Can Scripture Teach Gen Zs To Be Godly Parents?

Parenting is the godly maturing of the child’s brain, God’s way.

Those who no longer consider God’s Word as authentically relevant and who have placed their faith in their personal moral subjectivism, are saying: “You have no right to tell me what I can or can’t do.” What’s our evangelistic choice?

 

First in a Series of Four

We are living in a post-Christian era, an era that’s quite like what the disciples faced after the Accession of Christ — Jewish rejecters and Pagan disbelievers confronted the disciples. Today, we are confronting self-defining creatures, who are rejecters of God’s Word, his Word having faded into unauthentic irrelevancy. Why? Satan’s social echo chamber is successfully promoting selfish, narcissistic worldviews, worldviews responding to the selfish tendencies he embedded in all of us at the Fall. Self-defining and unwilling to compromise, self-definers hate others who are a threat to their belief system, desiring to obliterate them to “feel safe” again.

Because of Satan’s deceptive emphasis on “self,” loneliness dominates: Relationships trend towards nothing more than transactional where one takes from the other; marriages lean towards being just roommates — and teen suicides appear to be on an upswing. This trend is the consequence of selfish (aka as Ownership) parenting.

Like most personality disorders, the extreme in behavioral selfishness, that which is diagnosable as a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), typically decreases in intensity with age. [1] For example, in the Church body, out of 20 male church volunteers, the likelihood is that at least one is a neurotic narcissus. If the volunteer demographics lean towards males in the 20’s (that’s late millennials and Gen Z’s), the chance increases to two neurotic narcissuses. [2]

Today, as Christians, also face an evangelistic challenge — this time, our challenge is an overwhelming selfishness in the younger generations. Our evangelizing needs the Works of the Sprit just like the way the Spirit helped the disciples (Acts), but we need to deliver the message via a new media. Why? Quoting Scripture (Sola Grata) to instruct godly parenting is now viewed as unauthentic and irrelevant by younger generations.

In Part 1 of this Series, the consequential attributes necessary to instructionally motivate Ownership Parents to change course and become godly Ambassadorship Parents are identified.

SERIES SUMMARY

If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost & it is one which we must not lose: souls of men/women hang in the balance.” – Dr. William Lane Craig [3]

Reality of Today’s Culture: The 25-year old millennial male [4] confronts his Pastor: “Why shouldn’t two guys marry, after all they do see love in each other?” Responding, the Pastor pulls out his Bible and reads Romans 1:25-27. And how does this 25-year millennial react to his pastor quoting from the Bible in answer to his question? His eyes glaze over! – He was just read another “paint-by-numbers” homily.[5]

Herein, lies the problem: Even more than their parents (the millennials), Gen Z’s tend to be “suspicious of organized programs and well-trod church paths—anything that seems to lack authenticity.” [6] When Christian leaders are perceived as speaking in homilies and lacking authenticity, how can anyone intellectually connect and convince them to change course when the satanic creep of moral subjectivism has replaced God’s marriage ordnances and parenting guidance?

  • Those who no longer consider God’s Word as authentically relevant and who have placed their faith in their personal moral subjectivism, are saying: “You have no right to tell me what I can or can’t do.” What’s our evangelistic choice?

Simply, we’ve lost our Judo-Christian way: James Madison, in his 1785 pamphlet, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, warned us that moral subjectivism represents a fundamental breakdown of our country’s Judo-Christian foundation, when he stated:

Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the General Authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign.” [7]

Think of it this way: The culture Christian Churches now confront is not unlike the culture the disciples had to confront following Jesus’ Accession – confronting Jewish rejecters and Pagan disbelievers. What happened? It was the Spirit who carried them forward boldly (e.g., Acts 8:26-40; 9:17-18; 10:44-46; 16:6-8) as they went forth to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

Can we boldly engage the Spirit; yet “deceptively” bypass all of Satan’s deceptions? What might turn the heart of the most extreme self-defined creature? What might delight and capture the attention of every one of these parents, even the most wayward millennial (or Gen Z), even the most possessive Ownership Parent? [8]

Parental pride motivates Ownership Parenting. Even the most narcissistically inclined parents see their children as personal trophies! Their parenting actions reflect their prideful desires: I continually “polish” my trophy to be successful! After all, parental pride is the consequence of the Fall! And Satan’s social echo chamber is constantly reinforcing pride.

