This is a sermon I preached recently about the dude in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 who sleeps with his stepmother. The text is also known to some as “expel the immoral brother.”
I was tempted to preach the short version:
Umm, the lesson here is don’t sleep with your mother. Amen.
Pastor Eugene tackles the difficult topic of disciplining members of the body of Christ who are engaging in on-going, unrepentant sin. He argues that there are assumptions and agreements that maintain order and cohesiveness within any community without which no organization can function. In the church, one of these assumptions is that we are all working towards becoming the person (and the people) that God created us to be. Unrepentant sin undermines that goal and needs to be dealt with.
Some points to accentuate:
1. No one likes discipline but a community without order, care, accountablity, and church discipline lends to chaos. Church discipline is important because we’re all broken nad stuff happens.
2. No one likes to discipline because we like to avoid conflict but Christian communities, leaders and pastors that refuse to demonstrate care, accountability and tough and gracious love are cowards. By refusing to engage, we’re sinning and do great harm by robbing people of this process.
3. We “discipline” in love. What does that mean? Simply, we genuinely and truly want to see people restored. We desire for a person to be blessed and prosper. Unfortunately, when we discipline people, our motivation aren’t those things and thus, leading to the “judgmental” label.
4. Don’t forget that church discipline is for the church and not for the larger culture. Often times, christians and leaders make the mistake of having these certain conversations with folks not in fellowship relationship with us.
What’s difficult is that you can seek to do #3 and because some still don’t like to be confronted or held accountable…they leave.