Art Azurdia – Young people are leaving the church

the video titled „Young people are leaving church has been removed form the internet. If it appears again, I will repost it. Here are two other short clips featuring Art Azurdia. Subtitles in Romanian:

Looking at the Cross – Cu privirea atintita la cruce

God Saves – Dumnezeu salveaza

PAGINA – RICHARD WURMBRAND

Documentarul realizat de Lucia Hossu Longin este ultimul video (jos) pe aceasta pagina.

Vizionati si cititi si urmatoarele postari:

  • Influenta lui Richard Wurmbrand asupra lui Iosif Ton

Un video predica -Richard Wurmbrand in limba Germana (48 de minute)

E posibil ca acesta sa fie primul documentar realizat de un Pastor Luteran American care l-a ajutat pe Richard si Sabina Wurmbrand sa emigreze in SUA.

suntem in cautare pentru acest video

In continuare, vizionati urmatorul documentar care a fost  transmis pentru prima data  in ziua de 23 mai 2006, orele 23.00, pe postul national de televiziune, TVR 1,  documentarul despre viata si lucrarea pastorului Richard Wurmbrand in cadrul “Memorialului Durerii”, realizat de catre distinsa doamna Lucia Hosu Longin.

PREDICI Video:

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand (March 24, 1909 – February 17, 2001)
Sabina (Oster) Wurmbrand (July 10, 1913 – August 11, 2000)

Many people called him the „Voice of the Underground Church” and others referred to him as the „Iron Curtain St. Paul.” This humble man who began the ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs was the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand. Richard’s life was a partnership with the equally amazing Sabina, whom he married on October 26, 1936.

Richard Wurmbrand was born the youngest of four boys in a Jewish family on March 24, 1909, in Bucharest, Romania. Gifted intellectually and fluent in nine languages, Richard was active in leftist politics and worked as a stockbroker.

After their marriage, Richard and Sabina were converted to Christ in 1938, chiefly because of the influence of a German carpenter, Christian Wölfkes. They joined the Anglican Mission to the Jews in Bucharest. Richard was ordained, first as an Anglican, and then after World War II as a Lutheran minister.

During World War II, Richard and Sabina saw an opportunity for evangelism among the occupying German forces. They preached in the bomb shelters and rescued Jewish children out of the ghettos. Richard and Sabina were repeatedly arrested and beaten and, at least once, nearly executed. Sabina lost her Jewish family in Nazi concentration camps.

In 1945 Romanian Communists seized power and a million „invited” Russian troops poured into the country. Pastor Wurmbrand ministered to his oppressed countrymen and engaged in bold evangelism to the Russian soldiers.

That same year, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand attended the Congress of Cults organized by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime. Sabina said, „Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.” Richard warned, „If I do so, you’ll lose your husband.”

„I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband,” she replied. Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone.

Between 1945 and 1947, Richard distributed 1 million Gospels to Russian troops, often disguising the books as Communist propaganda. Richard also smuggled Gospels into Russia. On December 30, 1947, the People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed.

Richard Wurmbrand kidnapped
On February 29, 1948, the secret police arrested Richard while on his way to church and took him to their headquarters. He was locked in a solitary cell and labeled ‘Prisoner Number 1.’

In 1950, his wife Sabina was also imprisoned. She was forced to serve as a laborer on the Danube Canal project, leaving their nine-year-old son, Mihai, alone and homeless. Following her release in 1953, the Romanian authorities informed her that Richard had died in prison.

A Christian doctor masquerading as a Communist Party member discovered Richard alive in prison. In a general amnesty, Richard was released in 1956 after serving eight-and-a-half years in prison. He was warned never to preach again. While in prison, he went through horrific tortures at the hands of the brutal secret police. Despite the treatments and the warnings he received from his persecutors, Richard resumed his work with the „underground” churches after his release.

He was re-arrested in 1959 through the conspiracy of an associate, and sentenced to 25 years. He was accused of preaching ideas contrary to Communist doctrine. Due to increased political pressure from Western countries, Richard was granted another amnesty and released in 1964.