So, ironically, can we devise an alternative solution that leverages satanic pride against Satan himself! Can we instruct prideful parents how proud they can be to know that their child will become the very best adult? Adults who are:

  • Both capable of loving and capable of being loved,
  • Confident in self, and believes that they can influence others,
  • Trustful of others,
  • Unafraid to express emotions (yes, even men),
  • Responsible, resilient, and grow from painful experiences.

Any prideful parent should be delighted to assuredly know this – ironically an assurance that can only be delivered by the Spirit’s Existential Slavic Grace. So, can we initially bypass scripture (not leading off with homilies like our above Pastor did with the millennial) and capture the attention of the prideful?

Structuring a possible solution: With the Gospel viewed as unauthentic and irrelevant, there has to be another biblical solution that exhibits the following attributes:

  1. A solution that still emphasizes the Existential Slavic (redemptive) Grace of the Spirit,
  2. A solution that can be presented cloaked by Paul’s Doctrine of the Authentic Personan absolute necessity if you wish to gain the trust of others (1 Corinthians 9:20-23),
  3. A solution that won’t come across as just another rendition of paint-by-numbers homilies,
  4. A solution that will reveal what’s pleasing to God in a way that encourages delight by the prideful Ownership Parents who are hearing the message – who will object to anyone telling them what to do!

Proposing such a possible alternative biblical solution, a solution that glorifies God, a solution structured along the above lines, is the subject of this four part Series.

OUR CULTURE IS DOMINATED BY SELF-DEFINING CREATURES

Our culture has evolved to where it’s composed of a significant (and growing) number of narcissistically inclined folks who function as selfish, self-defining creatures (reflecting something akin to Pelagianism [9] merged with a touch of the Arminianism’s points on Free Will and Resistible Grace [10]).

The number of “fans” we have on social media defines who I am; my importance is the numerical “measure” of my worth – my ability to influence others. The bigger the number, the greater my PRIDE! Why? The number of “likes,” “shares,” and “comments” I get on my posts defines my identity. Made in the image of God? I define myself!

I’m entitled to instant gratification: Millennial job hoping reflects this feeling of entitled gratification – as new graduates, they go out looking for a 1st job, feeling entitled, yet they have no real life experiences in the business world, having been educated in a “safe place” shelter by academia.

Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, provides millennials with some practical advice – find a good boss and then commit yourself to staying for at least three years in order to get over your feelings of entitlement and to learn what the business world expects: [11]

Millennials are guided only by moral relativism (the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist only in relation to culture itself; thus morals are not absolutes — an anti-God doctrine). Blind to the potential idolatries of the Internet temptations, I’m are fully primed to be “on-call” as functional minions of Satan – what ever may be his quest. [12]

It also follows that being a selfish, self-absorbed, self-defining creatures, culture is really promoting moral subjectivism: Unlike moral relativism, moral subjectivism is when the individual decides the meaning of morality — my morals reflect me (the idol that my heart worships). My worldview reflects my personal tastes, prejudices (predispositions), and, from time to time, my variously held opinions – a practical definition of self-defining creatures.

BLAME SHIFTING, HATE, AND FEELING SAFE ARE NOW RADICALLY INTERCONNECTED

Whatever arises externally is what’s responsible for my behavior and the way I feel, a cultural factoid quite apparent by today’s rather frequent social media saying: “He’s been triggered.” Someone’s post, perhaps a posted picture of a statue, or something somebody said, or maybe even a picture of someone’s hat, “triggers” my hateful rage. Why?

Hateful rage is my response since my moral viewpoint (my religion) feels threatened. And I’ll defend my “religion” by intolerantly bashing what ever it is that’s making me feel bad. I’ll fight for my moral righteousness! Intersectional Social Justice [13] grants me this right to fight, even if I physically harm another person. And I’ll fight for social equality! [14] After all, I’m entitled!

That “trigger!” I must completely obliterate it so I can “feel safe” again. If it’s one of those “hats,” I’ll grab it off his head and set it afire! I hate what that hat represents – the immorality that hat images! (Twitter and Facebook news feeds are loaded with smart phone video snippets of protesting, “triggered” people acting out their hatefulness.)

Frankly, whenever I start to think about the reality of being “triggered,” I feel like I’m sinning against my moral beliefs.

  • This intransigence and unyieldingness of the millennial way-of-thinking is encapsulated in the thought process that “the best way I can get others to change to my way of thinking is to be as judgmental as possible.”

