Raising Your Family in Sodom – GTY

I guess that in some ways we can’t judge Lot too harshly because we are finding ourselves in the same position.

Raising Your Family in Sodom

Although we’ve noticed the steady, pebble-by-pebble crumbling of the family for decades, we’re now watching the landslide. We live in an age where society is no longer content to simply ignore the sanctity of marriage and the family—it attacks it with a vengeance. God’s established order for life has become a threat to this culture’s pursuit of sexual freedom.

Consider the global range of attacks on the family within the last decade. Back in 2000, Dutch parliament passed the first legislation in history that granted same-sex couples the right to marry. Following the Netherland’s lead were Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), and Norway (2008). Although traditional marriage was challenged much earlier in the U.S. (1993), social conservatives and moral majority leaders quickly enacted protective measures, prompting Congress to adopt same-sex marriage bans nationwide. The bans didn’t last long. Conservative “victories” were short-lived as judges began lifting bans and pushing Congress to amend the constitution. Since 2008, opposition against marriage and the family has intensified in America, taking many unsuspecting Christians by surprise. …  Read More




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15 thoughts on “Raising Your Family in Sodom – GTY

  1. This is one Christian who was not taken by surprise. As you and I have noted, BW, the U.S. is usually only slightly behind the rest of the world on most issues.

    Of course, and I open up a can of worms every time I say this, so forgive me if I offend : the truth of the matter is that the church has made such a mockery of marriage, not only through divorce, but by a blanket accpetance of the world’s way of viewing the nuclear family (egalitarianism, delegting parenthood, etc.) that we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this.

    Many who are now howling the loudest are the same ones who systematically began altering God’s design for marriage and family in the first place. After all, the Bible says a lot more than marriage is between one man and one woman. Yet people quote that like it’s Scripture and ignore the rest.

    Why are we so shocked and appalled now?

    I have been reading along with your posts lately. They have all been very good. Just (as I am sure you understand) haven’t had time to comment.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    Nope, I can’t say it has caught me by surprise either. However, I have known many in the church (as a Building where people gather) that have said well that might happen there but it is different here, in speaking of things in public schools or homosexual marriages, or any number of subjects. Actually, divorce has been such a non-issue in the church, it is no wonder that families have deteriorated. No one in the average church preaches against anything for fear of man and alienating the membership. That then will affect the offering plate. :0

    Believe me I know busy. I’m not ready for all the school related activities that are starting up. I honestly don’t know how you parents with students in public schools do it. The time issues have got to be worse than when homeschooling. At least I don’t have to get the kids places every morning at 8:00! Or remember to pick them up!

    Commenting is a luxury for only when time allows. I understand. It is much easier to read a post than to fill out a comment box. 🙂

    Berean Wife

  2. I’m glad we got out of Sodom. We’ve lived in/near cities where it was awful, and I’m glad God led us out. It is not very exciting here, and I frequently chafe at that (rural Dakotas), but the 30-below temperatures keep peoples’ clothes on at least most of the time and many of the bums out. I wouldn’t want to live in a place where I couldn’t send my children to school, or walk around in town or in a mall without seeing disgusting things, or where there was a perverted agenda. I’m amazed that Christians stay in such places. No, where we live is not perfect, since we are dealing with humans and their are worldly influences via the media, but it is not Sodom or Babylon. We don’t have to withdraw from society or stay locked in the house. We can still do normal things and also have a hope of evangelizing our neighbors, because we can have neighbors. Every time we get back from another car trip across the country, I wonder how Christians can live in such places. They have to hide out. Why don’t they come out? Is God leading people to move to conservative rural areas and they are not obeying? Something I have been recently thinking about, after our recent motoring trip across the country and wondering about. People who do move to our area don’t stay long because “there is no culture.” Who needs culture if you have to live in Sodom to get it? Anyway, I’ve made a vow to complain less about the unexciting place in which I live.

