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Like I said before, I know its not about the people, but I cant stand next to LaKeisha who is cheatin on her husband with a deacon, walkin in church after playing her lottery numbers at the corner store and just getting in from the club last night smellin like liquor knowing she about to go sing in the choir..........
I used to struggle with this. But after marrying a pastor, I have come to realize, that this is what church is for. If we didn't have church for these people, then who would we have church for? It isn't for "good" people, but to offer a place to grow and mold everyone. No matter how good they try to pretend to be. I see a lot from my seat. I see the entire congregation's struggles. And I try to do my best to live my life "out there" with no secrets so that it doesn't look like I'm not living an authentic life.
I do think it is important to consider these things in a pastoral role. My husband does his best to help people work through those times. It's one thing to sin, but to live in perpetual sin (for example refusing to leave an affair) is another. But what are we to do as Christians to love a Christian who lives in perpetual sin? How do we love them through that? Do we let that come between us and our Christian community? Do we just sit here and point fingers? Usually people who are living in perpetual sin have a void. It may take a lifetime to help see them through it. But I feel like that is what we are here for as a church. That is what a community of Christians is for. Yes, we come together to worship and learn, but there is more to church (I believe) than coming together to get something from God for ourselves. If that was the only reason I went to church, I would not go. But there is a spiritual formation for the entire community that takes a lifetime that we can gain from loving and supporting one another through our faith.
I was raised in an independent Church, when I was a teenager I started attending a United Pentecostal Church. My hubby is Anglican. We don't attend church every week or anything like that, and from time to time we attend both (mine mostly throughout the year and his mostly for holidays).
Sounds all good and dandy. In a perfect world......
I find better people outside of church than in it.
I am not judging anyone, live your life, do what you do, just don't stand next to me, claim to be better and be fakin' the funk.
Since I was little and my mother forced me to attend church, I have nothing but negative experiences at church, so no thanks. I strongly believe in God, but I am not, absolutely NOT, going to church with a bunch of fake people.
I feel like I would rather deal with real non believers then fake Christians!
Its not about being perfect, but if you KNOW something is a sin, you aren't supposed to keep on doing it.
I agree that non-believers should be welcome in church but, for the most part, it should be a place where Christians can lift each other up and encourage each other in their walk with Christ.
Que, to answer your questions, I think if someone professes to follow Christ and refuses to repent, then we should follow the example Jesus set in Matthew 18:15-17.
I actually witnessed this in a home church once. A brother in Christ admitted that he had been having an affair. The men in the church went right through the steps listed in the above verse. Last I knew, he was at his "last chance" of repenting before being sent away from the fellowship.