Generational Alignment: Fathers and Sons

David Copeland March 24, 2010 10:30 am

One of the greatest travesties of our lifetime is the lack of generational alignment.

Not only a lack of it: but unwillingness on both sides of this divide to reach across the chasm and embrace each other.

We see this now manifesting in our society; in business, in politics and of course in homes and families. There has always been a "generational gap"; but never has it been so pronounced, so distinct. Everywhere I go in the United States, almost everyone over fifty years of age, hates everyone less than fifty years of age. Those under fifty years of wish lighting would strike everyone over fifty years old and move them out of the way so "…we can have this move of God the Father has promised".

I heard Randall Terry founder of Operation Rescue say in 1992 that America can trace the roots of her problems back to a lack of a father in the home. We now have at least three generations that have been raised to believe there are really no absolutes in life; and the lack of absolutes (coming from a lack of fatherhood) has produced a generation who have been raised without a father. Because fathers have abandoned their responsibility in the home.

For whatever reason be it divorce, narcissism or abandonment, this generation is angry. Mad, frustrated and rejected first by their fathers, then by society and the church has made David Wilkerson's vision of 1,000 fires burning in New York City and fires burning across America due to riots and fighting much closer to being a reality!

America is living underneath a curse! The last words of Malachi are ringing prophetically true that the earth has been smitten with a curse because of the absence of the generational alignment.

But something is happening! A major shift has taken place! A sleeping giant is awakening in America! It's not the church as a whole just yet: it's men! Something is awakening in men showing us that in spite of us not having an adequate father or a nurturing mother, the spirit of fatherhood, spiritual fatherhood is coming alive so we can break the curse of Malachi 4:

5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

First, this is something God does. "I will send…" Because God is our heavenly Father the spirit of fatherhood flows through Him. In everything He says; and in everything He does.

Paul told the Corinthian church "…though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ yet you have not many fathers"

The last 70 years the church in America has abandoned it's role of birthing spiritual children to building monuments to men and denominations. Programs and buildings and denominations and Bible Schools abound honoring the men and women who envisioned people empowered with knowledge to make society a better place to live. But where are the spiritual fathers and mothers? It's hard for people with a democratic and denominational mindset to understand Kingdom principles.

Many pastors and church leaders have already "raised their children" so they would rather "hire" a youth pastor or an associate pastor to care for the needs of people, especially younger people, so they can play golf, fish and hunt during the week and wake up Sunday morning walk to the pulpit speak the sermon they retrieved off Sermon; pick up their checks on Sunday night and repeat the process all over the next week, calling themselves pastors; never getting their hands dirty with the needs of younger people struggling to find their identity in Christ. The pastorate has become a professional fraternal organization that has lost the sense of fatherhood this generation needs. They don't need an instructor: they need a father!

Bible Schools are teaching future pastors to be denominational, not relational! We know how to instruct up and coming preachers how to work the denominational system in order to move up the food chain; but are there men and women taking young ministers under their care, onto their hearts and building a father/son, mother/daughter relationship with them?

The spirit of Elijah the prophet has come! Yes the prophetic gift is still active on the earth. Just because some people who have "Prophet" in their business card but is nothing more than another non-profit corporation, doesn't negate the fact that God never took prophets off the earth or out of the church. We ran them off by rejecting their anointing, their office gift and the word of correction they bring.

But the gift of Elijah is with us and deals with the heart. Notice the King James uses the word HEART, not hearts. Other translations are correct in saying hearts. But I like the word heart because is signals a healing of brokenness that has come from sin, rejection and abandonment of our natural fathers. That abandonment has produced a curse on society, as we know it that God is calling us to break!

After the heart is healed, then it can be turned to the children. Yes, there is a lot of rebellion is the up and coming generation. There has been rebellion in every generation. Young people have always though they knew more than their parents and leaders did. Over time, some wised up. Many did not. I submit the children are ready for their hearts to turn to their spiritual parents; are you willing to take you place in the Kingdom of God so they can have a place to turn too?

May God give us the heart of fatherhood and motherhood, and turn our hearts to the spiritual children God is calling to be connected to us. May we break the curse off the church so once again we can shine with the Glory of God!


Steve Weaver
March 24, 2010
12:42 pm

When Paul began his letter of II Timothy he recognizes that faith is established in Timothy’s grandmother Lois and in his mother, Eunice. It had been passed on to Timothy. It’s interesting how Paul told Timothy to take what he heard Paul share among many witnesses, and pass it on to other trustworthy(faithful) men who will teach others also. There is something to “Trans-generational” discipleship. Whether you label it mentoring or give it another title, it’s about passing on this relationship of salvation and experience with Jesus; generation to generation. I concur with the concept of spiritual fatherhood. It becomes increasingly significant in contexts where fathers are absent, regardless of the reasons.  My prayer is that God will help us to see outside the boxes of programs and historical methodologies and hear a fresh word from Heaven that shows us what, how, when, and where and effectively reach others in an all-out, “Trans-generational Discipleship” movement in the Body of Christ!

David Copeland
March 24, 2010
1:27 pm

Pastor Steve, you said it much better than I did! Thank you for your comments and your support!

Paul Capehart
March 26, 2010
8:48 am

Wow! Great preachin’ Brother David! Sure had a blast this past weekend witb you at New Life! Wow what a move of the Holy Spirit in both services! Our prayer team will be prayiong for you as you are taking the Gospel to Kenya! Thanks for bringing red hot truth my friend.

Edmund B. Lambeth
July 20, 2010
4:03 pm

Brother Steve,
I found your paper, “The Theology of Carl F. H. Henry,” on the web, and I valued reading it as I try to deepen my knowledge of Carl F. H. Henry. Please tell me when you wrote it and where you were in your vocational journey. If I can bring it off, a line or two of your writing might turn up in a difficult book I’m trying to finish. As a young Washington correspondent in the 1960s some fellow journalists and I had a great time visiting with Henry after a presidential prayer breakfast featuring Billy Graham. My memory is a distinct sense that he was trying to encourage us in our work – our Barnabas, as it were. I believe it was your sermon on the importance of fathers I read on your blog. Good and strong, it was. I hope that your flock appreciates your work. I have a strong sense that they do. All the best to you.
Edmund B. (Ed) Lambeth, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Journalism

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