Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sin in the Camp

God hates sexual sin. That’s hard to grasp in the world we live in. It’s so prevalent and so accepted, that I know I tend to downplay it. But the Bible doesn’t, especially among Christians.

But I don’t have a problem with sexual sin – or do I?

I watch TV and movies; I even read some books with sexual innuendo. My mind skips over the explicit parts and downplays what I’m seeing. When I stop to think about it, I realize that it can’t be pleasing to God for me to watch a scene with even a mild interaction between an unmarried man and woman. In fact, He probably isn’t pleased with suggestive language and sexual humor either.

Having acknowledged that, my response to this passage is still: Wow!

I can’t eat with someone who claims to be a believer but isn’t married to the person she’s living with? I can’t associate with Christians like that or with believers who are greedy, believers who put things before God, believers who are abusive, or addicted or cheating others?

Who’s left?

The church is full of sinners and I know I’m one. Should people not be associating with me?

There are a few things I need to remember before I hole up in my house and stop talking to other Christians.

It’s a hard teaching, but from the beginning God has demanded that His people be separate from the world. He knows that sin in the church spreads to the whole body. It needs to be removed like yeast in bread.

The Corinthian church was boasting about it. Maybe the guilty man had a great personality. Maybe he did a lot for the church. Do we close our eyes to a person’s sin because they have a gift they use to serve the church?

These instructions are corporate. Paul isn’t talking to individuals, but to the whole church. I must never presume to judge by myself. The responsibility belongs to the church leaders, the people God has put in authority.

As a church, we shouldn’t pretend there isn’t sin in the church. We need to recognize it, deal with it and start fresh.

As an individual believer, I should examine myself before God, apply His Word and make sure I’m not the one bringing sin into the camp.

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