This intransigence and unyieldingness also is reflected in recent polling data. [15] This polling, as reported in the referenced news article, was conducted by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. Those polled were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “I’m tired of leaders compromising my values and ideals. I want leaders who will stand up to the other side.”

What this polling data reflects is the preceding concept that self-defining creatures are unable to accept another’s worldview when it’s contrary to theirs (aka, being unable to compromise), believing that to accept another’s worldview is simply: “I’m sinning against my moral beliefs.”

WHAT HAS CAUSED THIS?

Moral truth is to come from God. At Creation, God not only breathed life (his essence, his morality) into his children, creating an immense value in contrast to the cheap dust from which we had been formed, he also spoke to us, giving us operating instructions (Genesis 1:28). As C. S. Lewis explains: [16]

 “God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. … God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

Lewis’ point here is that God’s essence, his morality comes to us from the outside as God’s Word found in the Bible. Our responses to outside events, etc., are, by God’s design, determined by what our heart worships – our response to outside events comes from the inside. With a heart rooted in Living Water, we respond in a godly and joyous ways. We have the ability to parent emulating God (aka, as Ambassadorship parenting).

Parental Upbringing: As children, we all begin life narcissistically inclined; thank you Satan. So it was up my parents to have parented me in such a way that they anchored my heart in Living Water. Should they have failed, my heart will have remained rooted in Satan’s salty desert. And as an adult, I would now respond to cultural (outside) influences functioning as a satanic minion, executing whatever his desire might be.

Sola Grata: This is why Christians Leaders must find an effective pedagogical methodology that teaches godly parenting skills, parenting that emphasizes the Existential Slavic (or redemptive) Grace of the Spirit so that information is just not transmitted, but the information is not only received but it grabs and delights the heart of the receiver so that the transmitted truth becomes internalized (Sola Grata), uprooting and replanting the heart’s idols.

WE ARE AT THE INFLECTION POINT OF AN EXPLODING POST-CHRISTIAN ERA

With the oldest now turning 38, millennials are the parents of the first wave of Gen Z’s, who for the most part, have been parented in the narcissist image of their parents, not God.

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward (age 22 and under) is part of this new generation, the Gen Z’s, [17] who are on the verge of becoming parents themselves, and who will now parent by modeling the way their (millennial) parents parented them, generating yet another wave of self-defining creatures.

Summary: Dr. Craig’s observation, above, rightfully conveys the URGENT need for the Church to grab the remnant of active millennial parents AND address the current Gen Z’s. Otherwise the Church will lose still another generation to Satan: Church intervention is at DEFCON 1, meaning that evangelism may become a numerically impossibility!

TIMOTHY KELLER EXPLAINS

Timothy Keller, in his keynote address at the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Hendricks Center of the Dallas Theological Seminary on March 26, 2019,[18] reinforced the moral subjectivism of our culture, which he defined as an inversion of humanity. He explained this inversion by noting that the cultural attribute we are observing is that “truth” comes from the inside (moral subjectivism) and our “feelings” are (deterministically) the result of external situations, which come from the outside.

As Keller explained, this is an inversion of our Judo-Christian cultural foundation (see James Madison, above). Satan has been very effective in leveraging the innate selfishness he instilled into all of God’s children at the Fall, passed on down to us by our ancestral generations, prorogated by ungodly (Ownership) parenting.

Example: The younger generations (the millennials) are increasingly comprised of autonomous individuals. This is evidenced by their need for “safe spaces,” that’s to entitled for others insulating them from external sources of adverse feelings – Keller’s coming from the outside. Consequently, relationships never get any deeper than transactional. Why?  Deep, close friendships are much too risky, an repugnance that can affect the way I feel.

A July 2019 poll [19], [20] found that 30% of the millennials reported as having “no best friends” and were “lonely.” Being lonely means that millennials are decupled from each other, functioning as autonomously individuals. This statistic declines when compared against older generations: 20% for Gen X, and 15% of the Baby Boomers.

In the past 40 years, the percentage of U.S. adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 to 40 percent. Recent research has found that loneliness and social isolation is greater threat to public health in the United States than obesity.” – Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. [21]

CDC’s Evidence: Today (2019) Gen Z’s are age 22 and less. In 2017, they were age 20 and less. Thus, in the time frame of 2007-2017, Gen Z’s would have been in their pre-teen and teens years. Why is this important?

