[In the below post I have changed the names of my relatives but otherwise it is true to the best of my knowledge.]
I attended Easter Sunday service yesterday with my cousin David at an Acts 29 church near me. David is visiting my city, he usually lives far away from me, and it is the first time I have seen him in years. I took the opportunity of his proximity to invite him to a church service at the Acts 29 church near me hoping to “turn him on” to the Acts 29 Network.
I myself am not a Christian but I approve of the Acts 29 Church Network because I believe it is having a very positive impact on the culture. It is a part of the Christian Patriarchy Movement. All of the Acts 29 Churches teach the Biblical view of the family. As the Acts 29 doctrinal statement says “We are not egalitarians and do believe that men should head their homes and male elders/pastors should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ.”
My cousin David became a Christian 12 years ago and is currently in the process of seeking an endorsement as a Pentecostal minister. I am aware that the Acts 29 Network supports the planting of new churches and so I was thinking maybe my cousin could work with Acts 29 to found his own church. My purpose in inviting David to my local Acts 29 church was to encourage him to maybe work with the Acts 29 Network in some way in the future.
My Grandmother was born in 1916 and my Grandfather was born in 1915; they married each other in about 1940. There was trouble in both of my Grandparents’ families of origin; my Grandfather’s parents were divorced and my Grandmother’s mother was raised in an adoptive family due to her own parent’s divorce (my Grandmother’s Grandparents divorced). Presumably because of the family disruptions in prior generations my Grandmother took on the dominant position in her marriage with my Grandfather. Matriarchy or a feminist family model was established in my family line with my Grandparents.
My Grandfather was raised a Catholic and my Grandmother was raised a Christian but in her marriage she did not adhere to any organized church; she adhered to some self-styled religious rituals. How to raise the children religiously (my mother’s generation) produced some conflict but the net effect is that no cohesive religious message was transferred from my Grandparents to my mother and her siblings. The transmission of religious faith broke down in my Grandparent’s household. I am thinking this is largely due to my Grandmother’s dominance in her marriage; religious faith as practiced in 1940 probably would have been opposed to my Grandmother’s dominance over my Grandfather and for that reason religion had to go.
My Grandparents had 5 children; one of them my mother. John, my mother’s brother, rejected his family of origin at the age of 19 after witnessing his parents’ divorce at the age of 15 and moved far away. The details of his life after that are unknown.
In about 1955 my Grandmother became pregnant with Linda. During my Grandmother’s pregnancy she acquired German Measles. My Grandmother was told that German Measles is very dangerous to children developing in the womb and that the child she was carrying likely would suffer serious birth defects. Abortion was illegal at this time but not impossible to attain under dire circumstances. My Grandmother went to speak to a Catholic friend of hers who had many children asking whether she should seek an abortion perhaps by flying to Japan. As would be expected the Catholic woman told my Grandmother it is best to accept God’s will regarding the pregnancy. No effort was made to abort the child likely seriously harmed by German Measles. After Linda was born she turned out to be deaf and she had some correctable heart problems. All of my other Grandparents’ children were born healthy.
Of the 4 children of my Grandparents whose history is known all became atheists except for Linda. Linda spent the majority of her childhood being raised in a school for the deaf. She would go home to her parents during summer vacation but otherwise during her entire school years she was at the school for the deaf. The Pentecostals offered a ministry for the deaf at the school Linda went to and through this means Linda found Christ and became a Pentecostal. Linda met her husband at the school for the deaf she attended; her husband is also deaf. Linda had two children of her own that she raised as Pentecostals. These two children were perfectly healthy and can hear just fine; their parents’ deafness was not heritable.
Among the other 3 children who became atheists my mother had two children, her other sister had one child, and her brother had no children. All of the children not Linda’s children, the three of us, were raised as atheists.
Excluding John whose history is unknown and excluding Linda who was largely raised in the school for the deaf the 3 other children collectively had 3 children of their own; me being one of them. My peer cohort of 3 are all men in their early to mid 40s. None of us have any biological children. All of us are very weak in terms of making money or employment. My brother married a woman much older than himself and in that way is continuing the family tradition of weak men married to strong women who are dominant. Neither myself nor David have ever been married.
Looking at Linda provides a different story. She had two children of her own; first a daughter and then a son. Her children are now 28 and 30 years old. They both got married in their early 20s. Both of them now have 3 children of their own each. In both family households the man is dominant and is the financial provider and the woman is a stay at home mother. The women in each marriage are still young with 10 or more fertile years ahead of them. I believe that both families and all 6 of the children involved are still within the Pentecostal faith; they are certainly all still within the Christian faith.
My cousin David reached the decision to become a Pentecostal independently as a 32 year old man even though he was raised as an atheist. He himself believes in the patriarchal model of family life. He is now 44 and working towards developing his religious faith and seeking to teach it to others.
Myself, I am in my early 40s. I am still an atheist but I do believe in God in the sense of mankind being created by a force beyond our own reckoning and our own will and that we as men and women have a duty to obey the destiny imposed upon us by this greater force of creation. I seek to promote and teach the will of God as it is expressed in the duties of men and women in a patriarchal context.
My family history got deranged and separated from God’s plan within my Grandparent’s marriage. They had 4 children whose history is known. These 4 children in turn had 5 children of their own collectively. These 5 children in turn have had 6 children of their own collectively. Among the 4 original children of my Grandparents religion was destroyed for all but the one who was born deaf and found Christ at the school for the deaf she went to. Among the original 3 atheist children they in turn had 3 children of their own collectively. These 3 children in turn have had 0 children of their own collectively (all 3 of us being men over 40).
The atheist line of my Grandparents has been completely destroyed but the Pentecostal Christian line is thriving and vibrant with 6 children already. God has resurrected my family line from oblivion and has allowed it to be created anew from the single child in the womb afflicted with deafness.
As for me and David maybe we will have children of our own in the future and maybe not. At least though we will work to teach God’s message to others in the way we understand it so that others from other family lines may find God and in that way save their own family lines from the oblivion that awaits them if they insist on maintaining their own willful rejection of God’s plan as it relates to the duties that they owe to God as God created men and women.
Originally written April 9, 2012