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Christian Literature by Vanzkie

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Submitted on
December 1, 2013


10 (who?)
More than enough times in my life I've felt that my parents (and even my relatives) have been a stumbling block for growing in the faith due to their hypocritical actions. And so during those times I would wonder to myself, "Is it wrong that I tend to have these thoughts about my family--that they serve as negative examples to the newer generations? It's no wonder my sister is an atheist and that my cousins are downright confused. When parents act so contrary and never admit to it, it's no wonder that other so-called 'Christian' families have children who don't follow the faith."

Sadly there are days when I do feel like the only sensible Christian in the household who has nowhere else to turn to but to God whenever these things happen. After all, Jesus is the very best example to follow. So I give the Lord my thoughts. And I don't ever hold back from Him.

Honestly, there are several reasons why I am choosing to not have children of my own, and a few of those reasons have to do with my family and their injustices that they refuse to acknowledge. And the hardest part in dealing with it is trying not to blame your family for the things that are wrong with you while forgetting your own accountability. But the much trickier thing that I deal with is a matter of the conscience; whether acknowledging the wrongs of my family and feeling the way I do about them when they habitually do the wrong that they do, is...well...wrong itself or not.

Yet, what if they really are at fault? Is it your place to acknowledge this sad thing or do you act like it isn't true and just stay quiet about it? Even the bible has its share of accounts of "messed-up" families and children being led astray due to the sins of the parents. Sadly, sometimes it really can be true that outside forces have an impact on others and can lead them astray, even if it is still a person's own choice to make.

Even Jesus takes how we impact the lives of others very seriously.

"...but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

It will never excuse us from forgiving them, of course. After all, you and I are just as capable of doing the same injustice to someone else, even unknowingly and unintentionally. I've wondered myself many times if I have ever been guilty of being a stumbling block to other people in regards to their faith. I probably have been in some way many times without even knowing it. Then again, I also have a tendency to feel guilt at the very thought of hurting someone's feelings whether it could be helped or not. But it's also that ability to acknowledge our own capability to do wrong that prevents bitterness from taking root.

I know that I don't want to make the same mistakes as my family or think the way they do. Though it is very well true that my family can be a stumbling block to me at times--whether they know it or not--I do know for sure that I most definitely would rather make sure that I don't become a stumbling block to others. If there's one thing I can seek to improve, it's myself. I much rather analyze myself, make sure my heart is in the right place, and seek where I myself would be in need of improvement.

"May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel." (Psalm 69:6)

"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)

Recently I did a bit more research on it and found a few good articles. I didn't have to feel alone on the subject after all:


And once again I am taken to a point where something negative is made into a positive. Here I find myself yet again with another reason to thank the Lord and praise Him!

God bless and thanks for reading!

~ Jazzy C. Oaks :damphyr: [12-01-2013]
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InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know exactly how you feel.  My family is not really Christian but they think they are.  They think that they can live however they want and just claim the title while producing no fruit.  It drives me nuts.  I told them about my Christian Reviewer series on YouTube, a series that reviews movies, etc. from a Christian stand point.  My Mom, who I thought was a Christian, straight up told me that I was stupid for doing that and was only setting myself up for discrimination.  So, hiding my faith and not following God in order to not be discriminated against is the good way to live.  I have had to raise myself spiritually and find godly relationships in people outside my family and actually continue my series and other godly works behind their backs.  I understand how you feel.  The worst part is that I can't talk about it or anything of that sort with them.  They accuse me of being offensive.  I am alone in my family as a Christian.  I love them, but I have to constantly go against them or they will become stumbling blocks to me. 
Jazzy-C-Oaks Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014   General Artist
That's terrible! ...And ironic. After all that is said in the bible about living for God, preaching the gospel, and standing for your faith...after what Jesus did for everyone, and when He told the apostles to spread the gospel, and how the apostles carried out the gospel to other parts of the world even while knowing that their lives would be in jeopardy...and especially after what Jesus said about denying Him?

"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:34-38)

Jesus also said that even our own family members can potentially turn against us. We know that first and foremost we must be obedient to what God says. God is the ultimate authority, even above our parents, so if your parents try to force you to do something that is ungodly, you needn't obey.

