Justifiable Christian Isolation

In today’s society, I see many Christians isolate themselves from those in the world who need them most, on the grounds of the sinful temptations that those bestow upon them. Let me just say that I think it is ridiculous for a ‘Christian’ to terminate, or slowly dissolve a friendship with another individual who may be into maybe partying, sex, drugs, you name it, on those grounds.

Christians find this as an easy out, and quick way to resolve an interpersonal issue. The idea is not often challenged by fellow followers, or religious leaders. I have seen on several accounts, and heard of others, of a circumstance in which a Christian has a friend who is not a believer. The friend participates in things that the Christian believe are of sinful nature. The Christian is tempted by these things that their friends are doing, and feel as if having this person in their life is going to tempt them into doing evil if the relationship is not terminated or if they do not remove themselves from the presence of the sinfully-living individual.

When this situation is brought up in a small group, or other discussion among fellow believers, the response is often very sympathetic towards the Christian experiencing this. Not having these people who tempt you in your life, is an easy fix for one’s own lack of self control. Pray for a shield against the temptations that those who you are trying to be a living witness to may inflict upon you. If you are to alter the relationship that you have with them, you are essentially giving up on the non-believer. You possess the ability to change them if you are in their life. You also possess the ability to not engage in the sinful activities with them, while still being in their lives and making apparent to them what it means to be a follower. I just hate to see a friend leave a friend on the grounds that they are tempting them into doing sinful things. Who are you, Christian, to walk away from this person and deny them the message of Jesus because of your own lack of self control. Do you not remember who Jesus spent the majority of his time with? Hint: It wasn’t other Christians… Yet another of endless examples of hypocrisy…

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14

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2 comments

  1. I think you are getting the point of temptation wrong. God wants us to glorify him in every aspect of our lives. Everything we do in our daily life should glorify and reflect Him. So having ‘friends’ who do sinful activities daily is not at all glorifying Him. Every Christian wants to lead people to Christ and help people out of their sinful ways. It is not that we are giving up on people or are leaving them when they need God the most. We are just eliminating ourselves from sinful activities and choose to pray over our friends elsewhere. Distancing yourself from friends that choose to be sinful is not in any way a bad thing. God appreciates our attempt to root out ungodly activities and surround ourselves with people who want to glorify him as well.. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with temptation he will also provide a way of escape.” Sometimes that “escape” is distance from another person. And I think that is extremely okay. It wouldn’t make me care for the person any different, only pray for them harder that they see the wrong doings of their actions.

    1. I think you are getting the point of temptation wrong.

      –Temptation has no ‘point’ per se. Temptation, in the Christian sense, is merely the word used to describe the state mind of mind that one exists in whilst contemplating of whether or not to engage in sinful activity.

      God wants us to glorify him in every aspect of our lives. Everything we do in our daily life should glorify and reflect Him.

      –I couldn’t agree more, Katie.

      So having ‘friends’ who do sinful activities daily is not at all glorifying Him.

      –I couldn’t disagree more with that statement. There is no logic to arriving at that conclusion, nor does it make sense. The state of “having friends” (whether they be ones who engage in sinful activity or not) neither glorifies, nor de-glorifies God, I believe. Specifically what would either glorify or de-glorify God, is the way that you act, and the role that you are playing in the relationship. Are you showing Jesus to that friend? Are you living as Jesus would be? Are you showing love to that friend? I think those are a few of many questions that anyone could ask themselves to ascertain whether or not their relationship with a friend was “gloriful” to God.

      Every Christian wants to lead people to Christ and help people out of their sinful ways.

      –I agree. All Christians (excluding those who just reference themselves by the title, rather than the lifestyle) want to lead people to Christ and help them out of their sinful ways. However, I don’t think that this should be the mission statement of any Christian, nor should emphasis be lay on ‘help people out of their sinful ways’. In fact, the last part should be removed all together. If you worry about just “leading people to Christ”, the rest will handle itself. Don’t consume any of your time with “helping people out of their sinful ways” using your own methods. Show people Christ, and when the time is right, if they come to follow Him, they will leave their sin behind and be free. Obviously no one is free from committing sin, but the Christian can overcome temptation through Jesus. Key point being; the need to receive Jesus first. You aren’t going to get any non-believer to leave their sin behind without salvation…and if they do, what’s the point? To be blunt, without salvation you’re going to Hell anyways! I say that too loosely, I know…Hopefully non-believers don’t read this blog…

