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Minister Owes An Apology

A minister goes into his son's home and his daughter-in-law is atheist. She is offended when minister talks about Christianity. Does the minister owe an apology to them?

Moderator - It all depends on how the minister interacted.

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 ---KarenD on 12/4/10
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No he does not she has one day a year set aside for her. It says a fool says there is no GOD, her is April Fools Day.
---lamar_tucker on 1/15/11

First off, the minister must not have helped his son have a clear understanding of how hard it is to be unequally yoked with a unbeliever. From personal experience the main way to soften the heart of an unbeliever is in the loving and humble way they are treated by their mate. Finally, is the minister trying to win his daughter-in-law for Christ or is he communicating in a judgmental way? Those can all be factors to her resistence. Remember, scripture teaches we are to win our mates without a word. In other words, are they truly demonstrating the love of Christ?
---Mom_of_5 on 1/15/11

Trish: You are correct! We are to make disciples. What this minister is doing is, "beating" his daughter-in-law over the head with the Bible. She knows where to go if she wants spiritual help. A pastor friend of mine once said, "Most people won't accept Christ as Savior until they are dealing with some sort of emergency." When that emergency happens she will know where to turn for help, IF a proper relationship has been established. While I can understand his frustration in having an atheist for a daughter-in-law, he is going about in the wrong way to show her Christ as Savior. A question I have is, "Why did the son marry an atheist?"
---wivv on 1/14/11

I guess I did not make my point clearly enough. Making disciples involves sharing the Gospel, but it is much more than just teaching the Truths, it is a relational thing. Many people just share the Gospel and fail to develop a relationship with the people they are sharing with.

In this particular instance, the minister needs to develop a loving relationship with his daughter-in-law in order to win her trust so that her heart will be prepared to hear the message of the Gospel.
---Trish on 12/16/10

Matt 28:19-20 is the great Commission. It says, go teach others to observe all things I have commanded you.
Did Jesus teach the disciples to win souls? Yep! Did He teach them how to win others? Yep! Did He teach them how to present the Gospel? Yep!
Three "Yeps" outweigh a "I don't wannta do that."
The Great Commission is all about winning people to Christ.
We are to win some and teach them so they can win some and teach them so they can win some and teach them so..... Try it you might like it.
---Elder on 12/16/10

SirDent: I thought the Great Commission was to "Make Disciples" not spread the Gospel. Big difference. Discipleship involves relationships. Spreading the Gospel involves just talking.
---Trish on 12/15/10

The Word of God is an offense. It always offends the flesh beause the flesh hates it. In the flesh dwells no good thing. The flesh is emnity towards God.

No apology is necessary nor should be given. The Word does not return void.

We have been given a commission to spread the gospel.

We are to shake the dust from our feet when leaving those who refuse to recieve us. Not saying he should do this, but there might be a point and time for him to do so.
---SirDent on 12/10/10

No, the daughter-in-law needs to get saved, else she will continue to be under God's wrath, and eventually thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, and also the son should not be yoking himself to any atheist.
---Eloy on 12/9/10

Christ said "if you love keep my commandments". Yes he knows we will fall short, but that does not lessen the demand. I know my children will not do all that I would like them to but this does not lessen my disappointment when they do other than I wish. Disappointment and surprise are two different things.
---Harold on 12/8/10

\\I would rather have a lost sinner mad at me instead of the Father be disappointed in me.\\

As I've told catherine, you can't disappoint God because you can't surprise Him.
---Cluny on 12/7/10

I believe he would owe her an apology if he didn't present her with the gospel. If the watchman does not sound the alarm or warning of coming disaster, the blood is on his hands. I would rather have a lost sinner mad at me instead of the Father be disappointed in me.
---Harold on 12/7/10

A lot of energy is wasted in modern society, even among Christians, over who owes whom an apology for what.

(BTW--this sentence shows the proper usage of the word "whom".)

However, a man should always remember that he is the GUEST in another person's house, even if he is a minister and the other person is his son, and conduct himself accordingly.

And this minister's son first loyalty is to his wife (for better or worse) and not any longer to his father.
---Cluny on 12/7/10


Where is the minister son?


Is he a Christian?

Aren't they his kids too?
Does he have a say in their upbringing?

Does he defend his Dad?

Does he have an opinion at all, or has he been neutured by his wife?
---John on 12/7/10

Whether he "owes" her one or not, I say give her one. Not so much for what he said, but to let her know that his intention was not to offend her. Granted, I don't know the full circumstances, but from the extra posts you've shared, looks like the DIL's issues aren't with the minister so much as they are w/God. Sounds like she's running from Him and every little sign of Him not leaving her is getting under her skin. Encourage him to apologize for offending her, to make an extra special effort to love her and to not be surprised when she stops running and surrenders.
---AlwaysOn on 12/7/10

Trish...This was the first time they mentioned they don't want him to talk about the Lord in from of them.
---KarenD on 12/7/10

Cluny...Wow! You must be having a really hard week. I ask a question on here for a computer iliterate friend and you go nuts.
---KarenD on 12/6/10

LOL! I think that we've ALL been having a hard week.

