A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter Twelve – The Pigsty Part 2

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Barry L.'s picture

"I confessed to each of them that it was becoming harder and harder for me to hide who I was from their kids, and that I understood if they no longer wanted me in their kids’ lives. I told them that I loved them and that I would harbor no ill-will or resentment if they chose to cut off contact with me."

I have not had a wayward brother or sister and my kids are still too young to be independent, so I have not had to go through what your family had to go through. I know many pastors would have advised them to break fellowship with you. By what I can read your family stayed connected as much as you would let them be connected. I'm getting ahead, here, but I am assuming that helped in your conversion or restoration, we'll see.  In hindsight, if you were to counsel them in how they should respond to you, what would you counsel them from a Biblical point of view?

John E.'s picture

In hindsight, if you were to counsel them in how they should respond to you, what would you counsel them from a Biblical point of view?

I would counsel them to do what they did - love me by praying for me and sharing the gospel with me, while being careful to not unwittingly condone my sin. I would encourage them to continue to seek ways to turn the other cheek for the sake of the gospel at my slings and arrows. I would encourage them to continue to include me in family activities.

I'm not sure why pastors would counsel family members to break fellowship with unsaved family members. I'm eternally thankful that my family never did. Their love was one of the hardest pricks I had to kick against.

John E.'s picture

Protecting yourself, other family members, or your property does not necessarily equal breaking fellowship. Setting rules about behavior while in your house does not necessarily equal breaking fellowship.

When I wrote "I'm not sure why pastors would counsel family members to break fellowship with unsaved family members," I meant "breaking fellowship" in terms of cutting off contact and/or treating them as if they're not part of the family.