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Thread: Do we have room for overt sinners in our Churches?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    "In today's legal environment I'm not sure a congregation could bar someone with out risking a law suit"

    Wrong
    Freedom of Association
    Freedom of Religion
    Churches can restrict membership any way the want.
    This is a fact beyond dispute
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    ...... snip.....

    In today's legal environment I'm not sure a congregation could bar someone with out risking a law suit.
    Well you can sue anyone or any organization but winning a suit against a church that insisted you leave the congregation for not abiding by church rules? Not likely in my opinion to win that one. Any more than a court would back someone attending synagogue and eating a ham sandwhich who was required to leave by the Rabbi.

    It is why gay marriage can be legal but one can't demand that a church official perform the ceremony. Can't tell a priest whom they should marry. Can't even tell the elders in a Quaker Meeting who they will or will not marry, never could.
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  3. #23
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    There's the "letter of the law" and then there's the decision to observe it totally strictly, or whether, like Christ modeled for us so very, very often, we can "live and let live" and NOT be so judgmental as to throw them out of the church. The case I thought of when I posted what I did was a very mature man and deacon of the church who had a drinking problem, and when he drank, occasionally beat his wife. Throwing him out of the church would have, almost surely, given him no real hope of making his alcoholism better, but would almost surely have made it worse. As it was, he finally got it all together and quit drinking, but even then, it wasn't anyone in the church that helped him quit. It was another alcoholic in AA who finally brought him to the point that he COULD quit.

    Yes, there are indeed sinners in most all the churches that exist. In mine, we also had a young teenaged woman who sometimes had her date park behind the church for their trysts. That wasn't appreciated, eihter. She died not long ago now, and I never knew if she'd come to the Lord or not. Never crossed paths with her, and she quit going to church long, long ago. I just hope she found salvation.

    So yeah, churches are full of sinners. I'm one, so I guess I ought to know! But throw them out? Yeah, there may well be limits beyond which a church finds itself unwilling to rationally go, and in RARE cases, it may be warranted and needed. But the churches that do this seem to be, in my experience, kind'a selective about who they cast out and who they look over. THIS isn't really surprising, since willful humans were doing the deciding. But wise??? I think not, in all but the most extreme and clearly necessary situations, I say "Yes," there's definitely room for folks in MY church who everyone knows is sinning. Not all may be saved, but some will almost surely be. And isn't that the whole point of what Christ shed his precious and perfect blood for? So we ALL who are sinners, might be saved? Anyone proud enough and haughty enough to throw folks out .... well, they'd not like my church very much, I don't think. We're a pretty loving and well behaved and good natured group. Even the sinners among us - which is ALL of us. Even the near saints, who seem to be the most humble folks IN the church!

    As I said, I don't set myself up as the be-all end-all of theology by ANY measure, but I'll always go with what I think Christ modeled and advised most, and if I err, I think I want it to be on the side of continuing to give folks a real chance, rather than forcing them out. Like I said, that's just MY take on it, and anyone who wishes to disagree is perfectly free to. Mainly, I think we Christians sometimes find it a little TOO easy to set ourselves off from everyone else. I'm a Baptist, and it's said that you can tell a Baptist because they won't speak to you at the liquor store. But I will. If anyone can find a verse that PROHIBITS imbibing in moderation, and I mean true moderation, please come forward with that verse. I can't find it. And yes, I HAVE looked.

    We lose credibility with the unsaved when we jump to swiftly to accuse our brothers. That, taken to its eventual end, will always create yet more rifts. Love doesn't create rifts, but tends to heal as many of them as are amenable to being healed, even if it takes a while to do so. That's why I take the position I do in this. Feel free to disagree, but until someone convinces me of the judiciousness of such things, I can't very well change my mind on it. If I've erred in this, at least I've erred on the side of love and understanding, and caring for my brother. I'll take that.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master



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    Paul made this simple
    You make it up
    I will follow Paul's clear unambiguous instruction
    Not your made up uninspired ideas
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    Blackwater, I'm so thankful there are people here that can put things in words that I feel.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    The case I thought of when I posted what I did was a very mature man and deacon of the church who had a drinking problem, and when he drank, occasionally beat his wife. Throwing him out of the church would have, almost surely, given him no real hope of making his alcoholism better, but would almost surely have made it worse.
    Wow! Do you see "love" operating in ignoring this guy's actions? The church failed the wife and the congregation. He should have been confronted, stripped of his deacon status, told to shape up or get out and jailed. I would have recommended that his wife leave him too for her own safety. I could go on, but I am pretty disturbed by the scenario.

