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SINCE ACMTC HAS COME UNDER FIRE, once again, over the “family” thing (as evident from the Dr. Phil TV show, Sept. 21, 2006), it would be good to take time to Biblically address this issue.
For years now, we have been falsely accused of “breaking up families”. Well, now, I suppose America’s horrible divorce rate and family deterioration is our doing? Seems to me that America has gone on the “skids” for a long, long time, not because of the Generals, but because of rebellion on God.
We preach family unity, but family unity must be Biblically based. Of course the world isn’t following the Biblical pattern, but neither are many “Christians”.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
Did you know that the word “family” is mentioned only 5 times in the entire Bible? Is family important?
In fact, the word “family” is mentioned only once in the New Testament, in Ephesians 3:15, which uses that word in reference to “the whole family in heaven and earth”, speaking of Jesus and His Father.
We hear our accusers rail on us about family, but why don’t they ever quote any Scriptures?
Two Kinds of “Family”
Christian (the real thing, not the phoney Church/Babylonian thing) and pagan—the two kinds of family. Is there a difference? Yes! Each walks by different standards. The New Testament points out the WAY for born-again believers to live, and it also points out the sinfulness of the unredeemed.
Recently ACMTC missionary-members were working among a certain Indian Tribe in the Southwest. One pastor, after viewing the Dr. Phil show, approached Gracious River, a supposedly “missing” woman, whom we’ve been accused of taking away from her precious mom. (Her mom has been married and divorced three times that we are aware of. Her daughter tells us that she has had many “partners” as well.) I won’t get into her mom’s personal life here. Read in between the lines, you duped TV watchers!
Well, anyways, this pastor said that Gracious had to call her (Gracious’) mom and tell her mom of her whereabouts, because (as this pastor said) the female (according to the pastor’s Indian tradition) is the leader of the household. This pastor claims to be a Spirit-filled Pentecostal, mind you, and attended several years in an Assemblies of God Bible school. Here the pastor is putting pagan Indian tradition above the plain teaching of God’s Word, and is betraying a Christian sister into the hands of her non-Christian mother for “family” sake. NOT BIBLICAL AT ALL!
What Does the Bible Say?
Since our attackers accuse us of being a “cult”, why do they expect us to play by the “Christian” rules, and why should they get upset with us if we do not obey the Word according to their perception of it?
In all these 24 years that we’ve been accused of “breaking up families”, not one, not ONE has come forth with a Bible teaching against us. Why? If we are deceived, why not teach us the Bible way? Hey, we’re waiting. All you attackers claim to be oh, so Christian. Well, then, teach us! Since you refuse to open the Bible on this subject, I dare to now—
The Words of Jesus Himself
Read about the cost of following Jesus in Matthew 8:18-22. Verse 22 says, “But Jesus (not General James or Deborah!) said unto him (the man who wanted to bury his earthly father before following Jesus), FOLLOW ME; and let the dead bury their dead.” Wow! How cold! How cruel! How unloving!
What did Jesus mean? Well, my dear unscholarly “Christians”, Jesus makes a distinction between the “dead” and the “living”, the pagan and the Christian. Ephesians 2:1-2 also plainly points out this same principle: “And you (born-again believers) hath he quickened (made alive), who were (past tense) DEAD in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince (Satan) of the power of the air (spirit), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
The Children of Disobedience
Yes, folks, here it is—a Bible distinction between God’s true family and Satan’s. Who can deny this? Ephesians 2:1-4 reveals a MAJOR reason why we here at ACMTC witness to the LOST: the lost are under the control of Satan and demons. Also, this is why we obey the law of separation as II Corinthians 6:14-18 reveals it to us. Read it, you accusers. Verse 17 of II Corinthians 6 tells us Christians to “COME OUT from among them (not stay in and among them!).” Come out from who? Unbelievers, of course (v. 14)—the unrighteous, those living in darkness, those under the control of Belial (v. 15). Did you read that? Do you believe that?
If a mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin, uncle, etc. live in darkness, in the world, we as God’s true family must COME OUT from them. This, of course, does not mean that we do not pray for them, but we are NOT to be “UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER with unbelievers” (v. 14).
Yes, I know, most of our accusers claim to be oh, so Christian. But why do they act the way they do?—the hatred for us, the lies, the deceptions, the trying to “break up” our spiritual family?
Who Really Breaks Up the Family?
