Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gangra - Canon 15

If anyone shall forsake his own children and shall not nurture them, nor so far as in him lies, rear them in becoming piety, but shall neglect them, under pretense of asceticism, let him be anathema.

Paul wrote to Timothy that the one who does not care for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim 5:8).  The context for the passage has to do with the care of a widow.  If negligence toward an adult family member is grievous, how much more for neglecting his or her own children?

This brings to mind those parents who either do not want their children to have any Bible teaching until adulthood or abdicate their role to the preacher, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, etc.  While neither set of parents might do this for reasons of asceticism, both types are making the same mistake of abandoning God-given responsibility.  One does not do it for reasons of unbelief, while the other does not for reasons of misinformation or misunderstanding as taught by the church or from a sense of inadequacy.  Whatever the reason for the latter parents, the directive to disciple and care for your children remains.

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