If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses'. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
My husband had the opportunity to hear a new twist on this scripture. A twist that has brought some interesting thoughts up, as well as lots of discussion.
This scripture is frequently used to explain what do with with a fellow Christian that isn't following God's will any longer. My understanding of how to explain this scripture may be wrong, but I've heard the scenario often described this way. If someone sins against you, you talk to the sinning party one on one, you bring witnesses, you take it to the church and if all of this fails to bring this person back to following God's will then you cut them off never to talk or speak to them again unless they want to repent or study repentance and then you can talk about repentance with them.
But let's look at what this scripture actually says. It says that if he still refuses to listen then you are supposed to treat them like a pagan or a tax collector. Hmm....here is the interesting part.....ready?....How did Christ treat pagans and tax collectors? I'm pretty sure that Jesus ate with the tax collectors and the pagans. He talked to them. He spent time with them. He loved them.
What if we started treating people that weren't following God's way like this? Do you think it might make a difference?