Authoritarian parenting is a parenting style characterized by high demands and low responsiveness. Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurture. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly. When feedback does occur, it is often negative. Yelling and corporal punishment are also commonly seen in the authoritarian style.
During the 1960s, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind described three different types of parenting styles based on her research with preschool-age children. One of the main parenting styles identified by Baumrind is known as the authoritarian parenting style.
Authoritarian parents have high expectations of their children and have very strict rules that they expect to be followed unconditionally. According to Baumrind, these parents “are obedience and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation.”
People with this parenting style often utilize punishment rather than discipline but are not willing or able to explain the reasoning behind their rules.
Characteristics of Authoritarian Parents
Baumrind believed that one of the major roles that parents play in a child’s life is to socialize them to the values and expectations of their culture. How parents accomplish this, however, can vary dramatically based upon the amount of control they attempt to exert over their children.
The authoritarian approach represents the most controlling style. Rather than valuing self-control and teaching children to manage their own behaviors, the authoritarian parent is focused on adherence to authority. Instead of rewarding positive behaviors, the authoritarian parent only provides feedback in the form of punishments for misbehavior.
These are eight of the most common characteristics of authoritarian parenting:
Authoritarian parents tend to be very demanding, but not responsive. They have lots of rules and may even micromanage almost every aspect of their children’s lives and behaviors. Such rules apply to almost every aspect of life, from how kids are expected to behave in the home to how they should act in public. Additionally, they also have many unwritten rules that kids are expected to follow—even though these children receive little to no explicit instruction about these “rules.” Instead, children are simply expected to know that these rules exist.
They don’t express much warmth or nurturing. Parents with this style often seem cold, aloof, and harsh. These parents are more likely to be nagging or yelling at their children rather than offering encouragement and praise. They value discipline over fun and tend to expect that children should simply be seen and not heard.
Authoritarian parents utilize punishments with little or no explanation. Parents with this style usually have no problem resorting to corporal punishment, which often involves spanking. Rather than relying on positive reinforcement, they react swiftly and harshly when the rules are broken.
They don’t give children choices or options. Authoritarian parents set the rules and have a “my way or the highway” approach to discipline. There is little room for negotiation and they rarely allow their children to make their own choices.
They have little to no patience for misbehavior. Authoritarian parents expect their children to simply know better than to engage in undesirable behaviors. They lack the patience for explaining why their children should avoid certain behaviors and waste little energy talking about feelings.
Authoritarian parents don’t trust their children to make good choices. While parents with this style have high expectations and strict rules, they also do not give their children much freedom to demonstrate that they can display good behavior and make good choices. Rather than letting their kids make decisions on their own and face the natural consequences for those choices, authoritarian parents hover over their kids in order to ensure that they don’t make mistakes.
They are not willing to negotiate. Authoritarian parents don’t believe in gray areas. Situations are viewed as black and white and there is little to no room for compromise. Kids don’t get a say or a vote when it comes to setting rules or making decisions.
They may shame their children to force them to behave. Authoritarian parents can be highly critical and may even use shame as a tactic to force children into following the rules. “Why do you always do that?,” “How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?,” and “Why can’t you do anything right?” are just a few of the phrases that these parents might use on a regular basis. Rather than looking for ways to build their children’s self-esteem, these parents often believe that shaming their children will motivate them to do better.
Parenting styles have been associated with a variety of child outcomes including social skills and academic performance.
The children of authoritarian parents tend to exhibit these effects:
They associate obedience and success with love
Some children display more aggressive behavior outside the home
Some children may act fearful or overly shy around others
Children often have lower self-esteem
Children have difficulty in social situations due to a lack of social competence
They tend to conform easily, yet may also suffer from depression and anxiety
They may struggle with self-control because they are rarely able to make choices and experience natural consequences
Because authoritarian parents expect absolute obedience, children raised in such settings are typically very good at following rules.However, they may lack self-discipline. Unlike children raised by authoritative parents, children raised by authoritarian parents are not encouraged to explore and act independently, so they never really learn how to set their own limits and personal standards. This can ultimately lead to problems when the parental or authority figure is not around to monitor behavior.
