—MOAugust, 1971LT No.91
1. ON THE MATTER OF SOME 10:36ERS trying to rip off their already overgrown progeny, even though over-age, by using the Scripture "children obey your parents," you'll have to remind them of the decision Caleb had to make when he was first confronted with the problem of having to break with his! He said to me in real bewilderment what they had quoted to him so many times: "But the Bible does say, 'Children obey your parents,’ doesn't it? What am I supposed to do about that?"
2. AND you'll have to give some of these cases the same answer we gave Caleb: "THAT DEPENDS ON WHETHER YOU'RE STILL A CHILD OR NOT." WHEN YOU'RE LEGALLY OLD ENOUGH to make the break, but still can't make it because of your own childishness, you'd better stick with them! But if you've become a man, and put away childish things, it's time to go on with the Lord, no matter what Mama and Papa say!
3. THAT'S WHY THE LORD HAD TO VOICE SO MANY SCRIPTURES ALONG THIS LINE when disciples were troubled about their parents, such as, "Let the dead bury the dead," and "He that having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is not worthy of Me." "He that forsaketh not all that he hath‚ he cannot be My disciple." "He that loveth Father and Mother more than Me is not worthy of Me." And "He that forsaketh Father and Mother for My sake and the Gospel's shall receive an hundred–fold in this life‚ and in the world to come‚ life Eternal." (Lu.9:59-62; 14:33; Mt.10:37; 19:29)
4. Jesus even came to the point where He virtually insulted and publicly rejected His own Mother and family in preference to those that do the Will of God! Even at the age of twelve He rebuked their possessiveness with the classic retort: "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" Nevertheless, He returned to them and with them, and WAS IN SUBJECTION TO THEM UNTIL HE DID COME OF AGE, AND WAS FREE TO LEAVE LEGALLY—after which you never again hear anything good about his family, except that His Mother sometimes followed Him! His natural flesh and blood brothers were very skeptical and critical of Him, and were even insolent toward Him (Lu.2:41-52; Mt.12:46-56; Jn.7:1-7)
5. THERE ARE SO MANY SCRIPTURES ON THE SUBJECT, time and space would fail us to give them all, from the Ten Commandments, where He not only says, "Honour thy Father and thy Mother," but also says, "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and will have no other gods before Me"—to the words of Jesus, including the ones quoted above‚ and, "SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM," and the words of the Apostles: "IT IS BETTER TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN!" MAYBE SOMEBODY OUGHT TO COOK UP A GOOD LIST OF SCRIPTURES FOR KIDS TO STUDY WHO ARE UNDER 10:36 ATTACK‚ TO STRENGTHEN THEIR FAITH! I sat down with one once and spent two days giving her all the Scripture on why she shouldn't go back—but in that case, she still went back, because she was joined to her idols! We told her, like Jesus did: "LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD, AND COME THOU, AND FOLLOW ME"! (Ex.20:12,1-5; Mt.6:33; Ac.5:28,29; Lu.9:60)
6. The pictures of those who voluntarily go back are not very pretty ones! They seldom return. Of course, IF THEY ARE TAKEN BY ACTUAL BRUTE FORCE‚ THEN IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT OR THEIRS, AND GOD WILL DEAL WITH THOSE RESPONSIBLE!
7. BUT DON'T FORGET THAT THE ROMANS ARE HERE FOR OUR PROTECTION, TOO, so that we do not have to resort to force to get justice. The next time parents or friends try to bodily kidnap a child who is with us legally, I believe you would be thoroughly justified in calling the police, for the child's protection. Of course‚ this could involve other hassles, too, and their sympathies could very likely be on the side of the parents, and only cause you trouble, if you are not led by the Lord to do so, JUST BE SURE YOU'RE RIGHT, THEN GO AHEAD!
8. OUR LAWYERS HAVE RECENTLY INFORMED US that in the State of Texas, you may legally intervene in the case of a parent who tries to forcibly kidnap a child who is legally of age, who calls for our help. We had one such case recently in which a girl was successfully delivered by some of the brethren while the parents were trying to force her bodily into their car on our property. You could suggest you're going to do so, or call the police if they do not desist—as God leads!
9. IN SOME CASES, WE EVEN HAVE TO RISK OUR OWN NECK TO HELP OTHERS SERVE THE LORD, as we have with you. So each case must be judged on its own merits, and dealt with according to the leading of the Spirit!
10. THE DISCIPLES FREQUENTLY FLED FROM THEIR ENEMIES IN THE FACE OF PERSECUTION, according to Jesus' own advice: "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another, (Mt.10:23)" ! And there are many examples of this in the Scripture, in which case you have a perfect right to OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MAN, when man uses evil laws against you, that defy the laws of God! But you have to know where to draw the line, and count the cost! JUST ASK THE LORD‚ AND HE'LL SHOW YOU WHAT TO DO—AND JUST BE SURE IT'S SCRIPTURAL and for the good of His kingdom! The Lord will never let you down!
11. You made the right decision and God protected you, stood with you‚ and spared both you and us—even though sometimes we had to obey God rather than man!
12. BUT, FOR GOD'S SAKE AND THEIR SAKE, TRY NOT TO LET THESE 10:36ERS RIP OFF KIDS WHO ARE OF AGE, WITHOUT A SCRIPTURAL STRUGGLE!
(Add a list here of your favourite Scriptures on the subject to give the kids: )