Monday, August 25, 2014

God and family

A reader asks Billy Graham about family problems... How big of a mess can Billy make of his answer this time?
Dear Dr. Graham: Someone in our family is always having a crisis, and all of their problems end up in my lap. I get so tired trying to dealing with them. They mostly ignore my advice anyway. Sometimes I just wish I could leave. Why is our family so messed up? Mrs. McL.
I'm not going to pretend to know the details of exactly what kind of drama McL is dealing will, so there's little point giving advice. But I can say that simply giving up is very rarely the answer.
Dear Mrs. McL.: I've never seen a family that didn't have problems, and I doubt if I ever will. Since Cain killed his brother, Abel, families have been beset with conflicts and problems (Genesis 4:1-16). 
Starting with an unsubstantiated claim I see...
However, that's no excuse for being unconcerned about our families. God gave them to us, and it isn't his will for them to be constantly in turmoil.
Actually, I'm pretty sure I have my family through genetic lineage, and that I found my wife through us meeting online. But sure, claim that God is the one to do it and conveniently not show any evidence to back that up...

And how is it his will that families not be in turmoil when Jesus is said to have said this...
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple.
-Luke 14:26
 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.
-Matthew 10:34-26
How does anything about those two passages from the supposedly perfect Jesus sound like God doesn't want any turmoil within families? It actually sounds like he's commanding it!
I know your family's problems have become a huge burden for you, but how much worse would they be if they didn't have you? Even if they don't always heed your advice, you may be helping them in ways you'll never realize. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
If the peacemakers are blessed, does that mean that Jesus is cursed for ordering the purposeful creation of family discord? Obviously helping out is a great thing to do, but try to be consistent Billy!
The most important thing you can do is urge each family member who comes to you to turn to Christ and give their lives to him. They need Christ's forgiveness and his help to live as they should and make wise decisions about the future. If you've never given your own life to Christ, open your heart and life to him today.
What if religion is part of the problem? What if they are already Christians (very likely)? Suddenly this advice becomes even more worthless than it was from the beginning. One of these days it would be nice to see Billy actually try instead of giving his default answer to everything of 'turn to God'...

-Brain Hulk

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