A collection of the many different beliefs associated with the Family Integrated Church (FIC).

Please consider carefully that not every FIC embraces every belief presented here.  Each group follows a variation of beliefs, but primarily they all unite concerning the importance of homeschooling children,  no age appropriate education in churches and a unique interpretation of the Doctrines of Male Headship and Federal Representation.

Two representative documents that present a starting point for the beliefs and practices of the Family Integrated Church appear on the Vision Forum Ministries Website and are presented here for your convenience.  First is the “Biblical Confession for Uniting Church and Home” and the “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy.”  Not all FICs follow these beliefs and practices, but it is a starting point for understanding the practices that are associated with the FIC movement.


From Vision Forum’s

A Biblical Confession for Uniting Church and Family

ARTICLE I — Scripture is Sufficient

We affirm that our all-wise God has revealed Himself and His will in a completed revelation—the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments—which is fully adequate in both content and clarity for “everything pertaining to life (salvation) and godliness (sanctification)” including the ordering of the church and the family (2 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

We deny that God’s people should treat His Word as inadequate for church and family life by supplementing His completed revelation with humanistic psychology, corporate business models, and modern marketing techniques.

ARTICLE II — God Created Church and Family

We affirm that Almighty God is the sovereign Creator and Preserver of His people and all the institutions that bring blessing to mankind—including the church and the family—and is thus deserving of our highest honor and humble obedience (Col. 1:16-17).

We deny that we, being mere creatures, have a right to refashion the church and family according to our vain imaginations by altering God’s prescribed government, worship, gender-based roles, or any other normative patterns revealed in Scripture.

ARTICLE III — Satan is a Deceiver

We affirm the warning of Holy Scripture that Satan, the father of lies and deceiver of the brethren, has used his subtle trickery from the beginning to question God’s Word: “Yea, Hath God said…?” (Gen. 3:1).

We deny that the children of God should embrace and employ the philosophies, goals, and methods of this fallen world in our churches and families, and thus succumb to the Adversary’s deception.

ARTICLE IV — Church’s Head is Christ

We affirm our Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of His church, having purchased it with His own blood and having instructed it through His Word in order to make known the manifold wisdom of God and bring glory to Himself (Col. 1:18).

We deny/reject the self-importance and pride of man to usurp Christ’s headship of His church by creating personal kingdoms through churches with man-made rules that disregard the Law of Christ.

ARTICLE V — Church’s Leadership and Ministry

We affirm God’s revealed pattern in Scripture that the church be led and fed by a plurality of biblically qualified elders whom the Holy Spirit raises up from within the local church, who equip all the saints to do the work of ministry, and who may or may not be remunerated (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

We deny/reject the two unbiblical extremes of our day: authoritarian, one-man leadership/one-man ministry that impedes the biblical functioning of the body, and leaderless house churches that disregard the biblical necessity of elders.

ARTICLE VI — Church is a Family of Families

We affirm that our Heavenly Father designed His church to be a spiritual household — a “family of families and singles” where members know one another intimately, the shepherds understand the sheep effectively, and the various body parts function interactively (1 Tim. 3:15).

We deny/reject the current trend to value numbers and size more than intimacy and vitality by building impersonal mega-churches rather than the multiplication of family-like congregations.

ARTICLE VII — Family is a Building Block

We affirm that the biblical family is a scripturally ordered household of parents, children, and sometimes others (such as singles, widows, divorcees, or grandparents), forming the God-ordained building blocks of the church (2 Tim. 4:19).

We deny/reject the church’s implementation of modern individualism by fragmenting the family through age-graded, peer-oriented, and special-interest classes, thus preventing rather than promoting family unity and inter-generational relationships.

ARTICLE VIII — Church and Family Mission is Generational

We affirm that God intends both church and family to carry out evangelism and discipleship through multiple generations, “so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God to keep all His statutes and His commandments” (Deut. 6:2; Lk.1:50).

We deny/reject the contemporary seeker-sensitive and youth group philosophies which fail to “equip the saints” for spiritual ministry and maturity, resulting in adults and youth who become lukewarm and spiritually wayward.

ARTICLE IX — Church and Family Method is Relationships

We affirm that the saints of God are to be equipped for spiritual ministry and maturity primarily through the preaching of the Word of God by qualified shepherds and that children are also equipped primarily through family-based, one-on-one, father-directed, heart-level discipleship relationships (1Tim. 3:4-5).

