Thin-skinned Christians and Accountability

The American church continues to give evidence of its ever-deteriorating state.  No longer can we, without rebuke, “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12) that we might “no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (4:14), but it’s though the visible church is eager to “not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Whether the above is the consequence or the cause of this woeful condition, the American church no longer practices church discipline, it exploits and abuses Christian judgment, and it has lost its grip on what it means to exhort, encourage, admonish, teach, correct, reproof, and build one another up in the faith in love founded on truth (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Instead, any constructive criticism given to other believers is seen as unrighteous judgment, hypocrisy, legalism, Phariseeism, or hatred.  Mostly, the response was favorable and it was understood that Tim Tebow

5.0.2

has a heart to honor and glorify Christ and to make Him known, despite the persecution he faces.  He has demonstrated that he is humble when his enemies oppose him, and he seems to always point to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Yet, it seems Tim Tebow has become the poster boy for evangelicalism, and any criticism, no matter how much intended to be an exhortation and admonishment for biblical teaching and practice, is considered “gossip” and “slander” by the “judge not” crowd.

What has happened to the church? Instead of following Scripture to confront our brothers in sin (Galatians 6:1, James 5:20), professing Christians yell, “don’t judge me” or “we’re all sinners” or “don’t judge them because ‘we all fall short of the glory of God.’”  Yet, Paul was clear in his admonishment to the Corinthians after hearing about their handling of an adulterer in their assembly:

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

The American church would be just fine if this Scripture was removed from the Bible – the church operates as if it doesn’t exist anyway.  But God commands we judge and confront professing Christians when they exhibit a worldly lifestyle, are in error, or have sinned (whether knowingly or unknowingly).  In fact, we see in the oft-abused Matthew 7 passage that it is after we have repented from our own sin, then we have authority and permission to confront our brothers (verse 5).  Verse 1 says nothing of never judging, but warns against judging unrighteously and hypocritically.

Instead of addressing the error of our brothers in love and humility, we are condemned for making any mention of their error – no matter how egregious.  The argument is that we are all on different paths and paces, and we should just let the Lord do His work in us, but we should never confront each other as that would be judging.  It’s pathetic, really.  Wimpy even.  This is not how God has designed for godly men and godly women to operate in the Body of Christ. The fact is, God uses us to help each other grow in sanctification!

We are exhorted to contend for the faith that was once delivered to us (Jude 1:3). We are exhorted to teach and defend sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:4; 6:2-5, 20; 2 Timothy 4:3-5; Titus 2:1; 1 Peter 3:15).  We are commanded to confront our brothers in sin (Galatians 6:1; James 5:20; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13).    We are commanded to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:5).

How is it, then, the American church hates these very things?  It is because liberalism, carnal christianity, and the repentant-less modern message has infected us.  Easy-believism is king.  Discernment is dead. Another “gospel” is being preached.  The God of the Bible is not acknowledged or worshiped. The church has conformed to the world and tolerates sin.  The church has replaced doctrine with emotions, the Gospel for “your best life now” or “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” No one wants to be accountable for their actions, and no one wants to be told they are in error.  Frankly, carnal people resist or hate truth.

The divide between the visible and invisible church is growing steadily.  The one is diving deeper into darkness, the other is rising higher into holiness.  God’s grace abounds in the Body of Christ, and we want nothing more than to be conformed to His likeness.  We increasingly hate sin, and love holiness.  We increasingly hate deception, and love truth.  When we are in error, we want nothing more than to be confronted so we can be corrected.

So, dear Christian, instead of putting up such a fuss when you see your brothers confronting the sin or error of their brothers, take a moment to thoroughly examine whether what they say is true.  Take heed,

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Humble yourself before the Lord, and consider you might be in error yourself for the way you react to Christian discipline and admonishment.  It is pride to think you already have it all figured out.  I know I don’t, which is why I must repent from my own pride constantly so I can continue to change that I would be conformed to my Lord and Savior. Open yourself up to correction, surround yourself with godly brothers and sisters who will correct you, and when corrected, repent.

My friends, love disciplines, love submits, love defends, and love obeys.  Love longs for the truth, and it flees from error.  Flee from the tentacles of American christianity and run to Christ, ever yielding to His lordship.  Why is this so important?  Because God tells us to

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16).

All of us, including Tim Tebow, need to heed this exhortation, especially regarding matters of the Eternal Life.  We need to be sure that we are progressing in holiness, and we need to be sure our message (and practice/methodology) is lined up with God’s Word.

Don’t be a thin-skinned Christian, ask yourself, “Am I a Defensive Person?”  You just might be.  Repent.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rhemalogdotcom
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 01:24:04

    Hello Mannyr!

    Calvary greetings to you in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    (I know this is the most inappropriate means of connecting with you…but this is the avenue I could find. Please forgive me.)

    I thank God for your life and the awesome work you are doing on your blog!
    I pray for more wisdom, grace and strength for you in Jesus name!

    My name (in short) is Tim and I am the founder of the newly unveiled Christian Social Community: http://www.rhemalog.com

    If I may crave your indulgence, I will quickly like to intimate you on our purpose, goals and objectives.

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    That is, sharing with the beloved, the things that God has shown unto you in His Word.

    Rhemalog was established by the leading of the Holy Spirit, as a platform to enrich and impact the body of Christ all over the World!

    You will agree with me that there is a lot of degradation going on.
    Abuse, spiritual contaminations, mental pollutions and attacks on our faith.

    All you need is to refresh your social-media pages long enough…then boom!
    There you have it, in your face!
    But.
    Wouldnt it be awesome to have a sanctified environment?

    A platform built solely for the Children of God.
    Devoid of negativity around us, but filled with inspirations, encouragements and above all, the WORD OF GOD!

    A breath of fresh air.
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    Your own family of fellow brethren, encouraging, building, cheering on and strengthening each other on a daily basis!

    This is our driving force.
    The clarion call that moved us to put Rhemalog in place.

    And this is our call to you: Would you like to join us?

    As one of the (Christian) thinkers and opinion-makers out there, logically, it is a no-brainer that we need you, especially since our main goal is to ensure that the people are well fed.

    We need your insightful thoughts. Inspirational ideas. Well written pieces. We need YOU!

    We need you, not only as a member, but also as an A-List contributor.

    And we already have all the tools required.

    – Personal Blogging feature
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    – Community pages (think facebook pages)
    – Timelines and profiles
    – Pictures, etc

    Together, we can build one of the most vibrant and impact-full communities out there.

    Should you decide to join us now:

    – Your personal blog and info will be shared on our social media pages (with over 67,000 members)

    – As an early adopter, you will be a part of a huge and influential community at its infant stage.

    – Your community page will be featured, if you create one. Meaning, it will come up first in searches and views (with its own cute ribbon)

    – You can host all your youtube and vimeo videos, thereby increasing your viewer-ship and enhancing your reach.

    Well, “gold and silver” we have not.
    But can you help us be a blessing to the children of God out there?

    It will be a huge honour and we will be waiting for you.

    The first step is to be registered. Duration of your submissions will be totally up to you. To keep up though, we would suggest you begin by sharing the links to your blog posts, later on, you can start doing reblogs or creating unique postings using our blog feature.

    However, in-between, we would love your quips, wits, quotes and words of wisdom, posted on your homepage timeline. We consider these to be quick tonic for the soul…snacks for those in hurried need of inspiration and motivations.

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    Thanks and may God continually keep His face shining on you.

    Yours in Christ,

    Tim (Rhemalog Community)

    Reply

  2. humblefisher101
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 03:57:55

    Hmm, I hear your complaint against the progressive denominations. But from our perspective the people who come into our church are often damaged emotionally. The best way to heal them is through love. Sin can be dealt with learning through experience and small group support.

    In fact some of our people came our way after being damaged by wolves in sheep’s clothing from the conservative denominations. So the charges can go both ways.

    Reply

  3. Mannyr
    Jul 30, 2015 @ 15:29:45

    Nothing is black and white just gray. So many follow this aimless road to perdition. To many call evil good and good evil. The world and for the most part much of Christianity is locked into situation ethics.

    Reply

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