I have to be a witness to the good news that Jesus offers to everyone, no matter their background. I am called to love. That is the goal that Jesus has in mind for me. Jesus hung out with “the sinners”.
Our attitude about believers who keep missing God’s goal (sin) is different. God holds us, as followers of Jesus the Messiah, to a very high standard. The community of believers (not me individually) has to deal with unacceptable behavior.
Our spiritual leaders have an obligation to do lead us all in the right direction. This erupted lately in the Presidential campaign regarding the Pope. The Pope has an obligation to God to do exactly what he did. The candidate took the wrong position on all of this.
God is the judge of those who aren’t followers of Jesus. Believers, collectively, must decide when one of us is out of line. Tough love but necessary love. Our intent is to restore our brother in a right relationship with God. Love won’t allow them to wander around astray.
I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn’t make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn’t mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue- or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You’d have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.
~Apostle Paul – Source: 1 Corinthians 5 (The Message Bible)