Correcting Sin in the Church

Over at Sigma Frame, Jack is concerned about violations to his comment policy.

This is exactly why the comment policy says…


2 — Comments vehemently attacking religious faiths of any variety are subject to moderation.


7 — Please refrain from making assumptions or accusations about whether anyone is a “true believer”, or a “born again Christian” or not. I believe it’s impossible to know the answer to this question without knowing the person on a day-by-day, face-to-face basis. Instead of resorting to this brand of ad hominem, readers should be attempting to comprehend the viewpoints offered, and place them within a meaningful context, preferably the one intended.


This time, it is my own fault.
— comment by Jack @ Sigma Frame, “An Open Letter to Christian Wives

Jack had questioned a man’s claim to be a Christian, in clear violation of his own comment policy. His comment was precipitated by the article which claimed that a husband could command his wife to abort—murder—their child:

“Well, what if he wants me to get an abortion??” Then you do what he demands. You picked him.
— thedeti, “An Open Letter to Christian Wives”

The following discussion ensued:

So you’re okay with abortion if that’s the father’s choice? Great Christian teaching here.
— comment by nellperkins


Yeah, OP is wrong on that one. Nobody can force you to commit a sin, especially a mortal one. Not even God will ask you to do that. You are allowed to refuse if your husband is asking you to rob a bank. But as long as it is not a sin, a wife should comply.
— comment by Bardelys the Magnificent


The Word says wives are to submit to husbands, even when those husbands are in sin, nonChristian, do evil, and are evil. The Word says they’re to submit to their husbands in everything. Everything means EVERYTHING.
— comment by thedeti


See Deti’s reply to me below. I don’t need to say any more. But I do assume that Deti is, in fact, not a Christian.
— comment by nellperkins


I really couldn’t care less whether someone believes I am not a Christian based on my reading of a very clear, very plainly written verse that is by its very terms absolute…
— comment by thedeti

I had also weighed in, pointing out how thedeti was advocating that a wife sin, in clear violation of scripture.

Jack’s worry over the comment policy is a secondary concern. Nitpicking comment policy violations while not correcting a greater sin is analogous to Jesus’ warning in the Sermon on the Mount. If Jack’s and nellperkins’ comments were following Jesus’ commands in Matthew 18 to confront a brother’s sin, that duty overrides any comment policy.[1]

Jack at Sigma Frame allows and defends anonymity (as opposed to, for example, Bruce Charlton who bans anonymous comments on his blog). This means that commenters cannot be contacted privately, nor a sinning brother brought before witnesses or the congregation. Public comments are the best (and only) remaining way to address the blatant sin of advocating sin.[2][3]

By my count, five witnesses—myself, nellperkins, professorGBFMtm, Bardelys the Magnificent, and Sharkly—have attested to Deti’s error and confronted him with it, more-or-less satisfying the second step of the process laid out by Jesus. The only remaining step is for the whole congregation to decide if a sin has taken place, and in the further absence of repentance to delete the offending post and comments and to excommunicate[4] the offender. The duty to facilitate this falls to the leader of this congregation.

It is the responsibility of the (possibly de facto) leader of any congregation to ensure that sin that occurs within his domain is corrected. It is also imperative that there be a way to resolve sin within the church according to Christ’s commands. To fail to do this invalidates such a forum as an arm of the church. If the comment policy takes priority over implementing Matthew 18, then it is not a Christian forum.

For all the talk about headship authority, two things lacking in the manosphere are the willingness (1) to submit to authority; and (2) to execute authority where required. Authors and commenters are generally not willing to submit to the church’s judgment, nor are leaders willing to reign in sin. I suspect this is why some feel like it is all falling apart:

“One of the main downsides of the manosphere and its now remnants is the wildly variant sectarianism.”
— comment by The Eye of Sauron


“I have noticed that schisms have been appearing all over the manosphere lately.”
— comment by Jack

In a healthy church, schism is the natural end-point of following the Matthew 18 protocol. Assuming it indicates anything negative at all, schism in the manosphere may be highlighting a refusal to confront sin and/or a refusal to repent, that is, to follow the Matthew 18 protocol. Debate itself is not the problem, nor is schism, but a failure to acknowledge error and to repent might be. Moreover, refusal to schism—or at least excommunicate[4]when necessary is a clear violation of Jesus’ teachings.

When GunnerQ publicly excoriated me (in contravention to Matthew 18), I did two things. First, I repented as best I could: I edited my original post to address GunnerQ’s concerns and updated my site to make my purpose clearer.[5] Second, I suggested that he review my posts before I posted them, so that another Christian could provide spiritual guidance and correction. He did not accept the suggestion.

Why is it that the Christian manosphere has compartmentalized the commands of Jesus? Following his conflict resolution protocol has been largely made literally impossible. How can the manosphere be part of Christ’s church if it does not follow the commands of Christ? In what way can it be called Christian and its members Christians?


[1] If a person refuses to repent, the Bible instructs the church to treat them as if they are unbelievers. This doesn’t mean they are not Christian before God, for no man can know the heart of another, but they must be treated by the church as if they are pagans.

[2] I’ve written thousands-upon-thousands of words on my disagreement of patriarchy. I think it is based on non-biblical principles, that is, it is merely wrong. It does not advocate sin. This is different.