While developmental experts agree that rules and boundaries are important for children to have, most believe that authoritarian parenting is too punitive and lacks the warmth, unconditional love, and nurture that children need.
A Word From Verywell
The authoritarian style is characterized by lots of rules but little parental responsiveness. While an authoritarian approach might be effective in certain situations that require strict adherence to the rules, it can have negative consequences when overused as an approach to parenting.
If you notice that your own parenting style tends to be more authoritarian, consider looking for ways that you can begin incorporating a more authoritative style into your daily interactions with your children.
I fell asleep and saw a meadow
With neon colors all around
I must’a leapt right through a window
Streams, mountains, and gold on the ground
Don’t tell me how to run my life
The Scriptures’ all I need for that
I left the earth, so full of strife
But I know that I am going back
Chorus – 8p 3p 6p 2p
I hate the world and sin
Competition’s ruined my day
Look to the cross and faith
Devil’s got nothin’ to say
Verse 2 – E 4p – alternate echo voice
Again I dreamed of the holy city
Saints and angels all around
Cares of the earth, they are alien
But they await for the trumpet sound
They flock in droves to worship Jesus
Best music you heard from a soul
With open eyes they praise the King
And shout, and scream, and give Him glory
Break (x2) – Em(pick) 8p 4p 2p
He’s got nothin’ to say
The blood washes it away
Still got nothin’ to say
The negative: blow it away
Ahhh Ahhh Ahhh Ahhh
…Koeberl states that the earth would have undergone impact events an order of magnitude larger than the moon and experienced many more such events.3 There would be hundreds of objects with sizes similar to those that created the Imbrium and Orientale craters that must have struck Earth during the basin-forming era. Ryder also says that the earth would have undergone events an order of magnitude larger than the moon with many more impacts.29 Melosh suggests that there should be 100 impact structures with diameters greater than 1,000 km on Earth, based on the moon.21
Samec calculates that the moon was hit by an asteroid swarm equivalent to a 70 km diameter solid asteroid.36,37 He divides this asteroid up into 23 equal chunks with sizes averaging 24.5 km in diameter, equal to the number of large impact basins, and calculates a crater average diameter of 850 km, which is close to the average of those large impact basins on the moon. Samec uses an average distribution, but in reality the sizes of the impactors would vary significantly around the mean diameter of 24.5 km resulting in a variety of crater diameters as observed on the moon. Using the moon as an analog and the average crater size, he obtains 310 collisions for the earth, each causing 740 km diameter craters.
However, he used the physical cross sectional area and not the gravitational cross section area. So, these 310 collisions would have to be multiplied by 1.4 to obtain 434 huge impacts greater than 740 km. The upshot of Samec’s and other’s research is that the earth should have been bombarded with several hundred impacts producing craters larger than 740 km in diameter.
Kring and Cohen believe that the LHB was by asteroids from a single dynamic reservoir.4 They estimate the earth was hit by 13 to 500 times more mass than the moon, depending upon size distribution among impactors. Just using the lower number of mass, they conclude that the earth had 22,000 impact craters during the LHB greater than or equal to 20 km, including about 40 impact basins about 1,000 km in diameter, and several with diameters of about 5,000 km! But scaling to Mars would predict 6,400 craters greater than or equal to 20 km, but there are 9,278 craters of those dimensions.
