Matt 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
Despite common teachings on this verse, pagans and tax collectors were not cast out of the church. They were treated as outcasts by Pharisees, yes. But, by Christians, they were viewed differently. Jesus ate with pagans and tax collectors, to better convey to them the message of the gospel. This verse is not talking about an act of disassociation. It’s referring to a change of mindset: viewing these brothers and sisters as people to be won over! People to love, even more fervently! It implies a call to forgive them, and begin to view them differently, approaching them with the same patience, love, and carefulness you’d approach a nonbeliever. Almost as if we are to “start over” in our relationships with them.
Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Jesus said this, even though they continued to humiliate Him.
The letter from my concerned reader (mentioned in “Addendum”) has inspired me! I’ve approached FOF as directly as possible. According to Scripture, my next step would be to approach them with the testimony of two or three others. If you know of a good, lovingly explained testimony of how Dobson’s teachings have negatively affected a family, please post the link(s) below in comments. I will choose two or three of them to include in a new letter to FOF.
[In an upcoming post, I do wish to explore how we can apply the above Biblical principles to our duty as parents.]