This Day in Presbyterian History:
The Importance of a Christian Home
The father of five children—four girls and a boy—was a God-fearing man and a member of the Methodist church in Watsonville, California. He was first a farmer, then a carpenter, and finally a builder. He even built the house where his only son, Donald, was born on March 28, 1895. In this home the Bible was read everyday for family devotions, and tithing—or keeping his “accounts with God”—was simply part of the family record. The father made sure that the family was faithful in the services of church. In short, this head of the family had a simple faith in what the Bible said, and he raised his family accordingly.
His wife, Jane, had been raised a Roman Catholic. Her brother even became a Jesuit priest, so it was surprising when Jane left the Roman Catholic church in her teens. Apparently her reason was to preserve her virginity from a lecherous young priest, though sadly her parents sided with the church and abandoned her. Finding her own way, she began to work in a dressmakers shop, and also began to attend a small Methodist church, where she met Theodore Barnhouse. They married and a strong Christian family began its existence.
Their only son, Donald, began his Christian service with the young people’s organization, Christian Endeavor. There he was to be mentored by strong Christians who led him in the study of God’s Word. That grounding in the Bible led him to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now Biola) and finally to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he would study under B.B. Warfield and William Benton Green.
As they say, “the rest is history.” Donald Grey Barnhouse would spend the greater part of his 33 years ministry as pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. What began as one family’s faith continued and grew in Donald’s life and ministry until the fruit of that ministry influenced thousands of others in their faith and life, down to this very day. But it all began with that one little Christian home and a father who was faithful in leading his wife and children.
Words to Live By: Looking at your home and its influence upon your children or future family, can it be said that Christ is at the center of the home, the Bible is the foundation of the home, and God’s glory is the goal of the home?
Through the Scriptures: 1 Samuel 8 – 10
Though the Standards: The Manner of Christ’s Intercession
WLC 55 — “How does Christ make intercession?
A. Christ makes intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually before the Father in heaven, in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on earth, declaring his will to have it applied to all believers; answering all accusations against them, and procuring for them quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings, access with boldness to the throne of grace, and acceptance of their persons and services.”