The Pew Research Center has released an analysis showing that the conservative Reformed denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has some of the most elderly adherents. This may come as a shock to members of other Reformed denominations who are often pressured to imitate the PCA, with its reputation for being younger, hipper, and more evangelistic. Apparently, this is more marketing than reality, with denominations as diverse as the Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics having much younger adherents. Presbyterians were once known for orderly churches, firm doctrine and worship, large families, and an emphasis on catechizing covenant children. Now conservative Presbyterians are best known for large parachurch organizations (Ligonier), big conferences (The Gospel Coalition), innovative leaders (Keller), and a plethora of competing seminaries.
This year’s PCA General Assembly (the highest court of the church) appeared oblivious to this growing crisis, rather doubling down on the same concerns that dominate the aging and dying mainline churches: embracing faddish worship styles, fixating on race relations, and expanding the roles of women in ministry.
One might suggest forming a study committee to encourage obedience to the first commandment God gave us, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.”
Christlikeness is the principle of all human holiness. In him by creation, we live and move and have our being. In him by spiritual rescue and renewal, we being transformed by the grace of the Spirit to more and more reflect his image.
In the home this beautiful reality is expressed in mutual submission. The undergirding reality of all of our thoughts, words, and actions toward each other ought to be mutual service out of self-sacrificing love. While this is not opposed to authority and submission, it is radically different than a fleshly, ungodly version of leadership. In the family the sweet savor of Jesus Christ ought to be present in all of our relationships.
The good news is that this is his promise to us and our children! Believe it! Live out of it!
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 ESV
John MacArther writes:
In the end, everyone in the household has a duty to submit at some point and in some specific way to everyone else. Yes, wives must submit to the leadership of their husbands. But husbands also must bow to the needs of their wives. Certainly children need to obey their parents. But parents also have a duty to serve and sacrifice for their children. Of course servants need to yield to the authority of their masters. But masters also are commanded to treat their servants with dignity and respect—esteeming even the lowliest servant better than themselves.
In other words, Paul commanded each Christian to be an example of submission and service to all others. That simple principle is the key to harmony and happiness in the home. Domineering men who try to use Ephesians 5 as a club to keep their wives in a kind of servile submission have missed the whole point of the passage. Even if God has given you a position of leadership, you have a duty to take the role of a servant—because that is precisely what Christ did for us.
The full article from GTY here: Submission Isn’t a One Way Street