[3] I allow anonymous comments, but I am not anonymous. If anyone wishes to confront me privately man-to-man, Christian-to-Christian, in accordance with Matthew 18, my email address is I must assume that anyone who confronts me with sin publicly or anonymously is either not a Christian or is a Christian possibly violating Matthew 18, but in any case their possible sin is their own responsibility. I recommend against anonymity. There is no duty to confront someone privately if one is only arguing that they made a mistake and did not sin.

[4] Excommunication does not necessarily mean banning. To “…treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector…”, that is, an unbeliever, is not the same as kicking them out. It is, properly, disfellowshipping. The purpose of excommunication is twofold. First, it is to remove sin in the church. Second, it is the final attempt to try to get a person to repent in order to restore lost fellowship.

[5] I don’t know if I went far enough, but GunnerQ stopped commenting and has since closed comments on that post.


  1. I have contended with thedeti before about his “in all things”, interpretation over at Spawny’s Space. My opinion is that the understood meaning should be, “in all things lawful”. 1 Corinthians 11:3 spells out God’s chain of command. And I don’t ever see God giving men the authority to override the Father’s own law. Any commands issued in opposition to the command of a superior are already null and void of any delegated authority from that same empowering superior authority which they are presuming to contradict. Using a superior’s delegated authority to override your superior via their own sub-delegation of a limited authority to you is not possible. Superiors don’t delegate the authority to others to override themselves, otherwise the delegate would then in fact be the superior. A husband’s limited subdelegated authority does not enable him to alter or repeal the Father’s overriding laws.

  2. Scott

    This is an interesting post but it begs the question, “what church?”

    The manosphere is not a church. So there is no authority to take it to once the few brothers have discussed it “in private” first.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      Your premise is a category error.

      We see from scripture that Christ’s church—or congregation—is the body of believers, whether local or universal. It is made up of those who have confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is not a matter of membership in an denomination. The causation from the correlation flows in this direction: Christ’s church tends to congregate within denominations.

      Jesus made it quite plain that the church is any collection of believers—even two or three—gathered together in the name of Christ. It is not a time nor an event nor a location nor an organization.

      We will see if Sigma Frame is an arm of Christ’s church or not.

      1. Scott

        And there it is. If Sigma Frame doesn’t do something like church discipline according to your understanding of it, and [I guess kick Deti off the site or something?] he is not a real Christian.

          1. Scott

            Then stop being coy. What does “we will see if Sigma Frame is an arm of Christ’s church or not” mean?

            Be precise.

            Sigma Frame must [fill in the blank action to deal with the false teaching of Deti] OR [what?]

          2. Derek L. Ramsey

            “Then stop being coy.”

            I’m not being coy. This has been taken as far as possible and now can only be administered by the one in authority to do so. It is out of my hands and I have no authority to command what anyone does moving forward. That should be the end of this discussion.

            Jack’s sole obligation is to obey what Jesus said in Matthew 18. Wouldn’t you agree that failure to obey Christ means that any such gathering is not in Christ’s name?

            “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

            In any case, there are a number of ways this could take place, but I cannot say what must be done.

            Jack could follow your advice, reach out to Deti, and seek resolution before a meatspace congregation. Or Jack could instead take the word of the church of Christians at Sigma Frame (either in those who have already weighed in or in some other format TBD). Only Jack has the power to move this forward.

            If the church—whichever takes authority over the matter—decides that a sin has taken place, it can decide what the resolution is in accordance with the Bible’s instructions. Or Jack can decide for himself how to resolve it.

            If Jack chooses to do nothing and allows blatant sin to remain, that will be its own answer too.

            “Sigma Frame must [fill in the blank action to deal with the false teaching of Deti] OR [what?]”

            Jack must obey Christ’s commands in Matthew 18 because Christ is sovereign or else he won’t be obeying Christ.

          3. Derek L. Ramsey

            There is a pattern here with Deti promoting sin and it is the duty of his Christian brethren to attempt to correct it. Not only has he suggested that a wife was obligated to sin, but he promoted divorce….

            “Looking back, I should have divorced her early on…”

            …and suggested that fornication was not a sin here and here:

            “What if [the prohibition of fornicating] doesn’t apply to those for whom fornication is a phase or a means to an end? What if it doesn’t apply to men who fornicate because they want relationships, girlfriends, or wives? [..] What if [the warning against fornication] doesn’t really apply to men who are seriously trying to find someone to join their lives to?”

            These are serious errors.

  3. FYI there are some situations where I would advise divorce too. Like when we are not permitted to properly follow God’s law and execute the adulterer and adulteress. I think it is the very same abomination, if not worse, to welcome them back into a sexual union in the same way that a man cannot again marry the same woman he divorced, after she has been with another man. (Deuteronomy 24:4) Or in the situation when an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. (1 Corinthians 7:15) Like thedeti commented, I probably should have ended things early on when she was refusing to be a Christ follower and was wanting to leave.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      Jesus himself said there were cases where divorce was permissible. I’m not referring to those times, but it is good that you pointed it out. That said, divorce is always bad even if it is permissible. Just because it doesn’t rise to the level of adultery in every case doesn’t mean it is a good thing.

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