Do NOT Fellowship With Believers WHO Sin?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Paul has addressed the sins of the world in Romans 1:16-32, and several other places, but here in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (NLT) he is writing the church in Corinth. A city that was known for its prostitutes and other forms of sexual sin and lust, amongst other things like idolatry, drinking, gossip, revilers, etc.


    So let's read the verses, and go from there -"When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. --->You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.<---

    I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people (we don't have to leave the world for these kinds of folks, as our churches, like the one in Corinth, has compromised itself to near death, in the name of tolerance, to make itself more friendly to those who claim to believe but still associate with sin). Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, ---->“You must remove the evil person from among you.”<----


    Points:
    1) He was not talking to outsiders, sinners. He was talking to those inside the church, who continued to sin.
    2) Paul goes so far as to say, "Don't eat with these people!"
    3) The responsiblity to police or judge sin among believers is that of the body. God is, will and has already judged those outside the church!
    4) Paul makes no bones about what is going on in the church, and he issues a spiritual ultimatium, to be rid of it! Remove the evil ones from among you!!!

    That is one heavy teaching. And it covers every sin from fornication to idol worship, to reviling, to gossip, to hate, to anger, to drinking, to cussing, to telling dirty jokes, to greed and coveting. It is exhaustive, and it is, once again, not for those outside the church, but for those inside, looking out.

    So what say ye? It is well beyond time for the church to look within and straighten itself out, so that its witness can be impecable and unimpeachable! And for me, the responsiblity starts with the pastor. As they say, the buck stops there! God will hold pastors accountable for what they knew and failed to address.

    Surely the path is NARROW, and the times will have their difficulties. The path is for growing in holiness, not for returning to the vomit, like a dog does!

    I mean, you and I were delievered from darkness, WHY in the world would you ever entertain the thought, or thoughts, of returning to any shade of darkenss?
     
  2. Zaac

    Zaac
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    It is indeed well past time. I think a lot of folks know that if this is adhered to, a lot of folks will be put out of the church and all the megachurch stuff will probably cease.

    Idol worship is huge in the church. And the worship of politics is one of the greatest. But a lot of those in the church won't acknowledge it.

    Not loving our neighbors as we love ourselves is another big one. We've set the love of our opinions and our need to be right above our love for God as an idol and it shows in the lack of love we display for anyone who doesn't agree with a certain POV.
     
    #2 Zaac, Jan 30, 2014
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  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    Corinth was the fourth largest city in the Roman empire, on a major trade route and had a thriving economy. Because of who traveled through Cornith, the vices of both East and West managed to find their way to the city, and most of the believers in the church had come out of one sinful lifestyle or another. It was, by Paul's thinking, a pit for those who had clawed their way out of the cesspools of sin to know the love and the light of Christ.

    Corinth was a strategic center of influence, and it definitely had a large Jewish population. But it was also a center of sin. It has been called one of the most wicked cities of ancient times, featuring degradation of women, immorality by both genders, and heathen customs that would frighten most of us today. Temple prostitutes -- a "profession" that had died out in the Mideast five hundred years before -- were common, serving in the pagan temples of the Roman and Greek gods. Some wore sandals that, when the women walked across the sand, left the Greek words for "Follow me" impressed there.

    It was in the context of this great inequity and sin that Paul wrote the verses you have included in your post. He spoke to those church members who had come out of the very lifestyles that continued to thrive in the city. He spoke, essentially, to "addicts," men and women who were constantly tempted by their past lives living in addictive lifestyles, those who were indeed alcoholics, drug abusers, and sex addicts. I can't speak to what the Roman National Institutes for Health said about addictions 2,000 years ago -- probably nothing at all, since they didn't exist (that's a joke, son!) -- but I do know addictions, and I am aware that for those church members to have returned to those temptations in the thought or guise of witnessing to their friends or family members who were still engaging in the sins of the city, the danger was high that they would have quickly fallen.

    I believe that is why Paul wrote as he did. I don't believe Paul or any other biblical writers wanted us to abandon sinners by refusing to associate with them. If one doubts that, how does he/she explain Jesus' actions during His Earthly ministry?
    Matthew 11, (NASB)
    19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."

    Luke 5
    29 And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at the table with them.
    30 And the Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?'
    31 And Jesus answered and said to them, 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.
    32 "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."​
    The simple fact is that Jesus was apparently keeping the company of unbelievers. This doesn't mean that Jesus was sinning or that he was being gluttonous or getting drunk. The point is that he was in their company enough that he was accused of being like them. That becomes a cause of criticism by other Christians concerned for our witness, by the perceptions we may create. But if our consciences are clear -- and I mean, truthfully clear without any sin which we deny or hide from ourselves or others -- there should be no need for us to withdraw from efforts to witness to those who need to hear the gospel.

