The Seeker Friendly Church Model
An examination of Warren’s church model by Mike Oppenheimer
Information about Growing Kids God’s Way movement
Before buying into every or any theory concerning childrearing, we should critically evaluate the claims of those theories and how they measure up to the standard of God’s Word. Just such an evaluation and revelation of evidence has been published on GKGW at www.ezzo.info
The following points are garnered from CRI(Christian Research Institue), and are a concise summary of the problems with GKGW.
1.) Scripture twisting and de facto assertion of extrabiblical revelation. Scripture is often used without regard to context to justify unbiblical or extrabiblical doctrines. Teachings not found in the Bible (on child rearing) are accorded the status of divine revelation (“God’s way”). Theological confusion and legalism follow from these abuses.
2.) Authoritarianism. The Ezzos word on parenting seems to close the matter irrespective of the evidence. Individual interpretation on that subject is not allowed. The Ezzos appear to be unaccountable to anyone outside their own group and to suppress any attempt to question them from within the group.
3.) Exclusivism. The Ezzos are considered virtually the only ones who are teaching biblical truth on their subject. Those who follow the Ezzo way are believed to raise morally superior children. Some esteem the Ezzo philosophy of child-rearing to be so essential that they treat it almost as though it were the gospel. It is promoted with missionary zeal, resulting in division among churches, families, and friends. In fact, Christian outsiders are sometimes viewed and treated as sub-Christian.
4.) Isolationism. Members of the GFI “community” have been shielded from teachings and opinions contrary to the Ezzo way. Full knowledge of GFI teachings has been withheld until after one becomes involved with the program.
5.) Physical and emotional endangerment. As an unintended but natural consequence of following GFI teachings, babies are sometimes left to cry for hours and some newborns are underfed and underdeveloped. Child development experts, many of them Christians, voice concern about the long-term effects of the program on children raised under it.
From a reformed perspective, the Ezzo’s doctrine of the neutrality of the will in regard to sin is, theologically, most disturbing.