The Amish practice shunning, which to them means not having any fellowship with those among them who depart from their tradition, their distinct practice of the faith. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he makes it clear that there is to be a strong discipline practiced to help unrepentant believers. In another passage he says that they are to be warned as those in family.
Unfortunately in our day extremes are practiced. People can go on from church to church with little to no accountability concerning ongoing sin issues in their lives. The church can’t help them, because they refuse any accountability. The high churches which are steeped in sacramentalism, are relegated to the sacrament of confession to a priest. The churches which reject that all but lose out on confession most of the time, until the sin arises and comes to a head, so that the unrepentant one is all but lost, whether or not they remain in the church.
How do we approach sin issues in our own life which may bring reproach on Christ’s body the church, as well as be destructive to ourselves and others? How do we approach the same in a brother or sister who may be close to us?
We need to look at ourselves first, and pray that God would uncover in us anything contrary to his will. We’re to cover over many sins, or pray for the one sinning, and confront when need be the sins of other brothers and sisters in Jesus. And we must hold to a balance of neither imagining that we in Jesus are without sin in this life, or that we must sin in everything we do. But there needs to be a commitment to accountability, if we’re to follow our Lord faithfully together in him. For the world.