Papyrus – It seems that for being in the light, Christians are toeing the shadows all too often. We need to help each other deal with our sins. If we could have dealt with them ourselves, we would have. It’s just not that simple. We’ve taken this sort of “his sin is his business, let him sort it out” approach to the situation. It’s not working. When I look at the early church, they had the same problems.
Hypocrisy: Paul and Peter are the two big names of the Old Testament. Peter preaches to the Jews, and Paul teaches the Gentiles. It just so happened that Peter was hanging out with some Gentiles as they were eating and some Jews came along. He then found himself among the Jews and ignored the Gentiles. Paul called him out on this behavior. It just wasn’t right to hang out with one group and leave them be when another group arrived.
Sexual Sin: Paul wrote to one church with a member who had an Oedipus complex. The church was oddly proud. Paul’s solution was to expel him. Sometimes in order to deal with pernicious sin, you’ve got to hit rock bottom. If the church was proud of Mr. O, would they also thrill at sin in general?
Errant Teachings: “The ressurection has already happened.” “Christians must be circumcised.” People took advantage of the hospitality of small towns and started teaching their own gospels. Paul had to lay down the law and said, “If anybody does not acknowledge that Jesus came in the flesh, do not welcome him or let him in your house!” And elsewhere, “if anybody preaches to you another gospel, even if its an angel from heaven, let him be eternally condemned!”
We need to establish a support system to help us deal with our sins. Now I know that some of them are better left in the dark, but there is nothing that won’t come to light eventually. God already knows anyway. So for general sins, they can be hashed out in small groups. Private sins can be entrusted to accountability partners. Between two or more praying and keeping things honest, it won’t be long before we establish holiness and righteousness as more important than comfort.
Granted, we’re risking alot. Some people might listen to what is whispered in church and tell it over their back fence. Gossip too, is a sin. We’ve seen how prayer requests have become vehicles for gossip and condemnation, the latter of which is not our job. We’ll have to call people out on that and it will be uncomfortable. What is right is not always comfortable. Then again, no two things have been more incompatable and uncomfortable as “sinning” and “Christian”.