Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cue the Family Drama

So, the news of my brother J's upcoming proposal has brought up some old, painful, family drama. :-/ J even mentioned it specifically during his phone call today.

A bit of background. For those of you keeping track, there are 4 Moderate sons; in order from eldest to youngest: S, Joe, T, and J. Next month (October 2009) will mark an unhappy anniversary--3 years since I've seen or been in contact with my next-younger brother, T.

Shortly after I began dating C in 2006, T informed me that he believed his God was telling him to cut off all contact with me. T cited the following passage from a New Testament letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth (I Corinthians 5):
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord...

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

From this passage, T believed he should "put out of fellowship" and "not even eat" with me because I had fallen under the category of "sexually immoral person who calls himself a brother [Christian]". He mentioned that phrase in particular to me when he called me to say he would not be in the same place as me or respond to written or electronic communication with me until I either (A) renounced Christianity or (B) stopped dating C.

As neither (A) or (B) has happened yet, I haven't seen or heard from T in three years. When I have returned to Texas for family Christmas or Thanksgiving celebrations, T has left before I arrived and spent the duration of my visit elsewhere. I used to send him Christmas and birthday gifts and cards, but the silent treatment finally became too painful. I used to follow his blog online, but that got too painful too--especially one blog in particular where he talked about his family and mentioned his parents and all of his brothers... except me. :-/

Back to the present: J is planning to propose to his girlfriend has soon as she's back from Europe and has recovered from jet lag. Granted, she may say "no." But banking on the assumption that she's gonna exuberantly say "YES!", our family is sailing into some drama.

Over the phone today, J said he forecast a wedding in 4-6 months. If T maintains his obedience to what he believes God is telling him to do to me, T will miss out on J's wedding because I will be there. There's simply no conceivable way I'd miss J's wedding (he was, after all, he was the only member of my family to attend my wedding to C; not even my parents came).

On the other hand, if T decides to make an exception for J's wedding, our family will be faced with the now-unusual experience of seeing me and T in the same place at the same time. Wow, my heart races and my emotions flare up at the thought of it--joy, hurt, elation, anger, compassion, fury, the full gamut. How would I respond if I see T again? So many complicated feelings to sort through. I dunno.



I need a pick-me-up. And I know just what this situation calls for: Alanis Morisette's masterful reinterpretation of "start some drama" as written by the Black Eyed Peas:
You can look but you can't touch it,
If you touch it I'ma start some drama,
You don't want no drama,
No, no drama, no, no, no, no drama
Take it away, Alanis :-)

(you gotta click to see the video; I searched for ~30 minutes. Doesn't seem any site will allow embedding of this video)


Breten said...

Hey Joe! Sorry to hear about the family drama. Weddings are supposed to be fun, not all weird and painful. Bah. I am glad to hear about J getting married though.

I clicked on the video, but it was Alanis' version of "my humps"..was that the right song? I love that video too!

I am still waiting with bated breath to hear about your parents reaction to BTG!

Breten said...

It's also funny you mentioned 1 Cor 5 in this post, I just did 2 posts on my take on that passage this week. If you haven't seen it yet check it out.

Pomoprophet said...

1) everytime I think about what T has done and is doing I get so angry. For you and for your family and for the religion that makes people think that is the right thing to do and for anyone who has had to go through such an experience.

2) You've been a busy blogger tonight!

3) I can't believe your youngest brother is getting engaged! He seemed so young when I saw him at your wedding! Yesh!

D.J. Free! said...

OMG! Give my heartfelt congratulations to J!!! :D

Selly said...

A few minutes ago, I sent a message to your husband and Phil about how thanks to them I still have "my humps" stuck in my head. They kept singing it yesterday when they were seeing me off.

And now it isn't going away anytime soon.

As for T issues, I hope they will be well soon.