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Thread: Matthew 18:17 - "treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector"

  1. #1

    Matthew 18:17 - "treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector"

    Matthew 18: 15"If your brother sins against you,[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    What does this mean? How is a Christian to treat a pagan, and is this mentioned elsewhere in the bible?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    It simply means that at the BEGINNING of this whole business you probably assumed that the person who WOULDN'T hear you, and WOULDN'T hear you and a couple of others, and finally WOULDN'T hear the CHURCH was a Christian.

    BUT at the end of the process, you NOW understand that he's NOT a Christian, and is actually just another lost man in need of salvation.

    And how do you treat the Lost who are in need of salvation????

  3. #3
    1 Corinthians 5

    1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named[a] among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.[b]
    6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.[c] 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 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. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, 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.
    12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”


    I think this scripture helps understand that in Matthew. In Matthew it is talking about a brother who is in sin. If after doing what Matthew 18 requires, he still will not listen, he should be cast out. "Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

    But see in 1 Cor. that we are not to judge the world, but we are to judge within the church. "9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world."

    Also see the verses that follow in Matthew.

    Matthew 18

    18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
    19 “Again I say[c] to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

  4. #4
    It implies that you must not eat with him, nor greet him (1 Cor. v. 11, and 2 John, verse 10), that he may be confounded by the disgrace, and acknowledge his fault, and return to the Church. For excommunication is pronounced against a sinner, not to cause him to perish, but in order that he may amend.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    It implies that you must not eat with him, nor greet him (1 Cor. v. 11, and 2 John, verse 10), that he may be confounded by the disgrace, and acknowledge his fault, and return to the Church. For excommunication is pronounced against a sinner, not to cause him to perish, but in order that he may amend.

    yes, i think basically showing them their seperation from God by seperating them from the body of Christ. this does not mean though that we do not talk to unbeleivers or tax collectors, as we see Jesus ate among many of them. there is a difference between those who dont know God and are sinners and those that do claim to be a part of gods people but live in unrepentant sin.


    i have a question though:

    what if a person is excommunicated from the church but the they come anyway?

    do we remove them from the building by force?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by reformedct View Post
    yes, i think basically showing them their seperation from God by seperating them from the body of Christ. this does not mean though that we do not talk to unbeleivers or tax collectors, as we see Jesus ate among many of them. there is a difference between those who dont know God and are sinners and those that do claim to be a part of gods people but live in unrepentant sin.


    i have a question though:

    what if a person is excommunicated from the church but the they come anyway?

    do we remove them from the building by force?
    As a Catholic, they are more than welcome to come to Mass but cannot receive the Sacraments such as the Lord's Supper. But each non-Catholic denomination has their own set of rules on how to handle it. But according to what they have done, if it is extremely serious, it naturally causes one to place barriers against one who has radically offended you or the congregation, such as if someone has broken up your marriage, or anything that has caused a major rift. So if that person has refused to repent, there will continue to be a level of disconnect between the offender and those who are offended.

    I have seen times where pastors have confronted people and told them kindly that they are no longer welcome to the congregation. I have never seen anyone "forced" out, but I am sure it happens if it needs to.

  7. #7
    Emanate Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by CactusCarlos View Post
    What does this mean? How is a Christian to treat a pagan, and is this mentioned elsewhere in the bible?

    Thanks!

    it is based on the Jewish view of pagans and tax collectors (which were viewed as traitors) at that time. It meant to abstain completely from association.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
    It simply means that at the BEGINNING of this whole business you probably assumed that the person who WOULDN'T hear you, and WOULDN'T hear you and a couple of others, and finally WOULDN'T hear the CHURCH was a Christian.

    BUT at the end of the process, you NOW understand that he's NOT a Christian, and is actually just another lost man in need of salvation.

    And how do you treat the Lost who are in need of salvation????
    Bob, you nailed it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    Bob, you nailed it.

    Actually I don't think he did. If you read on the third post here it says do not eat with such a person. So NO you aren't supposed to treat them like a person of the world.

    11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, 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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truthseeker2 View Post
    Actually I don't think he did. If you read on the third post here it says do not eat with such a person. So NO you aren't supposed to treat them like a person of the world.

    11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, 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.
    Bob was responding to the OP, which concerns Matthew 18:15. Someone else brought up 1 Cor. 5. But I believe you are putting words in Bob's mouth. He did not suggest that we "keep company" with such a person. He suggests, with his question, that we should evangelize such a person.

  11. #11
    Emanate Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    Bob was responding to the OP, which concerns Matthew 18:15. Someone else brought up 1 Cor. 5. But I believe you are putting words in Bob's mouth. He did not suggest that we "keep company" with such a person. He suggests, with his question, that we should evangelize such a person.

    So discontinuing association is a form of evangelism?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanate View Post
    So discontinuing association is a form of evangelism?
    Jesus doesn't say to disassociate with the person. He says treat them like a tax collector. How did Jesus treat tax collectors? He ate with them and he attempted to save as many as possible.

    Just do what Jesus did. That's all you gotta do.

    If we read carefully, Jesus' topic is narrowly focused on those who sin against US.

    Paul's topic is different. His remarks are focused on a man who was sleeping with his father's wife. The central issue here is the wrong message we might send to a so-called brother if we continue to treat him as a brother.

    Even in that context, Paul's rational for "delivering such to Satan for the destruction of the flesh" is redemptive with the anticipation of salvation.

    For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Some churches use this passage as the proof text for the practice of "shunning", which is not Paul's point at all. He wants the church to put an openly, boastfully, immoral man out of the church and not allow him to eat at official church feasts. He isn't saying that you should toss him out of your family, ignore him, refuse to talk to him on the street, etc.

    That's how I read it.

  13. #13
    Partaker of Christ Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
    It simply means that at the BEGINNING of this whole business you probably assumed that the person who WOULDN'T hear you, and WOULDN'T hear you and a couple of others, and finally WOULDN'T hear the CHURCH was a Christian.

    BUT at the end of the process, you NOW understand that he's NOT a Christian, and is actually just another lost man in need of salvation.

    And how do you treat the Lost who are in need of salvation????
    And like 'BroRog' I also agree!

    Great post Bob!!

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