Question about Application

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ophelia, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Ophelia

    Ophelia
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    I Corinthians 5:11

    But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    I have a family member who is living in gross sin (fornicating with women before marriage, drinking, cursing, etc). I and my husband have confronted him with his sin many times. He professes to be a believer but has refused to change his lifestyle.

    My husband and I have been praying about what we should do. We understand the above verse to mean we should separate from him because he is a believer who continues to live in sin. We love him and will pray for him, but we can no longer fellowship with a believer who refuses to repent, despite multiple confrontations. Any thoughts? Are we right in doing this?
     
  2. James_Newman

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    You wouldn't be wrong. The purpose of separating from rebellious believers is twofold. One, you don't want to be dragged into the mud with them. Two, that they might be shamed into repentance. If this family member values your fellowship, this may be something to consider.
     
  3. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Quote:
    "My husband and I have been praying about what we should do. We understand the above verse to mean we should separate from him because he is a believer who continues to live in sin. We love him and will pray for him, but we can no longer fellowship with a believer who refuses to repent, despite multiple confrontations. Any thoughts? Are we right in doing this?"

    I think there is fellowship and then there is family. Don't expect to enjoy the same things he enjoys or for him to enjoy what you do, but don't cut him out either. He is still family and you may be a good witness to him. You never know how God is dealing with him.

    Our son lived the same type of life. He lived in another state and wanted to come visit us with his girlfriend. We told him they could come, but they could not act like they were married in our house. They got married and then came. Since they are not living for the Lord, we still have very little in common with them, but we keep in touch.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    What has his church said about this? Is he under church discipline for it?
     
  5. Ophelia

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    He doesn't go to church anymore and hasn't for quite some time except for the occasional service when he visits his parents, but he is not a member there.
     
  6. Marcia

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    Ophelia, I think as long as he claims to be a Christian, you should follow the 1 Cor. 5 teaching. Otherwise, it could look to others like you approve of his lifestyle.
     
  7. Ophelia

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    Thanks to all who have replied. If there are any others - please feel free to comment!
     
  8. TomVols

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    Is he a member of a church anywhere? That church should be taking a proactive role in restorative discipline if he is living in gross immorality that is undeniably public.
     
  9. Ophelia

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    Not that I know of. He was going to a methodist church with his girlfriend for a while, but I am unsure if he ever joined that church.
     
  10. menageriekeeper

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    Ophelia, hmmm, I'm not sure how to say this, so bear with me.

    My parents also practiced "separation" from family members who's lifestyles didn't agree with theirs. Unfortunately, they forgot to do it with love. These separations always began with an arguement over something that led to the "separation conversation" (think next arguement because the "erring brother or sister refused to "do right").

    My father was one of 5, my mother one of 14. There was always someone who was out of grace. Sometimes whole groups. As a result of all this, I only know how to get in touch with a handful of my 70+ cousins. There are only 2 that I speak to with any regularity and even then it's not often. My children are often amazed to find out they have so many different cousin.

    There are a lot reasons to break family bonds, but I'm not sure that disfellowship of the church is one of them. It's one thing to tell your BIL that you will not accept his behavior inside your home (as in he and his girlfriend won't be sleeping in the same bed when visiting you) and another to tell him you want nothing to do with him until he straightens out his life.

    I told you already of the consequences in my life of my parents decision, I haven't told you the consequences in their lives. The tables are now turned. My parents would welcome relationships with their surviving siblings but the siblings are no longer interested. They don't trust that my parents can have a relationship without insisting that others do the same as they do. In essence my parents are alone. They each have one sister that they are in regular contact with. The others all believe my parents are religious nuts(they are in fact independent Baptists).

    Would it not have been better for my parents to have remained in loving contact with their siblings in order to bring them the example of a life lived with Christ?

    Before you burn any bridges consider waht will happen if you withdraw your example of holy living from your BIL's life. Could it be that you two are the plug that keeps the dam of sin from flooding your BIL's life? Do you think premarital sex is the worst sin he could be into? It's not, take my word for it. Please consider what will become of him, if you take away your example.

    How can we be examples of Christ if we refuse to have anything to do with sinners? What did Christ do? Perhaps he should be our example.
     
  11. J.D.

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    I think manageriekeeper makes an important point, that discipline, no matter what form it takes on, must be done in love, and with the ultimate goal being the salvation or restoration to fellowship of the sinner.

    Even when Paul said to "deliver such an one to Satan", I think it was to intent that the member would learn his lesson and return to the fold - which, if I understand correctly, is exactly what happened.
     
  12. Ophelia

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    I understand what you are saying - but if I still fellowship with him and do things with him - what of the verse I mentioned at the beginning of the thread?

    That verse says we should not be in fellowship with such a one who is a professing believer. It does not say if they are family, then it's ok.

    My brother in law barely ever talks to us anyways so not seeing him is not a huge deal. And we are not doing this out of hate or spite. We have talked with him on numerous occasions and let me tell you his fornication is not the only gross sin he is involved with. Despite our (and my husband's family) warnings he refuses to repent. He has been told that if he continues in his wicked ways that he will not be welcome in their home any longer. They have taken him back many times, but he keeps disrespecting them, lying and returning to his sinful ways with no care for the way anyone feels.

    I just wanted input concerning this passage of scripture and how it applies to this situation.

    We have rebuked in love so many times and he refuses to repent. We let him know that we love and pray for him, but I don't think it would be right to continue to spend any time with him as he keeps lying to us (saying one thing and doing another).

    Based on his past I think it will take something drastic to get him to change his ways.

    Again, I emphasize that we always speak in love - even now. And we are not separating from him just because he is doing something we don't like. We are separating because he is defying our Lord and Savior without remorse all the while proclaiming to be a Christian.

    And I am not saying we should have nothing to do with sinners - if my brother in law did not profess Christianity, it would be a different story. I am just trying to understand this verse and how it would apply.

    I have other family members that do things that I don't think are right, but I don't separate from them - this situation is different. As I mentioned before it is the fact that he continues to live in sin while professing Christ with no thought for what he is doing wrong despite the admonitions (over many years) from godly people.
     
    #12 Ophelia, Jul 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2006

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