191 - Part 1
THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY AND THE INDIVIDUAL

The Following Message Has Been Transcribed And Edited For Clarity, Continuity Of Thought, And Punctuation By The LEM Transcribing & Editing Team.

 

Let me talk about what is going on here. Those of us who have been in the Church for years have heard a lot about the new family that is in Christ, but we have not seen very much of it. What we are seeing, is a lot of people in the church, that we really do not care that much about. There has not been much closeness in the family of God, and the primary obligation has been to the natural family. Not that, that is wrong, but the Bible talks about a new blood line, a new family in Christ. Every time someone has tried it, however, it has turned into a cult, and it brought disaster upon people. Can anybody not see what I am talking about?

What we see happening here is that whoever is going through this right now, if it is you, is that God is ripping you out of a tight family situation, and you are very upset. These people's way of thinking...I guess they cannot believe you are here of your own accord, and they think that I am doing something, so all of this rage comes against me, but I did not even know that you were...did I say anything about stopping celebrating Christmas this year? I did not even talk to you about it, I never even talked to you about it. That certainly is not me.

Even going to Nigeria, you were the one that wanted to go. I did not encourage you or push in any way. I was perfectly willing to go by myself, but they cannot believe it, they cannot believe that you are breaking all of these unwritten rules without someone seducing you.

That is what we are up against, and I just have to believe that God is going to get you through. It is very difficult. I went through all that as a child. I came from a very close... dysfunctional families are very close. The more functional the family, the more freedom you have, the more freedom you have to be a mother or a father or a daughter or a son, and say to your family, "Look, this year I cannot make it to Christmas," or "This is what I have to do," but the more the functional a family is, the more likely...it certainly is not independent in any wrong way.

What happens is that it threatens other people, it threatens them. It is in the unconscious mind, but it makes them very afraid, because there is a lot of fear in dysfunctional families, and the little security that they have, which is not very much, is that, "Everybody stick together, and nobody move, and nobody make any changes, and maybe we will be safe."

Frequently, this is unconscious. It is not frequently conscious, but that is what the bottom line is, "We will set down this set of rules and do not anybody dare break these rules, do not anybody be different, because if you are different, you rock the boat, and the whole family is in danger." That is pretty much the definition of a dysfunctional family.

Functional families are made up of people that have made a commitment to one another. They have made a commitment to help one another, particularly in time of crisis, to pull together, to work together for the benefit of the family, and everyone has a right to assert their individuality, and their creativity, and to develop it to the fullest amount of their potential, with everybody assisting, everybody doing all that they can be as a human being.

A dysfunctional family is the exact opposite. Their creativity is crushed, their individuality is crushed, because they think it is going to blow the family apart, but the exact opposite is the truth. There used to be a saying, I do not know if you have heard it, but it use to be around all the time, "The true test of love is that if you let it go, it will come back to you."

If you try to possess somebody, if you try to hold on to somebody, you will crush them, you destroy their spirit, they will become your prisoner, and they will hate you, they will hate you. If it is a husband, if it is a wife, if it is a son, if it is a daughter, if you do that to them, if you crush every independent thread in them in order to hold them close to you, you will find yourself having someone close to you who hates you.

Of course, nobody understands this and, in their mind, they say, "Well, I love you, that is why I am doing this. Why are you breaking up the family?" None of this is true. It is their fear that you are breaking up the family.

People who have come together out of love, because they love each other, because they have a Godly commitment to one another, in a natural family, because it is really the family that holds the whole society together, the families take care of the children when they are young. When the parents get older, the children are supposed to take care of them. You help out, you work together to survive in this world, but to be in bondage, it can go on for generations, and then finally someone breaks away, and the whole system just goes "bananas."

When you do it, you could do it in Christ, or some people do it out of rebellion, and once in a while you get a really strong individual that appears in a dysfunctional family and an emotionally strong person that will rise up and just something deep inside of them will say, "This is not right, and you are not going to do this to me," and they wind up...sometimes they die trying to break free, sometimes it is such a trauma to their emotions that they become physically ill, and it kills them.

Sometimes it kills them, sometimes they become more or less physically crippled, then the whole family jumps in and says, "Oh, we must take care of Johnny, look at how sick he is," and the whole dysfunctional family is right back where it started again, right in the mess, and Johnny had become the focal point that everybody is clucking over, still keeping everybody in bondage.

