Tommy Nelson is senior pastor at Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, and speaker emeritus for the Song of Solomon Bible conferences held around the country each year. He has been a featured speaker for Focus on the Family, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and FamilyLife Today.
BGEA: What are your observations and thoughts concerning the biggest need of the American home today?
Nelson: Years ago, an atheist said that any point is meaningless unless it has an infinite reference. For example, when you take words – universe, nature, man, moral, family – all of those terms have to mean something. Unless you have a creator, something infinite, something absolute and something infinitely personal, then one view is as good as the next.
In the 1960s, we saw an implosion of western philosophy. Since then, we have lost touch with what is true. 100 years ago, when you said “family,” it was the primary organizational aspect of society ordained by God. Husbands loved wives as Christ loved the church. Wives submitted to their husbands. Dads disciplined their children in a way that does not exasperate them so they will not lose heart.
Once you get rid of God, the most that marriage can be is a sociological phenomenon. All rules are gone, and we have an unraveled society. Still, humans have a longing to have meaning. The homosexual community gives their take on meaning. And then we also have the liberal aspect of society giving us their take on meaning.
So, different views of meaning are being impressed upon society. It’s just that we, as a society, don’t want God. Now, it seems as if only a few people really understand the role of a husband, a wife, or a child. We’ve raised a generation of ignorance.
In the book of Judges, Israel was doing what was right in their own eyes. Their society became so corrupt that God raised up judges to deliver them.
That is the way our country is now – desperate for someone with age and wisdom to speak with authority into the chaos and proclaim, “thus sayeth God.”
BGEA: What is your advice to the church to help get the home back on track?
In the Bible, there are things that don’t change, things written in stone. What the church always has to do is go back to the original.
During the reformation period, there was a watchword: “adfontes” – back to the source. That is what the battle cry was during the 1400’s because the church had become corrupt. So, they went back, got the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, read them and put them in every man’s vernacular. If there is hope for our country, it is to go back to the source.
Another thing I would say, particularly to pastors, is to stop preaching messages on how to get rich, happy and famous. Take Romans 1 and teach it. Take Tim 1 and teach it. Instead of opening the Bible, reading the scriptures and then talking about it, we need explain verse by verse exactly what God says.
It’s our only hope.
BGEA: Later this summer, you will speaking at The Cove. The Topic is “Christ Our Fullness.” Is this topic applicable to marriage, home and family?
Yes. I will be teaching from the book of Colossians. Chapter one addresses the supremacy of Christ; chapter two discusses the completeness of His work; Chapters three and four talk about the excellence of his people.
The first group of people he speaks to is husbands and wives. Paul brings us back to the original standard of what a husband and wife are supposed to be. So, he calls them all to return to the source.
You can see and hear Tommy at The Cove August 28-30 when he speaks about “Christ Our Fullness.” Visit The Cove’s Web site to find out more information about this seminar and to register for this event.