This morning I opened up my email account and discovered the following mail sent by someone who obviously doesn’t understand how serious open unrepentant sin is in the life of a professing brother or sister in Christ or how it’s supposed to be dealt with. The subject line of the mail read;
Why are you picking on the Christian bloggers Phil Naessens???????????
Please cite for me the scripture you feel justifies your crusade against Christian bloggers.
I’ll demonstrate this after the jump;
It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
Paul was writing an epistle to a community of believers addressing the open immorality of one of their congregants. This letter was meant to be read out loud before all and the specific sin was named. That’s what I’ve done here with various professing Christian bloggers who are in open unrepentant sin.
Paul also states that those in the community should be mourning this open unrepentant sin and rather then remove the person from their midst they allowed him to remain in their fellowship which is arrogance in Paul’s Holy Spirit Inspired opinion. I see this as well as these professing Christian bloggers have their supporters who remain in fellowship with them rather then remove these bloggers from their midst. This I point out as well here at Theology Today.
For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
I’ve even been accused of pointing out sin “from a distance” which is obvious since I’m not physically present but then again neither was Paul was he? Do I need to be present to point out hypocrisy that is common public information made available to anyone and everyone with a modem and an internet connection? No, all it takes is a little courage which is rarely seen these days.
I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
I’ve never done that because that is an apostolic order and I’m not an apostle but Paul could and he did didn’t he? That’s how serious open unrepentant sin was in those days. It’s a pity that these things aren’t important to us anymore huh?
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
I’ve even seen people brag about the work of some of these unrepentant sinners and boast with great joy that they are affiliated with these unrepentant Christian bloggers. Paul says that’s not such a great idea either. In fact Paul says these people will ruin whatever you do or whatever you are trying to accomplish with their mere presence in your lives. I know this to be true as I’ve seen this happen to others. In fact it happened here at Theology Today.
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul is saying here that you can’t worship with people like this or involve yourself in spiritual matters with these types of people because malice and wickedness are direct contradictions to sincerity and truth. By worshipping and being involved in spiritual matters with these unrepentant Christian bloggers you are telling us you agree with what they do. That’s not a good idea is it?
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 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.
I remember one of these unrepentant Christian bloggers actually getting upset because another blogger chose to deal with the bloggers sin rather then report about the activities of someone who neither party believes to be Christian. The nerve of the blogger to actually be biblical! It’s rare to see biblical bloggers these days.
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.
Paul widens out the list of activities of professing brothers we are not to fellowship and involve ourselves with and tells us we shouldn’t even eat with these people let alone be involved in worship or ministry as these people will bring you down and ruin whatever you are trying to accomplish. That means don’t even LINK to them as you are taking part in their sins and it gives the appearance that you are in agreement with them.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
Wow! That was in CAPS (at least in the NASB)! Didn’t Paul know how rude that is? Paul shouldn’t be yelling at people as that would hurt their feelings. How unkind and unloving the Holy Spirit Inspired Paul was! Bear in mind that Paul was referring to professing Christians here and not those he considered on the outside.
Now, I know what you are going to say; this was handled INSIDE the church and you would be correct. That’s how these things are supposed to be handled and shouldn’t be handled on a blog. I agree with you but the problem is that the subjects you see here, meaning the Christian bloggers I’ve used this very biblical formula to confront either don’t attend a church or refused to give me the name of their pastor so he could handle the matter. That leaves me no choice but to do this here.
That’s church discipline my brethren and it is VERY biblical to handle these matters this way. Bear in mind these sins are PUBLIC and not private and are to be handled differently then Matthew 18 instructs us to do. Of course we should always try and handle these matters privately but in most of these cases the subjects either failed to respond or refused to repent.
So what happened with the man Paul instructed the church in Corinth to expel from their midst?
But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree–in order not to say too much–to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven
In this case church discipline worked but only because they separated themselves from the man in open and unrepentant sin. It must have been lonely for him to separated from his friends and brothers in Christ but that’s what is necessary in these situations. Coddling him only enabled him to continue in his sin where disciplining him brought him to repentance.
Also notice how we are to treat these people AFTER they repent. Unfortunately too many today are kind and loving to the unrepentant sinner WHILE they are still in open rebellion to God which is direct contradiction to God’s Holy Spirit Inspired word which not only harms the one in open unrepentant sin but themselves as well.
It’s a lonely stand my Christian Blogging Brethren but it’s a biblical one. Do you really desire to see the wayward repent and get right with not only God but the Body of professing believers or would you rather coddle the sinner and allow him to remain in their sins? Do you love your brother enough to expel them from your midst in the hopes that they repent? If the answer is no then how can you say you love your brother? If the answer is yes then lets use our blogs to bring about the repentance of those around us and show the unbelieving world how different we are and how serious we feel about loving our brother!