The Higher Standard

1 Corinthians 5:9-12, ” 9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

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

As Christians, we’re supposed to hold ourselves to the higher standard of being like Christ. Nowhere does the scripture say we are to tolerate our sins, but to put them off, throw them away,  and to get rid of entirely anything that would hinder us from the Kingdom of God. Sometimes it’s a process that hurts more than anything imaginable. This Corinthian church was at an important point in their history. Sexual sin was rampant in the city and found itself into the church. Paul was not pleased. Today, no church would like to hear Paul’s advice, how many seats would be emptied if every church cast out its immoral, greedy, idolater, sladerous, drunk, and swindler members? Is that Christian?

Revelation 2:18-29, “18”To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
      These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
 27’He will rule them with an iron scepter;
      he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ — just as I have received authority from my Father. 28I will also give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

There is a Jezebel in Christianity, in some denominations moreso than others. Note that John didn’t single any one or two sexual sins, he doesn’t want any of them left in the church. A church is a body of believers and the body of Christ. What affects one member has an effect on all of them. It hurts to send somebody away, but it hurts to allow a cancer of sins to go unchecked. If you love your brothers and sisters in Christ, you might have to confront them.

2 Corinthians 2:5-11, “5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

This story does not end with hurt feelings, loniness, anger, and frustration, nope, Paul demands that everybody takes the next step – forgiveness, comfort, and reaffirmed love. Of course, a church has to be careful about getting it done right. We’re not throwing people out right and left, we’re a recovery program for dealing with sin once and for all. Yes, it will hurt more than anything, but it’s better than the alternative.

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...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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