So, Kring and Cohen’s numbers are probably low for the earth. There is the question of how Kring and Cohen came up with the result that the earth should have a few impact basins 5,000 km in diameter. They obviously extrapolated the SFD for the moon to the earth. The largest impact on the moon is South Pole-Aitken with a diameter of about 2,500 km (figure 6). Using more sophisticated analysis, Mars may have 20 craters larger than 1,000 km with five 2,639 to 3380 km in diameter.10 Since Mars has a smaller gravitational cross section than the earth, the earth should have significantly larger diameter craters than Mars. So there is justification for an extrapolation to the earth from Mars and the moon for a few large craters around 4,000 km in diameter or more, so a 5,000-km diameter crater is not too outlandish.
So, it is safe to conclude that the earth should have 36,000 impact craters with about 100 over 1,000 km, and a few with diameters of 4,000 to 5,000 km. Such a great bombardment would pulverize a larger portion of the earth surface.
When did Earth impacts occur?
When could such a bombardment occur in biblical Earth history? It is likely that very few impacts occurred after the Flood (assuming the Flood/post-Flood boundary is in the very late Cenozoic), since there are only a few pristine impact craters, such as Meteor Crater (figure 3) that are clearly post-Flood.38 If even a small fraction of the 36,000 impacts occurred after the Flood (as well as before the Flood), all biology would have been wiped out.
In regard to possible impacts before the Flood, I accept Spencer’s analysis35 that the solar system was created stable with no impact structures. This seems logical to me, since everything was created very good, and meteorite bombardments do not seem to be very good phenomena, especially if there were organisms living on the earth at the time. So, it does not seem likely that there were two bombardments, one at the Creation or the Fall and a second during the Flood as advocated by Danny Faulkner.39 The moon was created on Day 4, so that any moon bombardment afterwards could hardly have missed the earth, in which case all or practically all newly-created organisms would have been wiped out. A bombardment at the Fall would also be devastating.
So, all these 36,000 impacts very likely occurred during the Flood, which I have maintained for a long time:
“Impact craters are common on the inner planets and our moon, which implies that the earth probably was bombarded at some time in the past. We find very few impact craters on the surface of the earth, indicating that catastrophic meteorite bombardment would have occurred either before the Flood or during the Flood. If the pre-Flood earth was a time of climatic and geographic stability, it is doubtful that the meteorite bombardment was before the Flood. The only possibility left is that the event occurred during the Genesis Flood.”40
All the solar system bodies were likely struck by the same event, as indicated by similar crater SFD statistics on the inner solar system, except for Venus. However, Venus likely has many more visible impacts than astronomers believe.12
Based on the relative dating of the moon, it looks like most of the very large impacts struck right away on the near side of the moon (figure 7) with a rapid tailing off of impacts. The far side has only a few medium sized basins. Because of the 27.3-day rotation of the moon and the maria being spread horizontally over 45% of the lunar surface, mainly on the near side, Samec concludes that the large impacts on the moon occurred over a period within 12 days.37
He prefers a much shorter time frame, probably over a span of a few days. These large impacts could be associated with the late LHB. (The LHB is controversial among astronomers, but this dispute does not concern creationists since the LHB depends upon whether there was an Early Heavy Bombardment that formed the moon and caused the magma ocean, both of which there is no evidence for and depend upon evolutionary speculation.)
Since the mare basalts likely flowed soon after the impacts and have much fewer impacts than the lunar highlands, the number of impacts must have decreased rapidly after the initial large barrage. Also, the radiometric dates between the LHB and the mare basalt show that the radiometric dates are highly exaggerated. Remember that relative dating, which seems reasonable, only gives the sequence of events and not the absolute time or the real time between events. So, it looks like the larger impacts struck at the very beginning of the Flood in a matter of a few days, or even less, and decreased rapidly afterwards with only a few small impacts after the Flood.35,41,42 We can also conclude from the near side moon impacts that the largest impactors came from one direction.
