It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”1 Corinthians 5:12-13
Have you recovered from the previous gem? Was it too shocking for you? It’s a wonder you are still a follower of Gems. Congratulations for having the guts to come back for more. I will have to look at the hits and the decline in those who view the Gems or cancelled their Gem subscription from yesterday. That will tell me something won’t it? Don’t do that kind of thing Ian! Just give us the non-offensive stuff. Now where have I heard that before? [See Bible Gem 313] I am committed with the Bible Gems to give you Bible and to give it to you deep and unadulterated (not watered down).
Oh no, what are we in for today? “Judge the church”, “judge outsiders”, “remove evil people”.
I don’t think I want to read any further Ian.
I am committed to giving you the intention of the Bible and not the teaching of man. (As best I can – I have my biases too.) Your part is to test these things and see if they are of God. Be like the Bereans who checked out everything Paul said. You need to do no less with Ian. That is why Tania and I are calling the new venture we are getting into Berean Insights after Acts 17:11 which reads: “the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” The verb is ἀνακρίνω [anakrinō] meaning to properly scrutinize, that is, investigate, determine, carefully examine, judge, search. The root word is from κρίνω [krinō] to judge. We are called to judge Scripture and to judge people.
I think Paul was saying the following. It is not my responsibility to judge outsiders. I don’t have jurisdiction over them; let God judge them. Paul’s rules / advice could only apply to the church not to the world outside the church. As a Christian apostle he had no jurisdiction over those in the world. He could have also implied “Those within are enough of a handful without adding those outside.” To maintain standards of Christian witness and to address issues of wrong doing some judgements and ruling have to be made. I am sure Paul was saying things are bad that a man within the congregation at Corinth was having an incestuous relationship with his stepmother and no-one does anything about it. Furthermore rumours were rife and the church was boastful of what was happening; something had to be done. If you won’t make the decision then I will come as an apostle, one who has oversight to make the ruling. “For heaven’s sake” make the decision and discipline this man.
No, this is not an invitation by Paul for us to launch off into judgements of everyone inside and outside the church. Yes there is a clear line between the non-believer and those outside of Christ. Judgement must start with the household of God. “For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” (1 Pet 4:17) Can Paul be telling the Corinthians to judge one another across the board? I don’t believe so. He has already been castigating them for the parochial spirit. Imagine the kinds of things that would develop if they were to judge one another on every little issue. Maybe it is not hard for you to imagine because you have only to think about what it is like in your church now. Imagine the chaos and the hurt. But major on the majors at least. Paul is saying, “Make a ruling or I will come and do it for you.”
Your past doesn’t disqualify what God has for your future! If you stumble, make it part of your dance!Sheila Gerald
The greatest thing about Grace is that it makes life not fair.Ian Vail