Question:

I have a family problem I would like advice on.

Several years ago, my nephew forged my mother's name as a co-signer on some student loan documents. Throughout the years he paid very sporadically. Meanwhile, he married and had a family. He had trouble staying employed.

Throughout the years my elderly mother has had her credit ruined and was about to be sued regarding the loan. She told my nephew she would pay it and he would have to pay her back to avoid going to court. He convinced her to send the check to him and he would pay it. Of course, he kept the money. She then had to pay off the loan anyway to keep from being sued. So, he got her three times.

I confronted him and he basically said to back off. He then messaged my mother that he was sorry he "misappropriated" the money.  I found out privately that he also had been arrested for stealing on the job. I reported him to his church elders because he was out of control and in danger of things getting worse. His mother was no help. She just screamed at me. Basically, I am now the pariah of the family for keeping my mother from further harm.

I am a Christian, I am a member of a church of Christ and my nephew says he is a Christian. But I'm the one in trouble. What they don't know is that he is bisexual and has a profile on a gay dating site. He is married to a Christian woman. I have not told anyone this. I found out after running a background check. I am so angry that everyone is angry at me, and I am no longer welcome in their lives. I am so angry and have prayed about it but I just hear "wait." I would like justice. Was I wrong? The reason I am asking you is that I don't want to ask my own preacher or elders because I don't think they need to know and I don't want to be a problem.

Answer:

It is true that people prefer to pretend that problems don't exist. That is why you find the church in Corinth didn't withdraw from the man having sex with his step-mother in I Corinthians 5. People get the idea that if someone is going to church, then he must not be that bad.

When you point out the obvious truth, you destroy the fantasy everyone is living. They blame you for making them think about things they have been avoiding. It happened to Paul. "So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16).

Your own anger is mostly due to the fact that you see what needs to be done, but you don't have the authority to make the right things happen. It is frustrating to see others make foolish choices.

Your mother clearly knew that her grandson took out a loan with her name down as a co-signer. When he missed payments, she would have been contacted. Her proper response would have been to state that she did not sign the document and then turn the matter over to the police. When she decided to hide her grandson's sin, she should have paid the loan off directly -- she already knew he could not be trusted -- but she foolishly gave the money to her grandson. About the only thing you can do is ask if she needs help making difficult decisions. Unless you have power of attorney, there isn't anything else you can do for her. Even when someone is old, they sometimes have to learn lessons the hard way.

You warned the elders where your nephew attends. From there, any action is their responsibility.

Your sister raised your nephew, so her negative reaction to you is understandable. After all, she has been allowing his decay into sin for most of his life. She wouldn't like others to point out the flaws in her family.

What can you do? Ask your mother to talk to you before sending any money to this grandson. She will probably refuse, but at least you asked. You can also withdraw your contact with your nephew. You don't need him in your life. But realize that you can't fix him or those who tolerate him.

Response:

Thank you.

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