In December 1965, the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance paid $10,000 in ransom to the Communist government to allow the Wurmbrand family to leave Romania. Reluctant to leave his homeland, Richard was convinced by other underground church leaders to leave and become a „voice” to the world for the underground church. Richard, Sabina, and their son Mihai left Romania for Norway and then traveled on to England.

The birth of a unique ministry
Richard began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev. Stuart Harris, where he also wrote his testimony of persecution, Tortured for Christ. Later, Richard moved on to the United States, and in 1966 he appeared before a U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed 18 deep torture wounds on his body. His story spread rapidly, leading to more and more speaking engagements.

In 1967, the Wurmbrands officially began a ministry committed to serving the persecuted church, called Jesus to the Communist World (later renamed The Voice of the Martyrs). In the same year, Richard released his book, Tortured for Christ.

In October, 1967, the first monthly issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter was published in the U.S. By the mid-1980s his work was established in 80 restricted nations with offices in 30 countries around the world.

In 1990, after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in December 1989, Richard and Sabina returned to Romania after 25 years in exile and were warmly received. A printing facility and bookstore were opened in Bucharest, and the officials of the city offered to store Christian books in a room below the palace of Ceausescu, the very site where Richard had been held in solitary confinement.

Richard retired from the day-to-day work of The Voice of the Martyrs in 1992, but he continued as a consultant and member of the board of directors, maintaining a keen interest in the work until his death in 2001.

During his ministry, Richard wrote 18 books in English and others in Romanian, some of which have been translated into 38 different languages. His most well-known book is Tortured for Christ. He received numerous honors and citations during his lifetime for his work and ministry.

Richard is remembered with great affection as an outstanding man of God, passionate for the cause of Christ, powerful in evangelism, and persevering in suffering for the sake of the Jesus he loved. Sabina, who passed away August 11, 2000, is remembered as a woman of great integrity, a student of the Scriptures, a mighty faith warrior and a true help mate to her husband.

Keys- http://persecution.tv/video?task=videodirectlink&id=807 (Videos)

http://cristianet.fr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=26 (Real audio)

http://www.youtube.com/user/Iedidia1/videos?query=wurmbrand (Videos)

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    Sabina Wurmbrand – La Pasti in Anul 2000

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    Sabina Wurmbrand – Interviu anul 2000 Harul si Adevarul

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Pregateste-te de intalnire

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Pastorul

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Nimic nu se schimba

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Memorialul durerii – Cine a fost Richard.Wurmbrand ep 24

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Iubire Iertare – Ioan 6 cu 47-56

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Film Liviu Mocan Fundatia El – Realizator Cristian Dor de cer-Integral

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 7Mantuirea pentru toti oamenii partea 7 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 6Mantuirea pentru toti oamenii partea 6 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 5Valoarea suferintei partea 5 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 4Ce putem lua cu noi partea 4 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 3Ce putem lua cu noi partea 3 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 1Ca un stejar partea 1 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Ferestre spre cer – 2Domnul pacii sa fie cu toti partea 2 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Calea Adevarul si Viata 221 – partea 2 din 2

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Calea Adevarul si Viata 220 – partea 1 din 2

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 7 Ferestre spre cer – Mantuirea pentru toti oamenii 7 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 6 Ferestre spre cer – Mantuirea pentru toti oamenii 6 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 5 Ferestre spre cer – Valoarea_suferintei partea 5 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 4 Ferestre spre cer – Ce putem lua cu noi partea 4 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 3 Ferestre spre cer – Ce putem lua cu noi partea 3 din 7

  23. Thumbnail27:17

    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 2 Ferestre spre cer – Domnul pacii sa fie cu toti 2 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere 1 Ferestre spre cer – Ca un stejar partea 1 din 7

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Cu introducere Ferestre spre cer – Nebunia dragostei – partea 1 si 2

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Copii ai lui Dumnezeu

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Comemorare 2003&2004

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Bolnav de dragoste

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    Richard Wurmbrand – Binecuvantare prin suferinta 

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    Richard Wurmbrand – 2009 Anul Richard Wurmbrand

Planeta Privilegiata

Este planeta noastră doar un grăunte fără semnificaţie în Univers, sau este creaţia unui proiectant inteligent? Documentarul „Planeta privilegiată” demonstrează faptul că mulţi factori care fac posibilă existenţa vieţii complexe pe Terra creează și cele mai bune condiţii pentru observare și cercetare. Filmul explorează această corelaţie surprinzătoare şi implicaţiile în ceea ce privește înţelegerea originii şi scopului nostru în Univers.

