Thursday, February 02, 2012

Disintegration of Families ...

James Jordan has a new post in which he criticizes churches where families sit together for worship (a practice that has at least hundreds of years of practice in the Americas).  He claims:
The simple fact is that for 2000 years, the Holy Spirit moved the church to have men and women sitting separately during divine worship.
I can easily guess where he gets this idea.  Among the Eastern Orthodox, particularly the "old believers" there is a tradition of separating males and females to different sides of the church during the service.  The women go on the side with the large icon of Mary, whereas the men go on the side with the large icon of Jesus.

There's no compelling reason to think that those practices go back 2000 years.  Moreover, among the old believers, the practice is not to sit on separate sides, but to stand on separate sides.  So, if this really were a movement by the Holy Spirit, Jordan should be advocating for standing, not sitting.

But let's consider his justification for the practice:
This is because in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. There is neither male nor female, bond nor free, child nor parent. Hence, ascended worship, taking place seated in the heavenlies, involves an affirmation of God’s Family and a setting aside of the earthly family. 

This justification would make sense if he left out "neither male nor female."  Once that is included, the rationale for segregating the sexes during worship falls apart.  If there is no male or female, there is no justification for segregation based on that principle.

Jordan also hurls accusation against Vision Forum for advocating the importance of families worshiping together:
Functioning beneath the surface with such groups as Vision Forum and the like is a form of idolatry. We read that the family is the foundation of civilization. That is a fairly ridiculous notion, since the family is a highly temporary social unit. The Bible commands that a child leave his father and mother when he marries (Genesis 2:24). 
 This is another example of Jordan's arguments not following.  The fact that a family is - to some degree - a temporary social unity does not prevent it from being the foundation of civilization.  The very passage Jordan cites is one in which a member of a family is setting out to create his own family.  That passage only reinforces the role that family plays in this life.

Jordan goes on to claim that Wes White and others are "opposed" to "reformation theology," which is just one more ridiculous claim, like Jodan's claim that "the notion that husbands should serve their wives and children the Lord’s Supper" was "a capital offense in the Bible; Exodus 35:2-3; Numbers 16."

Given all the ridiculous claims in the post (from beginning to end) one may wonder why I would bother responding.  It seems that James Jordan is one of the leaders of the Federal Vision.  If those in the Federal Vision movement consider him one of their leaders, then presumably they will be glad to hear responses to him.



Rondig1 said...

Does JJ have children that don't want to sit with him during worship? If we're really godly, should we not sleep w/ our spouses to in order to get a taste of heaven? One simply has to wonder why such strange ideas are deemed attractive...

Lee Gerrietts said...

Everything I've read from him is just plain odd.

Coram Deo said...

Vision Forum is problematic on many issues; their dominionist leanings being not the least among them. Buyer beware.

Turretinfan said...

Why would I view that as a problem, CD?

Natamllc said...

TF: "... If those in the Federal Vision movement consider him one of their leaders, then presumably they will be glad to hear responses to him.

Yes, one would like it so, presumably?

Becoming transformed and having acknowledged this fact by the Spirit, I, too, am called to His Eternal Glory in Christ, I am convinced that if God does not give ears to hear so one can hear, one hears what they want to hear, a sort of selective hearing! This thread and this man and his mission may very well be a case in chief!

The goodness of the discipline in this place, "The Thoughts of Francis Turrentin plying continually what you do in here, cannot be over stated. This place is a living source of sound wisdom and knowledge and understanding, quite unlike a lot of blogs, multiple blogs one can visit after the advent of the Internet and blogs and and and!

Thanks again, TF, for the work you do for us and the articles and ideas that come from it found in on this blog!

Eph_2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Coram Deo said...

Maybe you wouldn't, TF. I don't know you well enough to say.

John said...

My understanding of the origin of the separation of men and women is that there were liturgical reasons for keeping the higher female and lower male voices together.

It's not necessarily true that standing is the oldest or only original practice. Even orthodox churches where standing throughout is the norm have "standing hymns", which is a quiet acknowledgment that at sometime in the past there were non-standing hymns.