How should I treat a sister who has sexual contact with a man without being married to him? As far as I know, he does not believe in God, but she tells us that she talked to God and He legalized it. So she wants to go on with the relationship. As far as I understand, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says I should not associate with her. Does that mean that I should have no contact at all? If so, why does Paul write that one should not even eat with such person? Or does that mean that I should not treat her like a sister, but have still contact, in order to help her? How should I judge those inside? A lot of questions with a lot of emotions.—Nils (Berlin)
“God legalized it”?! What silliness. If she is having a sexual relationship with anyone (even a Christian) other than her husband, she needs to repent at once. If she will not, the scriptures you referred to are clear: she must be asked to leave the church. Otherwise her moral laxity will affect the body of Christ.
As I understand the scriptures, no, you are not to have any contact with her. Her flesh can only be “destroyed” (1 Corinthians 5:5—repentance is in view here), if she leaves. As she reaps what she has sown in the world, it will be hard for her. The object is to see her restored to a pure relationship with God. But our method is not better than God's, which is why the apostle Paul has left us with divine wisdom for such situations.
For more on church discipline, please search this theme in the rest of the website.
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2006. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.