The theme of family saturates Scripture. The shared covenantal love in the Godhead is to be reflected on earth through natural and spiritual family relationships. The language, spirit, and methods of family are kingdom normal. However, the cults use the principle of family with great effect to win people into their association and to establish unbiblical belief systems and practices. Even the idea of family can be pushed too far.
Just advocating for family, natural or spiritual, is not enough. Our advocacy must be within biblical boundaries and Holy Spirit insight. Whatever we might believe to be a legitimate expression of family, (spiritual or natural), it must be sustained by more than select proof texts and verses quoted and applied out of context (an epidemic problem). The same is true for F/S ministry. Just because we can find proof texts does not mean much. The spirit that animates our understanding of what we see, and the spirit in which we IMPLEMENT what we see makes the difference between something wonderful and something destructive.
Any “thing” born of the Spirit, sustained by the Spirit, and implemented in love is wonderful. This includes the concept of spiritual parenting (f/s – father/sons). The very same thing when humanly contrived is ugly and will result in the aberrations I will herein describe. Without diligence in definition and practice kingdom normal can be come quite distorted and cause great human pain. This essay is not about winning a theological point. It’s about minimizing pain.
We know that our adversary will always ally with our carnality to ruin any “God-thing.” The devil is good at deviling. In the matter of spiritual parenting, his garbage cart has been throwing a lot of doctrinal and methodological filth into the field of the Lord. Our carnality has been picking it up and bronzing it.
It’s going to be necessary to dig through a lot of trash and avoid a lot of pitfalls if we are to find the treasure of kingdom increase in the reality of Spirit-birthed and Spirit-wrought relationships. If we believe in the value of the treasure, we will plug our noses, put on our boots, and wade through the waste.
I hope by shining light on various corruptions and pitfalls that the treasure hunt will be easier for others than it was for me. The good news is – I’ve shoveled a ton of garbage, climbed out of a few pits, and found the treasure. I am enjoying the best relational days of my life. Trash is becoming a memory.
 E.g. – The Latter Day Saints/Mormonism.
This blog is an excerpt of our booklet: Father-Son Ministry: Reassessing Apostolic and Prophetic Perspectives, available at www.stevecrosby.com
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