Pastor and gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp responded to a viral video that shows an Oklahoma pastor railing from his pulpit at some of his church members who had fallen asleep during his sermon, saying that the pastor's way of reprimanding his church is supported by the Bible.
Sapp took to Facebook earlier this week to post a social cam video response and said this type of admonishment is necessary between church leaders and their members even if it has to be made in public.
"As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear," he said, referencing 1 Timothy 5:20 to support his stance.
"Rebuke means to express strong disapproval or criticism of someone because of their behavior and actions" he added. "The Bible mentions clearly that it's our responsibility as the coverings to deal with you in certain ways and or aspects."
Sapp was responding to the video of Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Okla., who strongly reprimanded some of his members in front of the congregation for sleeping during worship service, even telling one of them that he was "not worth 15 cents." The five-minute video posted on Youtube was titled, "Jim Standridge Throws a Hissy Fit" and has over a half million views as of Friday evening.
Sapp's response video generated mixed reactions from Facebook followers, with some arguing that Standridge was venting rather than calling out sin while others agreed with Sapp on the basis of the scripture.
"What this pastor did was not done in love but out of anger. He's just up there ranting and raving. It was his own PERSONAL feelings. Not necessarily 'rebuking' sin but taking his frustrations out on the people of God. And, that is not love," commented Heidi Abbott.
But Sapp in the video asserted, "What we have to learn how to do is we have to learn how to submit because each and every spiritual leader has the responsibility to not only cover you but will have to give an account to God for you," said Sapp.
Many had the same sentiment as Sapp, alluding to the fact that submission is a biblical mandate.
"Anyone who can't receive rebuke, open or not is one who is not in submission. And if they can't submit to the man of GOD who is the spiritual head of that part of the body, how can they say they are in submission to GOD?" another person wrote on Sapp's Facebook post.
Sapp also said every spiritual leader has the responsibility to scold in such a manner because their job is to watch over their members, and he emphasized the latter part of Hebrews 13:17, "Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."
"It's deep. Maybe that's something you didn't know. But that's my spiel on it," said Sapp. "Some of you may feel like I'm wrong… but before we get up and say the man was wrong, let's make sure we have the Bible to back it."
As for Standridge, he previously told CP that his message was harsh but loving, adding that it also "brought order" to unresolved issues affecting his congregation.