    Be the same token, we must be careful not to compromise. Jesus was, after all, God in flesh. We are not. We are fallen and sinful, and we need to be careful that we don't use our freedom to have unbelieving friends as a means by which we compromise holiness before God.
    Perhaps to lead others to the Light? Certainly it would be foolish to cut ourselves off from those who need to hear the gospel, correct?
     
    #3 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 30, 2014
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  4. agedman

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    The OP is a long neglected part of Paul's preaching. So long neglected, that I don't know that the "mega" or even the "mini" assembly will tolerate anyone who proclaims the truth of the OP.


    Who in the BB actually practices secondary separation and who would ridicule it?

    I wonder?

    The OP says that the believers are to separate from worldly believers.

    The righteous believer must determine to separate from an assembly of believers who do not separate from worldly believers.

    Don't you agree?
     
  5. agedman

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    I don't think the OP is suggest cutting "ourselves off from those who need to hear the gospel."

    The OP is presenting the problem of believers who have not cut themselves off from the worldly devices, worldly schemes, and worldliness.

    Paul was not talking to the unsaved in Corinthians, but the saved.

    Those that were to live in the world but be not aligned and in bed with the world.

    You are mixing the work of evangelism and testimony to the lost to what the conduct of the members of the assembly should display and be held accountable.

    Your post is great - no doubt should be a major message given to believers.

    However, the OP post should not be diminished, but actually a major focus, also.
     
  6. Zaac

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    This is yet another thing that I believe the majority of the church is guilty of but because they are friends and family, we are a little less quick to treat them the way we do folks outside the church.
     
  7. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    They need to be ministered to, loved, and brought back into the fold, just as unbelievers need to be given the gospel at every opportunity.
    As I said in my post, we must be careful not to compromise. I wouldn't suggest "being in bed" with the world. I would suggest doing as Jesus did, and leaving the 99 to find the one who strayed.
    Not at all. I'm suggesting, with biblical evidence, that we are to chase those who stray with love, hope, chastisement, church discipline where necessary, and restore them as it says in Galatians 6:1
    Thank you for the first comment there, and with the second, I agree, but to what degree of disassociation? That is the question. Paul urged the Corinthians to put one young man out of fellowship who was sleeping with his stepmother, "deliver such a one to Satan" for his destruction -- even to the point of physical death as "destruction of his flesh" implies -- that his spirit would see heaven on the day of the Lord. This recommendation, in fact, was given just before RD2's cited passage. But as we see in 2 Corinthians 2:5-10 that the "remedy" worked and by being disfellowshiped the young man finally came to his senses regarding his reality of sin.

    I don't believe Paul was talking about completely cutting off the sinning believer, or professed believer. Certainly, given the nature of most believers' past histories in Corinth, remaining in close contact was dangerous for them, not because of reputation, but because of temptation. Nonetheless, from a point of safety, Paul wanted the church to reach out, so the one who had strayed would receive the ministry of the church, until they repented, had true conversion (it being a distinct possibility they had not had a salvation experience), or had to be put out of the church in the third step of church discipline. That in itself, as we see with the young man involved with his stepmother, was sufficient to bring him back to the fellowship.
     
    #7 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 30, 2014
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  8. Iconoclast

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    You have it completely wrong, and backwards.What you suggest is against Paul's clear teaching in the passage.You do not know better than what the Holy Spirit had Paul write for us.
    Your insistence on calling sin, and the practice of it...addictions, strongholds, etc...leads you to false ideas directly opposed to what the 2 cor 10 passage speaks of.
    Agedman said it correctly,re-read the passage....
    if any man...who is called a brother
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    think paul was addressing thos ein the assembly who make a profession of being saved, yet contnue to keep on doing sinful acts, but WITHOUT any regard to even trying to repent and forsake them!
    if a person has problems with alcohol, gets drunk once in a while, but repents.confresses, knows it wrong to do, NOT one he is addressing, its the one who says jesus saved me, and yet keeps on getting lit up after every night!
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    You can BOTH love other sin the love of christ, yet still show them they are living wrong before the lord, right?
     
