Withdrawing fellowship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Berean

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    I had an experience a while back with a fellow believer and a close friend (we played golf with each other regularly and lunch together about once a week) that I would like to share with you. We were both members of the same church and sang in the choir. This relationship was over a 25 year period. He got involved origionally in a"Jewish Messianic" group that eventually evolved into disavowing Christ. I asked him directly "Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God" His answer was "No, I believe God is God".
    Based on II John 9-10 I broke off relationship with him and have no contact with him at all for several years. I have friend and fellow believers who still socialize with him and make excuses for his behavior. I miss our relationship but I feel the scripture is very plain on this issue. I did not just stop without an explanation. I had lunch with him and showed him the scripture. he had no reply. He occasionally sends me greeting from mutual friends.
    Has anyone had a similar experience and have I misinterpreted the scripture?
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    I believe you did the right thing brother. You may be the one and only witness to the truth of Jesus to the man. I know its hard, but love is tough sometimes.
     
  3. Johnv

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    I have nonchristian friends. Unless my relationship is negatively impacting my Christian walk, there's no need to distance myself from them. In two cases over the years, nonchristian friend of mine became christians, in part, because of my presence in their life.

    My $.02 is, if you enjoy the man's friendship, then spend time with him. If your friend is a person of good moral character, then I suspect your Christian walk with him won't be negatively impacted. You get the privilege of being Christ's light to him. On the flip side, you're certainly not required to be in a friendship with him either. This isn't a one or the other situation. This is a situation of both have consequences, so ultimately, the decision is yours, and neither one is necessarily wrong.
     
    #3 Johnv, Sep 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009
  4. ReformedBaptist

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    I am not going to debate this, but this is not a situation of a nonchristian (though he is) but rather of one called a Christian who is denying Christ. If an atheist comes to my door he will be welcome inside.

    If a Mormon or Roman Catholic does, they will not.
     
  5. Johnv

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    RB, there's no need for anyone to debate. So let's not. If you choose to welcome an atheist, but not a mormon, that's your choice, and it's not wrong. Likewise, if you choose to welcome all, or none, it's your choice, and it's not wrong.

    In Berean's situation, I believe it's similar. Berean, I believe you have a choice either way, and neither is wrong, but both have consequences. It's not wrong if you choose to keep a distance from your friend. But it's also not wrong if you choose to open a line of communication between the two of you. Do you have an idea of what you prefer to do?
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    I have never had that experience but you have followed scripture:

    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    Yes, I prefer to obey God.

    But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
    1 Cor 5:11
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    How sad to let theological & religious differences of opinion cause one to reject a good friend.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    Boo hoo. lol

    What do you do with the Scripture I posted? Or the one revmitch posted?

    Hopefully my tone isn't coming accross hostile. I just read some of these replies and I can't help but be amazed...it's sounds so humanistic with an almost disregard of Scripture and a lack of fear of God. I am not saying that is the case, but that is how it comes accross to me.
     
    #9 ReformedBaptist, Sep 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009
  10. Revmitchell

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    What is sad is to ignore scripture, which you have chosen to do. The standard here is not friendship but scripture and stepping away from him is the best for him.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    That's what I was thinking. That's the impression I get from the other posts.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Utilitarian religion will lead to this every time.
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    Do you guys ignore the scripture to stone an unruly son to death?

    Probably not.
     
  14. KenH

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    If someone is still claming membership in the same church after leaving Christ I see that to be a Biblical basis for withdrawing fellowship.
     
  15. Berean

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    Go back and read II John 9-10 and rethink your answer
     
  16. annsni

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    Was that not part of the law? Are we still under the law?
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    Brother you know better than this. There is a difference between Old Testament Law and this.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    I don't turn anyone away from friendship, but my fellowship must needs be with those truly twice born. Otherwise, we would have little in common.

    I don't compromise my beliefs to develop friendships, and I believe this is what scripture is teaching, and not ostracizing the world, otherwise we would never preach the gospel, or live it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  20. Johnv

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    In the OP, neither choice disobeys God. One can scripturally depart from that person, or choose to remain and continue being a Christian witness. It's entirely up to Berean on how to handle this situation, and neither choice is scripturally wrong.
    First, you asked for input, now you're debating it. That makes the premise of your OP sound disingenuous. I've read the verse in question, and then the passage in which is belongs, and then the entire chapter. I reiterate my first post, which was input to your OP, and not a debate: If you enjoy the man's friendship, then spend time with him. If your friend is a person of good moral character, then I suspect your Christian walk with him won't be negatively impacted. You get the privilege of being Christ's light to him, which scripture supports you to do. If, OTOH, you choose to sever your friendship with him, scripture supports that as well. This is a situation of both choices are scripturally permissible, and both have consequences, so ultimately, the decision is yours, and neither one is scripturally wrong.
     
    #20 Johnv, Sep 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009

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