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Featured Is That Guy Really a Christian?!

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by jimmyjimmy, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    Countless posts across the whole of this online forum often come within a hair's breadth of violating the cardinal rule of CF which forbids calling into question another member's Christianity. Understanding that is forbidden here, is there ever a time in the real world where it is Okay or even necessary to do so?

    In the local church, is there ever an appropriate time to call someone's status as a member of the Body of Christ into question? Is it forbidden? Is it judging? Is it a loving act? Who gets to make this call, and under what circumstances?

    What does the Bible have to say about this?

    *This is not about the rules at CF. If you think so, you're missing the point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  2. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi JJ, here's one thing the Bible says:

    "He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" ~James 5:20
    So (turning one of your questions around), if we do not make a "judgment" call (cf John 7:24) and we do not choose to say something to someone who 1) "claims" to be a Christian but 2) never acts like one (cf James 2:17), how could such a thing possibly be considered a "loving act" (IOW, if we believe that the person "claiming" to be a Christian may not saved and on their way to Hell) :scratch:

    Yours in Christ,
    David
    p.s. - as Calvinist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon once said:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  3. Victor E.

    Victor E. Disciple of Christ Supporter

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    Accountability in the Church of Christ is often received as a personal attack because of watered down gospel. Calling into question a false doctrine is hardly the same as calling into question someone's salvation. A lack of good communication and self-control is the root cause for many "disputes". Talk is cheap but transparent speaking? That stuff can be expensive but it's usually beautiful. Desensitizing to correction is a foreign concept to many, due to "protective" measures. Almost no one likes absolutes, but they do exist.
     
  4. Philip_B

    Philip_B Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Supporter

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    John 6:37
    Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;

    otherwise we might all be in trouble! and I don't mean with CF!
     
  5. Mountain_Girl406

    Mountain_Girl406 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's a refreshing quote to hear from a Calvanist.
     
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    What we actually believe is often misunderstood ;)

    Yours and His,
    David


    "Faith comes from hearing, & hearing
    by the word of Christ"
    Romans 10:17
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  7. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

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    (edited)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  8. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    There are times when the Bible instructs us to cut off fellowship with someone, which I think would involve judging that they were not a Christian. The final judgement is up to God, but as far as who we should associate with is something that we should judge righteously in regard. A Christian is by definition a follow of Christ, so is it someone's goal to follow his example of doing the things that he would do and avoiding the things that he would avoid?
     
  9. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Great signature, but are you aware that 2 Timothy 3:16 is listed twice?
     
  10. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    That is the understatement of the year. ;)
     
  11. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    Good point, St Worm, and well said, as usual.

    Does that text refer to a person within the church, though?
     
  12. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    I really don't want the thread to go in this direction, which I clearly spelled in the OP. This is not about the rules at CF.

    Your post above is also against the rules here, according to my reading of them.

    Disruptive Behavior, Campaigning, Staff Disciplinary Action
    Maintain the peace and harmony of CF by not rehashing alleged grievances or disputes, publicly complaining about posts, threads, Christian Forums or its staff. Attempting to undermine these rules or policies via campaigns, petitions, or protests is not allowed. Please do not publicly discuss reported posts or staff actions taken on yourself or other members. Use the Member Services Center to submit questions and complaints about staff disciplinary actions or rules.​
     
  13. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    So, we should cut off fellowship because of (some) behavior. Where do you draw the line? Which behavior is bad enough to qualify?
     
  14. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    What about for reasons other than poor behavior? Is it OK to advise someone that he's not a Christian because of his theology?
     
  15. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    I don't think the instruction to cut off fellowship is a judgment that they are not a Christian. Rather, I think the point is that they are a Christian--but at that moment one who is even more dangerous to the Body because of his physical position in the Body.

    Paul (echoing Jesus, but in more detail), clearly shows non-believers as people we ought to engage for the purpose of the Gospel while at the same time shunning (yes, I used that word) the person who claims to be a brother, yet harms the Body. So we're not saying he's not a Christian...his Christianity is the problem. The purpose of shunning is to allow the Holy Spirit to work on him.
     
  16. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

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    Well that rule is refrence to past grievances. My statement is just based on seeing how things go here. But none the less I obey the rules and its what we all should do. They are in place for a reason.

    Though to be fair your post at the start does sound like your referring to CF since most of it talks about CF. Granted you added the red line at the bottom recently (according to the edit). None the less even outside the forum many have the same type of rules about not judging.

    I think its just something we christians do because lets face it, no one wants to admit they are wrong sometimes. I used to be hard headed when someone would tell me something that I needed correction on. I always would say "Don't judge!". BUt to each their own. We answer to God in the end despite being right or wrong.
     
  17. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    The OP contained this sentence:

    Understanding that is forbidden here, is there ever a time in the real world where it is Okay or even necessary to do so?
     
  18. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    I think it's better to focus on the issue that is incorrect rather than the person. There is no way for me to know what is in another persons heart.

    Also, there is a process of church discipline: Matthew 18:15-17
     
  19. masmpg

    masmpg Well-Known Member

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    The bible is clear on this point. If sin exists in our midst we are to rebuke it. The story of Achan is a very sad reminder of what happens to whole congregations when we allow open sin to exist in the church, and the importance of personal repentance and daily confession to make certain we have the beam removed so we are able to rebuke the speck.

    Here are a couple very pointed verses about even associating with those "brethren" that are unruley, or living outside the Christian lifestyle. Jesus said "you shall know them by their fruits". We are fruit inspectors!
    2Thessalonians:3:14&15: "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
    2John:1:10&11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
    Titus:1:10-13: "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;"
     
  20. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    I could not disagree more. The physical representation of being outside of the church is without a doubt of the very real cutting off from Christ.

    We are not instructed to keep the sinner within our ranks and "counsel" him. We are told to cut him off, and that is in itself a judgement from God, implemented by the church.
     
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