Not Associating with a Brother or Sister

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odangdude

New member
Mar 1, 2021
3
5
3
#1
Hello,

So in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul talks about not associating with someone who calls themselves a brother or sister and is sexually immoral, greedy, swindler, etc.

I think this is really important to understand, and I think a lot of churches either don't practice this at all, or do so in a very harmful way. It especially does not mean to not associate with unbelievers who act in these manners.

It also does not mean to not associate with someone who slips. We all sin of course; so Paul here is talking about unrepentant sin where someone knows they are sexually immoral or greedy and sees nothing wrong with their actions and refuses to stop their behavior.

I am struggling to understand the difference between a righteous view of someone else's sin and a self-righteous view of someone else's sin. So far i've come to the idea that the righteous heart says: "I want to be close to you, but I can't because of your behavior" whereas a self-righteous heart says: "I don't want to be close to you because of your behavior."

So I think it's important that if we catch ourselves not wanting to be around a person because of their sin, we should check our own hearts. Sin should not keep us from wanting to be close to each other.
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
14,664
3,047
113
#2
Hello,

So in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul talks about not associating with someone who calls themselves a brother or sister and is sexually immoral, greedy, swindler, etc.

I think this is really important to understand, and I think a lot of churches either don't practice this at all, or do so in a very harmful way. It especially does not mean to not associate with unbelievers who act in these manners.

It also does not mean to not associate with someone who slips. We all sin of course; so Paul here is talking about unrepentant sin where someone knows they are sexually immoral or greedy and sees nothing wrong with their actions and refuses to stop their behavior.

I am struggling to understand the difference between a righteous view of someone else's sin and a self-righteous view of someone else's sin. So far i've come to the idea that the righteous heart says: "I want to be close to you, but I can't because of your behavior" whereas a self-righteous heart says: "I don't want to be close to you because of your behavior."

So I think it's important that if we catch ourselves not wanting to be around a person because of their sin, we should check our own hearts. Sin should not keep us from wanting to be close to each other.
Good post and I hear your heart.

If a brother in Christ is in an adulter/fornication relationship, then they should be ousted from Christian fellowship. If not, we are giving our approval of such a relationship. Pray that they repent and seek the Lord, then they can be restored.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#3
Hello,

So in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul talks about not associating with someone who calls themselves a brother or sister and is sexually immoral, greedy, swindler, etc.

I think this is really important to understand, and I think a lot of churches either don't practice this at all, or do so in a very harmful way. It especially does not mean to not associate with unbelievers who act in these manners.

It also does not mean to not associate with someone who slips. We all sin of course; so Paul here is talking about unrepentant sin where someone knows they are sexually immoral or greedy and sees nothing wrong with their actions and refuses to stop their behavior.

I am struggling to understand the difference between a righteous view of someone else's sin and a self-righteous view of someone else's sin. So far i've come to the idea that the righteous heart says: "I want to be close to you, but I can't because of your behavior" whereas a self-righteous heart says: "I don't want to be close to you because of your behavior."

So I think it's important that if we catch ourselves not wanting to be around a person because of their sin, we should check our own hearts. Sin should not keep us from wanting to be close to each other.
I Corinthians chapter 5

[1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
[2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
[3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
[4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
[5] To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
[6] Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
[7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
[8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
[9] I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
[10] Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
[11] But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
[12] For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
[13] But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Many years ago, I worked in my friend's pizzeria.

Every day, at least once, I watched him make a batch of pizza dough as he poured flour, water, and a piece of yeast (leaven) into a giant mixing bowl, and every time that "little leaven leavened the whole lump".

And so it is with impenitent sinners. If they're allowed to stay in the congregation, then they will negatively impact the whole church.
 
T

TheIndianGirl

Guest
#4
One of my friends at church is sexually immoral, but she still comes to church every Sunday. The guy drops her off sometimes. She volunteers in a variety of ways in church and is very kind to the elderly. She meets guys online hoping for a long-term relationship/marriage but she ends up sleeping with the guy within a few dates and the relationship only lasts a few months. Once the relationship is over, she never fully breaks up with the guys either as they text eachother/"meet-up". Her grandma has repeatedly told her not to date trash. However, now her behavior doesn't faze me. I also remind her frequently she needs to stop. I don't think banning her from church is a good idea, since I believe she is still getting some positive influence from church.
 