The Privileged Planet (RO) from Frumoasa verde on Vimeo.

Family Series 14 B – Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 2 What Does It Mean to Lead – Desiring God

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Jesus—The Pattern for Manhood

The reason I am using the title “Lionhearted and Lamblike” to refer to the Christian husband as head of his wife is because the husband is called to lead like Jesus who is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:6)—he was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood.

But it may not yet be crystal clear to some that the concept of headship involves leadership as its main meaning. That is what I think is the case. The key verse on headship here is Ephesians 5:23: “The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” So the husband is to take his unique cues in marriage from Christ in his relationship to his church. I take that to mean that the husband bears a unique responsibility for leadership in the marriage.

The Husband as Leader

I suggested last time that a biblical definition of headship would be: Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. The more I have thought about those three facets of headship—leadership, protection, and provision—the more it seems to me that they really resolve into one thing with two expressions. Leadership is the one thing, and protection and provision are the two expressions. In other words, a husband’s leadership expresses itself in taking the lead in seeing to it that the family is protected and provided for. So protection and provision are not separate from leadership. They are the two most fundamental areas where the husband is called upon to bear primary responsibility.

So what we need to do is see the support for this in the text and then some application or illustration of what it means. Let’s give a few arguments from the text for why we think the word head in verse 23 involves a unique responsibility of leadership.

The Husband as Head

1) Head is used for leader in the Old Testament. For example, Judges 11:11, “So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them (eis kephalēn kai eis archēgon).” (See also 10:18; 11:8, 9; 2 Samuel 22:44; Psalm 18:43; Isaiah 7:8.)

2) Ephesians 1:21–23 says that Christ is “above every name that is named . . . and God has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body.” The focus in this text is on Christ’s rule and authority when he is called head of the church. So the emphasis falls on his leadership over the church.

3) In Ephesians 5:25, Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” While the stress here falls on Christ’s sacrifice for his bride and so tells the husband to love like this, we must not miss the inescapable truth that Christ took an absolutely decisive action here. He was not responding to the church. The church did not plan its salvation and sanctification. Christ did. This is leadership of the most exalted kind. But it is servant leadership. Christ is taking the lead to save his bride, and he is doing it by suffering for her.

But we see leadership in Christ’s sacrifice not just because he planned it and took the initiative rather than responding to her initiative, but also in the fact that he died to give an example to us. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). In other words, I have taken the lead in suffering for love’s sake; now you take up your cross and follow me. This is why leadership is not mainly a right and privilege, but a burden and a responsibility.

4) Finally, in view of these three reasons why headship involves leadership, the fourth argument is that the concept of submission, when related to headship, implies that headship is leadership. Paul says in verses 22-23, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife.” When the ground of submission is expressed as the headship of the husband, it is clear that headship involves the kind of leadership that a woman can honor.

The definition of submission that we will unfold after Easer is: “Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.” The point today is simply that when submission is correlated with headship, it implies that headship involves leadership. The wife honors and affirms her husband’s leadership and helps carry it through according to her gifts.

So from these four observations—and there are more for other parts of the Bible that we could look at—I conclude that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Protection

Now where in this text do we see the idea that this leadership takes special responsibility for protection and provision in the family? First, consider protection. In verses 25-27, Paul shows the husband how to love his wife—that is, how to exercise the kind of servant leadership that Christ did: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

In the words “gave himself up for her,” we hear the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When Christ gave himself up for us, he took our place. He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) and became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) and died for us (Romans 5:8); and because of all this we are reconciled to God and saved from his wrath. Romans 5:10: “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

If there ever was an example of leadership that took the initiative to protect his bride, this is it. So when Paul calls a husband to be the head of his wife by loving like Christ when he leads, whatever else he means, he means: Protect her at all costs.