  11. Judith

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    Yes we need to follow this admonition and not try and find some back door to ignore it. I would also add that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelieves so our fewllowship with them is also limited although not totally cut off as with those who are called believers and sinning.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Makes one wonder sometimes if the following advice is appropriate in some cases. {I realize I am taking this Scripture out of context but!}

    Revelation 18:4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    Should a "true believer" associate with a church that promotes homosexual unions of any kind, or endorses the continued slaughter of the unborn, or denies the Deity of Jesus Christ, or denies the Triune nature of God, or offers prayers to Allah, and the list goes on and on. There are many so-called Christian Churches today that are simply apostate.
     
  13. Archie the Preacher

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    Church discipline

    I once knew of a church (congregation) who corporately decided they would follow this principle; they would withhold fellowship from any believer who lived a consistently worldly lifestyle. Twenty minutes later, none of them would have anything to do with anyone else in the church.

    Here's the problem: At what point does either the congregation or the individual withhold fellowship?

    There are some occasions when some members who are so out of line that no discussion is required; members simply avoid them as they are uncomfortable being in the subject's company. But those are the minority, aren't they?

    On the other hand, I know of congregations that are KJVo groups. They won't have anything to do with Christians who actually carry and use any Bible but a KJV. I find that unsupportable, personally. (My 'personal opinion' and a buck and a half equals coffee at Denny's.) Happily, they are rather few in number as well.

    The great majority of us (individuals and congregations) are in the middle. We all sin, and everyone has a 'favorite' sin; the sin they find easiest to commit. Some of us seemingly commit sin more often than others (and I think we all understand how difficult that really is to determine).

    Evil acts worthy of discipline are acts that blatantly deny the authority of God, are committed openly and brazenly, and bring the teaching of God through Jesus into disrepute. Additionally, the person so involved admits no guilt, fault or regret in the matter. Of course, a person arrested for embezzlement or child pornography nearly always seems regretful. Perhaps it is merely over being caught, but I suppose it could be a starting place.

    Very few of us worship idols in the sense of a carved or sculpted doodad on the mantle. But what about my gun collection? What about the racing car owned by Brother So and so? What about the 'Women's Affirmation Society' that is Sister Such and such's pet project? There's all sorts of things like this; and for every one of them, there's somebody who will denounce each 'item' as an idolatrous interest. So; how to decide?

    I think the answer is pretty simple. The Holy Spirit will convict multiple members of the problem. If the Holy Spirit does not move 'all of us' to act, then perhaps we should not proceed with 'discipline' or - in the words of Calpernia from To Kill a Mockingbird, 'churching'.

    Finally, the whole point of church discipline is to bring the sinful Christian back into fellowship with the Lord primarily and the congregation secondly. We want a 'wandering' Christian to return to Christ's service and grace. That should be the goal; not just feeling 'righteous' about not being as bad as 'that one'.
     
  14. saturneptune

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    Pastor Paul,
    This is one of the most vital and best thread you have ever started. I hold all of your posts in high esteem. Despite the posts that seem to disagree with each other, I think all of them have the truth of Scripture in them. TND, Icon, Zaac, Yeshua, agedman, and others have very well thought out posts.

    The question is, where is the line of associating with believers in the area of fellowship, like eating and other social events? We know that as believers, through the words of John 1, 2, and 3, and Paul in Romans 1 and 3, that we are all sinful, and will be until our last breath. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, as we all fall short of the glory of God. So, to me, the difference between associating and not associating with someone has to do with a pattern or a love of sin vs being lead by the Spirit and living a life for Christ, even with our lingering sin.

    When we have determined that a brother or sister is not to be associated with, it is still our duty, as we are commanded in Matthew 18:15-17, to do everything we can to restore them to fellowship with the Lord. The purpose of not associating with this type of person is restoration, not a snub or holier than thou attitude.

    We also fall into the trap of feeling good about ourselves because one particular sin does not interest us, but does another Christian. If the roles were reversed, we might some day find ourselves on the other end of the stick.

    As of late, I have been very bothered by some of my posts to two brothers in Christ in particular. Every time I have made a smart aleck remark to others, and show disrespect and hatred, I am just as guilty as a murderer. This is a result of something that happened here two weeks ago I do not care to put out in the public with a couple I have known for 37 years, but will be glad to tell you the story in a PM. The point is, in the sight of the Lord, I am no better than someone who murders someone else when I disrespect their post or their person, by harboring hatred. Since this incident to which I refer, I sometimes feel physically sick thinking about how the Lord views this type of activity.

    The same thing could be said about those of us who brag that we have never cheated on our wives, yet, have harbored lustful thoughts when passing this or that young girl. If we really believe the Bible, this is serious stuff, being guilty of murder and adultery, plus every other command as James tells us, break one and you have broken them all. It points out how much we need Jesus, and how depraved each of us is.