From my experiences with answering other people's questions, the accuracy, presentation, etc. of the answers depends upon:

Whether or not I got enough sleep the previous night

If the church service was Lively, and Uplifting, or boring enough to make me fall asleep.

My stomach's needs having been met. Grumbling usually accompanies a headache and irritability. Time for me to eat something.

Still, I don't believe that the minister owed an apology for mentioning GODs name. Seriously!
---Sag on 12/7/10

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If the son and daughter-in-law asked the minister to refrain from God-talk, he should respect that, or not visit their home. In his own home, he can preach to his heart's content. Yes, he should apologize for offending his family in their own home.
---Trish9863 on 12/6/10

Cluny...Wow! You must be having a really hard week. I ask a question on here for a computer iliterate friend and you go nuts. My husband's answer to him was that he owed no apology for simply using the name of God in a sentence.
---KarenD on 12/6/10

In my humble opinion, Pastors, Teachers, Counselors, and Christian witnesses too, ALL experience this problem to some degree.

The Bible says that we will always have our "critics" as we "fight the good fight". Ephesians 6:12 and other Bible verses too. Look them up!

If ANYONE is talking about GOD, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit, and someone gets offended, that is NOT your problem. It's GOD's. HE commanded us to do what we are doing, and HE will take care of any problems.

---Augie on 12/6/10

Paul, again I agree with your answers. I do the same thing where ever I go, and if someone is offended, it is not I that is but them. I am never ashamed to mention our Lord. He is already a part of my speech. I would have to change and be of the world in order to be among the world. It is just not possible. I believe if a person is trying to witness then it is a different matter. Every believer should feel the Spirit directing him when to witness and to whom to witness to. By the question, it seems the person was offended just by hearing the word God, or Christ. That is just too bad. He will hear it many more times from others who's language is filled with His name.
---Mark_V. on 12/6/10

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karen If the minister is certin he did nothing wrong then why the question.
---paul on 12/5/10

\\Did it ever occur to you that I might be asking this question for the minister? \\

He's a big boy.

Let him ask it here for himself, or members of his local ministerial association (either denominational or of the city).

YOU stay out of it.
---Cluny on 12/5/10

Cluny...Did it ever occur to you that I might be asking this question for the minister? He called because he didn't think he had done anything wrong as he was not pushing his beliefs onto the DIL. By the way, the child is a step-child. One lady told the minister that he should apologize just because the DIL was offended by his using God's name in their house. He didn't use it in a bad way, just normal talking. Although DIL had been an atheist when the two met, they were attending church prior to their wedding. Minister had witnessed to them many times prior to the last visit with no problem. My suggestion is that the marriage has more problems than the father-in-law.
---KarenD on 12/5/10

No apology needed if he's speaking as he usually does elsewhere. Mentioning "God" or "Jesus" in conversation is offensive only to the very intolerant (who usually accuse you of intolerance).

Now if he's activly trying to evangelize, the daughter-in-law's complaint may have merit.
(I don't know why she would send her child away if he wasn't). I say that, because it is her home, and she should not have to feel pressured there by anybody.

Sounds like a better way would be to invite the couple to HIS home, or at least make every possible effort to befriend her.
Could be he's already tried that...He must seek Holy Spirit wisdom and do as God directs (I do not envy the son! Is he a Christian?)
---Donna66 on 12/5/10

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So, this man cannot enter into his son's house and tslk about the things of God with his son with his atheistic daughter-in-law around.
Who is the head of the house anyway?
Why has his son been so unequally yoked?
Why is she forcing her beliefs on the household?
Isn't this how Solomon, Samson and many others have strayed from God, marrying outside the children of God?
---micha9344 on 12/5/10

\\Cluny...The minister is a long-time friend of ours. His son and daughter-in-law are fully aware of his position.\\

KarenD, if you're not the minister, the son, or the daughter-in-law, it's not your business who owes the apology to whom, as you are not directly involved. Don't meddle.

||But, his conversation normally speaks of the Lord in such ways as "Thank God" and other comments that are part of his everyday language. He cannot even say the word God in her presence.||

Make up your mind. Does he mention God in her presence or not? First you said he did, then you said he cannot.

You can't have it both ways.
---Cluny on 12/5/10

\\Freedom of speech is not applicable in personal settings such as ones home.\\

I disagree.
---Cluny on 12/5/10

On what principal?
---NurseRobert on 12/5/10

Im not opposed to witnessing and I have encoutered much opposistion over the years.
That is not the issue here, it is can you go into someones personal space and force your views on them.

