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PASTORS MUST STOP KEEPING THEIR MEMBERS PROSPERITY POOR (PART 2)

HOW IMMORALITY DEFILES THE CHURCH

So many of our churches have become polluted places of worship, and God is not pleased with what is going on.  Sin of all sorts is running rapidly throughout the body.  Our Priest, Bishops, Pastors and other Church officials, are engaging in sexual immorality with young children of both sexes and then doing everything to hide it from their members and the public at large.  Once such immoral activities are uncovered, and the leaders are asked to account for their actions a light is shined on the church and the membership has to pay out millions of dollars for lawsuits that are brought against the church leadership and sometimes the church itself.  This is truly a case to be made how the Priest, Bishops, and Pastors are keeping their members prosperity poor.

These sorts of immoral activities that are committed by our Priest, Bishops, Pastors and other Church officials defile the church and bring condemnation upon the entire body.  The body must learn how to stop condoning what they know is the truth concerning their leaders and start confronting them with the truth of how God intends for His Church to operate.

The one important thing that we all must realize is that these sort of immoral activities are not new within our churches.  For thousands of years our churches have had to deal with these sorts of activities among their regular members.  We all know of someone at some church that is dealing with these issues today.  Therefore, the question becomes how we confront the people that are committing these acts of sexual immorality and at the same time provide comfort to them as well as the victim of these immoral acts.

In Paul’s first letter to the church of Corinth, he wrote, “I also received a report of scandalous sex within your church family, a kind that wouldn’t be tolerated even outside the church: One of your men is sleeping with his stepmother. Moreover, you are so above it all that it does not even faze you! Shouldn’t this break your hearts? Shouldn’t it bring you to your knees in tears? Shouldn’t this person and his conduct be confronted and dealt with? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2 MSG)

A report had been delivered to Paul regarding sexual immorality going on among the believers in Corinth.  The Corinthian church had been unwilling to discipline this man.  Paul prefaced his pronouncement of knowledge of this situation by saying that the problem was so evil that even the pagans did not do it—quite an indictment on these believers.  Most of the believers knew about the sinful relationship already, but apparently they had been unwilling to admit it, so Paul described the sin point-blank:  He said a man in the church was living in sin with his father’s wife” (probably his stepmother).  Whether the man had seduced this woman away from his father, or whether the woman was divorced or widowed is unclear.  In any case, even the pagans would have shuddered at this, but the church members were trying to ignore the situation.

We know from our study of this situation that the problem of arrogance in the Corinthian church had spilled over to the point where they were tolerating flagrant sin.  Instead of being proud of themselves, they should have been mourning in sorrow and shame.  Then, they should have removed the man from the fellowship.  The church must discipline flagrant sin among its members such sins, left unchecked, can divide and paralyze a church.  This “removal” of the person was not meant to be vengeful but to help bring about a cure.

Today in our society, tolerance has become such a battle cry in the media and in political and educational circles that it has affected even the church.  It is very difficult for people to discipline sin in church members because everyone is trying to be accepting of others.  People say, “Who am I to judge?  I have sin in my life.”  So they want all sin excused, including their own.  We must not let modern-day low standards determine what is true and right for the church.

While those in the Corinthian church had failed to do anything about this man sin, Paul himself would tell them what had to be done.  Now listen to what the Bible tells us how Paul dealt with this situation.  It is a critical point, which we all as Church leaders need to think deeply about this matter.  Here is how Paul described what he would do, “I’ll tell you what I would do. Even though I am not there in person, consider me right there with you, because I can fully see what is going on. I am telling you that this is wrong. You must not simply look the other way and hope it goes away on its own. Bring it out in the open and deal with it in the authority of Jesus our Master. Assemble the community I will be present in spirit with you, and our Master Jesus will be present in power. Hold this man’s conduct up to public scrutiny. Let him defend it if he can! However, if he cannot, then out with him! It will be totally devastating to him, of course, and embarrassing to you. But better devastation and embarrassment than damnation. You want him on his feet and forgiven before the Master on the Day of Judgment.  (1 Corinthians 5:3-5 MSG)

Was this punishment to harsh for the church to be handing out to one of their faithful members, or did Paul have it just right?  It is my belief that Paul had weighed the matter and had correctly passed judgment.  As an apostle and the spiritual father of the church of Corinth, Paul had the authority to deal with the matter and he understood the danger to the church if the sin were to remain undisciplined.  Paul told the church, in no uncertain terms to call a meeting of the whole congregation so they would witness and support the action.  As they met, Paul would be there in spirit, because he carried the authority as an apostle, and the power of the Lord Jesus would also be with them as they met.  The entire situation was under the mighty power of the Lord Jesus to deal with the man’s spirit and to bring him to repentance.

Paul explained the discipline that should be carried out.  Cast this man out of the church and into Satan’s hands.  This would mean excluding him from the fellowship of believers.  Without the spiritual support of Christians, this man would be left alone with his sin and Satan, and hopeful this emptiness would drive him to repentance.  The church could not literally give him to Satan, for only God can consign a person to eternal judgment.  It was meant to force him to see the consequences of sin by living in Satan’s sphere of influence, the world apart from Christ and the church.

That his sinful nature will be destroyed meant that the exclusion from the fellowship would help the man to face his sinful, selfish nature (flesh), repent, and return to the churchPaul wanted this sinner to experience the crucifixion of his sinful nature.  It may take such drastic measures to deal with the sinful nature, but how much more important for the man that he face this and repent in order that he would be saved in the end.  Paul hoped that this harsh disciplinary action might be of eternal benefit to the man.

The one thing that we notice concerning Paul harsh disciplinary action of the man, the woman was not mention as to any disciplinary action taken against her.  Therefore, we must assume that the omission of discipline for the woman implies that she was not a believer.  The church is responsible for disciplining only its members, not unbelievers.

Our Churches today need the spiritual determination to deal with sin such as these that affect the whole Church.  But excommunication as a form of discipline, and moving Priest, Bishops and Pastors from one church to another and not holding them accountable for their actions is a crime as well as a sin in itself again God and all of humanity.  When our spiritual leaders stand before us knowing in their hearts that the life that they are living is immoral and perverted and their teachings are sinful and shameful in nature, they should be condemned just as Paul condemned the man that was sleeping with his father’s wife.

This kind of activity harms the church, the community and all of humanity.  The church is not only spiritually damaged, but it and its members are financially damaged, because the tithes that they had been putting into the store house now has to be paid out for sexual immorality instead of helping to lift its members up out of poverty, and with the poverty rate at an all time high in this country, this is why we call it as it really is, “Pastors must stop keeping their members prosperity poor.”

In our next installment of “Pastors must stop keeping their members prosperity poor,” we will discuss with you, how forgiving the offender of sexual immorality should be dealt with.  I think all of you who wrote and requested additional teachings on this important subject.  There were hundreds of you who commented on (Part 1) of this continuing series.  For those of you who are reading this teaching for the first time, may I suggest to you on the right side of the home page to click on any month, then on the left side of the page under categories, stroll down to Pastors and click there.  In the center of the page look for the title, “Pastors must stop keeping their members prosperity poor.”

May I encourage each one of you to think globally and work locally?  I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

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