One of the greatest challenges that can be thrown at a local congregation is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:15 … “Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
With the mega church methodology of our modern Christianity, it is almost impossible to apply the practicality of this verse of Scripture. People come and go and there is little of the flexibility of a smaller congregation. To identify a person, a problem and pre-requisite of a Biblical approach to problems that are on the fringe areas of the fellowship seems to elude us. It appears that for many it is merely a revolving door mentality with little by way of stability. A brother or sister in Christ may never get the spiritual help they need.
First, establish solidarity. Sixty-five years ago, I learned of one of the most conservative denominations problems; that being liberal educators in one of their seminaries. At that time one of my friends in another denomination said to me: “Ted! I wish I had the trust that you have in the Inspiration of the Scriptures”.
Friends, I am not here to argue about denominationalism. I am concerned about any group that does not adhere to Plenary Verbal Inspiration of the Scriptures. Less than that position necessitates a choice of identification by which I recall a friend, not the one mentioned previously, asking me if I considered Him a heretic. I sought the Lord intently for a clear answer in that moment and experienced the ministry of the Holy Spirit; “I consider you a weaker brother, but at the same time I understand that you consider me the weaker brother.” We hugged each other without compromise on the subject and remained friends until his home going.
Obviously, the brother that had joined the fellowship of Believers at Thessalonica and was stirring up dissension needed attention and direction. He might very well have need of admonishment, but it must be administered as “a brother”. Continuing as a trouble-maker, it would be necessary to disassociate him from identifying himself as a member of that church.
This whole idea of admonishment is remember, “He is a brother!” There is no need to beat him to death! It would be appropriate to begin with prayer and end with prayer. It is essential that he understands both of you are but servants of THE KING!