Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alistair Begg Pleads The Fifth (Commandment)

Came across this quote in a sermon I listened to this morning and thought it might speak to others... it's rich with potential fodder for thought.

“We honor our parents when we repay the love and trouble they’ve taken in our lives. The Pharisees were real bad at this stuff, and they tried to justify it by their commitment to the church. They were just downright hypocritical. They were saying this in Matt. 15—if a man says to his mother and father, “whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God", he is not to honor his father with it. And Jesus says, "thus, you nullify the Word of God."… In other words, you can’t weasel out of your commitment to your mum and dad because you’re giving to the building program at church. Don’t tell your parents you won’t be able to see them in Arizona because you’re tithing to the building plan.

Your parents are your parents. That’s what Jesus is saying. If there’s widows in your church and they’ve got children and they’ve got grandchildren, then let the children and grandchildren take care of the widows. If our churches and families were serious about this, it would be radically different. And it’s going to have to get radically different, because this system isn’t going to work. You can’t keep getting older and older and older people with less and less capacity to care for themselves and plug it up by any system except the system that God ordained.

The Chinese understand this… they’re committed to the extended family. African cultures understand this… they’re committed to the extended family. We just reject it—flat out reject it.

…Barely half of the American public believe it’s the children’s responsibility to look after their parents.

But you know what? Why would we be surprised? Do we think this is going to change? Do you think that the children who tomorrow at the age of seven months are going to be taken to a day care center, not because their dad died in the war and their mommy has to go to work, but because their mommy wants to be a “real person” and doesn’t believe in parenting and in marriage and in motherhood. She wants to be a “real” person and so she’s gonna put her seven-month-old in the care of some yahoo who ought to be staying home looking after her kids probably. And the whole thing goes down the tubes from there.

So we’ve got all these tiny little kids living in these boxes; it’s unbelievable. If you think—if we think—that children who have been dumped for the first six years of their lives are gonna somehow come through for their mom and dad in the last six years of their lives, we’re crazy!

What’s the answer? The Fifth Commandment! Given by God to Moses thousands of years ago, and relevant this morning.

There’s something sadly wrong when other cultures without Bibles are better at dealing with the long-term care of their elderly than we, with our Bibles, and our apparent commitment to Jesus Christ.

What do we do? We push people up the ladder of success fast, so that we can topple them off as quickly as we can. We don’t respect old age; we don’t respect wisdom. We just don’t. We don’t ask for their wisdom or guidance; we blow them off. We are committed to youth. We’re not committed to youth because youth is tremendously efficient or because of hard work—we’re committed to youth on the basis of image. … Youth is worshipped. Old age is taboo, dreaded, or despised. We live in a society that isolates and impoverishes those who have given their lives so that we might have an existence. This is really wrong!

…And I’ve gotta tell you, when the signal goes out, and the word is sent, and the call is made, the people who go first to respond to this are not your conservative, evangelical, committed, Bible-believing Christians. The people who go are the people with a theology that we would not embrace but with a heart that we cannot match.

The fifth commandment says to me: we better get our hearts and our attitudes and our resources in line with our convictions, that as parents we better teach the wee ones to honor us as they grow. But in our growth, we better not forget that those who have given their lives on our behalf demand our utmost commitment and respect at the end of their days. ”

Alistair Begg – “Family Life, God’s Way”



Also-- here's a little reminder that if you're interested in my "book reviews" for the 2009 reading list, I'm adding to it as I go, and have added a couple recently... here's the link.

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