So the other day I hyperboleously remarked to a friends that I view James Dobson as just as big of an embarrassment to Christians as Pat Robertson. After thinking that through, I realized it was over the top, and yet there is something about the resident Mob Boss of Christianity that makes me very uncomfortable. After meditating on it (not like in a yoga position or anything…I’m not Doug Paggit) it comes down to this: Worldview. I realize that worldview is a way over used term. As in, hey we need to have a “Christian” worldview…But i guess that is my problem because the Dobber and I have different worldviews…And if we are both claiming they are Christian worldviews it would follow (sorry all you emergents who are comfortable with contradiction) that one of us must be wrong.
Dob WV: The Family is the most important institution
MY Wv: The Church is the most important institution (and strong families flow from the church)
Dob WV: We must protect our families at all cost
MY WV: We must train our families to pursue the kingdom at all cost
Dob WV: We must protect ourselves from culture and outside assaults
MY WV: We must advance the Kingdom by every righteous means and be missionaries who redeem the culture
Dob WV: “The shocking thing is that this threat to kids is much, much broader than the homosexual movement. It doesn’t stop there. It is aimed at the very core of the Judeo-Christian system of values, the very core of scriptural values. I’m telling you that is not an overstatement.” (Advocating taking kids out of public schools)
MY WV: Yep. That is how a world absent Jesus behaves. Dobson is so lost in modernist thinking that he can not bear the idea of Christianity not being the dominate cultural power. However that is now the case in America, as it has been in most of history. It is not our job to escape culture because it acts like culture. Non-believers do not act like believers. They can’t, they do not have the Holy Spirit. It is not shocking to me that the world is behaving this way, it is shocking to me that a Christian would not understand that this is why Christ calls us his ambassadors.
Dob Wv: “What we said yesterday and what we are saying today will be very frustrating to them because they will feel attacked and ridiculed. And the implication would be there, I’m afraid, that we don’t respect them or don’t stand with them. It’s not because of them, it’s in spite of them that we are saying there is a problem here, and our children might even take priority — and in my view, must take priority — even over our desire to stay and influence the schools.” (advocating Christian teachers leaving Public schools)
MY WV: I do not think that anything takes priority over trying to influence the world for Christ. Imagine trying to make the same argument to a missionary to Lebanon for example: “Well I think you should quit…that Hezbollah might influence your kids… “I would invite him to make a Biblical case that we are doing more for our children by “protecting them” than we are by training then to be kingdom minded.
Dob WV: The best thing we can do for our children is to protect them from outside influence
MY WV: The best thing we can do for our children is to abandon them to the sometimes dangerous hand of God…for he who holds them holds them much better than we could dream.
At the heart of the issue is the fact hat James Dobson is a hardcore dualist, he separates the sacred from the secular and deigns to call anything or anybody not paid by a mission board a missionary, he also fails to see culture as a mission field instead of an enemy. When you do this you ultimately denigrate God because you have declared that some of his creation which he designed is not worthy redemption, only those things which you yourself have decided to be sacred or spiritual enough. That my friends is a shaky position to be in, because if you have the power to decide what is sacred and what is secular then it is you who acts as God, and have thus become an idolater. Much better to understand that God is the creator of all things and all things are his. Much better to understand that the call of a believer is not to shun that which has been marked by the fall (and everything has), but the believer is a missionary from the Redeemer to the fallen.
I agree with Dobson that we must love our children with unequaled passion, my children are number three in my life God, Wife, Children and honestly sometimes I have trouble keeping it in that order. Where Dobson and I disagree is about how I can most lovingly raise my children, he seeks protection and I would opt for a more Barbarian way (to quote McManus)…I must seek first the kingdom and train my children to do the same, if I do not, then any protection is no protection, only a hollow fortress built to protect them from those I should have taught them to love. And the path I will have lead them down may be the most dangerous of all, as it leads away from their most loving Father. Sola Deo Gloria.