If you, as a Christian, know for a fact that your brother or sister is living in sin, what are you to do? Depending on the sin, you might say. If it is a private matter, Matthew 18:15 and following give the prescription for the matter. If the brother or sister refuse to listen, there are potentially drastic steps to be taken.
Galatians 6:1-2 tells us to go and bear up a brother who is in trespass. It tells us to do it gently or meekly. We are after his/her soul, not to just beat on him or guilt-trip her.
So, why is it that this very seldom happens? No one likes confrontation. We don’t like to appear as if we are the judge and executioner. Sometimes, it is just plain cowardice. Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” God hates cowardice.
I have to admit, I’ve been cowardly before about this subject. If you are like me and tried to follow scriptures about this topic of confronting sin, you’ve been attacked and called a trouble-maker. It hurts and you finally get tired of the blowback from doing what God commanded, and you just do nothing about “in your face” sin. Let somebody else do it becomes our motto.
I read an article recently where an older woman spoke to her minister about something that had bothered her for years. She said that many years ago, her husband left her and the kids for his secretary. He divorced her and married his secretary. They then moved several states away. Once or twice a year, the man and his “wife” would come back to that town and actually go to worship. The lady told her preacher that everyone greeted the “couple” as if nothing was wrong. Not only did no one confront the two, but acted as if they were properly married.
What do you think about that? We all know of situations that are like that and often, nothing is done about it. Sometimes there are terrible situations in a church that some know about but won’t address it. Years later folks find out and wonder why wasn’t something done for the sinner(s) soul’s sake. Folks wonder why the person(s) who knew the facts remained quiet.
We need to think about this topic and have our minds made up about what we would do if there were “sin in the camp.” The sinners need someone to have enough love and faith to come to them. Others need to see the example of what should be done. When things are done God’s way, it is always right. When things are not done right, or nothing done at all, it is sin.
Clarendon church of Christ