2 Thesalonians 3:14-15 An Apparent Contradiction?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by calvin, May 16, 2013.

  1. Looking through scripture regarding those in the Church or a forum who cause strife and bitterness, I came across the following:
    2Th 3:14. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
    2Th 3:15. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
    It is a bit hard to manage 'shunning' a member of your local church group without regarding him/her as an enemy.
    Take for example this forum; we have the option to 'ignore' a nominated member by clicking on the appropriate area of that member's profile. That is probably not the best idea as it becomes merely a personal vendetta and not a Church community (forum) action.......but perhaps I digress.
    Should we take Paul's words to apply only to that letter, or should we see a wider application.

    How can we, on the one hand shun a person and on the other hand not regard that person as an enemy?

    1Cor 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife.
    1Cor 5:2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
    and the happily ever after,:::?
    2Cor 2:5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you.
    2Cor 2:6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,
    2Cor 2:7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
    2Cor 2:8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.
     
  2. Interesting point(s) some of which seems contradictory. I used the "ignore" button for about 30 minutes once, only because I wanted to know what it was like. I see the reason behind it, of course, and I was saddened to think someone would ignore me. I couldn't do it to anyone else. And I had forgotten how to do it but the last thing in your post about remonstrating with love to those who don't agree with you is probably the "better" way to do things. When we post or read posts, with love of God in our hearts, we might not "see" things that were never meant to offend us, in the first place.
     
  3. I think the idea of shunning was that if a person was truly saved, then he would miss the fellowship of the body and repent in order to have the missing fellowship again. It seems to have been about using social pressure in order to bring about the ultimate good of a troublesome individual. I used to be a part of an Anabaptist group, and in extreme circumstances, if all other measures failed, shunning was an option on the table. Once a person repented, however, it was believed that they should be admitted back to the fellowship and their past transgression was never to be mentioned again.
     
  4. Um, does it actually say ''shun them'' or does it say shame them?
     
  5. What's an AnaBaptist? And could you give an example of what a person had to do to get "shunned". And do you think this is still a good practice? Is it always "gang up" and/or get ignored? Not asking in sarcasm, I am really curious.
     
  6. The text says 'Shamed'...well OK that comes from 'shame'. I used the word 'Shun' because in my mind that is what Paul was advocating. In verse 14, Paul says 'have nothing to do with him'. Is that not 'shunning' him? There is only one instance in the New Testament where the word 'Shun is used in translation :::
    2Tim 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. King James Version.
    I'd say that in order to shun vain babblings, one would necessarily shun the vain babbler if that was seen to be his/her hallmark.
    So the question would be "how does one shame an errant person without shunning (having nothing to do with) them? That seems to have been the action Paul was advocating for the Corinthian fellowship as well. Of course I'm talking about persistent aggravation, not the occasional misdemeanor.
     
  7. Yes, I agree completely.
    I have sometimes wondered if the reverse was true. The idea of sanctuary......hiding out in the church building till the sheriff and posse had passed by.
    Then, being excluded from fellowship, (being handed over to Satan?) leaves one without the protection of 'the church'.
    just an idle thought.
     
  8. I agree Silk......one can easily avoid responding to someone if that seems the better way of dealing with their unpleasantness.
    using the 'ignore button' can backfire and also it would/could sort of make a thread an absolute jumble of disjointed postings........not a good idea IMHO..
     
  9. It seems to me that if you really want to "shame" someone, you need to "show" with love, how they have turned, willfully, against the truth of the message. To "shun", it seems to me, is a cut off, that only increases anger on everyone's part and solves nothing. Just for instance, what if the "shunned" was right? You've never heard of a lynch mob? Is it right to hang someone before you understand the whole story? If no one can speak freely to sort things out - no one will learn anything.


    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Socialist
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me." Martin Niemoller
     
  10. That brings us back to the first dilemma. On the one hand have nothing to do with the villain, on the other hand, don't treat him as an enemy.:confused: :cautious: o_O :unsure: Was Paul wrong?
     
  11. I'm not a big Paul fan. So, I haven't read him as well as I should. Detest the act but not the actor? I have spent so many years trying to understand other people - walk in their shoes, so to speak - that somewhere along the line I totally lost the ability to hate. One day, I looked around and it was gone. It wasn't anything I did intentionally, so I can't claim any merit badges. I worked in the criminal justice system for 27 years (2 yrs previous - I was a child abuse and neglect investigator.) In all those years and all those people - I never ran into someone totally evil. The difference between most of them and me was that I was raised by a set of wonderful parents and God heaped blessings on me that I often threw away with both hands. The most valuable gift I was given by my Mother - my faith. Most of these people had terrible parents, who came from a long line of bad parenting. They weren't heaped with alot of blessings or maybe any. They didn't know how to love themselves, much less anybody else or God. If you show them compassion - they see it as weakness. They are already shunned. But God keeps putting good people in their way to try and help them. Sometimes it works. But you have to understand them to reach them. For me, it has always been trying to show people, in as many ways as I can, what is in their best interest. So many people just don't seem to know.
    Ack! I've gone on apiece.
     
  12. Not at all Silk, You have value in your posts. I'm enjoying your input.
     
  13. Anabaptists were the 'radical' reformers of the 16th Century. They opposed infant baptism, the joining of the church and state, and Christians serving in the military. Their modern descendants are the Mennonites, Amish, Church of the Brethren, ect.

