Paul, on “Judging Outsiders”

“What have I to do with judging outsiders?
…Remove the wicked man from among yourselves!”

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

I think that the above passage (full passage below) gets to the heart of what is wrong with evangelicalism today. We are focused:
1) On judging the behaviour of outsiders (especially LGBTQ and abortion) according to our standards, which they do not share
2) We have become so preoccupied with #1, we are willing to turn a blind eye to wickedness in our own camp (Trump, Jerry Falwell Jr., innumerable sexual and domestic abuse scandals), which everyone sees and is perplexed about.
…we claim to possess the moral high ground. But I don’t think that we do any more. There is only so much we can hide behind “media spin.” Are we secure enough in our faith and in our own selves to let people live their own lives? We are not. Are we committed enough to holiness to pay a costly price by holding our leaders to a high standard? We are not. We have lost the moral high ground, and the smoke from this culture war has so blinded our eyes that we are unable to see the true battles for justice and mercy happening right in front of us.

It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is suffering from our lack of focus, and we are losing our world, our witness, and the coming generation in our mad desire to have our way through coercion, rather than through influence.

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Published by

Josiah

I have been a missionary. I have been a pastor. I have been to seminary. Right now, I'm all about getting healthy, and caring for my family. The healthier I get, the closer I seem to get to God. ...and life seems to make more and more sense. It's working for me. Join me on my journey, if you would like.

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