Monday, February 18, 2019

Nine Ways Of Participating In Another's Sin

The Church is ONE. There is One Faith, One baptism, One body. The members of that body, though having gifts that differ from one another, are linked as ONE. While each individual is ultimately responsible to live a righteous life, they are not islands unto themselves. Each member is responsible for the other, for what one does or does not do, effects the entire body. If one is righteous and commits righteous acts, then the One body is blessed and profits. If one commits a sinful act, then the whole body is affected. 

"do you know that a little leaven leavens the whole loaf? 

It is for this reason that in the area of sin, each member has a responsibility to the other. Knowledge of another's sinful action ALWAYS requires some kind of reaction, for the CHIEF SPIRITUAL ACTS OF MERCY include:

  • to admonish sinners
  • to instruct the ignorant
  • to counsel the doubtful
  • to comfort the sorrowful
  • to suffer wrongs patiently
  • to forgive injuries

To fail to practice these mercies leads to participation in another's sin.


  1. by counsel (giving advice opposed to the Church and the Holy Scriptures)
  2. by command (using authority to compel someone to act opposed to the Church and Holy Scripture)
  3. by consent (giving one permission to act opposed to the Church and Holy Scriptures)
  4. by provocation (influencing or pressuring someone to sin by your speech or action)
  5. by praise or flattery (giving warm approval, admiration, and excessive, insincere praise of a person who has sinned, especially to further one's own interests)
  6. by concealment (hiding another's sin or preventing it from being known)
  7. by partaking (joining in the sinful act of another)
  8. by silence (avoiding talking about or mentioned another's sin)
  9. by defense of the sin committed (the action of defending from or resisting attack. by rebutting or denying that a sin is a sin against the Church and Holy Scripture
The pillar and foundation of all truth is the Church (1 Timothy 3) and the Church's standard for truth is Scripture and Tradition. It is by this canonical standard,  the general law, rule, principle, or criterion, by which something is judged. Individuals in the church must take care not to quote their favorite saint out-of-context to say anything other than what the church maintains in the area of our responsibility to actively deal with a sinning member. If a saint says we are to look to our own sin, it is not a conflict to do so, however, such an exhortation does not negate the Church's responsibility to show mercy to a brother in sin by not allowing the sin to continue or go unrepented. If the scripture says "judge not", and it does, one must be careful to know the meaning of that word in context, and that it is different from the word used by Apostle Paul when he exhorts us to judge a member's actions within Church. 

"For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

Jesus took time to speak with his own words as to how such judgment of mercy is to operate in the Church. His order of church discipline protects an individual member from the type of "Judge not lest ye be judged" attitude. Matthew records how Christ requires us to deal with a member's sin within the church. In this we are REQUIRED TO JUDGE:

 Matthew 18
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

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