We deny/reject the popular church system that has replaced heart-level relationships with activity-based programs which often have supplanted father involvement with clergy usurpation.

ARTICLE X — Church and Family Milieu is Everyday Life

We affirm that the church’s relationships are nurtured primarily through daily discipleship in everyday life, especially fathers and mothers training their families and living out the gospel in ministry to the saints and witness to the lost (Eph. 5:21-6:4).

We deny/reject family-fragmenting, facility-based programs which disregard the Church as a people in community and which displace family-integrated outreach through “loving our neighbor as our self.”

ARTICLE XI — God Requires Examination

We affirm that God enjoins us to “examine everything carefully, and hold fast to that which is good”—moreover, to “let each one examine his own work”—particularly when the people of God are not thriving according to the New Testament pattern (1 Thes. 5:21; Gal. 6:4).

We deny that we who shepherd the flock of Christ—whether as fathers or as pastors—have adequately and vigilantly scrutinized the beliefs and practices of the modern church as well as our own role in it.

ARTICLE XII — Judgment Begins With the Church

We affirm that God has declared “judgment begins with the household of God” and thus, we Christians are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, looking to judge ourselves lest we be chastened all the more (1 Pet. 4:17; 5:6).

We deny that the church should continue as she has and delay dramatic reformations, or that she will escape the wrath of God for the disintegration and destruction of the family by ignoring or taking lightly biblical roles and responsibilities.

WHEREFORE, in light of this our faith, we do hereby resolve to…

  1. Rely upon the Scriptures alone for “everything pertaining to life and godliness,” treating the Bible as fully sufficient for the ordering of the church and the family;
  2. Restore the practice of teaching “the whole counsel of God” through exegetical preaching of Scripture in the church and daily instruction in homes by fathers and mothers;
  3. Honor Almighty God as Creator and Preserver of the church and the family, and humbly submit to His prescribed order for each of these fundamental institutions;
  4. Resist Satan’s deception designed to supplant God’s goals and methods with the world’s felt needs and opinion polls, but instead depend on God’s Word, just as our Lord did in the wilderness;
  5. Submit to the Headship of Christ over His church, embracing His manifold wisdom, not our own, for its structure and operation;
  6. Reject the errors of both authoritarian one-man ministry and leaderless house churches, and return to plural leadership by godly elders who equip the saints for ministry;
  7. Recognize the church to be a spiritual “family of families” who value intimacy and interaction and grow by the multiplication of family-like congregations;
  8. Acknowledge families (which include singles, widows, divorcees, grandparents, etc.) as God’s building blocks for the church, and maintain family-integrated rather than family-segregated meetings;
  9. Develop a multi-generational vision for both the church and the family which stimulates personal sacrifice and maturity and preserves our spiritual posterity;
  10. Equip whole households for ministry through heart-level relationships rather than activity-based programs, preparing and utilizing fathers as servant-leaders in family and church;
  11. Pursue outreach through whole families “living out the gospel” in ministry to the saints and witness to the lost, rather than age-segregated programs;
  12. Scrutinize the beliefs and practices of modern families and churches as well as our own role in both—whether as fathers or as church leaders—and make whatever changes are necessary to conform to God’s revealed patterns for family and church;
  13. Seek God while there is yet time so that, seeing our true repentance, He will withhold His hand of judgment upon our worldly families and churches.

From Vision Forum’s

The Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy

by Doug Phillips, Philip Lancaster and R.C. Sproul, Jr.

God as Masculine

1. God reveals Himself as masculine, not feminine. God is the eternal Father and the eternal Son, the Holy Spirit is also addressed as “He,” and Jesus Christ is a male. (Matt. 1:25; 28:19; Jn. 5:19; 16:13)

The Image of God and Gender Roles

2. Both man and woman are made in God’s image (their human characteristics enable them to reflect His character) and they are both called to exercise dominion over the earth. They share an equal worth as persons before God in creation and redemption. The man is also the image and glory of God in terms of authority, while the woman is the glory of man. (Gen. 1:27-28; 1 Cor. 11:3,7; Eph. 5:28; 1 Pet. 3:7)

3. God ordained distinct gender roles for man and woman as part of the created order. Adam’s headship over Eve was established at the beginning, before sin entered the world. (Gen. 2:18ff.; 3:9; 1 Cor. 11:3,7; 1 Tim. 2:12-13)

4. Although sin has distorted their relationship, God’s order of authority for husbands and wives has not changed, and redemption enables them to make substantial progress in achieving God’s ideal for their relationship. (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22ff.)

