Is There A Separate Law For Family Relationships?
By: Brian A. Yeager
Throughout the years many of us have seen families divide over the doctrine of Christ. This does not come as a shock to us, for we know that Jesus said this would occur. Notice our Lord’s promise about division in families: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).
Many, knowing that family division is inevitable at times (Luke 21:16), try to bridge those gaps by compromising the truth for the sake of family relationships. The people I have known who have done this are people who would not compromise the truth for anyone else. However, when it comes to family, they act like the Lord’s rules change all of a sudden. We hear excuses such as: “This is my child we’re talking about here. How can I be a good father/mother if I withdraw myself from my child?”
With all of the reasoning people do to justify compromising the truth for the sake of family, those same people do not realize whom they are really betraying. Our Savior said this: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
Even when some are shown Matthew 10:37, they still try to find ways to justify their compromises. The congregation here at Sunrise has several families within. Unfortunately, there can very likely be a time wherein stands will have to be taken. We have seen this in the past here. Some have chosen the right course and others have compromised. The question is, will you side with the Lord or with your family?
The Lord’s Will Or The Family
In the following Scriptures, regarding not compromising the truth, which one has a family exception clause: “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way… Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding… An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked… But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed… Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Psalms 119:128, Proverbs 23:23, Proverbs 29:27, Galatians 1:8, and Jude 3)?
In the following Scriptures, regarding the necessity of marking and withdrawing from disorderly Christians, which one has a family exception clause: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him… Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us… And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother… If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, where of cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (Luke 17:3-4, II Thessalonians 3:6, II Thessalonians 3:14-15, and I Timothy 6:3-5)?
I know, from experience, that an honest person cannot read the Scriptures above and conclude that fellowship with any unfaithful brother or sister is okay. That same level of honesty demands that we admit there is no exception clause in those Scriptures for family members (Matthew 12:46-50). The way around this is the FALSE mindset that the Scriptures above do not apply to family members.
Do The Scriptures Apply To Family Members?
What Scripture tells us that the words of Christ differ when it comes to our family members? When we examine the word of God we find that the New Testament is the authority for all of mankind on every matter (Matthew 28:18-20 and Romans 16:26). The word “whosoever” includes everyone and we find that “whosoever” transgresses the law of our Lord is committing sin (I John 3:4). We find that “whosoever” does not abide in the doctrine of Christ is outside of Christ (II John 9). The words of our Lord will judge everyone (John 12:48, Romans 2:16, and II Corinthians 5:10). All men, everywhere, are held accountable to the teachings of our Savior (Acts 17:22-31). Whether it is a parent, child, spouse, cousin, etc.; one transgression makes even the people we love the most in this world sinners (James 2:10-12). As hard as it is to accept that fact, it is a fact. Therefore, we must respond by withdrawing ourselves from that beloved family member if they will not repent (I Corinthians 5:1-13).
If you’re not already convinced of the truth on this matter, it is my sincere hope that the following Scriptures will aid you. If they don’t, there’s nothing more I know to teach on this matter. Please consider these Scriptures: “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him… If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Deuteronomy 13:6-8 and Luke 14:26).
Volume 12 – Issue 47 - August 12th, 2012