Impacts likely caused the Flood
So many impacts, some huge, would have provided a prodigious amount of energy to the earth. Such an amount of energy, especially delivered quickly and not over millions and billions of years, would have many effects on the earth. It is beyond the scope of this paper to estimate the effects of this energy, but regardless the amount would have been devastating. Since the Flood requires energy, meteorite impacts could easily provide the necessary energy to start and maintain the Flood. A number of creationists have suggested impacts as the source of this energy, regardless of whether catastrophic plate tectonics occurred later or not.35,36,37,39,41,42,43,44,45,46,47
Where are the impact craters on Earth? If the earth had 36,000 impact craters greater than 30 km with more than 100 greater than 1,000 km in diameter and a few up to 4,000 to 5,000 km, then where is the evidence for all these craters? Only about 170 impact craters and structures, some buried, are claimed for the earth,3 mostly in the Paleozoic.41 The answer is that the tremendous tectonics, erosion, and deposition during the Flood would have altered or destroyed the vast majority of these craters.
The Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments are mostly large sheets of strata that cover large areas, while the Cenozoic and Precambrian is more restricted, assuming the uniformitarian geological column. Since geologists have studied much of the sedimentary rocks either by direct observation or by seismic methods, very little evidence for impact structures has emerged.
So, it is not likely that a significant proportion of the 36,000 impacts will be found within sedimentary rocks. Therefore, it seems apparent that such a large amount of impacts will mainly have affected the Precambrian igneous rocks, which likely was the pre-Flood upper crust.
There are only 3 or 4 examples of Precambrian impact craters or structures.41 Because of all the Flood devastation, the evidence for a huge amount of impacts in the Precambrian likely would be found if we look for more subtle indicators. Regardless, it seems evident that most of the impacts will be associated with the Precambrian.
So, it looks like the beginning of the Flood would correspond to the Precambrian of the uniformitarian geological column.48 Much of the Precambrian and Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks likely are the deposits churned up by all the impacts and laid down after the initial chaos of the Flood mechanism.
Such a scenario goes along with two general diastrophic cycles recognized by Thom over the western United States.49 He recognized an Early Precambrian diastrophic time of basin subsidence and sedimentation, orogenic compression and folding with volcanism, regional vertical uplift, and planation of mountain system. Such energetic effects could be the result of the initial Flood impacts, since impacts would cause basins with mountains formed along the rims of the basins. The basin would then fill with sediments, and of course much volcanism would be expected with the impacts. The impact uplifted rims and isostatically uplifted basins would supply vertical tectonics. Very strong currents in water caused by the impacts could easily plane rocks.
The second diastrophic cycle is continuing today, according to Thom, but started with the deposition of thick Precambrian sediments and continued with the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentation. Then uplift has ensued with orogenic compression and folding with volcanism and planation, mainly in the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic.
Such a general sequence would correspond to the stages and phases of the Flood.50,51 in which the first diastrophism was caused by impacts, the mechanism of the Flood, followed by the deposition of all the debris churned up by that devastation in the later part of the Flooding Stage. The second diastrophism would correspond to the Retreating Stage with uplift and volcanism as the Floodwater retreated off the continents.
Knowing that the Flood would greatly modify the craters, we need to look for more indirect, subtle evidence for these impacts in Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks. One example of such subtle evidence could be ophiolite belts where mantle rocks were overthrust onto other rocks, especially if the ophiolite belt has a semicircular shape. The Oman ophiolite would fit an impact scenario.52 Another subtle piece of evidence probably is the ultrahigh-pressure minerals and microdiamonds now found in mountains areas all over the world.53 Ultrahigh-pressure minerals and microdiamonds can be formed by impacts. Otherwise the alternative is to rapidly push continental rocks well below 100 km and then rapidly exhume them, presenting a tectonic conundrum, especially for uniformitarians.
Summary and discussion
Mercury, Mars, and the moon have similar cratering histories.33 The moon is used as the standard by which to estimate the number of craters that bombarded the earth. The number of craters greater than 30 km calculated for the moon is about 1,900, which is a minimum because of the problem of saturation. In scaling from the moon to the earth, the difference in crater sizes must be taken into account. The earth’s stronger gravity will result in a transient crater only 2/3rds the size of one on the moon with the same velocity and size of impactor. However, the greater gravity of the earth will result in the crater becoming larger because of gravitational mass movement and slumping. So, the final crater size on the earth will be close to that on the moon.
