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Avoiding your brother

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Loyal
The Bible... well, mostly the New Testament has dozens of verses about loving one another, bearing each others burdens, being a good Samaritan,
loving your neighbor, and being friendly to each other. Now I'm not against any of those verses, and I think that's how
Christians should treat each other in general.

But there are some verses that talk about our "Christian" brothers in another light. (Yes, I put the word "Christian" in double quotes).

For example...

1 Cor 5:9; I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
1 Cor 5:10; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
1 Cor 5:11; But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1 Cor 5:12; For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1 Cor 5:13; But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

The funny thing about this passage is... it's OK to socialize with the unsaved sinners from time to time. In fact as long as we are in this world we will
have to do this every now and then. But interestingly.. it's NOT OK to associate with any "so called" brother in the church. In fact we are told to
"not even eat with such a one". It gives a few examples of these types of people, immoral, covetous, idolator, reviler, drunkard, or a swindler.
In fact the reason Paul wrote this chapter is because someone in the church is having an affair "with his father's wife" (which I assume is not his mother).

We are told to judge those in the church. We are even told to remove these people from amongst us (if possible).
Generally when the New Testament uses the term "brother" it is usually (not always) talking about a fellow Christian in the church rather than a
biological brother. (There are certainly cases where it talks about biological brothers).

Another similar passage is...

2 Jn 1:10; If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
2 Jn 1:11; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

This seems a little harsh, but it's in the Bible. These people who don't fully accept the teachings of the Bible, but want to bring their own
interpretations and teachings in the church are also to be avoided. We aren't even supposed to say "Hello" or even greet them.
By doing so, it may appear to others that we approve of what they are teaching. It says if we give them a friendly greeting, we are
participating in their evil deeds.

Another example of this is in Matthew 18. This is Jesus speaking here, he is quoting part of Deut 19:15; here.

Matt 18:15; "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
Matt 18:16; "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
Matt 18:17; "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.


Now it's OK to try to correct a person in the world who may be sinning or straying a bit. We should be holding one another accountable.
But if they refuse to listen to you and the church in this matter, "let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." In other words, avoid them
and don't try to socialize and be friendly with them.

Another passage that comes to mind was recently brought up in another thread.

2 Thes 3:10; For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.
2 Thes 3:11; For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
2 Thes 3:12; Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.
2 Thes 3:13; But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
2 Thes 3:14; If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.
2 Thes 3:15; Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Even lazy people who are looking for handouts (I'm not talking about the crippled, blind, disabled, aged, widows here) but perfectly capable people
who just want to mooch off the church and get things for free. Again, we are told not to associate with these people.

Now none of these verses are talking about unsaved sinners out in the world that don't know any better. These verses are all about "brothers (and sisters)" in
the church.

Now we can reach out to the unsaved, and we we should... but we shouldn't allow them to "pretend" to be part of the church if they aren't really
a part of the flock. There are of course situations, like perhaps new believer who doesn't know all the rules and teachings yet. We should be patient
with these people and correct them in love. ( 2 Tim 2:25; ) But for seasoned believers who should know better, we need to avoid these people.

Some of these people are just ignorant, or don't care. But some of these people have a deliberate agenda. I hate to say it, but these people are
alive and well right here on TalkJesus, if you know where to look.

Jude 1:4; For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:12; These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
Jude 1:14; It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
Jude 1:15; to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
Jude 1:19; These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

Peter says much the same thing as John.

2 Pet 2:1; But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 Pet 2:2; Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
2 Pet 2:3; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

It says here.. "Many will follow" these people. They will "exploit" some people.
These aren't people outside the church. These are people who have deliberately crept into the church. And we welcome them with open arms.

2 Cor 11:4; For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you gratefully accept them.

The message here is is... we should not be accepting them. The last passage that comes to mind as I'm typing this is from Paul to Timothy.

