1 Corinthians 5:12New Living Translation (NLT)
12” It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.”
A recent Man in the Mirror poll found that 6 out of 10 Christian men, including pastors, view pornography at least once a week.
Many statistics point to the fact that the divorce rate in those claiming to be Christians is the same as those that don’t claim faith and for sure marriages are in trouble as much in the Church as in the world.
This is just a couple of the examples that will fill up books of reasons why I believe that Paul said this profound quote in 1 Corinthians 5:12. God looking forward, and then inspiring Paul to write this verse, saw that because the Church is people, we would have plenty of things to work on internally, so that we would not need to be looking outside of our own walls for problems to resolve.
It has always saddened me how offended people get when I talk about the problems in the Church. It is like they believe that if we don’t talk about them no one will know? Here is a shocker… Everyone KNOWS! The saddest part is that the people that need Jesus the most see it, and are repulsed by the behaviors.
I can’t count the number of times people have talked to me about behaviors of churches, church leadership and Christian people, and the situation gave them plenty of reasons to not be interested in church. It really left them feeling like it is no more real than anything else the world has to offer.
Just a bunch of people getting together to be “fine” for 1 hour a week and then living a life that looks like everyone else the rest of the week.
I have actually been told more than once by respected pastors and church people that these things that people bring up are just the excuses they use to reject God. That may be true but it doesn’t change the fact that what they are saying is also often times true.
The main reasons I see the current behavior as destructive is that as the Church looks outward, and decides for those in the world what is acceptable and moral, while allowing people within the Church to behave the same, we are the worst kind of hypocrites. This is exactly what sent Jesus over the edge when dealing with the Jewish leaders. They were so careful to try to look good and follow all the rules while their hearts were wicked and evil and they did nothing to address it.
Here is a great example. I know many pastors that will marry people who are living together before marriage, but yet wouldn’t consider marrying a same-sex couple. The problem is that sexual immorality is the same in Jesus eyes. It doesn’t matter if it is with a computer screen, before marriage or same-sex couples. It is wrong and we can’t really throw stones at one type while tolerating or approving the others.
I believe that many of the problems are that we as the Church have lost sight of who God is, and what He desires for us. We have become what Paul warned Timothy to avoid.
2 Timothy 3:5New Living Translation (NLT)
5” They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”
Because of this we have allowed the bar that every writer in the Bible set of Holy living, to slowly slip down, while blasting the outside world for its wickedness. Like somehow the world knows any better without the Church revealing the Holiness of God.
Please don’t hear me and give me the excuses that I hear all the time—“There are no perfect churches.”
I know that! I am the Church along with every other messed up believer in Jesus Christ, this is why Paul spoke the verse in 1 Corinthians 5:12.
So the question is since you, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, are also the Church, what are you going to do about this? Are you going to continue to go to church on Sundays and pretend like you don’t see the problem?
Are you going to just walk away from the faith and make an eternal decision, because you don’t like what you have experienced? Are you willing to not be one of those that Paul spoke to Timothy about, and instead allow God to search your heart and life and then begin the process of transformation by cutting the strings to the old life and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you?
If you want to do something different then don’t just follow anymore!
Ask God why He put you in this place and at this time in history for? You are not where you are by mistake! He has put each one of us in His Body to be a part of the whole unifying growth of the Bride of Christ. But it has to be stainless! Not by my strength, but by accepting Jesus’ Grace to overcome me! I have to allow the process of crucification and death of every part of me so Christ can live through me.
Matthew 7:14New Living Translation (NLT)
14” But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
This is the fact; few will be willing to find the road to life, but those that do have again and again changed the course of history for the entire world.
So my suggestion is this… internal cleaning! It starts with my own life, learning to follow Christ, and then looking lovingly to help my fellow sojourners to walk in victory also.
This will not be any easy process! It will require breaking the silence, speaking truth in love and allowing the Truth of Scripture to be the only guide. It will mean allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and fellowshipping with those that have shown their faithfulness to Christ and His teachings.
It can happen and it has happened in the past, but it always requires a few that are no longer willing to just blindly follow, but instead listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd (John 10).
If you want to talk more about this please feel free to contact me with approval or concerns.