Perhaps your parents are trying to protect you but don't seem to understand what it means to live for Him. There will always be people out there who will discriminate, and people discriminate for all kinds of reasons too. Hiding your faith certainly won't do you any good. Even the pastor at the church I'm attending did a sermon about how even parents can do more harm than good for their children when they try to shield them from things like that.

Curious, but has your mom or her family been discriminated before? Is your family from an area where Christianity is greatly condemned or where persecution is very common?

I will pray for you and your family.

(Can you link me to your YouTube page? I'd like to check out your videos on my spare time if you don't mind.) :)
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know!  I'm afraid that my family will stand before God and I'm the only one He will let in and will tell all the rest to depart because he never knew them.  My Mom has never been persecuted for her faith.  She grew up in the South.  She just knows what it is to be taken advantage of and does not want me to be in that boat.  Thanks for your understanding.  It's great to have someone to talk to.  Here's the link to my youtube page by the way.
Jazzy-C-Oaks Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014   General Artist
Glad to chat. :)
God surely understands how we feel about our loved ones, and He knows their hearts too. I know plenty of people who I wouldn't want punishment to fall on. Then again, how I'd desire that nobody should ever face punishment--that all will declare Jesus wholeheartedly and be saved. But God will judge rightfully. We can still pray at least.

(Thanks for the link!)
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will not give up hope ever.
Jazzy-C-Oaks Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014   General Artist
AlcyoneSong Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ironic you bring this up.  I'm going through a similar situation in my own family right  now.  Short story, I have two half-brothers, they both made professions of faith when they were very young.  When they became teenagers they moved back to live with their mom, and I stayed with my mom and dad.  Over time, they lived life the way they wanted, married had kids, and the oldest one went through an ugly divorce.  He remarried later, and created a "blended" family along with adopting a child from over-seas.  It seems like my eldest brother has chosen to NOT continue to fellowship and attend any church.  He claims that "christens don't need to go to church to be a christian".   My younger brother didn't' really do church, his mom isn't religious, and it wasn't until he married that he started to get real with God.  His wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2003 and he witnessed her faith and that of her family through chemo and surgery.  Her faith encouraged him to stop playing the selfish-game and get real with God.  

Both brothers have been through so much, one has come closer to God, the other fallen away from the fashion of fellowship and having a relationship with God.

My father's own health has been in decline and his mind is going due to the early onset of dementia.  So in a way, I'm losing my dad.  I've had to deal with that and supporting my mom as she copes with the man she loves dying before her eyes.  To say the least, our family is going and has gone through some trials.  

Yet, when I got angry at my older half- brother for making excuses NOT to come and be with his father while he has surgery to remove a melanoma, for disrespecting my mother, and for behaving like a child.  My other half-brother (the younger one), reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son.

It caught me up short.  He's right, I mean, no one has a perfect family.  My mother and father did their best, we went to church EVERY sunday, went to sunday school, they taught sunday school, my mother was very active in the children's ministry at our church.  I grew up with bible stories at bedtime and prayers.  Sometimes they were rote memory prayers, but others were real genuine prayer.  Yet, we can't control what happens to our parents.  We can't control our humanity and sin.  We are forgiven by grace, but we still sin.  

Sin isn't a measure of how "good" a Christian we are, it is simply a testimony to how vast God's grace really is.

I can forgive my half-brother, and I know I've got to pray for him.  I HAVE to forgive my parents when they do stuff that is blatantly hypocritical or sinful.  I can't rely on my family as a crutch, rather this is a chance for me to grow and rely on God to help my family.
My prayers are with you, and I hope that you can find faith to believe that no matter how or what is going on, God is bigger than it.  God will give you the strength to NOT sin, but to do right.

And even if you do never forget the power of forgiveness and that God's Grace through Jesus is vast and big.  Rest in Jesus and find your strength in Him.  It will be ok. 
Jazzy-C-Oaks Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013   General Artist
Thank you for your comment!

I'll pray for you and your family.
AlcyoneSong Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks :) 
CRGPhotography Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I definately can relate man. My dad does everything in his power to make us sin. When we were able to go to church he would try and make us get behind to the point we were so late we couldn't go. It was to the point that I didn't actually become a christian until like 3 or 4 years ago. I was raised in a Christian household but wasn't actually a Christian. I'm still growing in my faith all the time. I love your drawings and your page.
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