To hear the pitiful crybabies out there, you would think we are the culprits. The Bible, dear critics, plainly tells us that true disciples of Christ must not be in voluntary partnership or in intimate association with unbelievers, and “unbelievers” includes pagans as well as sinning believers (as many of our critics are proven to be!). Who says so? Both Jesus and Paul the Apostle so far.
For you boo-hoo mothers out there, who do not live the “Christian way”, be it known that the Bible instructs your daughters and sons (who are true Christians) to be separated. I did not write the Bible.
If moms and dads are committing sins (i.e., living in sins), and all are who are accusing us, why demand their grown sons and daughters to accept them? That is un-Biblical and anti-Biblical. The three ladies who appeared on the Dr. Phil TV show are certainly guilty of insisting we accept their WAY-OFF lifestyles. Sorry!
I have personally pointed out the “sword Scripture” to many of our accusers, yet not ONE ,not ONE will respond to it. Why? They claim to be oh, so Christian . . . surely they don’t think God’s Word lies . . . or do they?
Hebrews 4:12 speaks about the sharp two-edged sword—the Holy Spirit / the Holy Word (read Eph. 6:17). And in Matthew 10:34-35 we come across this: “Think NOT that I (Jesus) am come to send peace on earth: I came NOT to send peace, but a SWORD. 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...” I did not write that! Verse 36 follows up with “And a man’s foes SHALL BE they of his own household.” Did Jesus say that? Did He mean that?
What happened to the “prince of Peace”? Oh, Jesus is still that (Isa. 9:6; Matt. 5:9; Rom. 5:1), but it is not referring to the kind of phoney church peace you think.
Take note: His coming and His proclamation of His Gospel did and will bring division, and will do so intentionally! So, why persecute us for standing for His truth? Is it because you accusers are on the wrong side? If you really were Christians, as you all claim, why do you DENY the plain teachings of God’s Word?
1) Real faith in Christ will separate the true believer from the sinner and from the world. A FACT! (Read Matthew 10:32-37; Luke 12:51-53.)
2) Walking in the Spirit will, I said WILL! bring opposition, division, and persecution (Matthew 12:24; 14:4-12; 27:1; Acts 5:17; 7:54-60; 14:22; etc.).
3) A life lived, not just talked, will bring continual ridicule and scorn (Matt. 5:10-11).
4) Defending God’s Word against lies and liars WILL bring division (read II Cor. 11:12-15; Gal. 1:19; Phil. 1:15-17; see also II Tim. 1:15).
So, we make the Bible true—we get persecuted (blessed!) for believing and living in His truth.
Do we now dare to explore Matthew 12:46-50? It’s awful quiet out there!
“While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
I do not need to explain these Scriptures, they speak for themselves. It seems to me that the ONES sitting and listening to Jesus’ words were, by His own words, His “mother and brethren”. What a COLD BLOW to His natural mother! (And Mary, I’m sure, was not a habitual sinner; yet Jesus still made a distinction between His natural and spiritual family.)
Doing His Will
If we are obeying His Word, we are doing His will. This makes our spiritual family acceptable to Jesus.
What about Ephesians 6:1-2?
“Children (ones who are still living at home, not ones who are married and have left home), obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother...”
Corresponding to the Scripture above is Mark 10:6-7, the words of Jesus: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.”
Normally, both pagan and Christian children live under parental guidance UNTIL they become part of another family-unit thru marriage or some other way. Even for the Christian, the above Scripture in Ephesians does not give a mother or father the right to demand that their adult “children” live at home or accept their (the parent’s or parents’) sinful ways.
In the case at hand, a mother is demanding that her adult daughter—who left the mother’s home and got married way before she joined our family—stay in contact with her. This is the current OUTRAGE. You dupes who saw that mom cry on the Dr. Phil show know nothing about this woman. We do! And she is everything but Christian.
We Believe in Family
I’ve been married for 36 years, love my natural and spiritual family, yet we have outsiders trying everything under the sun to “break up” our Christian family. Why? Ask them! The main reason is because we take God’s Word seriously.
“Obey your parents in the Lord” is the admonition—“...IN THE LORD”! It does not tell us to obey perverts, fornicators, adulterers, druggies, alcoholics, God-haters, etc., etc., and many of our accusers fit into this list. We know what we are dealing with here. We know these parents: they are full of evil and hatred for God’s Word. If my mother or father was a God-hater, I would not, I repeat, I would NOT obey nor honor them. Period! “...IN THE LORD”, “...IN THE LORD”—this is the key; not in or of the world.
