PASTORS: Do not make an effort to keep your church full. Instead, spend your energies on keeping your church pure.
I’ve known of more than one instance where a couple would be attending a church, and one of them would begin cheating on the other. They would soon split. The cheater would then show up at the church with his or her paramour. Even after the situation would be pointed out to the pastor or elders, nothing would be done. No one would be confronted.
I know there is a fear of confrontation in our society. (I think sometimes that I am the one who invented it.)
But, this sort of thing outght not to be.
In our small town, there is a local church where it is alleged that the piano player is committing adultery. The situation is spoken of all around town. The wife said her husband told her he was doing it, and she could leave if she wanted.
This particular church takes a strong stand against having a divorced person serve as pastor.
I spoke to one of the teaching elders about this situation a few days ago. I was able to bring up the subject, because he said he had been teaching on “the wiles of the devil.”
I said, “Since you are teaching on the wiles of the devil, then why are you allowing an adulterer to lead worship in your church.”
“He’s not the worship leader,” was the reply.
“Yet you allow him to be up front, leading the people by playing the piano. How is that okay?” I asked.
“Well, it hasn’t been proven. There are just rumors.”
“Don’t you think the rumors ought to be checked out?”
“Maybe. But we should wait until there are two or three witnesses. But what really gets me is how the devil uses babies in the service to distract from the teaching of God’s Word.” He then went into a tirade about how children should not be in the service because they can be used by the devil to disrupt.
When he took a breath, I said, “Don’t you think sin in the church is something the devil uses to keep the church powerless?”
“Yes, but we don’t know for sure that he is doing that. What really needs to be dealt with are those who say they are going to do something–like teach children’s church–and then don’t show up. Then you find out they’ve been out on a bike ride or something.”
He had become visibly uncomfortable, shrugging his shoulders and twisting his neck like his collar was too tight. (I never knew that was possible for a tee shirt.)
I am fairly confident that this sickening scenario could have been played out in just about any town in Amreica. The situation may be somewhat different, but the toleration of sin in the camp is an all-too-common problem in today’s institutional churches–be they denominational or independent.
How can a Bible-believing church skip over Matthew 18:15-20, or ignore 1 Corinthians 5:1-7a, or not get the lesson of Achan (Joshua 7)?
We beg and plead with God for revival, but nothing happens.
Should we not “consider our ways…, because of the Lord’s house that lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:7-11)
Until we “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1); until we “come out from among them and be separate” (2 Cor. 6:17); until we “come out of her” (Babylon), we will continue to “share in her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
If you know your church tolerates sin–especially sexual sin–then you are required to speak up or get out. It is better to not have a place of fellowship, than to have fellowship with the unfruitful, life-destroying, spirit-damaging, self-serving works of darkness in the name of maintaining peace.
“Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured” (Heb. 13:13).