Dismantling the family with policy

The last days will see both the destruction AND restoration of the family

For years, pastors like me have been warning that the family unit was disintegrating in our culture. Personal failures, failed marriages and divorce were major reasons for this decline. But now, family structures are being dismantled as a matter of policy.

For instance, would you want your elementary-aged child in a school classroom to learn about graphic sex acts or sexual relationships between boys and men? Would you want your high school students to be shown explicit pornographic images? 

I wish this was an exaggeration, but it’s the unfortunate reality for millions of people in America. On May 9, 2019, for instance, the California Globe reported

“Despite hundreds of parents protesting and testifying, on Wednesday the California State Board of Education approved highly controversial changes to the state's health and sex education framework including teaching children about bondage, anal sex, pederasty (adult-child sexual relationships), sex trafficking, sexual orientation and transgender and non-conforming students.”

The law allowed parents to opt their children out of the more explicit sex ed lessons, but not lessons geared toward the sexual health of LGBTQ students—or students questioning their sexual identities.

Or, how would you feel about your local elementary school openly deceiving you, as a matter of policy, about your kindergartener’s closely supervised and state-facilitated sexual transition?

A school district in Madison, Wisconsin, is being subjected to a lawsuit from parents after establishing a policy featuring books and lessons stating that children had the right to choose their gender, and striving to “disrupt the gender binary.”

Filed in February, 2020, the lawsuit claims that teachers were enabling children as young as five years-old to socially transition to a different gender identity without the consent or knowledge of their parents. Parents in the lawsuit complained that the district told teachers they only had to call students by their birth names when the parents were around. 

In the harrowing words of Seminary President Al Mohler

“I have been warning for years that one of the central efforts of the moral revolutionaries is to use the power and the structure of the public schools to separate children from their parents. In particular, to separate children from the moral authority and influence of their parents. That is also exactly what was undertaken in the former Soviet Union and throughout the communist bond. That is exactly what is championed in China and North Korea."

Perilous Times

Now, it’s happening in the United States of America. Rather than viewing the family as societal building blocks, moral revolutionaries have claimed that “Families perpetuate patriarchal oppression, traditions…harmful practices, and…human rights abuses.”

These radicals are allowed to guide public policy, despite the overwhelming evidence: 63% of teen suicides, 70% of teen pregnancies, 71% of teen drug abusers, 90% of runaway teens, 80% of prison inmates, and 83% of abortions occur when children grow up without a traditional nuclear family.

Families are not the problem. Authorities working to deconstruct families is the problem. This is nothing less than a satanic attack, and it’s also a sign that we are living in the last days.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”—2 Timothy 3:1-5

Paul tells us that “perilous times” will characterize the last days, in which rebellious children are unusually “disobedient to parents.” Romans 1:30 also identifies disobedience as a sign of the judgment of God, and Paul even connects it to sexual confusion (Romans 1:26-29), which I wrote about recently

Restoration is Coming

But despite the horror of what has become our daily news, there is still hope for families. The last days will not just be characterized by the destruction of the family. It will also feature the restoration of the family. To see this, we must turn to the last two verses of the Old Testament.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”—Malachi 4:5-6

Just before Jesus returns, Elijah comes back to prepare the way. This has already happened once through the ministry of John the Baptist. We know this because the angel Gabriel uses the language of Malachi 4 when he announces that John the Baptist will be born miraculously to Zacharias and Elizabeth, who was barren. 

“And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”—Luke 1:16-17

That’s a direct reference to Malachi 4:6. Prophecy fulfilled, right?

Partially, yes. But remember that Malachi predicted an Elijah figure “before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). The original prophecy in Malachi had closer connections to the second coming of Jesus than the first. Furthermore, John did not help the land avoid a curse as Malachi prophesied (see Matthew 21:19).

This suggests even more that we should expect a greater prophetic fulfillment of Elijah’s family-restoring ministry before Jesus returns. 

Open Doors and Empty Seats

Jesus even addressed potential confusion about a greater fulfillment of Elijah’s ministry in the last days. Jesus Himself seems to confirm our interpretation in Matthew 17:10-13:

“And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 11 Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands. 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.”—Matthew 17:10-13

Notice how Jesus affirms that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi 4 (“Elijah has come”—past tense). At the same time, Jesus speaks of a future, greater fulfillment (Elijah “will restore all things”—future tense).

Just as there was a first and second coming of Jesus, there is a first and second coming of an Elijah figure that prepares the way for the Lord. And he does it, in part, by restoring family values. 

Throughout Israel’s history, Jewish families have observed Passover by leaving a door open and a seat empty at their dinner table. This symbolically represents their expectation of Elijah’s coming. Too many American families have open doors and empty seats—but for entirely different reasons. Fathers have left the picture and families are being torn apart by senseless legislation. 

But it won’t always be that way. One day, our Lord will return, and “Elijah” will prepare the way with a revival of worship and family values. This is an incredible hope for the future! But in the meantime, we don’t have to wait for Elijah. Now is the time to speak up for our most vulnerable, as the angel Gabriel said, “in the spirit and the power of Elijah.” 

The future of our children, and of our nation, depends on it.