Came across an article recently where the author, presumably a well-known Christian writer, warned us against “harbouring” sinners in our churches. According to him, we should keep this group of people as far away as possible and never let them back till they utterly “repent”.
Let’s see what Jesus would have to say about this:
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Hos 6:6) For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:10-12)
Keeping “sinners” is akin to keeping the sick from the doctor, taking away the very thing that could cure them… that is Jesus.
I wonder how the writer could even make such suggestions when he himself was also once a sinner in need of the grace of God, and if he is honest enough to admit, he still falls into sin from time to time.. just like everyone of us.
Anyway, Jesus had told us to be wary of people of such kind:
“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matt 16:5)
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. (Matt 23:2-4)