thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

pros and cons of the family integrated church articles

Every single day last week, I received letters from people who were wanting to know more about the family integrated church movement. Many of them had attended a homeschooling convention in recent weeks and, like Momma Knows, had been subjected to a heapin’ helpin’ of FIC propaganda disguised as “encouragement for homeschoolers.” Others have been touched in one way or another by teachings coming out of the CHEC conference. Still others are trying to find their way out of abusive relationships that occured within the FIC circles they have been part of, most of them young moms who seek healing as they begin their own years of mothering.

I have also noticed lots of hits to the 13 articles on this site where I addressed the pros and cons of the FIC movement and thought I would provide one link where all those articles can be accessed. I hope this helps for those of you who are new to this movement and to this site and are looking for more information.

Advertisements

11 Comments»

  dadshomeschool wrote @

Thanks for you excellent article on the FIC movement. Until I read this article, I was unaware of the movement. I have been a christian for nearly 50 years and I have seen a lot of movements come and go. Unfortunately some of those movements have become cults and I have seen first hand the detestation that they wreack on families and peoples lives. The statement at the end of the article “all authority is given to the local church elders and the Christian life is not to be lived or practiced apart from their rule” strikes me as the definition of a cult. I will reserve judgment on the movement as a whole but I know that any church or religious group that subscribes to the idea contained in the aforementioned quote must be avoided. I will submit to no authority that is not itself accountable to some authority and ultimately to God. Thanks again for you thoughtful comments.

I have found your blog to be very thoughtful and I have enjoyed reading it very much. I am placing this blog on my favorites list and I will visit regularly.

Blessings, Larry
http://dadshomeschool.wordpress.com/

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Larry and welcome to my blog. I looked at yours and really enjoyed reading your story!

I hope this place will be a source of encouragement and blessimg for you and I wish you all the best as you begin this wonderful journey of homeschooling. I remember those first years….what blessed memories I have of the time spent with my now-grown children! It goes really fast….don’t blink!

  Tonya wrote @

I read your entire article today on Family Integrated Churches. We are currently attending one. While I do see some of the issues you mentioned (mainly the lack of there being much diversity in the church – we’re all about the same age, etc), I don’t see many of the other issues you encountered in your experiences. I have actually been surprised at the lack of legalism in this church (I was expecting there to be more “women wear dresses”, “you must be quiverfull” mentality). So far I’ve seen a church filled with grace, with people are striving to honor God in their families. We all do it a little bit differently! I’ve only been in the church since last fall (we moved last summer), so my experience has been rather short, but I haven’t seen anything that makes me concerned. And trust me, I’ve had bad church experiences so I’m on the lookout!

I guess my point is that you made it sound as if all FIC churches are bad and they are not. I’ve had awful experiences in Baptist churches, and while I joke about how I dislike ALL Baptist churches, the truth is that not all Baptist churches look the same.

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Tonya. I am so glad that you shared your good experiences in an FIC church. I really didn’t mean to sound like I think all FIC churches are bad. In fact, I spent a lot of time listing the positive things that our family sees about FIC churches. I am concerned with the direction many of these churches are taking as well as the leadership that is promoting them, both things that ought to concern homeschooling families. I hope you will reread the articles and take note of those positive things I shared as well as those things to be aware of “behind the scenes.”

  Tonya wrote @

I did notice the pros you mentioned – I just didn’t comment on that because I agreed. 🙂 Sorry. I never seem to express myself well on these blog comment things.

Having moved around my entire life, I have attended numerous denominations of churches. A partial list – Baptist, Bible, nondenom, Sovereign Grace (considered reformed charismatic), Church of God, Presbyterian … I could go on for hours! Plus, I have friends of pretty much every denominational variety around. Why is this important? Because I think ALL churches have flaws. All can be pointed at and said to be going in wrong directions. ALL have churches where the leaders abuse their power. I think that rather than looking at a denomination/group of churches, we should just look at people and recognize us as sinners. 🙂 Recognize that there is no church out there that is perfect as a whole. Some of the worst abuse of power I have seen came from a traditional Baptist church. The problem was more the pastor, not the denomination as a whole.

So, while there are numerous positive things about FIC churches, there are some drawbacks. The same with all churches. So far, in the FIC church we are in, I haven’t seen the negatives you mention. I guess the whole point is that we need to not look to men for our salvation, but to Christ. Remember that we serve a flawless God who has to work through us flawed humans!

