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|NASB||Exodus 22:8 "If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges, to determine whether he laid his hands on his neighbor's property.|
|Exodus 22:8 "If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall appear before the judges [who act in God's name], to determine whether or not he had stolen his neighbor's goods.|
|Bible Question: 18 year old son living at home stole from mother's purse, taking all of family's money from savings. Men's group I belong to raised the question how should parents respond. I asked for bible scriptural support for their actions. Question is should parent be the one to turn their child over to police ? Is there scriptural support for doing so ?|
Bible Answer: Dear Marqueesign,
You asked for Scriptural support. I've attempted to provide it below, fully realizing that this is a difficult and painful experience for the parents.
This is not a child, but an adult, both in the eyes of Scripture and our own cultural laws. Furthermore, this young man has dishonored his parents in addition to proving himself a thief. He clearly is not a believer. Consequently, the law must come bear upon him in order that it might do its work (Romans 7:7). Protecting him from the police, by not reporting the crime, would be interfering with the instructive work of the law. In other words, it would not be an act of loving mercy. Scripture tells us that withholding punishment may even be construed as failing to love the son (Proverbs 13:24). In addition, interfering with the proper consequences might be considered as a tacit repudiation of the righteousness of the law, making the parent complicit with the act of thievery (Proverbs 29:24; Romans 13:2). If restitution is not immediately and promptly possible, then the authorities -- ministering by God's explicit decree (Romans 13:1) -- will work to deal appropriately with the situation (Romans 13:4). Who knows but that without this strict approach, the young man may continue to lack a deep and proper understanding of his sin and need for a savior.
Those who read your question will accompany me in prayer for all involved.
In Him, Doc
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