Monday, October 3, 2011

Sin Magnified

Matthew 18:15-20 is a passage of Scripture that most pastors and Christians would just assume ignore. And to be honest, for most of my life I have ignored it. However, as we have been going through the process of planting The Pathway in Tacoma we have learned in a much more real way the depth of the sin problem in this world and the effect sin has on our mission as a church in this world. Romans 1:18 says, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

I for one don't want to play any part in suppressing the truth of the gospel as a result of my own sin and the sin of this church. This leads to the reality and the importance of not ignoring Scriptures like Matthew 18. We cannot ignore or accept sin in the life of the church. We must call it for what it is, confront it in the name of Jesus and deal with it biblically. If we don't, we will end up seeing churches and Christians ignoring sin in the name of personal privacy and tolerance and we'll find churches being complacent and self-consumed... oh wait, that is what we are seeing in many churches in our nation.

I've also learned in the last 2 years and have been reminded in the past couple of weeks that all sin is magnified when it is found in a church plant as opposed to an established church. As a church plant, everything is magnified. We are small, we are immature as a body, we are still learning what it means to love each other and love our neighbor. When sin jumps in the pool with us it creates a tidal wave of controversy, anger, frustration and spiritual blindness that cannot go un-dealt with. Over the past week I've had to have multiple difficult conversations with people who know Jesus but are refusing to repent of the sin in their life. It is not fun.

That being said, God is laying for us a foundation of righteousness and I would like to ask you all to pray that those individuals who are dealing with unrepentant sin in their lives would not run from biblical community as so many of us are accustomed to doing, but that they would cling to the word of God and the people of God so that restoration and growth can happen both individually and as a church. God is at work... Satan is at work... thankfully we know, God wins.

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