I was reading something in the bible about how Jesus went into the villiage and tried to talk to the people. Some would not hear him, so he dusted off his shoes and walked away.
Then I hear the term shunning. Now, was Jesus shunning these people that would not hear his message? Or, is shunning people ok for other reasons, such as disturbing a church service, or just plain creating havoc among the believers.
Sometimes Christians like to hang around the lost souls rather than their own kind to try to bring them to Christ. Some people say to shun them, or stay away from them before they pull YOU down, rather than you BRINGING them to the Lord.
What do all of you think about this?
First off the term 'shunning' is NOT a biblical term. If you look in a concordance of the earliest scriptures you don't really find it used as the Amish and others use it. That is as turning our back on a person and treating them as though they were dead-not recognizing them if you meet accidently, completely avoiding them and giving them a direct cut if you meet face to face. How evil and unloving!
The question you asked about the 'dust off the feet.' Jesus didn't do that; it was an instruction He gave the disciples. When He sent the disciples out to preach He told them to go just as they were with no provisions for their preaching (real different from what modern preachrs want, isn't it?) They were to go into every town and preach/teach anyone who would listen to them. They were to stay with anyone who would offer them a bed space.
But if no one in the town would listen and if no one would offer them a place to sleep they were to depart. Jesus said in Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. I chose this text because it is a little easier to understand. (There are several others using almost the same words)
Notice it says shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. It's a testimony against them.. Since the disciples were leaving, it wasn't much of a testimony to the townspeople--they were all in their houses refusing to listen. The action was a testimony before God...
Not only that... They weren't ignoring the people, they weren't being outright rude to them and they weren't writing them out of their wills..Which is what those denominations who practice 'shunning' do.
This post was modified from its original form on 04 Dec, 9:40
There is one text regarding avoiding people.. but it still isn't used with the harshness of 'shunning.'
in Romans 16 17 Paul says, Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple Another translation says: I urge you to watch out for people who create divisions and problems against the teaching that you learned. Keep away from them. 18 People like that aren’t serving the Lord. They are serving their own feelings. They deceive the hearts of innocent people with smooth talk and flattery.
It says the same thing but in language easier to understand. Why does Paul want people to 'avoid' them? Because their smooth talk can deceive the hearts of the innocent. But look--it STILL doesn't say th treat them rudely or be nasty to them or act as though they were dead. It doesn't say to SHUN them.
It just says to 'mark' them or be sure to remember who they are and then avoid talking about religion with them, avoid spending enough time with them that you will get into discussions or arguments with them... That is different from being harsh and mean to them.
To me shunning means to steer clear of or avoid. Personally I can't see Jesus shunning anyone; He would always try to teach people the truth. However, if they continually ignored his teachings then I think he would dust off his shoes and walk away.. I don't think continually 'hanging around' lost souls is a good idea due to the fact that Christians can be tempted or if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time they could be put in a dangerous or illegal position. But taking time to tell a lost soul about Jesus as often as possible would be what Jesus wants...not to ignore them. You may be the only person that has taken the time to try and lead you to Jesus and Eternal Salvation.
I see Vondi and I posted around the same time and after reading what she wrote about Jesus not being the one to 'dust off his feet' (only His diciples) I agree with her.
Last of all. How about hanging out with sinners in the hope that we can bring them to Christ. From what I've seen that almost always works the OPPOSITE DIRECTION and ends up pulling the Christian away from Christ. Now that doesn't mean we can completely stay away from sinners. it doesn't. We have to associate with sinners every day. Our neighbors are there every day. We can't avoid being with them because we have to be a witness. If we hide in our house or office all the time how can they "see [y]our good works to glorify [y]our father in heaven?"
Sometimes there are events at work that require our attenance. We can't always get out of them but we can go and be a witness to the life of Christ... ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8
So there comes the crunch because there is also a text (which I cannot place for a hour of thinking!) that tells us to leave evil companions.... When I can think of the text. I'll post it.
To me that text means that we don'thang out in bars and clubs to be a 'witness'. In these cases our withness is lost in the billows of sin around us. We can show love to these same people in other circumstances and invite them to our homes for fellowship. In that situation the love and power of God surrounds them and we can really be examples for God...
I'll keep trying to place that text....
