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Adapted from Your Church Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan. ©2012 Mark Buchanan. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

Mark Buchanan is pastor of New Life Community Church in Duncan, British Columbia.

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Mark is an associate professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, AB, and formerly was pastor of New Life Community Baptist Church in Duncan, BC.

From Issue:Transformation, Summer 2012 | Posted: August 27, 2012

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Displaying 6–10 of 90 comments

Oun Kwon

December 14, 2012  6:37pm

As @Stephen mentioned, "Jesus… let [sinners] off the hook, with scarcely a reprimand, for big-ticket sin items like adultery .." is totally unbiblical. @ Frank - mentioned gay marriage issue - Why should we be tolerant of the current social and political wind to change the very meaning of the word 'marriage'? What does have anything a law has to meddle with? It's linguistic and cultural problem of common sense and decency. Is marriage no more than 'mating' (when mating from the back or from the front)? Yeah, they can say anything they want say or do, it's their problem to keep with themselves - preferably in their closets. Let them call it simply "mating". Yeshua welcomed all and everyone, so do we. However, that does not mean we are tolerant of everything and everyone. When a person comes to Yeshua, either that person follows or rejects Him. There is no middle ground. Life is always a choice, either/or, not both. To be a name-sake Christian is far worse.

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October 16, 2012  3:53am

As much as we impart the truth, where is the rebuke. it is one thing to make them comfortable and it is another to let them know your stand which is the word of God which should not make them comfortable to attend your church unless conform to the Word of God.

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October 15, 2012  1:57pm

All of Jesus' teachings were about love. We are all sinners - and most (I dare not say all) are unrepentant ones. Of contempt (i.e., of those not as righteous as we) and a myriad of others: stinginess, backbiting, lusting, lying - SOMETHING. If we excommunicated all who knowingly "live in sin," none would remain! We must love - as Jesus commanded - and trust God to convict EACH OF US of our own sins in God's own time and in God's own way. Love is MUCH more likely to provide productive pressure to the unrepentant than is censure. And if we each take care of our own devotion to God, we won't have to worry about them corrupting us. The aim of Paul as of Jesus was to love them back into the fellowship - restoration always being the goal.

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October 09, 2012  2:10pm

Perhaps the way forward is also shown in Genesis where we learn the Father handled Adam and Eve's disobedience by excluding them from his fellowship in the garden. He continued to care for them... but did it differently than what was the Father's original dream for them. His love and grace had to be altered to meet the test of his justice and love. Many a sinner has found God and a true relationship with his son Jesus, but only after they went to prison. That is not what God dreamed for anyone, but consequence for sin cannot be neglected forever. Jesus life was cut short so we do not get to see how he might have handled the sins of others if he had been around them for a longer span of time, and if the sinners remained rebellious. Love conquers always, but all do not seek love always.

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Kristen G

October 03, 2012  5:13pm

Jesus did associate with "sinners," but, it appears that he went out to them, as if in invitation to join the community of believers. It was then the choice of the unsaved to accept the Truth and follow The Lord back to the "church house." If I read Paul correctly, he outlines how to we are to conduct ourselves within the walls of the church community. If church members, once confronted with their habitual sin, refuse to repent, measures are to progressively taken, ending finally in expulsion from the midst of the church body. This would serve the purpose of providing negative pressure to the unrepentant church member as well as protecting the rest of the congregation from a corrupting influence. And, by the way, churches should be no less tolerant of the unmarried heterosexual couple in their midst--a far more common scenario. More to follow...Thank-you

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