    You do know that men who don't take care of their families are" worse than unbelievers", right? I would say the guy you wrote about falls in this category...and he was a deacon!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    A question was asked,
    Do we have room for overt sinners in our Churches?
    Some very specific cases were sited saying that no, there is no room for certain openly unrepentant behavior in church, yet the argument goes on and on, endlessly to no end. the specifics were stated in scripture, seemingly ignored.

    Much as GOD asked Job, I ask you;

    (Job 38:1-2) "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, {2} Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?"

    And Job answered;

    (Job 42:1-6) "Then Job answered the LORD, and said, {2} I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. {3} Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. {4} Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. {5} I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. {6} Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

    Thundarstick, aside from the emotional trauma, that church did your wife a huge favor, it divorced her so she could move on a church that hopefully taught Christ. Additionally, being disfellowshiped from a man made church has absolutely nothing to do with ones salvation, that is decided by a higher authority.

    (1 Corinthians 5:5) "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

    (John 11:35) "Jesus wept."

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Claude please explain to me how that church did my wife any favors? She still has faith in Jesus saving grace, but wants NOTHING to do with ANY church! I think she resents me for going to church services but I know is where I should be. It breaks my heart at the number of people I grew up with who have left church services all together because there seems to be only harsh judgment and very little love for people in their weakness. The church I attend is nothing like I grew up in and I would never attend one like it either! I've seen what true love is, and it involves compassion, not legalism, something that seems to be lacking in many of our churches

  9. #29
    Boolit Master opos's Avatar
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    May I inquire who withing the particular church organization makes the determination to oust or include someone from membership? Aside from the Bible as the "go to" book...where would one go to find the particular church's "rules of conduct"? I sometimes get the feeling that mortal men place themselves in a position of superiority and control where their particular organization is involved. Because someone carries a particular "title" within the organization...does that person have a closer tie to Jesus or God or is it to satisfy some mortal need and ego?

  10. #30
    Boolit Master


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    I'm not a bible expert. I've never had the time to sit down and read it but that is something I plan to do when I retire. I do think there are contradictory things that to be blunt don't make any sense to me. You guys are pondering basically if someone can be kicked out of church for a particular behavior? Doesn't it say somewhere that if you ask for forgiveness in his name you will get it? Sins are supposed to be forgiven so is it logical that you want to judge and decide if someone should be allowed to continue going to church or be forgiven? Sound kinda hypocritical to me.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master



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    "A question was asked,
    Do we have room for overt sinners in our Churches?
    Some very specific cases were sited saying that no, there is no room for certain openly unrepentant behavior in church, yet the argument goes on and on, endlessly to no end. the specifics were stated in scripture, seemingly ignored."

    Pretty much nails it
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Claude please explain to me how that church did my wife any favors?
    Her mind is not being poisoned with judgmental BS, and lies, she has seen that the veneer of whitewash is thin indeed. Churches do not equal The Church, which is headed by Christ.

    She still has faith in Jesus saving grace
    What has she lost? Ask her if she has a greater appreciation for Jesus, or a lesser, if greater she is indeed a winner.

    You are somewhat answering your own question brother, everything has a time, when she heals of the wounds, she may seek a church. Until then, if she fellowships with Jesus, that is enough. I'm sure some would argue over that, that's to bad.

