Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | January 17, 2008

Should We “Silence” Our Brother When They Have Sinned?

For years, old school holiness churches have practiced they art of silencing an individual who has openly sinned against God. I use the word “openly” because there are a lot of secret sins that our pastors have no clue are going on in and out of our churches. Not many churches practice silencing anymore because it is usually promotes the saints to choose sides. Should I be on my pastors side or should I be on the individual who is silenced side. In all honesty, neither answers are correct. We are to be on God’s side! Lets go to the Word of God and see exactly what the Lord Jesus would have us to do when our brother is found to be in error.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

If our brother or sister is overtaken in a fault (according to the Word of God) we who are spiritual are to restore such an individual with meekness. To restore someone does not simply mean to walk up to them and say “Oh, I’m sorry that happened but don’t worry God loves you and so do I”. To restore literally means to rehabilitate that person in the Spirit of meekness. How are we going to make sure that person does not fall back into that same trap again unless we a) show them the error of their ways  b) show them that there is a more excellent way of doing things while c) helping them make sure that they don’t do that particular sin over and over again. Mind you, this technique will not help if the person does not have Godly sorrow (a repentive heart!).

I could go on and on and on about this subject but I want to admonish the saints of God that when the Pastor of your local assembly deems it necessary to “silence” an individual, we are not to point the finger. We are to go to that brother or sister, encourage them to come to church to get fed the Word of God and not shun them at all (that is, if they are truly repentive). We are to reach out to the weaker members of our church who are struggling with sins both inward and outward. It is our Godly mandate to pray for that person, to restore them back to their original place in God. To show them love and compassion. Quiet as its kept, you probably did the same thing they did, you just WERE NOT CAUGHT!

I agree with silencing because it tells the church that we are not playing games. We cannot tolerate sin from a professing Christian lest someone weaker falls into the same sin. The saying goes, one bad apple spoils the bunch. The church is a hospital for the sin sick soul not for someone who spews out poison amongst the Body of Christ. We don’t want other people to follow this persons erroneous example so we silence them (i.e. no singing on the choir, no leading prayer, no shouting, no participating in church) so that we don’t give the wrong message to the church. Under no circumstance are we to talk about the person, put them down and cause them to feel so low until they leave the church and continue in their sin. What if it was YOU? What if it was your MOTHER or FATHER? The Lord wants all to be saved not to be turned away. Church discipline is a must, but in the midst of church discipline, we the believer are to stand by our Pastors decision and uphold the person in prayer and work with them so that this sin never occurs again.



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