Please Don’t Come Forward As We Stand and Sing, If…

Brothers or sisters had a serious conflict with each other. One of the parties came during the invitation song and writes on a card to be read to the congregation, “I’ve thought, done, and said things I shouldn’t have. Please forgive me.”

They’ve never addressed the issues and actions that divided them.

The offended party wants to discuss what led to the conflict.

Someone replies, “They came forward. You have to forgive them.”

Who made that rule?

They haven’t followed Jesus’ instructions about reconciliation. Luke 17:3, 4; Matthew 5:23-25; Matthew 18:15-17

Joseph’s brothers felt guilty years after they sinned against him. Genesis 42:18-21 Joseph was ready to forgive. Genesis 45:1-9 Even though Joseph was ready to release them, they still felt guilty and fearful when their father died.

They were released when they confessed their sins and asked for Joseph’s forgiveness. Genesis 50:15-21; James 5:16

So don’t “come forward” if you need to talk privately with someone.

It’s easier to “come forward” than to leave the worship assembly and pursue reconciliation with a brother. Matthew 5:23-25

It’s easier to “come forward” than to rebuke a brother. Luke 17:3, 4

Someone invented the “coming forward” rule years after Jesus gave His instructions to both the offended and the offender.

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

7 Responses to “Please Don’t Come Forward As We Stand and Sing, If…

  • Roger Leonard
    2 months ago

    Amen. That’s all I have to say.

  • Donnie Vick
    2 months ago

    I know of a similar situation. The “coming forward” really only made things worse.

  • Roxy Wishum
    2 months ago

    Excellent thoughts! Ken Sande (author of Peacemaker) said Christians should be having “collisions of love” as one is running to apologize and another is running to confront. Generally, we have chosen to avoid.

  • Johnny Hunt
    2 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, I have never thought of it before but this is so true

  • As far as I can decipher, the “invitation” as it is called, is an American invention. Yes, confess sins to one another, yet I think that is to the brother or sister I sinned against. I also did not use the word “offend” since some folks get their chin all out of whack over fairly silly issues. I placed your post on our private Family Facebook page and encouraged the brethren to share it with others. Thank you, brother, for your wisdom and continual desire to “stir the pot” and make folks think!

  • Bill Dayton
    2 months ago

    Thanks Jerrie for your insight on that issue. I am teaching the one another passages and today we studying forgiving one another… if you dont mind I will use your illustration. God Bless.

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