March 16, 2003

Volume 13 - Number 11     

Re - Inventing the Family

Rosemary Radford Ruether is a “theologian” who teaches at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Ms. Ruether is the author of a new book, titled, Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).

In this ambitious volume, Ruether challenges the “traditional” family structure, and argues for the acceptance of diverse family forms (e.g., a variety of post-marriage relationships following divorce, “temporary” vows by cohabiting couples, homosexual liaisons, etc.). She aims at “desacramentalizing” marriage, which is her jargon for removing this sacred relationship from biblical guidelines. She wants to “relativize perceptions of fixed family roles,” which means that there are to be no static rules governing the marriage relationship.

Ruether claims there never has been “only one form of family,” and she dips into a variety of historical sources in an attempt to argue her case. Her fundamental blunder is that she equates humanity’s degeneration from the divine mandate as the ideal.

But what mankind has done and taught, over the centuries, does not create the standard for defining the laws that govern human relationships. This truth is so fundamental that it is incredible that anyone should miss it!

In spite of her position as a theologian, Professor Ruether is void of any comprehension that the Bible is a revelation from God. That is why she argues that society can dare to “reimagine” family relationships. “Reimagine” indeed! That’s part of the lady’s problem. She imagines that her imagination is the source of spiritual authority.

An example of Ruether’s dubious exegetical skills is seen in her charge that Jesus Christ was “antifamily.” In support of this hideous accusation, she cites the Savior’s affirmation that one must be willing to forsake family to follow Him. That admonition was never designed to depreciate the family unit; rather, it was intended to underscore the absolute necessity for loyalty to the Savior of the world! Obviously, that is a concept with which the professor is not even remotely acquainted.

God is the Author of the family. He created man from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7), and he fashioned woman from the side of man (2:21). It was God Himself who “brought [the woman] unto the man” (22). Henceforth man was to leave his parents for the establishment of a new family unit. He was to “cleave unto his wife,” and they would be “one” (24). Marriage was Heaven’s orchestration - not man’s. From the Genesis record, several facts about the marriage relationship, as originally designed by the Maker, are apparent.

Marriage is not a relationship that may be trifled with by foolish and hedonistic rebels. It is God’s arrangement, originating from His mind; we have no business attempting to “reimagine” His plan.

Marriage was fashioned as a monogamous relationship - one man for one woman, as long as both are living. That there were subsequent departures from this original intention (cf. Gen. 4:19), does not alter the primitive standard.
Moreover, the fact that God tolerated breaches of the ideal during a time of incomplete revelation (cf. Mt. 19:8; Acts 14:16; 17:30), does not mean that such laxness is overlooked today under the “better” (cf. Heb. 8:6, etc.) and more demanding regime of the Christian ethic.

Marriage was designed as a heterosexual union. Sodomite relationships, though trendy with many today, were, and are, an abomination before God (cf. Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 7).

Marriage was intended to be a life-long union. The merry-go-round relationships of this fickle and immoral society are not consistent with the original plan (Mt. 19:8), and today Jehovah does not sanction capricious divorce.

Jesus, restoring marriage to its pristine condition under the new covenant arrangement, allows divorce and remarriage only on the basis of marital infidelity (Mt. 5:32; 19:9).

And so, the Rosemary Ruethers can rage on, and imagine vain things, but the Word of God remains stable, and the divine law of marriage is inflexible.

by Wayne Jackson, CHRISTIAN COURIER: Penpoints, Monday, October 23, 2000

Harold Keathley, Kerry's father, moved to Englewood on Friday. He has made it known that he would like to place his membership at Venice and to work under the oversight of the elders here.

We have enjoyed having bro. Keathley worship with us from time to time. We would like to welcome him as he becomes part of God’s family here.

Harold Keathley
8370 Creekview Lane
Englewood, FL 342244
Telephone: 941-473-0980

There is always a voice saying the right thing to you somewhere, if you'll only listen for it.

Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body.

It is shocking to reflect that a change in the weather has more effect on some men's lives than the dread alternative of heaven or hell.

Serving our Country

1st Lt. Bliven, Jesse
HQ/A 801 MSB
Unit #96151
APO AE 09325-6151

Kristen Heideger’s boyfriend, Jesse Bliven, has been sent to the Middle East for military service. Please send him a card and keep him in your prayers. Kristen is Jim & Florence’s granddaughter.

Miller, R.S.
ACO 1st BN 24th Marines WPNS PLT
Operation Enduring
Camp Lemonier
APO, AE 09363
Ryan is Dave & Char’s grandson.

LTC Denise L. Cobb
3220th GSU Prov BN
1178 Harmon Avenue, Bldg 9241
Ft. Stewart, GA 31314
Denise is the Assistant Principal at Laurel-Nokomis Middle School.

This is an excellent opportunity for us to send a note/card and let these individuals know that we care.

"Didymus the Doubter"
John 20:19-29
"Dealing with Dilemma"
Genesis 22

Mark Your Calendars:

  • March 30: Fifth Sunday Contribution
  • April 12: Ladies Day at Orange Street in Auburndale, FL. “Hats Off To Ladies.”
  • June 1-7: Weeki Wachee Bible Camp.
  • June 20-July 8: Ghana Campaign 2003
  • July 20-26: Central Florida Bible Camp.

"Whoso draws nigh to God one step through doubtings dim,
God will advance a mile in blazing light to him."

Author Unknown




Remember in Prayer


 Wayne Vowell


Grace Webb
Mary Gloster
Mary Jane Collier
Wayne Vowell
Iva Turner
Stepheny Bennett
Art Stapleton
Bill Sherman
Lillian Comiskey



 Delbert Leavens


Morning Services


Bible Reading:

 Dick Navarre  


 David Coffman  


 Ted Wheeler


Closing Prayer:

 Mike Weber


Evening Services


Opening Prayer:

 Delbert Leavens



 David Coffman



 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Carl Rigney

Our Record - Last Week


Dale Schwartz
Kerry Keathley - Sean Keathley
Troy Wheeler
$ 2381.05
$ 2695.00
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