We have a lot of that in our country today, it is a mass problem in this country today, and what the bottom line is, we have an institution and it is called the family. God instituted it, and for many thousands of years it worked, it had a function, and it worked. It helped people to survive because there was no welfare, there was no welfare state. If you could not work and feed yourself, everyone helped you until you died.

In primitive societies, if you were a woman and your husband died, and you did not have a son, they just put you outside to die, and they burned the wife alive with the corpse of the husband. The American Indian just put her out in the cold to die. There was no husband or mature son to take care of her, so the family had a function, the function was the survival of the family, and we walked into a society where that concept of family is no longer functioning and it has become, in many areas, destructive.

I am not against families, I have a family, I am not against families but in many areas, that which God ordained to cause survival has become destructive to the members.

You know what the natural type of this is? The natural type of it is cancer. In cancer, a normal cell becomes abnormal and starts to devour all of the normal cells, and we see this happening in our society. It is a spiritual thing that is happening in the society.

The institution that God started up to help the family survive is now destroying the family. Why? Because our society has changed. We no longer live on farms, and things like that anymore, and families could survive. It can survive, I am a believer in the family, it can survive, but when everything else changes outside, that which is inside has to change too.

Everything out there, society is changing, we are not in farms anymore, we are living in an industrial society, and that changes. That means the family has to flow with change, but one of the characteristics of a dysfunctional family is it is rigid, its members are rigid (not flexible, not pliant, stiff). They cannot change, they cannot make changes, they cannot adjust to the change of the flow, and they die, the family dies.

It a spiritual death to be in a family where you cannot be yourself, spiritually you die. I know cases where the whole family was sick, and there was this continuous warfare of the wills of the members of the family, and it is revealed in their flesh, they were all sick, people with four, five, six diseases. I know people like that, and there is warfare in the family.

It is really witchcraft. When you are going to obey, it does not matter if you are 45 years old, it does not matter, you are going to. It does not matter if you are married, it does not matter if you have your own life, you are going to obey the rules of the family if it kills you.

This is all unconscious. Nobody knows that they are saying it, but that is what they are saying, you are going to obey the rules of the family if it kills you! That is what it is saying.

Of course, when someone comes in Christ and cries out to God, and says, "Something is wrong with my life, I do not know what is wrong with my life, but something is wrong with my life," and start crying out to Jesus, and as they labor in God, asking Him to help them, and He starts to reveal that the problem is a dysfunctional family, and Christ goes in there and blows it apart. First of all, there is nothing they could do about it, second of all, it is not going to kill you, and third of all, it has to work for the good for every member of the family, because they are in as much bondage as the person who is crying out to God.

When Jesus is in it, when Jesus is in it, it is going to work for the good of everybody, but there is a period of adjustment that can be very painful. It can be very shocking to a lot of people, and my exhortation to everyone here who will be going through a similar thing, my counsel to you, and this is my counsel with regard to everything: Do righteousness, do what is right, do what is right, and if someone is crying out, "Oh my heart, you are killing me, you cannot do this to me," do righteousness, just check it go before God and be sure that you are not really vengeful, that you are not really retaliating, that are you doing this because you are full of hate, because for forty years, they have had your neck on a chain and, they have been choking you.

Just make sure that, that is not your motive, that you really would think to see them dead, you know, and that you just want their bands off of you. If that is your motive, that is no good, you have to ask God to forgive you for that.

If your motive is true righteousness, and you have reached a place in your life where you have said, "You know, I have done my job, I have raised five children or four children..." ...You have six here?... "I have done my job, I have raised my children," from what I can see, you are very devoted to your family, to that which is your job as a wife and a mother, that you have done it. You have taken care of them, and you have done your job, and now you want to be yourself, if you can honestly look at yourself and your motive is not vengeance or evil towards these people.

COMMENT: I did not even speak back yesterday, and when I did not tell my mother about Africa, you know my husband blasted off in the car, and was telling me that I am not thinking of my family first, who should be first rather than going to Africa. I think he had all kinds of stuffed feelings, and my family is left to be hurt and back at home, and I did not say two words, I did not say anything because...