Provision

And what about provision? I am contending that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. Are there evidences in this text that a husband’s leadership should take primary responsibility for the provision for his wife and family? Yes. If anything, this is even more explicit. Consider verses 28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”

The words “nourish and cherish” are significant. The word nourish (ektrephei) is most often used in the Bible for raising children and providing them with what they need, but the part of that meaning that applies here is not that the husband is a parent but that he is a caring provider. It’s used more in the sense of Genesis 45:11 where Joseph says to his brothers, “There I will provide (ekthrepsō) for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come.” So the point is at least that the husband who leads like Christ takes the initiative to see to it that the needs of his wife and children are met. He provides for them.

Similarly, the other word in verse 29 points in the same direction but even more tenderly. The husband “nourishes and cherishes (thalpei) it [his body, his wife], just as Christ does the church.” This word for cherishing is used by Paul one other time, namely, to refer to his tender love for the church in Thessalonica. He compares himself to a mother caring for her infant. First Thessalonians 2:7: “We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” The point was not at all to belittle the church; the point was to emphasize his tender care and that he would do anything he could for them the way a mother does her child.

So I conclude that there is good reason just from Ephesians 5—not to mention Genesis 1-3 and elsewhere—to lift up the divine calling of the husband as bearing a primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Life Hangs on Protection and Provision

Now notice something about protection and provision. The reason they stand out is that they are so basic. Without protection and provision, life itself is threatened. So the reason these two rise to the surface so quickly is that if a husband fails in his leadership here, there may not be any other place to exercise it. The life of the family hangs on protection and provision. Life itself must be protected and nourished, or it ceases to exist.

But there is another reason these two stand out. Protection and provision both have a physical and a spiritual meaning. There is physical food that needs to be provided, and there is spiritual food that needs to be provided. Husbands need to protect against physical threats to the life of the family and spiritual threats to the life of the family. So when you think it through, virtually everything a husband is called upon to do in his leadership is summed up in one of these four ways: 1) physical provision (like food and shelter), 2) spiritual provision (like the word of God and spiritual guidance, instruction, and encouragement), 3) physical protection (as from intruders or natural disasters or disease), and 4) spiritual protection (like prayer and warnings and keeping certain influences out of the home). Provision: physical and spiritual. Protection: physical and spiritual.

Encouragement of Husbands

Before I give some examples, let me give a word of encouragement and caution. The encouragement is to men. If this sounds new and overwhelming, be encouraged that Christ does not call you to do what he won’t empower you to do. My father loved to quote to us as a family Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Husbands are called to do some very hard things. Leadership is not easy. That’s part of what being a Christian means: Take up your cross and follow me. But with every command comes a promise. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). So be encouraged. Leadership is hard. But you’re a man. You’re a man. If your father never taught you how to lead, your heavenly Father will.

A Caution to Wives

The caution is to women. You cannot demand that your husband take leadership. For several reasons: 1) Demanding is contradictory to the very thing for which you long. It is out of character. If you become the demander, he’s not the leader. 2) Demanding will be counterproductive because if he had any impulse to try harder, your demanding will take the heart out of it, because it won’t feel like leading any more; it will feel like acquiescence. 3) It has to come from inside him worked by the word of God and the Spirit of God. So, instead of demanding, 1) pray earnestly for him that God would awaken his true manhood. 2) Ask him for a time when the two of you alone, when you are neither tired nor angry, can talk about your heart’s desires. When you express your longings, do it without sounding any ultimatums, and with a sense of hope grounded in God, not man. Express appreciation and honor for any ways that he is leading.

Examples and Explanations

That’s the encouragement and the caution. Now some examples and explanations. These must be brief and provocative rather than complete and an attempt to answer all your questions. Consider what leadership is in each of the four spheres mentioned earlier.