    I'm sorry she was ill treated by ignorant legalists, but the lesson is that Satan loves to act from the pulpit, one sees it everyday.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    I'm not a bible expert. I've never had the time to sit down and read it but that is something I plan to do when I retire. I do think there are contradictory things that to be blunt don't make any sense to me. You guys are pondering basically if someone can be kicked out of church for a particular behavior? Doesn't it say somewhere that if you ask for forgiveness in his name you will get it? Sins are supposed to be forgiven so is it logical that you want to judge and decide if someone should be allowed to continue going to church or be forgiven? Sound kinda hypocritical to me.
    When you do decide to read the Bible, start with Paul. He was specifically sent to non-Jews to provide instruction to the Saints. He makes it real clear. All this hand-wringing over a simple clear issue where there is no ambuguity. I think such argument shines a light on how little people know about Bibical instruction.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by opos View Post
    May I inquire who withing the particular church organization makes the determination to oust or include someone from membership? Aside from the Bible as the "go to" book...where would one go to find the particular church's "rules of conduct"? I sometimes get the feeling that mortal men place themselves in a position of superiority and control where their particular organization is involved. Because someone carries a particular "title" within the organization...does that person have a closer tie to Jesus or God or is it to satisfy some mortal need and ego?
    Again, I would refer you to Paul who makes it very clear on who is to run the churches and what qualifications they must have. Simple deal. Read it and you will know the answer. Amazing how little people know. Read Paul's letters which contain simple, clear, and umambigious instruction on how the churches are to be run and by who.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

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    I know of nowhere in the Bible where it says "don't judge". It rather says 'be very careful and examine yourself closely before you judge. Read the Lord's Prayer carefully and ask yourself "how am I asking God to judge me?" The principle is clear, we are to judge, but graciously and carefully. Judgment is necessary in any organization. The Church is no different, just how we do it is to be very different.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Doesn't it say somewhere that if you ask for forgiveness in his name you will get it?
    You are missing the point, OVERT, doesn't care, has no repentance. ASKS NO FORGIVENESS, could care less who it effects,.....taking shape now? Starting to catch the drift of the conversation?

    Sound kinda hypocritical to me.
    Under those conditions, does it still sound that way? Put it together in your mind, open your spiritual eyes, and think about it.

    let me site an example, I walk into your house as a guest, urinate on your floor, defecate in your favorite chair, pat your wife on the bum, and teach your kids to do so, then walk out smiling, laughing in your face, think you're gonna invite me back?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    Wow! Do you see "love" operating in ignoring this guy's actions? The church failed the wife and the congregation. He should have been confronted, stripped of his deacon status, told to shape up or get out and jailed. I would have recommended that his wife leave him too for her own safety. I could go on, but I am pretty disturbed by the scenario.

    You do know that men who don't take care of their families are" worse than unbelievers", right? I would say the guy you wrote about falls in this category...and he was a deacon!
    All sins are equal and the wage of sin is death- This is why Christ died on the CROSS so we can be saved.
    Only one unforgivable sin unbelief
    LOYALTY ABOVE ALL ELSE, EXCEPT HONOR

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCP View Post
    All sins are equal and the wage of sin is death- This is why Christ died on the CROSS so we can be saved.
    Only one unforgivable sin unbelief
    Like I said we've been down this road before. I will just refer you to John 19:11 for my "proof text" and leave it at that.

    Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    I'm not a bible expert. I've never had the time to sit down and read it but that is something I plan to do when I retire. I do think there are contradictory things that to be blunt don't make any sense to me. You guys are pondering basically if someone can be kicked out of church for a particular behavior? Doesn't it say somewhere that if you ask for forgiveness in his name you will get it? Sins are supposed to be forgiven so is it logical that you want to judge and decide if someone should be allowed to continue going to church or be forgiven? Sound kinda hypocritical to me.
    If you haven't read the Bible or done serious study, why in the world are you offering your opinion on such a serious matter?

  20. #40
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    Like I said we've been down this road before. I will just refer you to John 19:11 for my "proof text" and leave it at that.

    Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."


    My point being

    men who don't take care of their families are" worse than unbelievers", right?
    Only one unforgivable sin unbelief
    LOYALTY ABOVE ALL ELSE, EXCEPT HONOR

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
    Theodore Roosevelt

    NRA
    BENEFACTOR LIFE MEMBER

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