Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Prickly issues...

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn't make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn't mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue or white-collar.

Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You'd have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn't act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory.

You can't just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I'm not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.


Linda said...

What does it mean to clean house? What's considered acceptable? If a neighborhood is the context, how do you suggest approaching these prickly issues without making for bad relationships with your neighbors?

Stew Carson said...

Good questions you ask Linda, as they reveal the 'prickly' nature of the subject.

One of the first steps is to identify those who would call themselves Christ-followers in your block (or neighbourhood).

As relationships deepen these verses give context to address the harmful forms of sexuality mentioned (& hypocrisy, the crooked, the rude, the greedy etc).

As this so rarely occurs in healing ways we are often left wondering if it's even possible. 'Love covers over a multitude of sins' is a verse that springs to my mind at this point.

Again, this is only in the context of those who already identify themselves as followers of Jesus & want to make a difference in the neighbourhood with you.

Linda said...

Your words cause me to reflect. The key in what you say is the "...and want to make a difference in the neighbourhood with you". I have experienced that if I model the "good neighbour" behaviour; others are likely to do the same. So, I believe that most people do want to contribute.