A story broke recently of an incident allegedly involving an Evangelical Christian Minister. We will not refer to this case specifically as it is under investigation and we do not know the facts, but we can make some general observations. We do not say that any of the following points apply in this case.
1. Some people claim to be Christians but are not actually converted at all. Anyone can claim to be a Christian.
2. True Christians can sin exceedingly, IF they feed their lower nature (the flesh, as the Bible calls it) and virtually starve their new nature (that nature given them from above when they were born again.) We can feed our lower nature with a diet of corrupting books, music, places or people and by a failure to practice strict separation from the world, and we become increasingly weak spiritually and more vulnerable to temptation.
We build up ourselves on our most holy faith i.e feed our new nature by prayer, Bible reading and an uncompromising separation from those things (and people) that we know pose a moral and spiritual danger to us.
3. Many/Most Evangelical Churches throughout the world are “asleep in the light,” they are not salt and light and the Pastors do not thunder out warnings against sin from the pulpit. There is little separation from the world. Many Churches have made peace with the world and live as close to it as possible. Often, there is little or no difference between the lives of professing Christians and unconverted people. If there is a difference, it’s a hair’s-breadth of a difference.
4. Church discipline is virtually non-existent. Pastors should watch their congregations and be ready to deal (and deal firmly) with improper, unholy, morally dangerous behaviour on the part of any in their congregation. The Pastor cannot see the hearts of his congregation, but behaviour is a good indicator of what is going on in the heart. A little leaven leavens the whole lump and unbridled sin in a congregation can trap many in a web of corruption and deceit. Many moral sins could have been prevented had individuals been warned at the earliest possible moment that their behaviour was sinful and, if it didn’t stop, church discipline would be applied, the ultimate sanction being “Put away that wicked person” (as the Apostle Paul put it), meaning the unrepentant offender is put out of the Church.
5. If a professing Christian commits a sin that is also a crime, then the Police become involved. Public and private confession and repentance is required because he/she has disgraced their testimony and given the “enemies of the LORD cause to blaspheme.”It may also be necessary (in some cases, definitely necessary) for some invloved in such to step down from leadership positions etc.
6. There is a real being called Satan, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith…” The devil is the “accuser of the brethren,” a liar, a murderer and a deceiver, intent on destroying Christians, their families and their reputations. He sorely tempts Christians to sin because the fall of a Christian is a real victory for the devil because a spectacular fall will make Christians a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.
In conclusion, any Christian could fall into terrible sin (including the writers of this blog) if we forget that we are in a spiritual battle with many enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil. However, should evey Christian in the world sin horribly and disgrace our Lord and Saviour, God’s Word would still be true. Yea, let God be true and every man a liar.