Scaling the number of impacts from the moon to the earth is based mainly on the greater gravitational cross section of the earth. As a result, there should have been 36,000 craters greater than 30 km on the earth. Of these, by an extrapolation of the size-frequency distribution, about 100 craters greater than 1,000 km in diameter and a few up to 4,000 to 5,000 km in diameter should have occurred on Earth.
Since such a bombardment did not occur after the Flood because there are very few pristine craters, the bombardment must have been pre-Flood or during the Flood. But if pre-Flood, the devastation would have wiped out all biology on Earth. So, the only logical conclusion is that all these impacts occurred during the Flood. Based on the moon, it seems that the largest impacts must have occurred very early in the Flood, tailing off during the rest of the Flood with only a few post-Flood impacts. Such a bombardment would have enough energy to initiate the Flood, although many details need to be worked out. The evidence for such an impact bombardment very likely first affected the pre- Flood crystalline rocks and suggests that the Precambrian is early Flood.
The number of impacts that occurred during the Flood seems sound. However, there are many questions and additional areas of research beyond the scope of this article. Although impacts into the pre-Flood oceans would blast up plenty of water into the atmosphere and beyond for subsequent heavy rain,54 one issue is how such a bombardment caused the Flood. Another issue is whether the amount of energy is too devastating.
Of course, much subtle geological evidence should point to impacts, but this evidence, almost always interpreted within a non-impact uniformitarian framework, needs to be worked out within an impact model. It is to be expected that God protected the ark from asteroid impacts, but why does the Bible not directly mention impacts? Regardless, the number of impacts to bombard the earth, the objective of this paper, is the first step in developing a new model of the Flood, based on impacts.
Chapman, C.R., Ryan, E.V., Merline, W.J., Neukam, G., Wagner, R., Thomas, P.C., Veverka, J. and Sullivan, R.J., Cratering on Ida, Icarus120:77–86, 1996. Return to text.
Greenberg, R., Nolan, M.C., Bottke, Jr., W.F., Kolvoord, R.A. and Veverka, J., collisional history of Gaspra, Icarus 107:84–97, 1994. Return to text.
Koeberl, C., Impact processes on the early Earth, Elements 2:211–216, 2006. Return to text.
Kring, D.A. and Cohen, B.A., Cataclysmic bombardment throughout the inner solar system 3.9–4.0 Ga, Journal of Geophysical Research 107(E2), 2002. Return to text.
Neukum G., Ivanov, B.A. and Hartmann, W.K., Cratering records in the inner solar system in relation to the lunar reference system, Space Science Reviews 96:55–86, 2001. Return to text.
Hartmann, W.K., Relative crater production rates on planets, Icarus 31:264, 1977. Return to text.
Le Feuvre, M. and Wieczorek, M. A., Nonuniform cratering of the terrestrial planets, Icarus 197:300, 2008. Return to text.
Stöffler, D., Ryder, G., Ivanov, B.A., Artemieva, N.A., Cintala, M.J. and Grieve, R.A.F., Crating history and lunar chronology, Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry 60:519–596, 2006. Return to text.
Stöffler, D. and Ryder, G., Stratigraphy and isotope ages of lunar geologic units: chronological stand for the Inner Solar System, Space Science Reviews 96:9–54, 2001. Return to text.
Frey, H., Ages of very large impact basins on Mars: implications for the late heavy bombardment in the inner solar system, Geophysical Research Letters 35: L13203, 2008 | doi:10.1029/2008GL033515. Return to text.
Schultz, P.H., Schultz, R.A. and Rogers, J., The structure and evolution of ancient impact basins on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research 87:9,803–9,820, 1982. Return to text.
