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Joined: 2009/5/30
Posts: 1

 An Old Wound and A Dilemma

Greetings fellow Brothers and Sisters In Christ,

I am new to these forums and I come seeking guidance and/or answers on a topic that in my logical mind shouldn't even be an issue, but in my family, it apparently has become an issue, and a rather ugly one at that.

I lost my Uncle to pancreatic cancer in late 2006.

I remember the day he told me that the cancer was inoperable and that he had less than 4 months to live.

My uncle prefaced the news with he swore my family to secrecy so he could share this news with the utmost of respect for my sake, but what he didn't know was that I already knew as my Aunt had already told me two weeks prior.

For reasons I can't explain, from the moment my aunt told me, I felt an inexplicable urging to minister to my Uncle. My mother and my aunt told me NOT to go there with my Uncle as he was not without Jesus so he didn't need saving.

I was not convinced as my uncle had made statements previously that he didn't believe in God, but in my humble opinion, my mother and my aunt needed to believe that my Uncle was right with God so as to make themselves cope more easily with the loss that was to come.

And of course, when I did ask my Uncle if he knew Jesus, he said, "No and I don't want to!"

My intent in asking was to be there for him as I thought was the duty of all Christians one to another.

And I thought that praying with him would ease whatever was burdening him (pain, fear, anger, whathaveyou).

But the vehemence of my uncle's answer shocked me and I respected his wishes to not speak of God to him again.

But about 3 weeks later, I received an angry letter from my mother. During a visit to his doctor my Uncle said he was losing sleep because I had asked him if he believed in Jesus, and why did I have to do that to him?

She'd told me my aunt had overheard him and become angry with me as well because they think I purposely hurt him with the question.

In the end, my mother (a self professed Believer) told me I was dead to her, and I was devastated.

My significant other at the time, saw me crying. And when she'd read my mother's email, all but declared war on my mother and aunt. Emails containing profane, hateful language flew back and forth and back and forth all in the name of defending my actions but unfortunately soon grew a life of its own.

I was blamed for the exchange, for bringing my close friends into personal family business, and ostrascized even though I was content on dealing with my mother personally and my significant other had other plans.

It took 3.5 years before they'd speak to me again.

I was told that there was some verse in 2 Timothy that stated that God granted all Believers the authority to ask about another person's belief in Christ if such belief was in any way questionable.

And she'd posited to me..what answer would I have if were standing before God, and He asked me why I turned my back on the opportunity to bring a soul to Him?

Flash forward to May 26th. During a visit, my aunt blew up at me because I dared mention a friend who was part of the original email exchange those years prior in passing when relating the story of a curio that I ended up giving to my aunt.

She has emailed me with an apology, but I came to find out that both she and my mother have kept all those emails! Yet I am forgiven?

I don't think I need forgiving as I would choose to ask my Uncle if he believed in Jesus again if God told me to do it.

But my ultimate question is:

What does Scripture say about my experience? Was I wrong in asking my Uncle if he knew Jesus because it was perceived by outside parties that he was not in need of saving?????

Did I disobey my family by asking?

Did I misunderstand my responsibility as a Christian?

This has caused old wounds to be reopened and I am heartsick and depressed because of what my aunt and mother have said about me.

Please help.

 2009/5/30 4:22Profile

 Re: An Old Wound and A Dilemma

A very crushing account of things, Todd. I am sorry you have to endure such a tragedy in your life on all accounts of your experience. You have my sympathies.

I can empathize to a point with you. All of my aunts and uncles that have died always said grace at the table, went to church on Sunday with one even singing in the choir. However, none ever spoke of Jesus in any average conversation. None knew Him to speak of Him or His word except to use His Name in vain, which wasn't often and out of carelessness. They are gone from the scene now with honors from their peers. Were they saved? They believed in Jesus and reverenced Him in congregation. My answer is, I don't know. What I do know is, they were never born again. So the question for me becomes can you be saved and not be born again? If the Blood redeems and acknowledgment/confession seems to be all that is necessary concerning Jesus Christ, what is being born again to mean to be so? Therefore, from the knowledge of my relatives, who lived otherwise "righteous" lives, I have made the distinction between being saved and being born again as they seem to infer two different things for two different reasons. Obviously I want to believe that, as I well understand your wishes. In the end, this I do know for a certainty for you and I: "He will wash away all tears".

Lov'in Jesus,


 2009/5/30 6:48

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504

 Re: An Old Wound and A Dilemma

Did I disobey my family by asking?

Did I misunderstand my responsibility as a Christian?

