Extended families are interesting. I grew up in a great family with my father Ross, a public school teacher who was the favorite teacher of generations of 5th-6th graders and my mom Diane, a strong business savvy Leader with a heart for helping the elderly and loving her kids and grandkids.
I never thought of my dad as famous since we grew up in a small town of 1500 in Groveland IL, but wherever we went (Disney World vacations, etc), former students came up to say Hello to “Mr Hovind.” My dad had two brothers, Mark and Kent, who couldn’t be more different. I’ve probably spoken to both of them less than 5 times in the last twenty years. One was a very opinionated agnostic while the other was a very opinionated evangelist. Many of us nephews and cousins would joke that if we ever put the two of them in a ring to debate, we could sell tickets and invite the whole family.
Ocassionally, someone mistakes me and my family with my eccentric uncles. my uncle Kent is a world famous (at least among the solo Baptist churches that lean fundamentalist and among the atheists who hate him) creationist who spoke hundreds of times a year until he was jailed for tax evasion 6-7 years ago.
I have rarely spoken to my uncle Kent over the years; and the few times we talked were at family gatherings or vacations where he was trying to convince family members that social security was optional, paying income tax was unconstitutional, and his twenty year battle with the IRS was going well.
In our few talks, I told him that he was wrong on his views on taxes and was not respected the rule of law. I told him his conspiracy talks on black helicopters and government conspiracies with not helping his credibility.
Years later, I heard he was thrown in jail tax evasion in Pensacola, Fl. He is still in prison today. My other uncle passed away this past year. No one wants to speak badly of a family member -privately or publicly, because family share your blood; however sharing blood doesn’t mean sharing views. I’m sure the list of thinWendy uncles and I disagree on is longer than the list we agree on. Over the years, I’ve tried to keep the old advice, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” I wrote this blog simply because a few have confused me with other family members with my two books coming out last July.
We can pick our friends, but not our family. Even when family members do the wrong thing and we want to distance ourselves, the Bible reminds us to love the unlovable, visit the prisoner in prison (even if you think they’ve reaped what they’ve sown) , and attempt to “restore those caught in sin gently.”
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted