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Quote: Partaking of Other Men’s Sins

by PastorMinton on August 4th, 2016

Scripture warns us emphatically against this species of peccata actualia: “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins” (1 Tim. 5:22). It names pecific instances. One who practices church- fellowship with those who in their doctrine depart from God’s Word becomes guilty of their sin. 2 John 11 states explicitly: “He that biddeth him [who does not bring the doctrine of Christ] Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds.” And in order to preserve Christians from this sin, Paul instructs all Christians (Rom. 16:17) to “avoid them,” namely, all those who deviate from the Apostolic doctrine. We share in the sins of others also when we take pleasure in the evil they do. As a mark of extreme wickedness of the Gentiles, Paul specifies (Rom. 1:32) that they no only “do the same” [things worthy of death], but they “have pleasure in them that do them.” Pleasure in the sins of others is experienced particularly in a) reading books which glorify immorality and b) reading books which glorify false doctrines or false teachers. The various ways in which one participates in the sins of others are set down in the old Latin verse:

Consulo, praecipio, consentio, provoco, laudo

non retego culpam, non punio, non reprehendo,

non obsto, sed praecipio et defendo aliena.

(I counsel, teach, consent to, provoke, laud, do not reveal the guilt, do not punish, do not reprehend, do not resist, but teach and defend the sins of others.)

— Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics I:569-570.

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