PASTOR VITALE: Let me say this. I know it is interesting in general that the Lord brought this forth. I did not know what God was going to do. You need to check out your own motives, and you know that you just want to be yourself, and you petition the Lord and you talk to Him, well then do what is right, do righteousness. You know that in the Spirit of God, no man is supposed to put you in bondage.

What are we supposed to be in Jesus Christ? We are supposed to be free, and the teaching of the Scripture says it has nothing to do with your job, and the day that the Scripture was written, they were slaves, they were legal slaves, and we found out that one of the slaves when he got the message of this Scripture, he ran away and he ran to the apostle Paul, and Paul sent him back to his master, and he said, "It does not matter that your physical body is sold to this person, your spirit is free in Christ, and no man can put your spirit in bondage, no one can tie up your soul like that when you are in Christ."

In this day and age, no one is a slave today. Spiritual slavery does exist, but we do not own people. To say that I want to be myself apart, because there is nothing wrong with being part of the family, that is a good thing to be part of the group, but when we have a need to be an individual, to go away and be an individual, and then come back, we are allowed to be an individual that is part of the group.

We do not have to be all group and no individual because that is not healthy, and the result of it is great rage, great intense rage, which brings destruction into our own lives and brings destruction into the lives of our family. If go through this as a young child, and you try to get married, you take that rage right into your marriage, you take that rage into your friendships, you take that rage into your career, everywhere you go until Jesus Christ breaks that bondage because it is a spiritual yoke that is on your neck.

There are a lot of people that grow up with this. They think, "Well, I am getting out of this, you know, I am 18, I am 20 years old, I am leaving New York, I am going to the other side of the country, I am going to California," but it is a spiritual bondage. There is no place you can run. You can run to China, and it is a spiritual bondage that only Jesus Christ can break off of you, and you need to have those spiritual chains that you come out of the family line with taken off. Most of it is inherited.

If you are a person that has spiritual chains on you, only Jesus Christ can break them off of you, or they are going to follow you your whole life, and you are going to be walking in big chains, big chains just dragging behind you, anchored to your feet, anchored to your arms, with a big chain around your neck.

This is not just me. Modern psychiatry will tell you the same thing, and the difference between psychiatry and the Lord is this. Psychiatry cannot help you. Psychiatry can help the individual, not all the time, but have some measure of success in breaking you free, but it is just for this lifetime. When you do it in God, it sets the whole family free and any children that you may have, and when you go to a psychiatrist because you cannot stand it anymore, I hope you will break free from the family.

The family in dysfunction is a sickness, it is an emotional sickness, but when Christ does it, the healing not only comes to you, it goes to every member of your family and all of the offspring in the next future generations coming.

If the best you could do is a psychiatrist, great, but Christ is better, Christ is better, because the healing touches everybody.

COMMENT: Can I ask you something? I use to go this psychologist that had meetings where we sat around and talked about whatever subject was that night, and she had a whole subject on control. What is your definition of control?

PASTOR VITALE: When you control somebody, now these qualities overlap, human qualities are continuously overlapping, and one of things that we are being taught here is to separate. Can you get angry, when that anger becomes rage or malice? God wants us to deal with it before it becomes rage or malice.

Rigidity, as I perceive it, only harms the person who is rigid. Rigidity causes the person to try to control you. It is control and witchcraft, but rigidity in itself means that you cannot change, you are inflexible. This chair is rigid, I cannot take this chair and bend it into another shape. To be rigid means you get an idea...and I will give you a perfect example of this.

You, all of a sudden, open your eyes, you find yourself in this house, it is winter time out, and the heat is blasting. You have never lived here before, and you just appeared, and the seasons go by outside and, all of a sudden, it is summertime outside, but you know that the person who lived in this house told you that the heat has to be on because it is in the middle of the winter, and it will get cold and the pipes will break if you do not have the heat on, but they did not tell you that four months later, or five months later, that the summertime is coming, and you say, "Oh no, the heat has to be on, the pipes will break, and we cannot have the pipes breaking."

That is an extreme example, but we have people in this world who are like this. They hurt themselves, and they hurt the people that they have authority over, but it is not a control spirit, it is self destructive.

COMMENT: They said something like it was family line rigidity, this is the way grandmother did it, and everybody and my mom did it, and this is the way I am going to do it, and they pass it on to their child, and they will not change in anything, religion, everything has got to be the same. Is that rigidity?

