Sunday, June 27, 2010

Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 3)

My wife, oldest daughter and I attended the Christian Family Conference in Denver this past week. It was an amazing time of encouragement with other Christian parents – most of whom are devoted to homeschooling and home-training their children to be godly men and women, prepared to take on the world with a multi-generational vision. I’m posting some of the notes I took from the conference sessions. Some are sure to fly in the face of the traditions and cultures which most people would consider normal in today’s culture. But these men who spoke to us used the Scriptures, and their lives and the lives of their children are a testament to their integrity and boldness on these topics. Their words motivate me to continue to raise my children in a radical, counter-culture, God-fearing way.


This session was very interesting. Voddie analyzed a verse that everyone is familiar with and showed us, through proper Bible exegesis (I always wanted to use that word in a sentence!), that “I know the plans I have for you” wasn’t actually meant to apply to me and you (unless you are a Jew being carried off to captivity in Babylon). But it does tell us a lot about our God.

“Multi-Generational Vision” by Dr. Voddie Baucham

· Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – doesn’t mean what we think it means. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to us.

· Hermeneutics is the practice of interpreting the Scriptures. Voddie stresses three elements to proper hermeneutics – 1) the context is critical, 2) narrative is not normative, 3) the text can’t mean what it never meant

· Starting in verses 1-3, we see 1) the people involved (Jews from Judah), 2) the time period (the pre-exile period), 3) the place (Babylon), and 4) the events (the people are being taken away into Babylonian exile)

· But many people think that the “I know the plans” verse is meant for us, as well. Note that God makes many promises in the Bible, but not all of them apply to us. An example – “You will bear a son and will call his name Jesus.”

· Similarly, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” – we read this often as if it applies to our country and leaders, but the context and the promise indicate that it was given to God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, not to the United States

· In Jeremiah, it was God who brought the difficulty to the Israelites, not Satan. God brought them into Babylonian captivity to bring them correction. (A thought – so could God be bringing our nation through times like this to do the same for us?)

· Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” – God indicates that suffering can be part of the normal Christian life

· In Jeremiah 29:8-10, the prophets are lying to the people about a brief captivity – it will last for a total of 150 years, which means that none of the people who hear the promise in verse 11 will be alive when it is fulfilled!

· Verse 11 – “I know the plans I have for you…” is a multi-generational promise made to the Israelite people and specifically to their descendants, and the “you” refers to God’s covenant people, not to us as individuals (again, unless you are a Jew)

· So, how do we live as a multi-generational people?

--- vs. 5 – “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce” - set up shop at home, stay, lay down roots, let home be the “safe place”

--- vs. 6 – “Marry and have sons and daughters” – How can we have a multi-generational vision and not accept God’s blessing of children?

--- vs. 7 – Pray for the welfare of your captors – “because if it prospers, you too will prosper”. How can we prosper in a land that is not prosperous?

· If we lay down our life now, like the Israelites going into captivity did, God can bless the world through our children and our children’s children


Back to Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 1)

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