattern of family life. It downplays or ignores the history of Israel, the New Covenant, and the pastoral epistles as more normative for life together as God’s people. [Not sure about this one - there are helpful applications in the family, looking at Abraham and Job!]
- FIC is in danger of holding a messianic view of the family. As if homeschooling and family integration at church are our hope to recover godliness in our souls and families and churches and nation. Waldron: I have seen this in my own heart. Be careful where you put your trust. These things are not the gospel; some of FIC’s principles are good applications of the Gospel.
- FIC Critics are not anti-family.