I have the hardest time separating righteous judgement vs personal. Not verbally but in my mind. Maybe it's from growing up in the times that makes it a struggle. I'm working on it. But what about those of the world? For instance homosexuals. Yes, we love them, but must we voice and say it's wrong? Do we avoid them and those who do not wish to listen to what is right? Jesus banished his family for not believing, didn't he? A majority of homosexuals believe God accepts them as they are. That is pretty much false teaching and we are to avoid this.
I guess my issue is that I don't hate, but I do avoid those who live in sin and justify it. Especially those who justify it with God in changing His words. I stand up and voice the truth. I do avoid businesses and people who support support of sin if I can. But God judges the world. We are to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ in righteous judgement only. So is avoiding a non-Christian, a person of the world, and standing up telling someone they are wrong judging when I shouldn't?
I guess I'm just confused in this area. Or I'm making it more complicated than it is?
Thank you so much!
The Decline of Morality in the World
It isn’t so much world is getting worse, it sometimes swings to morality and then falls head long into sin again. It’s a cycle "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). There may be a point where it just falls and never comes back but that's for a different discussion.
The United State has had many great falls, slavery, prejudice against women or people's skin color, wars sometimes for selfish gain, prostitution, etc . But overall the United States is on the decline in the moral area, and it does make it harder to follow God when this happens. When almost all TV shows have sexual commercials, even on kid stations, and even the show themselves are geared toward immorality. Our school system are bad, government scandals, greed, self-centeredness, etc. I could go on forever about all the immoral issues in society.
Everywhere you go on earth there will be some type of sin issue. Some places will be worse than others. In poverty stricken countries you have different types of sin and problems. For example, slavery, starvation of children and adults, lots of prostitution (especially of children), unfair wages, etc. In reality anywhere you go you will find similar problems or a whole new set of problems. We just notice our own area's most prevalent sins -- those that can be seen by anyone. We tend not to miss to the more subtle sins.
Way we should view ourselves before deciding on other people
One should not think more highly of himself, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned" (Romans 12:3). We all should realize where we have come from and how we got to the point we are now. "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). When personal judgement arises, realize you were the same way, maybe not the same sin, but still you were lost just as much as they are. "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24).
It is easy to be one of those Christians who say, "Why don't they just follow God? Why don't they just want to know the truth?" Treating people like they are lower than you becomes dangerous and you are becoming the judge, even though it might seem good or righteous in your own eyes. "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit" (Proverbs 16:22). God's righteous judgment is much different than ours. When we look at a situation, we must look through His eyes at the situation and not our own ways of looking at people. We must practice what we preach. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you" (Luke 7:37-38). The reason I mention this verse is that one must correct ones own sins before deciding on anyone else around him. When you are right with God, you must use His judgement. "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment" (John 7:24). We need to use mercy in our judgement because God has done the same with us. When we stand before God on judgment day we want to receive that same mercy. "Judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy" (James 2:13).
Did Jesus banish his family?
I know of no verse for Jesus banishing his family. The exact opposite was done for Mary and Joseph. Even when they did not understand what Jesus was doing (Luke 2:48-50). When Mary was at his death, he made sure she was taken care of (John 19:26-27). The verse you might be referring to is either Luke9:59-60; 12:51-53; or 14:26. Jesus did make his family and the crowd realize that people who are part of God's family are the ones who follow him (John 19:27).
Do most homosexuals believe they are going to Heaven?
I am not sure where you get that idea that the majority of homosexuals believe God accepts them as they are. You could be right since the majority of people in the United States think they are OK with God, yet do not follow him in any way or form. Many don't believe in God. The majority of people in the world are lost and a lot of them think because they are decent people they will go to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).
Differences between false prophets and teachers and the uneducated in the Bible
False prophets are the ones claiming to use the Bible while saying something it does not. They claim to have a special revelation from God to tell the future or look into your soul. A false teacher is someone who twists what the Bible says or goes against it and teaches others to do the same. The whole chapter of II Peter 2 is about false teachers and prophets. But at the same time, there are people who don't believe in the Bible because they don't know it, or they do believe in the Bible but use a false teacher to back up their sinful life style or wrongful belief system. Now these are people living in sin. I wouldn't call someone referring to an article a false teacher but a lost person who doesn't understand the Bible or a Christian who has been misguided. I had a co-worker who told my wife that the Bible condones slavery and the beating women as second class citizens. Do I consider her to be a false prophet or teacher because she said this? No. She has accepted what she has heard over the years about the Bible without investigating it for herself. Do I not talk to her? Well, it gives me an opportunity to show her otherwise and to show what God's word truly says.
Remember just a bit ago you had a misconception about Jesus and his family? I still consider you as one striving to follow Christ. This is when mercy should comes in as stated earlier, and humbly correct someone (James 2:13; II Timothy 2:23-26).
We should always give a answer if someone asks, but also do it in a kind manner (II Timothy 4:1-5). Paul was around non-Christians all the time (Acts 17:22-23, Acts 28), but when someone purposely got in the way of preaching the gospel or was corrupting the church, he handled it by no longer associating with them, whether Christian or non-Christian (I Corinthians 5:1-2; Acts 13:6-12). But only until they repented (II Corinthians 2:5-11).