The CDC recently published [22] suicide data that might link with the above July polling data on loneliness. This CDC data, represented below, is presented in a chart format that illustrates the suicide rates for kids in the 10 – 14 age bracket (black line), that’s when the Gen Z’s would have been in their pre-teen and teens years.

Having hit a bottom in 2007, note the dramatic upswing of the black line (suicides per 100,000 persons for those in the 10 – 14 age bracket) from 2007 through 2017, that corresponds to time period when our Gen Z’s were passing through their preteen and teen years.

Does this Gen Z data echo the behavior of their millennial parents, who as adults, said that they have “no best friends,” that relationships are just transactional? If so, inadequate instruction as to godly parenting has reached a level of monumental consequences, DEFCON 1!

What will Gen Z’s report as their “lonely” percentage? Will it be startlingly higher than 30%? Could Gen Z’s report a decoupling percentage in excess of 50%?

This generationally increasing “loneliness trend (decoupling)” is the direct consequence of the increasing population seeing themselves as self-defining creatures, which itself translates into the destruction of spouses to emotionally bond, God’s threshold criteria (Genesis 2:24-25) for godly discipling their children.

One example of this decoupling, is the newest trend making the rounds of social media called self-partnered, not single [23] – the rise of another single-positive movement (the female’s version of: “Men’s Response to 4th Wave Feminism Wussiness,” below). Self-partnered is throwing off all the “outdated stigmas” on being single, like “heading into one’s 30s without a husband and baby,” and embracing a happy life on one’s own, simply focusing on what you can gain from being single rather than what one’s missing.

With 30% of the millennials reporting that they have “no best friends,” [24]this doesn’t bode well for godly marriages, meaning that these parents would be unable to “Be fruitful and increase in number,” to fill the “house [earth] that I have prepared for you” with godly children, a Creation Command, Genesis 1:28. As Christians, we are relational images of God. Simply, millennials are creating anti-relational images of themselves, autonomous children who are self-defining themselves upon reaching adulthood.

Should the current trend continue, then somewhere north of a 50% decoupling percentage, the number of transactional relationships will be expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Society as we know it today likely will have shrunk to being almost nonexistent.  Paul’s Ephesians 5:33 spousal command will have passed away as an historic homily.[25] Family structure reflecting the Trinity, as God ordained, will have become an oddity. Will Satan be conquering God, having successfully deconstructed Paul?

Since [Satan] was the adversary of God, he attempted to subvert the order established by Him, and because he could not drag God from His throne, he assailed man, in whom His image shone. His attack on God’s truth is not just to injure God, but also to destroy man,” – Adrian Hallett’s rendering of Calvin’s teachings. [26]

UNDERSTAND THE ENEMY: HOW IS SATAN ACCOMPLISHING HIS GOAL?

Social media platforms are Satan’s principle delivery mechanism, a delivery system that he has imbedded within his vast cultural echo chamber, the chamber that reverberates continuously spreading his deceptive messaging, a messaging that reinforces and leverages humanity’s intrinsic selfishness (narcissistic tendencies):

Watching shows is one of the most passive forms of thinking, which makes it one of the most powerful. Because we are not engaged in active thinking, we allow any number of morally suspect thoughts to enter our mind unhindered. These thoughts immediately get comfortable in their new home — they start settling in and hanging drapes. To say this is a cunning move by our adversary is an understatement. Under the guise of entertainment, evil thoughts often move into our minds and entrench themselves unopposed.” – Abigail Dodds [27]

As Keller pointed out in his talk, some 57% of teenage Gen Z’s are spending an average of 4 hours a day on social media and YouTube, while another 25% clock-in at 8 hours.

In my experiences counseling Christian millennials, what the husband likes to do on-line [28], [29] is what he substitutes as his “alibi” for decoupling from marital intimacy:

  • Pornography promises him a dopamine (orgasm) without intimacy; video warfare promises him the adrenaline high without directly encountering danger.
  • Mesmerized by the satanic illusion of experiencing dopamine and adrenaline in an ever-expanding experience of relationship novelty, he continually seeks out illusions of being a real lover or a real masculine fighter/protector, all while being safely decoupled in a transactional roommate relationship.

As this substitution becomes addictive, [30] the husband may consequentially exhibit behavioral signs of an inability to emotionally regulate himself (reflecting a total loss of marital joy).

