Brothers and Sisters, Based on Scripture, I honestly and lovingly believe we should invite our brothers and sisters to seek wisdom and then help me and each other identify persistent sin we see in each other. We do this not to condemn or criticize each other but to protect each other and to honor God in His church. We may all have been subjected to unwarranted and hurtful judgement and condemnation in our past but the truth is, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Sanctification and purification from sin is a family project and one clearly commanded by our Father. We are our brothers’ keepers.
Yes Robert, before we "purge the evil person from our midst", we should first practice Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.Let us see how they respond to our gentle entreaties to return to wisdom and righteousness. If they resist we should strongly warn them of the stern discipline the Lord can unleash upon them. Plead with them for repentance and restoration. Then, if they still are stubborn and rebellious we should shun them.-Daniel
I’m not sure if you have children or not but perhaps this analogy will serve to better illuminate the context as we find it in this case. Here in his letters to the Corinthians, much as to the Romans, Paul is like a father who is away in service as a soldier or ambassador. In this case the children are simply too much for the mom (local leader) to handle and are running all over her. Paul isn’t hearing directly from the mom about this but from a “good neighbor” in Chloe. This good neighbor is close enough to serve as a witness but removed enough to be themselves relatively unaffected by antics of the wayward children. Paul addresses their actions very sharply (rightly so) and applies rules with penalties (law) to the situation even so far as instructing them to “kick out” one of the brothers,... and to do so on his authority and the he would personally deal with this when he “got home”. So after having laid the charge and meting out the punishment, Paul’s intent moves from corporal discipline to instructive or preventative discipline. For if the dad just keeps applying the law when the kids misbehave without ever instructing them on why and how they can avoid said conclusions then he’d be himself incapable of leading his family in faith. Paul even remarks disclaiming “judging his own house” not judging those outside of his house,... this is where we see the parental analogy gain even more ground- for a father is not only well within his rights to exercise his authority as discipline over his own house he is in fact expected to.... but how out of line it would be for him to attempt to discipline another mans children!? 😳 So the prescription Paul gives here is to serve as an example for a leader/father who is away dealing with a family issue, not something universally to be applied to other families where we have no authority. Could you imagine a scenario where I tried to discipline your local body of believers, having never met them, from the other side of the planet? What shall I utilize as my means of deployment.... my own personal interpretation of scripture? What if they disagree and refuse to submit to my authority.... am I going to “put them out”,... ceasing fellowship with people I’ve never even met!?? So one can see the intent of the writer is a local one given by someone who is not only familiar and known but who is recognized as having authority. If we try to apply it outside of the circumstance it occurs as a “law” it loses any validity and we, if we persist, become me spiritual bullies and unwittingly place a stumbling block before newborns,....