I agree Vondi that it would be a bad idea to go into a bar to preach the word. The first thing any of would think is that we are no different from them being in the bar.
I think I also understand that one part where you say to back off from people that will ruin our testimony. I talked with someone on the phone, not knowing the person was drinking, and she would ask questions in a mocking manner, and when I answered them, she laughed so hard. I never got involved with that situation again.
I remembered that scripture… Actually I was on the right track yesterday but I was using the wrong word in my search!!
Talking of “Christians who like to hang around the lost souls rather than their own kind to try to bring them to Christ.” For those of us who truly follow the Lord, this doesn’t ring true right off the bat. But some scriptures might be in order to support our ‘gut’ feelings.
Paul told the Corinthians to Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (I Cor 15:33) The term ‘communication’ was used more broadly once than it is now. Now it only has to do with speaking or ‘communicating’ by print or other ways. Looking at a couple other translations we find 33 Do not be led into such errors; bad company, they say, can corrupt noble minds. (Knox trans) Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (Darby) This shows pretty clearly that our companions have an influence on how we live. We cannot hang out in bars, clubs and various activities with sinners all the time and expect to have an influence on them.
I personally knew a guy once who ran with motorcycle gangs and hung out with their activities and clubs. He wore the regalia and the scraggly beard and dirty fingernails. Only he had bible verses written on his leather jacket and tattoos. He said that was to be a 'witness' BUT the bible says that when we are made clean on the inside, the outside comes clean also. (Matt.23:25) If we are born again and truly attempting to live for God, we will be cleansed on the inside so we will have a different appearence on the outside too. We will no longer look like the grubby motorcycle gang member.....
Look at the attitude of the media toward Christians if you want to see how well THAT works. They are a laughing stock. Not because of their relationship with Christ, but because of their hypocrisy. When you find a person who is really living for Christ most people give them respect. They may not agree with our lifestyle but they do respect it.
The hypocrites (those who don’t live any differently from sinners, who drink with their sinner friends, who dress immodestly and flaunt their sexuality, who flirt and act promiscuously and do all the other things that sinners KNOW aren’t Christ-like, even in some cases claiming their gay lifestyle is perfectly acceptable to God and some who are exceedingly sanctimonious and filled with their own self-righteousness) Those are the ‘Christians’ who are parodied on SNL and Jay Leno. Those are the ones who have left a bad taste in the mouth of society.
I’m not Catholic and I believe that Catholicism holds their followers in bondage to many unbiblical practices, but occasionally you find a godly woman like Mother Teresa who makes headlines. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone deriding or laughing at Mother Teresa. Why? Because her dedication to the Lord was honest and recognized by every sinner in the world.
Another interpretation (I can’t really call it a translation) of 1 Cor 15:33 says 33-34 Don’t let yourselves be deceived. Talking about things that are not true is bound to be reflected in practical conduct. Come back to your senses, and don’t dabble in sinful doubts. Remember that there are men who have plenty to say but have no knowledge of God. You should be ashamed that I have to write like this at all!
That’s really interesting…because it is actually warning about even talking about things that aren’t true. And how it is reflected in our conduct. By looking at these scriptures it is pretty evident that those who claim to be ‘witnessing’ by hanging out with sinners are lying to themselves and making a laughing stock of the power of Christ…
Sorry if any one here thinks they are ‘winning’ souls by doing that, but Jesus said that when they do this sort of thing they compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.(Matt 23:15)
In other words when they go to the extent of joining into sinful activities to ‘gain souls’ they only succeed in putting those they ‘win’ in a worse position that they were as honest sinners!
Now I'm NOT saying that we must ignore sinners. Of course, not!!! But they should not be our 'best friends' We should not be spending our free time in the places they go and the things they do. If we do that their language and interests and amusements will eventually have an effect on us!
I used to tell my kids, if we are around sin all the time, pretty soon those thngs don't seem so sinful. It was a warning for them but it is a warning for us to keep in mind.
We have many opportunities to spend time with and be a witness to sinners in our everyday round of activities. We work with them all day every day. What fantastic opportunities for being honest, for not participating in dirty jokes, for not gossiping, for being pleasant and helpful to everyone, for not complaining.
We meet sinners in our home activities-our neighbors are at the Top of the List. We are witnesses by not being nasty when their dog barks all night or their tree limbs fall in our yard. We are witnesses by doing little helpful things for them, by being unfailingly pleasant and kind, by offering assistance in times of illness or accidents. We witness by not cussing them back when the cuss out our kids.