The Authority of Fathers

5. A husband and father is the head of his household, a family leader, provider, and protector, with the authority and mandate to direct his household in paths of obedience to God. (Gen. 18:19; Eph. 6:4)

6. A man’s authority in the home should be exercised with gentleness, grace, and love as a servant-leader, following the example of Jesus Christ. Leadership is a stewardship from God. (Ps. 103:13; Mal. 3:17; Matt. 11:29-30; Col. 3:21; 1 Pet. 3:7)

7. The authority of fathers is limited by the law of God and the lawful authority of church and state. Christian fathers cannot escape the jurisdiction of church and state and must be subject to both. (Rom. 13:1ff.; Eph. 5:21; 6:4; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13ff.)

Family, Church, and State

8. Family, church, and state are parallel institutions, each with real but limited authority in its ordained sphere. As the keeper of the keys of Christ’s kingdom, the church is the central and defining institution of history. As the primary social group, the family is the foundational institution of society. (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; Acts 4:19; 5:29; 25:11; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13ff.; Eph. 1:22-23; 1 Tim. 3:15)

9. Every Christian father and family ought to be a submitted and committed part of a local church, subject to the authority and discipline of the church through its elders. (Heb. 10:24-25; 13:17)

10. The church is defined by its orthodox confession and faithful teaching of God’s word; by the presence of the Holy Spirit; by the rule of qualified elders; by the biblical administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; by regular meetings for worship, instruction, breaking bread, and fellowship; and by the exercise of discipleship and discipline. (Gal. 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Tim. 3:1ff.; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:20ff.; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 5)

11. Male leadership in the home carries over into the church: only men are permitted to hold the ruling office in the church. A God-honoring society will likewise prefer male leadership in civil and other spheres as an application of and support for God’s order in the formative institutions of family and church.(1 Tim. 3:5)

Men & Women: Spheres of Dominion

12. While men are called to public spheres of dominion beyond the home, their dominion begins within the home, and a man’s qualification to lead and ability to lead well in the public square is based upon his prior success in ruling his household. (Mal. 4:6; Eph. 6:4; 1 Tim. 3:5)

13. Since the woman was created as a helper to her husband, the bearer of children, and a “keeper at home,” the God-ordained and proper sphere of dominion for a wife is the household and that which is connected with the home, although her domestic calling, as a representative of and helper to her husband, may well involve activity in the marketplace and larger community. (Gen. 2:18ff.; Prov. 31:10-31; Tit. 2:4-5)

14. While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.). The exceptional circumstance (singleness) ought not redefine the ordinary, God-ordained social roles of men and women as created. (Gen. 2:18ff.; Josh. 1:14; Jdg. 4; Acts 16:14)

Procreation

15. God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” still applies to married couples, and He “seeks godly offspring.” He is sovereign over the opening and closing of the womb. Children are a gift of God and it is a blessing to have many of them, if He so ordains. Christian parents are bound to look to Scripture as their authoritative guide concerning issues of procreation. They should welcome with thanksgiving the children God gives them. The failure of believers to reject the anti-life mindset of the age has resulted in the murder of possibly millions of unborn babies through the use of abortifacient birth control. (Gen. 1:28; 9:1; 29:31; 30:22; Ex. 20:13: 21:22-25; Ps. 127:3; 128:3-4; Is. 8:18; Mal. 2:15)

Education & training of children

16. Education is not a neutral enterprise. Christian parents must provide their children with a thoroughly Christian education, one that teaches the Bible and a biblical view of God and the world. Christians should not send their children to public schools since education is not a God-ordained function of civil government and since these schools are sub-Christian at best and anti-Christian at worst. (Deut. 4:9; 6:6-9; Rom. 13:3-5; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15)

17. Fathers are sovereign over the training of their children and, with their wives, are the children’s chief teachers. Christian parents are bound to obey the command personally to walk beside and train their children. Any approach to Christian education ought to recognize and facilitate the role of fathers and mothers as the primary teachers of their children. (Deut. 4:9; 6:6ff.; Ps. 78:3-8; Prov. 1:8; Eph. 6:4; )

