Family First, not Church

 

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When “church” is more important than family, there is something wrong.

While we should put God first in our lives, we should not use God as an excuse to dishonor or neglect our family.

I see this when “believers” give all their money to the church, while their loved ones suffer from lack.

Some pastors encourage this behavior to increase revenue, and have the loyalty to the church come before the family’s welfare.

There are also articles like this one below, supporting the behavior. It is HORRIBLE in content:

 

Excerpt:

Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church

Jesus’ focus was on the family of God, not the biological family.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/august-web-only/if-our-families-are-more-important-than-our-churches-we-nee.html

Natural family has usurped God and his family as the primary identity marker for most church-goers.

** natural family seen as an enemy of the church?

Most of us prioritize our commitment to family above our commitment to the church. This is unfortunate, because the Bible offers us a different set of relational priorities.

Unlike his surrounding culture, what is most important to Jesus is faith family: “Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’” (Matt. 12:46–50).

** while the spiritual family is important, this does not mean the natural family is a lower priority

Jesus’ call to join a new family generates an unavoidable loyalty conflict. Which family do I now owe my ultimate loyalty?

Getting Our Priorities Straight

Most of us would rank our relationship priorities like this:

God

My family

God’s family (church)

Others

** this is correct, or one could put both natural and church family on the same level

But both Scripture and Christian history reinforce the idea that the family of God should rank higher than natural family. Jesus did not primarily call individuals into a private relationship with him. He calls us to join a movement, to become part of a new family. The notion that loyalty to God could somehow be separated from loyalty to God’s family would have been foreign to Jesus and the early Christians. As third-century theologian Cyprian of Carthage famously said, “He who does not have the church for his mother cannot have God for his Father.”

*** really? We may be part of a movement, but this does not describe what Jesus taught.

Western evangelicals tend to think of Jesus as a personal spiritual trainer with whom we interact one-on-one, leading us to distinguish between loyalty to God and loyalty to God’s family. But for Jesus, the only way to relate to God is within the community of his family.

Thus, Jesus’ relational priorities look something like this:

God and his family

My family

Others

** Jesus never said this

While this ranking is tough for most Western evangelicals to embrace, it makes better sense of Jesus’ “anti-family” statements. If God and his family take priority over our natural families, the problem of conflicting family loyalty is solved. Because Jesus lived in a culture where family loyalty reigned supreme, if he intended to establish a new faith family—one which would take priority over the natural family—he would obviously have to challenge natural family loyalty time and again during his earthly ministry. This is precisely what we find in the Gospels.

** this is faulty reasoning and not true. Jesus did not have to challenge natural family loyalty.

Formed by the Family

Jesus’ relationship priorities help us understand that the church—the family of God—is not here to serve the interests of our family, it’s preferences, desires, and needs. Rather, our families are here to serve the family of God.

 

**selfish approach. So natural families sacrifice for the church, who thinks it has to do nothing for the natural family.

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While the above argument has some relevance in some cases, why would God’s family accept someone as genuine, when he neglects his family, or refuses to honor or help his parents, spouse or children?

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God’s Law trumps tradition, and man made priorities.

We see this in a debate Jesus has with the Pharisees over tradition and priorities in the synagogue.

He used an example of a young man who is giving money to the synagogue instead of helping and honoring his aging parents.

After all, he has been taught that the synagogue comes first, and his offering will somehow indirectly benefit the parents.

And the Pharisees think that is ok, since it benefits them.

Matthew 15

3 But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said:

4 Honor thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death.

5 But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceeds from me, shall profit thee.

6 And he shall not honor his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.

7 Hypocrites, well hath Isaiah prophesied of you, saying:

8 This people honors me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.

9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.

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So, according to Jesus, it is more important for the young man to honor and love his parents, and to help them in need, than to give money to the synagogue.

If he has money to do both, that is fine, but he should not neglect his parents to give money.