The sales people in our life.. How much time do we spend with the sales people where we shop? How do we act toward them? Do we treat them as second class itizens? Do we yell at them when we are unhappy with the store?
We are not to seclude ourslves in a walled garden and only associate with other Christians, but we choose other believers as our closest friends.
Very good posts Vondi, and I agree with you too. Oh the person that heads for the bar to preach to the drunks is only preaching to the bottle, and worse than that, the people don't trust the Christian that goes into the bar to hang out. It is like the alcoholic that goes into the bar for a soda, and to let everyone know that he quit drinking. HE or SHE is setting themselves up for a drink some day.
I can remember when the neighbors dogs next door would not stop barking before I became a Christian. I would scream from the top of my lungs some horrible stuff, take a hand full of aspirins and then peel out of my driveway. I am so glad to get rid of all that anger...... whew
I keep running across cursing, lying, and stealing people who call themselves Christians, and I just say to myself there is no way they can behave like that, and still be born again. Maybe I am wrong, but I would have the Holy Spirit on my case if I started that stuff, and they don't seem to let their ways bother them.
People like to say that they are just human and they do those things 'in the flesh..." And that makes it okay. But the Bible tells us we are to no longer live inthe Flesh but in the Spirit. We are to evidence the life of Christ! HOW is that nastienss and anger anything like Christ.
There are tons of scripture to support your 'case' on this.
You're absolutely right, Vondi! It's NOT the Christian's place to try to convert anyone! That's between God and the person! Only HE knows the heart and even though He's a merciful and forgiving God, he's NOT stupid!
I always figured we can always plant a seed, and then it is up to Jesus to water it.
You're right Donna...we plant seeds and Jesus waters them.
I do not agree that people who may not be nor look clean are not good witnesses or do not love the Lord. In fact I would have just as much respect for them (maybe more) as those with pristine appearances Who are we to judge them? We don't know their circumstances. What if someone is homeless but still wants to share the gospel and his love of God? We must look beneath the surface at people's hearts and their love of God. Here is a short story about a man who had dusty shoes and uncombed hair in church, and why. It is worth reading and may make you look at circumstances in a different light. (you may have to paste the URL in your browser to open up the story)
1 John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This post was modified from its original form on 05 Dec, 16:34
Oh boy oh boy was that a tear jerker. I found it odd that it was one that I never heard before too. That kind of stuff really gets to me. I can recall when I first started going to this church. The women there dress up, but not all the younger ones. Anyway, my friend, and you might recall me getting upset with her when she started on me about wearing a dress or skirt, that God said don't dress like a man. I told her that was all I had to wear, and by the time she got done with me, she was 92 yrs old, still is around, but 93 now, she had me wanting to not go back.
The wind up was that someone around my size was getting rid of some clothes, and brough them to me at church. That was the beginning of my clothes. I had so many that I just had to get rid of a big bundle to one of the salvation army boxes. I kept a few things.
So, while she meant well, she could have caused me to fall. I kindly picked myself up, and then told Vondi all about it, and she made it all better again, like she always does. She has always been a great source of encouragment for me.
The concept of lifestyle seems to have touched a nerve. The fact remains that when we are born again there will be a change in our life and lifestyle. The fact remains that Paul relayed the message f rom God: "as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
We cannot be one of God's and still be hanging out and taking part in ungodly things. It is that simple.
I'm going to leave the conviction in God's hands and get back to discussing the thought of 'shunning'
Shunning is an entirely different thing from being careful how much time we spend with sinners and whether we are sympathizing with their acitvities. Shunning, as I have seen it practiced among the Amish, involves absolutely refusing to acknowledge the person.
We cannot find Bible for that.
I knew someone that belonged to a particular religion. I can't say Christian because she did not accept Jesus as being God in the second part of the trinity. Anyway, her sister was removed from this religious organization, and her Mother and her other sisters refused to talk to her, or eat with her, and the real doozy is that they refused to bury her. This is what THEY call shunning.......
Now, if someone else did the same thing, but did not ever belong to this organization, they will not shun them. They use a verse in Deuteronomy I think to stand by what they do.
Yeah. They are real particular about who they shun.