      It is not that we are giving up on people or are leaving them when they need God the most. We are just eliminating ourselves from sinful activities…

      –That is precisely what this post aims to mark as an excuse. There is a difference between “eliminating yourself from sinful activities” and “leaving a friend who engages in sinful activity”. Many would like to argue that those are dependent on each other, when in fact that are two completely independently achievable tasks. A Christian can remain friends with someone who engages in sinful activity while still not engaging in the sinful activity that the person is associated with themselves. It’s an excuse to justify a Christian’s own lack or lack thereof of temptation, and self-control. It’s the easy out; the wide path. If you eliminate that person from your life, you also eliminate the temptations that you claim they bestow upon you. Of which do you think God want’s more? For you to never see your friend and pray at your bedside every night that they see Jesus someday –or– to get in your friends life and SHOW them Jesus; be a living witness; show them love; and that you care for them even if they are living in sin. Now, not to ask a question of which God’s desires, but a question of effectiveness. Which do you think would be more effective at leading this person to Christ? Historically, we can see that witnessing was not done by just praying for people from afar. Specifically, Jesus caused havoc in Churches which resulted in them hating him. He hung out with the lowest of the low of that time; the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lonely, the murderers, the adulterers, the thieves, those who lived in sin. The fact that this existed is a message within itself. You, Christian, need be with these people, and need be in their lives. If Jesus and the disciples hung out with THOSE people, then YOU can manage to keep witnessing to the friends in your life who party and look at porn.

      …and choose to pray over our friends elsewhere.

      –If you aren’t praying physically beside your friend, then you are already “praying elsewhere”, so I won’t address that. I think the implication here was “praying away from your friend whilst not in their life”, which I have responded to above ^^^.

      Distancing yourself from friends that choose to be sinful is not in any way a bad thing.

      –Disagree. If you were the only light in their life, don’t count on someone else coming along later and showing them Jesus. It’s negative in every possible way that I can think of, except for the fact that you will no longer have to be tempted by their wicked ways. If you cannot overcome your temptations with these friends, then you might not be spiritually mature yet (no negative implication). This blog is not for the spiritually immature. However, I believe that overcoming these temptations is a great stepping stone on your way to spiritual maturity, and that if you’re reading this, are ready to tackle!

      God appreciates our attempt to root out ungodly activities…

      –While I do agree, let’s not be so authoritative as to claim what God ‘appreciates’ and ‘wants’. Although, if we mortal men were able to know what God wanted with certainty, I’d put money on saying he would deem ‘leaving your friends on the justification of them living in sin’ as an “ungodly activity”.

      …and [wants us to] surround ourselves with people who want to glorify him as well

      –Of course I believe that it would be pleasing to God for us to surround ourselves with people who glorify Him. If what you meant to say was that “God wants us to to surround ourselves with ONLY people who want to Glorify him”, then I would disagree. Is that why Jesus hung out with prostitutes?
      I believe that God wants us to hang out with a body of believers to gain spiritual maturity and Biblical knowledge, whilst more importantly hanging out with non-believers and showing them Jesus.

      If you’re going to use Bible verses rather than messages as counterpoints for an argument being made, then take a look at the second second section of my “Thesis on Homosexuality and the Bible” 🙂
      I don’t like to reference specific lines of scripture, it almost always results in “Me: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14”, “You: [insert scripture that contradicts the one I have stated]”, and literally goes back and forth with neither of us ever arriving at any sense of resolution.
      However, the one you have quoted does say that he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability and will provide a way of escape. If you believe that as truth, then you have nothing to worry about! You simply may remain friends with the individual knowing that no matter what, God will provide you with an escape should you be tempted.

      Sometimes that “escape” is distance from another person.

      –You choosing to leave your friend is NOT an escape which God has provided for you, but an escape that you have provided for yourself to protect yourself from these temptations in fear of God not providing you with an escape should the situation in which you fall short and need an escape present itself.

      It wouldn’t make me care for the person any different, only pray for them harder that they see the wrong doings of their actions.

      –You seem strikingly consumed with showing others the wrong doings of there actions. We are not to judge, and you are not to ascertain of whether or not anyone but your own actions are gloryful or sinful to God. By simply reaching a verdict that your friend is living in sin, is to pass a judgement that their actions are sinful. Once again, I lie emphasis on showing this person Jesus. Do not focus on your friends sins or actions. If you know that they are without Jesus, your only mission as a Christian is to help them reach salvation; which NOT be done by persuading them to complete good works, or eliminating the sin from their life.

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