Harsh and Unloving Correction at Church

– If the church becomes
a place where we are correcting each other for
every single thing we see, that we believe doesn’t measure up every single word of Scripture. The church is going to be
a very miserable place. (dramatic orchestral music) – Welcome, again to the
straight truth podcast. I’m your host, Josh Philpot, and we’re glad you joined
us for this episode. And we’d love to have you
engage with us on this topic. And you can do that by going to one of our social media channels. You can find all of those
listed at our website, straighttruth.net. Now remember this, straight truth is a listener supported podcast. So if you’d like to
continue to help us produce this podcast, you’ll find those
details also at our website. And lastly, help us spread
the word about the podcast. And you can do that by leaving us a review in the iTunes podcast section. Pastor, probably one of the hardest things for us to do in the church
is to go to somebody who we know is in the wrong and to confront them about their sin. And this is built into
the church structure that Paul instructs the church to do this to members in the church. But but he tells us we
have to do it lovingly, right and not harshly. We received a question
where somebody has witnessed another church member approaching someone to confront them about their sin, but they’re doing it
harshly and unlovingly. So what should their response be? Sort of two steps down the road, right? The person who is
witnessing harsh discipline and driving discipline, how should you approach
them is the question. – Well, they should
practice Galatians six. Even while they remind their sinning brother of Galatians six. So let me just remind us quickly
of what Galatians six says. Verse one, brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression,
you who are spiritual should restore him and
a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself,
lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – That’s helpful. – So what you’re doing is
you’re reminding yourself before you go to the person you saw, deal with another brother harshly, you remind yourself that
you too have been harsh with people in the past. So you’re not condemning the harsh brother in your mind in the sense
that they’ve done something you never would have done
or never could have done. There’s a humility that’s present when we confront each other the right way. And we’ve all been guilty
of confronting someone in a way that wasn’t humble
in a way that wasn’t gentle. So you remind yourself with that before you go to the person
you witnessed doing this. And then I would go with
Galatians six in hand. And say brother, can we talk? Here’s something that I witnessed. I believe the best about you. I’m sure this is not
what you desire to do. But I will remind you that
when we confront one another in matters of sin or even
just matters of disagreement, we need to do it in a spirit
of humility and gentleness. Then you pray that your
brother is able to receive the things that you’re saying,
you want to win your brother. And in that way we help each other and this is something I think
we need to be mindful of. That mutual kind of… You described it well, earlier, Josh. That mutual kind of correction
that happens in the church. We’re called to this. This is a form of bearing
each other’s burdens. – Right. – Though we are saved and transformed, we still sin, we are sinners. And so it’s not unloving,
to help each other with matters of sin, it’s loving. Somebody loves me enough
to come to me and say, Richard, this is something I’ve seen. I think you would want to know this, recognize this about yourself. I would be grateful for
that, means they love me. So we can help people understand that it helps the entire church. – And just on that point
of church discipline, is church discipline
necessary for the church. Is it commanded? Do you have to do this?
– Absolutely. Commanded Matthew chapter
18 makes it very clear that we’re responsible to
deal with matters of sin. There’s wisdom that’s needed in that, when it comes to that issue. If the church becomes a place where we are correcting each other for every single thing we see that we believe doesn’t measure up to every single word of Scripture, the church is going to be
a very miserable place. I think we have to ask, is
this something enduring us? Is this something that’s become a pattern? Is this something scandalous? Or is this just a matter of sin? Yes, but common human weakness, that we can trust the
Spirit of God to correct in someone’s life. I don’t have to address everything
I see that someone does. – Yeah, good point. – So, we need wisdom to
distinguish what needs to be addressed in that kind
of way and what doesn’t. – And I wonder if you
could talk a little bit about meekness, because Paul
mentions that in Galatians six. And I’m thinking also,
Jesus saying the meek will inherit the earth and also
just the fruits of the spirits include gentleness and
we could say meekness, maybe in the same line is that you know, how essential is that
for the body of Christ? – It’s tremendously important. We talk about meekness or gentleness, you’re talking about strength
that’s under control. It’s not weakness. – That’s good way to put it. – It’s a kind of strength
that belongs only to Christ and those who are in Christ. It’s the ability to
stand for what is right, but in a way that is
mindful of its own weakness. And caring and loving toward its object. So that’s a tremendous strength, when I can stand for what’s
right in this situation. But I do it in a self
examining kind of way that understands my own weakness. what we’re dealing with here brother is common to all of us. Right, I’m not standing above you, as someone who knows nothing
about what you’ve just done. I’m guilty of the same kinds of failures. But I love you and want you to love me in the same kind of way that we’re going to help
each other along the journey. Because what we’re both
aiming at is honoring Christ. So that the strength to
be able to confront sin but in a way that’s self examining, but yet not compromising. – I’ve often thought about
how the fruits of the spirit are all interpersonal, right? You can exercise the fruits of the Spirit just by yourself with
yourself in your own home. And, I wonder in a situation like this, if we would say, well,
when somebody is treating another church member harshly,
trying to discipline them, the Spirit of God, even
in’t in that situation. Because they’re certainly not using the fruits of the spirit
in that situation. – Yeah, I mean, we’re not operating. I think it’s interesting
that in Galatians, Paul says you who are spiritual. And here we’re talking
about a fellow brother. So you can’t mean spiritual
in the sense of saved. But spiritual in the sense
of walking by the Spirit. I mean you’re in a better place right now than the what you just witnessed. So then it’s true to say
that when we’re operating in ways that are harsh and all the rest, those are the deeds of the flesh. Not the work of the Spirit,
not the fruit of the Spirit. But if I’m operating in
the fruit of the spirit at that moment, then so
let me go to my brother, who has the spirit in a way that’s mindful that he does belong to Christ that he is able to be corrected that is able to correct this
behavior that I just witnessed. And then one day I’m
gonna need him to help me and if we can do that, then that’s how the church
is meant to function. – Well, thanks again for joining us for the straight truth podcast. We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. And remember to please share this episode with friends and family. And you can find the links to all of our social media channels
again at our website, straighttruth.net. And also, if you would
like to hear sermons related to the topic
we’ve discussed today, you’ll find links to those
in the description below. Now straight truth is a production of walking in grace ministries, which is the preaching
and writing ministry of pastor Richard Caldwell. And you can find more details
at walking in grace.org. (dramatic orchestral music)

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