LETTER FROM A READER....

....who is in the most painful battle
with Popedom-- his own father



Matthew 10:34 (KJV) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 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.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Steve,

I just read this article again and was truly blessed by it. I am going to print it so I can read it wherever I am and be blessed. For about the last six months, I have taken a beating from my dad who has forsaken fundamental Christianity and reverted to Catholicism. Many times, I have stood in his house and had him run down my faith to my face as if he were talking to some guy down the street at the grocery store instead of his son.

I did not stand up for myself or for the faith because I know my dad would react violently and beat me down (verbally) even more, and I would react like a little child. I am 42 and my dad is 64, but I am still afraid of him because I remember his violent temper from when I was a child. I remember the many hateful, hurtful things he said to me growing up, and I know that trying to set him straight about Catholicism and fundamental Christianity would only lead to a verbal assault with screaming and yelling, and I don't want to go through that. So I just let him insult me, and walk around and mope about it.

I was raised Catholic but came to Christ 14 years ago. My dad also claimed to have received Christ after I witnessed to him, and actually seemed to be growing in the faith. Then, about 1-1/2 to 2 years ago, he completely threw himself into Catholicism. He now trashes anything that isn't Catholic and, as I said, slanders my faith right to my face. He knows full well that my wife, son, and I are not Catholic, but he plays dumb, making fun of "Baptists" and "Protestants" (I am not a Protestant; I am a fundamental Bible-believing Baptist). In my mind, he is lost (was never saved) and is on his way to Hell.

All this has broken my heart and driven me to depression. It caused me to doubt my faith and have a "what's the use" attitude. The most frustrating thing is that I did not stand up for my faith in the face of this provocation, but I know it would have been useless.

But the more I read your site (and some other good sites), the more I come to realize that it is not my job to win anyone to anything. I believe in witnessing, and I did witness to my dad quite vociferously when I was first saved. He claimed to have received my witness, but apparently it was a false profession. There: my job is done. As God told Ezekiel, our job is to give the word of the Lord, and whether they will hear or forbear hearing, they will know there has been a prophet among them. His blood is off my hands and if he winds up in Hell (with all the popes throughout history and the queer, child molester priests), he will have no one to blame but himself.

My point is that, like you, I know what it is to be beaten down by people you care about and/or thought you were in fellowship with. It hurts. I am still digging myself out of a hole caused (mentally) by my dad's slandering of my faith. I know some of it was self-inflicted because as a Christian of 14 years, I should have been able to shuck it off and/or stand up for the faith and myself. I should have had more faith in Christ and stood for Him; but I did not. But the point is that, like you, I have rejected so many of the sacred cows of the fundamental Baptists such as altar calls, the sinner's prayer, and the "soul winning at all costs" attitude, etc., etc.

I am now concentrating on getting my life right and leading my family in the things of the Lord. I am not responsible for the decisions of a 64-year-old man, nor will I allow anyone to try to make me responsible for it. Thank you for this article and all the articles I read on your site. You are a real blessing.

I will pray for you and your family as you try to find fellowship in TN

Rich

Been there, done that....

Psalms 55:12 (KJV) For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

As to this brother's understanding that he can now walk on and leave his father in the hands of God:

Revelation 22:11 (KJV) He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

My friend Art Barton would point out that it is just as glorifying to God when we are rejected for the witness of Christ, for we are giving God evidence for the prosecution of the unrighteous. It may not be as thrilling as seeing a person repent and believe in the Son of God alone, but it is part of the sovereign eternal plan of the ages, and God is delighted.

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