Ask Your Preacher
Why in Deuteronomy chapter 13 does it call the people of God to kill non-believers? It seems pretty specific, and I just wonder why it asks us to even kill our family if they should try and lead us astray.
Bound To Family
Dear Bound To Family,
Deuteronomy 13 is an Old Testament command. The laws and commandments of the Old Testament are no longer binding. When Jesus died on the cross, He blotted out the ordinances of the Old Testament that condemned us (Col 2:14). The New Testament has surpassed and replaced the Old Contract written on tablets of stone (2 Cor 3:3-8). The Old Testament was designed to lead mankind to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the Old Covenant (Gal 3:24-25). The Old Testament was God’s law for the Jewish nation (which included laws for how the Jewish government was supposed to punish criminals), and the New Testament is God’s law for Christians. There is so much confusion over the Old Testament and New Testament that we have a short video tutorial on the subject on our YouTube channel. The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/8kPP0G9WSyo.
(This question is in response to “Irrelevant Gender” )
I just read the post about when we die, we will not be woman or man. When I die, will I not know about anything or anybody in this life? I feel like when I die, it will be my soul living but not really me. I feel sad thinking I will not remember my husband and kids... this leaves me feeling empty.
Dear Sad Mom,
When we die, we don’t forget our family. Even when the rich man woke up in torments, he remembered his brothers (Lk 16:27-28). If those in torments remember, then how much more will those in Paradise remember their beloved families? Hopefully, you can find comfort in that.
Should I continue to attend a church that I don't believe is teaching the right things even though my husband is a member there?
Dear Wondering Wife,
Though the Bible says to respect your husband (Eph 5:33), that respect is in subordination to the Lord. It is important to obey God before man (Acts 5:29). We must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12). Solomon made the mistake of honoring his wives before God, and he lost everything because of it (1 Kg 11:4). If the church you are currently attending is not faithful to God’s Word, you must choose a faithful church over your husband.
Hello, I just really need some major advice if you could, please. My family (mom, dad, sister, brother and I) is always fighting. It's beginning to take a huge toll on all of us, and it's becoming all we do. I don't want us to be that way, but I don't know what to do to stop it. I pray that everyone will start being happier with everyone, that everyone will stop fighting and just get along and enjoy our time together. My parents fight a lot, and I'm just worried that it's going to tear this family apart. Do you know anything I can do or say to stop this?
I feel like I'm about to have a mental breakdown. I really do. Everything is just getting to me, and I have no friends at all (I know God and Jesus Christ love me, but I mean, like, people around me). Everyone just thinks of me as a loser or something. I want to be needed and to be someone's best friend. I know this all probably sounds crazy or just a rant, but I just needed to talk to someone that would personally read and answer me. I'm trying to make friends. I'm just afraid that I'm supposed to be alone and friendless all my life. Please help any way possible; a prayer for my family and I would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and again, I'm sorry. God bless.
First of all, you are in our prayers. Fighting within a family is so painful for a child; at least one of our AYP writers knows that first hand. Perhaps the most painful part is the feeling of helplessness that the children are left with. There isn’t anything you can say to fix it, and that is what hurts. We wish we could tell you that there is an easy solution, and if you step in and get involved, it will change everything, but that isn’t true. Sometimes, getting involved can make things worse. Pr 26:17 says that getting in the middle of someone else’s disagreement is like grabbing a dog’s ears. You’ll get bitten every time. Just because you feel you have the solution and see the situation clearer than your parents doesn’t mean that they would be receptive to hearing it. The most likely scenario is that you would add fuel to an already burning fire.
Another thing to consider is that your advice isn’t likely to be accepted by either parent because you are their child. Jesus said that a prophet has respect except amongst his own family and in his own house (Mk 6:4). Time has not made you equals with your parents, and you aren’t in a position to help them – it just isn’t the way life works. This doesn’t mean you are wrong or that you are seeing things incorrectly – it just means they won’t listen because you are the child, and they are the parents. Whether or not you are correct is irrelevant.
But all of this doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do. Jesus’ preaching didn’t affect His family, but His lifestyle did. Multiple times in the Bible it says that Mary saw Jesus’ behavior and “treasured these things in her heart” (Lk 2:19, Lk 2:51). Jesus’ example made a lasting impact upon His family. When you see your parents fighting, calmly walk away. If they ask why – tell them it hurts you. When you have a chance to show respect to your father and love to your mother, do it. As parents, we can tell you that mothers and fathers notice these acts of selflessness and maturity in our children more than they ever know. Many parents have become better people because of the example of their children. You can’t preach to them, but you can live a sermon every day. And most of all, remember that regardless of what your parent’s marriage looks like, it isn’t your fault, and it isn’t your burden. You are only responsible for you, and someday, if you get married, you can apply the lessons you are learning now to change your family tree, so your children don’t need to feel the way you are feeling now.
We recently had a man from the congregation preach for us, and as he talked, he told the unfortunate story of how his son's life was not in accordance with God's will and how he wished so much that he could even share a meal with him, but because of his sinful state, he could not be around him. Is this the kind of separation the Bible teaches we are to have from those outside Christ? How can we be a light to those not in Christ if we can't speak a word to them?
Dear Seems Harsh,
It sounds like this man’s son became a Christian and then fell away. When that happens, the church is told to show tough love and separate themselves from the wayward brother or sister. We are commanded to “withdraw from” and “have no company with” an ungodly Christian (2 Thess 3:6, 1 Cor 5:1-13). We are to do this for the sinner’s own good, hoping it will bring shame on them, and they will repent (2 Thess 3:14). This is really a loving thing to do even though it is a hurtful and sorrowful act for all people involved. The church is given strict orders to withdraw and not associate with a wayward brother or sister (1 Cor 5:13).
However, the immediate family doesn’t have the same “black and white” guidelines. In fact, we see that in some scenarios, the family is commanded to do the opposite – as in the case of an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:13). Sometimes the family has a greater influence by still associating with the wayward Christian… in other cases, the family finds the best way to help the sinning loved one is to separate themselves. When dealing with immediate family, there are wisdom and judgment calls involved.
It is important to note that when a Christian turns back to a life of sin, the church is supposed to separate themselves from them… but that command only applies to wayward Christians. The apostle Paul specifically tells us that we should try to draw near and affect the lives of sinners that haven’t ever obeyed the gospel (1 Cor 5:9-10). Christians should seek to be lights in the world and examples to those who have never known Christ.