As mentioned previously, this article boldly states that the Bible is actually ANTI-family. The last point Pearlstein makes is based on the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. He cites passages like Luke 14:25-27, “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
He also cites Matthew 10:35-36, “For I have come to turn
” ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household”
Why the NIV structures those verses as poetry, I have no idea! That really doesn’t make for a very good song. He doesn’t cite the next verses because in them are the key to understanding what Jesus is saying, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
The Bible is counterintuitive and its teachings often paradoxical. Why would Jesus turn a family against itself? Not because God wants to disrupt family life and because God hates family. It happens because the nature of the Gospel as an identity changing agent will prove disruptive to some families as one member turns to Christ while another decides not to. Their culture was very collective rather than like our individualistic culture. They found their identity in their family. To have faith in Christ when the rest of your family did not meant to take on an identity different than your patriarchs. That would have been socially unacceptable in their culture yet the call of Christ demands a response. For those whose families do not agree they would have certainly experienced a disruption in family life. Some still find this today but it is not as prevalent because we don’t view life the same as they did.
If the Bible is ANTI-family, none of the passages he cites serve as any kind of proof of such an outlandish claim. Can the Bible prove difficult for some families to be unified on? Certainly. Does that make it’s message ANTI-family? Of course not.
God created the family for a reason… And if the “family” was so unbiblical then why would Jesus be referred to as God’s Son, or us be referred to as the children of God? “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God”… The Bible is God’s essence and loveletter to us. This is yet another attempt to discredit a book that truly can’t be discredited. And please, before you respond, look at all your quotes and put them into context.
I am not sure what you are asking there. I was thinking I did put them in context. Maybe I am missing something or misreading your comment. Sorry.
I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote about God and family. The Bible is 100% pro-family when the family is rooted and centered on God. When it is not problems happen. Why? Not because God is ANTI-family but because the family is not serving the purpose God made family for. When we miss our purpose and our identity we normally run into problems. The same is true with a family that does not value God.
OOPS!!! I misread something within your blog lol. Sorry for the mixup!
P.S. I just wrote two new blogs on my website, one about grace and one about the emergent church… Check them out and let me know what you think.
The problem comes in when some people in the church, using this text on the family, decide that THEY are entitled to make the judgement of who is holy or spiritual and then decide to separate family members from each other by using the youth ministry, small groups, whatever.The key words are ‘control’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘deceit’. When any of these factors comes into play , the ends never justify the means.We need to be very very careful here.
This issue of what is coming to be known as ‘Kingdom Building’ by some formerly conservative and predictable congregations has the potential to get out of hand. Not every church member is really happy about the Purpose Driven Church tactics.
The worry by some that the church is losing members has sparked rank fanatacism and cult like behaviors in some areas.
I know of families whose kids were virtually stalked by
some in the church when they tried to change congregations.
I was never as worried about the church as I am now. If we simply preach the word as it was written we’ll be ok. Jesus never said the church was supposed to grow huge and take over the world; to take expand the ‘Kingdom’. That idea comes from denominations, and unsavory ones, in my opinion.