Dealing With Individuals vs. "Apostate Churches"
Hi... I received this from another place and am really stumped on what to do now.
Something to consider in terms of leaving some churches...
Reason #34—Are believers commanded to “renew” apostate churches or to separate from them?
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1—Come out from among them
2 Timothy 3:5—From such turn away
Romans 16:17—Avoid them
2 John 10—Receive him not
Hi ..... You know, I’m not trying to be “easy” on sin. You know me better than that. But honesty is a pretty good quality, and this (above) is NOT HONEST! Every one of these verses speaks of what to do with INDIVIDUALS who are determined to live in sin, or coming out from the World System. This isn’t a list of how to deal with “apostate churches.” And who DECIDES which church is “apostate” anyway? What are the criteria? Paul certainly tried to CHANGE Corinth, rather than blow it off, right? Now, if they hadn’t responded, that would have been a whole different story. But the smug approach to wholesale judge, without spilling blood to try to CHANGE things first... I don’t see that in the Scriptures or the heart of Jesus. And this list of verses is being “used”—not applied in the Intent of the Author. None of these verses are “about” apostate “churches.” The verses are real, and must be lived out—but were not written with the intention that they’ve been used here.
Read them one by one in the context they were written. Who were they written to? Who was He speaking about turning away from? Was Corinth to turn away from itself, as in the first Scripture? And to Titus, “Warn a divisive person once, a second time, then have nothing to do with him.” Does THAT sound like, “Turn away from all apostate churches!”? That’s not really honest, is it? Some caution is in order in HOW we apply Scripture, of course.... And surely we will have to lay our lives down in certain places (there aren’t many ‘churches’ Biblically speaking anyway—but there are PEOPLE in those places who deserve at least to HEAR what God has said) and then go on if there is no change. But the wholesale “marking” of vast numbers of people without making every effort before we go on to something else isn’t Jesus’ way.