Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Compassion and Discipline

"But suppose the sinner persists in his way or seeks to defend it so as to be injurious to the harmony of the whole assembly. What then? The counsel and commandment of the apostles are quite clear. The line is to be drawn in order to preserve the spirit and practice of the Lord Jesus in the congregation. In this connection it is worthwhile remembering an Old Testament word which runs:

"These ... things doth the Lord hate ... a proud look ... and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Under the rule of Christ, as in Old Testament times, the time comes when the recalcitrant person must cease to be regarded as a member of the congregation. Fellowship cannot be sustained because, in effect, it has already been severed by the persistence in error of the person concerned. This is the final resort and a source of great sorrow. The Scripture which enjoins this action reads as follows:

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us ... and if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)

"Now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." (1 Corinthians 5:11)

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." (1 Timothy 6:3-5)"

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Brother Harry Tennant
Fellowship
The Christadelphians - What they Believe and Preach