Monday, September 12, 2011

Witnessing To Family; Explosive Feelings Yet A Biblical Mandate


I caught my father watching pornography and confronted him with it. My father consistently repeats that he finds no fault watching pornography, tv and movies with profanity etc. His behaviour, thoughts and actions have led me to the conclusion that he is definitely not a born-again Christian. There is no awareness of sin against God or family whatsoever. My father states that he will determine for himself how he will live; he is not the least concerned about the Judgment. He does however insist on going to church with us every Sunday. I repeatedly asked him why he still goes if won't bow before God, but he says that's not my business. My father's presence in church prohibits my joy and fellowship within the congregation, makes it seem unholy. I want my father to stop attending church. GotQuestion's excommunication article is about disciplining believers, but what about unbelievers? The church I attend is a Reformed "people's church", with probably multiple non-born again attenders, where excommunication and discipline are never practiced. Should I contact an elder or pastor, force my father to stop attending church or change to another congregation myself? So: what to do about unbelievers in church and my father?

Profile:Male 18-30 Europe


In your question you say you have several issues. (1) Your father's use of pornography. (2)The salvation of your father. (3) Your father attends your church. (4) With your father's unrepented of sin, you do not want him at your church. (5)Should you turn to the leaders of the church to apply church discipline to your father?

Though your father is practicing a destructive sin he is still your father. Our Heavenly Father's law states that YOU honor your father. Though you strongly disapprove of his sin, and should, you must honor and revere him. That is a commandment. Your place is not being a church official carrying out church discipline. Your place is that of being his son.

I do not know if your father is saved or a member of your church. Redeemed people can fall into sin. If your father is not saved then why would you want him restricted from the church and hearing the life changing gospel? You have a clear Biblical mandate, honor and love your father.

Exodus 20:12
English Standard Version (ESV)
"12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you."

Canaan, the son of Ham and grandson of Noah, received a curse for his treatment of his grandfather's sin of drunkenness. Canaan mocked and had disdain for his grandfather when Noah fell into sin.
He and the whole family should have been honorable in dealing with Noah while not agreeing with the sin.
Genesis 9:18-27
English Standard Version (ESV)
"18The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.
20Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25he said,
"Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers."
26He also said,
"Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem;
and let Canaan be his servant.
27May God enlarge Japheth,
and let him dwell in the tents of Shem,
and let Canaan be his servant."

Yes church's need to discipline people who are saved members of the local congregation who fall into unrepented of sinful practices. They want to win their sinning brother back into the church. They are not to gleefully go out and zapp sinners. Their attitude should be grieve over the fallen brother. A tear should be in the eye not blood. Your father's soul and eternal condition is the the main concern, and should be. Your genuinely concerned loving heart is what your father needs from you. Godly church leaders can coach you in ministry to your father. These men should love God and understand their unworthiness in their own sin. All Christians have received grace as the perfect Son of God was crucified to pay for our sins. Christ received the wrath of God intended for law breakers like us. We undeserving sinners, who are now saved, receive the riches of Christ, peace with God and eternity in the presence of The Father. Go in humility and grace and win your earthly father. I will be praying for you.

Matthew 18:15-20
English Standard Version (ESV)
If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

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