A Question About Discernment and Discipline

Question: 

“What if the “desire to excel” isn’t the motivation in allowing sinners into the church? We invite our unsaved friends (worldlings) to church and hope they repent. Sometimes that takes a long time! Is this intervening or being missional? I understand your point that Believers aren’t to live in continual sin but am foggy about what we do with the sin saturated culture around us. Do we draw away or let them draw near?”

My Response:

“Great question/comment.  Jesus made it clear, with the salt & light analogy that we will be distinctive and visible. We need to learn to accentuate and use that distinctiveness, with talent and forethought. All available effort should be used.

The issue of believers in habitual, continual sin should be approached as ‘church discipline’. This falls on people who we call pastors and elders. 1 Cor. 5 gives this oversight a template to follow. It is a sticky thing to judge someone. When we have to, we don’t want to. (Unless the person is a ‘control freak’.)

The issue of sin in the church is interesting. To have water outside a boat is a good thing, but to have water in the boat is decidedly worse. We are to preserve our distinctiveness, without diminishing our witness. It’s like we are a flock of lambs living in a pigpen. By their very nature the are different. One has a sheep nature, the other a pig’s. There will be at times confusion. But the sheep don’t belong.

To sum it up, there is church discipline for believers, that really needs to be in place. But we are missional people. The world is very much like a pigpen. But I say, let them come in and let the Holy Spirit touch them.”

*******

This was a recent post and follow-up comment for “Through the Sheep Dip”, posted on September 28, 2010.  The link is located at:  https://brokenbelievers.com/2010/09/28/through-the-sheep-dip/