Paul Coles, Youthworkerish type guy. Present location: Targu Mures, Romania. Married to an amazing girl named Fiona. I'm on a JOURNEY and have no idea where I'll end up other than in the hands of God.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the world but not of the world?

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
(1 Corinthians 5)

I am currently reading through the New Testament for the first time in a while. I spent the last year really only reading the Old Testament and the Gospels. I have found it very interesting getting back to Paul’s writings after being away for so long.

I have to confess that I find Paul very annoying at times and yet profoundly challenging as well.

Right now I am reading 1 Corinthians and when I came across this little passage it blew me away.

Growing up in a Christian environment throughout my whole life I feel like I have constantly been warned about staying away from (on a social leval) “bad people,” people who would lead me down the wrong path, people who are involved in all kinds of sinful behavior, people who aren’t “Christians.”

We have no problem at all judging those outside “the church.” And yet at the same time we seem to justify or ignore the anti Christ like (greedy, abusive, cheating, ungracious, unloving) behavior in our Christian brothers and sisters… and in ourselves.

Maybe we feel the need to judge the sin of the world because it helps us feel better about our lives, maybe it helps us feel righteous, and holy, and maybe it even helps us feel saved.

But I think Paul hit the nail on the head with this one. Of course there is sin in a world that doesn’t know Christ. Of course there are almost unthinkable acts going on in lives that don’t have love and hope and life in His spirit.

But instead of living in and loving and speaking truth into that darkness we hide in “the light” and only sanction special forces missions into the darkness. But while hiding in the light are we also extinguishing it by launching boulders of judgment from our crumbling pedestals.

One thing I can always trust God to do is give me wake up calls when I need them. I just hope I can trust myself to heed those calls.


Blogger weeksi said...

word! the thing that gets me 'bout judging "the world" is that Jesus didn't and wouldn't, so why do we? the most important thing for anyone is a relationship with Christ, which won't happen through judging or being judged...

9:09 AM


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