In my men’s Bible Study this week we were discussing that scripture makes it plain one cannot be a serious Christian outside of a Christian community. Proverbs 27:3 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” But it goes deeper than just that – God is Trinity and therefore God is community. If we are, in our Christian walk, to become more like God, we must somehow be more in community. And yet, in my many decades of Christian life I have seen many, many very bad Christian communities – ones that destroyed peoples lives, not aided them.
The saying goes, “We are all sinners,” which is most true; there is no perfect Christian community. At some point we must choose between one set of sinners and another; we must choose which particular set of sins we will associated with. Somehow we have to decide that a specific community will, on average, help me move closer to God, even with its foibles and pratfalls. How do we make such a decision?
A total answer is far too complex for a blog post, or even a series of blog posts. There are so many personal and relational aspects that for any situation the answer can only be arrived at by individual counselling. But there are some principles to help guide us towards a decision. Among those principles is the fact that there are some sins worse than others. Most of us, in a rush to grace and to emphasize that all of us need Christ, tend to lump all sin together. And while that has theological validity, Christ did exhibit ethics. He did treat some sins differently than others indicating that some sins are worse than others. I think an examination of how Christ treated different sins can help in our decision making. Continue Reading