And the answer is that you can not.

What you will do is cause a stumbling block between them and God.

Remember less the spirit draws them or those who l abor without the Lord, they labor in vein.

What do you think the odds for sucessful ministering are for this minister to his daughter-inlaw.

My guess is that he is coming on pretty strong if the mother is sending her kids, his grand kids, away at his arrival to there home.
God Bless, Paul
---paul on 12/5/10

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MATTHEW 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words when ye depart out of that house or city , shake off the dust of your feet.

MATTHEW 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gormorrha in the day of judgment. than for that city.
---RICHARD on 12/5/10

Cluny...The minister is a long-time friend of ours. His son and daughter-in-law are fully aware of his position. The daughter-in-law sends her 10 year old daughter to visit friends when he comes to their home. The minister does not force his opinion upon them. But, his conversation normally speaks of the Lord in such ways as "Thank God" and other comments that are part of his everyday language. He cannot even say the word God in her presence.
---KarenD on 12/5/10

I can see where you miunderstood my ponint.

I mean freedom of speach is not applicable when your in someone elses personal home.

You cant go in someones home and do or say as you like.
God Bless, Paul
---paul on 12/5/10

This question broaches an important and re-occurring problem. I believe the pastor can apologize after what he wants to say is clearly understood.
As a person who witnesses on a regular basis I can tell you that you're going to have this problem. And at the same time I know it is biblical to encounter objections and resistance and people being offended. If you are not offending some people then you are not witnessing!!! Clearly understand this. The Bible says some are going to take offense. If you have not encountered this you are just falling short!
---mima on 12/5/10

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It grieves to even think of that a christian would apologize for being a witness to an atheist. What kind of a world are we living in?
---shira3877 on 12/5/10

I like to just listen to people...and then confront the enemy when he starts talking in the conversation. That keeps the relationship with the person open and puts the seed in the ground at the same time. I had a friend call me one day and spill her guts. I discerned guilt operating in her life and began to confront it with the Word of God. The difference in her is as night and day. Never underestimate the power of love for faith works through love. It is an awesome thing to take the keys of the kingdom and unlock the shackles of the captives. My friend, who was freed when she was born again in her spirit long ago, is just now experiencing that freedom. It is a delight to watch her.
---Linda on 12/5/10

\\Freedom of speech is not applicable in personal settings such as ones home.\\

I disagree. But freedom of speech does NOT carry with it the obligation for others to listen to it.

Nor does freedom of speech mean freedom from common courtesy.

Just one question for KarenD: Are you the minister, his son, or his daughter-in-law?
---Cluny on 12/5/10

I understand ones zeal in trying to get the Word out.

But you cant forcefully do so, it must be welcomed.

Heres what Christ taught.

Mt 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

You cant go into a personal home and do as you wish, its bad etiquette and counter productive to your cause.

God Bless, Paul
---paul on 12/5/10

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I often go to restaurants with fellow church goers. Us Christians often invite friends. Some might be Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, Muslim, etc. Whatever. The Bible says to Spread The Word.

It always seems to be the case that "No Matter How Careful You Are To Speak The Truth In Love", there is always going to be someone who is OFFENDED.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and re-examine our communication patterns, speech, gestures, etc. Are we REALLY "Speaking, and Demonstrating, The Truth In Love"?

And sometimes people get offended because what we say/preach actually CONVICTS them of SIN in their lives. For things like that, I don't think that any apology is necessary.
---Sag on 12/5/10

-- KarenD :

Sister, "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven."

No one should deny confessing the Way, Truth & Life before man by apologizing for the variance & offense the Word, which is a Sword, imposes between individuals.

"For the Lord's come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Matt.10:32-33,35

... or in this case the daughter-in-law against her father-in- law.
---Shawn.M.T. on 12/5/10

I agree with the Moderator, it's not so easily sorted. people can get offended for no good reason, and in the same breath I can say even a man of God's motives can be wrong at times.

If he's been asked to refrain previously I'd say it's possible, but without more details it's impossible to determine.
---Pharisee on 12/5/10

Unwanted communication is like unsolicited advice, it is very rarely accepted or appreciated.

Freedom of speech is not applicable in personal settings such as ones home.

If the man was welcomed into his sons home and a mutual conversation ensued between two willing participants he is within his parameters of good etiquette.

If he forcefully interjected his attempt to convey a scriptural point without consent in there personal space he was grossly out of order and should apologize.

Never do you find Christ or a representative there of in a personal venue offering unsolicited speech.

God Bless, Paul
---paul on 12/5/10

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Eph 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
Rom 10:14
---micha9344 on 12/4/10

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