Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

To Destroy a Nation, Destroy Its Families' Code Of Respect/ Elias Bejjani

Lebanese proverb: "If you do not have an elderly figure in your house to bless you, go and search for one"
How true is this saying, because there will be no value, or meaning for our lives if not blessed and flavored by the wisdom, love and blessings of our parents and of other elder members in our families. He who does not honor the elderly in his family, especially his own parents is a person with a hardened heart, numbed conscience, no faith, no self respect and  no gratitude.
History teaches us that the easiest route for destroying a nation is to destroy, its cornerstone, the family. Once the family code of respect is belittled and not honored, the family is divided and loses all its Godly blessings. "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls" (Luke 11-17"
One very important concept and an extremely wise approach MUST apply and prevail when reading the Holy Bible in a bid to understand its contents and observe the Godly instructions and life guidelines that are enlisted. The concept needs to be a faith one with an open frame of mind free from doubts, questioning and challenges. 
Meanwhile the approach and interpretation MUST both be kept within the abstract manner, thinking and mentality frame, and not in  the concrete way of thinking and interpretation.
We read in (Matthew 15/04: "For God said, Respect your father and your mother, and If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death).
Do we have to read this verse concretely and take it merely in its verbatim content?
I posted this verse in both English and Arabic on my Face Book page and the kind of comments that it generated shocked me. Below are three of these comments:
1-"I pray that this does not apply to teenagers?"
2-"Who else would it apply to? From teenagers to adults to parents...Until their own parents die; then they weep and wail"
3- "Thank goodness because I think we would all be dead if it applied to teenagers at some point, just learning about the "teenage years" with my oldest"
This verse simply dwells on The Fifth Biblical Commandment: "Honor your Father and Mother". To grasp its meaning rightfully and put it in its right faith content one should understand that death in the Bible is not the death of the body as we experience and see on earth. DEATH in the Bible means the SIN that leads to eternal anguish in Hell.
The Bible teaches us that through His crucifixion, death and resurrection Jesus defeated death in its ancient human, earthly concept. He broke the death thorn and since than, the actual death became the sin. Those who commit the sin die and on the judgment day are outcast to the eternal fire. Death for the believers is a temporary sleep on the hope of resurrection.
Accordingly the verse "If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death", means that those who do not honor their parents, help, support and respect them commit a deadly sin and God on the Judgment Day will make them accountable if they do not repent and honor their parents.
God is a Father, a loving, passionate and caring One, and in this context He made the honoring of parents one of the Ten Commandments.
Below are three Biblical verses that dwell on the Fifth Commandment
1-�Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.� (Exodus 20:12)
2-�Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.� (Deuteronomy 5:16)
3-�You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.� (Leviticus 19:3)
In conclusion: The abstract and faith interpretation of  Matthew 15/04 verse must not be related to children or teenagers who because of an age and maturity factors might temporarily repel against their parents and disobey them.
Hopefully, each and every one of us, no matter what religion or denomination he/she is affiliated to will never ever ignore his parents and commit the deadly SIN of not honoring them through every way and mean especially when they are old and unable to take care of themselves.

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