    [email protected] breathing grace Reply:

    While I understand your point, Mary, I’m not sure I can agree because the gospel needs to be preached in the city as much as in the country, maybe moreso.

    Now I recognize the risks you are describing. We live in a mid-sized metro area. Much smaller than New York, but a little bigger than say, San Francisco.

    If only single Christians lived here, it would require a whole lot of them to be able to live, work, spread the gospel, and build churches.

    While it is a challenge to live in these areas (especially a warm climate where all kinds of people tend to flock), there is a need for Christians to live in these places. And despite the challenges, it is possible to raise godly kids.

    Says she who would welcome an opportunity to live in a slower paced city….

    But not because I am trying to escape the sinners here. It’s just that the older Iget, the more I appreciate a slower pace.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    I understand the problem you voiced. It is a hard thing to balance sharing the gospel with the lost, which you must go to them. Very rarely do they come to us. 🙁 Somewhere there is the balance between raising children and witnessing to others. I think that is different for different families. So many seemingly great men of God have witnessed to the world and yet their own children have left the faith. It is obvious from Scripture that men who appear to be reaching the world while their children are debauched are not desired as elders.

    Titus 1:5-6 (ESV)
    5 … appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
    6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

    Good Christian leaders should raise believing children in addition to their work for sharing the gospel.

    We should always remember where we are living and not become too comfortable there. We are citizens of another city who should long to go home and not be settled in our temporary location.

    Berean Wife

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    You do raise an interesting point. There are many, many families especially those who homeschool who have moved out and bought property for the reason of getting out of Sodom and also to be more easily able to instill a work ethic in their children. However, sin and depravity abound everywhere and it will follow us since we ourselves are sinful and depraved. The sin issues we deal with might change but they still exist.

    We may exchange one problem for another:

    immodesty for self-righteousness

    drug abuse for chewing tobacco

    hard liquor for beer

    babies in daycare for babies in diapers playing alone in the dirt

    There are advantages to being in a rural area. We are. That means we, me and the children, could spend a whole week without seeing anyone other than my husband, not that we do. But it is nice at times. 🙂 However, that means we must be very intentional in our efforts to witness to the rest of the world. We can’t bunker down in our own little world and forget those who will die and go to Hell. We are called to be a light and a witness to be seen.

    But surely there is some middle ground where we can witness to Sodom and yet not have Sodom take our children. Homeschooling while in a larger city allowed us to have that middle ground so that a parent was always with the children when walking in Sodom. Yet, being in a rural area now we have a hard job to work at remembering to love those in Sodom in deed and action not just prayer. Thankfully we were called out of Sodom and yet we are sent back regularly with the Light to a lost world. I’m sure some have been called to live in Sodom proper, but they need to remember where they are and the effects of Sodom on the family.

    Berean Wife

  3. Yes, this is an interesting topic and one that I have just started thinking about the last couple of days, as we have gotten back from our cross-country trip.

    Yes, kids here in our rural area certainly get in trouble, too, and Christians get caught up in complacency.

    It’s just that thinking about Lot, we Christians have always been told how wrong Lot was to have pitched his tent toward Sodom, and how much more wrong he was to have finally ended up in Sodom. “Look what happened to him and his family,” we are told.

    I don’t see Sonshine Homeschool Curriculum as the answer for Lot’s wife and daughters (I assume they didn’t even have public school there and then). He obviously should have not been there in the first place, or should have gotten out long before the angels had to drag him out, leaving his wife behind.

    Some cities get so bad, like that one, that you cannot even obey Christ’s mandate to be in the world but not of the world. You just have to get out of there, because the place has a more negative influence on you than you do on it — and not just your children. Lot certainly was no witness.

    There is a time for everything — to stay and witness; to know when that is over and get out or you are in peril.

    Lot was obviously badly influenced, not just his children. It’s time to get the whole family out of these places, not just shelter the children by homeschooling. We’re fooling ourselves if we think that we as well as our children are not being influenced.

