Everyone who has ever decorated a Christmas tree has experienced tangled Christmas lights. We know how frustrating that can be. Christmas lights might not only be tangled, but one bad bulb can keep the whole string of lights from shining. Unfortunately, this situation can be compared to the churches we attend.
“There is a bad bulb in every church that keeps the other bulbs from shining.”
It is certainly encumbered upon the pastors and leaders of the church to find the bad bulb and replace it. It might be hard to believe, but the bad bulb can be one that is least expected. When trying to find the bad bulb, it is a process to go through all the bulbs to find the one that causes the others to be ineffective.
Maya Angelou once said she could tell a lot about a person by how he handles three things: rainy days, lost luggage and tangled Christmas lights. You can also tell a lot about a church that does nothing to a bad bulb that keeps the entire church in the dark.
So, what is the church to do about the bad bulb? The Bible tells us clearly that one bad bulb can keep the entire church from shining brightly. The sin of one person in the church affects the whole church. Therefore, the bad bulb must be discovered and handled, according to 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 when Paul calls attention to immorality in the church.
Chapter 5 is not actually about the immorality of one church member as much as it is about the pride and passivity of the entire church in response to the immortality. Paul introduces the evil of immorality and the obligation of the church to exercise discipline. Doing nothing about the bad bulb in the church keeps the entire church in the dark.
The sin in 1 Corinthians 5 is a shocking sin. “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.” This is an example of sin in the Corinthian church, but don’t think for a moment that it was the only sin. And don’t think there are not sins going on in your own church.
The sin of the one man kept all the other bulbs from lighting up. Yet, the church turned a blind eye to it and did nothing about it until Paul told them in no uncertain terms to remove the man from their midst. However, he gave the church instructions on how it should be done. The man involved was put out the church, and after he repented, Paul encouraged the church to restore him to fellowship, according to 2 Corinthians 2:5-8. Then the church began to flourish just like your church will flourish once the bad bulb is dealt with.