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Marvin Sapp
Marvin Sapp

A video recently went viral of a pastor rebuking church members who had fallen asleep during his sermon. Last week pastor and gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp responded to the sermon, saying the pastor’s rebuke is biblical.

On Tuesday Sapp posted a social cam video response to a YouTube video of pastor Jim Standridge rebuking members of his congregation. Sapp explains: “Rebuke means to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone because of their behavior or actions.”

Standridge, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Okla., strongly reprimanded some of his church members in front of the entire congregation for sleeping during worship service in a video titled, “Jim Standridge Throws a Hissy Fit.” Though the video, which has been viewed more than half a million times, has drawn harsh criticism, Sapp points to two Bible passages to explain a leader’s responsibility.

“The Bible makes it perfectly clear that it’s our responsibility as your coverings to deal with you in certain ways or aspects,” he says. “First Timothy 5:20 says, ‘As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear.’

“The reason why we have a responsibility of doing that is because of Hebrews 13:17,” he continues. “It says, ‘Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your soul. This is the key. As those who will have to give an account, let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.’

“In other words, each and every spiritual leader has responsibility to give an account for each and every soul that submits to his and her authority.”

Sapp concludes by saying the way Standridge dealt with his rebuke was neither right nor wrong, “that an open rebuke is better than secret love.

“We have to learn how to submit, because each and every spiritual leader has the responsibility to not only cover you, but has to give an account to God for you.”

Sapp’s post on his Facebook page has received mixed responses.

“While he appeared to have some valid issues with people or situations, I have learned in my life that often times it isn't what you say but how you say it,” Delores Wells wrote. “There is nothing wrong with expressing your dissatisfaction for a situation, but never should you put yourself on such a pedastal [sic] that you come off as if you are better than others and you are speaking down to and belittling other grown men and women.”

Kimberly Figgs, however, agreed with Sapp. She wrote: “Thank you Pastor for the word shared and the wisdom spoken, I appreciate that because it is absolutely scriptural. And anyone who can't receive rebuke, open or not is one who is not in submission.”

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