Monday, February 25, 2013

Expel the wicked person from among you

Posted by Hannah at 12:01 PM

1 Corinthians 5 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.
This section was in response to a man within the fellowship that was sleeping with his father’s wife.  I do wonder at times why the woman is not mentioned, and have to wonder if it is due to him forcing himself upon her.  After all, the beginning of chapter they were being told to remove this man from fellowship.  No mention of her at all.

Today you can read all kinds of ugly stories of those within the church being brought to the law to pay for crimes they have committed against individuals within the fellowship. 

Although you notice they are NOT removed from the fellowship, and excuses are made instead (ie: pray for them, forgive them, and pretend their sin was minor like a baseball going through the church’s window).  What we seem to miss from the bible is not all sins were treated the same!  Organizations tends to ignore thisExpel him among you portion of scripture within the Bible.  Now, they are paying the price for it.

I think most can understand serious crimes can really hurt the fellowship, and YES they should be allowed to mourn this loss.  They also need to be responsible about finding out how this happened, and figuring out how they can lesson this type of thing from happening again.  Since we are human I can’t sit here and write that I feel it can be completely removed from the fellowship, because I honestly think that is unrealistic.  Don’t I wish we could perform such miracles!

Problem it seems today is church organizations seem to wish to handle these types of sin ‘in house’, and sadly their public records of how badly they handle it!  They end up not helping anyone, and hurting more people than what they started with. 

For example, when you defend a man of GAWD, and blame the victim?  The criminal has no incentive to turn from their ways, because no one has the will or backbone to ‘expel’ him as scripture states.  Instead, they would rather them cry at the alter or follow steps the leadership has in mind to show repentance that satisfies them – not God.  Meanwhile, the victim and their family must be instructed on how they are to process things.  If they don’t?  They are the ones that are expelled.

Yes, we tend to do things BACKWARDS!

No doubt some wonder why God would have us do things the way he wrote in the bible.  I have to wonder at times if God doesn’t wish the criminals to face the music of their crime, and once they hit rock bottom have the choice to continue in their sin….or repent and truly turn from their ways. 

Criminals can turn their life around, and God knows this – more than it seems we do at times – but they ALSO have to choice NOT to.  If they stay within the fellowship because the church is too cowardly to follow God’s word?  We have old bread leavened with malice and wickedness.  All we have to do is check history to find this is true, and yet we we still choose to fix things ‘in house’.

8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

What would happen to the victims if we actually followed scripture?  We already spoke about the criminals above…..

Victims of these crimes are given the support they need to move forward, and I feel forgiveness can be more freely given.  Anger can be processed in a healthy manner as well – after all its righteous anger at first!   

When victims are thrown out of fellowship, and support is given to the criminal instead?  We see the church crumbling around our ears.  Why?  We didn’t follow the Word of God!

Sovereign Grace Ministries seems to be going down fast….

Time For ActionSovereign Grace Ministries (some refer to them by SGM) Is yet another ship that will be going down almost as fast as the Titanic.  It never dawns on these places of worship to follow what the bible has asked them to do, and by moral law as well by failing to report crimes to the police.  Their focus – on the surface anyway – seems to be more on forgiveness of the criminal. 

The pastor’s in charge also seems to set themselves up as the member’s go to guy when troubles arise, because of course outside the church things aren’t done biblically.  The stories you can read about on will be guaranteed to curl your hair when you read them.  

SGM isn’t just facing one person in a lawsuit, but many families and individuals.  The way they have handled it thus far has also cost them congregations fleeing from their flagship organization over the lack of trust.  It seems they are either losing churches, or key personnel within this organization every week.  The harm their way of doing business has done to their church is immeasurable.

How are they handling it?  Ignoring it basically, and having…

Friend’s in high places come to show support for the organization – not the victims.  No doubt friends are used to hopefully get the Titanic from going under completely.  Yes, they have used this tactic when they brought in John Piper recently.   He wasn’t there to encourage the members, pray for them regarding the legal mess they have found themselves in.  Nope.  He wanted to tell them how exciting it is to see ‘church plantings’, and how their version of the word is something worth endorsing.
“Thank you C.J.  I chose to be here.  No body forced me.  He is a pretty persuasive guy but  I really, really wanted to be here.  And therefore when the opportunity arose I snatched it.  And I thankful for it.
“I wanted to be here because I am excited about what God is doing in this church plant.  I’ve been following it from a distance.  And I’m thrilled with what is in the offing here in the mix of this city.  I’m excited to be here secondly because I love Sovereign Grace and what God is doing in it across the country and the world. 
“And most emotionally significant, I’m glad to be here because C.J. is right, he is my friend and he has meant a lot to me over the years both at the encouragement level of preaching and professional life – though nobody in the ministry is a professional – but even more at the personal family level of caring.  So it is real easy for me to stand here and be with you.  It is what I want to do. 
“And I said to him [C.J.] when I walked in, ‘I’m pumped about this message.’  I love the Word of God.  I love to preach.  And I love this Book and I am going to talk about this Book because it matters that this church plant relate to this Book in a certain way.  Think about it in a certain way.  Feel about it in a certain way. – John Piper
According to the bible C.J. Mahaney should be stepping down, and people should be removed from fellowship as well.  Instead, they are losing good standing members of their fellowship, and their income is starting to dry up.  The church is responding by telling others they will stand behind their 1st amendment rights, and they should NOT be questioned!
The First Amendment argument, advanced by some legal scholars, derives from a belief that churches ought to be considered autonomous, self-governing institutions whose internal decision-making is off-limits to secular courts. Religious institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, have invoked the Constitution in arguing that they shouldn't be liable for the hiring or supervision of a priest facing abuse allegations.
"To the extent there's a First Amendment issue they're talking about, it is not about sexual abuse as a First Amendment right. It is about the church deciding for itself how to respond to claims of misconduct among its members," said Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia law professor who specializes in the law of religious liberty.
No doubt we are all familiar with how the Roman Catholic Church seems to be fairing regarding their reputation, and more importantly the use of their use of this amendment.
When you look past the surface of these silly excuses for breaking the trust of their members, and also just view basic moral codes of ethic?  Lets go back to the bible, and read the beginning of this chapter.
1 Corinthians 5: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Yes, according the Word we are asked to kick the perpetrators out of the fellowship.  No doubt this last part makes people very uncomfortable, but we have to remember God has a reason for this.  The Catholic Church didn’t follow this scripture, and instead moved the Priests to other locations to continue to harm others.  SGM pressured families to not contact authorities, forgive the perpetrators, and let them handle this ugly circumstance IN HOUSE!  Their end product wasn’t good either!  Matter of fact both organizations have handled these issues in a criminal manner, and they DARN WELL KNOW IT!

