Last week we discussed what God intended for the family and family lineage or legacy. Wente Winery is a great example of God’s design for families and I know it encouraged me that there are some families who intentionally strive to live this way. In our self-centered culture where everything is always all about “me” the effort to return to thinking about family God’s way seems overwhelming.
But God never asks us to do something that He doesn’t first equip us to do. If we are truly born again committed Christians we have the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit who is our helper. Too often we forget the spiritual power we have through the new birth. We forget that we are Jesus’ offspring or siblings and God is our father. Therefore, we have access to all of God’s wisdom to move us and teach us how we ought to live and to do it victoriously.
Through the persistent secularization (that means without God) of our society over the last one hundred years Christians can easily forget whose they are. As a result the Church has bought into many of the secular cultural premises and methodology. Because of this we have many confused Christians who have one foot in the world and one foot in the church. When we walk the fence, without getting into the Bible regularly, we end up having the same problems and issues as those who have no faith.
Just as families leave a legacy of good or evil so do organizations. Just this last week there was a national fraternity that takes a hardline stand against hazing of any kind/degree. This fraternity was founded over 92 years ago based on biblical values and brotherhood. They have never been a typical “party” fraternity but have embraced the experience as preparation for leadership, service, career, marriage and family. With an emphasis on morality, honor, integrity, personal responsibility and discipline.
They have chapters in over 190 college campuses today. Due to some hazing incidents, after being warned and told to report any incidents, the national organization pulled the charter at one of our local university campuses’. This was a heart wrenching decision for the alumni that had been working with them for nearly three years to change the culture of that chapter that had come to reflect the culture of that particular campus. Sounds similar to our walk with God. When we neglect spending time with Him in His word we end up taking on the culture around us and family legacy suffers.
The good news was the chapter was making progress. They had overcome the drug culture and were working to make changes to the new associate membership program. But there were incidents of hazing (they described it as mild hazing) but the national fraternity has a zero tolerance policy towards hazing. The idea that it wasn’t real hazing because it was very subtle reflects the premise of relativism and situational ethics that the last four generations have been taught. When absolutes are removed from education and culture the result is this is the type of thinking.
The end result is that the forty plus young men that had pledged this fraternity were not able to be initiated as full members. So you can imagine their disappointment and anger. They feel cheated because they didn’t haze and therefore it isn’t fair that they should be disciplined. Sadly, life isn’t fair. And those who did haze did so thinking that there would be no consequences to them or anyone else. We can rationalize almost any behavior choice and think that no one will get hurt. But there is always a cause to affect and people get hurt in some way.
The would-be initiates were not totally innocent because they were told to report any hazing. They did not report it which makes them complicit. Now instead of leaving a strong legacy at this college campus the next generation loses out on the benefits that this fraternity had to offer. In the same way family generations lose out when generational blessings are cut short because one generation decides to adopt the culture of relativism instead of the culture of the kingdom of God.
It is a good reminder that God views sin as sin and there are no degrees of sin (where one sin is worse than another). We have all fallen into this type of thinking at one time or another. God desires that we love, serve and trust Him first and foremost so that we pass on a godly generational heritage with the blessing of obedience.
Dinner Table Discussion: What are some ways that we can instill generational thinking in our family so that we leave a true legacy of righteousness for the next generation?