Posted on September 18, 2016 Posted By: Bill Shank
Pastor Adam brought the message yesterday, tackling a challenging passage found in I Corinthians 5. (As we take 8 weeks to talk about unity in the church, we are looking at I Corinthians because of the many examples of division that existed in that church.) The challenging aspect of chapter 5 dealt with the “expelling” of someone who was a part of that church. Adam said, “It’s hard to imagine a passage more abused in some circles and more ignored in others.”
But seeing Jesus at the cross helps us remember that it is actually exclusion itself that is at the basis of all Christian unity. Helps us have humility when we consider it. And helps us make sure anytime we do this it’s always to be restorative. Always designed for repentance. To bring the other back.
It’s what we communicate while we do this. “We want you here. We want you part of us. Repent, come back.” Open arms.
Hypocrisy is a real danger. “Other side” of those doing the expelling is not perfection but confession and repentance. Talking about sexual sin today; others are listed: slanderers, greedy, idolaters. None of us are perfect. But heartbroken over it, wanting trying to change.
Turn them out so that they may know their actions actually have them under judgment. Turn them out so they may know their need for Someone to take that judgment, take that exclusion away. So they can be brought back in.
The aim is always redemptive. Always restorative. Exclude only for that purpose. To preserve and restore unity. But it’s got to be a unity that’s pure.