I attended several churches and a Christian high school growing up but somehow never learned that church wasn’t a place, discipleship wasn’t a sermon, and charity wasn’t a handout. No one ever shared how pivotal health (physical, mental, and spiritual) is in the Gospel, the ministry of Jesus, and the history of the Church. And throughout 20 years in ministry, I don’t recall anyone describing how all God’s characteristics are encompassed in His consummate role – that of a loving Father.
It took studying Scripture personally and listening to the Holy Spirit to realize Jesus continually referred to God as His Father. As always, Jesus modeled how we should live and love – in His prayer, His compassion, His evangelism – and in His relationship with the Father. Unfortunately, most pastors don’t teach about God in the context of a Father. If they did, they would have answers to questions about His actions in the Old Testament, explaining that when it comes to His children, the Father is fiercely protective while necessarily strict. Instead, many churches selectively skip over passages that don’t align with society’s standards for “tolerance”.
God is not just a caring friend, demanding judge, merciful benefactor, or omniscient engineer. He is all of those and everything else a Father should be – but can never achieve. Humans are not just hapless sojourners, wayward sinners, preprogrammed robots, or autonomous beings. We are the Lord’s children, guided by His fatherly counsel and discipline – and made in His image.
It is now apparent to me how fundamental fatherhood is to the construct of the Kingdom – as central here on earth as it is in heaven. Atheists and activists seem to understand its importance better than many Christians. They know that eradicating America’s deeply rooted Christian heritage from modern society requires undermining perceptions of God as our heavenly Father and the authority of our earthly dads.
Undermining God as Father
Scientists, doctors, professors, and politicians can’t be saviors if Americans already have One. Wrestling the “savior” mantle away from the Father is the first step toward certifying state-sponsored education and government as ultimate authorities. The battle for allegiance must be shifted from God to mankind to control behaviors and create dependence – maximizing power and profit. The front line of that battle is questioning whether the Father can be trusted…
- Is God good? How could He let bad things happen to good people in your Bible and in our world today? But as a Father with an omniscient perspective, only He understands fully what needs to be done for the good of His children.
- Is God fair? Why doesn’t God answer all your prayers? But as a Father in charge of His creation, He defines what is fair and as children it’s not our place to disown Him for not giving us what we want or allowing us to suffer the consequences of our mistakes.
- Is God wise? If there is a Creator why didn’t He design everyone perfectly? But as a Father who made all humans in His image, the differences and “deficiencies” we perceive are rooted in our sin and prejudice. not the inadequacy of God’s workmanship or capabilities.
- Is God loving? If so many Christians aren’t loving, then how could God be? But as a Father whose children are often rebellious, God is not to blame for their exercise of free will. In fact, His unconditional love is what drove Him to atone for their sins on the cross.
- Is God attentive? Does He even exist or just not paying attention to all the evil in the world? But as a Father so often rejected by those He created, He is saddened by yet not responsible for the implications of choices we’ve made since the Garden of Eden.
- Is God in charge? If He exists and runs the show, how can you believe in a God who avenges and condemns? But any great Father is intolerant of wickedness that infiltrates the household, particularly when it calls into question his judgment, values, and authority.
- Is God intimidating? Why worship a God where fear is the basis for the relationship? But understanding He is a Father clarifies the true meaning of “fear of the Lord” – respect and reverence like we had when we worried our dads might (justifiably) discipline us.
- Is God reliable? Why would you allow anyone to tell you what to do? But as a flawless Father who only has our best interests at heart, we can trust God with everything we own, which in actuality is nothing since even our bodies are only on loan to us, for a short time.
- Is God controlling? Why would you surrender your will and sacrifice your lives? But when we see God as a loving Father and our identity as His child, we’re not giving anything up but gaining purpose and meaning for now and eternity.
When viewed through the prism of fatherhood, we acquiesce to the truth of Scripture – that God’s patience, goodness, and mercy as well as His justice, anger and discipline are entirely wrapped up in His role as a loving Father. That paradigm poses the greatest threat to the powerful forces seeking the demolition of Christian values and institution of secular humanism as the prevailing world view.
Undermining Dads as Fathers
When Scripture and the Holy Spirit eventually revealed that God was my Father, I quickly realized why those who rejected God also sought to break down the “traditional” family. As long as the foundational biblical underpinning for society remained in place, so would the values behind that structure. No matter the social cost, destruction of God’s design for the family was a prerequisite for redirecting trust and dependency away from Him. Redefining marriage, genders, roles, sex, and preborn viability all work in the same direction – away from the Lord’s intent for dads, moms and children. Choreographed campaigns pressure youth to declare their independence from the outdated principles of their parents using the same set of questions…
- Is your dad good? Has he let you down?
- Is your dad fair? Did his mislead you?
- Is your dad wise? Was he uninformed, misguided by religion?
- Is your dad loving? Is he intolerant?
- Is your dad attentive? Was he there for you?
- Is your dad in charge? How could you follow in his (unenlightened) footsteps?
- Is your dad intimidating? Aren’t you glad to be out from under his influence?
- Is your dad reliable? Can he be trusted since he holds antiquated values?
- Is your dad controlling? Do you still answer to him?
The result is (and will likely continue to be) “fatherless” generations, orphaned by detachment from relationships they once held dear. Inserted to try to fill that “Father-shaped hole” are empty promises of freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and faith in those certain to let them down – all dead-end roads leading only to separation from a loving Father and (Christian) dads.
How Can Your Church Advance Fatherhood?
When I realized God is my Father and how important fatherhood is in His design, it became clear that the Lord expects His Church to promote and protect the biblical family. Churches are culture’s last line of defense against efforts to discredit God as Father and dads as authority figures. Without the Father and dads to guide children, society will keep slipping into a moral morass. Poverty and prison statistics point out the risks of removing fatherly guardrails.
Any attacks on fatherhood are attacks on the family which are attacks on the Church (a family comprised of families). The authority of churches will be supplanted as the loss of social structures at the lowest level (households) give way to control at the highest (secular) level. Government intervention will be deemed necessary to quell the chaos ensuing from what John Adams forewarned – the inadequacy of the Constitution to govern a society that encourages evolving social norms with no obligation to family or God. Before it’s too late, churches must…
- Teach about God in the context that Jesus exemplified – as a loving Father
- Train men to be godly dads and husbands
- Never substitute spiritual “fathers” for the role of dads discipling families in the home
- Advocate for biblical family units in a spirit of love and compassion, not judgment
- Confess that “traditional” was not always biblical, but fatherhood certainly is
- Warn about the pitfalls of putting our faith in mankind given our sinful natures
- Make sure the Father, not churches or pastors, remains the “first love” of His children
- Restore personalized, intensive discipleship, showing congregants how to provide directions to the Father and not just to a church service next Sunday
Only when churches recognize the strategy in place to expunge any vestige of Christianity from America (by removing the influence of the Father and dads) will pastors take appropriate actions in response. Meanwhile, youth will continue to be indoctrinated in principles that undermine faith and families, precipitating the inevitable demise of a fatherless society.
It’s Your Turn
Are battles over marriage, gender, and preborns less about defending rights than breaking down paternal social structures to foster the dependence needed to steer a populace and the materialism needed to fuel an economy?