- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Monday, 14 February 2011 10:17
Let us see what these passages say. In 1 Corinthians 5: 11-13 the sinning one is to be “put away from among yourselves,” and the saints are not to have fellowship with him in any respect whatsoever. In Matthew 18:17, when the offender has refused to “hear the church,” it is said, “Let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Our question therefore appears to mean, “Is this man also put away from the assembly as is the former?” and if so, the answer can only be that he is. For how could I be said to treat another “as an heathen man and a publican,” if he is still breaking bread with myself and others every Lord’s Day? And if the church has not put the man away at v. 17, why should it be said in the following verse, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven”?
But it may be asked, why is the expression, “Let him be unto THEE,” and not rather “unto YOU” or “unto THE CHURCH”? I suggest that it is because the passage in Matt. i8 is not dealing directly with church procedure at all, but with the attitude of an individual towards one who has sinned against him. The assembly is only introduced incidentally as having to take action in certain circumstances which are mentioned. All the way through from v. an individual is being addressed, and it is not to be wondered at that the same should be the case in v. 17. Yet at the same time, since the matter has now reached a stage where the offender has refused to hear the church, each member of it by that refusal has been practically put into the same position with regard to him as the one first of all concerned, and must act toward him in the same manner.