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Featured If somebody practices a sinful life claiming to be saved, how would you minister to him/her?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by unfinishedclay, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    I am at a point in my life where I get really dismayed going back and forth with some loved ones about right and wrong. I find myself disagreeing about topics I never thought I'd disagree with a fellow believer about.

    When somebody says they are saved yet live like an unbeliever, I find myself wondering, "Do I believe the claim or the actions?"

    I'm all the way burnt out on that go-to line "Well we're not to judge." I've long ago started to believe that a believer's way of judging should not be in pre-determining somebody's destination. But to instead discern the fruits of a person's lifestyle and treat that person as either a fellow disciple (sharing/communicating the Word mutually whether conversationally, instructionally, or correctively) OR treat him/her like someone who doesn't know Christ (sharing the gospel to evangelize the person regardless of their claim to salvation). Otherwise, I will find myself blindsided by my own assumption and end up in more heated discussions over issues I thought were pretty basic Biblically.

    Does anybody ever find themselves feeling like you don't want to "judge" in humanly interpretation of the word but need to make some type of judgment call to determine how to communicate with a person in sin claiming salvation?
     
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  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Sounds like you are in a real life situation that you didn't anticipate. It's good to keep 'looking unto Jesus' (Hebrews 12.2); and if you can put 'a word in season' to the person you know well, then good, but good also to focus for oneself Godward, feeding on His Word.
     
  3. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    Usually, I find, rather than being "evangelized to" or "treating like an unbeliever" in general, people respond better to seeing your example in their life. Treat them like a friend and take them to events, be around them, maybe church if they are interested, and be a good example. If they are a believer, or even not, the Holy Spirit can convict them to change their ways, but "evangelizing" or outright calling someone out that already feels slightly convicted usually just pushes them away from us, and often towards their sin. Jesus didn't call out or convict the tax collectors or other "sinners", he showed them a good example and they chose to follow him.
     
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  4. Mskriskris

    Mskriskris Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have, but God is working on me not jumping into arguments.

    We are to judge righteously, but we are also to incorporate grace and patience. A lot of times we are trying to do God's job of convincing them of their faults, when really all we need to do is teach them and leave it to the hands of God. If a believer is living a sinful life, you warn them and then leave them to God in prayer. Don't hunt for them, when someone wants to change they will reach out. If they want to know what God said about such as such, they will know where to find you. If they want to be taught, they will listen. If they seek God, they will find God. You pray that God gives them the heart to receive the wisdom when the opportunity arises, even if its not you delivering it. Show them love through it all, so that they are not estranged from the embrace of God.

    As simple as that. Trust God.
     
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  5. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Excellent thoughts; the Word of God is 'for ever settled in heaven' (Psalm 119.89), but grace and patience in handling people is so important.
     
  6. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    I'm not saying that evangelizing somebody means preaching at them. I realize evangelizing somebody is witnessing to them as either a mouthpiece or as a quiet light or both depending on circumstances.

    Sorry I gave the visualization of evangelism as a loud experience. Evangelism is an umbrella of various approaches and experiences. And I certainly have a long way to go in learning to evangelize effectively.
     
  7. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sometimes I think it's important to look at where someone 'was' in relation to where they 'are' now.

    None of us probably have walked in their shoes, so to speak and sometimes us looking in, we don't see the struggles maybe or even the progress. And many people have their biases of what is a 'bad' sin vs a 'really bad' sin vs. a horrible sin.

    I would make sure I talked to this person enough to minister to them and get the story straight. To really know them and not be a preachy type of don't do this anymore and don't do that anymore, but I would be sure I was ready to walk by their side and help them through it.

    Saying anything is so easy, but edifying and helping someone carry a heavy burden, is quite another thing.
     
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  8. Winken

    Winken Jonah !!! Supporter

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    I confess that I sometimes get out of step. I sometimes get critical rather than inspirational. There are situations in my life that grind away. I stop to ask God "why?"

    I praise God that He gets me back in step. I'm often His messenger. There are situations in my life that vibrate with joy. I pause to praise Him.

    He has taught me how to live.
     
  9. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    I agree. But we can't forget the many sins that offend others that we have to criticize in a sense just as John the Baptist as well as Paul criticized adultery.

    My own personal experience with going back and forth with a proclaimed believer has been my friend's former husband who was physically abusing and threatening her yet boasting he was not out of line for it. A relative who is wrecking another man's family keeping company with the man's wife while proclaiming Christ. There has been alcohol abuse and driving under the influence. And so on... different people.

