Should the Church shut out sinners?


Church of the Holy Spirit in Dúbravka

Church of the Holy Spirit in Dúbravka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The church has to shut out sin, even if it meant shutting out sinners.” Those are the words of the Revernd Woodrow kroll of Back to the Bible. Mr. Kroll who is a Biblical scholar and arthor, is doing a radio series, titled “Journey through Revelation”.

In his latest episode he talked about the toleration of the post modern Church. He compares such toleration to that of the Church in Thyatira, one of the seven Churches in Asia John writes about in the book of Revelation. Mr. Kroll referred to the Church in Thyatira as the “Universal Church of toleration”. (Revelation 2:18-29). Here is what I (Jesus) command you (John) to write to the church in Thyatira.

Here are the words of the Son of God. He is the One whose eyes are like blazing fire. His feet are like polished bronze. He says, I know what you are doing. I know your love and your faith. I know how well you have served. I know you don’t give up easily. In fact, you are doing more now than you did at first.

But here is what I have against you. You put up with that woman Jezebel. She calls herself a prophet. With her teaching, she has led my servants into sexual sin. She has tricked them into eating food offered to statues of gods.

I’ve given her time to turn away from her sinful ways. But she doesn’t want to. She sinned on a bed. So I will make her suffer on a bed. And those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly. Their only way out is to turn away from what she taught them to do. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who searches hearts and minds. I will pay each of you back for what you have done.

I won’t bother the rest of you in Thyatira. You don’t follow the teaching of Jezebel. You haven’t learned what some people call Satan’s deep secrets. Just hold on to what you have until I come.

I’ll give authority over the nations to all who overcome and who carry out my plans to the end. It is written,

He will rule them with an iron rod.
He will break them to pieces like clay pots.”(
Psalm 2:9)

I have received this authority from my Father. I will also give the morning star to all who overcome.

Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches.

Mr. Kroll said, “If we (the Church) tolerate what goes on in the world around us, rather than point it out in love as sin, we only aid the enemy”. When asked, “What is it going to take to get us get over feeling uncomfortable to stop looking the other way and just take some action? He replied, “Backbone”. “It is going to take the Church having a lot more backbone than it shown in the last quarter of a century”.

You may listen to the episode here: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/back-to-the-bible/listen/thyatira-the-universal-church-of-toleration-299721.html

27 comments

  1. I have been listening to that series. I missed the beginning yesterday, but I was a little troubled by some of what I did hear. In standing up to sin, we are still to love the sinner. And we do need to be careful in discerning sin. I have downloaded the podcast though and will listen to it more fully Sunday afternoon.

  2. Good post Noel! You know these Churches were in Turkey. Jesus did take these Churches out of there, and today it is mainly a Muslim nation.

    I am troubled also, as truly it is a “lot of truth” in what is being said. However, I think we need to really discern the “method” in which we as Christians would go about something as this.

    You know Paul said, “They do not know us, because they do not know Him.” People (such as this Jezebel) who are “deliberate” sinners, do not know God. I mean it is just that simple. I am a “sinner” but I try very hard not to be a “deliberate” sinner. That is not to say, that I always succeed, but I go and repent when I realize what I have done. The “Jezebels” of the world do not.

    The only hope to me these people have of learning about God, is through our love for them. If we banish them, then where else are they going to “see” and “know” the love of God?

    I think where we need to “draw the line in Church” is when every member plus the Pastors/Priests know they have done all that they can. If “this person” is pulling other members away from God, or is teaching some off the wall “teaching” and others are falling for it, then somethng does need to be done.

    I think a “meeting” of the Pastor/Priest with this person needs to take place. Find out what is going on and then take it from there. “Discernment” really needs to come into play here, and not just “banish” someone in harsh judgment.