I'm glad you enjoyed that story, Donna. It makes me tear up each time I read it. Such a kind soul that loved God but couldn't help how he looked when he arrived to worship. Now the man sitting next to him started out wanting to shun him. I, like you, in the early days of my conversion didn't have the 'right' clothes' to wear. I was clean and presentable whether in slacks or not. I do not think God minds what we wear as long as we are respectable. God looks on the inside. But of course people are entitled to their opinions on the matter and I respect will respect it.
Like I said before, I don't think Christians should 'hang around' with certain types BUT to talk about Jesus with or to them, thus planting seeds, is acceptable. Again, that is my point of view
The man in the good clothes wanted to disassociate himself from one of a lower class. it had nothing to do with Jesus. He simply thought he was too good to associate with a poor man. It could just as easily have been a sinner. He looked down on him because of his poor dress.
That's different from 'shunning.'' Wearing the 'right' clothes has noting to do with it. The lady who pressured Donna may have had good intentions but she was lacking in wisdom and might easily have driven a new convert away.
This was a tear-jerker story designed to make us feel sad. A true child of God does not look down on someone who is poorly dressed. Notice it doesn't say the man was sloppy or disreputable or that he clothes were dirty--only that they were poor and dusty. The well dressed guy was a hypocrite and although it said he felt convicted of his feeling toward the man, it doesn't say he repented of his bigotry.
Being poor and not being able to have fine clothes is not at all what I'm talking about. I'm taking about the kind of 'uniform' (if you want to call it that) that prostitutes wear and gang member wear and yes, bikers. If you see them in the Mall or across the street, they are immediately recognizable for what they are by the style and type of clothes they wear even though they might be very expensive.
I'm going to talk about 'bikers' (motorcycle gang guys) because I have the most experience with them. They can be very sweet and kindly guys, they aren't saved, but they have a soft spot, most of them. BUT they are also self serving, harsh, hard drinking, hard cussing immoral and often criminal.
When one is truly born again, there is a dramatic change. They no longer want to be seen as one of the sinful group. They come out of their house the next morning dressed in clean clothes, and no longer slovenly. their bodies are clean and groomed. The men may still have beards but they are no longer dirty and scraggly. Their hair may still be long but it is clean and combed. Most generally both beards and hair are soon trimmed. The clothes may still be the same, but they are transformed by laundry soap and folding. They are no longer thrown on anywhich way but smooth and tidy.
The language is immediately transformed. It is no longer interspersed with cuss words and harsh phrases. It becomes sincere and humble. (I'm always suspicious of those who become mealy-mouthed and start talking about sweetsie, love-y God this and God that. Usually that is a false front. I'm not speaking judgementally but from experience. People who talk like that soon go back to their old sinful ways and will stab you in the back just as quickly.)
Their entertainment preferences change immediately. They have no desire to hang out in the bars and clubs. They have no desire to hang out with their old swearing, fornicating, hard living pals from the gang. They want to be around people who love the Lord. They enjoy being in church gatherings.
Why all of these things?
As Paul says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Notice it says ALL things, not just our heart, not just our eternal destiny, but ALL things. That includes, as I've witnessed over and over, the lifestyle of the new Christian.
That is vastly different from the people who still want to hang out with their old friends and go to the same places they did as sinners. As Donna said up above. "Or the person that heads for the bar to preach to the drunks is only preaching to the bottle, and worse than that, the people don't trust the Christian that goes into the bar to hang out." Their witness isn't trusted. And most generally that is with good cause.
James says in Chapter 2: My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Poor is vastly different from the 'uniform' of sin. WE cannot discriminate over either. WE must treat the biker or prostitute the same as the Christian who has little money to spend on fancy clothes. And we must treat every sinner with love and respect. THAT is our responsibility before God.
We do not scorn them or speak harshly to them but we show forth the life of Christ. And living the life of Christ means that although we pass by and associate with sinners daily we do not spend time in places where sin is given free reign. We don't keep sinners as our closest companions. We may have sinful friends, but we invite them to our house, where the Spirit of God holds sway. We don't go meet them in the nearest bar where Satan reigns supreme.