The constant din of social media discussions, targeted advertising (e.g., “Just do it”), and so forth, effectively catechizes Gen Z’s, as Keller pointed out. And what is the specific satanic message being delivered? – According to Keller, it’s messaging that reinforces narcissistically selfish behavior (the vulnerability of the Gen Z’s is explained – see the parable of the sower: Luke 8:11-14):

  1. Be true to one’s self.
  2. Do what makes you happy.
  3. No one has the right to tell you what’s right or wro
  4. You are free to live anyway you want as long as you are not harming others.

These four elements form the “givens” of Gen Z’s Worldviews. Simply, Satan’s cultural echo chamber is systematically unraveling our culture as we once knew it; with each successive generation he’s creating an increasing collection of hostile autonomous units. [31]

SATAN PROMOTES HATE TO ENHANCE THE HOSTILITY OF AUTONOMOUS UNITS

Recall our preceding discussion on the radical linking of blame shifting/hate/and feeling safe. Satan’s chief minion in moving this deceptive message (HATE) is the 4Th Wave Feminist Movement, the sisterhood movement that promotes equality of outcomes, which is best achieved by diminishing men as godly masculine actors.

To diminish, or pull men down, Satan has his Feminist minions promoting the deception that all men are domineeringly oppressive and patriarchally mansplaining — and thus repressively toxic to all women — any woman feeling even slightly oppressed will resonate and reflexively hate her oppressor. Overarching message: Women have no need for men!

The American Psychology Association (APA) validated this toxic HATE message when they updated their counseling guidelines, explaining:

Socialization conforming to traditional masculine ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence their mental and physical health. [32]

In other words, men are best off from a mental health perspective, says the APA, if they are not godly masculine actors but rather satanically functional wussies. What woman what’s to be associated with a wussy? [33]

MEN’S RESPONSE TO 4th WAVE FEMINISM WUSSINESS

Two trends are emerging as men respond to this 4th Wave feminist movement: 1) The “red pill” movement [34] is an aggressive, submission movement where men essentially view woman as actually desiring to be not a feminist, but rather to enjoy being a Stepford Wife, a sexual servant,[35] and 2) extreme men adopting the MGTOW philosophy (that’s straight Men Going Their Own Way) where these men choose to fully separate themselves entirely from a feminist society, which they see as harmful to the masculinity of men, particularly eschewing marriage and cohabitation.[36]

BOTTOM LINE

You have to give the Devil some due: Satan has effectively split-up the spousal relationship, which, aside from the extremes of “aggressive-submission” and “I-don’t-need-a-woman,” also manifests itself as transactional roommate relationships. Likened to spiritual narcissism,[37] a roommate relationship is one where at least one spouse eschews emotional spousal bonding, emotionally bonding instead with a Church (spiritual narcissism) or with their profession.

  • In other words, the marriage ordnances of emotionally bonding as proclaimed in Genesis 2 have been replaced with bonding with created activities – getting ones emotional identity (and rewards) from one’s occupation is ungodly; substituting Church for spouse is egregious.

CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ARE FAILING

As Keller points out in his talk, the consequence of Satan’s effectiveness is that Christian Churches are failing because they assume, generally speaking, that attendees arrive for Worship Services with some mental benchmarks as to God, Afterlife, Sin, and Moral Absolutes.

But the above Worldview “givens,” delivered via Satan’s Social Echo Chamber, absolutely trump Moral Absolutes, and thus “spiritual entertainment” becomes the greater priority over seeking godly worship. (Churches, chasing after today’s culture, happily oblige the millennials’ desire for “spiritual entertainment” by installing giant screens, theater sound, theatrical lighting, and a rocking worship program – the design, sourcing, and installation of which has become a business unto itself. [38]) Consequentially Keller observes that two-thirds of all Christian Churches are failing by missing God’s objective by chasing culture and another 15-20% have plateaued in growth (perhaps factoring-in affordability).

Additionally, data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2019 marks the fourth year in a row that there has been a noticeable decline in the millennial populations in major cities. [39] This continuing exodus pressures suburban and rural churches; often being the least financially established Christian Churches thus lacking in staff depth to confront moral subjectivism and the consequential parenting issues. Some may turn towards chasing culture as their means to build congregational muscle.

HOW DO WE EVANGELIZE MORAL SUBJECTIVISM?

