"I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral peopleónot at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat," (1 Corinthians 5:11 NIV).
People find it hard to cut off ties, especially with those they love, in order to save themselves from sin. Cutting off ties of sin and cutting off ties of love are different.
We need to notice Paul is talking about disassociating with willful sinners. Willful sinners are those who know or have known Christ and are purposely denying Him by their actions. Certainly, we can’t leave the world. Since Christians are called to love their neighbor it would be a sin to alienate the world by not associating with anyone other than our brothers and sisters. It is spiritually gratifying to interact with our brothers and sisters in the faith. That said, it is important to be careful about whose beliefs we call our own.
If a person is a Christian brother/sister you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20 NIV). If they commit sin perpetually and willfully (on purpose) it is an indicator of spiritual sickness. But Christ says in Matthew 7:2: " For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." How do we differentiate the concepts of judgment and discernment?
Judging is in a sense of condemnation. We don’t know what God will decide. We don’t know their good deeds and we don’t know why they’ve sinned. We sin, too, and thank God when by His grace He forgives us. Don’t others deserve the same grace?
In God’s grace, would He ignore sin? We need to address sin — call it out and get away from it. To eat with a Christian brother who perpetually and willfully sins is to accept his sinful attitude. A spirit of sin can be contagious. People are social creatures and learn from other people. If you put two people in the same room together, after a while their faces will start to reciprocate. Language is the same way. People are influenced highly by other people especially the people they consider part of their kin (family).
James 5:20 says this: "Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." Thank you, James.
We have to stop trying to save people from embarrassment and start saving them from death. Let’s get over our fear of not being polite. We need to call out the demon of sin and ask for God’s forgiveness and blessing before it becomes us. By condoning or ignoring societal injustices and sin we are going to fall into sin by association. One can be tactful and honest at the same time.
Thank God for those that stand up for what is right! With time and revelation, God centers His children on His truth. He gives freely to all who ask for understanding.