1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
This is a scriptural injunction and I think it is still very valid today. Well, some people feel it’s not because of seeming embarrassment and disgrace it tends to give to the culprit. But truth is, this is the reason why our society has degenerated into what we have it as now.
Corrupt politicians steal. They didn’t fall from hell. They grew up from churches, mosques, families…. and most certainly within our society. The rot you refuse to treat now, becomes an albatross tomorrow… It will become decayed, smelly and a reproach to the system and society at large.
Churches have become places where we patch and treat. Like the make-up/makeover business which is now everywhere, a reflection of our society’s area of specialization, churches just make up for people’s weakness and fault by pretending it’s not there and they in turn do an image laundry to save face. In as much as it has not affected the organization adversely, then, it can be condoned.
The serial rapist are not direct biological sons and daughters of the devil. Some of them are stack church people. The guys who flung bear parlors, restaurants, and clubs to drink alcohol to their fill, womanise to maximum satisfaction, and commit all manners of things are also so-called brethren in our churches but many at times, we pretend we do not to know until sister Tunrayo, a chorister becomes pregnant for brother Matthew, the choir master, then it becomes a church committed sin. The announcement then goes forth, bro and sis have fallen into sin as if we didn’t know they were living in sin before now. They didn’t just fall to sin, that’s were they have always lived.
The principle of open rebuke is not the same as jungle justice, but a biblical principle that first shows the danger of sin, not just to the public but also the the falling/ailing victim of sin. You need to show the culprit why the committed sin is not good for him/her and to further stop them from committing such in the future. It’s just like the parental discipline of punishing a child for wrong doing. It is not just to angrily beat your child because of offence committed but to correct in love and show reasons why such act must be avoided completely in the future.
Secondly, it should be done publicly to show the world that God frowns against sinful acts. Silence is the best sponsor of evil/sin. And as believers, we must learn to nip evil at the bud before it blossom into something that can’t be controlled any longer. God doesn’t like sin although He is patiently awaiting him/her to come to repentance. Sin is an abomination to God and it is a reproach to man. God abhors sin. So, why should we love what God hates? We must show the world that God disapproves of sin.
Lastly, we do this to help put the minds of the people in checks an in proper condition. There is a way that the mind works. It sees things around it and records them as valid. And sadly, sin is like a cancer, it spreads as fast as possible and increases itself as much as it is allowed. Hence, before the damage, stop its flow. Let the people know that living in sin is disdainful to healthy living.
It’s not just about the suspension, it’s not about the public showing of the person, it’s not about whether God has forgiven or not, it is about teaching the person and others the way of the Lord and the doctrine of the Lord. It is teaching the people the importance of purity, holiness and living righteously. It is teaching the people to abstain from sin before It entangled them to destruction. It is about raising a generation that will be free from the hold of sin and death by the help of the Holy Spirit that teaches us and guides us into all truth.
In conclusion, since correction is our aim and not just to disgrace, we must do that in meekness and in truth. Restoration must be the main guiding principle with which this is done, not suspension and then rejection. No. In doing this, the brother or sister must feel safe and know with assurance that he is still a brother or a sister and must be accorded such respect and dignity. Never forget that an open rebuke is better than a secret affection. So, do the needful. God bless you.