What is an extortioner? That is a very strange word, extortioner. Sounds like blackmailer, doesn’t it? Let’s see what the New Testament says it is.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 But now I have written to you not to keep company with ANYONE NAMED a BROTHER (FELLOW CHRISTIAN), who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES THE EVIL PERSON.”
This scripture is talking about people who say they are Christian (followers of Jesus). The saying goes, just because you quack doesn’t mean you are a duck. Same goes for “Christian”. If you say you are a Christian but you don’t act like Jesus (or doing your best to be His disciple), you are not a Christian. People who say they are Christian (and really aren’t) give Christianity a bad name. I have met quite a few people who say they are Christian and if they are, they better read the New Testament and start doing what it says. Their actions speak louder than words, especially to those who are close to them.
So I understand what sexually immoral is (fornicator-sex outside of marriage, whoremonger). I understand what covetous is (desiring more, eager for gain, great desire to possess something typically belonging to someone else). I understand what an idolater is (the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing. An idol is anything that you love more than Jesus). I understand what a reviler is (abusive language, slanderous, evil speaking). I know what a drunkard is (someone who is intoxicated from alcohol or high from drugs). But what is an extortioner? It is one who obtains something from another by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power. Here are some examples:
- One spouse forces another spouse to do something against their will with the threat of physical violence if they do not cooperate.
- One person forces another person to do something against their will by threatening to hold back their friendship or love. For example, “If you were my friend, you would …….” “If you love me, you would ………”.
- One person attempts to get another person to do something by laying a guilt trip on them. They say something like this, “I just don’t know what we can do if you don’t do this.”
- One person attempts to get another person to do something by quoting scripture out of context to get them to do something they know in their heart is wrong. For example, “You say you’re a Christian, the bible says you should (loan me money, do some sexual perverted thing, etc.)”
1 Corinthians 5:9-10 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
This is talking about people who are not Christians. We have to be in the “world” if we are to win them to Jesus. True Christians (followers of Jesus) have to be the light to shine to those in darkness.
Did you notice the part that says, “PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES THE EVIL PERSON.” What does that mean? You are not going to like it. It means do not be associated with, hang out with, be seen with them. They are living a lie and you should not be a part of it. You put your “stamp of approval” on what they are doing if you associate with them. Remember, we are talking about people who “say” they are Christian but they certainly don’t live “Christ like”. This could be in your church, in your family, among your friends, etc.
I have had to do this, “put away from yourself the evil person” (or cut them out of your life). They kept getting into debt and then manipulating me to loan them money. The Bible says, “give to them who ask”, but they have not fulfilled their promise to pay me back. I don’t know how many times I heard, “I get paid in 2 weeks and I will (I promise, I swear), I will pay you back.” Or I heard recently, “When I get my income tax refund check, I will pay you back.” Been there, done that, didn’t pay. When you don’t fulfill your promise (repeatedly), that is a lie and that makes you a liar.
The New Testament says;
Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers (recreational drug users), idolaters, and ALL LIARS shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:27 “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or CAUSES an abomination or A LIE, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Revelation 22:15 “But outside are dogs (this is not talking about canines, because we know God is a dog person. Just kidding) and sorcerers (recreational drug users) and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and PRACTICES A LIE.”
It is not easy. You get hit with all kinds of guilt both from the “evil one” (Satan) and the people who don’t understand basic New Testament teachings.
But you have a choice to make. You can either dread seeing or talking to them or do what the New Testament says to do and save yourself a lot of emotional pain. It’s entirely up to you. Remember, they are the extortioner (manipulator), not you.
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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