    As far as the line of association and no association, that is why we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We should know if a brother in Christ is walking with the Lord, or if the brother is making a mockery of the blood Christ shed for our sins.
     
  15. agedman

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    One of the clear teachings in the early NT church was shared resources. Perticularly food.

    Look at the Scripture taken from 1 Corinthians 5 where it says:

    But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
    It isn't a matter of an occasional sin.

    It is a matter of sin. Sin that is addictive and permeates the very core thinking of a person.

    One who is a known sinner - unrepentant and unashamed.

    Each of those items listed by Paul were not occasional, but spoke of one whose heart was not aligned with the teaching of Scriptures.

    There were not to even eat (in our day that would be having a fellowship dinner or even the Lord's table) with that person.

    Note: Paul excluded the outside assembly folks:
    I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.

    Paul clearly states:
    Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

    An assembly that does not follow that discipline is in great danger of God's justice rather than mercy.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    Think key aspect of deciding if we should still fellowship with another claiming to be saved, is their intent of the sin issue!

    IF they are repentent, know that it is wrong, trying to get couseling, prayers, speak to others, staying connecte din Church and seeking to get delivered from this, That is NOT one paul talks about!

    Its one whose sin problem has gotten to poinr where he just rebukes attempts to confront him, who rejects couseling and help from others, one who jut wnats to keep on sinning, and try to keep claiming I am right with God!
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It is important to note that Paul is more angry with the church than he is with the man. Apart from 5:5 where Paul instructs the church "to turn this man over to Satan," he says nothing else about the man. However, four times he charges the community to remove the man (5:2b, 5, 7, 13).13 Indeed, both the man and the church are guilty of sin before God -- the former for the act of incest and the latter for its failure to impose discipline.

    It is likely that the Corinthians were boasting despite the immorality, rather than because of it. They were boasting in the social status of the son while ignoring his offense. Of course, this is utter nonsense. When you go to a hospital and find out you have cancer, anything else you can brag about doesn’t matter. You don’t want to brag about your bank account anymore. You don’t want to brag about the neighborhood you live in anymore. You don’t want to brag about the car you drive anymore. You don’t want to brag about your looks anymore, because all of that is irrelevant now.

    When you have cancer there is only one issue on your mind, and that is, "Get this mess out of my body!" What is true of the individual is true of the church. If a man or woman in our church is in sin, it doesn’t matter how much money they make, where they work, where they live, or what they drive. The only thing that is relevant is they have a spiritual cancer.

    Paul is ticked because the church has not “mourned.” The question is, “What should they have mourned?” Paul expected them to grieve over the shame brought on the church by the incest. Instead of dismissing the sin or boasting in the person, God expects the church of Jesus Christ to deal with sin. God calls us to purge the church of sin for the church stands or falls together. Purging our churches of sin, however, doesn't have to mean, "throw the sinner out." It should instead mean to confront, counsel, disciple, restore and forgive. The church at Corinth had waited too long, let the sin go unspoken, unacknowledged, unpunished. They have no choice at this point. Had they acted sooner, they could have made a restoration attempt, though how that would have gone is anyone's guess. Do you see that only the man is the subject here, not the woman? She obviously wasn't part of the church, therefore she is among the outsiders Paul would not judge.

    This separation is called for by Paul only because the church has utterly failed in this matter. It is likely unbelievers outside the church were talking about the church's failure, snickering that the membership claimed to be so "holier than thou" by their faith in Christ but were looking no different than the world in failing to address the sin of one of their prominent members, preaching against sexual sin but allowing it to be blatantly paraded in front of them and the world.

    The young man had to be prominent, or else the idea Paul conveys that the church is tearing down it's testimony and witness would be invalid. If the young man was a nobody, nobody would have noticed. That is why I still say, we must keep in contact with those who are in sin, but holding them at a distance is wise, particularly if they engage in sin which is also weakness for us, as undoubtedly any kind of the debaucheries in Corinth would have been a weakness for some one in the church. Putting this young man out was a last resort, not a first reaction, and that should be the case with us today -- to the point that disfellowship is never, ever necessary, because we confront, counsel, disciple, restore and forgive.
     
    #17 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 30, 2014
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  18. Zaac

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    Very true. But I think you have to list right up there with those things churches that don't say anything about the gossip and heterosexual offenses and gluttony etc that goes on but we do nothing as though it's okay.
     
  19. Zaac

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    I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking.
     
  20. Zaac

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    I just don't see anywhere that Scripture says they have to be repenting. If they were truly repenting, there wouldn't be any repeat of the sin.
     

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