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Witnessing Harsh and Unloving Correction
I’ve witnessed someone correcting another with harsh and unloving correction, what should I do? Isn’t this a sinful way to approach a brother or sister in Christ? Don’t the Scriptures teach us to do this gently out of love so that the person would be able to see their sin and receive the correction?
In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot talks about the difficulties associated with confronting others with their sin. Dr. Caldwell says it is hard to go and confront others when we see their sin. We have to be mindful of Galatians 6, and we have to practice Galatians 6 over and over, every time we go to others to reveal a sin issue or sinful issues we see that are detrimental to their Christian walk, and to that of others.
Dr. Caldwell says that as we go to the brother or sister that has sinned, we are reminding ourselves of Galatians 6 as we go to remind them of Galatians 6. He takes us to Galatians 6:1-2, and says that we are to remind ourselves of this before we even go to the person we saw dealing with another harshly. We approach that brother or sister without condemnation, knowing that we have been here before; we have all been guilty at one time or another of confronting others without humility and gentleness.
Confronting Them in Humility
So we are to go, confronting them in humility and gentleness, taking Galatians 6 along with us and say, “Brother/Sister can we talk?”. We bring before them what we have witnessed, we assure them that we believe the best about them and that we believe this is not something they desire to do. We explain to them that what we want to do is remind them that when they confront others in matters of sin, or about matters of disagreement, that as Christians we need to do this as the Scriptures declare. We share Galatians 6 and then we pray that our brother or sister is able to receive these things we’ve have shared. This is how we help one another.
Dr. Caldwell further explains that though we are saved, we still sin. We are not yet perfected and this process of dealing with sin is part of our sanctification. It is not unloving to come alongside one another and help each other with matters of sin. This kind of mutual correction is what we are called to in the Church. This is a form of bearing one another’s burdens, it’s loving. The fact that someone comes to us with something they witness in our life and believe it to be something we would want to see and recognize about ourselves, we ought to be grateful for that. It means they love us. In helping people understand this, it helps the Church.
Is Church Discipline Actually Commanded?
Dr. Philpot asks how important is this, is church discipline actually commanded? Dr. Caldwell tells us, Matthew 18 makes it very clear that we are to be about church discipline and that we are responsible to deal with matters of sin. However, there is wisdom that is needed in this. The Church must not become a place where we are correcting every little thing that we think doesn’t line up with Scripture. In operating in this manner we become legalistic and the church becomes a miserable place. Dr. Caldwell says we do not have to address every single thing that someone does. This is where wisdom is needed, in that we would be able to distinguish what needs to addressed and what doesn’t.
Lastly, Dr. Philpot brings up meekness and the fruit of the Spirit asking Dr. Caldwell to speak about the importance of these in our lives, and when approaching and dealing with others. Dr. Caldwell gives us a brief understanding of the importance of meekness and our operating in the fruit of the Spirit. He takes us back to Galatians 6:1 where Paul speaks to the one who is going with the correction. Paul there says, “you who are spiritual…” this does not mean spiritual in the sense of being a saved person. The NIV translation says it this way, “you who live by the Spirit…”. So what this refers to is a person who is walking in step with, by the Spirit of God. This person is, in an ongoing way, exhibiting the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in their living.
Deeds Of The Flesh
Dr. Caldwell explains that when we are living and operating in ways that are harsh and other ways that are unloving, these are deeds of the flesh. This is not the work of the Spirit and not the fruit of the Spirit in operation. We want to follow the example that Scripture sets forth for us. We want to walk by the Spirit, being filled with the Spirit, correcting others that have the Spirit in spiritual ways. We do this so that they can receive the correction, be mindful of what the Scriptures say, are able to be corrected, and make the correction needed. In this way, they are then able to help others in the same manner and one day even help us where we need correction and instruction. And this is how the church is meant to function.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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