Besetting - the influence on others?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, May 28, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks of his thorn in the flesh. In Galatians 4 Paul tells how the assembly received him, despite the infirmity of the flesh.

    Some assume by taking these two passages and consider the weakness was in the eyes; it could have been, but there are other answers that are just as acceptable.

    For instance, it is possible that at some point the stoning(s) that Paul received left him with brain damage and either partial mobility issues or seizures.

    It is possible that Luke traveling with Paul was more than mere companionship, but that Paul suffered some mental or physical ailment that obliged a physician's assistance. For instance trauma of the head can manifest in narcolepsy. Can you imagine, preacher, suddenly falling asleep in the midst of the message? That would certainly be a change of place. :)

    It is possible that the satanic assault (perhaps brought on by the recovery from stoning) could have manifested in Paul with many kinds of unsightly drooling, tics, ... of the physical nature, but also of the mental problems associated with going through any major traumas - three times. I know that Paul certainly spent a great amount of time in his writings addressing the issues of the old versus new nature conflicts. Often it is the case that what a preacher preaches on the most, they have a problem within themselves.

    I am not supposing any condition or lack upon Paul. That is not the purpose of the thread. Paul obviously had some problem that some believers did not want to associate with him or he wouldn't have complimented the Galatians for accepting him.


    What I am asking:

    What "besetting sin" or condition can a believer manifest that would prevent the believer from being accepted into the assembly?

    Can you think of any physical, mental, emotional, ... condition in which the assembly should ask the believer to no longer associate with them?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Oh, brother - I can think of a whole bunch of things that could be a thorn in the flesh of a believer that could cause the assembly to disassociate themselves with him or her.

    Assemblies are fickle, sometimes weak, sometimes superficial, sometimes judgmental in bad way, and sometimes clannish. I've seen it.


    I've seen people of particular churches turn their backs on fellow members who have -
    • had a spouse leave/divorce them
    • relapsed in terms of substance abuse (fell off the wagon)
    • had an adult child who committed a grievous sin
    • been mentally retarded
    • suffered from schizophrenia
    • suffered from Alzheimer's
    By the same token, I've seen assemblies take these same people in and love on them like Christ would have done.

    I don't think it's the severity of the thorn in the flesh. I think it's the spiritual maturity and compassion level of the assembly.

    As a side note, I find it quite refreshing that Paul - whatever this thorn was (I've heard everything from depression to eye problems to lost family members to demonic attacks) - took it as a reason to rejoice.

    Sure - he was human and I'm positive that it hurt when people rejected him and he was genuinely grateful when people received him.

    But I also know this.

    I think that there are a bunch of namby-pamby Christians today who don't know enough scripture to fill a thimble and who don't trust God to even get them out of bed in the morning and who couldn't shoulder one-tenth of the burdens and responsibilities that the Apostle Paul did and whose "spiritual gifts" include merely moaning and groaning.

    It's all "poor me - God doesn't like me - it's just not fair!!"

    We could all take a lesson from Paul. His burden was great and he REJOICED that he GOT TO suffer for Christ's sake.

    I haven't heard those words from anybody - myself first and foremost included.
     
  3. ktn4eg

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    One of the weakest excuses I've ever heard for some Christians to forsake a local church was that "It just doesn't minister to all of my needs."

    Most of those kind of weak Christians probably have never volunteered to serve that assembly in any capacity or ever tried to minister to someone else's needs.

    The Head of the Church Himself once said, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister..." (Mark 10:45) As His children, that ought to be our "Mission Statement" in our lives as well.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    We know Paul was not having sin problems by what he wrote 1Cor 4:4. In regards to your question we are all responsible for our actions as there is no temptation taken us but what is common to man and God will not allow us to be tempted above what we can endure.
    If a person has a sin problem then they need to be dealt with through church discipline and if they refuse to correct it then they would have to be put out.
     
  5. agedman

    agedman
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    I assume you do not consider Paul sinless - perfect.

    Am I to assume that you think that the only way to deal with a person who, "has a sin problem then they need to be dealt with through church discipline?"

    What if it were not a sin problem, could you consider the other parts of the the questions?
     
  6. freeatlast

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    If there is no sin problem then there is nothing to deal with.
     
  7. saturneptune

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    Here is a list of characteristics I personally would have a hard time dealing with from fellow Christians within a local church, and the list does not include mental illness, physical infirmity, addiction, a relative committing a crime, etc It does include:

    Those who refuse to learn the lessons of the parable of the Good Samaratan
    Those who do not understand the purpose of church discipline and its administration as in Matthew
    Those who will not or do not understand the Second Great Command
    Those who have a judgemental, mean spirit
     
  8. agedman

    agedman
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    There is more than a "spiritual abuse" issue when a pastor or someone asks someone to leave the assembly.

    Here are two accounts of folks being asked to leave. After the accounts the questions.


    "A couple times at a church here in Portland, the lead pastor has very kindly asked people to leave. I remember a specific time he just stood up and asked how many people had been coming to church for a year or more but hadn’t found a way to plug into the community. He then invited them to plug in (which at this church means to serve or find a home group or work in a ministry), and then told them if they hadn’t found a place that fit them, it might be time to try another church. It sounds rude, and the pastor wasn’t making anybody feel guilty—he just needed the chairs. He didn’t want to have to preach another service. The next week, there was a slight drop in attendance which freed up some chairs. I always admired that about this pastor."​
    Read the whole article here: Asking People to Leave Church


    "So last Sunday I did something that brought me some very quizzical looks from a lot of people. Last Sunday I brought Pastor Dan O’Leary up on stage with me during all 4 of our Sunday services at True North. During announcements, I told our congregation that many of them needed to pray about maybe leaving our church to join Dan in what he’s doing at Arise Community Church."​
    Read the whole article here: Why I asked people to leave our church



    Do you think that either pastor was wrong in their request?

    If not, why?

    If so, why?

    Did either pastor cross the line of pastoral authority?

    If not, why?

    If so, why?
     

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