My question is, Is it right for a female believer to correct or admonish a brother in Christ?
Gal. 6:1 "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted."
James 5:19, 20 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
When these say, "Brothers", and "Brethren", does that mean that only male Christians are supposed to do this?
2 Thess. 3:14, 15 "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother."
Is it proper for women believers to warn male believers?
And another question about correction:
James 4:17 "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
Does this include if we see a brother or sister in Christ in sin or error? If we don't correct or warn them, are we sinning?
This has me rechecking my motives.
What is the place of warning or admonishing other believers, then?
Specifically, a Christian friend allowed his daughter to be a flower girl in a homosexual wedding over the weekend.
I told him I didn't think that was a good idea as a Christian to do, and I tried to say it in a gentle way. He doesn't go to church or have many (any?) other Christian friends.
But now I'm second guessing myself.
Should I have not said anything?
Let me start with a story. What if you were walking along the beach and saw someone drowning. Would you stand there and ponder whether this person needs help? Ponder whether they may learn to swim and overcome their situation? Walk away figuring it is not your place to help? Jump in and try to help?
The confusion over the concept of "judging" comes into play because the word carries various meanings and is heavily influenced by context. We make judgments everyday. We are to use discernment in alignment with God's Word. If judging is never acceptable then the Apostle Paul was in error when he said what is recorded in 1 Timothy 1:19-20. No, we make judgments, but we are not the judge of their eternal soul. Paul judged that they blasphemed and turned them over to Satan ... now catch this next point ... so that they would be taught a lesson. He did not condemn them to hell, only God can do that. He judged their actions in light of Scripture and acted accordingly for their good, though most would not see being handed over to Satan as good, but if it is for the purpose of awakening them then it is good, for he could not let them simply continue in their ways without addressing it or being concerned that their error would not affect others.
Thus, you have every right to address people because you care for them and want what is best for them. You, I trust, are not condemning them but challenging their actions in light of Scripture. After you have addressed them God gives them the liberty to choose their actions and in the end of the day they will give an account to Him and not us, but we want to know that we have a clear conscience in the matter.
I hope that helps some.
Thanks LT, this was helpful.
I will have to watch my heart and pray for discernment about those other situations.
This has me wondering about these I've thought maybe I should say something about too:
-a sister listening to "prophetic" teachings that I believe are New Age doctrine shrouded in Christian-lingo
-a brother who is a worship leader allowing non-believers on the worship team
From her verses and questioning, I do not get the sense she is eager to judge or more interested in the sins of others. She is asking how to go about correcting a brother or sister in Christ, which the bible actually tells us to do. There is a huge difference between judging and rebuke.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
-2 Timothy 4:2
Like you said, we should hate the sin but still love the sinner. That doesn't mean we shouldn't correct them if we think they are misguided. It actually takes love to do so. If I see one of my brothers doing something that goes against God's laws, it would be easier to ignore it and avoid the conflict rather than to talk to him about it. However, because I really care for the brother, I would talk to them about what is going on in order to reveal truth and point them to the scripture. I would rather do that than allow them to continue to sin unknowingly and let God punish them later down the line. Why not bolster God's kingdom and his people by helping each other walk in his ways?
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Now I believe what you are talking about is picking a person out from a crowd and condemning what they do without knowing them or the whole story behind it. We aren't to judge; that is correct. However, we do have a duty to help our brothers and sisters. It is certainly possible to have the motives that you speak of when rebuking or correcting a brother or sister, so it is important to reflect on one's motives for doing so. Is it out of love and care, or is it out of pride or jealousy?
Thanks Amanda, good points to remember.
Speak the truth... in love