    Good post and God Bless, SR

  3. Interesting! There is such a fine line between love and correction and with our nation wearing their emotions on their sleeve it will be harder to win them to Christ if we are too judgmental. Exhortation is a gift and not all of us possess that God given quality! It would be better for each of us to operate in what Christ has bestowed upon us!
    God Bless you, Noel!

  4. Matt 13:24-30 (MSG)
    24-26 He told another story. “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.

    27 “The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’

    28 “He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’

    “The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’

    29-30 “He said, ‘NO, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”

    1. I am familiar with that story Pastor, and that is exactly my opinion. The position Mr. Kroll is taking is dangerous and unchristian. That is not what Jesus said the church should do. It appears that the parable of the lost sheep and the prodigal son mean nothing to Mr. Kroll.

      Thanks so much for your input. God blesses.

  5. I can’t watch the video, but I wonder if his statement is qualified.

    Sinners (unbelievers) belong in a Church. It is where they should ‘see’ the love of Christ and hear the good news of the Gospel. On the other hand, sinners (unbelievers) do not belong in a Church as MEMBERS or in any place of authority or leadership or influence. Sadly, we do see this in many Churches today.

    I am also reminded of Paul’s advice to remove one such person. [1 Corinthians 5]

    1. “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow me”. Hence, leaving everything, Levi rose and followed him.

      And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at the table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them,“Those who are well had no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32).

      Angela, I honestly think many of these preachers believe they are the Christ. They people say crazy stuff and then they wonder why so many people are leaving the church.

      Thanks so much for your input. God blesses.

  6. Allowing sin to dwell within the membership and especially the leadership fo churches is one of the greatest ways that churches fail the Lord in today’s time. It is so sad to see God’s people no longer stand against sin, but ot only excuse it or turn a blind eye to it.

  7. I have heard statements that indicate that the church is like a hospital for the broken. I enjoy listening to the “Back to the Bible” radio program, and really value the open discussion they have. I suppose that is the way I think as I do bible study. But to exclude people for not meeting some standard of religious performance for entrance into the place of worship would exclude all of us should our secret sins be known. I suspect that no one would make into heaven if God changed his standards and threw out grace.
    Really enjoyed your thought provoking words today.

  8. Hey Noel,

    I had to come back and I hope you do not mind. If so you can delete, but this post has really “stirred in my soul.” So I am going to throw something at you and see what you think.

    Are we not as Christians, supposed to “discern” the actions of others? By this I mean, if we do not discern said “actions” then how are we ourselves going to stop “ourselves” from acting out the same “sin?” To me, that is what “discernment” is and is for. To keep us from getting into trouble, not the judging of somone’s soul. Does not the Holy Spirit give us the ability to “discern” for this very reason?

    One more statement. So if we see someone in Church and their “actions” are leading others away from God, and causing these “others” to sin in their weakness, then are we not supposed to do “something” about it for the “good of all?”

    Now what that “something” is, is a different story, but I do not think we are supposed to sit there and let it continue? Just some of my thoughts today on this, and thanks for your answer. God Bless, SR

  9. Thanks so much for your follow up question S.R. I hope I have the answer. According to 1 Corinthians 12 not every one has the gift of discernment. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). Therefore, many in the body of Christ will never notice that Jezebel is a phony. However, once we uncover Jezebel’s plan she should be relieved of any position she holds in the body of Christ until she repents. If we allowed her to remain in her position without having to repent that would be aiding and abetting the enemy according to Rev. Kroll.

    The moral compass for Christians is the word of God. We cannot rely on the conscience. Still everyone of us knows when we are about to do something wrong. A slip of the tongue not included. Therefore, we should endeavour to use the word of God as a measuring stick or guide.

    1. May I add a case in point regarding discernment, Noel?
      A man came to the Church where I was secretary and started working with the children’s and youth ministry. I and two others felt very uneasy about him and within a short time ‘discerned’ that he was a liar and imposter. Although very gentle and humble to others he showed a violent temper to us. The pastor and others in the Church thought he was marvellous. It caused problems within the Church.

