A few weeks ago I preached on Hebrews 6:1-8. After the service a friend asked me how to approach someone who is apostate. Do we stop talking to them about Jesus? Do we assume they are lost forever? This podcast is an attempt to answer that question.
3 thoughts on “2016. Episode 14-What if My Friend is Apostate?”
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Thank you Pastor Peter.
Can you shed some more light on 2 Thessalonians 3:14-16 and how it relates to your message (if it does at all)? What is the extent of the shunning that Paul is commanding in these verses? He says: “Have nothing to do with him”, but also goes on to say that “Do not regard him as an enemy.”
Kofi, that is a good question. There are two options here. 1. Paul is describing a middle way between full-membership and excommunication where there is a period of grace, but stern rebuke with the goal that the unrepentant are “ashamed” and come back to their senses. 2. Paul is actually describing excommunication, but puts in that last phrase to limit the severity of the congregation towards this wayward member. This is Calvin’s position. I think the first one is correct. That Paul’s description is of a shunning that is not complete, but can be felt by the wayward member. I think the assumption here is that the wayward will either return to the fold or completely abandon the faith. There are those who are members in good standing and those who must be excommunicated. But it is the people in the gray areas that are hard to deal with. Wisdom, prudence, church history, and understanding the wayward member are keys to trying to handle those situations in a Biblical fashion.
Wonderful. That was really helpful.