PASTOR VITALE: You know, I do deviate from the psychologists in some areas, and all that I would say to that is, if a parent says to their five year old child, "I have been protestant, my mother was a protestant, your grandmother was a protestant, your great grandmother was a protestant, and your education will be protestant," I do not perceive that to be rigid.

I perceive that to make sense, to be honorable, but if the child grows up and becomes 18, and he does everything a parent has required, and he goes through all of the studies, goes to church every Sunday until he is 18 years old, and then he says, "Mom and dad, I appreciate that you really tried to give me a religious background, but I do not believe this, and I am not going to church anymore, and I am not going to be a protestant anymore." At that point, if they throw him out of the family, they are being rigid. Do you understand what I am saying?

At the point that they no longer have authority over you, and if they cannot let go of you, they have a problem. Do you see the difference? Nothing is cut and dried, nothing is black and white. If someone answers your question, it is "Under this circumstance the answer is this, and under that circumstance the answer is this," people cannot be...they want to, but it is ungodly to be trying to control people.

There is such a thing as Godly control. If you have a five year old child, and you are crossing the highway, and he does not want to hold your hand, then that is tough. Where was I the other day? I was in this place, and a mother was trying to put a snowsuit on this little kid who could not have been more than two or three years old, and she was screaming her head off, and she did not want it. You know children do not like wearing snowsuits or hats. You cannot let your child go out in the street without being dressed properly, they will get sick and they will die.

There is a Godly control. Even when a person is an adult, I believe, under certain circumstances, if you see someone standing there with a razor, and they are about to slash their wrist, then I think it is sort of ridiculous to say, "I cannot be controlling anybody," and let them do it. No, you should stop them. There is such a thing as a Godly control, and man gets into trouble deciding which is a Godly control.

If you are making this judgment of what is a Godly control, it is a real problem because even if we could write up a list of, "This is a Godly control and this is a Godly control, and this is a Godly control, and this is not, and this is not," even if you were to write up a list, the bottom line is that every situation requires a judgment to be made, and as soon as we are... now that is creativity, to be able to make a judgment.

First, you have to evaluate the situation, you have decide what is really happening, you have decide what your motive is. Do you want to control them, or it is the righteous thing to do to save their life? All of these are decisions that have to be made.

We get into creativity of the individual at the moment, and that is when we get into trouble. The only time it works, to give people that kind of treatment, is when God is an overriding factor in their life. When they have a relationship with God, and He is present with them when they go to sleep at night, He is present with them when they wake up in the morning, you have to believe that in a moment of crisis, God is with you, and you do what you feel is right, and you do it.

COMMENT: Rigidity is not being able to change, right? Basically? Can it have to do with habits, like say, you have to do such and such because that is your way of doing it, is that rigidity?

PASTOR VITALE: Rigidity could be compulsive eating. They all overlap, they all overlap, you know.

COMMENT: Can it be also called strictness?

PASTOR VITALE: Strictness. No, strictness is not a malfunction. I believe in strictness. I am very strict. There are certain rules that I will make a judgment that these are Godly rules, and I expect them to be kept. I am strict with myself, and there is nothing wrong with strictness.

Rigidity is when you have the rule, for example, that says, the child must go to bed at 7:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. is your bedtime, and then at five til 7:00 p.m., Grandma and Grandpa knock on the door that the kid has not seen in two years, and they come with an arm full of presents, and you say, "Sorry kid, it is 7:00 p.m., it is your bedtime." That is sick to do that to a child! Do you see the difference?

There is nothing wrong with being strict, but you have to be able to break the rule when the situation calls for it.

COMMENT: What you are saying is in pretty much extreme cases, right?

PASTOR VITALE: Yes, strictness is good for you. It builds discipline, it is healthy to be raised in a strict, discipline atmosphere with love.

COMMENT: You said I was in a strict atmosphere.

PASTOR VITALE: Yes, from what you told me.

COMMENT: You said some of it was not so good.

PASTOR VITALE: All that I know is what I hear of some of the other things that you tell me, I know that something had to go wrong.