      It was a couple of months before the truth came out. He was married but his wife had left him after a lot of physical abuse, verified by the police, but she had refused to charge him. A few weeks later it was revealed he was also a child molester and had also tried to molest one of the boys in the Church.

      Once confronted with the truth, he disappeared from the Church of his own accord. A few months later he was arrested for molesting a young boy.

      1. Wow! This is a touching story Angela. Thanks so much for shedding some light on discernment. Angela, God would never set up a church without putting all the necessary pieces in place. “And I (Jesus) say also to you, that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Somebody in the Church must have the gift of discernment to uncover Jezebel’s plan.
        The Church at Thyatira knew that Jezebel was up to no good. However, it looked the other way and allowed her to continue. Maybe she put more offering in the place than anybody else. Probably she was a friend of the Pastor. Whatever the reason, Jesus said it was wrong.

  10. “Those who are well had no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” This was the passage of Scripture that came to mind. As was stated earlier in the comments, the church has been compared to a hospital, where sin six souls arrive for the healing of their souls. Imagine an ICU/Intensive Care Unit in a hospital, where each bed is filled with well and able-bodied individuals, being taken care of, catered to, medicated, etc. Sounds pretty far-fetched, right? Well, that is the way it is in the churches today, isn’t it? The pews are filled with people, who are said to have been born again. To exclude a person who is a sinner from the house of the Lord, would be like excluding someone who is having a heart attack, from being admitted to an ICU/Intensive Care Unit in a medical facility. However, I agree that individuals who are not yet born again of the water and of the spirit, who are not striving to follow on to know the Lord, and are yet continuing in there sins, should NEVER be allowed to hold an office in the church, unless and until they have repented!

    This is a very interesting topic, Noel. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront. One other thing came to mind. When you think about the early church, where did Jesus spend most of His time preaching and teaching the gospel? Was it inside four walls, or did He evangelize the world, and instruct His disciples to the same? Most of the time, those who are critically ill are brought to a medical facility to be treated. Who is going out and bringing in those who are sin sick into the church, that they might receive healing for their souls? May the Lord bless you, Noel.

    Paulette

    1. Thanks so much Minister Paulette for your input on this highly pertinent subject matter. I agree with you. Rev. Kroll is wrong. Jesus never turned anyone away. As a matter of fact, He said if a man has a hundred sheep and one got lost he should leave the ninety-nine and go after the one until he finds it. He also said, He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
      God blesses.

  11. Each church can do whatever it wants to. Most of them do whatever is most comfortable. As a follower of Christ, I don’t believe my purpose is to be comfortable. I believe the greatest life ever lived ended in pain and suffering, and while he died slowly and horribly, he forgave those that were murdering him while they were in the act of doing it to him. It’s this grace I focus on as a Christian which inspires me to walk head-long into pain, discomfort and suffering and maintain my grace. Should sinners be allowed in church? Yes, along with the worst of the worst. The church is not meant to be a quiet, peaceful, easy and comfortable sanctuary. No days off, & no safe place for Christian Warriors in my opinion. We go the extra mile no matter where it is.

  12. Noel, this post, and this scripture are fantastic! I am doing a series I am calling, The Church: Harlot Or Bride. I would like to ask your permission to re-blog this entire post as part of my series. It is remarkably similar to what God is giving me to write about the state of the church today. Here is a link to my introduction to the series: http://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/the-churchharlot-or-bride/
    We are on the same page (no pun intended) with our thoughts, I believe. Let me know. Of course, I will give you credit for the post and include a link back to your blog. I can also include some bio from your “About” tab if you agree to allow me to re-post this. It is awesome! I’m going to go read about the church in Thyatira right now, Then I’m going to listen to the episode. I think your post is affirmation from God about a few of the things I was praying about my series. Thank you so much.
    Again, great post, great thoughts. We are in agreement.

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