greg_gordon — 2017-02-08T19:56:29-05:00 — #1
I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. - 2 Corinthians 12:21
There are many tests for the humility of our walk with Christ. One of them is how we react to correction and namely correction by spiritual leaders in the body of Christ. It is never easy to consider we have been wrong in an area of our life and our decisions have caused hurt towards others. Paul the Apostle was encouraging the Corinthian believers to repent fully of their past behaviours, he was full of grace towards them that they could change. But sadly in the 2nd letter he wrote to them at the end he started to doubt whether they had changed. He wrote, I fear there would be "discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder" (2 Corinthians 12:20) still among you! An arrogant attitude says I am never wrong, it says people need to listen to me. Arrogant, proud, haughty men were in the Corinthian church who were not even listening to leaders in their gatherings and were rejecting the Apostle Paul himself. You could possibly hear one of them saying, "I have no authority over me, I only submit to Christ!" It sounds spiritual but in the end such an attitude is of a decieved individual who is found apart from Christ in his pride.
The Corinthians were submitting to what Paul called, "super apostles" (2 Corinthians 12:11). These men where ear-tickling preachers that told the people what they wanted to hear. One thing they did not speak about was sexual sins or against disorder and discord in the body. All they probably wanted was the peoples money and esteem. Paul highlights at the end of his letter that "many" have "not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged." No wonder they were not correcting a young man who was in incest (1 Corinthians 5). What shocked me is when I read the word "many"! The Corinthian Church was compromised and were neglecting the cure to their ills which was godly leadership and true spiritual elders guiding them. They were blind leading the blind into lives of sin and selfishness. The end was many who were slandering each other, name-calling, talking behind backs and ultimately division in the body of Christ, something that grieves the heart of God. Paul labored with them and sought to visit them again to spend time with these children of God and tend them like a Shepherd. This comes close to home for us, are we willing to submit to correction by spiritual leaders in the areas of our lives that are amiss. Or do we seek to always justify ourselves and not accept even the godliest of men who counsel against our decisions. Our way of repentance is to humble ourselves under such correction and allow Christ to start to be formed in us again.
gao_lu — 2017-02-09T06:26:27-05:00 — #2
A lot of good thoughts there, Greg.
Throughout reading your post, James 3:17 kept playing in my mind:
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
I like the KJV which says "Easy to be intreated." Am I teachable?
But I think you are taking this much farther - have I repented?
- I also wonder if there is a Millenial question here - a trend toward looking within themselves to determine moral authority.
lu1 — 2017-02-09T12:41:25-05:00 — #3
May I ask why a Millennial question?
gao_lu — 2017-02-09T18:06:41-05:00 — #4
I was referring to the Millenial Generation, having just read recent Barna information about how Millenials and older folks as well have diminishing regard and trust in the Bible or external authority or sources and increasingly "look within" to find Truth. The outcome is that each person has their own Truth or moral code and has no right or reason to question another person's Truth or moral code.
lu1 — 2017-02-09T18:13:23-05:00 — #5
I though so but I didn't want to assume that was what you meant. This is an issue with the Church in the West.
hamilton_ramos — 2017-02-13T23:04:57-05:00 — #6
Some points to consider:
Spiritual office, is not a matter of an authority position granted by a denomination, a man, etc.
It is a position granted by God, and God enables that person to have certain gifts of the Sprit to discharge successfully the position.
Once again, as someone has said: in not about intellectual faith, but Divine faith due to a personal encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (Paul's way to become appointed to office).
1 Corinthians 2:5
that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
Now for the immorality question, before a person can become a disciple, the person needs deliverance if he / she has been involved in ungodly activities that opened doors for unclean spirits to stick around (or has generational curses, or generational impiety roots):
and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Magdalene could not become a proper follower until delivered from the unclean spirits making her miss the mark.
So for those that think that by talking you can help a believer (under bad spiritual influence) straighten up, are operating under a false premise, if there is a malignant supernatural entity trying to destroy the person, then that has to be taken care of first.
Do not ever forget:
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
So for those that think that the hardest cases are to be solved by just correcting (as in talking, counselling, warning, reprimanding, etc) are going contrary to what the intent of the NT message is.
Note that without the HolySpirit, there is no power available to do any effective ministry for the though cases.
For the cases in which the believer has been delivered of unnatural influences, and fails to heed to correction (doctrinal or in orthopraxis), then church discipline applies.
To know the difference of cases (and their severity), the gift of discernment of spirits is needed, which without is almost impossible to do effective Kingdom work.