Updated: Sep 18, 2021
1 Corinthians 5:12 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.”
Many, many, times hear the mantra: "Don't judge me, only God can judge me." or something like that. And you know God will judge us one day and I fear for those people. I fear for myself as I have to account for my actions and thoughts. Often they are really saying I want to do what I want and not be accountable. But here's the thing, it might not be the churches responsibility to judge unbelievers, but it is our responsibility to judge believers inside the church family. What? Really? That's not what I have been taught. Well maybe you were taught wrong. The bible clearly says in this passage that the church at Corinth had someone sleeping with their mother-in-law. Paul instructs them to judge them and remove them from the church. Throw them out or be in danger of ruining the whole congregation. Historically in Norwich we had a heavy shepherding movement in the eighties which was controlling and wrong, but the pendulum perhaps has swung too far the other way. From heavy shepherding to no shepherding. In other words anything goes. Come to church and profess to be a believer, be part of ministry even and be in active sin. Because it's not our responsibility to judge. I truly fear God. I love people from all backgrounds and lifestyles; I truly do. But I love them enough, that if they are living in willful sin to confront it (in love). I don't want anybody to go to hell with a Bible in their hand singing a Bethel song.
'God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.' (MSG)
Please hear me on this, let's love people enough to direct them to repentence and love the church enough to protect them from predatory people. If you come to Radical and start trying to sleep with the singles in church, I will warn you and if necessary chuck you out. If you come and start dealing drugs I will do the same. Why? Because as a gatekeeper, as a pastor I choose to take responsibility to judge and to protect the flock. Pastors, leaders take respondibility and in love judge. Prayer:
Father forgive us for making up our own doctrine of how to do church. Help us to discern to judge right from wrong. Help us to love people enough to correct them to judge them and protect your family in Jesus name amen.