Giving the synagogue priority over the parents is a man made tradition.

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While some argue that obeying God includes paying tithes first, and then God will provide for family, that is not scriptural.

The tithe is no longer binding, as we are now commanded to give free will offerings only, instead of tithes.

Tithes stopped anyhow when the temple was destroyed.

Tithes went to the temple, not a gentile church.

And they were never meant as a source to pay a pastor a full time salary.

I have seen people fail to pay their rent, food or utilities because they were under pressure to pay their tithes first.

https://heavenawaits.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/tithing-for-jews-and-christians-for-internet-pdf-conversion.pdf

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And mercy is more important than sacrifice.

https://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/mercy-not-sacrifice/

So there is no conflict between obeying God’s commandments, if they are interpreted properly.

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God’s moral law is paramount.

If we neglect, and are not devoted to our natural family,  then God will not honor our offerings.

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Personal experience

I have personally witnessed a church environment that fostered the breakup of marriages and families, the church controlled the attitude toward the family that was “in competition with” the church.

The bottom line is that the church did not really care about the family in need, and the family unit was only there to serve the church with its money and time.

If the natural family cooperated with the church’s expectations, then all was well.

If the family members needed help themselves, or opposed this tyrannical church structure, then they were discarded as “sinful.”

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Important point

If family members are also faithful to God, and enjoy the church environment, then that is fine.

If family members are unbelievers, then God still expects us to love and pray for them, and help them when they need help. We are to be a witness to them with the light and love of Messiah.

If family members reject us for our faith, that is one thing. We should love them anyhow.

If we reject them, that is another thing, and unacceptable. Our rejection sends the signal that God rejects them also.

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68 Responses to “Family First, not Church”

  1. […] here for […]

  2. True.
    Thanks actually this came at the time when I was having a confusion about which should be ranked above the other.
    With this I see more meaning to it talking from the Love your neighbor as yourself that if you cannot love your neighbor which you can see how then can you claim to love God oh hypocrite…..
    Notwithstanding another factor one must not neglect is somethings we love our neighbors too much than necessary for them and by doing this, we tend to spoil them by our care which later resolves into trouble. So in order words I think it’s better to say God first in once life. From their how to balance Church Family and Natural Family would be properly handled by us. We must not let any man push us to doing what is not, let’s all individual know God and the rest would surely be sorted out for us all. Amen.
    Thanks for this.

    • Agbana

      our family deserves as much attention and love as our neighbor. 🙂

      • Yea, that’s what I mean. You know bible didn’t use family it mentioned neighbour.

        • Agbana

          true, but Jesus referred to those he loved as brothers and sisters, not neighbors.

          at the cross, he told John to behold his mother, and to Mary, behold her son. he did not call them neighbors.

          if we can love our neighbors and help them, then we should love and help our family even more.

  3. Hmm wow I love this perspective of yours, seriously, I never thought of it.
    Thanks am grateful for correcting me.

  4. awesome video, video 00:26:00 . intercessor could see in the spiritual realm, in the old time, masonic people curse the land of US. ……….


  5. Hi Marianne,

    other people send me these videos , what do you think ?
    thanks

    • i do not think that is what i want. what is your thought ? thanks

      • I noticed the Lord was not mentioned much or at all, and the ministers focused on the effect they had on others, like the one man who talked about how wherever his eyes went, there was an effect.

        the whole discussion should be about the Lord and what he can do, not what man can do.

        there might be a positive effect for these people, so there is some good, but I do not think this is from God

        ministers could be psychics….but I will not say for sure, in case God is really working here.

        • amen !!!! thanks for your observation . God Bless

          anointing and gifting should not be our focus.

          Jesus is our focus

        • Hi Marianne,

          i think many things need to be validated, your articles about the kundalini spirit is very helpful,

          i am looking to encounter Jesus not the anointing or gifting.