  Dulce wrote @

I am so glad I found this site. I am exceedingly grateful that someone has taken the time to sound the alarm on the FIC movement. The pendulum has swung and gone way off.
As Tonya wrote above, there are flaws in every church because every church is made up of people. The problem with this movement is that the leaders seem to think that keeping the family physically together at all times eliminates our sinful nature and it simply does not. Sinners saved by grace will be exactly that regardless of whether the baby sits on mother’s lap or naps in the nursery.
There seems to be a focus on outward appearances as a sign of spirituality and this is a most unfortunate misconception. I am sorry to say that I know two families who spent years in one of these FIC and were deeply hurt by the legalism imposed upon them. Now, I do not believe for one moment that legalism exists only in FIC but it seems to be rather prevalent in the two that I am familiar with. A real danger arises whenever we stop looking to God to work in us by His grace and begin to believe that we can somehow develop a system of godliness that will guarantee our success and that of our children. We desperately need to give up the simplistic and self-righteous idea that there is one way to do all things for all people. Let us embrace the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. As we walk in freedom and continue to be motivated by the amazing grace which the Father has bestowed upon us, we shall delight in pleasing Him.

May our wonderful Lord be glorified in us as we are find our fulfillment in Him.

In Christ, Dulce

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Dulce,

You summed up this topic quite well in talking about the swinging pendulum. As homeschool dad mentioned about, when you have been a Christian for a long time, you have seen many movements come and go and even morph into other things and, historically, there is always some sort of pendulum phenomenon.

The FIC movement is a reaction against the traditional church and the ever-growing emphasis on age-segregated programs. It is a good call back to the importance of moms and dads discipling their own children. How we desperately need that in our culture today! But, as I mention in the articles, is one that that is stripping away the key doctrines of the faith and the importance for evangelism and replacing it with a whole lot of non essentials and navel gazing.

The patriocentricity movement is the same way as a whole. In a reaction to secular feminism which has introduced some pretty horrific things into the culture, the patriocentrists have swung the pendulum way, way, way far away to the other end of the spectrum and beyond, placing themselves in the position of teaching heresy as well. I have no doubt this will correct itself in due time. The problem is all the families, as you mentioned, who get bound up in this stuff and end up destroying the very relationships they ought to be building up.

Thanks for your thoughts.

  thatmom wrote @

Tonya said “I guess the whole point is that we need to not look to men for our salvation, but to Christ. Remember that we serve a flawless God who has to work through us flawed humans!”

AMEN!!!

  Concerned Mom wrote @

I am currently a single mom as my husband is deployed. This is his second deployment. Between his two deployments and training for both of them he has been away for 3 years of the past 5 years. In those years my church elders have not sought to reach out and be spiritual leaders during his absence That being said, they have announced we are now a FIC church. Without any biblical teaching on the subject or background we were TOLD that this is what we now are. The FIC has 5 questions that they say everyone has and they give leaders the answers to these questions. And like robots they repeat these answers. There is a strong defensive stance which concerns me. When asked why none of the elders have stepped up, even after being asked, to be a man in my sons life while his father was away. The answer that was given was the “he was just hard to get to know”. He was 7yrs the first deployment and 11yrs the second. To blame a child for their failure concerns me for the fatherless that may come into our church. They defend but do not teach biblically on the matter. I feel like the elders of my church have asked me to have faith and follow them instead of following Christ. I follow only one, CHRIST.

  thatmom wrote @

Concerned Mom,

I am so glad that you came here and shared your story with us.

A couple things I noted in your story. The first is that your church will have little success in becoming an “FIC” unless they have laid the ground work with teaching so people will understand their goals. Unfortunately, someone like you will see your spiritual needs fall through the cracks because you don’t fit their paradigm. I would encourage you to talk with other army wives who are believers, maybe through your post chaplain, and find out where they go to church, how children and wives are encouraged while their husbands are deployed, etc.

I also want to send you to a website that I know will be a tremendous encouragement to you and I also hope you will drop a note to Amy and begin an online friendship with her. She has been holding down the fort at home for a while now and has learned a lot about dealing with those who just can’t get what it is like to be in the military. (We had four years of it, most of it spent overseas, so I understand on a small level but certainly not like you guys who have your husbands gone for so much of the time.

http://inclotheslinealley.blogspot.com/

Also, please drop me a note if you would like to chat via e-mail about some of the particulars of what you have been experiencing.

  Family Integrated Church wrote @

As a church planter of a Home Discipleship Church. I can tell you that we are focused on building a community of believers, whether they are a family, couple, or single, that becomes a disciple of Jesus and is willing to follow in His ways.

I agree that CHEA has been very encouraging to parents. They do a great job of supporting parents in discipling their children.

Family Integrated Church


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: