Addressing Sin in the Church (Part 2)

The first step in addressing sin in the church is a principle I heard explained in a service I attended last Sunday night. It is the ‘Grace-Truth’ principle. We see Christ applying this with the woman caught in adultery in John 8.

As the woman was brought to Him, he didn’t apply ‘black & white’ truth right away. He came first with grace. After writing in the sand, He said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” As her accusers leave one by one, He then brings truth. He asks her where her accusers are and challenges her to “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The problem we see in the Church today is too many pastors feel this need to defend truth, so they beat “sinners” over the head with it. Truth doesn’t need a defense. It is a constant. Our goal as pastors is not to defend truth, but rather to help individuals apply truth. In understanding that, truth is applied best as a person willingly opens the door of their life to it. Coming first with grace allows a person to see you’re actually concerned with their well-being. It causes them to willingly open that door and allow you to bring truth.

This is an approach of compassion rather than religion. If you desire to be a ‘religious leader’, always lead with truth. Make it loud, obnoxious and blunt. But if you desire to show Christ’s love and compassion to people. If you long to be a ‘Christ-follower’, leading others to the same transformational life you’ve experienced. Lead with grace.

Addressing Sin in the Church (Part 1)

Imagine with me.  You meet a new couple that walks through your doors on a Sunday morning.  They’re young and really excited to be in your church.  You catch them after the service and they inform you that they’re not only coming back next week but they’re bringing a couple friends.  This is a dream situation for many of us.  A young couple.  They’re actually excited to be in your church.  And to make it even better, they’re bringing friends!  Well, after a week or so you discover this great young couple is not married, but they are living together.  What do you do?  Do you kick them out of the church immediately?  Do you call them out for ‘living in sin’?  Or do you just say nothing?

This is a tough situation, especially in the world we live in today.  This is a world that praises tolerance and hates conviction.  How then, do we as pastors, address sin in a person’s life without them closing the door to Christ forever?  This is a topic we were discussing in our MCM Pastor’s Meeting this past Wednesday.  Over the next couple days I’m going to do a couple posts on this topic.  But for now, how would you address this situation?  Are there mistakes you’ve made in in situations like this?

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