It is very hard listening to the stories being told at the ‘Royal Commission into Child Abuse’. I find it appalling that the ‘church’ has so much to answer for in regards to the sexual abuse of children. It seems to be a similar story being told again and again by both males and females who suffered at the hands of ungodly men and women. These men and women, who were entrusted to care for the children, took it upon themselves to use these same children for self-gratification. When these incidents were reported to church leadership there was often little or no discipline issued on the offender. This horrendous sin often was allowed to continue for decades and many innocent children became victims. The church is now being held to account for their failure to act on these sins!
We reach a stage in Paul’s letter where the Corinthian Church leadership is being held to account for its failure to deal with sin. The sin targeted here is a very unsavory sin that involved, of all things, incest! The mind boggles as to why this sin was not dealt with by the church leadership team. It is a heinous and horrible sin. Sadly, the leadership had become somewhat indifferent. We can never be ‘indifferent’ about sin, either at a private level or at a leadership level. Sin corrupts, and as we have witnessed down through history, even within the safety of the church, innocent people are harmed.
This is a hard hitting couple of chapters from Paul today. He does not ‘beat around the bush’ when it comes to sin. In Chapters 5 and 6, Paul does not walk away from the tough issues. He deals with them head on. He calls on the leadership team to expel the immoral brother! There is much expected from the Christians! However, we should note that Paul does not seek to berate those who are outside of Christ who sin – this is God’s business and not ours. Not so with the Christian however! The Corinthian Church seemed to be very indifferent and lax when it came to dealing with sexual sin as well as the absurdness of lawsuits amongst fellow Christian brothers and sisters. There is a timely warning for today’s church when it comes to inaction concerning sin!
We welcome Brett Lee-Price back to Grace today to tackle this very difficult matter concerning the importance of implementing church discipline when sin enters a church.