In this modern age of “tollerance” and “acceptance” this chapter is a horse pill.
I have participated in heated discussions about how to deal with people in our churches who are involved in sexual sin. Can there be any question after reading today’s chapter (1 Corinthians 5)?
4 You are to call a meeting of the church, and I will be there in spirit, and the power of the Lord Jesus will be with you as you meet. 5 Then you must cast this man out of the church and into Satan’s hands, so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved when the Lord returns.
Is this saying that if we tolerate this behavior and allow it to continue as we “love them to Christ,” we are putting them in greater danger than dealing with the sin head on? Would we be allowing this sinful nature to thrive and “he himself” will not be saved when the Lord returns?
I have no doubt this can be done in love and not in anger – with restoration in mind, not punishment. But simply ignoring it and hoping the person will get over it on their own is folly.
What about prayer? Yes – we need to pray.
What about love? Yes – we need to love.
What about forgiveness? There’s no question – we must forgive after repentance.
What about grace? God’s grace is sufficient – but right choices must be made.
My days ministry have shown me that there is plenty of sexual sin within our churches. And, for the most part it goes on ignored. I’m very concerned that the world we live in is set on feminizing our men. It happens in our churches as well, thereby weakening any chance we have to take a stand against satan in this world. Tollerance and acceptance are the method by which this is being accomplished.
What to do? Well, look at the strong position Paul takes:
7 Remove this wicked person from among you so that you can stay pure.
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don’t even eat with such people. 12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
You can see with the strong language Paul is using, that it’s far too important of an issue to just ignore and hope it goes away. More and more men – more and more pastors – are getting caught in the web of pornography and sexual sin.
There are a number of ministries dedicated to helping people (not just men) escape from the bondage of sexual sin. For more information, here are a few links you can check out:
Lord, heal your church and start with the men! Help us know how to deal with people the enemy has captured in this powerful trap. Help us to know how to restore them to You without risking exposure to the rest of our congregation. Bring healing to your church, Lord, so we can regain ground that the enemy has taken from us.