The Crucible of the (Extended) Christian Family

Spending this weekend with about three-dozen members of my wife's extended family (which is only about half of her side of the family) up at the family lodge (a.k.a. P&BRR), and then a post by Rebecca over at CSPP, On the setting of standards and the adjusting of expectations, got me thinking...

Experience has shown me that living as Christians in a large and extended family provides a paideia that no other institution can replace. From the youngest to the oldest, from the newborn grandchild to the aged grandparent, and from cousins to in-laws, the more we all collide, the more every member of the Christian family continues to grow every day in faith, wisdom, and love - and in repentance for the lack of faith, wisdom, and love such a crucible of life reveals daily in each of us.

This observation and experience, which has intensified over the past ten years of my life, may explain why I have gone from being an educational entrepreneur and desiring to move my family to greener pastures where the external culture at least appears better, to being a homeschool advocate who desires nothing more than for his children and grandchildren to marry fellow believers and settle down near one another, where they can contribute and partake of the blessed heat generated in this crucible of the extended Christian family living under the cross in the forgiveness of Christ.


Anonymous said...

God always knows what's best for us, even when he commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. So much is learned in a large family that just can't be taught in books, including the pure joy that comes from loving and serving others.
~Heidi Heidenreich

Anonymous said...

Have you commented on the the

from page 178 of


from the OVERTURES section entitled "3. THEOLOGY AND CHURCH RELATIONS"

3-31 To Return to Scriptural Position on Birth Control

Whereas, Until the 1930s, most major Protestant denominations, along with the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, opposed birth control; and
Whereas, The Bible prohibits birth control (see “Nine Reasons Why the Bible Prohibits Birth Control” by Charles Provan, Christian News, February 28, 1988, reprinted in The Bible and Birth Control); and
Whereas, Martin Luther strongly condemned birth control (Luther wrote in his comments on Gen. 38:9–10 [American Edition, p. 21]: “Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman and frustrate her at that very moment. He was inflamed with the basest spite and hatred. Therefore he did not allow himself to be compelled to bear the intolerable slavery. Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed an evil deed. Therefore God punished him.”); and
Whereas, John H. C. Fritz, in his Pastoral Theology, long used as a textbook in LCMS seminaries, shows that birth control “is sin- ful”: “It is a willfully setting aside of God’s will and command, Gen. 1:28; 1 Tim. 5:15, 2:15; Gen. 8:9–10” (p. 177); and
Whereas, Lutheran Hour Speaker Walter Maier, in a chapter titled “The Blight of Birth Control” in his marriage manual For Better , Not for Worse, shows that birth control is sinful and contrary to the Bible (pp. 377–421); andWhereas, A major factor in the decline of church growth is the ever-decreasing size of the families of pastors and church members; therefore be it
Resolved, That the 2010 LCMS convention declare that the LCMS still accepts the scriptural position of Martin Luther on birth control and the position long promoted in the LCMS by such ortho- dox LCMS theologians as John H. C. Fritz, Walter Maier, Martin Nauman, Theodore Laetch, and many others.

Trinity New Haven, MO"

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Thanks for sharing. I wish such an overture had a chance of passing.

Anonymous said...


Who votes on such measures?

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

I'm not sure how the process works, but I think it gets evaluated in a committee first, and the committee decides whether or not to bring it to a vote of the delegates in convention.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

I wouldn't expect this one to get out of "committee" (if that's the right term).

Anonymous said...

Who sits on the committee?

If you don't know, who does?

Thanks! :-)

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Sorry, I don't know. I don't even know which committee this would end up in. Maybe another reader knows. Otherwise, I'd contact the synod and ask them. Call the general number and ask who you should speak to.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

P.S. Please report back here if you find anything out.

Anonymous said...

How is it the responsible people never know how to get things done and the devious weasels are busy working the system?

No offense to you. I don't blame you. It just bugs me.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

I did a little online searching and found out that I was pretty much right so far. Each of the eight floor committees, which are comprised of convention delegates and representatives, meet prior to the convention (5/21/2010 - 5/24/2010) and they also will meet and conduct open hearings in
Houston, just before the convention gets under way. They decide on one of the following actions for each overture submitted to them:

• Submission of Overture to Convention in Resolution Form, or

• Inclusion of Overture in Omnibus Resolution, or

• Declination of Overture

The overture in question will be one of 33 reviewed by the Theology and Church Relations floor committee. Typically only about 1/4 of these make it out of committee. I wouldn't hold my breath thinking that the one on birth control will be one of them.

You'd have to call the synod and ask them if they will tell you who is on that floor committee. Note: this floor committee is not the same thing as the "Commission on Theology and Church Relations" which is a board of individuals serving the synod like the Board for Mission Services.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

P.S. I expect that Otten's church submits many of these same overtures to every convention. They have submitted quite a few that represent common themes found in Christian News like birth control, evolution, Beck's Bible translation, etc.

Anonymous said...

Who is Otten?

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Rev. Herman Otten is the pastor of Trinity-New Haven, MO, and the publisher of the Newspaper called "Christian News". Christian News chronicles all kinds of controversial issues going on in the LCMS. Rev. Otten is associated in some way with so-called "Holocaust Deniers" and other radical viewpoints - including the seemingly radical viewpoint of this blog.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a radical viewpoint? It is just facts.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

The LCMS Reporter reports that the Theology and Church Relations floor committee has declined the resolution on birth control with a resolution of its own, as follows:

"...a final resolution declines three congregation-submitted overtures -- to end all official theological talks with the ELCA; to request the Synod president not to attend ELCA Churchwide Assemblies; and to return to a Scriptural position on birth control. The committee cited the encouragement of 2Tim: 2:25 to "correct opponents with gentleness" so that God might grant them repentance as reasons for the first two declinations. As for the third overture, the committee noted that the Synod has never had an official position on birth control."

I created a new post on this news.