The Body of Christ is about Teamwork
One time we had a situation. We were all together one night, and I just had to say that I thought the Lord was saying that there was sin in the camp, that someone was in darkness. I said that I believed the Lord was saying this and I read from the Scriptures.
Afterwards, they totally persecuted me. They stayed behind and said, “What right do you have to say that there is sin in the camp? Who’s sinning?” I cried for days because when we got together the next time, they did the same thing. They said, “What right do you have?” and “How dare you?” At the time, I decided that I must be wrong and what I said was not of the Lord. I said to my husband, “I am not going back there,” and I walked away.
You might’ve found your guilty parties. Sounds like you touched a raw nerve there.
At that point in time nobody knew what sin it was. Everybody said, “I don’t have sin. What are you talking about? I don’t have sin.” And I walked away. It is scary what you just shared with us about not walking away, but actually going back and taking your brothers with you. I thought my only choice was to walk away.
A couple months later we found out that one guy was actually living in sin. Nobody knew! Nobody knew! But when it finally came out, nobody came back to me. I was expecting them to come back to me and say, “You were actually right.” I had walked away and we just stayed at home. I cut ties with them. That guy is totally off alone now and he’s not serving the Lord. Nobody went back to him. So what do you do now? This guy is certainly not serving the Lord now.
Before all that happened, to me it was like, “Let’s just take heed of the Word together. Let’s get into this truth-based relationship where you start changing with each other.” Then we discovered we don’t actually know these people! We grew up together in the “church environment” but we didn’t even know them. That’s the point when everything fell apart.
I understand. You obviously did put your finger on something in that environment that was accurate. But what if all of those families were totally involved in each others’ lives every day? What if it wasn’t in the meeting that the problem was revealed and where nobody wanted to agree with it or believe it, and after which you then got persecuted? What if it had nothing to do with the meeting?
What if everyone was so engaged in each others’ lives, that they actually smelled a rat in the way this guy was living his life. There were signs in his life that could’ve been seen. There were things that could’ve been dealt with and maybe it would have been nipped in the bud before it ever became that deep of a problem. Even though what you said was obviously accurate, what if it hadn’t come as a meeting-based prophetic statement?
Think about the way you communicate with your foot. Do you speak audibly to your foot? “Foot, move. Foot, shake.” Or is there a better way to communicate with your foot? If we’re a Body of people really connected to each other, then – just like with my physical body—it doesn’t require a prophetic statement to my foot. My foot just silently does what the head says, and the other parts of the body help it do that because they’re connected to the head too.
Better ground would’ve been if those families were living daily life together and not just attendance-based and meeting-based. Then there would’ve been four or five of you that would have discerned, “You are that man.” They probably would have seen it before it got carried away, because there are always signs. There is always something that seems wrong. Maybe it was in the way he was treating his wife, or a look in his eye, or an attitude, or a misplaced spending of his time. Perhaps he would’ve only gotten halfway into his sin before somebody turned him around. Maybe he could’ve been helped before he had gotten so deep into it that his conscience was seared.
In a way, the prophetic statement was almost like talking to your foot verbally; it’s not the highest way to communicate with your foot. And if we’re really a Body, then maybe we could’ve caught that before it turned into a problem. It wasn’t in your power to do anything other than what you did at the time, so I’m not saying that was wrong; it’s great. You were right in what you saw. But I’m just in favor of the Church being the Body of Christ instead of a meeting. Perhaps that situation could’ve been salvaged a little bit earlier.
Now what do you do? After it’s happened, do you just move on?
Do you mean as it relates to him and his wife?
Yeah, because they’re still out there.
Well, if a couple of brothers feel something burning in their heart to go see him, they ought to call him and ask him to come out to lunch. They could say, “Okay, now you’ve had your way. You’re not finding God in this are you? So, what are we going to do about it?” If he’s belligerent he probably won’t meet them in the first place, but maybe every so often a couple of brothers ask to see him, to come to lunch and they’ll buy. Or maybe they take him to a football game, a soccer game. What do you call it here?
You call it soccer here? Okay. Well, they chat with him about stuff—real stuff, not just pretend. Anybody can turn it around no matter how bad it is. There will always be a trail of tragedy and bad fruit and complicated issues in a situation like that. But if it’s on somebody’s heart to try to reason with him, I would say a couple of brothers should go see him. There ought to be a mutual consent about it though. It shouldn’t be just one brother saying, “I’m going to have a ‘ministry’ to go talk to him.”
It shouldn’t be one brother deciding to go?
No, no. “Let every matter be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Matt. 18:16). Several brothers and sisters may decide to send one brother. It wouldn’t necessarily be wrong for one brother to go, but it shouldn’t be “me” deciding to go totally independently from other people who know him. It’s not me deciding to have my own “ministry” of talking to this guy like I’m some kind of hero or something.
I really need to work with other brothers on it, whether it’s a couple of brothers going to see him or if just one brother would be better for some reason. That’s fine. It probably would be a couple of brothers, not one. But nobody ought to independently make that kind of decision. There’s too much at stake.
What if all by myself I made up my mind to go talk to him? Then I come back and say, “Hey, I had lunch with so and so. We had a great conversation, and I think he really wants to get back together with us.” That leaves everybody lost, doesn’t it? No one knows what to believe and what not to believe. It’s almost like you have to start all over again. You can’t just take my word for it because too much blood has been spilled over this whole thing.
But if we’re together thinking and praying and talking about it, then there will be a wisdom found in the multitude of counselors about how to perceive what the conversation was like and the results of having done it. The Body of Christ is about teamwork. It’s never about “my ministry.” I don’t ever do anything by myself with my own big-time decisions about what ought to happen. We work together on everything.