Keller didn’t offer solutions, but he did offer a construct within which to find a solution for evangelizing and countering Satan in this Post-Christian culture:

  1. In the early church, ordinary Christians evangelized. Perhaps this approach needs to be revisited.
  2. The “givens” as listed above, which form the basis of the narcissistically inclined Worldviews, need to be deconstructed.
  3. An alternative to Satan’s economy needs to be constructed. That encompasses R&D, marketing, and distribution – a counter echo chamber.
  4. Reclaim early church projects (what we’re called to be as a Church):
    1. Multiethnic – racial diversity
    2. Committed to the poor – social justice
    3. Civility – forgiveness, peace making
    4. Pro-life – against infanticide and abortion
    5. Sexual counterculture – the value of sex in marriage
  5. Effective evangelism:
    1. Do not chase the culture, adapting in order to gain acceptance
    2. Do not be angry towards the culture, that’s to be like the culture itself
    3. Rather be concurrently both humble and bold – accomplished by hanging onto Justification by Grace through Faith – were all sinners, yet perfectly loved by Christ

BOLDNESS: Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who was sitting by the roadside and when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, Son of David, he began to cry out and saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Even though many in the crowd shouted him down, Bartimaeus responded even more boldly, crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Boldness, not giving into nor chasing after cultural pressures, is how Bartimaeus expressed his faith. This is Keller’s point in #5c, above – to be humble and boldly connect with millennials and Gen Z’s on how to be God’s Ambassador parents.

Boldness is applying a biblically authentic alternatives to quoting Scripture-only as the delivery means to counter Gen Z’s culturally catechized way of thinking.

COMING UP IN THIS SERIES

SERIES PART 2: Teaching parenting to millennials, and their Gen Z children, using Gospel Principles essentially will result in rejection. To avoid this rejection and gain acceptance, the necessary attributes of a Biblically based pedagogical methodology was defined in Series Part 1, to be, namely:

  1. The methodology emphasizes the Existential Slavic (redemptive) Grace of the Spirit,
  2. The methodology is cloaked by Paul’s Doctrine of the Authentic Personan absolute necessity if you wish to gain the trust of others (1 Corinthians 9:20-23),
  3. The methodology will not be just another rendition of paint-by-numbers homilies,
  4. The methodology will reveal what’s pleasing to God in a way that encourages feelings delight in those hearing the message, and gratefulness for having heard it.

To execute these attributes necessitate using extra-biblical material since biblical material has become perceptually “tainted.”

Science provides a large body of material that is convincingly authentic; material that demonstrates that (godly) parenting really is the loving maturation the child’s brain. Wanting to be sure that we are glorifying God, we will need a biblical warrant to use this scientific extra-biblical material, ensuring that this material stays within biblical guardrails (four examples: Genesis 2:24 – do bond with your infant; Colossians 3:21 – do not embitter and discourage your children; 1 Peter 5:3 – do not lord over your children; and Genesis 2:25 – be godly parental models that your children can copy).

Series Part 2 locates this warrant as being modeled by Solomon. Part 2 also discovers that science itself was created in the image of God, imago Dei.

SERIES PART 3: Having chosen scientific information as the principal delivery platform in convincing parents to loving mature the child’s brain God’s way, it’s delivered in the context of a trinitarian-based pedagogical model. The model itself is demonstratively based upon the solid theological foundations of Van Til, and being trinitarian, the model teaches in a theologically balanced approach.

The Existential instructional pathway (used to convey science) is the prime delivery channel. Science is readily perceived as authentic (per Paul). Existentially, science (imago Dei) also carries along the Slavic (redemptive) Grace of the Spirit. Thus, science easily perceived as authentic information – can grab parental hearts and motivate turning towards Ambassadorship Parenting.

SERIES PART 4: Understanding that God designed our brains such that as our parents disciple us according to the Father’s principles, our brain is likewise maturing in accordance with his plan. Consequently, our adult behavior will naturally coalesce around his Word. Using selected examples, Series Part 4 populates this trinitarian pedagogical model (Part 3), incorporating a mix of both biblical principles (the Normative pathway) and extra-biblical scientific material (the Existential pathway), along with selected books (and illustrative Scriptural guardrails) forming the Situational pathway.

Hank Miiller lives in Newton, Penn., attends the Riverstone Church, Yardley, Penn., and is a Biblical Marriage Counselor specializing in helping those in abusive relationships.


[1] Steven Bressert, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychcentral.com, posted April 20, 2019, https://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder/

[2] Lindsay Lyon, NARCISSISM EPIDEMIC: WHY THERE ARE SO MANY NARCISSISTS NOW, US News and World Report, https://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/04/21/narcissism-epidemic-why-there-are-so-many-narcissists-now?context=amp

[3]Dr. William Lane Craig Hard Questions, Real Answers, Crossway, 2003, p. 15.

