Saturday, August 11, 2012
Saturday Scripture Speaks - With Whom do you Band?
I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people—
Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether!
But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person.
What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?
God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].
1 Corinthians 5:9:13 (AMP)
When I was little, my mom was picky about with whom she would let me play. I didn't understand it then, but I do now. "One bad apple spoils the whole bunch," she'd say. The Jackson Five sang about the same thing. The Bible, our standard, says it too in the above passage. The Voice says, "...you are not to band together with those who have embraced immoral lives." (verse 9) Banding together implies making an alliance with or spending lots of quality time with another person. In other words, having like minds and one, unified goal. The Olympic athletes (each team from the same country) have banded together as they work toward one common goal - winning a medal for their countries.
It would seem difficult to impossible to avoid habitually immoral people these days, don't you agree? Each generation seems to become more immoral than the last. Foul language is everywhere. You can't turn on the TV or pop in a movie without hearing some. And then there is the sexual immorality that runs rampant in the lives of people all over the world. UGH!
Paul (the writer of 1 and 2 Corinthians) is not demanding that we avoid everyone. The person about which he's talking is the fellow Christian - the one who claims to be a believer but lives like the rest of the world. The bad yeast, if you will. (1 Cor. 5:6)
One of the reasons the "bad yeast" is to be expelled is because that person can bring down a whole group of people. It's been seen in more than one church.
God will judge the nonbelievers.
Mom was right after all.