A Preacher Who Actually Reminds His Congregation that “Family” in the New Testament is Not Referring to Nuclear Family, Encourages Them to Include Non Relatives

A Preacher Who Actually Reminds His Congregation that “Family” in the New Testament is Not Referring to Nuclear Family, Encourages Them to Include Non Relatives

(Link): Christmas Vacation: Searching for a Family – sermon by Dan Hamel, on the Southland Church web site

This is one of the few times I have heard a preacher remind his church members that Jesus Christ put Himself above nuclear family, and spiritual family (other believers in Christ) before flesh and blood relations.

I only listened to this sermon one time, last night, and on Chris Rosebrough’s Fighting For the Faith show, so my memory may not be the greatest, but if I remember correctly, preacher Hamel quotes Christ’s words of (Link): Matthew 12:46-50.

Hamel reminded his congregants to include people in their families who may be lonely, who may be widowed, or so forth. In other words, Hamel was asking them to do what God asks of them in the Bible.

I am surprised that Chris Rosebrough ripped this Hamel guy to shreds over it.

You can listen to Rosebrough pulverize Hamel here (after the commentary about Furtick, Rick Warren, and so on):

(Link): Fighting for the Faith podcast, DECEMBER 16, 2013, Chris Rosebrough, host

    Sermon Review: Netflixmas — Christmas Vacation by Dan Hamel of Southland Christian Church

I like Rosebrough on a personal level. He seems to be a nice guy, and while I do agree with him that a lot of seeker friendly sermons tend to be fluff and light on substance, I do not share his conviction that unless a sermon explicitly mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus and repentance that it is an un-biblical, stupid one worthy of ridicule or condemnation.

Not even Jesus Christ sermonized on repentance every single time he opened his mouth – please see the Gospels for examples.

Sometimes Jesus spoke about people’s earthly concerns, such as divorce, religious hypocrisy, anger, politics, hatred, sexual sin, physical sickness, worry, financial matters, and so forth.

If Rosebrough were to be consistent, he would need to get into a time machine, go back to tell Jesus after hearing Jesus deliver, say, for example, (Link): Matthew 6:33-34,

    “Jesus! Shame on you! You need to repent!
    You did not mention yourself ONCE in that discussion! You did not talk about repentance, salvation, propitiation, or hell!

    All you talked about was God meeting people’s needs! Repent, Jesus! Talk more about yourself next time!

    More soteriology, less pragmatic, earthly concerns discussions! You’re being too seeker-friendly, Jesus, repent!”

If it’s peachy fine acceptable for Jesus to occasionally veer off the ol’ “repent and be saved” sermonizing path, why is it suddenly wrong for a preacher today to do so?

And I can tell you that the church needs MORE of these Hamel-type sermons where they are reminded to stop worshipping their relatives. There are a lot of Christians who are widowed, divorced, never married, who are childless, and their relatives are dead or estranged, and such people should be invited over by the married couples of the churches for dinner, for fellowship.

I have tweeted Rosebrough before about how a lot of churches today have turned marriage (and having children) into an idol.

Some churches teach that marriage is another sort of “gospel,” while some Christian preachers teach that unmarried Christians are not fully in God’s image, while some surveys revealed that a large chunk of Christian women consider their family more important than the Gospel.

There are many un-bibical, weird, awful things Christians are teaching about marriage and singleness out there. I would hope at some point Rosebrough starts to discuss this on his show and/or blog once in a while.

Here are some links from previous blog entries I’ve made (I have many more blog posts about it, these are only a few):

(Link): Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

(Link): Focus on Family spokesperson, Stanton, actually says reason people should marry is for ‘church growth’

(Link): Conservative Christian Think Tank Says: “Preach the Gospel of Marriage”

If Rosebrough is upset over Drisocll’s plagairism (and he was, and he called Driscoll to repent over it), I would think he would also be upset, and want to devote some time, to discussing the new trend in Christianity: attacking virginity / celibacy/ singleness, such as (and again these are just a few posts, I have many others on this blog):

(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link): More Anti Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

All those people need to be told to repent of their nuclear family, pro-creation, and marriage idolatry. They need to be told to repent of marginalizing singleness and of putting nuclear family ahead of the Gospel and ahead of helping non-relatives.

So, please, give that Hamel guy a break.
Hamel was reminding Christians to follow Christ’s words of (I mean, dude, a butt load of Christians today are regularly in GROSS VIOLATION of these teachings of Christ, it is NOT legalism to remind them of this),

    (Matthew 10:37) [Jesus speaking],
    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

and

    (Matthew 12:46-50)
    He [Jesus] replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
    49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.
    50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus said,

    Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6.46)

And (this is Jesus speaking),

    “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)

If you are an unmarried person reading this, you might find Hamel’s sermon a refreshing change of pace from the usual “marriage is so teriffic, you’re less than whole if you are a single!” sermons we hear all the time, so consider giving it a listen.

(Link): Christmas Vacation: Searching for a Family – sermon by Dan Hamel, on the Southland Church web site