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God's Not Mad at You
“What do I do with my children who have left the faith?”

“What do I do with my children who have left the faith?”

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / “What do I do with my children who have left the faith?”

Steve Brown:
What do I do with my children who have left the faith? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. So here’s Steve and Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with street smart Bible teaching for real life.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you too.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Uh, we now give me your website again.

Pete Alwinson:
ForgeTruth.com

Steve Brown:
But if I did what I’ve been doing for you, you know, I don’t like change.

Pete Alwinson:
I know, I know.

Steve Brown:
I’m an old guy and I can’t deal with this kind of thing. This is quite traumatic to me. If I should say, as I’ve said, a thousand times. They should go to ForgeBibleStudy.com

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Would they go to the same place?

Pete Alwinson:
It would get there. Yes, it will.

Steve Brown:
But you want me to say ForgeTruth.com

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I’ll get your notes changed. That’s mine.

Steve Brown:
Do go there. That’s a great website guys. And if you, if you’re in central Florida, you can get some information on some of the Forge groups, that are meeting here. Bunch of great guys who obviously haven’t been dressed by their wives when they left home early in the morning, but a bunch of good guys, who are honest and real, no nonsense, no games, fun, but serious. And you ought to be a part of it. And if you haven’t read a Pete’s book, Like Father, Like Son, you ought to get it. That’s a life changing book. Pete comes in each week. And on Fridays we answer questions and we honestly love to get your questions and we love sitting around and talking about them. We don’t speak from Sinai, but we know more than you do, cause we’re ordained, I just want you to know that. You can ask your question anytime.,1-800-KEY-LIFE. You can record it. And sometimes we put your voice on the air, or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada,

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email your question to Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, please do. We’re a not for profit organization. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations oversee our books to make sure that we’re ethical, which we are, and were before those organizations were founded. Our books are open and we’ll use every dime, for the glory of God. So if you can help us do, if you can’t, we understand say a prayer. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer, and then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
All right, Father, we stopped for just a couple of minutes and thank you that we, as your people can always pray, that we can come into the presence of the God of the universe. Who is high and Holy and lifted up, the one who created, the one who provides for us, the one who redeems us, the one who keeps us. Lord we owe everything to you. Jesus, we lean on your complete sufficiency. Everything that you did in your life, death, burial, and resurrection has connected us to the father through faith. And we come to you. We love you. We need you in so many ways, we need you more than we even know, and we pray that you would continue your great work and our lives. And meet our needs and answer our prayers for your glory. May your kingdom be advanced. Lord, thanks for worship and how we’re getting back more and more of us to public worship together. We pray that you would keep our people healthy and that you would enable our priests and pastors and teachers and leaders and worship directors to lead us into your presence. We asked that that this weekend would be a great opportunity for the gospel to be spoken, for our lives to take a next step forward and transformation. We give you honor and praise. And now we commit this time of Q & A to you as we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, last week, um, I read the question, it was an email question and then we looked at the clock. We got so caught up in what we were doing. We forgot the time.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
So. It became what we call in the industry, a teaser. We said, listen, next week. And we’ll answer that question. So this was the question, and we’re going to address it now. In the current climate, how does one love the sinner, but not come off like we are condoning their sin?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
That’s a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
It is.

Steve Brown:
And there are two answers.

Pete Alwinson:
Ok.

Steve Brown:
If you, if that’s a pagan, an unbeliever. What do you do?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I mean, we expect pagans to act like pagans, right?

Steve Brown:
And we’re not their mothers.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So you don’t have to do a thing there, just love them, period.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. We do have do a little anger management. I think we still, even with unbelievers, we look at the culture and we get angry.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And so I think there is that sense of bringing our anger to the Lord and just say, Lord, I am angry. I’m angry at sin. Some of it is real sin. And I hate to say it and God tells us to hate sin, but not to treat the sinner like he’s persona non grata.

Steve Brown:
Now we have a different responsibility to brothers and sisters.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. How do you, how do you deal with them?

Steve Brown:
Well, I think you go with great humility, as Paul said in Galatians and the humility comes from a fact and that fact is, that we go as sinners to other sinners. When you get the idea that you’re fixed and you’re supposed to fix somebody else, you’ve got a serious problem.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
A spiritual problem.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And so we go as very human, sinful people. And we get with other sinful, human people,

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
our brothers

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
and sisters in Christ, and we help each other. And as long as it’s seen as that, it becomes something that’s good.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think the gospel of grace enables us to say, Hey, I messed up.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
I was wrong. I was too harsh on you. So, I’m sorry.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
And I really don’t want to be that way. Now, let me flip the coin and see what you think about this, because I think sometimes we are so hypersensitive as Christians that we’re, we’re weenies. I mean, we can’t handle anybody saying anything tough to us. And, I think we do sometimes need to grow up, that the gospel of grace also enables us to have a tougher mind and a thicker skin. So that when you say to me, some things that I need to hear. Even if you say it wrong, I should say, well, he’s a brother and he loves me and maybe I needed to hear it that way.

