Question:

Is it right to kick people out of the church for openly sinning, even though all people are sinners? I know one should not be unequally yoked with non-believers but does this apply to personal life or the church as well? Do you think churches should enforce the sins they choose to enforce and just kick out who they feel the need to dismiss? Or should they only be demoted from a high position, such asSundayschool teacher or a pastor if openly sinning but not kicked out of the church itself?


Answer:

Being married to a non-believer is not a wise choice, but it is not a sin. Paul talks about marriages to non-believers in I Corinthians 7:12-15 and says they are not to end if the non-believer wishes to remain. Peter talks about converting a non-believing spouse through example in I Peter 3:1-2. The statement by Paul in I Corinthians 6:14-7:1 is being misapplied. Paul states that Christians are to avoid situations where a non-believer has control over their life. This is an unequal yoking because one has more power than the other. A marriage is a yoke of equals. See Is it wrong for a Christian to marry a non-believer?

A church that does not withdraw from someone openly living in sin is disobeying God's command.

"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles--that a man has his father's wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

"Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person" (I Corinthians 5:1-13).

Yes, we all slip up in sin, but there is a big difference from occasionally sinning and remaining in sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). While a person remains in his sin, he cannot be a part of a church. John makes the same point.

"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother" (I John 3:7-10).

"Practicing" is trying to capture the tense in the Greek it refers to someone continuing to do something, whether sin or righteousness in this case. It is an on going practice in that person's life. John is not saying that the righteous person never sins -- in fact, he states the opposite in I John 1:8-2:1 -- but that a righteous person doesn't stay in sin.