accountability & confrontation

The Biblical narrative provides both the example and precedence for our participation in the accountability element of each other’s journey of faith.  In the Old Testament, the Mosaic civil law prescribed behavior expectations, restitution requirements, punitive effects, and a sacrificial element.

In the New Testament Jesus’ followers are to be actively encouraging each other to embrace new levels of faith in God and Christlike character.  Sometimes this includes personal confrontation (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1).

Local church leaders are also given the mandate to protect the local church through teaching, confrontation, restoration, and in some cases expulsion. It is important to see this as a process and not skip from one step to the last without fulfilling the prior mandates. (2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 13:17)


Leaders are to help make clear biblical behaviour and what kind of behaviour reflects the character and nature of God.  This includes behaviour that is contextually defined by scripture.  This does not include behaviour that is personal and left to individual conscious. (Romans 14, 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 4:2)

Rebuking Correcting

Where there is a continual pattern of unrepentant sin, leaders are called to identify it and bring correction to individuals in a spirit of humility, gentleness, and love.  These are to be for concrete behaviours not attitudes and perceptions.  (Galatians 2:11-14; Titus 1:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)


The ultimate goal is to see a person experience God’s best for their life through the process of godly sorrow, personal repentance and change.  This can include ongoing counselling, mentoring, and accountability.  This is especially true of those in a position of influence or leadership to have a season of being removed from their responsibilities. (2 Corinthians 2:5-8)


In some cases, leaders are to see the person removed from the local church.  This is a punitive measure that protects the local church, creates corporate awareness, and promotes personal repentance. This must be the last resort. Action as a result of a prolonged effort that is ignored. Where there is a clear directive of big sin in scripture and there is continued unrepentant behavior and promotion of the sin, leaders are responsible to take action.  There is a difference between sin that is repented of and sin that one is unrepentant from.   (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:4-6; 2 John 1:10)


So what is sin? What is the list? That’s the question we must all wrestle with.

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