No one has a higher view of the family than the Mormons. Central to their doctrine of God is the conviction that he is literally a father and a husband, and he has given birth to many spirit children. God is himself the offspring of divine parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, ad infinitum.
For this reason, Mormons believe family life to be the supreme expression of their faith. To be married, procreate, and parent is to be engaged in the activity of God himself. Mormon bumper stickers which read "Families Are Forever" are taken as literal truth. The family embodies the purpose and meaning of both this life and the next.
The evangelical market is now experiencing a glut of books, seminars, films, and magazine articles on the subject of the family and how to enhance it. If that phenomenon is a reliable indicator, and I think it is, then we seem to be emulating our Mormon antagonists. Increasingly, evangelical Christians are being encouraged to live as though they believed the family to be the chief focus of Christian living. We are becoming the victims of a disease my friend calls "creeping Mormonism." > se in point: I've lost track of the number of times my parishioners have told me of a decision they have made on the basis of the following priorities: 1) God, 2) Family, 3) Job. "Those are the Big Three," they smile and say. "Keep those straight and you'll keep your life straight before God."
I can't argue with number one, but I do have questions about numbers two and three, especially | number two. My most urgent question is "Where the church fit into this scheme?" The New Testament has much to say about the church and little to say about the family. What it does have to say about the family ...