Quoting Quiverfull: Saving Your Child’s Life?

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by Jay Younts of Shepherd Press – Will your words save your child’s life? If you speak the truth in love from your heart and the power of Scripture, [Read more...]

Homeschool or Public School – What’s Worse?

Schooling

by Becoming Worldly I was talking with a homeschooled friend the other day who was raised fairly similar to how I was, with a more structured and less impoverished environment, and we were sharing stories. This and a few other things got me thinking. We both went on to higher education, got our masters degrees. [Read More...]

A Love That Multiplies ~ The Duggar's New Book

by Hopewell

Regular readers of this blog know that I watch TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting–” a reality show featuring the family of Jim-B0b and Michelle Duggar. I make some people very happy with my blog posts on this family and get flames from others. Such is life!! So, when I spotted a used copy of their new book so I could “buy used and save the difference,” just like the Duggar’s recommend, I knew I’d have to review it here!

Like everything Duggar there is much to admire here: some good tips about listening to your children, listening to your spouse, spending time as a family, spending time in God’s word, gathering together with other believers, living debt free, controlling your anger, modeling good behavior, drawing close in times of crisis, and looking for learning opportunities all around you.

A Season of Re-Runs:

This book, however, does have a few flaws that need examining. First: repeat, repeat, repeat! Much of this book is a virtual transcript of several recent episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” (or it’s previous incarnations). If the reader has never seen an episode it might be new, but I doubt it. Like any politician, Jim-Bob “stays on message.” You can find nearly everything in this book in other radio or podcast interviews, newspaper or magazine stories or blog posts.

Another big problem is that this book, when not repeating everything said in the past, is a public relations exercise. Nearly everything the Duggars have ever been criticized for on message boards, blogs, in the press–it all gets “answered” here. Don’t expect any shocking answers! Jim-Bob stays on message. [Read more...]

Of Pilgrims, Puritans, and Patriarchs

If everything you know about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims comes from “The Mouse on the Mayflower” or Mrs. Pumphrey’s “Stories of the Pilgrims” some of what you are about to read may shock you! Appropriately for Thanksgiving this article will show you how the Pilgrims, Separatists and Puritans pre-date today’s Christian Patriarchy movement.

by Hopewell

Back in England in the early days of the 1600s things were not going very well for anyone who didn’t really like the established Church of England. As a state-Church it was mandatory for folks to worship there and to financially support it. In the town of Scrooby and elsewhere there grew up little clusters of folks who just plain rejected the established Church and were so radical that they created their own Church in someone’s home. This was, of course, against the law—an early act of civil disobedience! The Scooby group and others looked to the New Testament, not the Church’s Book of Common Prayer, for direction in all things in life. These “radicals” felt the Book of Common Prayer “tampered with the original meaning of the Bible (Philbrick, 2006, p. 8). They even viewed hymns as a “corruption of God’s word” and sang only Psalms set to music and dared to read directly from the Bible! (p. 9).

Their theology set them apart from the established Church, too. They believed that after the Fall of Adam and Eve, God only made a covenant—only “saved” certain people. This became known as predestination and those few saved were known as “Saints” or the “elect.” This meant that no one knew who was saved [although they were always wondering about it—even in Church] and that there was not anything a person could do to change their status. They were constantly “comparing their own actions to those of others, since their conduct might indicate whether or not they were saved” (p. 9). They saw their Church as one of “visible Saints,” but not knowing who was and who was not, in fact, among the elect, the Church elders used discipline to deal with wayward members and even “excommunicated” those who refused to walk the “right path” as the elders saw it to be.

Eventually things became so bad in England that some Church members were jailed for their religious beliefs and practices. The Scrooby group moved to Holland. Interestingly, they found the religious tolerance and freedom there not to their liking! It gave THEIR members freedom, too! They started deciding for themselves what they believed—some even dared to reject infant baptism!!! (p. 16). A group in Holland led by John Robinson moved to Leiden and set up their own congregation with its own rules. Things eventually got intolerable again—this time because their children were becoming urban Dutch workers rather than rural English Christians. They boarded the Mayflower and the rest is told in myth and history books.
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49 Character Qualities of the Duggars: A Report Card

[Note: The point of this post is not about passing judgment on the Duggar family. The question is, does the lifestyle they endorse actually do what they say it will? Is it the perfect formula for a godly family? Or is what we’re seeing just a set of normal people striving within a very difficult way of living?

This post examines the Duggars’ own lives within the paradigm they themselves endorse. Given that we only see what our televisions allow us to-- does what we can see, reflect the image held up to us? And if it does not, how can we be sure about what we can‘t see?

No one expects the Duggars to be perfect. But that is not the question. The real question is: are they really showing us the best, most godly way to live-- or are we recipients of some level of what might be called “false advertising?” Please read "Duggar Bashing" for Vyckie's perspective on this Report Card..]

All of Bill Gothard’s 49 Character Qualities can be viewed online here.

by Hopewell

Alertness vs. Unawareness

Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response to it (Mark 14:38)

Parents Jim-Bob and Michelle often seem oblivious to all that’s going on around them! Not to mention their apparent total disregard for OSHA regulations in building their home, it’s been quite a few years [on TV at least] since a bike helmet has been spotted and the girls continue to run things like an saw for cutting tile in loose dresses with unsecured long hair. Negative marks to Josh for only showing alertness of greed on the birth of his daughter and opting to have his wife deliver at home instead of overriding her panic at a new doctor. Sorry, but that seems more like “oh no, we’ll lose ratings for not showing the birth!” than any real concern for Anna and the baby. Kuddos, though, to Josh and John David for being alert to a roadside accident victim and performing lifesaving assistance. A big improvement in alertness to little Josie since her near-death experience when first home.

Grade for the Family D+

Attentiveness vs. Unconcern

Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)

Jim-Bob and Michelle model this perfectly for their children. Michelle’s rapt gaze as Jim-Bob speaks encourages her husband and shows him that what he is saying matters to her. As is typical of younger people, Josh and Anna struggle with this one more—especially Joshua who is likely used to being the oldest and shouting the loudest. He has gotten better at this over his first year, almost two years, of marriage.

Cousin Amy struggles with this. Grandma has it down to a “t” and the four oldest girls are coming along fine.

GRADE for the family: B+

Availability vs. Self-centeredness

Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving (Philippians 2:20–21)

The Duggars teach their children “J.O.Y: Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last.” And, surprisingly, they do a decent job of this. We’ve seen the girls make middle-of-the-night breakfast for Dad on his way to the hospital with Mama, Grandma tirelessly manning the single washer and dryer in the Little Rock house, Grandma cleaning and watching kids whenever needed, John David helping at Josh’s car lot, John David and Joseph staying behind to continue working on the Bates’ home, the older girls helping at everything all the time, Josiah picking flowers for Grandma and the girls, kids making cards and banners, even Cousin Amy pitching in to help with the little kids. Michelle loses some points here for not seeming to respond much to her little children’s needs for love and affection. (This could be the editing of the show, but seems likely to be more than that).

Grade for the family: A-
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