I'm an assistant worship leader for a new young youth church in the uk! The major dilemma is that one of our worship team members is pregnant and unwed! How would you suggest that we tackle this issue!
Jesus was merciful, but your point does not relate. since the people Jesus forgave, were not in leadership. nor did He put them in leadership roles after He forgave them.
of course forgive and restore, love unconditionally and disciple her. do not shun her, do not turn your back on her. but leadership is not the place for someone who has backsliden and needs to grow in spiritual maturity.
"Jesus was merciful, but your point does not relate."
The point I was making was in reference to the quote I listed above the point. I made no mention at all about this particular situation in this post aside from the fact that the church needs our prayers more than anything (meaning advice, criticism, etc. we may give).
"of course forgive and restore, love unconditionally and disciple her. do not shun her, do not turn your back on her. but leadership is not the place for someone who has backsliden and needs to grow in spiritual maturity."
I agree completely with this. Earlier this year I stepped down as an elder (actually, declined a second 3 year term that the 'church constitution' lists) in my church because in my mind I no longer was living the life expected of an elder and believed that the church would not be blessed if I had stayed on. My church has done the things you listed, except for the discipline as I took that upon myself by stepping down, and all have been blessed by the process.
I know this is not answering the original post ............there are lots of references along the lines of 'if she is repentant then it is Ok for her to stay'.......
Repentance is not as clear cut as it seems. True repentance can come at any stage in one's life. I have had experiences when I have remembered something I did years ago that I didn't repent about at the time, because I either didn't see it as wrong, or I chose not to repent when it happened and forgot all about it. Through growth and maturity, God in His wisdom and grace has brought things back to mind and I have truly repented in my middle age years.. All I can say is that although I have repented years later, I truly feel that God has never held this against me during the time before I repented.
I'm not saying this is how it is in this instance, but if this young lady is not repentant at this stage...... what then?.............show her the door?
Would she be ever likely to repent if she was turned away?
Could the lack of compassion shown to her turn her against God and the church?
Supposing she says she has repented to keep church members happy, but in her heart she hasn't, how will anyone know?
Why does she need be forgiven by others in the church? Has she wronged any church members?
I realise my personal opinion will come across as being blunt but sometimes when you feel strongly about something.........'this young lady is answerable to God who sees the bigger picture, and not to worship team members, church members or worship forum members'.
Lorraine, we must always come back to the bible for wisdom and discernment on such issues as our own compassion and desires may get in the way and cloud our judgment. Repentance is shown by a change of behavior. If she is not at the repentant stage then confronting her and taking the appropriate steps by taking witnesses is the biblical approach. Christians are so afraid of obedience to God's Word when it comes to the "hard" things that we'd rather go with our own feelings or how we'd want someone to treat us. God was very clear about how to deal with evil and wickedness and sin in the Old Testament. There were certain instances where repentance would not have mattered, the people were cut off or put to death.
In the New Testament, Paul said to not even associate with a brother involved in such sin. Paul knew the seriousness of sin and knew what might happen if that brother was allowed to remain in the assembly or what might happen to individuals if they stayed in relationship with that brother.
The church needs to crack down on sin and become less tolerant, or rather in-tolerant. God will not withhold judgment even from the church if we do not follow his commands and take sin seriously. Let us not continue to walk in the path of Israel who became accepting of sin, who became lenient, who continued to harbor those practicing sin in rebellion.
In the end what you or think or prefer does not matter....what matters is that the Word of God is heeded and that He is obeyed, regardless of how hard it is for us emotionally and regardless of how uncomfortable it is and regardless of how mean and unloving it may seem. We are to love others....but we are also to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Thank you for your frank reply. I don't disagree with anything you are saying, on the contrary you are spot on.
If you look back at my post, I did make a point of saying that it was 'my personal opinion' and that I felt strongly enough to post. I didn't actually say that I was right and everyone else was wrong, I merely made reference to my own experience with regard to repentance. Fact is, I posed alot of questions that were genuinely mulling around in my head (still are). I have to admit, I am finding this one difficult as I seem to be on a completly different wavelength. You have given me food for thought though about compassion clouding judgement, because yes, I do feel bags of compassion for this young girl and her situation within the church setting and feel she is getting a rough ride here.
I also admit that at the time of posting I was feeling angry at some of the comments, and am sorry if I have caused any personal offence to anyone, that was not my intention. However, although I know this thread is not about me, I will leave my original posting on and maybe somewhere along the line God will enlghten me and help me to see it from His perspective and not my own.
.........'this young lady is answerable to God who sees the bigger picture, and not to worship team members, church members or worship forum members'.
The worship team and the church members are also answerable to God for keeping the themselves spotless and blameless and for not allowing reproach to come upon the church. If the bible says that fornicators or the sexually immoral will not enter the kingdom of God, then that offense is something that should be taken seriously by the church and worship team. We can't have an unrepentant person engaged in sexual sin leading in front of the body of Christ.
If parents did not provide consequences for disobedient children but waited for God to deal consequences, many of our children would go to hell rather than heaven all in the name of parents not wanting to judge. People must know that sinful behavior, continual sinful behavior is not acceptable or tolerated and will be dealt at a local level before the person has to face God. It is the churches responsibility to deal with sin or the church will be heald accountable.
there have been a lot of assumptions...which I addressed in my first post. The rest of my posts are in reponse to other people's comments based on the different possible scenarios. More information is needed. However, I'd say an issue like this should not be brought to board like this, rather it should be taken to the pastor and or leadership team at the church.
it's fine discussing it here and using it as a tool for learning all the way around. However, I feel that something this extreme should have been taken to the church leadership...Pastor...first. Then maybe bring it here to say hey, this happened - this is what we did - what would you have done? We can give all the "advice" that we want to here when the best thing and first thing would be to go to the Lord in prayer, and then seek out the Pastor. This board, forum, website, is great for some of the small every day issues....some of the bigger ones are beyond any one individual here and should be taken to leadership and addressed biblically.
you're right, you can't teach them into heaven....however as parents we are supposed to guide and instruct our children....sometimes the instruction comes in the form of consequence for inappropriate behavior