Presbyterians/Cruelity to Parents


What does Presbyterianism prech about cruelity against parents?
If the person commiting cruelity is an active member of your community?

Thank you in advance

ANSWER: Guillermo,

Cruelty toward anyone is not a Christian virtue.

Presbyterianism (as such) refers to a form a church government that grew out of the Reformation and which we believe to be the most biblical form of church government, specifically having to do with governance and oversight by elders, and a faithful watching over the flock.

Not all Presbyterian denominations are faithful to these principles, but of those who are, instances of cruelty within a family would be handled at various levels.

1) The first, and most often effective level is that lives are changed through the regular and faithful preaching of the Word. However, sin yet remains in people, and they may be blind so their sins.

2) A second level is set forth in Matthew 18. The offended party should speak to the party that has offended him or her. If that does not have the desired outcome, the person can take one or two others as "witnesses" not to the event, but to the proceedings. You can think of them as counselors to help work things out. What they witness is the willingness of both parties to do what is right. If these still is not closure, the offended party can "tell it to the church" that is, the church in her governing representatives. The witnesses will be able either to confirm the instances of cruelty or unwillingness to fix the relationship, or their conclusion may be that the offended party is actually being unreasonable. In whatever case, the parties would be obliged to hear the counsel of the elders, and if that were obstinately refused to the harm of the other party, further church discipline may be in order (generally in order of severity: admonition, rebuke, suspension from the privileges of membership, or in the case of a complete lack of repentance, excommunication, a removal from membership.

I pray that whatever has prompted your question will be able to be resolved without such measures.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for answer. I asked so because my brother is a minister of your church and he has been cruel and mean to our family, in special to my mother at that point that he doesnt care she is at a psychiatrist hospital. Could you tell me how your church can help me correct this situation so he behaves better ? Thank you.


I do not believe that the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has any works currently in Colombia. The most likely denomination is the Presbyterian Church USA, which is not the church I am affiliated with (I am affiliated with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church)

If you have already spoken with your brother and it has not helped, he is a ministerial member of the regional church (the presbytery). You should get in touch with the clerk of that presbytery and ask him how you should proceed.

I hope God will bring peace and healing to your family.


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Pastor G


I am glad to answer questions about the Scriptures, Systematic, Biblical and Historic Theology, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew (although my Greek is stronger than my Hebrew); and I am also glad to give pastoral advise and counsel.


A minister ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church since 1993. Prior to that I served as an elder. Former Senior Police Chaplain. College and Seminary-level lecturer.

B.A. Psychology and Theology, M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Law Enforcement Chaplaincy certification, ICPC

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