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Advice on fellowshipping

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Richard T, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Richard T

    Richard T Well-Known Member

    +752
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I recently found out that my unmarried friend is having a sexual relationship. (Prayers are appreciated for her). My question though is about not eating with a fornicator.
    1 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV)
    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    I know some commentaries say this means do not take communion with them. Most however say to disassociate yourself from them. I also am not sure what to do because though she says she is a believer, yet she also admits to never hearing from God, ever. In this case, what should I do?
     
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  2. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,203
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    How well do you know her?
    Well enough to attend church with her or do Bible studies, ask about how her church services went?

    May I suggest you go to wintery knight and research promiscuity and marriage break up as well as reports of sexual satisfaction.
    Then ask her about two things.
    If she is a Christian how does she obey the sermon on the mount interpretation of adultery/fornication.
    And also ask her about the information you've research that shows premarital sex spoils marriage relationships.

    I suspect you will get an angry ' don't or how dare you judge me' and she won't speak to you again.
     
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  3. Richard T

    Richard T Well-Known Member

    +752
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Thanks for the advice on where to look for resources to share. She has gone to church with me before. She is a pastor's daughter even and grew up in a Presbyterian church. She has said the sinner's prayer yet wonders herself why God has never talked to her. I did not know that would even be possibly.
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,203
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    God speaks to those who are listening in there times of prayer and Bible study.

    But

    Even if he never speaks the truth of Christianity and the basic integrity of a Believer means one obeys his laws.
     
  5. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,609
    Australia
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    It means both not allowing them to take communion and avoiding their company. Some Christians seem to think that they can do as they please without consequences. It is not true. If the church does not deal with the issue, it is disobedience to God's principles. Then both parties are in the wrong. Our group is very small but we've had to take action at times. We've also welcomed the individual back once they've agreed that they were in the wrong. That's win-win. The Christian gains a clear conscience and fellowship is restored to God. The group receives a member back and is strengthened as a result.

    It is not unusual for people who live a sinful life to be deaf to God. She may well be a Christian in name only and need to be born again. That's not my call to make, of course.
     
  6. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 Pax et bonum! CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +7,299
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    As a general rule, I believe that excommunication should be a last, rather than a first resort.

    I think that disfellowshipping from people should always be handled very carefully and sensitively and only applied to the most extreme of situations. Are the person's sins simply affecting their own life, or are they affecting the church as a whole? To what extent does a person's private life become the church's business? We have a duty to honour other's right to privacy and confidentiality. Are we treating the person how we ourselves would wish to be treated? There is a place for discipline in the church, but our judgements should always be characterised by a sincere concern for the person, not just focusing on their individual flaws, but love and care for their overall wellbeing.

    We have to accept that there are people in our churches who are younger and less mature in the faith than others. If we expelled every sinner from our fellowship, then not only would we not have anyone left in our churches, no-one else would want to come either.

    We want to tell society that the church takes sin seriously, but we also want to tell them that we are a caring and compassionate community.
     
  7. Amittai

    Amittai monitor evaluator

    +425
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Single
    - the Scripture you cite is addressed to leaders
    - even if that information about her & that party is fairly reliable, this is different from if she told you herself
    - both she and you need to deepen your respective understanding of God's will more widely than each of your denominational backgrounds so far in life, may allow
    - are you not seeking God just like she is?
    - seek Him where, as well as when, He is to be found (everywhere)
    - if she drops a rather obvious clue, you could possibly throw in a scaled-down and very low key analogy maybe, then wait and see if she takes the subject anywhere
    - But even before you get into any of that, I want to add an important but neglected point. Many denominations insist on everybody's observance of "ordinances". It is far more honest to sit out (as most RCs did until 1978) then you are in solidarity with people God wants you to be in solidarity with. Both your & this woman's confronting your denomination's insistence (if it's them that's insisting) is urgent, in my opinion - then after that proceed with the "main issue" as per guidance / prudence / discernment as you wished to find out.
     
  8. Tony B

    Tony B Active Member

    366
    +332
    Australia
    Christian
    Single
    To be a true believer we must follow Christ's example, your friend and his girlfriend obviously aren't doing that. Express your concern for their welfare that there is no place in Heaven for them if they continue along that path, and if they don't repent then get away from them less you be drawn into a similar sin, or bring dishonour to God.
     
  9. RCrihfield

    RCrihfield New Member

    66
    +44
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Jesus told sinners more than once to "go and sin no more". It would really help if your friend could just "make it right". Does your friend understand the sin? Do they feel they are justified in some way? Many churches will not bat an eye at this situation.

    God gives all of us time to repent...good thing. At some point you may have to make that decision. Maybe it's time now...you will know.
     
  10. Thomas White

    Thomas White Active Member

    454
    +284
    United States
    Methodist
    Married
    Don't cast the first stone. You also sin. Jesus did not forsake you and will not forsake her. Neither should you forsake her. Christ ate with sinners and so should you. She is your friend. Be a good friend and be there for her without judgement. Let her see Christ in you and your life. That will more powerful than any words you could speak. Do not abandon your friend. In all things, pray.
     
  11. Bèlla

    Bèlla His will ❤️ my fate Supporter

    +9,440
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    When I returned to God I laid down my friendships. They were long standing connections for 15 years or more. Their weaknesses were in sin areas the Lord delivered me from after a lengthy spiritual battle. Remaining in contact could result in additional vexation or backsliding. I placed the connections in His hands, prayed for their salvation and welfare, and asked Him to redeem them according to His will.

    Nearly ten years have passed and He reconciled one connection and has continually done so. The others were never redeemed. This was the appropriate step for me given our closeness. I didn't want leaven or unwholesome influences thwarting my growth. I made the right decision.

    As a rule, I avoid developing connections with others who share my spiritual weaknesses. I look for the opposite and offer the same. Both are strengthened and edified. It's easy to remain stuck and entertain excuses when a counterpoint is lacking.

    Yours in His Service,

    ~Bella
     
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  12. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer Supporter

    +936
    Christian
    Married
    That is truth! One might be a "Christian in name only", which is very common in christendom. One should meditate on John 3; John 14; Romans 8; etc. As Jesus said: there are many who just THINK they have eternal life, but are spiritually dead (see John 5:39).
     
  13. Richard T

    Richard T Well-Known Member

    +752
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Thanks for your comments, everyone. All I have left to do is pray. She stopped going to church and is very defensive if confronted. I still have some business with her but in the current state I will back down yet try to be helpful should the occasion arise. What is surprising though us how fast some people can change.
     
  14. RCrihfield

    RCrihfield New Member

    66
    +44
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Be patient...they can change back just as fast. Don't burn the bridge if you can help it.
    May God's wisdom be with you. May His Spirit lead you. May His words be your words.
     
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