    My point is not to find excuse to argue with any of them, tho I have with some. My point is, instead of passively retiring to a place of silence so as not to be "judgmental", when is the time to see the fruits of a person's life, roll up the sleeves and minister Christ to them as if they have never said the sinner's prayer?

    Tomorrow is not promised. So, at what point does it become an urgent mission? Sure, be gentle. Be gracious. But have such terms like "gentle" and "grace" been so modernized and Americanized that we've really lost the definition of them and thus the effectiveness of them concerning how they tie into the sharing of the gospel?
     
  10. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    The politicians so often want citizens to be anodyne, honorary members of all schools of thought (except when it comes to the vested interests that the politicians represent). Citizens of heaven are, Biblically speaking, not like that.
     
  11. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    I don't understand.
     
  12. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    What I mean is that politicians like to avoid issues they regard as controversial and inconvenient to discuss. But the believer's values are and should be forged in heaven, not by politicians notions of what is convenient for them.
     
  13. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    I think I understand you. And I don't want to communicate the gospel in a way that's convenient to me. I certainly hope I haven't done that. Like Winken said, I certainly have gotten out of step - especially with my husband's friend who was abusing my friend as his wife at the time.

    Still learning.
     
  14. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Seems you left a lot out of your OP.
     
  15. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    How do you mean?
     
  16. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    You're right. I realize I did. But the truth is, when ministering where sin is a lifestyle, the word "sin" itself is an action that we address with urgency - to urgently pursue the person in order that they will come to know Christ and not become destroyed by their sins. And we also know that "sin" doesn't just affect one person. Not all sinners should be ministered to with the same sternness of ministry as to somebody who's hurting other people. It all really does vary. Not saying I handled myself right in the past. I didn't.

    Where is the balance tho?
    When people are being scarred in some way by others' sins, I believe it's important to them that somebody speaks up in a wise, intervening way that can not only possibly change the present circumstance but also change the offender. And just because we are in the faith of a miracle working God, does that mean we should be so comfortable scratching the surface instead of being diligent where it's necessary?
     
  17. Kit Sigmon

    Kit Sigmon Well-Known Member

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    Unfinishedclay: Steadfast Prayer and our godly living be important
    to reaching/and helping both sinner and straying saint.
     
  18. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The balance I think and I’m not saying this is you, is when Christians go ‘sin hunting’ to point out every sin they think someone they barely know has.

    Maybe these are people you know well or you are sure of these situations that they are factual and you have information, but I’ve seen a lot of people who can be very hurtful in how they go about and on gossip that is not true, hurt people deeply.

    So much they stopped going to church and turned away from their faith.

    Again, not says this is you or the situation.
     
  19. unfinishedclay

    unfinishedclay Newbie

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    You're right. It's not me. But I don't believe that's the balance. When somebody is in our company boasting about their sins, in our face, there is no need for sin hunting. We as believers tend not to correct our own and hurt victims instead. Example: we shrug our shoulders in apathy about Roy Moore. 99% of us who know didn't go "hunting" for that info. But when it fell into our lap, we rationalize against the victims instead of correcting the one in question. And somebody gets hurt. It's many victims of sexual assault (Christian or not) who see the "whatever" attitude of believers about somebody coming forward. It's the same thing that has happened among believers. Somebody tells what happened to them and, instead of addressing with the Word, we turn a blind eye, make the victim feel
    Bad for coming forward, and everybody gets to keep their leadership positions without ever being ministered to.

    I know these are just examples. But, unlike what you're saying, I'm not promoting some kind of Saint patrol. But there is too much turning blind eyes. There is too much of a sluggish outlook because nobody wants to address issues that are making certain people hurt while simultaneously making the hurters quite comfortable. This apathy has kept many people far away from the church as well. If somebody leaves a church because they couldn't steal funds from there without badger, as in the case of many for instance, well then 1 Corinthians 5 comes to mind.

    Anyway, examples are all I have to give. There is no convincing anybody who may see all is good as long as they themselves are neither victim nor touched by one. And there's also no convincing anybody who is just not into the whole sharing of the gospel at the risk of persecution and being falsely accused in doing so. Sharing of the gospel is very much associated with what you pointed out. That's how apostles and early Christians and Christians in remote places were losing their lives - because what they said stood out enough and was out of line in some way. The nerve of John the Baptist to say what he did...the nerve of Stephen to address the "stiff necks" (as he called them) in his out of place sermon before he got stoned.
     
  20. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So what exactly are you planning to do in each of the situations you mentioned?

    You are
    Talking about taking action, so I am going to assume you’ve given thought to what action
     
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