Again as Donna said, in that situation we are preaching to the bottle. Nobody is as sloppily repentant as a drunk. He is sorry for anything and everything, mostly himself. But that doesn't bring about salvation. Salvation comes about as an cognitive recognition of our sin and an intelligent choice to turn from it. It means an honest repentance and acceptance of God's grace. It isn't an emotional response to somebody's tear jerker admonition that Jesus loves you.
But when a man or woman is born again, they change their sinful ways--in words, dress, conduct and attitude.
And none of this has to do with 'shunning' as Donna described it and as is practiced in some Denominations.
I'm going to share my input on this now. To me shunning is when you're among so-called "Christians" or people claiming to be religious but not showing it with their actions. One group that does this are The Jehova's Witnesses. We have a few neighbors that are JWs and they treat you like you're a hopeless case in their eyes. Some years ago, we were invited to an engagement party by one of our neighbors of this faith. Their daughter was engaged to another JW and while that family was very nice to us, we were completely shunned at the party by all the others. My mom, sister and I sat there the WHOLE time without anyone even coming by to greet us! Only the family of the bride did so! We finally had enough and left after politely saying goodbye to them! We were SO disgusted we NEVER accepted another invitation from them again. The family is still very nice to us, however, but it irks me that people like that would even consider themselves to be followers of Christ. They're such hypocrites!
My Mothers best friend was of that denomination, and her daughter was kicked out of it for something she did. When that happened, her sisters and Mother would not even eat with her, and her Mother said they cannot bury her either. I was told that if she was NOT a member of the organization, they would not have had to shun her. This also means to walk past her on the streets without talking.
Now that's just totally cruel, cold and heartless of that poor girl's family. What did she do? Commit murder and not repent?! I could understand if that were the case, but nevertheless that's just too extreme! So what will happen to her body when she dies? Will someone else bury her or what? Don't they believe in forgiveness IF she repents?!
My brother was brutally shot to death almost 20 years ago in cold blood. The woman he was involved with had him murdered when he left her after finding out she was just using him to get legal residence here in the U.S. This woman made his life sheer hell during the time they were "married" which only lasted 8 months. She lied to him saying that she wanted to patch this up so they set up a time and place to "just talk" like she put it. Well, when he got there and while they were talking, one of the gang members she knew came out of the restaurant bathroom, came up behind him, pulled out a gun and shot him point blank in back of the head, killing him instantly. The woman was let go after 72 hours because they couldn't charge her with anything since she wasn't the one who actually did the killing. She left the country and got away scott free. My brother's murder remains unsolved today.
Anyway, this type of crime doesn't deserve any forgiveness you would think, but she'll have to stand before Christ someday give full account and she won't exactly have that "HA HA" attitude then, will she? I was raging mad for a long time about it all, but when a minister from my church pointed that out, if was such a big relief, even though my brother's murder went unavenged. Like the scripture says, "Let vengance be mine," says God, or something like that.
The man in the good clothes wanted to disassociate himself from one of a lower class. it had nothing to do with Jesus. He simply thought he was too good to associate with a poor man. It could just as easily have been a sinner. He looked down on him because of his poor dress. What's the difference between disassociating and shunning? Same difference to me. The man in the story was trying to shun or disassociate himself from the man...
Wearing the 'right' clothes has noting to do with it. Of course it doesn't matter (at least not to God) but the point is, since we are discussing shunning and Christian behavior I think discussing the way a 'Christian' acts is relevant. The lady who pressured Donna may have had good intentions but she was lacking in wisdom and might easily have driven a new convert away.
This was a tear-jerker story designed to make us feel sad. Actually, even though the story does make us feel sad, I believe it's intent is to how a so called 'Christian's' actions was both unGodly and could have hurt another. A true child of God does not look down on someone who is poorly dressed. Notice it doesn't say the man was sloppy or disreputable or that he clothes were dirty--only that they were poor and dusty. The well dressed guy was a hypocrite and although it said he felt convicted of his feeling toward the man, it doesn't say he repented of his bigotry.
Being poor and not being able to have fine clothes is not at all what I'm talking about. I'm taking about the kind of 'uniform' (if you want to call it that) that prostitutes wear and gang member wear and yes, bikers. If you see them in the Mall or across the street, they are immediately recognizable for what they are by the style and type of clothes they wear even though they might be very expensive. To me, what people wear is not for me to judge....however God wants us to plant seeds to all people, no matter what they wear. If we can't plant seeds to everyone then we, too are being hypocritical, as God loves everyone and wants us to love others as we love ourselves. If Christians can't plant the seeds to them, then who can?
