Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 23rd, 2005

Back to Archived blog posts.

Exclusion is Biblical

Last week, I scolded the St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, Alabama for excluding a girl from high school graduation because she is pregnant, while they did not exclude the father.

On first glance, this does indeed appear to be a double standard, but I may have judged too quickly. Hypothetically speaking, it may be justifiable to exclude one and not the other. It appears that the girl was unrepentant of her sin. Did the father have the same attitude? It is possible that he repented and asked for forgiveness. (Of course, he may have been as unrepentant as she was, in which case the school should have excluded both or neither.)

It should be pointed out that exclusion is not wrong in and of itself. I Corinthians 5 details the case of a man who was having a sexual relationship with his father's wife. The Apostle Paul shamed the church at Corinth for their attitude to this case. Paul, writing as directed by the Holy Spirit, told the Corinthians to exclude the fornicator from the church.

what about the command Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:14-15? We are to forgive those who sin. However, repentance is required for forgiveness from God, and there are earthly consequences to sin. If the girl was unrepentant, and allowed to attend graduation, what message would that send? To me, it would say that the church is not serious about Biblical commands regarding sexual morality. (If the boy was also unrepentant, the double standard sends the same message, but I digress.)

Often, in cases like this, I hear people pit the words of Jesus (In this case, Matthew 6:14-15) against Paul's writings. I have been asked several times if I am a Christian or a "Paulian". This is a silly question. Paul was an Apostle of Christ. The saving grace of Jesus Christ is at the core of Paul's letters. If someone, as a Christian, believes that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God, he (or she) cannot pick and choose what passages to accept and which not to accept. God's "no" goes hand in hand with God's "yes".