When my pastor said he was implementing boundaries, my mind went to a million different places...were they right, were the boundaries sinful, am I overthinking this, why won't they reconcile, it feels like they won't forgive me when I'm willing to change. Have I even done anything wrong? What I tend to do when I look a Christian resource that isn't the Bible...is ask how has it affected people, both positively and negatively? Even if I disagree with it, is there any truth anywhere to be found? That's sort of where my thinking went with Henry Cloud's books on Boundaries...All of the supporters are those that give boundaries...there is not one positive review by someone who said boundaries were implemented and it helped them see the light...The vast majority of reviews are either those who gave boundaries...those who were hurt by boundaries, or those who regretted giving boundaries. I have yet to find someone who was thankful someone gave them a boundary.
However...I also must take into account the sad reality of the worst case scenarios...rape, murder, abuse, surely it would be wise to place a boundary on these people, wouldn't it? I frantically searched Scripture hoping that God would show me the truth. I saw some vague interpretations...such as Jesus getting away from crowds to pray, or going to the temple, to the frustration of his earthly parents, but nowhere did I see Jesus ending relationships, in particular with his disciples. I saw his teaching of going and being reconciled, which by definition is the restoring of relationship. Many people refer to Paul and Barnabas having a division, but even this, I could not find instruction...only an account of events. The only actual teaching of boundaries was this: in 1 Corinthians, a man was engaged in incest with his mother, and had no remorse or repentance...Paul instructed Corinth to remove him from fellowship, to be handed over to Satan. However...in 2 Corinthians, Paul instructs them to reconcile...to forgive him, welcome him, and comfort him, so that he may not despair..can you imagine...having to associate with a sinner who committed such a heinous act? Yet that is what God said there. I began searching all cases of boundaries...a concept which did not originate in Christian circles, but finds it's origins within mental health and psychology...boundaries was a hot button topic in the 80's, while Henry Cloud's book wasn't published until 1992. I seriously questioned a lot of his behavior...as it seems to me people rebuked his theology and he just didn't care. People told him he was selfish and he essentially said there was no way he could possibly be wrong on this; while I don't think he's all wrong...an attitude of this manner struck me as extremely dangerous. I began to decide that boundaries were not really good or bad...they were amoral...they can be used righteously or sinfully. I see Henry Cloud very swiftly instructing couples to divorce without proper marriage counseling or even discussing matters with both parties; I also read the countless hurts of those who were engaged in his ministry..he seemed extremely dangerous. Then I discovered an article by Ed Welch...and his take on boundaries really hit on a lot of what I was feeling. It's about a 10-page essay, but I feel it is quite a good read, and a much better approach to relationships with a more biblical view of boundaries. I would appreciate feedback.