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Hide your sins and pretend like you're A-OK... or else

Started by Pete, April 17, 2011, 09:40:22 pm

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Daughter of the King


SOZO = salvation, healing, restoration, prosperity, freedom! PTL!

jiminpa

Quote from: DiscipleHeLovesToo on April 19, 2011, 11:53:15 am
****crickets****

LOL - i love that!  the first time i use it i'll give you credit - after that it's something I got from God! :hugegrin:

this is why i don't attend a formal church (was that the sound of rushing air i heard?  i know some folks will try to violently inhale all the air out of the room when they read that  :) )

the church i attend is the church of the moment; i attend brief services at the grocery store checkout line, the auto parts store, the bank; with longer, more intense services when i visit my buddies or they visit me, and of course every time i attend HGO :)

to me, this is what the original church was all about - taking church to the world, rather than trying to get the world to attend church by coming to a dedicated facility.  not to say that there's not a need for organized groups of believers; i also consider myself to be a 'non-controlled member' of two major ministries - i attend their services daily in my car and other places through my mp3 player, and support them financially as a partner.  if i was in driving distance, i'd attend their services.

but as far as being a 'member' is concerned, i just don't see this concept in the Word (hats off to you Pastorzzub for the way you described how your church views 'membership').  i've yet to run across a church that doesn't apply a required interpretation of scripture to it's membership requirements, or that doesn't have an additional set of guidelines for members to follow in addition to the Word; to me, there's something wrong with this.  and then there's the 'standard' requirement to 'pledge' allegiance to a specific leadership in addition to the Holy Spirit. 

i have a vision of having a 'meeting house' where people can come as they are (there will be ashtrays and spittoons with a silent but high-efficiency air purification system, as well as recliners with airplane-style folding trays to put your laptop on, or ours if you don't have one - electronic Bibles are far more productive to me than the traditional book), hear a brief message, and then spend most of the time discussing it.  the standard 'pulpit' (an OT tradition) lecture doesn't allow the Holy Spirit to speak to the body through whomever He would choose.  there will be no alter, no big Bible (that no one can touch), no choir, no robes, no uncomfortable 'pews' with slippery cushions on them, and no cross hanging on the wall (that's food for another thread); no little glasses for grape juice and no little trays for microbiscuits or stale bread - we'll have a meal together with wine or beer or whatever your favorite beverage might be in which we'll honor Jesus and receive freedom from self-condemnation and physical healing as we rejoice in the presence of the Lord our God.  no membership, no statement of beliefs, no rules beyond barring the manifestations of the devil (and we'll offer to cast him out first so the enslaved person can stay once set free).

hey - put those rocks down! :)

GLY!!!
Good ideas in there, but a little different than how I would want it done.  I would definitely want praise and worship music time, and for the sake of people like me the cigs and the chew can wait until after.  Fraid the beer during the meeting wouldn't work for me either.  I also think a certain, at least, basic statement of beliefs is important, if for no other reasons than full disclosure and to remind you of why you are there, but it could well be kept to the very basics--one God; Messiah, and Him crucified; salvation by faith in Jesus/Yeshua who is God eternal--things at that level. 
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

DiscipleHeLovesToo

yes; we'd certainly start out with some scripturally correct praise and worship-style singing.  if you didn't have to breathe the smoke, would the ashtrays and spittoons be ok?  drinking beer and wine to get drunk would be out - but in some countries beer and/or wine is a part of every meal (Jesus drank wine at the last supper - which was certainly a 'church service'; and he made wine for a marriage feast - and He must have known they were gonna use it to party - think about Deu 14:22-27 - -note verse 26 - and John 2:10).  the statement of belief would be that the written word of the Bible is the representation of the living Word of God - that would leave nothing out, yet allow the Holy Spirit to interpret the written word without setting a limit on this from the outset.

GLYB!!!
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

jiminpa

Quote from: DiscipleHeLovesToo on April 21, 2011, 09:22:11 am
yes; we'd certainly start out with some scripturally correct praise and worship-style singing.  if you didn't have to breathe the smoke, would the ashtrays and spittoons be ok?  drinking beer and wine to get drunk would be out - but in some countries beer and/or wine is a part of every meal (Jesus drank wine at the last supper - which was certainly a 'church service'; and he made wine for a marriage feast - and He must have known they were gonna use it to party - think about Deu 14:22-27 - -note verse 26 - and John 2:10).  the statement of belief would be that the written word of the Bible is the representation of the living Word of God - that would leave nothing out, yet allow the Holy Spirit to interpret the written word without setting a limit on this from the outset.

GLYB!!!
Good point on the wine and beer.  I still have a problem with the tobacco.  I can't think of a better statement of belief. 
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

DiscipleHeLovesToo

thanks Brother!!! 

smoking won't send folks to hell, it will just make them smell like they've been there... :) ; but if the Holy Spirit will hang out with a smoker; would it be right to put a restriction on that?  i remember back in the days when smoking was permitted in office buildings, Centel had a smoking room where every ceiling tile had been replaced by an air return vent; the air supply vents were at the floor level - there could be a dozen or so smokers in there at one time all puffin away, and yet these was no smell of smoke - this is what i was thinkin about.

