Thursday, February 3, 2011

Matthew 18

Provender's links to a cogent treatise on Matthew 18 and spiritual abuse Principles, not Procedures have been broken for some time, as the Prophezei site we had linked to disappeared, but I found Kevin D. Johnson's article on a different site and have now restored the link. Johnson raises some interesting issues about the context of Matthew 18 and says this:

It has been noted by more than one that quite likely this passage about going to a brother privately and then taking two or more and then to the church is a process which is primarily concerned with dealing with sin in and among a circle of leadership that you are a part of since our Lord was talking to the would be leaders of the church as he outlined these things. These are the men who are to treat little children with the dignity they deserve granted to them by our Father in heaven, the ones who ought to be going after the one instead of the ninety-nine, and the ones who have received forgiveness at the hands of our Lord and should not forget that same graciousness when dealing with those under their charge who also owe them as well. That is the context of Matthew 18 and we find our Lord’s words about offenses in and among this context.
There is nothing in the passage that says that this is how a layman must approach a pastor or session in confronting sin. Wisdom should tell you that the deck is already stacked against you and to think this is the way to proceed in every case is to go well beyond what the basic outline of Matthew 18 proposes. Nor is there anything here in this 18th chapter as to how a person must confront their leadership at all with sin. It may very well be that the wisest thing to do in that type of situation is to leave as quietly as possible and not utter a word to the leadership or others that you have issues with what they have done. 
There is much more to the article, and it deserves a thorough reading by anyone debating the proper context or usage of that passage. 

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