Steve Brown:
And maybe I need to do some checking. Yeah. I agree. That’s the way it ought to be, but you have to practice a bit of civility

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
knowing that a lot of people don’t.

Pete Alwinson:
I agree. I agree.

Steve Brown:
If you tell me that you, that, well I’m not going to name anything, but I’ve got plenty that you could name. I’m good on wince some and I’m gonna have some trouble. So you need to think about how you say it, as well as how I receive,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
and I need to think about how I receive it.

Pete Alwinson:
I agree.

Steve Brown:
And within, but you know, that goes outside the church too,

Pete Alwinson:
It does.

Steve Brown:
the people that are, you know, we’re often weenies about truth. Now I don’t mean, that you go beat somebody over the head who isn’t a believer, because they’re not acting like a believer.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But I think there are times when you need to speak the truth, listen, I have a serious problem with that.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Listen, I disagree with that. Listen, I’m not your mother and I’m not telling you what to do, cause I’m more messed up than anybody I know.

Pete Alwinson:
Yup. Yup.

Steve Brown:
But I still, I think that some things are good and some things aren’t, and that isn’t.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And, because I think we’re losing with this politically correct culture,

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
our ability to stand up.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Steve. You’re absolutely right. And I tell my guys this, that the gospel intends to make us bold as well.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
How many times did Paul pray, that he would be bold and ask for others to pray that he would be bold? I think we need to speak the truth, in love. And, and, and so I think that this, this is a larger question. It is time for Christians to smile and say, Hey, my conviction is this,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
in a gracious way, give the truth. But don’t be silent all the time.

Steve Brown:
And, a statement like, can we still be friends if I disagree with you?

Pete Alwinson:
There you go. I like that. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
You know, those kinds of things are so important that we learn, but don’t back off.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And don’t just fire out with the social media stuff. Do this in your conversations.

Steve Brown:
Oh, forget the social media thing. That’s not the place where you do anything except, it’s a sewer is what it is. Well, it’s not, I know it’s not, in some places, it’s a good thing.

Pete Alwinson:
A lot of times, it’s this bad stuff, that people cut loose. Christians cut loose, and we really ought to have more spirit guided conversations with real people.

Steve Brown:
I agree. Face to face.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And take the mask off, even if you give them COVID. You can’t, you know,

Pete Alwinson:
Steve.

Steve Brown:
No, no, I’m making a joke.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, that’s a joke. I had to clarify that.

Steve Brown:
Sort of a joke.

Pete Alwinson:
Sort of. I know.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Well, some days I think this whole thing’s a crock. And then other days, I’m really sure we’re all going to die.

Pete Alwinson:
[Laughing]

Steve Brown:
I just, I just don’t know. I tell you what, I want to say let’s go to our phone lines, but Jeremy who produces this program, Hey, Jeremy, you have a problem with this one, right?

Jeremy Birdsall:
Yeah, I do Steve. Hey everybody. A lady called in and had a really good question, but she didn’t feel comfortable having her voice on the air. So I’m going to go ahead and read her question for you. She says we have two adult children that are doubting their faith and have pretty much left their faith. I need some advice on how to deal with this as parents. We don’t want to be on the defensive with them, but we still want to have an open communication, without making them feel uncomfortable or them rejecting us as parents.

Steve Brown:
I have a tendency to say you can’t fix it. And so quit trying, you’ll probably make it worse. But you know what would be a good thing in that kind of situation? Would be to say to your kids, exactly what you said to us. I mean, let them know, look, we’ve got a problem here. You know, you’ve left the faith and we’re still believers and we love you more than life itself, would give ourselves. But, what are we going to do with you?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And what are you going to do with us? If every time you bring up your doubts, we get ticked. Or every time we bring up our faith, you get ticked. We’re not going to be able to pull this thing off, so let’s talk about how we can do this and weather this storm.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And I think you’d be surprised at how wonderfully open that kind of conversation would be.

Pete Alwinson:
I love that. I think that’s the way to first of all approach it, you know, and too many Christian parents think no I’m going to hammer them back.

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
I’m going to make it happen. You can’t do it. I’d start out with that gracious approach, but pray it up first before you get into that conversation.

Steve Brown:
And remember something, I know you’re tired of me quoting Fred Smith, but he said,

You’ve given your kids a compass. It points, it’s all you’ve given them and they’ll want to get rid of it. But they can’t, ever.

Pete Alwinson:
Oooh, I like that. I like that.

Steve Brown:
So, the whole story has not been written.

Pete Alwinson:
I like it,

Steve Brown:
But ours’ has. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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