6Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.Hmm... have to admit, I find this passage interesting...This is what Paul has to say in regard to those who are among us, but aren't working to further the kingdom of God. At least that seems to be the context.
13As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.and
If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.I read those words and I wonder, how would one define that? Now I suppose in someways it would be relatively easy to figure out. Those members of the church that want to change what the bible says to suit their own agendas, and are doing nothing to further the kingdom of God. Keep away from such folks.
But I guess I wonder, just how would one truly define this?
There are in many churches, folks who are just there. They come, they worship with us, but they don't do much of anything else. Do we stay away from them? OR is it more straight-forward than that. To just stay away from those who are wanting to change things (from biblical standards) and only want to do that. The gossipers and fast talkers who only want change and aren't working to further the church as it is, and who take advantage of what is there. I tend to think it's just the latter.
The commentaries in e-sword said that this meant you need to dis-fellowship them (not sure if that's the right word to use). I have to admit, the idea of kicking someone out of church seems a hard one to do. But at the same time, if someone is not being a true part of the body of Christ, then what's the point of them being associated as being part of it? Especially if they are working against it. Being careful about this would be really important.
Barnes puts it this way:
This is the true notion of Christian discipline. It is not primarily that of cutting a man off, or denouncing him, or excommunicating him; it is that of withdrawing from him. We cease to have fellowship with him. We do not regard him any longer as a Christian brother. We separate from him. We do not seek to affect him in any other respect; we do not injure his name or standing as a man, or hold him up to reprobation; we do not follow him with denunciation or a spirit of revenge; we simply cease to recognise him as a Christian brother, when he shows that he is no longer worthy to be regarded as such. We do not deliver him over to the civil arm; we do not inflict any positive punishment on him; we leave him unmolested in all his rights as a citizen, a man, a neighbor, a husband, a father, and simply say that he is no longer one of us as a Christian.The purpose of all this? To make that person ashamed and warn them as a family member. It's not to be nasty. It's not to say my way or the highway, but rather a way of causing that person to stop and consider what they are doing, and if they are doing it wrongly to be ashamed of themselves for being so foolish. This would hopefully call them into true fellowship.