I'm going to talk about 'bikers' (motorcycle gang guys) because I have the most experience with them. They can be very sweet and kindly guys, they aren't saved, but they have a soft spot, most of them. BUT they are also self serving, harsh, hard drinking, hard cussing immoral and often criminal. I know of a Biker Church in Indiana where they go to worship on Sundays. Maybe they aren't truly born again (thus not changing their hard ways) but they still believe in God. At one time I, too, went to church before getting saved and had bad habits as well. Fortunately I wanted to change and God led me. Hopefully the bikers, etc. will have a conversion, too one day.
When one is truly born again, there is a dramatic change. They no longer want to be seen as one of the sinful group. Right. They come out of their house the next morning dressed in clean clothes, and no longer slovenly.their bodies are clean and groomed. The men may still have beards but they are no longer dirty and scraggly. Their hair may still be long but it is clean and combed. Most generally both beards and hair are soon trimmed. The clothes may still be the same, but they are transformed by laundry soap and folding. They are no longer thrown on anywhich way but smooth and tidy. Again, there are people who love God that are homeless and don't have access to the amenities we have. Their hearts are changed but maybe not their circumstances. They are the ones we should pray hard for. When we tithe at church a prayer is said beforehand. Included in the prayer are 'those that want to give but don't have the funds'. It just goes to show that not everyone has the same advantages as others.
You are understanding my point, Vicky, but not quite.
First we are discussing ‘shunning’ in the context that several denominations use the term. As it is defined in the dictionary, to shun means: to keep away from (a place, person,or object, etc.), from motives of dislike, caution, etc.; take pains to avoid.
However that is not the way it is used among those denominations. To them it means not to just ‘keep away from’ but to treat the person as though they no longer exist.
They don’t just ‘take pains to avoid’ but if they do meet them they look the other way. (In fact the often take pains to meet the person so they can close their eyes and turn their backs on them.)
The “shunning’ we are discussing is the religious practice, not just the social way of avoiding someone.
The ‘dress’ concept seems to really bother you. I am not talking of the poor who have unfortunate living circumstances. I am not talking about sinners seeking to know God. I am not even talking about those who have recently been saved and haven’t yet been able to change their dress or circumstances. (From experience I’ve found repeatedly that those who are sincerely born again soon do change their lifestyle and mode of dress regardless of their financial circumstances. I’ve seen it over and over.) And I am NOT talking about how WE as the PEOPLE OF GOD treat THOSE IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. We are to treat them with love and consideration and courtesy ALWAYS.
But I was not talking about any of this in the original discussion. I kinda mentioned it in passing when I referred to hanging out with sinners. We do NOT have any right to ignore or avoid sinners, but we do NOT make their company our favorite place of relaxation. My reference was in relation to that I mentioned ‘Christians’ who haven’t changed their life style or anything about the way they act or the things they do.
They only start talking the talk while avoiding walking the walk….
I left this out, but I need to say: We are also to talk with sinners and be nice to them, inviting them to our homes and spending time with them here and there. The people I worked with once made it a practice of going to a local bar and hanging out on Friday nights after work (These were DAY CARE WORKERS, for pity sake!)
The one lady invited me repeatedly and i always refused. Once I even suggested meeting at a local restaurant where many of us went for lunch. She and I were good friends..but not in a bar.
I sometimes think she did the repeated invitations to see if I was really sincere about my stand on alcohol and ungodly places. No one ever seemed to resent that I didn't go...In fact several times those same people came to me for prayer. It increased their confidence in me.
If I had gone to the bar on Friday nights and laughed and talked with them while they were drinking and losing their inhibitions, it would have drastically hindered my testimony of salvation.
I didn't 'shun' them. I refused to participate in sinful activity. There is a VAST difference.
I am sorry to hear about your brother, and glad to hear that someone could put your heart and mind at ease. What a horrible thing for that woman to do.
There is shunning, and there is shunning. The one I really was talking about was the one I know about, and the one I referred to was the kind where the church organization makes it mandatory to shun the X member of the organization. I don't know who will bury this girl. Maybe she went back into the organization. Her Mother passed away, and she was such a sweet woman, but when it came time to listen to her church organization, she and her other daughters turned from the one daughter.
