The Spiritual and Christlike Discipline of Rejecting Wicked People
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
2 Corinthians 6:15-18 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Christ rejected evil people and he instructs us to do the same. One of the reasons that the wicked have such a heyday practicing their evil among Christians is that we are not properly instructed in this discipline. Think about it. Your church tells you that Christians are to love all other people. Be kind to everyone. Invite them into your home. We teach our children all of this stuff. We think it is so Christian to stick a sign out on the front lawn of the church that says “Everyone Welcome!” But when was the last time you were taught the Godly principle of rejecting the wicked? That Christ does not want some people to enter His church. How often are our children taught these things? (Crickets)
With some regularity I have had Christian survivors of abuse say in retrospect that their Christian upbringing made them a sitting duck for abusers. What in the world?? Christians should be wiser about evil than anyone else. Like Christ, we should be able to say to some — “Get behind me, Satan.” Paul’s instruction to us here in 2 Cor 6 is anything but unclear. “Go out from their midst.” “Separate from them.” They don’t belong in or among the temple of God. But somehow we think we know better than the Lord. We think that we are more loving than He was. We are foolish, and we make His people targets for the wicked.
The world often does a better job than the church. While we are teaching unbiblical “forgiveness” and “unconditional acceptance” and boasting about it, non-Christian people are wising up to evil and teaching their children how to spot abusers and predators, and how to tell them to get lost.
One of the most refreshing things I have learned in the last few years is that I have a right to tell certain people that I choose not to have any relationship with them. Myself and our church elders and members have a right, and a duty, to instruct unsafe and abusive people that they are not welcome in our midst. YOU have that right too.
And that is indeed what Jesus would do.