Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday's Theological Question of the Week

Should Christians Point Out Other's Sins?


jim said...

My gut reaction "Sure, it's fun!" He says tongue in cheek.

Clarification, other Christian's sins or just other's sins in general?

Either way, you'd better be sure that you trully have an ear and respect with the other. You also better be prepared to have them point right back at you.

Anonymous said...

Depends. Why are we doing it? The Bible talks about believers who are sinning openly and tells how to handle it. It starts with speaking to them privately. If they don't listen, bring someone with you. The instructions continue from there.

We are not instructed in the Bible to say anything to nonbelievers. They have no concept of sinning against a God they don't believe in anyway so it's a waste of time.

Are we just being nit picky? Then no, leave others alone and let God handle it.

Are we talking about the speck in our neigbor's eye before we remove the beam from our own eye, as the Bible also mentions? We need to take care of ourselves first.

If this person is part of an accountability group or asks for help, then it should be done but with kindness and diplomacy.

If this person is in a leadership position and the Bible clearly states that what the person is doing is wrong and is leading others into sin, they need to be approached quietly, privately, as a brother or sister in Christ.

More may be needed in more extreme cases involving church leadership (minister's, deacons, elders, board members, etc)such as a person who is committing a felony, a person who is physically abusing their spouse or children, a person addicted to alcohol or drugs who is continuously under the influence even in the pulpit, a person openly involved in something the denomination condemns, a married church leader involved in one or many extramarital affairs, illegal activities involving money and so on. I have known of clergy and church leadership who have done all of these things. It needs to be quietly, diplomatically and firmly addressed by the proper persons. Every denomination has guidelines and rules in place to handle these situations.

In general, it is not the Christian's job to point out the sins of others. If they are seeing a lot of sins in others, it means they themselves have a big problem. We tend to be more annoyed at those who exhibit the same faults we have but do not recognize. Anybody who has so much time that they are looking at other people's sins, needs to get a life. I suggest they use that energy to win unbelievers to Christ.

Bear in mind, nobody likes a critical person. If you spend time pointing out the sins of others you are usually being a jerk.

Sarahlynn said...

I think that there is a place for this, but not so much on a one-on-one basis.

When larger societal trends are disturbing, for example, if a series of bills in Congress set out to limit care for the underprivileged, then I think it's appropriate to stand up and say:

"As a Christian, I feel that it's our societal duty to help feed and clothe the mentally ill," or similar.

But as for pointing out that my neighbor has a problem with gambling? Well, it's far better for me to contemplate the log in my own eye.

Anonymous said...

I must point out the sin of your laziness, Jim: "truly' is spelled with one 'l' not two. I say this with tongue and cheek.