Thursday, October 15, 2009

Separating Saints From Aint's

Found the above image at an atheist blog. One of those "New Atheists". The bigger, bolder intolerant type.
Yet the above is exactly what the Bible exhorts us to do... with scandalous saints- 1 Cor. 5:5. Let's call them Aint's.

Indeed, if you truly love the Aints- you will deprive them of the blessings of the church. Deprive them of the special graces designated for His children. No, not just deprive them of the marrying and burying blessings (which even the perverted pagans demand our blessings upon)- but deprive them of all of the sanctificational blessings of the church. That they might be as unholy as they please.

Was asked by Christopher Blackwell the other day, a wonderfully concerned bible student- to explain the above passage. Explained to him that it was the loving thing to do- to have the scandalous friend removed from the church. That to "deliver one to Satan" was not necessarily delivering them to Hell (as if the church had that power). That it was delivering such a one out from among a holy people- so that he might recognize his problem. Recognize the solution. Turn away from his scandal. And return to the church. Return to a concern for holiness.

This student was memorizing this chapter. Memorizing the NIV. Unfortunately, the NIV translation is pretty weak here. Translator-Blomberg endorses translator-Fee in my Mounce book (Basics of Biblical Greek, pg. 54)- that the intent of this verse is remedial and not punitive. "As is every other New Testament instance of church discipline". I am looking forward to translator- Mounce having a large input into the revised NIV (scheduled to come out in 2011). Just as he had a large input into the ESV. Not terribly sorry that Christopher's memorization will be affected.

Now, as for those those Aints? They can still be your friend. As Judas Iscariot was Jesus "friend"- Matt. 26:50. But it's wise not to hang with them- 1 Cor 5:11. Such friends are actually dehydrated hypocrites. Desiccants of Christ. Those who hang Christ out to dry. Bring ill repute upon His church. And they will dehydrate you by their presence.

And as for the pagans? Those that have no Christ to dry? Those that have no church to decry?
Offer them big, bold Christian tolerance. Welcome them into the church with open arms.
Welcome them as Jesus welcomed the Samaritan woman- John 4.
Offer them water. Living water. Water that may become a well.
That it may be well with their body. And well with their soul.
A body that is inclined to dust. And a soul that is inclined to Sin.

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