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Dennis Rainey: America’s ills cry out for family reformation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–The need for a family reformation was the urgent appeal of Dennis Rainey May 13 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.
The first Reformation came about as a result of a battle over truth — the truth about the gospel, Rainey said. The reformation that needs to occur today is over biblical truth regarding the family, he insisted.
Rainey is the director of FamilyLife, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ, and host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “FamilyLife Today.” He and his wife, Barbara, have coauthored such popular books as “Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem,” “The Questions Book for Marriage Intimacy,” “Staying Close,” and “Moments Together for Couples.”
Reflecting on the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colo., Rainey read from Isaiah 59 in a chapel message, quoting from the chilling reminder of what happens when truth does not stand up: “We look for justice and we find none. Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance. Truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes the prey.”
America is in trouble, Rainey said, because American families are in trouble.
Rainey called on the students and faculty of Midwestern Seminary to build truly Christian families, beginning with personal repentance and purity as prescribed by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:1.
“The problem is arrogance and pride,” Rainey said. “We can’t admit that we’ve made a mistake and ask for forgiveness.”
Calling for a restoration of the sacred covenant of marriage, Rainey said, “Divorce has become an option. We even accept it in the church. We forget that in Malachi 2:16, God said, ‘I hate divorce.’”
Such restoration can be accomplished, Rainey said, as each person:
— keeps his own marriage covenant, caring for and cherishing his spouse in a sacrificial way.
— calls on others to keep their marriage covenants, even when it means practicing church discipline.
— as children marry, “etch[es] on their souls the sacredness of the marriage vows by having them sign a covenant as part of the marriage ceremony.”
“When that covenant is split, it affects more than just two people. It sends emotional, spiritual and moral earthquakes for generations to come,” Rainey said.
Rainey additionally underscored the need to uplift the sanctity of God-ordained roles. Men need to be sacrificial leaders of the church and women need to be wives who are unashamed of being helpmates, he said. He called on mothers to embrace the next generation by nurturing and loving them. He also emphasized the need for fathers to put their families ahead of careers and applauded women who have chosen to give up lucrative careers to stay home with their children.
Rainey called on Christians to leave a legacy of spiritual vitality to the next generation. “Our children are a gift from the Lord and a responsibility,” he said, pointing to Psalm 127:3.
“If we do not preach the gospel, have truth stand back up unashamedly and proclaim it,” Rainey said “that very evil we were meant to prey upon, will turn around and prey against us and will become a predator on our children, and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren.”
With the family at a crossroads, Rainey called on Christians to take a stand against immorality, divorce, tolerance and feminism, urging them to engage their culture and stop apologizing for the gospel.
Rainey encouraged his audience to begin this reformation by attending one of the upcoming “I still do” arena events sponsored by FamilyLife in cooperation with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Promise Keepers and other organizations. Participants will receive a marriage covenant to take back to their own churches and sign publicly.

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  • Ingrid Patterson