  6. http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=20333

    the author mention one thing , “this seeming heave as brass ” Deuteronomy 28:23,
    i could understand that , what is your thoughts ? thanks !

  7. http://www.itssupernatural.net/2010/11/01/sid-roth-welcomes-katie-souza-4/

    awesome testimony , ex drug dealer, ex-conman, ex money collector, ex prisoner …

    • who is forgiven much they love much ! what a testimony, our God is good !! He is really redeemer ! i always underestimate God’s Work, and God ‘s people, i repent, i felt God love to heal , restore the most broken people, that is God’s heart ! thank God


  8. awesome video, The Beauty And The Wedding Beast ,

    catholic ecumenical movement

  9. what is your thoughts on this ? i think it is ok.

  10. I have a question regarding to the IHOP-KC ,
    pastor sadhu and Neville Johnson confirmed that
    Catholic pope is one of the beast – the False prophet in the book of revelation , this current catholic pope push this ecumenical agenda so much !

    I have followed pastor mike bickle ihop-kc teaching for a long long time,
    But since last year, the kairos 2017 meeting – Catholics have held a ecumenical meeting in IHOP-KC ,!
    since then, I do follow ihop-kc any more , I do not want to have anything to do with catholic ecumenical movement , that is anti-christ one world religion.,

    Recently , there is home-coming meeting will held in IHOP-KC,
    Home coming is different Christian organization , they will borrow the ihop-kc auditorium and use their facility , As I know home coming is a good meeting ,
    So my question is that can I go this meeting ?
    if you have any thoughts on this , thanks , God Bless

    https://watchmen.org/ – home coming

    • i guess so. if it turns out bad , just leave.

      • thanks, yes, i think i had better to skip this meeting i do not feel comfortable to go there,

        since i saw the video that kenneth copland spoke in kairos 2017 meeting in the ihop-kc church , i felt very bad about it . honestly, i do not know why ihop-kc people could not discern that ecumenical movement is a deception , i felt very confused. many things confused me,
        since ihop-kc people pray 6-8 hours a day.
        i do not understand !!! i do not condemn them, i just do not understand .

      • other people answered,

        Be wise, understand and know the roman catholic agenda, that way you wont have to answer before God why you allowed yourself to be involved with them. Their goal and aim to bring all of christendom under the banner of the Vatican and they will accomplish this goal through interfaith dialogue and ecumenism.Muslims are already a part of the roman catholic “extended family” and that should be an extreme warning of what lies ahead to all of us. I cant see any reason to attend a roman catholic sponsored ecumenism meeting,other than to evangelize the lost roman catholics and deceived protestants attending obviously. IHOP should never sponsor such an event if this is what they have done and I dont know if this was the case honestly. I just share the truth of what I know with other believers, let the chips fall where they may.

        I agree with you on the Roman Catholic Agenda to bring all under the banner of the Vatican. I believe the union of Christian and Muslim is one of their biggest priorities. Often times when God speaks to me in the night hours I will either hear a voice or I will speak the words out in a dream. Most recently I was given a word in a dream where I was speaking about the harvest and separation. It related to how both the wheat and tares will come to maturity at the same time with the true church being a pure holy people unto God and how the apostate church will fall away including many well known names and I spoke specifically that they would join themselves with Islam.

  11. https://ru-clip.com/video/9O2EraMzXMI/flash-mob-of-over-60-a-cappella-singers-sing-gospel-song-in-chick-fil-a.html

    https://ru-clip.com/video/woQi5bV8Yv8/flash-mob-sings-at-chick-fil-a-greatawakening-revolution4christ-jesus-walkaway-qanon.html

  12. start from video 1:07:00 to 1:14:00 , 7 minutes , pastor received a scripture Number 32 ,

    yesterday’s Torah scripture Number 32:

    video start from 48:00 – 50:00 , 2 minutes

    they are the same scriptures. what a coincident

    • so what is the point.? generic boring scripture passage….not uncommon to read same picture passage

