Why Your Church’s ‘Love’ Might Actually Be Arrogance in Disguise

Category: Excerpts

Has the church you are a part of ever disciplined someone? Are there professing believers in the church who are living in ongoing sin, and it is not addressed? Why is this? Why are churches not practicing church discipline and excommunicating someone?

Now, I want you to notice something else here. Notice verse two, and you are arrogant, brethren. Notice verse six. Your boasting is not good. And notice those two words arrogance and boasting, because I want you to remember what sort of arrogance and boasting this is. This isn’t just somebody after the service goes out here in the parking lot, and they’re able to throw a football further than somebody else, and they boast about it. This arrogance and this boasting is the kind of arrogance and the kind of boasting that will not discipline somebody out of a church when they need to be disciplined out of a church.

And we need to catch hold of these two statements. Paul is responding to an attitude that was held by the Corinthian church. That was behind why they had not already put this man out.

Now think about this. What are the reasons that churches don’t practice this? I mean, in the churches around us, or even in individuals in our own church who get angry when sin or false doctrine is dealt with. Let’s think about why. Well, sometimes it’s because the angry person is guilty of the very same things.

Do you know, let me just tell you this. The individual that we put out of the church on Wednesday. One of the reasons he flip-flopped in where he was. Is because he told James and myself that after confessing these sins that he’s been involved with, he actually spoke to some in the church who sought to put him at ease by telling him, I do the same thing, and I’m a Christian. And he was actually influenced by that. I told them. You don’t want to measure yourself by other people. That is really dangerous.

You know what? Sometimes people don’t want to do it because they’re guilty of the same things. Sometimes putting somebody out of the church condemns somebody else still sitting in the church because their life is a testimony of the same. Sometimes it’s because people carry around the attitude of, well, who am I to judge? You know, judge not, lest you be judged. That permeates the world’s thinking and it comes into the church. Well, who am I to judge? Who am I to cast the first stone? I mean, I got sin, my life isn’t perfect, so who am I to do this?

But you just need to recognize Paul is calling imperfect people to carry this out. And you know, the Corinthians at this point are imperfect. And yet he’s calling very imperfect people to carry forth with this action. Sometimes it’s because people feel that this is cruel. Sometimes it’s because people just despise authority. Some people just hate the thought that the church actually has the authority to say that if you’re going to live that way, you cannot fellowship with us. Some people just don’t like that.

Sometimes it’s because. And I feel the weight of this sometimes. The reason we don’t like to exercise this is because we love that person, and we want them involved in our lives, and we have a friendship with them, and it’s going to be broken by this action. Sometimes it’s family members. I understand that, but that is reason for us to not carry through with this.

Some have a false humility. It’s the same false humility that is behind not disciplining your children. It’s the same false humility behind being averse to capital punishment. It’s basically that false humility that runs around never wanting people to suffer consequences for their sin. And I call it false humility because it’s not humility that tolerates sin in the church. Paul says it’s arrogance that is tolerant. Do you all see that in verse two? Notice what Paul says. Ought you not rather to mourn?

Can I tell you something, brethren? It’s broken-hearted humility that puts people out of the church. Look, I don’t doubt that there are some leaders in some churches that are just blatantly heavy-handed. And when somebody opposes them, like Diotrephes, they just use texts like this for their own agenda. I don’t doubt that. But brethren, sometimes the way people react, well, I know, you don’t know how the leaders of churches that practice church discipline wrestle and struggle and pray and weep.

True humility doesn’t say, well, God, let me tell you how we’re going to deal with sin in the church. That’s not true humility, folks. And that’s what a lot of churches do. True humility listens to God, listens to his son, listens to his apost

les, and surrenders its pride to tell God, well, we’re just too loving and merciful to do what you’ve told us to do. In your word. You know.

And if you think, well, who are we to judge us? Well, you need to read verse 12. Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? Put away this idea that we have no right to judge one another. We are commanded to judge one another not unrighteously, but with righteous judgment. We are to evaluate one another’s lives.

Brethren, do you not recognize we are running in a race together? To John talked about running this race in the first hour. We run this race, but not as islands unto ourselves. We run this race with a group of people and it’s love that as I’m running the race, my eyes are not just on that finish line, selfishly concerned about only me making it.

Paul could look at the churches and say, and that day you are going to be my crown brethren when we get there. And we helped one another, and when we were discouraged and when we were bored down with weights, and we bore one another’s burdens. And when we began to go cold, and we stirred up one another to love and good works, and when we were feeling like we didn’t want to go to that prayer meeting, and all of this lifted up our voices together in song that night, and it filled one another with the praise of God and with the power of the spirit to go out and face this world again.

Brethren, we are in this together. We are running a race together. That’s why God put his people in churches. He didn’t say go as far away from each other as possible, but rather come together. And we have a responsibility to judge one another and judge the condition of one another, and to look around and to look at the state of one another and to encourage one another and rebuke one another and deal with one another. When our brothers sin against us, or we see sin in their life. And remember, brethren, what is the even the case when you put somebody out of the church? Is it not love that does that? It’s love for the church and love for the church is purity, and it’s love for the individual, because some way or another, there is a way that even Satan can save some of our fallen brothers. And that’s what the text teaches.

You’re not being loving when you resist bad doctrine. People who promote it and then, brethren, I’m talking in the church, on the internet or wherever and for you to associate with it. It’s to be blind. Because you know what? I believe that we have young people that tolerate association with bad stuff on the internet, and you think yourself impervious to it, but you’re not impervious. You’re no more impervious. And the race of mankind was to one woman’s sin or to the angels were over one devil sin. It permeates and a little leaven leavens the whole lump. And you can sit there on the internet and think, oh, well, I’m impervious to this. I’m wise enough to avoid this. Have you never read the pastoral epistles? Avoid these foolish controversies. Avoid them. Why? Because they tend to bad things. They tend to slander and evil suspicions and divisions and dissension. That’s what they aim to, brethren.

And you young people, you know what? There is a place to cut off that hand and gouge out that I don’t go on Facebook and look at that stuff. If it’s it, brethren, I’m talking about that which is poison. There’s lots of good stuff out there, and there’s good stuff among us. But, brethren, we are running a race. And the thing is, when you get on the internet and you engage in controversy, that only leads to negative things, you know what you do. You infect the whole because a little corruption allowed in the church begins to permeate and it spreads.

That’s the reality that we find. And it’s arrogance that allows this. It’s arrogance that is tolerant. We are a people called to judge.

Excerpt from the full sermon: The Difficult Path To Church Purity