T

TheIndianGirl

Guest
#5
I think only I know her details at this level, and I don't think it is my position to tell other people. My church would not oust her anyway.
 
T

TheIndianGirl

Guest
#6
There are also a couple of girls at my church who got pregnant. I don't think they should be banned.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
7,164
2,320
113
#7
Good post and I hear your heart.

If a brother in Christ is in an adulter/fornication relationship, then they should be ousted from Christian fellowship. If not, we are giving our approval of such a relationship. Pray that they repent and seek the Lord, then they can be restored.
If we take the major step of avoiding a person based on their sin, we need to be very careful that avoidance is not in itself sinful. If we judge the person instead of judging the sin, it is sinful of us to do so. A test is to be sure that we would not welcome that person with loving open arms if he/she renounced that sin.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
30,543
3,584
113
#8
Hello,

So in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul talks about not associating with someone who calls themselves a brother or sister and is sexually immoral, greedy, swindler, etc.

I think this is really important to understand, and I think a lot of churches either don't practice this at all, or do so in a very harmful way. It especially does not mean to not associate with unbelievers who act in these manners.

It also does not mean to not associate with someone who slips. We all sin of course; so Paul here is talking about unrepentant sin where someone knows they are sexually immoral or greedy and sees nothing wrong with their actions and refuses to stop their behavior.

I am struggling to understand the difference between a righteous view of someone else's sin and a self-righteous view of someone else's sin. So far i've come to the idea that the righteous heart says: "I want to be close to you, but I can't because of your behavior" whereas a self-righteous heart says: "I don't want to be close to you because of your behavior."

So I think it's important that if we catch ourselves not wanting to be around a person because of their sin, we should check our own hearts. Sin should not keep us from wanting to be close to each other.
Those two hearts express themselves here...

Luke 18:10-13 ESV
[10] "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

Verse 13 is our life time plea as we see ourselves for who we really are.
 

tribesman

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2011
4,611
270
83
#9
Are there any western world churches who excommunicate anyone for being greedy?
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
19,586
10,232
113
#10
Are there any western world churches who excommunicate anyone for being greedy?
One would need to be able to examine their books or their tax returns to actually determine this. And that is not public knowledge.
 

tribesman

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2011
4,611
270
83
#12
There are also a couple of girls at my church who got pregnant. I don't think they should be banned.
Excommunication is not a ban. It is done to protect the flock from infections, so to speak. Once the person who has been excommunicated repents and gives evidence of forsaking the sin, that person will be restored again to fellowship. The church must always have an open door for the straying and be ready and willing to forgive and administer the means to do so.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#15
I think only I know her details at this level, and I don't think it is my position to tell other people. My church would not oust her anyway.
You're doing her and everyone else in your church a great disservice by not saying anything.

Not only that, but you're not being the type of "light" that God called you to be by refusing to reprove her.

Ephesians chapter 5

[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
[2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
[3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
[5] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
[6] Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
[7] Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
[8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
[9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth)
[10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
[11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
[12] For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
[13] But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
[14] Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
15,050
2,533
113
#16
One of my friends at church is sexually immoral, but she still comes to church every Sunday. The guy drops her off sometimes. She volunteers in a variety of ways in church and is very kind to the elderly. She meets guys online hoping for a long-term relationship/marriage but she ends up sleeping with the guy within a few dates and the relationship only lasts a few months. Once the relationship is over, she never fully breaks up with the guys either as they text eachother/"meet-up". Her grandma has repeatedly told her not to date trash. However, now her behavior doesn't faze me. I also remind her frequently she needs to stop. I don't think banning her from church is a good idea, since I believe she is still getting some positive influence from church.
I think only I know her details at this level, and I don't think it is my position to tell other people. My church would not oust her anyway.
There are also a couple of girls at my church who got pregnant. I don't think they should be banned.
Evidently the church is not having much effect on her behavior. The church is this case is providing shelter for her to continue. How do you like being a participant in her bad behavior? 1 Cor 5 Paul kind of warns against this kind of thing in the body of believers.