You are dealing with a tough situation. People who have a perverted understanding of salvation do NOT like to be reminded of their need for repentance. I have a friend who was prohibited by her mom from ministering to her terminally ill brother. She prayed fervently about it and God in his mercy revealed himself to her brother in a dream! Where she could not go, God did! And somehow one needs to learn this and it is hard when this person spurns God and you so desperately want to pull them out of the fire that is sure to engulf them once they step over that threshold into eternity. (And the tragic reality is that people will choose to not meet God's requirements for salvation. Understanding this helps. God, after all loved your uncle more then you ever could.)

I cannot answer your question but I do see you have another problem that needs to be dealt with..I suspect the problem is rooted in a deeper heart one and that this incident merely exposes it. It may be a good idea to step back emotionally from the situation and look at it from God's perspective and see what He would teach you concerning it. I understand the urge to fix it immediately but when people's emotions are involved it will [likely] not happen soon, but with time.

In the meantime, look for ways in which you can demonstrate love to your aunt and mom. Be genuine about it, not artificial but not too lovey, either, as that can fan the flames of resentment. In other words, make this a matter of prayer and be determined to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to HIM - your primary concern would be to be obedient to the LORD, results are his job.

Easy? no.

God bless you...(You brother or sister?)


Sandra Miller

 2009/5/30 11:58Profile

Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791

 Re: An Old Wound and A Dilemma

[b]Luk 14:26[/b] [color=990000]If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.[/color]

As being like Christ, having no partiality, your duty was to do what God told you to do and forget the ones who contradict.
God is your judge!

The Lamb Who was slain is worthy of the reward of His suffering.
Christ deserves your Uncle.

If the "outside parties" knew that your Uncle was not in need of saving, then what harm would it do by asking?
If your uncle was saved, he would not be offended by your asking him if he knew Jesus.

The "outside parties" are actualy offended of Christ in being angry of what you did.
[b]Luke 9:26[/b] [color=990000]For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.[/color] (Mark 8:38, Rom 1:16)

 2009/5/30 12:59Profile

Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 611
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re: An Old Wound and A Dilemma

God bless you, brother:

Matthew 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

You were simply obeying the Lord, and any time you do so, and others aren't walking in all the light that they know . . . you get the reaction that Jesus spoke of:

John 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

I don't know your aunt nor your mom, and I am not at all trying to judge them, but having a knowledge of God's Word, I really fear for them. From what you have written, you obviously have a reverence and fear for the Lord more than for the opinions of others, therefore you did what you knew the Lord would want you to do:

2 Corinthians 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

It is a VERY difficult thing when such old wounds seem to never heal. When you do what you know is right, you can't apologize and say "I shouldn't have said that", because you know that you SHOULD HAVE.

Matthew 5:13  ¶Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

When salt is applied to an open wound that is oozing with false hopes, it will sting, but it is the ONLY solution.

Brother please don't be depressed about what your aunt and mother are doing. Just know according to the Word of God that such reactions will always happen when the Light of Jesus shines through you in situations where a "cover" of darkness doesn't sufficiently hide a person's false hopes.

Keep praying for them. God has a way of working in hearts. It may take years, but we have to keep the Lord in our view and not be distracted nor depressed by reactions that are GOING TO COME when His Light is being reflected in our lives.

I've written this situation on this forum before, but I believe it bears repeating:

Several years ago, I took a child into my home to raise. He came from a very unstable home and he needed stability in his life. His mom felt it was best for him to be with me. At first, I only had "provisional custody". After a few months, the mom decided to get married (to an abusive alcoholic). She had dreams of everything being lovely, and she wanted her son back. He was doing SO MUCH better, and I knew that all would be torn down, and that he would probably end up in a very destroyed state of life.

When I got the news, I came home that night, and went to my room to pray, and I heard something hitting my window outside. It sounded like 100 bugs, but it was only one huge green moth. God smote my heart. I knew that insects are supposed to fly at night guided by the light of the moon and stars, but if they get distracted by lights of earth, they get trapped, and as you have seen many times, they can waste all their energies trapped by that light, and fall dead below the light or window.

God, in that moment, let me know that if I keep staring at this problem, and "flying at it", I will lose all my strength, and I could spiritually fall. If I keep my attention on Him, He is SO MUCH bigger than the problem!

She took her son back. As hard as it was, I forced my heart to look to God through the MANY tears. I prayed much about the situation. About a month after she had had him, the "marriage" was falling apart, and he was returning to his uncontrollable behavior. She talked to me about taking him back. I told her that I would have to have full custody to do so. She said: "you get the papers, and I'll sign the dotted line". We did so, and it was a "done deal". I was able to raise the child having legal custody.

My point in all of this is that even when your emotions are pulling you back to the problem over and over again . . . and even when every conversation or every encounter seems to bring it all back up . . . keep looking to your source!

Isaiah 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Eventually your family will know that you did the right thing. We hope and pray that it will be while they are still on planet earth . . . but certainly in eternity, there will be NO QUESTION as to whether you did the right thing or not:

Mark 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Michael Strickland

 2009/5/30 13:10Profile

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