GLYB!!!
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

bill16652

Gossip and condemnation is the biggest reason people hide sin rather than confessing it in church, to many want to one up you and hold it over your head.  Biblically we are to forgive and move the past is wiped away.  One of the reasons the sinners on the street will not come in, they know that they will be beaten with their past.  As for the act of driving with a woman in the car if you are a pastor, there are many immature christians that their thoughts would not be pure and it would be a stumbling block to them so it should not be done.  As for smoking and drinking I agree wholeheartedly that it is not sin unless the holy spirit has made it so for you and then it is for you and should not be applied to the body.  There is much that could be said here but this is enough for now.  Church discipline is real and should be applied but only as the Holy Spirit directs and only according to the bible which lays it out pretty clear, and only in love with the idea of restoring that brother or sister.  By the way the couple living together before marriage that takes communion, only they know if they are sinning but I think privately it should be asked as they heap condemnation on themselves by taking it if they are not clean.  Repentance requires an effort to quit doing the sin so asking forgiveness without that doies no good for there can be no forgiveness without repentance.

DiscipleHeLovesToo

good points Bill; you can't escape self-condemnation if you persist in something the Holy Spirit has shown you is not for you; and even though Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world; past present and future; you won't be able to receive that forgiveness if you're acting against the leading of the Holy Spirit.

i wonder; is there a clear account in scripture of Jesus being alone with a woman?

"Church discipline is real and should be applied but only as the Holy Spirit directs and only according to the bible which lays it out pretty clear, and only in love with the idea of restoring that brother or sister." - WELL SAID!!!

GLYB!!!
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Rachel Faith

It has been a couple years since my last good "sin". LOL.  This is a problem though. It was a couple years ago...and I have switched churches... I didn't hide my sin. I went and told everyone. Paul the apostle did that. I thought it was the right thing to do..ya know...just be open and honest about it. But apparently it wasn't. The church calls for honesty but they dont really want it. Everyone is so much happier when people aren't real. Someday I'll learn that and get it through my thick skull. But since I was honest, I haven't been able to be a part of ministry. Not because of my testimony, but because other people knew about it (because I had also been open and honest with them) and had gone to the church leadership. In fact, my pastor told me:  "I think you're too open and honest about it". Talk about mixed messages. So am I going to church, yes. Am I disenchanted? Heck yeah.
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

pastorzzub

You see Rachel, your honesty upsets all the hypocrites in the church who are putting on a show.  I believe in honesty.

Now, some things are private and don't need to be shouted off the rooftops, and there is a need for discretion.  However, you need to be who you are.  I am so proud of our church, when people open up with real problems and real sins, they respond in love, grace and kindness.

Rachel Faith

I just get upset by it cuz people always talk about how God forgives ALL sin....FOREVER. But then I can't minister to people by giving my testimony...because of my testimony??? That makes no sense to me.
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Yitzchak

Quote from: pastorzzub on April 18, 2011, 01:37:16 am
The problem isn't church discipline, Pete, that is just the fruit of the problem.  The problem is superficial relationships on every level.  However, when things are going well we can cover over that rather well.  But when church discipline is necessary, the lack of depth in any relationships is then glaringly obvious.



     This Statement stands out to me as taking things a little bit deeper and getting closer to the root problem.

    I am much more receptive to my wife correcting me about sins in my life than I am of any other person. Part of the reason is because we both know each other 's weaknesses and accept each other. But also , I know she has my best interests in mind and also she is concerned about doing the right thing before God. In other words , I trust her motives.

   I know that my wife will never come to em to correct me about something that she has not first taken some time to pray and also done at least a few days of fasting and seeking The Lord about it. It reminds me of that verse where David said I will not give something to The Lord that cost me nothing. I know that when my wife comes to me , it is not done lightly. It costs her something to come to me because she does it only after humbling herself before God and making sure her motives are pure. She takes the Matthew seven take the beam out of your own eye seriously.

     As a side note , it is funny how when that passage is quoted , people never seem to get to the part of removing the beam in their own eye and then proceeding forward to correct or help the one they are judging. People seem to just throw up their hands and give up and say , Oh well , I guess I have  abeam in my own eye. But the passage does not stop there. It counsels us to remove that beam. End of side note/rant.

     Anyway , I have confidence that when my wife approaches me about something , she has wrestled in prayer and prepared her heart. I don't have to wonder if it is just a manipulative one upmanship in the relationship.

     I think it would help with church discipline if people actually followed that approach and fasted and prayed and made sure they were in a right attitude when they approach the person. But what I am really saying is that the point about weak relationships , both between the people and between people and God. These relationships cost something to do them right.

     
To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

      To answer the main question of this thread. One point seems self evident to me. But it requires some attention because we do not always remember the basic fundamentals when we consider these issues.

     The first thing is the word. Meaning that in this issue just like in any other issue , there is the importance of following the word and applying the word in faith. We know for healing or other things that we are not to give place to the devil in the things that we say. We are to confess what the word says in faith.

