January 19, 2015
What's There Left To Talk About?
Well, now, I thought. This will be interesting since we are divided on just about every level of those two topics as you can imagine. Let's see, I am politically conservative and independent; a devout Christian who thinks we are nearing the return of Christ, and believes apostasy is rampant in the Church. Brother #1, who is 14 months younger than me is diametrically opposed to everything I stand for. He's an ultra-Liberal PhD and MD, whose area of research is the study of Biogenetics. And you guessed it ... he is an avowed atheist. Our different personalities and characteristics have always made me wonder ... how does God decide to place such disparate people within the same family unit? It certainly shows that He has a sense of humor!
Then there is Sister #1; the one who extended the invitation. She is 14 months younger than the aforementioned brother. (Birth control was obviously not in fashion when the first three of us were born. How did my mother manage 3 children under 3 years of age???) Just as her birth order, my sister is kind of "middle of the road" when it comes to her banned topics. She is conservative, but not political; converted to Catholicism when she married her husband, but would not describe herself as "religious". She is very secure in who she is, having achieved her Master's in Education after raising three fine boys, all dedicated to public service as police officers.
Next in line is Brother #3, who came along four years later. He lives a couple of hours from me, here in Texas. He is also politically conservative, but an agnostic, which saddens me because the curiosity about God is there. He has sought me out with questions, and watched the highly acclaimed miniseries, The Bible, last year with the intent to learn more about Jesus. He interrupted my viewing each night with multiple text questions, and even made a specific trip to talk about accepting Christ as His Savior. Yet I have seen no evidence that he answered the knock at the door.
Last in line is Sister #2, who succumbed to the bleeding heart mentality of her college Social Work professors. Upon marrying her Catholic husband, she refused to convert to his faith, and the family attends the Church of Christ. Her particular church does not believe in the inerrant Word of God; that many of the Biblical stories are fables, and they are strong proponents of a Social Justice doctrine. Combine that with her husband's career-long association with the National Education Association (as a high school principal), and it is not surprising that they are Progressive Liberals, embracing all the political and social agendas that term embodies.
So can you see why I titled my blog post as I did today? Can you think of any subject that we could all talk about and not find ourselves in disagreement? How we view our country and how we practice our faith (or lack thereof) undoubtedly colors our opinions on a variety of topics.
And I'm sure that we are representative of millions of families across our country. Can I determine what caused so many different paths among us? I'm no sociologist or psychologist, but I believe that my father's lack of faith contributed to the failure of my brothers to seek God. My mother and her mother's faith was strong, and this resulted in us three girls accepting faith as a part of our lives. (Although I am at odds with the faiths of my sisters, I know that God can help them remove the scales from their eyes).
It's important to note that the one thing we, as kids, knew beyond a doubt, was that our parents loved us. They both came from rather sad Depression-era childhoods, and raising a family was something they both wanted. They put us first and our childhoods were filled with love. As an adult, I once asked my dad why he and my mom didn't come together on the issue of faith for their children. His response was "We didn't want to force it upon you. We wanted you to make the decision yourselves." Sadly, this relinquishment of his responsibility may very well cost his sons their eternal lives. And I think this points to a bigger travesty, as well. I am seeing my father's poor judgment being showered on Brother #2's son ... the generational curses are real.
This all points to the fact that God has made it very clear in His Word that the family unit is sacred to Him. We are to be equally yoked with our marriage partners; otherwise you see the confusion about the Gospel Message, and the abandonment of faith, just as it occurred in my family. Our family unit was solid, but it lacked the essential element of the cohesive practice and knowledge of the Word. If you allow a crack in the foundation of the family unit, Satan is quick to exploit it and divide the spoils.
So what does that say about the rapidly disintegrating family unit in our current society? The family unit no longer represents the sound and authoritative model that God established from the foundations of the world. It has been corrupted, and we now see one-parent families; parents of the same sex; children in foster homes; aborted babies ... and Satan clapping his hands in victory. When, as a society, we do not safeguard the family unity, we eliminate God as its center, and do not properly train up a child in the way he should go, then we will reap the consequences, as my family has, and as our society shows.
As of now, my siblings have agreed that we will meet in the fall, and all meet near my home. It will be bittersweet without our parents, but it is past time that we renew the bonds of our family unit. I am praying that, as the default head of the family, God will enable me to reach through the years of insufficient instruction in His ways, and that He will impart the Holy Spirit into each of our lives and adopt us as His children. There could be no better reunion than that!
Psalm 34:11 "Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord."