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Friday, March 13, 2009

What Does It Mean to Bring Sin into The Light?

I am afraid of allowing people to come to the microphone and speak in church unless I know what they will say. I have gained this fear very honestly. Some have used it to confess sins that many did not need to know. Their confession went far beyond the people it affected.

Sin must be brought out in the light but not to everyone. It does not positively affect those who have no part in the confession. Confession beyond those affected is gossip even if brought on by the one committing the sin. Gossip is telling the truth in order to hurt someone. (Slander is telling a lie to hurt someone.) The purpose of confession is forgiveness and repentance; not payment. The payment for sin is Jesus blood on the Cross.

Yet, sin should be brought into the light. This is something that churches fail to do. They say, "Just don't say anything about it." The younger Christians learn that a silent sin is the same as no sin. That is why many Christians today say they would steal a million dollars if they knew they could not get caught. The unawareness of sin is the same as not having committed it to them.

Confession needs to go as far as those who the sin has affected. The revealing of sin needs to be told to those it has affected. Sometimes a person will not confess but the church should know the truth. A church shouldn't say, "The staff member is resigning because of personal reasons," if the reason he is resigning is because he has stolen money from the church. The church should hear that he has stolen this much money. We will forgive and we will pray for him but we will no longer give him our trust. Trust is all a minister has. He has lost his ministry when he has lost the congregation's trust.

Gossip dies when the whole truth is told. No one has inside knowledge. Talking about the sin is common knowledge. I have found there was no gossip when the whole truth was revealed to those the sin affect. You cannot have restoration and forgiveness as long as people gossip.

I encourage sin to be brought into the light and never spoken of again. The sin needs to be allowed to die. It had control of the sinner until there was true confession and repentance. It should have no affect on the sinner once it has been brought into the light. Other Christians should stop listening to those who want to fan the flames. The best way I have found is to stop the person and say, "That was horrible. Would you join me in prayer for that person?" They either quit keeping the sin alive or they leave me out of the loop.

Make it a point of praying for those who have been caught and have repented. There may be consequences. You cannot protect people from all of sins consequences. People have been hurt and that always brings a broken fellowship. So the former sinner needs your prayers as they go through some tough times ahead.

Make it a point of allowing the sin to die. Do not engage in talking about the sin. It makes you a partner with Satan who is the "accuser of the brethren."

Realize that you too could have committed that sin if not for the grace of God. Some Christians have done better things than others but no Christian is better than another.

Guard your heart. Purify it by allowing sin to be brought into the light. Live victoriously.

1 comment:

barbara pierre said...

Hello,
Thank you for posting! I am in need of some objective council. From my study in the word, I am a firm believer that when one has repented from sin that they confess it to God, confess to someone who is more spiritual mature or walking in Christ, who will help keep them accountable, and has freedom from the sin and no longer walks in shame because they know they are forgiven. I have a friend who says she has repented of a sin. But she clutches to the secret and refuses to receive council from a godly woman or get into any kind of small group. I see the cycle of sin in her life and believe that by keeping the sin bottled up that she is leaving room for temptation. I absolutely agree that one should not blab to just anyone and everyone and def hate it when people think that the pulpit is the place to confess a sin that not everyone needed to know. But I do understand the reason behind the desire, although personally I do believe that it is inappropriate and unnecessary. I do believe that when a saint is redeemed that God calls them to and they desire to shout it from the roof tops, to call others to repentance, and keeps things in the light (not hidden) that they may not fall again. Again, I do not believe that we are called to tell everyone we meet are past or current sins or struggles and I know that you can not trust everyone who calls them self a believer, but shouldn't there be at least 1 if not 2-3 people who know, pray with and for you, and can and will rebuke you, and keep you accountable? When I talked to her about the matter, her responses did not seem that of a person who had experienced the freedom of repentance or knows the power of the body of Christ!.
Just in case all of that is confusing. I agreed with most of what you said. But am I right in concluding that you believe that the only ones you need to confess to are God and the person that you committed the sin against?
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not trying to judge my friend, but I call things as I see them and I am concerned about what I see. And to me bringing things to the light involves being transparent and free! And desiring to keep it secret is an indication that one has not turned away from the sin but maybe feels guilty or something... and guilt and repentance are not the same thing...