Question:

Hello,

I am in need of some answers. I was raised in the church of Christ. My father quit the church when I was about two years old, but my mother continued to take me. When I was 12 my father returned and repented and is now a member once again.

My father has always had a temper problem. In his anger he always yelled at me and made me feel like nothing I did was good enough. He felt bad after doing it but never quit. He kept telling me I was accountable for things and that I needed to be baptized. When I was 16 I made a decision to be baptized. I had questions about certain things, but I felt if I was baptized our relationship would get better and he wouldn't think so little of me. Things got better for a short time but soon went back to the way they were before. I realize now that I was only baptized to please him and not because it was something I was committed to.

I stayed in the church and went through the actions to avoid more problems. About a year ago I quit. I'm 27 now and my father thinks he should not have any fellowship with me. He thinks by shunning me it will bring me back. I know that's what it's supposed to do. He says "it doesn't matter that I am saying my baptism was for the wrong reason, I was baptized and and married into Christ and cannot deny that now." He thinks the reason I am telling him this is only because I want to stay in fellowship. I know the Bible says not to fellowship erring Christians, but I never felt like I was one in the first place. My wife also did the similar thing and got baptized, so I would marry her. I do love my father despite the past and would still like to be in fellowship with him. My mother sees these problems and its tearing her up, but she cannot get him to see things differently.

I do feel if I were to come back, I would need to be baptized again. I also know others who were only baptized for their girlfriend and boyfriend at the time. He just keeps saying it doesn't matter. What are your thoughts on this? Please help.


Answer:

From my point of view, it really doesn't matter what your father thinks. My concern is that, though you know the truth, you have decided that you are not committed to the Lord. You have concerns about your baptism and why you did it. Those concerns are understandable, but what is not understandable is your decision to "fix" the problem by completely leaving God's people. I'm left with the conclusion that there is more than just your concern about whether you are really saved because if you were convinced you were lost, you would have taken steps to return to God.

As you note, your dad is following the teachings of Christ to the best of his ability. Instead of faulting him for following Christ, I would like for you to focus on your relationship with the Lord.

If you are willing, I would be honored to talk with you about becoming a Christian in truth and not simply to please other people.