In the beginning verses of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul instructs the church in Corinth to separate from a person who calls himself a brother in Christ and yet is acting in a way that even the surrounding culture considers reprehensible. I’ve heard alot about the first part of 1 Corinthians 5. We use it to talk about “church discipline”. But, I don’t hear as much about the last half of that chapter:
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral peopleâ€”not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindlerâ€”not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV)
It’s seems that Paul is saying that we do not even eat with a brother or sister who is living an immoral life, but that it is okay and even expected that we eat with someone who is not a brother or sister even if they live an immoral lifestyle.
From my experience, the church has this backwards. Is it just me? How should this passage affect us as individual believers? How should it affect us as a church?