2 Tim 3:2; For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Tim 3:3; unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
2 Tim 3:4; treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Tim 3:5; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Again we are told.. "avoid such men as these". They are in the church, it says here they hold "to a form of godliness".
These aren't unsaved people outside the church.

Now I believe we should love one another, be friendly and loving to one another and our neighbors. But there are people in the church...
we are told to avoid. We need to be careful who we are accepting of in the church.
 
Active
A drunkard? My granddad was one, because he hid Jews in his house in WWII and had to go to a concentration camp and afterwards he started drinking to forget it. Should my grandma have dumped him? He got saved before he died.
I met a man from a reformed church in a mental hospital. He was addicted to alcohol. I was talking very happily to him because I thought: hey that's nice, another christian. He said: do you think I am a christian?? He felt like the worst possible sinner. He went to church all the time. Nobody should know that he got help for his alcohol addiction. I taught him about rebirth. So sad. That church didn't even help him.
So called born again big talking holy ones with hidden agenda's who creep in they should kick out or if someone refuses to be set free.
 
Member
New believers in Christ are not in the snare of the devil, 2 Timothy 2:25 is not for believers at all, although they may be with that form of godliness.

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The purpose to avoid the many who are called and not chosen, is because the narrow path is a terrible one to be on, filled with pains and illnesses, persecutions and tribulations, you need every bit of strength and focus you can gather, and any evil communications will corrupt you, and cause you to fall. Pride is that fall, and the world is exalted, because it does not know the meekness of Christ, see every parable in the gospels as they are all about being the last, the least and the lowest. When you portray that way to the world, they cannot associate with you, nor can you with them, as their way is to be first, to be highest and to be the most. Luke 14:16-33...To forsake all you have and to hate your life and all of your family, are not to hurt us ways from the Lord, they are the enlightening answer to reveal how hard the task is to follow Christ, that even your family would bring you down, so why would we go anywhere near those who we do not even know ? No we do not associate, we be separate, as revealed..

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Proverbs 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

Now consider the purpose why when somebody is born again of the Lord, all of their ways are become new, and their conversation is in Heaven. Because by the words and actions they demonstrate, they show the Lord in Heaven and they glorify Him, giving the way to eternal life through their way of the Lord, otherwise we would see nothing but evil in every other example in man on earth. When anyone says they are a Christian and does not do good with the Lord, they blaspheme His Holy name bringing shame on Him and giving evil example to the weak who might believe that the way of the Lord is evil and wicked selfish and without righteousness. No man does good on earth, as no man was worthy to open the book of life but Jesus Christ, so our trust is not in princes but in the only one who we know for sure layed His life down for us, as He rescues us from eternal damnation and destruction through His righteous sacrifice of Himself, and anything anyone else does, is not to be believed in or trusted, because only Christ is to be trusted if we do not want to lose our soul and those of the ones we love...

Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:
6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
 
Active
1 Cor 5:9; I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
1 Cor 5:10; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
1 Cor 5:11; But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1 Cor 5:12; For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1 Cor 5:13; But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
This passage really does clear up the fog. We must associate with the unsaved in these sins as they may / are still 'good' people with hope of salvation. But the saved, if they continue in sin unrepentant such as these they are 'false teachers'. They will lead whoever they associate with astray.

I do believe though that as with 1 Cor 6:1-9 and 1 Cor 5:1 Paul is alluding to those in the extremity of each 'sin' mentioned. Not just a venial sinning 'immoral person' but a mortal sinning 'immoral person'.
 
Member
I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
Umm this is literally everyone.
Everyone covets from time to time, and idolises celebrities/musicians other things.

If he meant not to associate with someone who covets a lot...how do you measure covetousness? if someone steals something? well then they are thief not a coveter.

In my opinion having Christmas trees in one's house is wrong and a form of idolatry. This means I can not be friends with any Christians in my area and I have to be alone...well, being alone causes it's own problems it's not good for mental health, it can make one very susceptible to temptation if you're not being exhorted by your brothers.

