Not to judge those outside the church

Context is very important when you read the Bible. If you don’t read your Bible regularly and pray to the God who wrote it– then it is nothing more than a book that you may contort any way you wish.

Over the course of my life I have heard many Christians say, “The Bible says you are not to associate with the immoral or wicked.” Some extreme ones even coined the term “separatist”– when I asked as a child what it meant, they said it meant “not associating with the world because Satan is everywhere, and will try to convince you not to follow Christ.”

What does the Bible actually say about this?

A verse I’ve heard misquoted a lot about “separating from the world”:

1 Corinthians 5:6-7, “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

Context, this passage is a letter from Paul about sexual immorality, as in incest, inside the church. People who say “I belong to God,” and then act another way.

1 Corinthians 5:6-13:

“Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister {in Christ} but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

Did you catch that? “not … meaning the people of this world … In that case you would have to leave this world… you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister {in Christ} but is sexually immoral ….

Christians, how have we missed this? Are we using this passage to tell ourselves we don’t have to “associate” with people we may not agree with?

I hope not.

I may not agree with the new World Vision policy, but I don’t think we are to judge those outside the church and writing nasty things about them isn’t exactly what Jesus would have done.

I’m a sinner too, and have written this out of my own shock that I used to believe every word fed to me by other people, instead of listening to the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God and reading the inspired Word of God. I’m disgusted I myself have missed this for so long.

Did Jesus Christ not associate with the sexually immoral, giving them second chances upon second chances? The woman at the well, Mary Magdalene to name a few. Was King David himself not a tad immoral for seducing a married woman and then murdering her husband?

You can say “We love you, LGBT community” all day long- but if you use judgmental and harsh words {to those outside the church!} then it doesn’t carry any weight.

Love is an action word.