In this message I want to answer the question that I have received:
I want to do according to the teaching of the Bible and I have a question. What to do if the pastor does not allow me to teach about the dangers of immorality at church or elsewhere and he says that parents should speak to their children about this matter and not I? The pastor wants to work with him, but does not allow me to address such topics as the danger of immorality. What should I do in this situation according to the Bible?
Christians have the duty to rescue people from the clutches of immorality
From this short message I can not make a whole picture of the relationship of the reader with his pastor, but there are some things that I can definitely say. We live in a time when immorality has spread and is spreading very much and largely because the churches do not engage in social life and does not address this issue. Because we do not tell the world what is the truth about immorality, parents often do not know what to tell their children and bury them further into immorality. Let me give you two examples.
When I heard that the son of our relative lives in concubinage with a girl, I talked to him and then I went to ask my relative if she knows that. She told me that she knew, but such were the times and that she was pleased that her son had sexual relations only with a girl and did not go to more so as to be in danger to catch a sexually transmitted disease. I told her about the sin that her son practiced and what would be consequences, she understood and told her son to marry or to break the relationship with that girl.
Another time, an acquaintance was complaining that they had few rooms in the house and their son who was 25 years did not have enough room to come and sleep with a girl … When I heard I told them what God was teaching and what would be the consequences if their son would accept such a life in immorality. A year ago their son got married and I think it was a contribution to the discussion I had with his mother.
You see? What kind of correct sex education could these parents give their children if they themselves were not taught what is right and have such a thinking formed by the society on which we, the believers, have so little impact? We, priests, pastors and teachers of the Word of God have a great duty to teach parents and children and all people the truth about sex and the dangers that those who walk the immoral ways incur. If we, priests, would have done our duty before and would have taught the people that are now parents, they would have taught their children what was right and our society would not get to the immorality in which it is drowning now.
God addresses in details the topic of sexual education to protect us from death
Solomon’s book of Proverbs was written in order …
… To give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion, … (Proverbs of Solomon 1:4)(NASB)
God broadly addresses the subject of correct sexual education in this book. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 are almost entirely devoted to this subject and in many other chapters He address this issue tangentially. Moreover, how will anyone know what is right and what is not, unless s/he will be taught? God wants us to teach people the whole truth of God’s Word to help them guard against the dangers they face. And if we do not do this, or if we do not teach them, we are guilty of their blood. When he took farewell to the elders of Ephesus, the apostle Paul said:
Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. (Acts 20:26-27)(NASB)
Those who have the ministry of teaching and preaching and abuse of this service without telling people all God’s plan, are guilty of many lives destroyed by immorality, that will end up with the punishment in the hell fire.
The local church is a team that is expected to be effective in preaching the Gospel
The local church is designed to effectively proclaim the Gospel, teach God’s Word and make disciples of those who turn to Christ, and then, all together, in collaboration with other local churches together with the whole universal church to present the relevant and full Gospel message of Christ. Unfortunately, is not always so. Good leaders, pastors, priests who have in their hearts the command of Lord Jesus to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, always look to serve people relevantly and to urge Christians to healthy action and involvement in society by proclamation of the message Gospel. But there are leaders, that abuse of the position they have received, or have acquired through intrigue or other unclean ways. About such a man the Bible says that he became the leader of a local church. His name was Diotrephes and the apostle John wrote about this man and his behavior:
I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. (3 John 9-10)(NASB)
Obviously, the alleged leader of the people of God, abused of his position to just say “NO” and ban all that was good. There are some today, too. The Apostle John wrote to his disciple, Gaius, who was a member of the local church led by Diotrephes, and which apparently was excommunicated just because the good that Diotrephes forbade him to do. The apostle John encouraged Gaius and his beautiful attitude that he took to be obedient to God’s Word and wrote him:
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. (3 John 11)(NASB)
By this phrase the apostle John told him not to follow the example of Gaius and Diotrephes’s bad prohibitions, because, judging from the way how he did, Diotrephes did not see God, or did not experience forgiveness and was not born again, even if he succeeded to be a pastor or a priest of a local church.
Join an effective team
As I wrote above, I do not know in detail the situation of the person who questioned me and if he wrote every reason why the pastor stops him. But I would advise him to go again and speak with the pastor about this question and if they do not get to a common conclusion, he should seek to become a member in a local church which has the same vision of involvement in our society through the Gospel message. Moreover, why should you stay in a place where you can not work effectively or are not encouraged and your work together occurs only tension and misunderstanding?
Translated by Felicia Rotaru