Baldwin, R.B., Was there ever a terminal lunar cataclysm? With lunar viscosity arguments, Icarus 184:308–318, 2006. Return to text.
Hamilton, W.B., An alternative Venus; in: Foulger, G.R. and Jurdy, D.M. (Eds.), Plates, Plumes, and Planetary Processes, GSA Special paper 430, Boulder, CO, p. 904, 2007. Return to text.
Bottke, W.F., Levison, H.F., Nesvorný, D. and Dones, L., Can planetesimals left over from terrestrial planet formation produce the lunar Late Heavy Bombardment?, Icarus 190:203–223, 2007. Return to text.
Byrne, C.J., The Far Side of the Moon: A Photographic Guide, Springer Science, New York, NY, pp. 3–4, 194–200, 2008. Return to text.
Ivanov, B.A., Mars/Moon cratering rate ration estimates. Space Science Reviews 96:91, 2001. Return to text.
Melosh, H.J., Impact Cratering: A Geologic Process, Oxford University Press, New York, 1989. Return to text.
Pierazzo, E. and Melosh, H.J., Understanding oblique impacts from experiments, observations, and modeling. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science 28:141–167, 2000. Return to text.
Cintala, M.J. and Grieve, R.A.F., Scaling impact melting and crater dimensions: implications for the lunar cratering record, Meteoritics &Planetary Science 33:910, 1998. Return to text.
Chyba, C.F. and Sagan, C., Comets as a source of prebiotic organic molecules for the earth Earth; in: Thomas, P.J., Chyba, C.F. and McKay, C.P., Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life, Springer, New York, p. 159, 1997. Return to text.
Hansen, V.L. and Young, D.A., Venus’s evolution: a synthesis; in: Cloos, M., Carlson, W.D., Gilbert, M.C., Liou, J.G. and Sorensen S.S. (Eds.), Convergent Margin Terranes and Associated Regions: A Tribute to W. G. Ernst, GSA Special Paper 419, Boulder, CO, pp. 255–273, 2007. Return to text.
Strom, R.G., Chapman, C.R., Merline, W.J., Solomon, S.C. and Head III, J.W., Mercury cratering record viewed from MESSENGER’s first flyby, Science 321(5885):79, 2008. Return to text.
Hartmann, W.K. and Neukum, G., Cratering chronology and the evolution of Mars, Space Science Reviews 96:165–194, 2001. Return to text.
Norman, M.D., Duncan, R.A. and Huard, J.J., Identifying impact events within the lunar cataclysm from 40Ar-39Ar ages and compositions of Apollo 16 impact melt rocks, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70:6032–6049, 2006. Return to text.
Ryder, G., Mass flux in the ancient Earth-Moon system and benign implications for the origin of life on Earth, Journal of GeophysicalResearch 107(E4):1, 2002. Return to text.
Elkins-Tanton, L.T., Hager, B.H. and Grove, T.L., Magmatic effects of the lunar late heavy bombardment, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 222:17–27, 2004. Return to text.
Wilhelms, D.E., McCaulay, J.F. and Trask, N.J., The Geology of the Moon, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1348, WashingtonD.C., 1987. Return to text.
Cohen, B.A., Swindle, T.D. and Kring, D.A., Support for the lunar cataclysm hypothesis from lunar meteorite impact melt ages, Science290(5497): 1754–1756, 2000. Return to text.
Frey, H., Crustal evolution of the early Earth: the role of major impacts, Precambrian Research 10:195–216, 1980. Return to text.
Frey, H., Origin of the Earth’s ocean basins, Icarus 32:235–250, 1977. Return to text.
Spencer, W.R., Our solar system: balancing biblical and scientific considerations; in: Snelling, A. A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the SixthInternational Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship and Institute for Creation Research, Pittsburgh, PA and Dallas, TX, pp. 293–306, 2008. Return to text.
