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CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 391
Cambodia

 Tension

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-
not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
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.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 5:9-13


In other posts there has been a strong sentiment expressed not to judge someone who professes faith in Jesus. How would the above verse apply in the church today? Please don’t bring up Kanye West. My question is not about one specific person or situation.

I think other posts and discussions really create a need to understand the interaction between desiring all to be saved and supporting all who come (which is true) and responsibilities the “church” has regarding purity in her midst ( the context of the Corinthians church is greater than just leadership or even one local church).

I want to reject up front any attacks that this idea is an unloving attitude as Paul wrote this in the same letter and in close proximity to the famous brotherly love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13.

How do we reconcile the hugely inclusive (come all and you are loved, supported and welcome) with the hugely exclusive (purge the evil) ? I believe both are absolutely true but how far does it go on the purge evil side? To be honest, if applied with the other principles of church discipline found in Scripture, I think the churches would be smaller. Maybe more powerful but definitely smaller.

This is not a parlor game. I hope I’ve raised a legitimate question of tension found in the Scripture and one that addresses a practical tension of attitudes within the body .


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Robert

 2019/11/14 17:44Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1244
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Tension

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

(For me) it is all about context-
The above scripture is from chapter 3 of the same book where we find the context that informs the situation in chapter 5...
So Paul, correctly applies the law to this body as they are carnal and the law is made for the carnal.
The church at Corinth simply lacked the spiritual guidance of a mature brother, with Paul not physically being present, he addresses the situation the only way he could.

Btw I’m grateful for your raising this for discussion and like you, I have a hope that the Lord will show Himself in and through it 😇


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Fletcher

 2019/11/14 21:12Profile
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 Re:

Thank you Fletcher. Wouldn’t the view you have render all of the Corinthian letter inapplicable to the mature?


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Robert

 2019/11/14 22:43Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
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Whittier CA USA

 Re: Tension

Don't have much time right now but I appreciate this topic being brought up for discussion. I too have wrestled with this tension at various times. I agree that most churches have gotten away from heeding the scriptures dealing with church discipline. But there are still a few believers out there that are seeking to be faithful to those scriptures.

One thing I've struggled with is how to apply exercising church discipline toward one who is greedy or covetous as it's one of the sins mentioned in 1 Cor. 5. I mean how would we be able to know when someone is being so greedy that they need to be excommunicated from fellowship and treated as a non-believer? That's a tough one for me that I've never been able to answer. And I guess it's probably because we've gotten so far away from that kind of standard that was applied in the early church.


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Oracio

 2019/11/14 22:50Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
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Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quick follow-up post: I mean would having a brand new Lamborghini or Ferrari qualify one as being greedy and needing to be kicked out of fellowship? How about a brand new BMW or Mercedes Benz? Or what about multiple new cheaper cars, trucks or SUVs that one does not really need? What about a 5 million dollar mansion? Or a big 2 million dollar home? Where would we draw the line? I know it's not a sin to be rich per se according to 1 Tim. 6:17. I'm thinking it comes down to how the money is handled, whether selfishly or generously and modestly. Just thinking out loud here.


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Oracio

 2019/11/14 23:04Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1244
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: inapplicable-

Brother Robert,
From how it’s structured, (contextually compiled) it wouldn’t seem to be...
so in chapter 1 after the initial greeting Paul declares the faithfulness of God all while exhorting them to be unified with no divisions among them,... then immediately tells why he’s writing-
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

So (my understanding) Paul begins his second letter (1 Corinthians) intending to address the confusion in this specific body. He does this with a learned hand in that he prepares the substance for them, much like a handmaiden would warm the milk, making it easier to consume.

Only after establishing this practice of feeding them milk, does he in chapter 3 address the (obvious) fact that they themselves are babes in the faith, lacking the teeth as it were to feed on strong ng meat. Which itself qualifies him utilizing the law, lawfully.
After which he states in the same chapter;
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Which again, serves to illustrate the “tension” of which we are inquiring-

Now at the opening of chapter 5, Paul remarks;
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Now it becomes even more clear why, Paul is addressing them as he is-
They are simply still being informed by their culture rather than Christ and as such still carnal and in need of the law.
This practice seems (to me) to continue thru chapter 6, tho in chapter 7 we find Paul responding to their inquiry of him-

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me;

Here he begins to inform them directly in spiritual matters and not placing them under the law as babes but informing their growth as an apostle of Christ. This practice of informing them of the spirit seems (to me) to carry through the rest of the letter (epistle) though an argument could be raised about certain sections that most modern cultures reject (head coverings,etc) as being a legalistic position taken by Paul to reign in the unruly women who had been steeped in a culture of independence, making them unsuitable for serving the Lord. Though aside from these few (potential) exceptions the overall tone taken by Paul moves from instruments of enforcing discipline (law/containment) to instructing (discipling) for the sake of growing/maturing in the spirit.





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Fletcher

 2019/11/14 23:35Profile
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 Re:

Fletcher, It seems to me that Paul’s addresses to the church are his efforts to compel the church to exercise church discipline against the unrepentant sinner in their midst consistent with Matthew 18 and he chided them for their disobedience to this mandate and warns them of incurring the rod of discipline for their disobedience. He is very clear about removing the leaven that would otherwise harm the body and shows his loving concern for the errant brother in having him buffeted by Satan with the loving hope of restoration. The chapter 5 passage is pretty clearly a statement that gross sin in the body should be dealt with in the church by the church. Or so it seems to me.

Btw, Jesus letters to the churches (at least 5 of them) in Revelation all dealt with these sins with a warning of repent or lose the glory of His presence. A critical and compelling point in the conversation.


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Robert

 2019/11/14 23:52Profile
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 Re:

Ocasio, I couldn’t agree more. Greed or covetousness is the hardest one. If we could grasp the right definition, it would be simpler.

But even if we start with an easy definition like “those who pursue wealth but are not generous ( rich) to God (and the needy in Christ)” then I’m afraid many in the church would be very upset.


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Robert

 2019/11/14 23:53Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re:

Beware of Criticizing Others
By Oswald Chambers

Judge not, that you be not judged. —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.


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Todd

 2019/11/15 7:02Profile
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 391
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 Re:

Hi Todd.

The verses quoted say this:


Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. - Luke 6:41-42

The key is to deal with your own logs and thus be in a position to remove the speck which is actually a command of the Lord:

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. - Galatians 6:1

“save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh”. - Jude 1:23


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Robert

 2019/11/15 7:35Profile





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