Also looking at someone's sin and using that as an excuse to exclude them, isn't that judging? judge not lest ye be judged?

If a fellow Christian has a fixation with an actor or musician and talks about them a lot. "well sorry I cant talk to you anymore because youre an idolator!"

I'd have to change churches and then there would be someone in the new church who had character flaws.

There is no record (to my knowledge) of Jesus refusing to associate with anyone.
Another thing I've noticed is that if you try to be like Jesus and love your enemies to the point of hanging out with them...well because we are inperfect we are going to be angry with what they are doing to us and we WILL sin eventually, we will get angry and yell or something.

Jesus might be the only person who could hang out with Judas knowing what he was going to do and not end up losing his temper. So trying to emulate Jesus in this way actually leads to MORE sin.

Also hanging out with one's enemies means you are going to be talking to them and basically giving them ammunition to use against you. They will do bad things to you..then you will get angry and sin...

If you basically refuse to hangout with your enemies you will avoid a lot of sin.
 
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Active
That has baffled me. I got so mad when ppl stole or ruined my stuff and He knew he stole and didn't get grumpy.
 
Active
If a fellow Christian has a fixation with an actor or musician and talks about them a lot. "well sorry I cant talk to you anymore because youre an idolator!"
LOL!
Well that way you don't have to avoid ppl after a while. They'll avoid you lol.
 
Active
Umm this is literally everyone. Everyone covets from time to time, and idolises celebrities/musicians other things.
Is ''everyone'' unrepentant in these sins? No. A brother is called a brother because they have met Jesus. We only meet Jesus / God if we truthfully repent of our sins Psalm 51:17 and die to self Matt 16:24. Fight the urges of the flesh Rom 8:13.

Paul is alluding to those in unrepentant sin. People at all degrees of a sin but unrepentant therein.

If I were to come to your house with my wife and children. Sit around the table with you. You then tell me that you are a born again Christian, washed by the blood of Jesus. A new creation 2 Cor 5:17. But yet you now watch porn (possibly a 1/10 sin) and have no desire of ever stopping. I will get up and leave.

A Christian is by definition someone who HATES sin Rom 12:9. As God does. A Christian cannot and ''should'' not go on and on and on in sin Rom 6. Or at the very least be unrepentant.

Where degrees of sin come into play is in showing us and all around us, just how far gone we are in a particular sin. For example. If you only watched porn I would know you are battling with a venial sin. As we ''ALL'' do. Jesus says this in Matt 5:28. But if you were as 1 Cor 5:1 says, in a mortal sin of incest, then I know you are not merely ''battling with a sin'' but have given in almost full measure to the sin. This is why Jesus qualifies His statement in Matt 5:28 with Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9. Namely only divorce if there is actual adultery. Point being that a brother in a mortal sin is ''clearly'' unrepentant. Can you imagine Paul continuing in ''murdering Christians''? Would anyone on the face of the earth say he is a changed man if he did?
 
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Active
Also looking at someone's sin and using that as an excuse to exclude them, isn't that judging? judge not lest ye be judged?
I propose you read the full passage.

Matt 7:1 -5 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Note the underlined and then meditate on these verses 1 Cor 2:15 But the spiritual man judges all things and 1 Cor 6:3 We will judge angels.

We have to understand quite a bit with regards to the statement by Jesus in Matt 7:2. God ordained a stoning to death for grievous sinners in the OT. Could a murderer tell a panel of Jewish elders that '''they must not judge''. No.

Jesus brought in a new covenant between man and God. At the time of Jesus, nobody was qualified to judge as nobody was a Christian / had the Holy Spirit guiding them. A Christian is ''not'' part of that crowd. A Christian will judge angels. Jesus has removed the plank from our eyes. We can see clearly. Paul explains this in detail in 1 Cor 6:1-9.