18. Educational methodology is not neutral. The Christian should build his educational methodology from the word of God and reject methodologies derived from humanism, evolutionism, and other unbiblical systems of thought. Biblical education is discipleship, a process designed to reach the heart. The aim is a transformed person who exhibits godly character and a trained mind, both of which arise from faith. The parents are crucial and ordinarily irreplaceable in this heart-level, relational process. (Deut. 6:5-7; Lk. 6:40; 1 Thess. 2:7-12; 2 Tim. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:5-8)

19. Since the educational mandate belongs to parents and they are commanded personally to walk beside and train their children, they ought not to transfer responsibility for the educational process to others. However, they have the liberty to delegate components of that process. While they should exercise great caution and reserve in doing this, and the more so the less mature the child, it is prudent to take advantage of the diversity of gifts within the body of Christ and enjoy the help and support that comes with being part of a larger community with a common purpose. (1 Cor. 12:14ff.; Gal. 4:1,2; 6:2; Eph. 4:16)

20. The age-integrated communities of family and church are the God-ordained institutions for training and socialization and as such provide the preferred pattern for social life and educational endeavors. The modern preference for grouping children exclusively with their age mates for educational and social purposes is contrary to scriptural wisdom and example. (Deut. 29:10-11; 2 Chron. 20:13; Prov. 22:15 with 13:20; Joel 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:33)

21. The Bible presents a long-term, multi-generational vision of the progress of God’s kingdom in the world. Christians parents need to adopt this perspective and be motivated by the generational promises of Scripture, and church shepherds need to promote this outlook within their flocks. By the grace of God, as fathers faithfully turn their hearts toward their sons and daughters and the youths respond in kind, the next generation will build upon the faith and improve upon the faithfulness of their parents. (Ps. 78:1-8; Is. 59:21; Mal. 4:6; Lk. 1:17; Gal. 6:9)

A father and his older children

22. Both sons and daughters are under the command of their fathers as long as they are under his roof or otherwise the recipients of his provision and protection. Fathers release sons from their jurisdiction to undertake a vocation, prepare a home, and take a wife. Until she is given in marriage, a daughter continues under her father’s authority and protection. Even after leaving their father’s house, children should honor their parents by seeking their counsel and blessing throughout their lives. (Gen. 28:1-2; Num. 30:3ff.; Deut. 22:21; Gal. 4:1,2; Eph. 6:2-3)

23. Fathers should oversee the process of a son or daughter seeking a spouse. While a father may find a wife for his son, sons are free to take initiative to seek and “take a wife.” A wise son will desire his parents’ involvement, counsel, and blessing in that process. Since daughters are “given in marriage” by their fathers, an obedient daughter will desire her father to guide the process of finding a husband, although the final approval of a husband belongs to her. (Gen. 24:1ff.; 25:20; 28:2; Ex. 2:21; Josh. 15:17; Jdg. 12:9; 1 Sam. 18:27; Jer. 29:6; 1 Cor. 7:38; Gen. 24:58)

The sufficiency & application of Scripture

24. Scripture is the believer’s sufficient guide for all of faith and practice, and Christians must believe and obey whatever it teaches and commands. The Bible provides the Christian — through precept, pattern and principle — all that is necessary to make wise decisions concerning the many ethically complex issues of life. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)

25. Fathers need to exercise discernment in the choices they make for their families and not simply drift with the cultural tide. Egalitarian feminism is an enemy of God and of biblical truth, but the need for care goes beyond this threat. The values of modern society are often at odds with those that accompany a biblical worldview. For example, fathers need self-consciously to resist the values of individualism at the expense of community, efficiency at the expense of relationships, and material well-being at the expense of spiritual progress. The world and the worldly church will cheer many choices that are detrimental to family sanctification. (Rom. 12:2; 1 Jn. 2:15)

26. While God’s truth is unchanging, the specific application of that truth may vary depending on facts and circumstances unique to each believer. Also, those who are further along in sanctification will see some issues more clearly than those who are less mature. For these reasons great charity must be maintained between believers who have differences of application, and liberty of application must be respected. However, an appeal to the doctrine of Christian liberty must never be used in an effort simply to avoid submitting to what Scripture plainly teaches. Believers should also bear in mind that things which are lawful may not be expedient if the goal is personal and family holiness. The biblical rule in judging behavior is charity toward others, strictness toward oneself. (Gal. 5:2-3 with Acts 16:3; Phil. 3:15; Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 1:10; 6:12; 9:27; 10:23; Gal. 5:13)

From Vision Forum’s