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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Confront Sin

When it comes to Scripture we tend to be selectively obedient.  That is especially so when it comes to confronting people about their sin or a leader who has drifted into heresy.  Most of us do not like conflict.  We avoid it, some of us at all costs.  We use the notion of tolerance or coexistence to deflect scriptural admonition to engage.  Or, like me, we are cowardly, not wanting to endure the imagined or inevitable pain associated with entering into the fray.  Sometimes we use the wise counsel of others, who hold to various positions listed above, to avoid the requirement to confront.
It falls to us to confront sin and heresy whenever we encounter it.  Not to do so invites the destruction of the individual or the ministry involved.
The problem is when sin or heresy is not confronted it grows, festers, metastasizes, and kills.

I will not share details and in fact they are altered.  But I have been aware of and engaged in confrontation of a heresy for the past few years.  I was asked some time ago to present material that was designed to counter the false teaching that had permeated some part of a ministry.  It was thought and I was counseled to not confront the issue directly.  It was a mistake.  The problem has not been resolved and those who have carried the banner against the error have been discredited and pushed aside.  Those who subscribe to the false teaching persist and have solidified their power.  The leadership of the ministry  as a whole seems unwilling or unable to deal with the issue.  Recently, a person who has not been engaged in this process confronted one of those who has been deeply engaged and pushed aside for their trouble and chided them for not doing more.  It was a bit like telling Romney he was responsible to convince Obama he should support the repeal of Obamacare.

Dancing around the counsel of the Holy Spirit never works.  Matthew 18:15 – 17 is pretty clear.  Paul, confronted Peter directly in front of others as he shared in Galatians 2:11 – 14.  Christ turned the moneychanger’s tables over in the temple, Matthew 21:12.  Most of Paul’s letters are dealing directly with errors of doctrine or practice in the Church.  We are not expected to allow error or sin to go unchallenged in our midst.  It denigrates the Body of Christ.  We, I am to engage.

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