Stand Firm6:45 AM
Something caught my interest on Fox News this morning. A woman in an immoral relationship is in the process of church discipline. Obviously, she's not repentant because she decided to take it to the media.
Read about it here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,469928,00.html
The church's letter: http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Church_Extortion.pdf
I was so impressed by the church's response to her that I wrote them a letter of encouragement. This world may be obssessed with tolerance and individual lifestyle choices, but the Church has a divine responsibility to live according to the standards set by God. When someone takes a stand for righteousness, I am impressed. So here is the text of my letter to the church:
To Whom It May Concern:
I'm sure you are receiving many comments about your handling of the situation with the former member, Rebecca Hancock. I know nothing about the situation except what I have read on Foxnews.com. Of course, their spin is one of victimization. But when I read the Biblical steps that your congregation has followed (rebuke one-on-one and then taking others along with you) and what steps you intend to take, I am so encouraged. The careful and gracious wording of the letter your leadership sent to Ms. Hancock was truly a witness of the love and regard you have for the Word of God.
Many people are willing to stand aside quietly while their friends fall into sin. Many leaders are more afraid of offending a church member, than of the offense that blatant sin brings to the Lord. However, 1 Cor. 5:11-13 says clearly that we must remove the wicked man from our midst. You have stood for righteousness, and in the end, the Lord will reward your obedience to His Word.
I know personally the grief that leadership feels when someone chooses to forsake the faith. It is not a 'fun' or 'easy' thing to do. But the true heart of a leader does not want the temporary comfort of the sheep, but rather, their eternal salvation. Even the Apostle Paul judged the immoral man so that in the end, he could be saved. (1 Cor. 5:5). The judgment was remedial, rather than punitive. Love is our motivation.
With that in mind, please continue to stand firm. Hold fast to the Word of God--no matter who opposes you. James 5:8, "Stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."
May the grace of God be with you,