Samec, R.G., Is the Moon’s orbit “ringing” from an asteroid collision event which triggered the Flood?; in: Snelling, A.A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship and Institute for Creation Research, Pittsburgh, PA and Dallas, TX, pp. 255–261, 2008. Return to text.
Oard, M.J., Response to comments on the “Asteroid hypothesis for dinosaur extinction”, Creation Research Society Quarterly 31(1):12,1994. Return to text.
Spencer, W.R., Catastrophic impact bombardment surrounding the Genesis Flood: in; Walsh, R. E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creationism, technical symposium sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 553–566, 1998. Return to text.
Spencer, W.R. and Oard, M.J., The Chesapeake Bay impact and Noah’s Flood, Creation Research Society Quarterly 41(3):206–215, 2004. Return to text.
Froede, Jr., C.R. and D.B. DeYoung, Impact events within the Young-Earth Flood Model, Creation Research Society Quarterly 33:23–34, 1996. Return to text.
Unfred, D.W., Asteroidal impacts and the Flood judgment, Creation Research Society Quarterly 21(2):82–87, 1984. Return to text.
Parks, W.S., The role of meteorites in a creationist cosmology, Creation Research Society Quarterly 26(4):144–146, 1990. Return to text.
Oard, M. and Froede, Jr., C., Where is the pre-Flood/Flood boundary?, Creation Research Society Quarterly 45(1):24–39, 2008. Return to text.
Thom, Jr., W.T., Tectonic relationships, evolutionary history and mechanics of origin of the Crazy Mountain Basin, Montana; in: Graves, Sr., R.W. (Ed.), Billings Geological Society, Eight Annual Field Conference, Billings, MT, pp. 9–21, 1957. Return to text.
Walker, T., A Biblical geological model; in: Walsh, R. E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, technical symposium sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 581–592, 1994. Return to text.
Spencer, W.R., Geophysical effects of impacts during the Genesis Flood; In: Walsh, R.E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth InternationalConference on Creationism, technical symposium sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 567–579, 1998. Return to text.
When Rebekah and I got married in 2008 she was influenced by a professor from her previous college. This professor was a mentor and a friend and led her to recommit her life to Christ and basically experience lordship salvation. But he also was a “house church only” guy. He fully advocated the ideas of Watchman Nee and especially anything by Frank Viola. That year a new version of Viola’s PaganChristianity had come out and was at the forefront of everything that he and Rebekah were talking about. It was a very inconvenient thing for me, but could have possibly prevented me from a lot of unnecessary heartache and disappointment. I had just met Rebekah and was planning on marrying her, but I was also at a critical juncture where I had to graduate and possibly start pursuing ministry with the Assemblies of God. When you start to pursue ministry with the Assemblies of God, or really any other denomination, that usually means that you start off volunteering in youth ministry; and then you work your way up by earning your stripes.
There were chaotic circumstances surrounding my relationship with Rebekah, that weren’t about the way she was as a person so much as they were about how each of our families were treating us at the time, and driving a wedge between us. Rebekah’s sensitive nature didn’t allow her to handle the stress very well. At one point I thought I was going to break off our engagement permanently and not get married. But after we had a deep soul-searching conversation, we decided that we would get married no matter what our family members said. The priority at this point was to focus on each other, and grow in love and relationship with one another; and it was not to allow any sort of ministry activity or family members to become a distraction from that. And that was probably a good idea at that time, because Rebekah had just really get gotten saved in 2005 and putting me and her into a ministry situation, probably wouldn’t have been the best idea for us. But that isn’t to say that the reasons why we avoided ministry were correct. At the time we had been convinced theologically, although it was harder for me to buy into it, that ministry in what we called the “institutional church” was not a divine invention but a human one: and almost always led to some sort of personal failure or loss of relationship with God. The reasons seemed to be so clear:
1. Institutional pastors tend to ask for money a lot when they should be content to merely preach the Word of God for no money at all. But the financial pressures of having a church building, and paying for its bills, are often too much of an issue to keep a pastor from turning into a beggar.
