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    The Dominion Mandate and the New Covenant

    February 24, 2006 by Brandy Vencel
    And they went out and preached everywhere…{Mark 16:20}

     

    It was easy for me to entertain the thought that perhaps the New Covenant in Christ shifted the emphasis from procreation to evangelism when Jesus gave us the Great Commission. Raised on weekly doses of Dispensationalism, I am often prone to see Jesus in the New Testament as being in conflict with the Father in the Old Testament. I have found this to be a personal handicap. As much I as try, what I was taught by my church in my youth makes it difficult for me to comprehend that Jesus did not abolish the Law, but fulfilled it. His message was not that all the old ways were wrong, but that all the old requirements were impossible to meet apart from Him.

    Recently, I wrote about the Dominion Mandate being primarily descriptive of our design and function. After thinking and reading about the issue, I do not believe that Jesus’ presence on the earth changed an intended function of the marital act. If anything, His Spirit allows us to truly embrace our children, rather than to bring them forth and raise them out of a sense of duty to Law.

    The Jesus who commanded us to go and “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” {Matthew 28:19}, is the Lord of Paul, who wrote that young women are to be encouraged to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored” {Titus 2:4 & 5}.

    I know, I know…Titus 2 doesn’t literally mean I am to be at home all the day long, every day of the week. However, I can tell you from experience that effectively loving my husband and children means I must be at home a lot more often than my friends who are unmarried or married without children. And when I bring a new baby home, due to nursing difficulties, it is typical for me to be literally at home for the first ten weeks. Family life is very time-consuming for a wife and mother.

    The Jesus who told His followers, “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” {Acts 1:8}, is the Lord of Paul, who wrote that fathers are to bring their children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” {Ephesians 6:4}.

    The methodology Yahweh ordained for training children in this manner was a continual process. He commanded fathers to teach His words “diligently to your sons and…talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” {Deuteronomy 6:7}. This is a time-consuming process for a father.

    I do not wish to be misinterpreted to mean that parents do not have time to obey the Great Commission. Actually, I think many people {like me} do not have the time because they do not make the time. I’m not sure my time spent considering the Great Commission and working to fulfill it has changed much over the years, though I am ashamed to admit it.

    What I do think is that instead of seeing parenthood as in tension with the Great Commission, we should see it as an opportunity. The Great Commission can be fulfilled as a family working together. We know a young family that took a baby as young as eight-months-old along in a stroller while they evangelized the poor. They considered it an honor to serve Christ in such a way {as a whole family} and never intimated to us that their child was a hindrance in their service to God. And serving together with him when he is older will allow them to talk with him “while they walk by the way” and explain God’s teaching to him. What better way to train a child properly than to involve him in our service to the Lord?

    Jesus did not eliminate aspects of the created order when He gave the Great Commission. In fact, He is the Word Who created the order in the first place. Parenthood, making disciples, keeping a home, being a witness, training a child, preaching His message–these are not at war with each other. Rather, they are different facets, which, when put together correctly, make brilliant the gem of a life lived in faithfulness to the Lord.

     

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Rachel Ramey February 24, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    You ARE fulfilling the Great Commission! You are making disciples. 🙂

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