Pastor Keith Schadel
2 ways to read this passage:
- If your brother or a member of the church sins against you....
- If your brother or a member of the church sins.....
Sin, that, that gets in the way of a right relationship with God.
If someone sins against you, as part of the family of faith, how are you supposed to deal with that?
Often what we call Christian community is Pseudo Christian Community.
It's pretense: everyone is nice. This chapter of scripture is Jesus' assault on Pseudo Community.
People don't like to take splinters out because they hurt. But you can die from the infection of a splinter. You have to take the splinter out.
Jesus is saying you can't overlook these things, you have to deal with them.
Sometimes there is conflict in the church, it's painful, it causes deep wounds, it's real. We would rather ignore it, than acknowledge it. Christ says, love each other enough to deal with it. Don't let the body die because of a splinter.
Sometimes a splinter causes people to leave the playing field, we are called to go and invite them back in.
Binding and Loosing!
- Pharisees had legal jobs.
- Maximum sentence - Binding
- Minimum sentence - Partial Binding
- Suspending the Sentence - Loosing
- Heaven will back the body of Christ in their binding and loosing of those who have sinned against them.
- Reconciling Believers
- Go one on one
- Then go get 2 or 3 witnesses (Small jury in the judges chambers)
- Then bring the body of believers
- Then treat them like a gentile.
- Come to them with grace and forgiveness as Christ did.
- If someone leaves the family and at any time shows an interest in returning....you let them back with grace and love.
Where two or three are gathered Christ will be there too. In good times and times of conflict, this is true. Christ spent a day on the cross dealing with conflict. Christ is the tie that binds.