   So the basics. We need to do church discipline based upon scripture. Then we need to walk out those scriptures in a single minded way and not leave room for double minded thoughts and words. If our confession is that the church discipline that the word advises us is not going to be effective , then we have no business preforming church discipline until we can do it in faith.

   Which brings me to the second self evident point. We need a clear goal or target. Several have mentioned redemption of the person being the goal. Even in one case it was an unsaved couple , and their salvation was mentioned as the goal. I think I heard the purity of the church mentioned. Certainly the Bible supports that when it says a little leaven will corrupt the whole batch when speaking of public sins in the Corinthian church.

    I think that one issue which is often glossed over when speaking about this issue is that those who insist upon public sin with no sign of remorse within the church are being selfish. They certainly are at best extremely immature to the point of not caring how their sin might cause sincere weaker Christians within the community to stumble into sin because of their poor example. 

       This can be something as small and simple as immodest dress and people's lust.


     An example ,  in a church we used to go to , there was a married woman on the worship team who wore extremely immodest clothes. I am talking very tight and skimpy and lots of cleavage. Every time she would get involved in worship she would close her eyes and lean over and show off her assets.  When people looked up at the screen for the words to the songs  , they had  her boobs right in their line of vision.

      Not only that , but she often wore these outfits which had no back. They somehow tied around the neck and had a front but her back was bare. So after the worship was over and everyone went to their seats , she would exit the stage and sit in the front row. When we would stand during different parts of the service , the back of the chair would cover the bottom half of a person and this lady from the back looked completely naked. because all you could see was her bare back from the waist up. It looked like a naked woman standing there.

    I was at a men's Bible study one night and the topic turned to men confessing some of their struggles with lust and one guy confessed having sex fantasies about this woman. One guy , trying to have sympathy for the guy's struggle , said " if I wasn't so spiritual , and was into those kind of things I would put her on the top of my list . She is not very easy to resist. "

      Now this was a simple situation. Nothing extreme like the situation where the Pastor's wife was sleeping with the deacon's wife. That actually happened in one church in the town where we used to live. They ended up divorcing their husbands and having a lesbian marriage ceremony to each other. They continued going to the same church and refused to leave , saying that it was their home church where they both grew up and they were not about to be run out of their church. The Pastor had a nervous breakdown and dropped out of the ministry and the deacon resigned and moved on. The church brought in a liberal pastor who rejoiced in the situation as a good example of freedom and grace.

   But back to my first story. Is the issue the redemption or spiritual growth of this woman ? The good of the weaker men or women who were stumbling over it ? Was it perhaps even hurting efforts to help people in completely unrelated areas because of the distraction of it ?

       The church lost several members over it because the leadership communicated that they had no dress code to enforce, it was up to the individual to decide. The woman had been faithful to her husband and there was no clear sin involved , the church leadership said. Just a difference of personal convictions on how to dress. They choose to emphasize the virtue of not allowing pressure to influence church policies. If people were stumbling , it was their own sin they needed to deal with. That was the official stance of the church.

     The man from the Bible study confessed his struggles to his wife and it was his wife who insisted on the decision to leave the church and go somewhere else. It seemed like this woman gathered more opposition from the women of the church , then she did from the men.

   Anyway , all of this to bring our attention back to the point I was making. What is the goal of church discipline in such a situation ?  It seems to me that without a clear mindset as to what the discipline is meant to accomplish , then we flounder in confusion. In most churches , I would venture to say that there are several different views of what the goal is. People just assume there is unity , but there probably is not.

   One person judges it as success and another failure according to what they thought the purpose was. Making an example is one goal. But to some people , that is a side issue. Whether or not it deters it is not the issue. To some it is done to protect the community. The weak members who are prone to stumble. To some it is for the good of the person being disciplined. To some , it isn't about any person , it is about being true to God. They look at the story of Eli the Priest and how he failed to discipline his sons as an example that God will be displeased if we fail to discipline. For those people it is first and foremost about pleasing God.

To know him and to make him known

Yitzchak

   One other thing I thought of. One of our friend's pastors preached a sermon a while back and in it he made the statement that whatever is happening in our life , we can trace back to what we have spoken the past several months. We were visiting his church and heard the sermon. I don't know if he overstated it or understated it. Obviously there are factors other then just what we say. But I think it was basically a true statement. At least in the sense that what we say makes a fundamental difference in our Christian walk. Pure religion is bridling our tongues , it says in the book of James.

    The thing is when it comes to church discipline , this subject never comes up. Earlier someone posted about unbelief. One poster spoke of the lack of depth in relationships. Even the pastor that I mentioned , when he had a situation that required church discipline , he focused on the specific sin involved. In all the talk about it , no one mentioned confronting the person who had sinned about how they were talking for the several months leading up to the sin.

    I guess I am thinking out loud. I wonder how much we believe our own preaching sometimes ? It seems compartmentalized. We hear sermons about prayer and faith and how we talk and all kinds of important things. Maybe those are the things we should look at when someone is found to be in sin to such an extent that it is effecting the entire Christian community.
To know him and to make him known