1. Leadership in Spiritual Provision

To provide spiritual food for the family, you must know spiritual food. This means that a man must go hard after God. You can only lead spiritually if you are growing in your own knowledge of God and love for God. If you are feeding your soul with the word of God, you will be drawn to feed your wife and your children.

Gather your wife and children for family devotions everyday—call it whatever you want: family prayers, family worship, family Bible time. Take the initiative to gather them. If you don’t know what to do, ask some brothers what they do. Or ask your wife what she would like to do. You don’t have to be a loner here. Remember, headship takes primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. The wife, we pray, is always supporting and helping. And regularly has gifts that the husband doesn’t. What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative, from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.

And remember there is no necessary connection between being an effective leader and being more intellectual or more competent than your wife. Leadership does not assume it is superior. It assumes it should take initiatives. See that the family prays and reads the Bible and goes to church and discusses spiritual and moral issues, and learns to use the means of grace and grows in knowledge, and watches your example in all these things.

2. Leadership in Physical Provision

The husband bears the primary responsibility to put bread on the table. Again the word primary is important. Both husbands and wives always work. But their normal spheres of work are man: breadwinner; wife: domestic manager, designer, nurturer. And that never has meant that there are not seasons in life when a wife cannot work outside the home or that the husband cannot share the domestic burdens. But it does mean that a man compromises his own soul and sends the wrong message to his wife and children when he does not position himself as the one who lays down his life to put bread on the table. He may be disabled and unable to do what his heart longs to do. He may be temporarily in school while she supports the family. But in any case his heart, and, if possible, his body, is moving toward the use of his mind and his hands to provide physically for his wife and children.

3. Leadership in Spiritual Protection

The spiritual dangers that beset the family today are innumerable and subtle. We need valiant warriors like never before. Not with spears and shields, but with biblical discernment and courage. First, husbands, pray for your family everyday, “Lead them not into temptation but deliver them from evil.” Fight for them in prayer against the devil and the world and the flesh. Pray the prayers of the Bible for them. Don’t grow weary. God hears and answers prayer for our wives and children.

Set standards for your wife and children. Work them through with your wife. Remember the path of leadership here is primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. Wives are eager to help here, but what frustrates them is when we don’t take any initiative and they are left to try to determine and enforce the standards alone. Take the initiative in thinking through what will be allowed on TV. What movies you and the children will go to. What music will be listened to. And how low your daughter’s necklines will be. I am tempted to preach a whole message on the relationship between dads and the way their daughters dress. Yes, mom is the key player here in helping a young woman learn the meaning of modesty and beauty. But dad’s role for both of them is indispensable both in celebrating what they look like and telling them when the way they dress means what they don’t think it means. Dads, you know exactly what I mean. What you need here is courage. Don’t be afraid here. This is your daughter, and she must hear from you what she is saying to men with her clothes.

One other example of leadership in spiritual protection: Paul says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” In other words, one wide open door to the devil in your house is unresolved anger as you go to bed. In the children and in the marriage. Leadership means we must take the lead in reconciliation.

I don’t mean that wives should never say they are sorry. But in the relation between Christ and his church, who took the initiative to make all things new? Who left the comfort and security of his throne of justice to put mercy to work at Calvary? Who came back to Peter first after three denials? Who has returned to you again and again forgiving you and offering his fellowship afresh? So husbands, your headship means: Go ahead. Take the lead. It does not matter if it is her fault. That didn’t stop Christ. Who will break the icy silence first? Who will choke out the words, “I’m sorry, I want it to be better”? Or: “Can we talk? I’d like things to be better.” She might beat you to it. That’s okay. But woe to you if you think that, since it’s her fault, she’s obliged to say the first reconciling word. Headship is not easy. It is the hardest, most humbling work in the world. Protect your family. Strive, as much as it lies within you, to make peace before the sun goes down.