Standing up to sin
In the World
Homosexuality is just like any other sin (gossip, foul language, fornication, being cowardly, liar, etc.). It separates you from God. Some people won't hear the truth, but luckily for us it is not our job to make someone believe. Our work is to tell the gospel and it is up to the person decide on who to follow (I Corinthians 3:6-7). I have friends who don't believe in God or believe in some other god(s). I have had discussions, shown evidences inside and outside the Bible, used simple logic to show them there is a God and they simply don't want to believe. I still hang out with them, show them love, but whenever they say a misconception, I use it as a opportunity to say the truth. It also would be wrong not to say anything. "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin" (James 4:17).
But we should always be looking for opportunities to do good to those who are in the world, and our own brothers and sisters Jesus Christ, including teaching the truth.
"Do not be deceived: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:1-10).
At times we forget we have brothers and sisters in Christ to help us with our heavy burdens. Find people who are solid Christians to rely on and have them lift you up and vice versa. When we have God's family backing us up, then we can handle issues that might seem impossible. It is dangerous to be a lone warrior. "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
Do not grow weary of doing good things, but realize you are following God's will and expanding His kingdom. What better to do with your life than help bring people to everlasting life with God and knowing they are not going to hell?
As you said, we are to keep our brothers accountable, but we are also to uplift them when they do sin in order to get them out of the sin (Galatians 6:1-10). We also must realize some people claiming to be Christians don't love the truth. "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12). A lot of people, who go to church and call themselves Christians, fall under this category. I have had people tell me they prophesied something about me, which, by the way, didn't come true. Even some of their own personal prophecies didn't come true either. They believed they were endowed by God to be prophets but in reality they were sent a strong delusion so that they should perish because they don't care for God's truth.
I had a brother in Christ who fell, turned to homosexuality, and would not repent. I was friends with this person, and I even worked with him for the cause of Christ. But when he decided to turn to homosexuality, I let him know what God's word said. He threw back really bad arguments and articles. I answered all of them and showed from Scripture he was incorrect about God's Word, but he was looking to justify his own sin (Romans 1:32-2:11). I taught him in a humble manner, but he still resisted God's Word and is no longer a follower of Christ. If he wants to sit down and talk about the issue, I will but I won't go and eat with him or pretend everything is OK (I Corinthians 5:11). I let him know that my friendship is waiting, if he turns back to God.
Worse than the fallen brother was all of his Christian brothers and sisters did nothing about it. They said they didn't believe it was OK, but invited him to their weddings, over for dinner and even had his boyfriends over. Some of them later changed their mind and said homosexuality was OK. The majority of them I don't associate with because of this incident and the misuse of God's Word and the endorsement of sin they show. Even worse was when one of his friends said God told him to hang out with this fallen brother and to keep being his friend. This included going to gay clubs with him and dancing with him. I asked him "In what way aren't you endorsing sin?" I showed him Scripture about what a brother was to do to turn the fallen from sin. He said, "I prayed to God, and He didn't tell me it was wrong." My simple response was that we have the Bible. We already know what God said on the subject. Your prayers mean nothing when God Word says otherwise (II Peter 1:3).
Galatians 6:1-10 warns about falling while trying to help people out of their own sin. We must approach each situation carefully. We must use God's way to handle each situation and not our own, and be careful not to be overcome by temptation ourselves. We must also remember that the strong delusion in II Thessalonians 2:9-12 is talking about all people, including Christians, who turn a blind eye to sin and truth and believe what they want. Then they themselves fall into sin by accepting it (I Corinthians 5:6-8).
But please understand it was because he was a Christian that I no longer associated with him. If he never was a Christian then there would not be a issue in the sense of hanging out with him, or talking, etc.
What you should do
We can't leave this world or get away from the sin in it. Instead, we have to go out into the world. "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20). God calls us to go out into this sinful world, meet, and build relationships with non-Christians. Some of them will hate and despise us and won't even like who we are. Others will like us but not follow God. Still others will accept the Good News and realize they are in need of a Savior.
As to what you should do with Christians and non-Christians, Paul said it best: "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you"" (I Corinthians 5:9-12).
I must stress Paul isn't saying not to say anything or not to stand up against injustice, but his point is that non-Christians are already condemned and we live in a world of sin. These are the people who you are supposed to reach, as Paul throughout his travels did. He spoke with boldness about the Gospel. Paul constantly proclaimed the truth but in each situation he handled it as God required. In certain situations he was harsh and others situations he was humble. Read through the book of Acts and see the different reactions Peter and Paul give to each situation. Mark down if they knew God or knew of Him. See the reactions and find out why it was appropriate to say certain things in each situation. Then note also how the people responded.
Try your best to read the situation and realize what your action should be. As you come to know God's Word more and dive deeper you will know when to say something and when to walk away. But each person deserves a chance to hear the gospel, if a opportunity is given. If they do not want to follow Christ and persecute you for it, it is time to move on and go to those who do want God's saving grace.
"And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles"" (Acts 18:6).