How many of you accusers brought up your children “in the nurture and admonition OF THE LORD”? Come on, tell me. And you want your kids to accept (even do!) your evil ways? The Bible teaches otherwise.
Parents and Children
The following section comes from The Full Life Study Bible.
Col. 3:21 “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
IT IS THE SOLEMN OBLIGATION OF PARENTS (Gk. pater; the plural, pateres, can mean “fathers” or “father and mother”) to give their children the instruction and correction that belong to a Christian upbringing. Parents should be examples of Christian life and conduct, caring more for the salvation of their children than for their jobs, professions, ministry in the church, or social standing (cf. Ps. 127:3).
(1) According to Paul’s word in Eph. 6:4 and Col. 3:21, as well as God’s instruction in many O.T. passages (see Deut. 4:9-10; 6:7; Ps. 78:3-7; Prov. 1:8; 6:20), it is the responsibility of the parents to give their children the upbringing that prepares them for lives pleasing to God. It is the family, not the church or church School, that is primarily responsible for the Biblical and spiritual training of the children. Church and Sunday school only assist parental training.
(2) The very heart of Christian nurture is this: The heart of the father must be turned to the heart of the child in order to bring the heart of the child to the heart of the Savior (see Luke 1:17).
(3) In raising their children, the parents should show no favoritism, encourage as well as correct, punish only intentional wrongdoing, instruct with patience, and dedicate their lives in love to them with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12-14, 21).
(4) Here are fifteen steps that you as parents should take to lead your children to a life of godliness in Christ:
(a) Dedicate your children to God at the beginning of their lives (1 Sam. 1:28; Luke 2:22).
(b) Teach your children to fear the Lord and turn away from evil, to love righteousness and to hate iniquity. Instill in them an awareness of God’s attitude and judgment toward sin (see Heb. 1:9).
(c) Teach your children to obey you as parents through Biblical discipline (Deut. 8:5; Prov. 3:11-12; 13:24; 23:13-14; 29:15,17; Heb. 12:7).
(d) Protect your children from ungodly influences by being aware of Satan’s attempts to destroy them spiritually through attraction to the world or through immoral companions (Prov. 13:20; 28:7; 1 John 2:15-17).
(e) Make your children aware that God is always observing and evaluating what they do, think, and say (Ps. 139:1-12).
(f) Bring your children early in life to personal faith, repentance, and water baptism in Christ (Mat. 19:14).
(g) Establish your children in a spiritual assembly where God’s Word is proclaimed, His righteous standards honored, and the Holy Spirit is manifested. Teach them to follow the principle: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee” (Ps. 119:63; see Acts 12:5).
(h) Encourage your children to remain separated from the world and to witness and work for God (2 Cor. 6:14 - 7:1; Jas. 4:4). Teach them that they are strangers and pilgrims upon this earth (Heb. 11:13-16), that their real home and citizenship is in heaven with Christ (Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1-3).
(I) Instruct them in the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5,8; 2:4,39).
(j) Teach your children that God loves them and has a specific purpose for their lives (Luke 1:13-17; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Pet. 1:3-9).
(k) Instruct your children daily in the sacred Scriptures, both in conversation and family devotions (Deut. 4:9; 6:5-7; 1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 3:15).
(l) Through example and exhortation, encourage your children to live lives devoted to prayer (Acts 6:4; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Jas. 5:16).
(m) Prepare your children to suffer and endure persecution for the sake of righteousness (Mat. 5:10-12). They must know “all that will live a godly life in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).
(n) Lift your children up to God by constant and fervent intercession (Eph. 6:18; Jas. 5:16-18; see John 17:1—Jesus’ prayer for His disciples as a model of the parents’ prayer for their children).
(o) Have such love and concern for your children that you would be willing to pour out your life as if it were a sacrifice unto the Lord, in order to deepen their faith and make their lives what they should be in the Lord (see Phil. 2:17).
* * *
Now tell me, you boo-hoo parents, have you done the above? Are you really in full agreement with the above? If so, we can all be friends and family.
—General James Green
If you have any comments or replies, please send them to me at the following address:
General James Green
P.O. Box 90, Berino, NM 88024
or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to us:
HC 60, BOX 11
FENCE LAKE, NM 87315