4. Leadership in Physical Protection

This is too obvious to need illustration—I wish. If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her: This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out. I went last time.” And I mean that even if your wife has a black belt in karate. After you’ve tried, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus. But you better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man. That’s written on your soul, brother, by God Almighty. Big or little, strong or weak, night or day, you go up against the enemy first. Woe to the husband—and woe to the nation—that send their women to fight their battles.

For God’s Glory and Our Good

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and God came to call them to account, it didn’t matter that Eve had sinned first. God said, “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). That’s God’s word to the family today: Adam, husband, father, where are you? If something is not working right at your house and Jesus comes knocking on the door, he may have an issue with your wife, but the first thing he’s going to say when she opens the door is, “Is the man of the house home?”

When a man joyfully bears the primary God-given responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership and provision and protection in the home—for the spiritual well-being of the family, for the discipline and education of the children, for the stewardship of money, for holding of a steady job, for the healing of discord—I have never met a wife who is sorry she married such a man. Because when God designs a thing (like marriage), he designs it for his glory and our good.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know

You can listen to the audio here. by C.J.Mahaney (from the 2004  Desiring God Conference)

Family Series 14 A – Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 1

By John Piper,Pastor of Bethlehem Church at Desiring God, Minneapolis,MN.

You can listen to the audio here.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

If the Lord wills, both today and next week we will focus on what it means for a married man to be the head of his wife and of his home. We focus on this for two reasons. One is that the Bible says in Ephesians 5:23, “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” We need to know what the Bible means by this statement so that we can exult in it and obey.

The other reason is that few things are more broken in our day than manhood and headship in relation to women and families. And the price of this brokenness is enormous and touches almost every facet of life. So for the sake of faithful biblical exposition and exultation, and for the sake of recovering biblical manhood and Christ-exalting family structures, we will, Lord willing, spend two weeks on this important issue of headship.

First Things First

Our emphasis in these weeks so far has been that staying married is not mainly about staying in love, but about keeping covenant. We did eventually come around to saying that precisely by this unwavering covenant-keeping the possibility of being profoundly in love in forty years is much greater than if you think of the task of marriage is first staying in love. Keeping first things first makes second things better. Staying in love isn’t the first task of marriage. It is a happy overflow of covenant-keeping for Christ’s sake.

We have spent most of our effort in these five messages so far pondering the foundations of covenant-keeping in the way Christ keeps covenant with us. We have looked at marriage as a showcase of covenant-keeping grace and as a combination of forgiveness and forbearance. And the last time we were together we took up the question: Can you help each other change? And if so, how do you do that graciously?

Headship Seen in Light of the Gospel

Up till now we have spent little time on the distinct roles of husband and wife—headship and submission. This was intentional. Foundations in the gospel are needed before these things can shine with the beauty they really have. There is nothing ugly or undesirable in these distinctions of headship and submission when they’re seen in the light of the gospel of grace.

So now the question presses on us: What is headship? And what is submission? The plan is to deal with headship in the next two weeks and then after Easter deal with submission and other issues relating to marriage.

This week will be largely foundation for headship, and next week will be largely application. What does it actually look like in practice?

The Mystery Revealed

Let’s move into this text at verse 31. It’s a quote from Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” In the next verse (v. 32), Paul looks back on this quote and says, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

Now why is the coming together of a man and woman to form one flesh in marriage called a mystery? Mystery in the New Testament does not mean something too complex or deep or obscure or distant for humans to understand. It refers to a hidden purpose of God that is now revealed for our understanding and enjoyment. Paul explains what the mystery is in verse 32. The marriage union is a mystery, he says, because its deepest meaning has been concealed by God during the Old Testament history, but is now being openly revealed by the apostle, namely, that marriage is an image of Christ and the church. Verse 32: “I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or a parable or a model that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.

The Parallel Between One Body and One Flesh

You can see how this is confirmed in verses 28-30. They describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body andthe husband and wife being one flesh. Verses 28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it . . . .” In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he, in that very act, has for himself. They are one. What he does for her he does for himself.

