Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ministers of Holiness

It's been awhile. A lot of things of note have happened lately which have kept me from updating. When people start prodding me for some output then I know it's time to say something ;)

Last night I was listening to the radio and the preacher on there was talking about how people are usually not prone to enter confrontations. They want to serve in church in the form of a missionary, or a deacon, or a teacher... but there's an often overlooked ministry that is quite crucial to a healthy church.

If Your Brother Sins Against You

Matthew 18:15-20

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Here we see the protocol for handling sin. I do not mean to quote out of context since this is for sins against a person and how they should handle it, but the idea I'm talking about leans heavily on this one. Firstly, it's handled in private. Failing that, a few people are made privy and then approach that brother. The last resort is to make it publicly known in church.

This is actually the most loving, and the most difficult, ministry of them all. What's being spoken of here is what that preacher phrased as a Ministry of Holiness.

It's not often done, but there are a few people who have a drive to get up to their armpits in other peoples' lives and take a good hard look at their sin. Sin will kill, if left untreated. Sometimes it takes someone who's willing to be a target of one's anger to get the point across that they cannot continue on like this.

The Christian is to show the kind of love that is only known when a person knows God. God constantly shows people their sin. What we need are people who are willing to actually ENFORCE holiness instead of standing idly by while their brothers and sisters in Christ are being killed by internal sins like pornography and adultery. It would be hard work, yes. But, think about this: After the fact, when they're pulled up out of those sins do you think they'll still resent you for what you've shown them? Definitely not. Taking the risk and possibly failing is tons better than not taking the risk at all and assuring their destruction.

If you feel like you want to have a ministry like this for someone, seriously consider the results of taking this on. It'd be a heavy burden. But we actually do need people that are willing to make sure that people in church are accountable for their lives outside of church, and that are willing to enforce the kind of holiness that God expects.

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