    An example of a reason for shunning would be perhaps someone who is stepping out on his wife. The Pastor and elders would make several attempts in private to get this person to forsake his sin. If he does not, he would be removed from the church. No one would have any fellowship with him unless it was to seek his reformation. It would be similar to 'excommunication' in some other denominations.

    Yes, I believe it is a good thing in cases of serious sin. Such a member damages the testimony of the church to the world if their sin is tolerated. I do believe it is a good idea because it is biblical.

    I Corinthians 5

    1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
    2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
    3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
    4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
    6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
    7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
    8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
    9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
    10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    11 But 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.
    12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
     
  14. I've not heard of the Brethren and actually, I thought the Mennonites were umm..extinct? I've heard of the Amish, of course. (Do you suppose they know about those commercials where they supposedly make electric heaters?). The Amish are known for not using modern technology (which will help them considerably if the world loses it's power grid :)). As you are on computer, I would guess there is some divergence in theology? between these groups?
    In your example of a cheating husband - I hope you don't mind my curiousity - wouldn't there have to be 2 cheaters in the community? Or would this be being seduced by someone out in the outside world? Usually, sinners of this sort, go to great lengths to hide it, so now I'm wondering how anyone found out? And wouldn't the cheater know, when confronted, how grave his sin was and stop at once? Maybe I'm thinking too much Amish as it seems to be an insulated community? Probably showing my ignorance again - but I always had the impression that groups like the Amish did not look to converting others and that most were raised in that way.
    Does shunning usually work? Is it used often? Truly, I am curious. And mean no disrepect. Surely you know, that "cults" also use "shunning" of sorts? But in a much more brutal way, if I understand correctly (not speaking of the Amish, etc). Forget I asked if you are offended because I mean no offense.
     
  15. CALVIN: It is a bit hard to manage 'shunning' a member of your local church group without regarding him/her as an enemy.
    Take for example this forum; we have the option to 'ignore' a nominated member by clicking on the appropriate area of that member's profile. That is probably not the best idea as it becomes merely a personal vendetta and not a Church community (forum) action.......but perhaps I digress.
    Should we take Paul's words to apply only to that letter, or should we see a wider application.
    JACK: The Greek word that is rendered "have nothing to do" [with him] is SUNANAMIGNUSTHAI which literally means "With up" and "mix." If they had toss salads in those days, this would be the term they would use for the mixing of the ingredients. It has the idea of not mingling socially. It doesn't mean hostility but a decrease of social contact.
     
    Major likes this.
  16. Having roots in the "Hard Shell Baptists", I can relate to what you are saying. I was very young but I can remember when a female member had "Church Disipline" applied to her for adultery and she was removed from the membership rolls.
     
  17. Yes, I agree with this Mr D.
     
  18. How can we, on the one hand shun a person and on the other hand not regard that person as an enemy?

    I don't think we can calvin. One brings the other and the end is teamwork.
     
  19. Silk: What's an AnaBaptist? And could you give an example of what a person had to do to get "shunned". And do you think this is still a good practice? Is it always "gang up" and/or get ignored? Not asking in sarcasm, I am really curious.

    Jack: The prefix "ana" is a Greek root meaning "again." This was a label given to groups prior to, during, and following the Reformation who refused to recognize the Catholic practice of infant sprinkling. These Anabaptists required a re-baptism for anyone who wished to joined their group (hence the name), which was at odds with many of the reformers who would accept the Catholic mode. The Anabaptists were persecuted by both the Protestants and the Catholics. As time went on, the prefix was dropped and today they are simply known as Baptists.
     
  20. As I understand Second Thessalonians, the reason Paul directed the church to shun certain members was because this bunch refused to work and earn a living. They had mistakenly thought that the coming of Christ was so near it was no longer necessary for them to work. Hence, Paul's statement, "If they don't work neither should they eat." That behavior was out of step with the expected practice of the Christian, which is the whole idea of 2 Thess. 3:6. In that verse, Paul used the term "keep aloof" which is a nautical term for rolling up a sail to decrease exposure from the wind. People were to keep contact with such people to a minimum. Also, the word for "unruly" is a military term meaning "out of step." These people were out of step of expected Christian behavior. There is a great book on the market that deals with this whole matter entitled "Sin in the Assembly: A Guide of Local Baptist church Discipline" (ISBN: 1-60441-178-3).
     
  21. I was not Amish, I belonged to an evangelical Mennonite congregation. It is only the Old Order Amish that shun electricity. Most Mennonites and Brethren live like everyone else, though some Mennonites may dress very conservatively. Old Order Amish do not try to convert outsiders, but the Beachy Amish Mennonite Church does. The Amish practice shunning more strictly and often than do Mennonites. It would be applied to any serious unrepented of sin, regardless of who the sin was with. I never saw anyone shunned in the time that I belonged to the Mennonites. But it was understood that if you joined you were expected to live by the moral standards of the church, and that your continued membership depended upon that.

    Shunning often does work, though not always. Many miss the fellowship of the group and decide that the sin is not worth what it is costing them. Yes, many cults also use the practice to control members. But, as far as the church goes, the Bible instructs us not to fellowship with Christians living in open sin, so I believe it should be done in flagrant instances of unrepented of sin. But other groups besides Anabaptists sometimes follow the same procedure in dealing with this. In the assembly that I am in, I believe sinning members would be dealt with in a similar manner. Certainly, they would at the least be denied the Lord's Table.
     

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