Then he compares this to Christ’s care for the church. Verses 29-30: “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” Be sure to see the parallel: Christ nourishes and cherishes the church because we are members (that is, arms and legs and hands and feet) of his body. And husbands nourish and cherish their wives “as their own bodies.” No one ever hated his own flesh. Wives are our own flesh as the church is Christ’s own body. Just as the husband is one flesh with his wife so Christ is one body with the church. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.

All of this underlines what Paul calls a “profound mystery”—that marriage, in its deepest meaning, is a copy of Christ and the church. If you want to understand God’s meaning for marriage you have to grasp that we are dealing with a copy of a greater original, a metaphor of a greater reality and parable and a greater truth. And the original, the reality, the truth is God’s marriage to his people, or now in the New Testament, we see it as Christ’s marriage to the church. And the copy, the metaphor, the parable is human marriage between a husband and a wife. Geoffrey Bromiley says, “As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people” (God and Marriage, pg 43). I think that is exactly right. And it is one of the most profound things you can say about human life.

The Roles Are Distinct

One of the things to learn from this mystery is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are distinct. Consider the way Ephesians 5:22–25 unpacks the role of husband and the role of wife in the mystery of marriage as a copy of Christ and the church: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Husbands are compared to Christ; wives are compared to the church. Husbands are compared to the head; wives are compared to the body. Husbands are commanded to love as Christ loved; wives are commanded to submit as the church is to submit to Christ.

It is astonishing how many people do not see this when they deal with this passage. Or, seeing it, neglect it. I have in mind those who would be called egalitarians—the ones who reject the idea that men are called to be leaders in the home. They put all the emphasis on verse 21 and the teaching of mutual submission. All agree that verse 21 is overflow from verse 18 where Paul commands us to be filled with the Spirit. Verses 18b-21: “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

So submitting to one another is seen as an expression of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Husbands and wives who are filled with the Holy Spirit serve one another. They humble themselves and get down low to lift the other up. They find ways to submit their immediate preferences for comfort to the need of the other. Amen to that! May it happen more and more. I have no desire to minimize the mutuality of submission and servanthood.

Mutual Submission and Unique Roles

But the problem is that egalitarians seem to stop with mutual submission, as if that were all one needed to say about roles in marriage, or as if that is all that the text has to say. And when they stop there, most people today are left with great ambiguity and great confusion about the proper roles of husband and wife. Once you clarify for people that a husband and a wife should be mutually humble, and mutually ready to serve each other, and mutually eager to meet each other’s needs and build each other up—once you have said all that, there remains a great uncertainty as to what, if anything, distinguishes the role of husband and wife. Is it only the biological gift of childbearing that distinguishes the roles? Or is there something more pervasive?

What is so astonishing is that egalitarians don’t embrace what every ordinary reader can see in Ephesians 5. After declaring that there is mutual submission in verse 21, Paul devotes twelve verses to unfolding the difference in the way a husband and wife should serve each other. You don’t need to deny mutual submission to affirm the importance of the unique role of the husband as head and the unique calling of the wife to submit to that headship.

Jesus, the Bridegroom, Served His Bride

The simplest way to see this is to remember that Jesus himself bound himself with a towel and got down on the floor and washed this disciples’ feet (the bridegroom, serving the bride), but not for one minute did any of the apostles in that room doubt who the leader was in that moment. In other words, mutuality of submission and servanthood do not cancel out the reality of leadership or headship. Servanthood does not nullify leadership; it defines it. Jesus does not cease to be the Lion of Judah when he becomes the lamb-like servant of the church.

After calling attention to the mutuality of submission or servanthood in verse 21, Paul devotes the whole passage through verse 33 to making distinctions between the role of the husband and the role of the wife—between the loving headship of a husband who takes his cues from Christ, and the willing submission of a wife who takes her cues from how the church is to follow Christ.

What we need to hear from this text today is not just a call to mutual submission that leaves young men groping for what it means to be a husband and young women groping for what it means to be a wife. What we need to hear is what headship and submission mean. What are the positive, practical implications of being called head that give man his distinct role in marriage? It is not enough to say, “Serve one another.” That is true of Christ and his church—they serve each other. But they do not serve each other in all the same ways. Christ is Christ. We are the church. To confuse the distinctions would be doctrinally and spiritually devastating. So also the man is the Christ-portraying husband, and the woman is the church-portraying wife. And to confuse these God-intended distinctions, or to abandon them, results in more disillusionment and more divorce and more devastation.

