Is there a difference in the treatment of those put away from the assembly and those who leave the f
- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:12
Those put away from the assembly have the additional stipulation "with such an one no not to eat" (1 Corinthians 5:11). Social interaction with them must cease. This is not the case with one who voluntarily leaves the fellowship. Social interaction may, however, decline because he begins to form associations that are spiritually detrimental. When every spiritual effort has been made to encourage a believer to remain in the assembly and still he persists in leaving, the assembly should be sadly informed of this decision. This, though, is different from his being put away. Both an individual put away and one who leaves the fellowship should always be treated with courtesy and kindness. The concern of all the assembly should be for the spiritual restoration and recovery of both. Consistent public and private prayer to this end is appropriate. Every contact with such individuals should be influenced by a desire that they will submit to the Lord and His Word for their own spiritual benefit.
These cases differ somewhat in their return to the assembly. Greater caution may be suitable for those put away. In both cases, their attendance as they "sit back" at assembly meetings indicates some degree of recovery. Also, before either is received back into the fellowship, he should give evidence that his spiritual strength has been restored, that the reason for his leaving has been judged before the Lord, and that his motivation for returning is spiritual. Appropriate questions about the person’s life and doctrine must be asked by the elders, although in a considerate manner.