I’ve begun to grow very tired of the stereotypical view of Christians from those outside of the church, that we as a collective seem to be very hypocritical much of the time. If we are honest, sometimes we can easily lose sight of our own shortcomings as we work to follow Christ. There is so much preaching, so much outreach and so much rebuke from the body toward the world that the world starts to reply to us what Jesus said to us and that is to “be sure to get the beam out of your own eye before you try to get the speck out of your brother’s eye”. If the sins of the church are too pronounced and then we go out to the world to point out to them their need for repentance they will automatically label us as hypocritical.
These scriptures come to mind: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” 1 Corinthians 6:2-3,5
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:17-19
“But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13
That last scripture is very powerful to me. God is going to judge those outside of the church and we who are inside the church have to be very circumspect in marking those who habitually walk out-of-order and against the doctrine of God. I’m under the impression that when Jesus said “those who do the will of my Father, the same are my family” He really meant it. Do we really mean that? If we did, then the same way you wouldn’t stand by and watch your own siblings and family members walk in disarray without stepping in and saying what’s necessary to them in love, we would look at the body of Christ with the same concern because we have that same level of love for them.
Many of us quote “love your neighbor as yourself” but the actual Old Testament scripture that statement comes from says “you shall not put up with sin in your neighbor and you will by all means rebuke him because you love your neighbor as you love yourself”.
Part of our walk as members of the body is to help one another along on the path, so it’s not just in the times of convenience that we are to fellowship and deal with each other, but even when wrong is committed by some among us, we are to come together and rebuke that. Not in malice or in the effort of embarrassing that person, but in the spirit of correction that family would do in order to see one not walk a path that ends in his destruction. So remember brethren, judgement is necessary in the Church of God if we are going to please Him and be found pure before the world that we’ve been sent to preach the message of salvation to.