I don't know what she did wrong, but she was thrown out of the organization. It is similar to my parents being excommunicated from the Catholic church because my Mother divorced and remarried. This made my father a sinner too, so they actually, could not receive communion or any other sacrament for that matter. You know what???? That would include the Catholic's confession. That means, they could not even confess their sin or ask Pardon. It also means, now that I think about it, that there is no way to get to God in THEIR opinion, for forgivenenss.
SHEESH My parents were not kicked out of the church, just kept from the sacraments. They never bothered to go, but they told us that we HAD to go to church.
When I went to my church a few years ago, I had thrown every thing out of my closet but 2 tops and 2 pairs of pants. I thew out the clothes before I went to the church. I started out with the pants and tops. They were not the kind of pants a man would wear anyway, but my friend wouldn't stop harping. Before I decided to leave, I made the decision to talk to someone else about it. It was the Pastors Mother, and she told me to just come with whatever I had to wear. She will even wear pants once in a while. The church is mixed. Some dress up with hats, and others wear pants. The young people wear pants a lot.
Well, before you know it, I was bombarded with dressy church clothes. The lady behind me cleared out her closet. She LOVES to fix up her wardrobe and dress up. Then at the church pantries, 3 weeks in a row, someone brought in the most beautiful outfits that were my size. Nobody knows who brought them, but I do...... GOD...... We are not to worry about what we have to eat or wear, as the Lord will see to it that our needs are met....
Thanks Vondi for clarifying what you meant. I guess I added my own spin on it and said what I think even though our thoughts are somewhat different though both right. (at least in my eyes. lol) This next remark has nothing to do with this thread but God is putting it on my heart to say it. I think I read somewhere before a statement you made about Christians not being sinners once they found God and I think I responded with scripture that we are ALL sinners, (including God's children). This will probably open up a can of worms (eeks) with what I think are our differing opinions on sinning but..... We've always agreed to disagree so all is good.
I can recall that thought about sinners, and guess what! I finally heard something that clarified the statement from Vondi about that we don't have to sin, and the comment from you that we are all sinners.
My Pastor said something one Sunday about this. He said we sin in the flesh, but we no longer have to be sinners in the Spirit once we become born again . Our Spirits are clean.
I forget how it was put though. This probably should have gotten into a new thread. I wish I could remember his words. They mimicked what Vondi said. So, we don't sin in the Spirit. We sin in the flesh.
Vondi do care to elaborate? or start a new thread? Well, think about it.
Let's start a new thread.... Call it..?? i don't know.. You pick it.
Jesus Christ, the apostles and the New Testament Church practiced water baptism. Is baptism a required part of God's plan of salvation?
Many have asked whether baptism is required or essential for salvation.
The Bible shows that it is necessary. When thousands of convicted Jews asked Peter and the other apostles how to act on their conviction, Peter's response was to the point: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38
). The biblical record shows that the ministers baptized converts in water.
The gift of the Holy Spirit begins a process, which eventually culminates in God changing Christians to spirit (1 Corinthians 15:51-54
; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
). That change to spirit is the essence of salvation—being saved from eternal death. Many today fail to understand that conversion is a process, believing instead that it is only a momentary emotional experience. Without a complete understanding of the Scriptures, they don't understand why baptism should be necessary.
Of course, forgiveness is instantaneous, but conversion takes time. It takes time for God to educate us in His will. After we learn right from wrong from His point of view, it takes time to develop character (Romans 5:3-5
; 2 Peter 1:5-11
; 3:18). By analogy, one can learn a profession from books, but only experience makes one a professional in a given field. Godly character grows out of choosing right from wrong, exercising one's willpower to do what is right even in the face of internal and external pressures. Both human nature and the world around pull us away from God's way of life (Galatians 5:19-21
; 1 John 2:15-16
No one has the willpower to be a Christian; we all need the help of God's Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6-9
, 26). And the way He promised we'd receive it is through baptism. The Scriptures further reveal that God gives the Spirit through the laying on of hands and prayer by His ministry at baptism (Acts 8:14-17
; Hebrews 6:1-2
). This is another essential step in the process of conversion that many of today's Christians overlook or never heard about.
I think we are getting off track here.
Martha, discussing baptism is a good thought...
Why don't you start another thread...