If a family member is a fornicator, covetous, idolater, etc, are we still supposed to eat with them?
1 Corinthians 5:11
ESV - 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler - not even to eat with such a one.
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It depends on whether the person claims to be a Christian...The verse you quote says, ..."if any man that is CALLED a brother" the NLT version says "Claims to be a believer"... If they don't claim to be believers, then we could and should associate with them in order for our light to shine and be seen by them. 1Cr 5:9 NLT - When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 1Cr 5:10 NLT - But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. Jesus said...Mat 9:12 NLT - When Jesus heard this, he said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do." Now anyone who claims to be a believer and continues in obvious sin should be put out of the church until they stop... 1Cr 5:13 NLT - God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you."
1 Cor 5:11, like all other scriptures, has to be understood in the context of its intention. This letter is written to an assembly of believers, (1 Cor 5:2) not to a family, or an individual with a backsliding relative or friend. Ask yourself this: What would you tell a church elder or pastor who advised you to stop associating with a family member who was a part of their assembly, who was guilty of the things that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about? What if it was your spouse and the church leader told you, per this scripture, you must not eat with your spouse? 'At your house, in the privacy of your home, you are to refuse to associate with your loved ones because they've acted in a way that is covetous, or idolatrous.' If this is to be understood by the church in this way, it is a miracle that families still exist. This is not a rule for the individual believer to adhere to in order to remain in good standing with the Lord or the local congregation. This is written to the church for the purpose of keeping the church from becoming complacent with immoral behavior. It would start as an infection and would soon be a plague or an epidemic causing high spiritual mortality.(1 Cor 5:6) The directive to not eat with such a person is an expression meaning to avoid intimate friendly association with the person until he/she acknowledges the need for compunction. Paul isn't trying to cause family splits, neither is it meant to create holy investigators within the congregation. Those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.(1 Cor 5:13) The word "yourselves" is evidence this is not directed to a wife about her husband. This is aimed at the assembly, not the private family.
If the family member claims to be a Christian then I would follow 1 Corinthians 5 which says in the New Living Translation "1 Corinthians 5:11-13 NLT I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” This course of action also fits with Matthew 18's remedy for conflict resolution among believers. Matthew 18:15-17 NLT “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. Matthew 10:21-22, 32-40 NLT “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. Titus 3:10-11 NLT If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them. If the family member is not a believer, 1 Corinthians 5 and Matthew 18 would not apply since he/she is not in the church to be disciplined. For my family, my believer children told their believer Dad that they would not eat with him anymore, pray with him or sit in church with him until he produced fruits of repentance instead of claiming repentance but not changing. Matthew 3:2, 8 ESV “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Sadly after much prayer, it has been 9 years because he remains unrepentant that they have had no relationship. God blesses the obedient, and we have been richly blessed. JOY comes from loving Jesus first, then others and then yourself. No Jesus, no change. Know Jesus, know change. Think about all Jesus had to say about the cost of following Him. He even didn't speak with His own Mother, brothers and sisters when His disciples asked Him to speak with them! Matthew 12:46, 48-50 ESV While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” His brothers James and Jude wrote the letters in the New Testament. Jesus, John the Baptist and Peter said a person must Repent. Matthew 4:17 ESV From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:1-2 ESV In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Acts 2:38 ESV And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This requires "tough love". As a father or 2 girls, and as the family's disciplinarian, I cannot tolerate if any of my girls break God's law. If that happens, they need to come into genuine repentance, otherwise I will not be able to sleep peacefully at night. I will punish them, out of love, as any father who loves his children would.
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