rar.

February 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm (1)

I want to write quickly about something that I read in the Bible today that, frankly, just really pissed me off and that I disagreed with entirely.

Its in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 5.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a king that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present. I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgement on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

I have a HUGE problem with a couple things in here. Three things, to be exact.

Number 1…

“Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?”

I don’t know much, but one thing I know about fellowship, is that its a group of people who support each other and give each other strength when they need it most. But in this case, in the Bible, when someone needs strength the most, when there is something so pressing that needs to be dealt with, the church doesn’t just FAIL, they give up before they’ve even started.

Number 2 …

“I have already passed judgement on the one who did this, just as if I were present.”

Do I even need to say why this one bothers me? Somehow, Paul is okay with saying that grace is a free gift from God, but in the same breath is somehow okay with saying that, if he were there, he would judge the shit out of that person and kick them out of the church. I am not okay with this. Not at all. If I found out that someone in my church was doing what this guy was doing, the LAST thing I would do would be kick him out of my church. The guy needs help from his community, not a life of loneliness.

Number 3 …

“ … hand this man over to Satan ..”

And I’ll just stop there. I don’t even want to begin on why this bothers me. Not right now, anyway.

If I have to be completely honest, reading scripture today did nothing but make me incredibly angry and upset. I’ll get into more of what this means for me later. I have to go talk to Brad …

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3 Comments

  1. Lauren said,

    I’m curious as to why this makes you so upset. Maybe if this topic was an isolated verse we may look for another meaning, but there are many verses that have similar content to this. Here are a few:

    2 Thessalonians 3:6,13-15:
    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us…
    “13As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”

    If you continue on in 1 Corinthians 5 we find this sentiment echoed again:

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”

    Do you see that? Not to even EAT with them! Wow this seems harsh, but it is the word of God! Here are some more verses, please read them with care:

    Romans 16:17-18:
    “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. ”

    2 Timothy 3:1:
    “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

    Titus 3:9-11
    “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

    2 John:8
    “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”

    These verses are quite difficult to swallow, especially since we know God to be a loving God, full of grace and mercy. However, maybe our definitions of grace have been misinterpreted in light of the gospels. Here are some commonly heard verses about the Grace of God:

    Romans 11:6:
    “But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].”

    But what is the grace of God?

    1 Peter 1:2-4:
    “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

    So, GRACE and peace are ours, and it is the divine power to enable us to serve God! Here is another verse:

    Titus 2:11-15:
    ” 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

    And one last on grace and forgiveness:

    Romans 6:1-4:
    “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

    Grace, therefore, enables obedience. God’s grace to us is the ability to serve him with the Holy Spirit within us. It does not account for our willful disobedience and a lifestyle of sin, which is what these verses relating to forms of disfellowing and disciplining church members are about. These do not relate to a sin that is quickly repented from, but rather a person who continues to sin even after he has been rebuked.

    Obedience, like grace, is mentioned a lot in the Bible. These verses are the clinchers!.

    Jesus says in John 14:15:
    “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

    James 2:17-19:
    “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

    This verse shows that believing in God itself is not enough, and works are essential expressions of our faith and devotion to God. If our works are that of sexual immorality, for example (as in 1 Corinthians) it shows we are not serving God, and we are a stumbling block to others in the church, and need to be disciplined.

    I have one final point to re-iterate this. Many times in the New Testament “the body” is used to describe the functions of the gathering and the Church of Christ. If we take this well-known verse having this allegory in mind, it is quite provoking:

    Matthew 5:29:
    “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

    Having said that, it is important to protect the Body of Christ, and to be on guard of those who bring division, lest a weak or young believer falls away.

    These verses may seem harsh, but the essence of these ideas is echoed many times in scripture and are definitely the will of God. God is just, and he is right to cast off one who causes another to stray.

    God bless, and please let me know your thoughts 🙂

  2. Lauren said,

    ***NOTE:

    These scriptures are referring to CHRISTIANS and members within the church. How Jesus talks to unbelievers is quite different. We definitely should have them into our homes and love on them like Jesus did.

  3. Lauren said,

    Oops, for some reason i thought my last reply didn’t work…That’s why I re-posted…

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