COMMENT: I know that even today though, I have not heard my mom say anything like what you believe now. I want you to know I am totally against that. I do not remember her saying anything like that. She says that is wrong if I start a conversation and say Lucifer was not Satan, and she will say, "No, that is not true, I will show you in the Bible right now, Lucifer was Satan," and she will talk about it, but I have never heard her really push it on me, like, "You are deceived, blah, blah, blah, you better get out of this, and you better come home," she has never done that to me. Whatever is going on is unconscious. This is what I am saying because she has never done that to me.

Consciously, one thing I remember her saying, and this is when I was going to this certain church. I was picking up some things there I believed in, and I was talking about it, and she goes, "I could never believe that." That is all she says, and she says for herself, and she did not push anything on me.

PASTOR VITALE: You really cannot push any doctrine on any adult.

COMMENT: She did not separate herself from me which is good, that is why I do not understand why I am going through such a battle with the unconscious, because she has never said,"You are in deception," you know, like some people would.

PASTOR VITALE: First of all, people change, and second of all, you never know what is going to produce any particular problem. You do not really know what is going to produce a particular problem, and second of all people change. They change as they get older, and we are supposed to change.

COMMENT: She has never talked to me like she was taking authority, saying, "You are wrong, you better get out of this."

PASTOR VITALE: She really cannot at this age, it would be wrong of her if she would. I did that once with my daughter because, you know, I guess everybody gets hotshot once in a while, and she sat here really hotshot. There was something on TV, and it was obviously occult, it was strongly occult, and she was sitting there telling me, "Well, I think it is all right and I am going to do it." I said to her, "I am telling you it is not all right, you are going to be in a lot of trouble if you get into that occult business."

Again, when her safety was on the line, I did take that strong stand, but I never tried to enforce it. I gave her a very strong statement. I said, "This is not a matter of opinion, you are fooling with fire, and if you touch it you are going to get burnt. This is not a question of your opinion, and you really do not know what you are talking about in this area of danger." Then I dropped it. She just called me the other day, and her friend was now reading the astrology charts, and I do not try to enforce it, but I did tell her strongly, but I do not go after her.

If she was living here, she could not do it here, but she knows that. She was just asserting her independence you know. Everybody goes through that, but there are certain things you assert your opinions over. If I said, "I like red lipstick," and she says, "No, I like pink lipstick," I say, "Fine, that is wonderful that you love pink lipstick, God bless you, use pink lipstick."

There was a time in my life that my mother and my sister tried to force me to use the color of lipstick that they wanted me to. They did not like my lipstick, and they forced their lipstick on me. They tried. That is not right. She could also wear anything she wants unless it is immoral. If she was living here, she could not wear it, but she does not live here, so I do not even have anything to say about what she wears, but she is a good dresser. This is just an example.

You give people freedom, you give your children freedom to the fullest extent that you can if it is not going to be damaging them. Here is the question. Is the issue for their safety, or is the issue your family rule, and it really does not make any difference whether you do it or not?

If the family has a rule that on Thursday everybody dresses in black and white, and one day someone comes in, in green, do you make a terrible issue out of it? Do you realize that?

If their safety is on the line, that is one thing, but if it is a question of Ego, or a rule that makes no sense, you should let it go. It is very hard when we discuss these things. There is no easy answer, and everything has a its own subtly, every question has its subtly, and everything is overlapping, and all mixed up. If you get into this, you have to analyze it and pull it apart, and find out what you are talking about. Why? Because once set of answers applies to this, and another set of answers applies to that, and another set of answers applies to that, and that is one thing that goes on here, I mentioned it to a few of you.

One thing that the Lord is working on here, and I am not criticizing anybody. I am telling you what God is telling me and what He wants to help you with, that there is a problem with some of you or all of you some of the time, not all of you all of the time. With all of you some of the time, there is a problem identifying what you are talking about.

If you are talking about one thing, and I am talking about something else, how are you going to communicate? All of you at some time when you are having a conversation with me, that all of a sudden you will bring in another issue, and I will say, "Wait a minute, what are we talking about here?" Does anybody not remember me saying that at some time? I say, "Wait a minute, we are not up to that, let us finish talking about this, and we will talk about something else." Why? Because what we are talking about does not apply to that other thing that you just brought in, and if I let you bring it in, what comes about? Confusion, utter confusion.

Anybody else in this area?

11/11/04rs

4/23/05ab-FinalEdit


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