So there was this boy,
He thought it would be cute to pretend he was in danger of a wolf and would get a kick out of watching everyone come to rescue him in a panic.
So he waited till he was in a good spot where people could hear him and where a wolf might be.
”WOLF! WOLF!” He shouted.
One person heard him came runnin’ and as he came he found the boy laughing and pointing at him. The man said to the boy “Did you just lie?” and the boy replied, “It was just a joke.” And the man said, “This is not funny, this is not a joke lets go get your parents and you tell them what you just did to me.”
When dad heard it he told the boy to say sorry to the man and he did.
Some time went by and the boy thought that man is no fun maybe someone else will see how it is funny so he found a new spot near someone else and did the same. And just the same that person came runnin’ to rescue – only to find the boy laughing.
They too told him “Let’s go to your parents to confess what you have done!” now this person did not know it had happened before. And the boy was now afraid to tell dad. So the person said, “Either you tell him or I must!”
When dad heard he said “Since this is the second time I want you to go to town find two people and tell them too what you did and ask them to pray that God would heal you of this folly/foolishness”
Until you do this no fellowship.
The boy didn’t want to do it. Dinner time came and mom and dad put food in front of the boy and sat while he ate. And the boy said, “Aren’t you guys going to eat?” They replied “We are fasting for your courage, and healing, if you don’t do this today before the sun goes down we need to inform the entire town that they should not eat with you until you do this”
The boy put his fork down and went to town to find two people to confess to and pray for him to be healed.
You see this town was a town of community accountability. They loved their neighbor as themselves. They didn’t just quote and say “It takes a village” having nice words, but they had action to follow through with those words. They lived as a village, as one big family. With transparency. They did not say “Mind your own business, or that is none of your/my business” When it came to matters of fairness. They knew that to just avoid the kid would be to judge him worthless and would be a failure to give mercy.
They regularly studied such issues and scenarios, they spent time in the presence of God together spontaneously and regularly being still knowing He is God.
”Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod (accountability and consequence [not punishment]) of correction will drive it far from him.” – Proverbs 22:15 (many men are children!)
Love is unconditional! It is never removed.
Fellowship is conditional – to fellowship with them is to join in their sin. So love seeks to cover their sin with amends in order to be restored/reconciled.
By confessing to another, it is a substitute consequence to punishment.
By confessing publicly not only is it a deeper cut into the heart of a substitutive consequence (circumcision of the heart) but now it is publicly known to watch out if he does it again. Everyone now knows he does this thing and to help him with it. If he does it again since a wolf is an emergency you ALWAYS respond! None emergencies you do not need to respond too! And every time it turns out to be a lie you give consequence. Even if unrepentant and they cry wolf again you STILL respond. Increasing the consequence each time so that they will either change or they will leave the community on their own and maybe hopefully come back the prodigal son one day.
Feeding them and not eating with them witnesses against their excuses/justifications/vilifications/denial/delusion while also giving consequence. It heaps burning coals upon their head. Romans 12:20 have you ever stopped to think what it would feel like to have burning hot coals dumped on your head? They will lash out at you.
Give a deadline, giving them the chance to come clean on their own. Both to the father the point was made (you can tell him – being humble, or I must tell him – being shamed) and to the town by the father.
Many will claim it is wrong to shame them – not knowing the scriptures “…note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ASHAMED. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” – 2 Thess 3
The practice called shunning as it is practiced by others is wrong. We shun evil but not people. We are not to abhor, we are to dislike. We are to shrink back from / jump away from evil. Yet we are to feed our enemies and especially our once brethren. Feed them, but don’t give them a false sense of normalcy. Don’t pretend everything is ok which would reinforce their denial/vilification/etc.
This is to be used ONLY for fairness. It is not to be used for theology – in general! It does not imply not to do business with them. If someone is in sin and unrepentant it does not mean you cannot work with them, or buy from them – with some exceptions.
Now the theology of not praying to idols means if others pray to idols you cannot fellowship with them. But that is only if you have established that with them. You don’t force the subject. If they invite you over to eat and then pray over the meal to Marry or offer you the meal in the name of Mary you THEN speak up and refuse to eat for their conscience sake. It is an issue of fairness to God. They will not understand, they will be offended – could even become violent in their zeal to their religion. Thus you will have loved the most in laying down your life.
Now if a man stole or lied in accordance to their employment or business then yes do not do business nor work with them until they amend their sin.
Disclaimer: amend is not a work that is to save you! Amends is proof of repentance, it is fruit worthy of repentance. It is a work God prepared beforehand that we should walk in it. Eph 2:10
I recently read where a man had gotten drunk was a real estate agent and they refused to do business with him until he repented on their terms. I see this on the surface as wrong, it had nothing to do with his livelihood. If my kid is in time out (contempt of court) until he apologizes, I don’t keep him home from school until he apologizes! And yet if the sin was school related the school puts them in time out AT school! (detention)
In that same case, the man got drunk because the community had told him to kick out his 15yr old who was unrepentant. Any sin that a 15yr would commit does not EVER need kicking out for any evil of that caliber means jail!!!
EVEN the government provides food and shelter! But in a cage. We can put our kids in their room essentially locking them up but we cannot do that with adults not having the same authority in this case (it would be false imprisonment and even kidnapping). Even Jesus had no place to lay his head. Food and clothing were promised.
There is no need for punishment from us. They get to choose our way of contempt of court or the worlds way of punishment. For they are Gods servant for their/our good! For us capital punishment, the epitome of corporal punishment was fulfilled and paid. So contempt of court is substituted. (If we no longer stone our kids then we no longer spank our kids. Many a study has shown that though spanking works, none violent consequence works MUCH MUCH better. On many levels I will go into it on another day on another posting)
For your child it is “I don’t want to send you to your room, you can say sorry or sit in your room until you change your mind” They hold the key, it is up to them how long they will be in theirs. Yet food, healthcare, etc are NOT withdrawn for love is unconditional, in fact, rearing is LOVE!!!
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…” Rev 3:19 the Greek word here to chasten means child rearing.
For an adult, it is “I would love to go for a meal but first let’s go and tell so and so you were sorry and make arrangements to pay them back”. And until they do then they know they are the ones hindering fellowship, not you! Thought if stubborn they will not like it that you showed them you will see the reaction of hot coals on the head, they will lash out at you – this result usually causes many to give in but it is not to be seen as wrong but to be seen as proof it is working. Few can endure fermenting wine! Then there is greater evil. The gaslighters, the ones who seem humble, and beg the community easily tricking them. Thus we need the sword of the Spirit which is the voice of God. As Jesus promised we need to buy this sword to obtain it to hear in the moment to know for evil can seem so innocent.