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Friday, May 16, 2014

When Confrontation Becomes Sin

Lately I've been seeing some conflict online that troubles me.  This is conflict between Christians, and it's not really about heresy.

Confronting sin is important when someone is actually sinning, but the Bible does tell us how to do this in Matthew 18:15-18.

I realize that there are times when sin is public and needs to be addressed publicly.  
The purpose of confronting a fellow believer is not to smear his or her name.  It's to restore the person - to turn him or her back. (James 5:19-20)  The other purpose would be to protect other believers from error. 
James 4:11-12  lets us know that we should not speak against a brother (as a judge of the law).  So, confronting is right, but attacking is not - from what I can see.
Galatians 5:15 says, " But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another."
Galatians 5:26 talks about not being boastful and challenging one another.
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 points out that Christians should have someone wise in the body of Christ decide matters between believers rather than a secular judge, and I can't help but wonder if Christians aren't getting a bad reputation by publicly sharing about minor disputes.

As Christians, instead of just attacking each other over minor faults, shouldn't we be seeking after each others' good?  (1 Thes. 5:14)
I also find in Romans 16:17 that we are to keep an eye on but turn away from those who cause dissension & hindrances contrary to the teaching (that we find in the Bible).

Christians need encouragement (1 Thes 5:11) from each other, from God & His Word.  We need to bear one another's burdens.  In the Bible, I find that people were sent to be an encouragement to other Christians & to strengthen them (1 Thes 3:2).  People need to be built up into the truth.
Sometimes this means confronting, but only in love and with the right motives - without beam in the eye of the confronter.

I do believe that Christians should try to reconcile relationships & try to be patient when wronged even when falsely accused (if it's possible).  It seems that when people have relationships online that they often forget that there are real people on the other end with real feelings. 


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