Hi All! I need help in dealing biblically with a vexing family situation. I can’t discuss this with anyone, for fear of it turning into gossip.
My brother "Charlie" is a middle-aged, strong Christian with a vibrant testimony. Before coming to Christ, he had been divorced twice. This spring, his (third) wife of 3 years filed for divorce (sadly, she has cancer and would not listen to reason about "till death do us part".)
A couple months ago, Charlie’s best friend "Henry" died. My brother had often shared the Gospel with Henry and his wife "Gertrude", but as strong-willed, extremely worldly people, they rejected the offer.
After Henry’s death, Charlie urgently pleaded with Gertrude to come to Christ. She attended church with him but remains unconverted.
Two weeks ago, Charlie tersely informed me that he and Gertrude will marry, even though he knows it’s a major, public sin. This news angered and saddened his Christian therapist, his children (one is not a believer), the mother of his children (his first wife who is now a dear believer), our mother, and … just about everyone.
My mother now informs me that Charlie and Gertrude actually eloped a while back in Las Vegas.
1. Doesn’t this imply that they were "fully physically involved"?
2. Is this grounds for ex-communication, even from evangelical Christian fellowships?
3. How should I biblically respond?
I know not to give them a wedding gift, but shunning Gertrude seems a bad Christian witness.
4. What would the Apostle Paul do with an unrepentant brother in this situation?
Thank you all in advance.