    I can’t believe the difference between where we live and the places we have recently traveled to and the places described by my blog friends where they live.

    I’m glad we got out. That was the mercy of God.

    Thing is (I’m just batting around ideas), I know loads of homeschoolers, and by the time a family homeschools, they have pretty much isolated themselves and don’t witness much, unless it is witnessing to other Christians about homeschooling. Many separate themselves from other Christians, too, who do not live as they do. They need to get out of Sodom.

    To me, homeschooling does not seem to be the cure for living in Sodom. Pretty soon the children are grown, and now they are living in Sodom, too.

    Personally, I think it is time to get out. If a Christian is called to go back and witness, because they are called and gifted to be an evangelist or something, that is one thing. But more and more I see average Christians in those places having to “hole up” and stick to themselves. No witnessing there.

    All I know is that Lot was told to leave, because actual Sodom had gotten so bad that God washed His hands of it and destroyed it.

    Guess what I’m saying is why do we feel we can live in a place that our children can’t? It will rub off on us like it did on Lot. By the time you get into the “hole up” mentality, like the Amish or Hutterites (we have loads of Hutterite colonies here) there is no witnessing for the average Christian. So why live there? Obviously, you were called out. Yes, I can understand adults like yourself going back to witness as led.

    But Lot himself and his wife should never have been in Sodom. It rubbed off on them, not just their children.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    Sorry so late, busy day. 🙂

    Initially I had trouble trying to decide what was the Lord’s will in general – run from Sodom, Chorazin or any city or stay and witness. Seems to be a serious conflict but this is what came to my mind after praying about it. Hope it is helpful and explains what I think the Lord would have us do.

    Obviously homeschool is not a panacea for the evils of the world. There are many homeschooling families that I would not let my children spend much time with. However, homeschooling has the advantage of allowing parents to be with their children and know what is going on and being taught. That is one of the biggest advantages. There is a big difference in being in Sodom along with your children and sending your children out in Sodom alone.

    Granted Lot was told to leave Sodom and we should all obey the Lord when and if He says leave. But while often the focus is on Lot and Sodom, we tend to forget that some of the biggest problems were when Lot withdrew to a cave with his daughters. He was out of Sodom and yet his “holing up” mentality is what led to his and his daughter’s sins. We are never as NT believers told to leave the world and “hole up” in a seemingly safe place; no place is safe without being in the Lord’s will.

    We are told to not love the world:

    1 John 2:15 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    Nor to be transformed to the world:

    Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    The problem is we do not distinguish between the world and brothers in Christ. When those who claim to be Christians are living like the world, we are to separate from them particularly, but not necessarily the unsaved world. Obviously there is a distinction to be made.

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)
    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
    10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world
    .
    11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
    12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
    13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    America’s problem today is that there is no distinction between the world and the brothers in Christ. So maybe we should be running from the worldly churches. Yet not running from the unsaved world in the cities, but running toward them with the gospel.

    Just the best understanding I have for now. 🙂 Hope that makes sense.

    Berean Wife

  4. Anyway, I liked the article by John MacArthur. He seems to feel pretty much the same way. We’re all being badly influenced whether we know it or not.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    I’m glad you liked the article and I’m even more glad that it was thought provoking. It and the comments have caused me to look into the Scriptures for answers. That can never be a bad thing. 🙂

    Berean Wife

  5. Yes, I understand what you are saying. Still, though, I think that if you live in Sodom, homeschooling is not enough. The children still see terrible worldliness in the stores, at the mall, at the grocery, etc. So what if you are with them; they are still seeing/hearing it. I mean, I was blown away during this recent trip to the West coast. We see nothing like that here. You can’t get away from it. If you are going to live in a place like that, you might as well just send your kids to school. There comes a time to come out from among them. Witnessing is over and it is time to shake the dust from your feet. If you have shaken the dust from your feet in the public school, you might as well shake the dust from your feet from the community itself, because, after all, the public school is the hub of any community. Why stay and pay school taxes to a school system from which you have shaken the dust off your feet?