[4] Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered either a Gen Z or a Millennial.

[5] Trygve Johnson, GEN Z IS MAKING ME A BETTER PREACHER, Christianity Today, January 1, 2018 https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2019/spring/next-gen-preaching.html

[6] ibid

[7] James Madison, To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, A Memorial and Remonstrance, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-08-02-0163

[8] OWNERSHIP PARENTS reflect the natural sinful weakness of selfishness by choosing to raise their children as their own personal property, ignoring God’s Word that God chooses to “call” and Bless them (Genesis 1:18) to be parents, and to raise and disciple the children as God’s Children.  Ownership Parents CHOOSE NOT to raise godly children by emulating God himself as if he were the parent! Emulating God is called Ambassadorship parenting.

[9] Joshua Hawley, The Age of Pelaguis, Christianity Today, June 4, 2019. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/june-web-only/age-of-pelagius-joshua-hawley.html For further study, see: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/ericnelson/files/nelson_the_bargain_basis.pdf

[10] The Five Points of Calvinism and Arminianism https://www.fivesolas.com/cal_arm.htm

[11] Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, gave millennials some sound advice on feeling entitled, and taking their first job: “When you graduate from college and you are looking for a job, the 1st job is the most important job, not necessarily that the company has a great name, you should find a good boss that can teach you how to do things right, how to do things properly, and stay there. Give yourself a promise “I will stay there for at least three years.” Then start your move. (Job hopping [to fulfill a feeling of entitlement]) – That’s no good. I’ve seen a lot of disasters. A lot of problems …”Bloomberg TicTick on Twitter, November 3, 2019 https://t.co/i8eH5WLjSk

[12] This author expressed these thoughts in the paper Satan is Attacking Ephesians 5:33, Are churches prioritizing the defense of the Christian marriage? https://www.theaquilareport.com/satan-is-attacking-ephesians-533/

[13] Feminist scholar Kimberle´ Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989. Crenshaw created this metaphoric framework in order to visualize each of the contributing components of discrimination and disadvantage so that Social Justice can properly and individually addresses them before the Court. See: Kimberle’ Williams Crenshaw, Mapping the Margins, Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, pp. 93-118, The Public Nature of Private Violence, edited by Fineman and Mykitiuk, Routledge, 1994. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mapping-margins.pdf

[14] Envy was once considered to be one of the seven deadly sins before it became one f the most admired virtues under a new name: “Social Justice.” – Thomas Sowell.

[15] Paul Bedard, Battleground: 7 in 10 say US ‘on the edge of civil war,’ Washington Examiner, October 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/battleground-7-in-10-say-us-on-the-edge-of-civil-war

[16] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christanity, Book 2, Chapter 3, “The Shocking Alternative,’ p. 50.

[17] Michael Dimock, Defining Generations: Where Millennials End and Generation Z Begins, Pew Research, January 17, 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/

[18] Video: Dr. Timothy Keller’s Keynote at the DTS Hendricks Center 30th Anniversary Gala: Dallas Theological Seminary, Hendricks Center 30th Anniversary Gala  March 26, 2019 | Dallas, Texas https://lp.dts.edu/hendricks-center-video-watch-1/

[19] Brian Resnick, 22 Percent of Millennials Say They Have “No Friends,” August 1, 2019 https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/8/1/20750047/millennials-poll-loneliness

[20] Jamie Ballard, Millennials are the loneliest generation, July 30, 2019 Polling Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,254 US adults ages 18+. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative reporting sample. The survey was conducted online July 3 – 5, 2019. https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2019/07/30/loneliness-friendship-new-friends-poll-survey

[21] Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., A Way Out of Loneliness, an on-demand seminar, ($15) https://www.psychalive.org/pl_resources/jan-23-way-loneliness/

[22] For the CDC report cited, see https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db352-h.pdf The data set for CDC’s Figure 2, the graphic reproduced in this paper, can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db352_tables-508.pdf#2.

[23] Lizzie Cernik, The Guardian, Self-partnered: The Sudden, Surprising Rise of the Single Positivity Movement, November 6, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/06/consciously-uncoupled-the-joy-of-self-partnership

[24] The overarching motif of the Bible’s Song of Songs is: MY-SISTER/MY-BRIDE, which means that becoming “best friends,” — a best friend is being a big brother to “MY SISTER” — is one who truly (holistically) cares for his betrothed, must proceed the marriage in order for the marriage to fulfill God’s “friendship” ordinance, Genesis 2:25.