Now that they refused to follow God’s word, and ‘do it their way’ both organizations are dealing with the consequences. 
1 Corinthians 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Enabling Criminals and Victimizing their Prey

groupthinkThe fact of the matter is the church seems to enable the criminals, and honestly perpetrators never really have to face their consequences.  There is no incentive to get help, turn from their wicked ways, repent, etc.  These types of ugly things happened in the church since the beginning of time, and we are NOT saving the reputation of the Lord by allowing them to stay within the fold.  

Matter of fact, just the opposite is happening.  I believe that the Lord is allowing these churches to lose their reputation within their communities because they are failing to follow what is clearly laid out within the bible.  Then we view the serious moral failings of leaders hiding behind the 1st Amendment?  Their reputation is completely crushed, except by those that blindly follow by choice.

This is NOT the type of witness we are to show to the world!  God is not harmed, but they sure ARE!

I have been told that some truly have a hard time with the portion of scripture that I bolded and underlined above regarding giving them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.  The scripture also reminds us that we are to mourn them, and we should!

I believe God has a reason for us to do such a thing.  Let me explain by using an example.

Within the last couple of years we have seen popular shows about addictions, and rehab.  You will notice that you need to wait until the addict has hit rock bottom before they even attempt any type of help, and in the meantime they hurt everyone around them that cares about them.  They lie, steal, and harm almost everything they touch.

You find most of the time their friends and family are giving them money, shelter, food, and other types of support.  On the surface anyone with a heart can understand part of this behavior, but it also enables the addict to continue down that path of destruction.  No, its not easy to to throw their butt out as we read here in scripture.  Yet its not until an outside party tells them you need to cut them off COMPLETELY, and allow the addict to make the decision to sink or swim do things start to change in midst of the pain.  In life as we know some will reject the help, and some will see the brick wall they have hit and face the music.

This scripture above as HARD as it is to shallow is basically asking us to do the same thing.  We also need to step up and be responsible regarding alerting the police to serious crimes. Yes, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh!  If He/She truly wishes to be one of God’s people these consequences will not stop them from turning their lifes around.  Yes, Its harsh!  The destruction they have left behind with their victims is harsh as well.  Pastor’s are the first to speak up on about obedience to God, and yet when you look at how cases at SGM are handled?  They also seem to the first to be disobedient.  The ramifications harm everyone. 

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.

Yes, Expel the wicked person from among you!  Allow the Lord to judge the ‘evil’ police, court system, etc.  That’s not our place!  When crimes are involved we need to follow what scripture asks us to do, and allow God to take the wheel.  It does not say we are to handle crimes of this nature ‘in house’, but to EXPEL THEM.  The bible also states we are encouraged to mourn for those that were removed from fellowship, and we need to remember other parts of scripture about supporting those that were harmed by them.  We need to stop treating victims as the criminals, and show our obedience to God to do as he would have us do.

Personally?  We hear too much about the ‘evil world’, and church is indeed mocked to today.  Is it any wonder?  The way we seem to handle things goes beyond common sense and rational thinking.  When we hide and stand behind criminals and their leaders?  When we shun those that have been victimized?  When we claim all these ‘biblical’ reasons to do so?  Their form of church dies, because God has left the building and taken his people with him.  God does not ask us to stay with those that endorse evil after all.

Please pray with me for all those within the Sovereign Grace Ministries fold.  Pray that the leaders will look to God’s word, and Pray that the fellowship will find comfort, support, and heal their broken hearts.  Pray that this lawsuit will open some eyes to our failings, and how we need to do as we are taught in 1 Corinthians 5.  We are all sinners YES, but also need to look at when the Lord asks us expel the wicked person from among us.  Pray that we learn obedience to do what he has asked, and have faith NOT fear that God will take it from there. Amen.

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Yeshua Hineni on 1:42 PM said...

Awesome as always!

Hannah on 1:12 PM said...

Thank you Jennifer!

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