The news recently had a case of a pastor and two deacons who beat up the pastor's nephew and the nephew's boyfriend on church property in order to prevent the homosexual couple from entering. This pastor may or may not preach love (we're not told) but his actions demonstrate that hatred is what is in his heart. According my understanding of Matthew 18:16-20, church members should now approach this minister, and the deacons, and probably ask them to leave. If the church doesn't do that, then it would imply the members agree with this pastor.
Besides the several NT verses from Jesus about loving others, here is one from the same OT book often quoted to attack homosexuality:
Leviticus 19:18: Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
It would appear that this pastor may be case study for this principle:
Matthew 7:15: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
It would seem that churches like this are damaging the body of Christ, as this minister will attract people that want to feel righteous about hatred toward others. Like a poison, it continues to spread to the world-wide church. Unfortunately this is not an isolated phenomena, but in many countries we can find examples where ministers are preaching and practicing such hatred, and so the members act on this, in the name of Christ.
- Given the damaging/contrary witness this provides for the Gospel of love we claim to represent and...
- Given the no-action tacit approval this church has shown towards the actions of it's leaders and...
- Since we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and thus one Church under God...
Should all the members of this church be treated as we would treat tax collectors or lepers (ostracized)? Can/should church discipline be extended to an entire church by the larger body of Christ?