Confrontation is a Neglected Practice
– Confrontation is a very neglected practice in the church (and I don’t just mean by the elders or deacons of the church). It is especially unfortunate in America where so many people claim to be Christian. We should take their claim as free reign to confront them if they are living in a way which is inconsistent with their claim to know Christ. Youth who claim to know Christ but enjoy listening to music which glorifies violence, sexual immorality, and drug abuse. Mr. So and So who claims to be a Christian but calls people who look different than he does “niggers” (and the like) in a condescending and prideful way (or churches that are opposed to “blacks mixing with whites” in worship or marriage). That girlfriend of yours who claims to be a Christian but seems to totally disregard the apostles teachings on modesty. That guy who claims to be a Christian but is living with his girlfriend (i.e. sleeping with her). What is our responsibility in when we see such phenomenon? This is a highly relevant question for all Christians (at least in America), because this phenomena is not the exception in the American church—it’s typical. When did we begin to excuse ourselves from this practice of confrontation?
Is This Type of Confron- tation Biblical?
– By no means should we expect any Christian to be perfect, but there is a lifestyle clearly consistent with such a claim and one which is not (see I Cor 6:9 for example, or I John 2:4). It’s impossible for those who accept the Bible as their authority to explain away all the verses which bind the Christian conscience about confronting professed believers who live in sin (Mt 18:15, 1 Cor 5:1-12, 2 Thes 3:6, Jn 8:11, Acts 8:20, 2 Thes 3:14, Titus 3:10-11). Sure church discipline is a lost practice in the local church today, but it doesn’t have to be a lost practice in your life. Besides, the rank and file Christians outnumber the leaders. Rank and file believers like us have the ability to change the face of Christianity. Many of us are fighting to make it a revived practice. Many churches are now awakening to church discipline as a healthy mark of a local church (thanks in large part to Mark Dever)—but it’s supposed to be the norm.
How Can You Say Confron- tation is For the Sake of Our Pleasure? – Confron- tation is not only biblical, it is necessary for the preserving of pleasure in at least two ways. 1) The spiritual pleasure of intimacy with Christ is proportionally dependant on the purity of the church, which seems to be Paul’s main concern when he confronts people in his epistles, 2) the goal for the one being confronted and/or excommunicated is to see him restored if he is a true Christian (i.e. to the spiritual pleasure of intimacy with Christ which sin hinders and dilutes). Purity in the corporate body as well as in the individual entities magnifies the work and worth of Christ, glorifies God, and demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit—all of which is the ground of our pleasure. If only we were more committed to our own pleasure, the pleasure of the church, and the pleasure of those who need confronted, we would suffer a great deal of opposition and uncomfortableness to see to it that we confront our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are in sin, or could use a bit of gentle, loving, gracious confrontation about something.
P.S. – The pictures I posted have no real connection with the topic, but the new safety net on campus filters all pictures on google, so I couldn’t get access to anything ideal.