Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The process

[From July 11, 2012]

"If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and tax collector."
(Matthew 18:17)

"If another member of the church sins against you..."  Jesus knew.  He knew that we hurt and get hurt by each other.  Even in the church.  So Jesus set up a means by which these pains could be addressed & reconciled.  It was a simple process, really... outlined in Matthew 18:15-17:
  1. When someone within the church sins against you... go to them in private & talk it out.  If that doesn't resolve it...
  2. Come back with 1-2 others (from the church), and see if they can't help settle things between you two.  If that doesn't work...
  3. Share the struggle with the larger church and have them intervene in the relationship.  If that still doesn't resolve things...
  4. "Let such a one be to you as a Gentile & tax collector."
Gentiles & Tax Collectors were outside the chruch.  They were also despised by many... but not Jesus.  He went out of his way to spend time with them & invite them into a relationship with Him.

Maybe Jesus is telling us if a brother or sister in the faith won't listen to a multitude of reason, work extra hard to reconcile their faith & call them (back) into the life-changing presence of the Almighty God... whom we ALL need!

(That's a little bit different of a message than "kick out the bums!")

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