    Lot did his worst sinning, he and his daughters, in the cave, because of the influence of Sodom in the first place, not because he was holed up. Where did those girls get that idea? The influence of Sodom. If he had left Sodom years before, that probably would never have happened.

    No, living in a rural community is not the magic formula, nor is homeschooling, or living on a colony. Nothing is a magic formula. I know that. Sin is in the heart; everything else is an outward influence, not a cause. We make our own sinful choices.

    If children cannot be witnesses in school to the other children, neither can the adults be witnesses to other adults in the same community. It’s time to come all the way out. You’re going to be an influence and a witness in Sodom???

    Actually, Lot’s daughters must have been homeschooled — after all, I have never heard of public school back in those ancient times, especially for girls. The mother was corrupted by Sodom, and so was Lot and the girls. They should never have been there. I see no reason why any Christian family should be living in Sodom in the first place. It will rub off on you, the adult. You just think it won’t.

    I’m not talking about you in particular, as you have obviously moved out of the city.

    The influences are too great for even the adults. Lot was no witness. Most of us don’t fare any better than he did. Our witnesses is compromised once we’ve been influenced, as his was.

    Once a place gets as bad as Sodom, and so many of our cities are almost there, it is given over to its sin for destruction. I don’t see where we are to sit there and try to witness. Like I said, there is a time for everything. There’s also a time to leave.

    There does come a time to shake the dust off our feet. I do agree, though, about leaving worldly churches. They are all worldly because they have been influenced by Sodom, not the other way around.

    There is a difference between living in a place such as I live, where the people are unsaved and worldly, and living in a “Sodom.” Not all towns are “Sodom.” We need to know the difference.

    I had a real eye-opener this month. I just can’t see where Christians would ditch the public school and ditch all the churches in a city and then stay in that city. Why stay? For culture? Is it worth it? If you are going to stay to witness, then get involved in the community or city and witness, and not withdraw by homeschooling and homechurching and stay in Sodom.

    Just my thoughts. I’m just babbling now. My head is spinning after our trip. It has been a long time since I have rubbed up against that kind of worldliness. I thought it was bad here. Now I understand where a lot of my friends on the blogs are coming from.

    Like I said, I’m grateful that God got us out of Sodom and I’m going to stop complaining about the boring place where I live. There are a lot worse things than being bored.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    I must admit I’m not a big city person so I really have no experience with living in a real big city, nor do I desire to.

    Of course homeschooling is not enough; it is just one of the many things we do as a family to build our children’s lives on a solid foundation. Homeschooling will do nothing without the serious and conscientious efforts of the parents to live as the Lord would have us live. We also have to be seriously aware of the influences our children receive from the church, media, other family and from what other activities they participate in. My children particularly got more negative influence from previous churches than ever from the world at large. We have since been part of a church plant, that while not perfect by any means, the parents do desire to raise their children in the Lord and not in the world.

    But I still think that at times the more blatant sins are actually the easier to deal with and the easier to teach our children about. It’s the “littler” sins that most everyone struggles with:

    Pride

    Anger

    Lack of Thankfulness

    Self-righteousness

    Self-centeredness

    Apathy

    The list can go on. But those are everywhere and we don’t react as violently to them and so they tend to be allowed more easily to develop in our children.

    My understanding is that the city of Corinth was as bad as any Sodom. While Paul seriously rebuked the church for allowing sin in it, He never told them to leave the city.

    I think the biggest issue is that we must be aware that we are living in Sodom and work hard to limit its impact on ourselves and our children while still impacting the city with the gospel. Unless the Lord specifically calls us out.

    Maybe someone else would have some wisdom to share.

    Berean Wife

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