The board chairman of the Gospel Coalition (TGC) has come under fire following a recent blog post that promoted Christians having lots of children to "win the war on culture."
An article by TGC writer and senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church, North Carolina, Kevin DeYoung has divided many believers after he suggested Christians should "have more children and disciple them like crazy" if they want to see cultural change in the world.
An excerpt from the article reads: "Do you want to rebel against the status quo? Do you want people to ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? Tote your brood of children through Target.
"There is almost nothing more counter-cultural than having more children. And once we have those children, there is almost nothing more important than catechizing them in the faith, developing their moral framework, and preparing them to be deeply compassionate lovers of God and lovers of people and relentlessly biblical lovers of truth."
His comments have caused a stir on Twitter with some readers claiming his point of view is "harmful" to Christians who can't conceive and reduces those without children to "second class citizens" within the Church.
My wife and I attend a PCA church. We were never able to have kids. So, we can't be counter cultural? The power of words. Thanks for the added shame..— Brian Sanders (@bishopsanders) June 17, 2020
Alternate take- there is no culture war. The very idea of it is anti-biblical. Thanks for writing another piece that marginlizes and minimizes the role of singles in the kingdom of god. We don't already feel worthless enough.— shannon (@shankakes) June 18, 2020
Other's raised concern that his message was "exploitative" towards children and didn't encourage positive engagement with the secular world.
You realize that the "let's outbreed our opponents" strategy is integral to racism in the American white church, right?— Sarah Adams (@SarahJoyAdams) June 18, 2020
Also children are not THINGS we make to exploit. They are PEOPLE made in the image of God who we are to love and care for.
Your theology is anti-Christ.
Despite much backlash, other defended DeYoung's words as both Biblical and key to sharing the Gospel.
A straightforward biblical truth that the Church has ignored to the detriment of itself and the world. The Lord, primarily, builds His Kingdom through covenant families, not mass evangelism. Plain, plain, plain from scripture. Needed to be said.— The Mississippi Flood (@OMFlood) June 17, 2020
DeYoung's comments come in response to the recent 6-3 decision issued by the Supreme Court that ruled the legal definition of "sex" includes "sexual orientation and gender identity" to protect the working rights of gay and transgender workers.
He argues that traditional Conservative Christian values are being lost in the US and suggests that the most effective strategy to maintain these values and impact culture for the Gospel is through having children and training them in Biblical principles.
He wrote: "Presidents and Supreme Court justices will come and go, a child's soul will last forever.
"The future belongs to the fecund. It's time for happy warriors who seek to "renew the city" and "win the culture war" by investing in their local church, focusing on the family, and bringing the kingdom to bear on the world, one baby at a time."