Also note that Jesus talks about 'measure'. IE Implying there is a punishment dished out by those judging. This reminds me of how He stopped the stoning of the woman in adultery. He wanted ''stoning'' to end. Paul is not telling Christians to stone those ''brothers'' in unrepentant and mortal sin. Just, don't associate with them. They are surely wolves in sheep clothing. They fall into a Heb 10:29 bracket.

Heb 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace.
 
Member
Thanks for your answer.
I guess there could be a lot lost in translation from the Greek.he may have meant an unrepentant idolater.
Thing is i still feel limited,cos celebrity obsession and Christmas trees are not seen as sinful so people don't feel bad about either. I have problems with idolizing people myself, but try not to.

The do not judge passage is difficult because it literally says 'do not judge'
Again,it could be a translation issue.
 
Active
Thanks for your answer.
I guess there could be a lot lost in translation from the Greek.he may have meant an unrepentant idolater.
There is no lost in translation error. It is a reading blunder. Paul says ''immoral person''. A person who repents is not immoral. Paul says in 1 Cor 6:10 thieves, drunkards, revilers.

He is not speaking to a person who made a mistake of stealing something. He is speaking to a person who continues in the sin with no repentance.

If you have read Revelations you will see what I am saying with crystal clarity. Every verse of every (most) plague mentioned ends with ''they repented not''. Plague 1 comes, they repented not. Plague 2 comes, they repented not. Plagues increase in severity, all God wants is repentance.

Repentance has been the gospel to mankind from God from day 1. God visited Cain and wanted him to repent. Every repentant sinner in the OT went to Abraham's bosom. Every person in the NT who repents truthfully, meets Jesus. Fact. People are not cherry picked. All God wants is sincere repentance from sin. Only God is perfect Mark 10:18. Not even the angels in heaven are '''perfect''. That is why we will judge them 1 Cor 6:3.

Thing is i still feel limited,cos celebrity obsession and Christmas trees are not seen as sinful so people don't feel bad about either. I have problems with idolizing people myself, but try not to.

Sin is not hard to grasp. Every person has the knowledge of good and evil Gen 3:22 and the ability to grasp it (bar children and mentally handicapped). I don't believe you are discerning properly. Look closer at intention. Sin starts in the heart Matt 15:19. Where is the wicked intention of those celebrating Christmas for Jesus and not as a 'pagan' holiday?

Every sin Paul mentions in 1 Cor 6:9-12 and 1 Cor 5:11 speaks to wickedness. Drunkenness is probably the only one we need to speak to a bit further. There is scripture that speaks of ''drunkenness and debauchery''. I always see those as the same sin. Being drunk on its own is not a sin. We are told to get drunk in the Spirit. It is the debauchery that follows every time we are drunk. Or stumbling a brother. Or not feeding your family. Or being drunk all the time that God can't use you.

The do not judge passage is difficult because it literally says 'do not judge'
Again,it could be a translation issue.
Again, no translation issue. With every verse we read in the bible we need to discern it properly. Is it OT , Gospels or Paul's NT? What is the context? In this instance you have cherry picked a single line from a period prior to Christianity. At the time of Jesus there was nobody other then Jesus able to judge. He judged the heart of the lady in adultery and saw hope for her. It was time for ''His'' ministry. Prior to this Jesus had taught in synagogues and it is not recorded that He ever stopped a stoning for sin. He probably spoke on Psalm 51:17 to the person before they were going to be stoned.

Jesus spoke of ''measure'' in Matt 7. Meaning, do not dish out a punishment...like stoning. Matt 7 thus has absolutely nothing to do with what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 5. Which is simply that we must not associate with those that are supposed to be set free from sin but yet act as though they are not and still want to be called a Christian.

Does Jesus not also say we are known by our fruits?

Remember when the devil tempted Jesus. He said '''it is written....God will send angels to catch you''. Jesus replied with ''it is also written....do not tempt God''. You need to consider other scripture with your Matt 7:1. We cannot and must not cherry pick scripture that flies in the face of common sense and other scripture.
 
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