Beyond Reproach: Taking Sin Seriously
Whenever you turn on the news we are constantly bombarded with negative images and depressing soundbites with discouraging words. You might get the impression that it should be called “Bad News“. For example, a recent television commercial addressed rightfully so, childhood victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy.
Somewhere else, you’re told of the great meteoric rise and the publically humiliating fall of some famous televangelist; whether it be adultery or tax evasion or a litany of other possible crimes. Yet another news outlet might tell you of the “Secret Lives” of such and such a preacher.
Now, please don’t misunderstand, my contention with this is not that these news outlets take aim at Christians and it’s “unfair” and “one-sided”. My problem with the whole matter is that, for the most part, these are not media hatchet jobs: we bring this on ourselves!
The world will always find something wrong with Christians and Christianity; it’s supposed to as we’re not of this world! The problem is that we, as Christians, should do our very best to be, as the Apostle Paul wrote in his letters, “beyond reproach“. How did these great evils get into (and were allowed to stay) the Church?
I’m not advocating for a bigger army of “holier-than-thou” Christians taking aim at our own brethren when they stumble and fall. However, our strategy should be one of prevention a priori, not of righteous indignation and excommunicating after the fact.
Furthermore, our default position should not be one of rationalizing these events and say things like “well, your religion is not any better“. Consider this, their “religion” shouldn’t be any better than ours; it is us that are making the claim that we serve the One and True Living God! A famous song by DC Talk starts out with these words:
“The greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny Him with their lifestyle: that is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable“!
Dealing with sinning Christians
As Born-again, Spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christians, we cannot fall prey to the world system that preaches to take the “plank out of your brother’s eye” first! The housecleaning must start at home! For far too long we have let certain aspects of worldliness coexist in our churches in the hope that it would bring souls to Christ. If we believe such things it can only mean one thing: we haven’t read the Gospels and we really have no clue who Jesus is!
As Men of God, it is our responsibility to ensure that our own lives, our families’ lives, and our congregations are free and clear of such abominations that cause the weaker brethren or the outside world to stumble. We must, in humility and love, address believers that are struggling with sin and call it as we see it: sin.
But we must also remember that the Devil likes nothing better than the Church indulging in infighting, factions, and “permissible” sins; he knows that when the body is divided, we are no earthly good. Whether it be Corinthian-style fornications, Galatian-style Judaizers, or splits and schisms coming in various shapes and sizes. The church can only be victorious when we live out the Kingdom in boldness, love, and unity, and it is up to the Men of God to stand up and lead the way- on our knees in prayer with, and for, our families.
Bondservant to Jesus, Married to Michele, Dad to Madelyn, Claudia, and Joseph and educator by trade. Antonio loves to read, write, and discuss all-things-apologetics. He has many passions in life including reaching, teaching, and keeping men for Jesus Christ. Waiting on God’s big reveal: Antonio knows He has something beautiful in mind.