At the very least she should not be permitted to participate in church ministries the church by allowing this is giving tacit approval of her behavior.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#17
I also remind her frequently she needs to stop. I don't think banning her from church is a good idea, since I believe she is still getting some positive influence from church.
I'm sorry, but I missed this part where you "remind her frequently she needs to stop", so I commend you for that.

That said, here is the responsibility of the church where such matters are concerned:

I Corinthians chapter 5

[1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
[2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
[3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
[4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
[5] To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
[6] Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
[7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
[8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
[9] I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
[10] Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
[11] But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
[12] For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
[13] But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

By removing this fornicator from the church or by "delivering such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus", they actually did this man AND THEMSELVES a great service.

In relation to the man, he ultimately repented and was brought back into fellowship with the church.

II Corinthians chapter 2

[6] Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
[7] So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
[8] Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
[9] For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

Notice, however, that Paul didn't instruct the church to throw him out while he was still in his sin simply for the man's sake, but also so that the whole church wouldn't become "leavened" (I Cor. 5:6), AND "that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things". In other words, it would have actually been disobedience to God to not throw the impenitent sinner out.

Later on in this same epistle, in relation to this same situation, Paul wrote:

II Corinthians chapter 7

[12] Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

BECAUSE PAUL CARED FOR THE CORINTHIANS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, which is the only sight that's going to matter in the end, he instructed them to throw the impenitent sinner out until he repented.

Do we truly care for others in the sight of God in this same manner?

Look, I've lost friendships with others who profess to be Christians by reproving them BECAUSE I TRULY CARE ABOUT THEM AND THEIR SOULS. In fact, I just lost a friend for this exact reason within the last few days.

It's truly painful to suffer such a loss, but, whether they'll ever understand it on this side of eternity or not (they'll definitely understand when they appear before Christ in the afterlife), I've reproved them BECAUSE I LOVE THEM AND BECAUSE I TRULY CARE ABOUT THEIR SOULS.

As professing Christians, this is how we're called to live and to truly love one another.
 
T

TheIndianGirl

Guest
#18
the church by allowing this is giving tacit approval of her behavior.
The church except for me and maybe a couple of others does not know about her relationship issues. The pastor, leadership, etc. do not know. I do not feel it is my position to tell others; I would only do if it is a case of self harm or something legally criminal.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#19
The church except for me and maybe a couple of others does not know about her relationship issues. The pastor, leadership, etc. do not know. I do not feel it is my position to tell others; I would only do if it is a case of self harm or something legally criminal.
It is a case of self-harm:

Ephesians chapter 5

[3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
[5] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
[6] Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Furthermore, as has already been shown on this thread, it's also a case of "leavening" the whole church.

They need to know, and to act accordingly.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#20
"Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good." (Ecclesiastes 9:18)

Consider Israel.

Joshua chapter 7

[1] But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
[2] And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
[3] And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.
[4] So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
[5] And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
[6] And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
[7] And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!
[8] O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!
[9] For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
[10] And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
[11] Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
[12] Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

The nation of Israel was being defeated in battle BECAUSE OF THE SIN OF ONE INDIVIDUAL, and they didn't experience victory again until that one sinner was dealt with.

Again, "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (I Cor. 5:6).

In my particular case, I gave the example of leaven (yeast) in pizza dough, and how just a "little leaven leaveneth the whole lump".

Have you ever baked bread, a cake, or cookies?

If you have, and if you've added "leaven" to the mix, then that is precisely what caused the bread, cake, or cookies to become "puffed up" (I Cor. 5:2).

"Puffed up" is not used in a positive light in scripture.

Instead, it's symbolic of PRIDE or whenever we exalt our own ways above God's ways.

Your entire church is quite possibly/probably suffering defeats because of the sins of members within the congregation which have not yet been repented of. These members need to be confronted. If they repent, then they can stay. If they don't repent, then they need to removed from the congregation until they do repent.

This isn't a game. It's a war.

As Christians, if we've truly partaken of Christ as our Passover lamb (I Cor. 5:7), then we need to "purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened" (I Cor. 5:7) or remove anything from our midst that is going to cause us to be "puffed up" (I Cor. 5:2) or PROUD in rebellion against God.

Unless we do the same, we can kiss victory in battle good-bye.