2. Institutional pastors have a tendency to avoid personal interaction with people, because it keeps in tact their sense of spiritual authority over others, so that they feel like they are higher than them.
3. Institutional pastors, due to the influence of the seeker sensitive movement, do not preach lordship salvation, or about Hell, or about casting out demons, or healing, or prophetic ministry, or repentance, or sanctification, or about God’s law, and are in general antinomian or maybe even universalist.
4. Institutional pastors, as result of the third point, don’t do any open-air preaching like Ray Comfort does.
5. Institutional youth pastors tend to allow for a lot of carnality in their attempts to reach young people. This leads to an endless array of things that are invented by man, and are not grounded in the Bible: such as going to the pool and showing off skin immodestly, or watching unedited movies together as a group, allowing for sexual innuendos, and profanity, dirty jokes, etc.
6. Institutional pastors tend to avoid any real conversations about spirituality, mysticism, the supernatural, miraculous gifts, or the prophetic.
7. Institutional pastors tend to lack theological depth in their sermons.
8. Institutional cell groups tend to be very superficial, and genuine friendships are not really developed in them, because they’re just sort of like little classrooms where the cell group leader teaches people like a Bible study, and then everybody goes their separate ways.
9. Institutional pastors are surrounded by suck-ups that just want to play power politic games in the church.
10. Institutional pastors, even though they constantly accommodate to men in order to please them, are still attacked and manipulated by Jezebel spirits operating mainly through bossy women in the church, causing strains on their marriages.
It sounded reasonable. I’d had enough negative experiences at churches to provide evidence for all of ten of these things. But does that mean you should not go to church and should not do ministry at all? No. In order for our consciences to stay at peace though, we had to redefine what the words “church” and “ministry” meant, and it basically led to inactivity. It led to us just staying at home and not going to church: maybe we would hold our own little Bible studies, or listen to some praise and worship music, and that would be the sum of it. As time went on, I tried to focus on my job as a sales representative: and I found that things got very chaotic. It was very difficult for me to hold down a job and whenever I did find a job, managers were often so mean-spirited that I could not hang on for long. I always put my whole heart into whatever I was doing, and would often find myself in positions where I was training other salespeople. But the level of chaos and job instability eventually led me to question whether or not I had taken the right pathway.
Recently I was at church and I was thinking about this very thing, and I went up to the altar for prophetic ministry, and the pastor said that I needed to partner with God and ask Him what I needed to do in order to make this thing resolve itself. This pastor does not know me naturally, so he’s in a position to speak more prophetically to me. I need to be involved with denominational ministry in the Assemblies of God that I’m attending. Rebekah and I recently had a long conversation, and I’ve come to the conclusion that although there are evils, conflicts, and compromises in denominational churches, we should embrace these things as as if we are on a battleground, and we are soldiers in a war. We must acknowledge that these things are going to happen, that they are already present, and that we need to be prepared to faceevilinthechurch whenever it faces us. To avoid it is to be a coward. There’s nothing noble about avoiding it. In fact, I believe that according to Hebrews 12, I may be experiencing so much difficulty in the corporate world, because God has been trying to get me back into the church world. There is no way for a Christian that is baptized in the Holy Spirit to avoid trials and tribulations in this life. So why not make the most of it by glorifying God through ministry? Sure there’s going to be the mundane aspects of that. But why not also bring in the influences of the following revivalists: Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wesley, Charles Finney, William J. Seymour, Smith Wigglesworth, Gordon Lindsay, Donald Gee, Dennis Bennett, Derek Prince, John Wimber, Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, and Puritan theologians that preach righteousness and holiness.
These books come to mind for a good idea of ministry: Martin Luther’s Luther’sWorks:ChurchandMinistryvols. I&II and Richard Baxter’s TheReformedPastor.