What Did The Apostle Paul Say About Disfellowshipping?
Paul said, 'But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.' 1 Cor. 5: 11-13
Did the Apostle Paul recommend disfellowshipping and shunning? It certainly seems that one could interpret Paul's words that way. However in 1 Cor 6 Paul says that the 'saints' will judge the world and even angels. Does that mean church elders are saints qualified to judge the world and angels? If not, what was the Apostle Paul talking about in 1 Cor: 5:13?
Paul did not say Christians should not talk with people who are wicked. He did not recommend ignoring people without saying 'Hello, how are you?'. Paul did not say wicked people should be treated as if they are literally dead. He did not say it was forbidden to have a conversation with wicked people. He did not say family ties and close friendships should end when someone get's expelled from the congregation. These assumptions would be 'running ahead' of what the Bible says.
However the words of Paul do seem harsher and more judgmental than the words of Jesus. Why is that?
What Did The Apostle Paul Mean?
How should we understand Paul's message? First of all we should not add to the words of Paul and put words in his mouth that he didn't say. We should not run ahead of what the Bible really says.
Secondly we need to understand that Paul converted to Christianity after Jesus died and there is no evidence that he knew Jesus personally. He certainly wasn't one of the twelve disciples. Paul didn't live with Jesus and observe him on a daily basis.
What the Apostle Paul did would be similar to a Jehovah's Witness becoming a Catholic and then becoming the Pope. Would it be possible for someone born and raised as a Jehovah's Witness to adopt all the teachings of the Catholic church and reject every single belief Jehovah's Witnesses have? Would a Jehovah's Witness make a good Pope? And would his teachings accurately reflect the true doctrines of the Catholic religion?
Certainly Jesus did not treat people as literally dead. Jesus did not shun people he disagreed with. We know this because he had some conversations with the Pharisees. He even associated and ate with the Pharisees. Luke 7:36; Matthew 23:13; Luke 12:56; Luke 12:15; Mark 7:6; Why did the Apostle Paul say something Jesus would have never said?
Interestingly the Apostle Paul was born and raised as a Pharisee. Even after accepting Jesus he publicly claimed to be a Pharisee. Acts 23:6. Jesus warned his followers about the 'leaven of the Pharisees'. Luke 12:1 Matthew 16:6 Matthew 12:11
Is it possible that a prominent Pharisee who was responsible for the death of Christians while Jesus was alive, didn't understand the teachings of Jesus as well as he thought he did? Why did the Apostle Paul say Christians should 'expel' and judge the wicked within the congregation when Jesus told us not to judge? Luke 6: 37, Matthew 7: 1. See the Law of the Christ
There is a logical explanation why the Apostle Paul message to Christians was more strict, judgmental, and even more unloving. Examine the Facts About The Apostle Paul
Disfellowshipped From God's Organization.
Some say that the Watchtower uses 1 Cor 5:13 as an excuse to disfellowship and shun everyone who challenges the authority of the Watchtower and JW elders without regard for whether they are 'wicked' or not. Many Jehovah's Witnesses get disfellowshipped simply because their loyalty to the organization is in question. For example, Raymond Franz served on the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses for nine years. See what he says about disfellowshipping in his books, In Search of Christian Freedom and Crisis of Conscience
Anyone can get disfellowshipped from the Watchtower, - not because they're evil or immoral, but because they know too much.
- Watch this video > A special JW who belongs to the elite 144,000 'anointed' class, gets disfellowshipped when she accidentally discovers a WT mistake during a Bible study she was conducting
Examine the reasons for disfellowshipping, disassociation, and disfellowshipping as outlined in the secret publication for Elders, 'Shepherd the Flock of God'. Then read what Paul says in 1 Cor. 5:13. Are they acting in harmony with what the Bible says? Are they following the teachings of Christ 2 John 1: 9 - 11; Luke 10:26-37
What Does The Bible Say About Disfellowshipping?