Every congregation will have it’s own view on what makes a sin terrible and what isn’t so bad.
Here’s an example:
One day Paul and Gill (names changed) started to attend the church, and everyone was pleased to see two new faces in the congregation.
Everything was going well, but then they said that they were remarried and an awful silence descended on the church!
It was just too much for the congregation to cope with.
It broke right into their taboo area.
Everyone was ‘accepted’ as long as they stayed out of the ‘taboo area’, which in this church was divorce, homosexuality and immorality and other things like the wearing of baseball caps, body piercings, etc.
The new couple had broken the rules – even though it had happened years ago and had been worked through with each other and with the Lord.
Paul and Gill could never be truly accepted into the church family, so after a while they left.
Obviously the ‘ethos’ of the church generally comes from the leader, or leaders, and they are responsible for how the ‘flock’ is looked after.
The fact of whether they had been forgiven by God or not, wasn’t the issue for this congregation and minister.
The problem was solely that they had been divorced.
There may have been greed, anger, jealousy, etc, within the rest of the people, but in their eyes, these things were not so bad, or no-one was owing up to it! See an article on our conscience.
Therefore a blind eye could be turned to those sort of things.
There are several verses to remember in situations like this:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.1 John 1:8-10
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
- Does the congregation think that they themselves are without sin?
- Does the congregation believe in the forgiveness of sins and that we can be purified from unrighteousness?
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32
- Can the congregation forgive those who are in the ‘taboo area’?
And as a reminder that our confessed sins have been forgiven:
I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”1 John 2:12
Michelle Lazurek in rounding up her article on: ’10 Bad Behaviours Christians Want to Justify’ says:
The church, while not perfect, is supposed to be a reflection of the type of relationship Christ wants with His church.’10 Bad Behaviours Christians Want to Justify’ by Michelle Lazurek [i]
The church, however, is messy.
We need to figure out the balance between honouring the Word of God in all things and being a welcoming place for His people who mess up.
Ultimately, there is no sin that Christ’s blood cannot cover.
While there are behaviours the church tends to gloss over, we need to be brothers and sisters to each other and urge us to strive toward the righteousness God wants for our lives.”
More detailed articles:
Unfortunately there are Christians who can be territorial, or behave in a worse way than non-Christians, how do we cope with that?
Is it right to stop Gays from staying at Bed and Breakfasts or hotels?
Should a Minister of Religion wear a uniform or is it outdated and irrelevant?
Is the church relevant today, do we need to modernise, or keep to our historic traditions?
[i] ’10 Bad Behaviours Christians Want to Justify’ by Michelle Lazurek