The Roles Are Not Arbitrary or Reversible

One of the things that are crystal clear in Ephesians 5 is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are not arbitrarily assigned and they are not reversible any more than the role of Christ and the church are reversible. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the distinctive roles of Christ and his church. The revelation of this mystery is the recovery of the original intention of covenant marriage in the Garden of Eden.

You can see this most clearly when you ponder what sin did to headship and submission and how Paul’s teaching here in Ephesians 5 is so perfectly suited to remedy that corruption. When sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage not because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing, happy, creative, articulate submission into manipulative obsequiousness or groveling in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.

Recovering Roles from the Ravages of Sin

Now if this is true, then the redemption we anticipate with the coming of Christ is not the dismantling of the original, created order of loving headship and willing submission, but a recovery of it from the ravages of sin. And that’s exactly what we find here in Ephesians 5:21-33. Wives, let your fallen submission be redeemed by modeling it after God’s intention for the church! Husbands, let your fallen headship be redeemed by modeling it after God’s intention for Christ!

Therefore, headship is not a right to control or to abuse or to neglect. (Christ’s sacrifice is the pattern.) Rather, it’s the responsibility to love like Christ in leading and protecting and providing for your wife and family. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership and protection and provision. He wants the submission of the church to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.

In other words, what Ephesians 5:21-33 does is two things: It guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus, and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.

Defining Headship and Submission

So let me close for now with brief definitions of headship and submission and then come back next week, Lord willing, with practical application of what this headship in particular looks like.

  • Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. (See next week’s message for the biblical basis of the words “leadership, protection, and provision.”)
  • Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.

A good deal is at stake here. I hope you take it seriously whether you are single or married, old or young. Not just the fabric of society hangs on this, but the revelation of the covenant-keeping Christ and his covenant-keeping church.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Family Series 13 – Kevin DeYoung on Doug Wilson’s ‘Wise words on birth control’

Doug Wilson’s Wise Words on Birth Control

Posted: 17 Feb 2011

I don’t usually just link to other stuff floating around the web, but this piece by Doug Wilson on birth control seems especially balanced and wise.

Here are some of my favorite points:

2. Notwithstanding, the Scriptures say nothing definitively about birth control considered as such. Despite the anti-family bias that created the default assumptions of the world around us, we still have to be careful not to go beyond what is written. We especially have to take care not to go beyond what is written. Slavish following of the world is bad, but so is knee-jerk reaction to it.

7. While the Scriptures don’t say anything definitively about birth control as such, they do teach an enormous amount about the blessing of faithful covenant seed. This is one of the three main reasons for covenant marriage — the begetting of a godly seed (Mal. 2:15). This should be taught and emphasized in the church, and is the only really effective way to counter the world’s anti-child bigotry. If this is effectively done, visitors to your church will think you must teach against birth control, and they will think this because of the large teeming population at the three foot level that they can see during fellowship hour.

8. More is involved in raising up a godly seed than to have a man with dogmatic convictions about birth control, matched only by his unwillingness to feed, read to, educate, pay tuition for, bestow upon, and love the results of his dogmatism. There are no promised covenantal blessings for the self-absorbed proprietors of stud farms.

11. As each married couple make their decisions about this, and as pastors help them, they should take care to make careful distinctions with regard to motive, as well as a sharp distinction between principles and methods. We must learn to distinguish between a couple postponing fruitfulness for no reason other than that the worldlings told them they should spend some time surfing together in Argentina first, and a seasoned married couple with six kids who stop having them because their covenantal hands are quite full. It appears that the former do not understand the creation order at all, and that the latter don’t have any problem at all understanding it. To focus on birth control in isolation interferes with such essential distinctions from being made.

Whether you have a quiver full of kids or are newly married, you’ll do well to read the whole thing.

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