ellyn_seelye — 2016-06-28T08:41:06-04:00 — #1
Social observers (and plenty of "regular" people) point out that the minimalizing of the role of fatherhood in the culture is a huge, debilitating loss to children. Eric Metaxas found a wonderful tribute to the irreplaceable role of fathers in their sons' lives. It's hard to watch this sweet video without a tear yourself!
dave_l — 2016-06-28T11:33:47-04:00 — #2
While I believe this is nice if possible, quite the opposite becomes the norm in Christian experience.
“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 10:35–36)
eric_seelye — 2016-06-28T12:24:38-04:00 — #3
Dave, it's not clear to me that "quite the opposite" is the norm in Christian experience or is it what is meant by Mat 10:35-36. As my ESV Study Bible notes make clear:
"Sword is a metaphor for the inevitable separation between those who believe in Christ and those who do not, even within a family (i.e., faith in Christ may set a man against his father). Jesus’ own family opposed him before they came to recognize his true identity (Mat 13:53–58; Mark 3:21; John 7:3–5). Thus, whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Jesus asked for unqualified allegiance, something even the most esteemed rabbi did not demand. The central point of Matt. 10:34–37 is that love of God and his kingdom must take precedence over every other human relationship."
So, while our highest allegiance must be to Christ, and this may separate us from family in some cases when unavoidable, it is not the norm for Christians to be at opposition to their family members. Rather, we should be trying to love them and win them for Christ.
Edit: Here's a link to the video where you can watch it without all the garbage on the Christian Post web site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWRODY0ing#action=share
gao_lu — 2016-06-28T12:55:17-04:00 — #4
I am offering my testimony that is does not have to be that way.
ellyn_seelye — 2016-06-28T13:21:37-04:00 — #5
That is so well put, Eric. And thank you for linking the video so it can be seen without all the distractions of the web site. It so deserves to be seen and appreciated!
It's a simple thing-- have some boys tackle some new skills (tying a tie, frying an egg, asking someone on a date, etc.) first, with the help of the Internet, and then with their real, live fathers. So revealing that the boys found the father-son interaction more satisfactory, I'm sure on many levels. The expressions, and the little quizzical or trusting glances they were giving each other. They were all such adorable father-son duos.
When we see the care and love and solicitation of Dads for their kids, the teaching and the guidance that they give, it is so suggestive, on a simple human level, of the infinite Divine care of our Father. So lovely to be reminded, even in this small way...
dave_l — 2016-06-28T15:48:05-04:00 — #6
“For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” (Luke 12:52–53)
I know there is peace and harmony when people come together over the lowest common denominator. But truth divides and causes friction.
Jesus says marvel not if the world hates you and all you have to do is draw the line and stand firm for Christ to get results.
I can site several times where taking a stand for Christ alienated me from "Christian" Church going relatives and their relatives.
ellyn_seelye — 2016-06-28T16:29:22-04:00 — #7
It seems to me that Eric acknowledged and covered those contingencies in his comments...
dave_l — 2016-06-28T16:31:52-04:00 — #8
Do you think Jesus spoke of the normal reaction to the truth from family members, or should we expect something different? I know from personal experience truth divides families.
ellyn_seelye — 2016-06-28T16:40:01-04:00 — #9
Encouraging and recognizing the beauty of the father-son relationship, and of family love, does not negate anything from scripture that I'm aware of. All Christians are saddened when acceptance of Jesus divides families, as it definitely can. But that is not the point in this particular thread, I believe.
dave_l — 2016-06-28T16:48:10-04:00 — #10
Thanks for the reply. My concern is that it does not provide a realistic view of the Christian experience. We should be relieved if God does not require friction between family members for the sake of truth. But often times we make difficult decisions, especially as our children become less dependent on us and begin developing incompatible lifestyles.
I guess I've seen it on all fronts. As a parent, as a son and brother, an uncle.... etc.
ellyn_seelye — 2016-06-28T16:56:32-04:00 — #11
Again, your comments may have some validity in another context, but I don't think they apply in this particular instance and with this particular rather quiet but joyful video celebration of familial love and guidance. There is nothing especially unrealistic depicted, in actual fact.
Perhaps you could start a thread that explores your specific concerns about family divisions.
dave_l — 2016-06-28T19:49:02-04:00 — #12
Jesus presents a far different picture of Discipleship than today's lukewarm all accommodating versions. He says “... a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36)
“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.” (Matthew 10:35)
“The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” (Luke 12:53)
Eve produced Cain and Abel, and they certainly did not get along well;
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The Old Testament is rife with discord in the families of God's most holy saints.
“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” (Mark 13:12)
This is speaking of "Christian" families......
gao_lu — 2016-06-29T09:24:31-04:00 — #13
Perhaps you have experienced painful family division. That is all too common. What Jesus said is common enough, but I see it as a description, not a prescription of sin or lacking faith in families. But it does not have to always be. I know many very serious Christian families that are close knit and undivided. My own extended family would be one. We have had matters to work through, but nothing serious regarding faith or practice. We are all best of friends. At present I am with my parents, 3 children and grandchildren. There is no division anywhere on the horizon. We sing and worship and love and fellowship--to God be the glory! I know other families that way as well. I think such a family is the requisite of pastors. 1 Tim 3:4.
I am immensely grateful for my father and the heritage he provided and the close relationship we enjoy in the Word and prayer. I am thankful that my children arise this morning and love and bless their father and the blessing appears to be passed on yet another generation.
dave_l — 2016-06-29T09:53:29-04:00 — #14
I'm happy for you. It seems you have a rare treasure. I could list the doctrines that split our "Christian" family over the years. Perhaps situations have not surfaced demanding a firm stance from you.
When I opposed the Vietnam War and refused to go, some major fallout occurred (disowned by Grandfather and others, etc.). Heated criticism from the most "Christian" of the family, including a Baptist minister.
Another time when I said a nephew would be committing adultery if he married his divorced fiance, and later refused to go to the wedding, major fallout happened, again among the most religious who thought I should "look the other way". Many including his parents still hold a grudge today, even though his marriage soon fell apart and he remains single today.
When I correct many false doctrines held by some (Moody Bible Institute) family members it creates a "whole lot of trouble".
Shunning family members who live wicked lifestyles brings trouble also, not from them, but from family members who would rather molly coddle them in their sin.
Also Paul tells us to shun greedy people. Can you imagine pulling that off in American society? I have very greedy family members, all well churched, that Paul tells me to shun...
That is some of how following Christ works for me and why I accept Jesus' claims about how much trouble it can bring.
There are more examples, but this is typical of my life in Christ.