In my opinion concerning “hanging around with sinners” cannot be taken on its face value without examining the pros and cons. There are arguments for and against. I read about it from Notforthenorms by Nicholas Brown and found the post very interesting. it made me look closer than just being perfunctory about this fundamental christian practice. i asked myself these questions. Should a Christian associate with a sinner? Who is a sinner? Is a Christian saying he is alien to sin or iniquity? Is the Christian above sin? If he is not, should he desist from interacting with other Christian sinners? Many of this type of questions made me look at the topic from the stand I took.
To my mind, criticising or complaining about Christians who hang around with sinners of whatever shape or form cannot be totally wrong because the devil has its subtle ways of beguiling would-be victims. Should we forget peer group influence? Show me your friend and I’ll know who you are. How deep-rooted that he could not be surreptitiously lured out of Christian ideals. If his faith is so tap-rooted as to be able to withstand external negative influence, great, he will be more likely to exert his own influence on the sinner; otherwise the Christian may become another Apostle Paul’s Hymenaus and Alexander IITimothy 1:20 The parable of the Ten Virgins illustrate how A christian can still hang aound sinners and yet not get defiled. The wise five had extra oil but the foolish five did not. The oil representsanointing that the Christian should carry. It has to be constantly renewed. This sort of explains the rise and fall of men and women of God. A Christian must always be on guard irrespective of people you move with.
Besides, scientists have affirmed that non-smokers that are exposed to smokers’ exhaled fume are likely to remotely get affected as if they were smokers. The sheep is humane, docile and herbivorous while the dog is canine, carnivorous and always barking. By words of elders in certain traditional society, it is said that the sheep that hangs around with the dog shall in time learn to bark and eat what the dog eats. Agreed that Jesus gave an excellent example of interacting with sinners in Matthews 9: 9-13; but then who among us in these days is as holy, charismatic and authoritative as our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the intrinsic meaning of ‘Hanging around with’ goes beyond a devout Christian interacting for the fun of it, rather it has to be for the purpose of exerting Christian ideals on the sinner. This should not be taken to mean that Christians should not have interaction with sinners. The question centers around the Christian’s strength of character not to yield to the ways of sinners while he continues to pursue the help he is to render with prayers and supplications as well as his own exemplary life of faith in God that must speak louder than hard-core teaching of Christian doctrine to the sinner.
A focused Christian, as a non-pliable believer, should be best suited for hanging around with sinners with a view of spreading the gospel and in compliance with Jesus’ mandate to the disciples in Mark 16: 15-16 that states…….”Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (NKJ).