    • so what is the point.? generic boring scripture passage….not uncommon to read same passage

      • The Land that Reuben and Gad Chose numbers 32
        reuben and gad settled at the east side of Jordan,
        It is a sad thought that the two and a half tribes of Israel could not see the value of the land that God had chosen for them. That Israel was a nation of people was due to the direct providence of God. It was God who blessed the family of Jacob until they became a great multitude. Now Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, because they had much cattle, desired the regions of Gilead and Bashan.
        reuben and gad settled at the east side of Jordan,
        east side of Jordan is not promise land, and crossing over the river of Jordan ,, there is significant meaning .
        reuban and gad did help other 10 tribes to war against the enemy , but they made poor choice that is what i guess.

      • in the first video, Pastor Neville did not explain what the meaning of these passages applied to his life, so i do not know . his story is very amazing, how he received these words and a scroll which came from a burn down Jewish synagogue in Germany , (7 minutes )

  13. Reuben and Gad: Regrettable Choices
    his decision by the Reubenites and Gadites was based on their lust to have what they saw as the most advantageous to themselves.
    They paid the price for their choice.

    In 740 B.C. King of the Great Assyrian Empire, carried away the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half of Manasseh,
    Sadly the Reubenites and Gadites reaped trouble and captivity instead of the blessing that God had intended for them.
    They chose Earthly blessing instead of the Spiritual.

  14. CONFIRMATION OCTOPUS SPIRIT

    SADHU QUOTE: there are power that be who want Trump to fail. The Lord showed me there are octopus like spirits standing behind him with wiggling tentacles. There were seeking to force his hands not to do the right thing. Forced to sign legislations which are not righteous ones. If the unrighteous in the house and senate will become majority, they will force Trump to sign unrighteous things. To prevent this, we must pray ardently for President Donald Trump.

    Sadhu said he saw an octopus spirit attempting to keep Trump’s hands from doing good and signing righteous laws into place. He said he was told we need to hold up Trump’s hands in prayer every day and we need to pray the Lord will put down unrighteous plans towards the coming elections over Senate and House. We must pray that Trump completes his term. As long as he is in office, we have 4 years of grace and respite to put things right again.

    The kings hand must be upheld in prayer. Prayer for congress and senator leaders so that angels can stand with them to make righteous decisions so they will not be influenced by the evil one. The lawmakers are the movers and shakers and should only be moved by the Holy Spirit.

    Exodus 17:11-12 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

    QUOTE: “The white house, capitol hill and supreme court must be cleansed. Send intercessors who know how to take ahold of the horns of God – to pray over the White House, capitol hill and supreme court. Pray and pleading the blood of Jesus Christ to clear any evil influences or charms or talismans that are put in secret places in those areas that give open access for the evils ones to come in. Sanctity this institutions of power and legislations. This prepares the way for the Lord to visit your leaders. This is the Word of the Lord for you on your independence day.”

  15. https://z3news.com/w/dream-1111-reveals-warning-judgment/

    does this sound right ?

  16. https://wakefulnesstheology.com/2018/06/30/1111-code-mature-and-actualized-sons-of-yahuwah-2023-2025/

  17. Genesis 26:12-25

    12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.

    13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

    14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

    15 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.

    16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.

    17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.

    18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.

    19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.

    20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.

    21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.

    22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth (wide-open spaces ) ; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

    23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba.

    24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

    25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

  18. if people had dream of the sivan ( Jewish calendar 3rd month ) , the word Sivan appeared in the dream ,

    what does it mean ?

    thanks ,

  19. it look like ALex Jones channel is removed from youtube, facebook,
    dose anyone knows , is there any social media we could watch alex jones ?
    thanks

  20. start from video 23:30 , pastor talk about devil come to try to make deal with him, offer him goodies , (matt : 4) , the pastor does not accept , thank God.

    i think this case might answer the question , question why some pastors become freemasonry or illuminati ,

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