[25] Hank Miiller, Satan is Attacking Ephesians 5:33, Are churches prioritizing the defense of the Christian marriage? https://www.theaquilareport.com/satan-is-attacking-ephesians-533/

[26] Adrian Hallett, The Theology of John Calvin. Part Three: The Christian’s Conflict with the Devil, Churchman 105/4 1991. See p. 3. http://archive.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_105_4_Hallett.pdf

[27] Abigail Dodds, We Become What We Watch, What Entertainment Does to Our Minds, desiringGOD.com, October 6, 2019, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/we-become-what-we-watch

[28] Drew and Wilcox, It’s What He Does Online That Matters Most: Gaming, Porn, and Relationships, Institute for Family Studies, March 14, 2019, https://ifstudies.org/blog/its-what-he-does-online-that-matters-most-gaming-porn-and-relationship-quality

[29] Russell More, Fake Love, Fake War, Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games, desiringGod, March 25, 2013, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fake-love-fake-war

[30] “The more you game, the more you want to game, the more your brain wants to game, so the more you game, and thus you experience structural brain changes. There are three of brain changes: numbed pleasure response — every day activities no longer satisfy you; hyper-reactivity to gaming — gaming is really exciting and everything else is boring; and willpower erosion — even if you wanted to quit you would struggle to have the willpower due to changes to your prefrontal cortex. The same process works with porn addiction.” See also: Adair, How Gaming and Porn Addiction are Ruining a Generation, Game Quitters, September 18, 2018,  https://gamequitters.com/gaming-porn-addiction/

[31] This is all in addition to Satan’s move on biblical counselors and pastors through his “theological echo chamber,” which, since the 2nd Wave of Feminism, has conned pastors and counselors into ignoring the natural power imbalance inherent in selfishly inclined marriages and thus counsel both spouses as sinful beings. Consequentially, abused wives, who seek help from pastors and counselors, are told to go home and submit to his leadership, and love him more – advice that’s in conflict with and directly opposed to Malachi 2:16bGod’s OT advice that counsels wives not become facilitators of their abusive husband!

As Malachi 2:16 informs, abuse is NOT a marriage problem. Abuse is the abuser’s personal sin problem, and as Malachi 2:16b counsels, it must be addressed individually, not as a couple’s problem. The abuser doesn’t believe he has a “problem.” He no perception of the hurt he’s causing his wife, for biblically he’s lost sight of his godly role to be her holistic protector – that’s her emotional, physical, and spiritual protector.

See: Miiller, How Should We Understand Genesis 3:16b Looking Through The Lens of Song of Song? (Part 3), for a listing of where the KJV translates chamac (the Hebrew for “violence” in Malachi 2:16a) into every behavioral attribute that our current psychodynamic knowledge of the human personality now calls NARCISSISTIC. https://www.theaquilareport.com/how-should-we-understand-genesis-316b-looking-through-the-lens-of-song-of-song-part-3/

[32] D. C. McAllister, American Psychological Association Says Traditional Masculinity Is Pathological, January 9, 2019.  https://thefederalist.com/2019/01/09/american-psychological-association-says-traditional-masculinity-pathological/

[33] This APA view is the polar opposite of what God created men to be – men were created to be the masculine holistic protector (physical, emotional and spiritual) of women (wives), and this protection is what women (wives) seek in returning in oneness to their husbands (Genesis 2:22; Ephesians 5:33). As an example of her response, when a husband loves his wife in accord with Ephesians 5:33, can be found in Song 5:10-16, and her emotional reaction to have been loved Paul’s way is encapsulated in Song 7:10.

[34] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/red-pill-mens-rights-anti-feminist-group-who-know-what-women-want/

[35] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stepford_Wives_(2004_film)

[36] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7bdwyx/inside-the-global-collective-of-straight-male-separatists

[37] Miiller, Spiritual Narcissism, Spousal Abuse, Are churches an unknowing coconspirator? https://www.theaquilareport.com/spiritual-narcissism-spousal-abuse/

[38] Example: See https://csavsystems.com/church-audio-visual-company/

[39] Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg, Millennials Continue to Leave Big Cities, WSJ, September 26, 2019 https://www.wsj.com/articles/millennials-continue-to-leave-big-cities-11569470460