Our society has degenerated into unrestrained and destructive behaviors, sexual immorality is seen in every city and within small towns: “gentlemen’s clubs”, porn shops, strip joints, with some cities having whole areas dedicated to these things and worse. One of the reasons for this moral decay is the inability to see what is happening. John Piper says that, “The social mind becomes so defective in moral decadence that it doesn’t have the categories or the framework to recognize evil for what it is.”
How did this happen? I believe that like the Corinthian Church, today’s church has turned a blind eye to what was happening, or worse, condoned or even encouraged sin to take place. We are seeing the results of this in the killing of the unborn, racial tension, and of course the sexual immorality that we see in our country.
When there is no value to life, then skin color, racism, and sexual… Yet we are all created in the image of God and as Christians we should be standing up for life from the moment of conception until we reach the end. No matter what, “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In the beginning God created them male and female. We are all brothers and sisters in the human race. Each life has value in God’s eyes and each one has a God given purpose.
If you let the world (media) manipulate you into believing other wise then you need to turn off the TV and turn back to God’s Word. There are good people of all races and there are bad. What I see is a lack of love, a lack of God, and a lack of the Church being active in the world.
How would you all feel if someone came in and vandalized the inside of the building you worship in, just ripped it apart, broke out the windows… and destroyed all that was built over the years?
Would you want to see that person thrown in jail and the key thrown away? I look at our buildings as places of worship, where the local Church gathers and teaches and reaches out from to be witness of all that God has done, or at least they should be. If your congregation’s building was vandalized you wouldn’t be able to use it until the damage was repaired… not to mention the cost. But would worshiping in our buildings matter? I mean we are the church, every congregation of Christians, believers, are a part of God’s church, God’s family, we are the temple of God, living stones as Peter says in 1 Peter 2…
“So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:19-22
Buildings come and go, but the Church, God’s Temple, is forever… worse things could happen than losing the use of our buildings.
What about God’s temple? What if it is vandalized from within, defiled as the king James says of 3:17? What could defile the Church? God’s temple the Church at Corinth was vandalized from within; sexual immorality had been embraced and as Paul states, they were arrogant about it.
But we cannot judge with an attitude of superiority. Thinking that just because we are saved and sanctified, God’s Children, that His word does not apply to us. When we practice sexual immorality with porn, when we make racial slurs, or judge another just because of their race, that is sin and it must be addressed, dealt with, and removed!
You don’t want judged on the basis of another’s actions do you? Lumped in with that individual that lives in the same community you do that is living immorally? Or is_______ so that you are called one as well, just because of where you live… or the color of your skin… or for that matter where you choose to worship, and believe me, it IS done…
Yes, the leaven of wickedness, malice, and evil must be removed. Ephesians 5:3 tells us, “but sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints,” which echoes verse 11.
And yes, we are to judge those within the Church, but, according to God’s word, with love being the overall guiding principle, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). So why hand over this person or any other sinner to the enemy, why send them out of the Church? Well one, so there is no corrupting influence, and two, so that God’s wrath may work on them and hopefully lead them to repentance.
Handing them over to Satan…This is justice that leads to repentance, to shun the person that claims to be a Christian, but is living in Sin is often seen as a little over the top. But we are to judge those of the church. Matthew 18 gives us, the church, the authority to do so. It is not the task of an individual to pass judgment on others. And as far as judgment is necessary, the authority should be in the hands of the Elders (John 20:23).
The ultimate goal has to be to restore this person to the community. Then, if what has been done does not work, then the Church should be informed. Keep in mind that a person that attends a service regularly may not be of the Church, a Christian, but one who is seeking and they need accepted not shunned, encouraged not disciplined, taught not belittled.
- Do you believe that those living immorally should be disciplined by the Church?
- Do we differentiate between those who claim Christ as lord and savior and those that attend our services?
- How should you treat those that have repented and turned from their sin and back to God and His Church?
Matthew 5:27-28, Matthew 18:15-20, John 20:23, Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Galatians 6:1-19, Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 5:3-5, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 3:1-17 (5), 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Hebrews 13:4, Revelation 2:1-3:22, Revelation 21:8