Application of the 2nd Commandment

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gene_mingo

Puritan Board Junior
Being fully convinced that images of God/Christ are a violation of the second commandment and that to make or possess these types of images is idolatry, how should we treat members of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches or anyone who partakes in the idolatry of images?

1 Corinthians 5:11
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

I have friends that are Eastern Orthodox and my parents and brother both have images of Christ all over their homes. Over the past year I have really struggled with having fellowship with my family and friends over this issue in particular.

Is the verse quoted above applicable to the situation?
 

awretchsavedbygrace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Being fully convinced that images of God/Christ are a violation of the second commandment and that to make or possess these types of images is idolatry, how should we treat members of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches or anyone who partakes in the idolatry of images?

1 Corinthians 5:11
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

I have friends that are Eastern Orthodox and my parents and brother both have images of Christ all over their homes. Over the past year I have really struggled with having fellowship with my family and friends over this issue in particular.

Is the verse quoted above applicable to the situation?

We are to tell them the truth. The Ninth commandment commands us to. Paul in Corinthians 5 is telling the church of Corinth to expell those in their church who do such things. From what I understand they dont attend your church. I say just be honest with your parents, brother and your friends. Show them the 2nd commandment, and pray that God convicts them of His law regarding images.
 

gene_mingo

Puritan Board Junior
Being fully convinced that images of God/Christ are a violation of the second commandment and that to make or possess these types of images is idolatry, how should we treat members of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches or anyone who partakes in the idolatry of images?

But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

I have friends that are Eastern Orthodox and my parents and brother both have images of Christ all over their homes. Over the past year I have really struggled with having fellowship with my family and friends over this issue in particular.

Is the verse quoted above applicable to the situation?

We are to tell them the truth. The Ninth commandment commands us to. Paul in Corinthians 5 is telling the church of Corinth to expell those in their church who do such things. From what I understand they dont attend your church. I say just be honest with your parents, brother and your friends. Show them the 2nd commandment, and pray that God convicts them of His law regarding images.

I am not sure I follow what you are saying. Should I treat them as non believers?

If the church in Rome, during Pauls day, was practicing idolatry would these words not apply to them?

1 Corinthians 1:2
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

It seems this epistle is not just limited to the church at Corinth.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Being fully convinced that images of God/Christ are a violation of the second commandment and that to make or possess these types of images is idolatry, how should we treat members of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches or anyone who partakes in the idolatry of images?

1 Corinthians 5:11
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
I have friends that are Eastern Orthodox and my parents and brother both have images of Christ all over their homes. Over the past year I have really struggled with having fellowship with my family and friends over this issue in particular.

Is the verse quoted above applicable to the situation?

Josh,

All of us fall short in so many ways. Why would the images of an EO bother you more than their complete misunderstanding of Scripture, salvation and the application of the work of Christ?
 

gene_mingo

Puritan Board Junior
Being fully convinced that images of God/Christ are a violation of the second commandment and that to make or possess these types of images is idolatry, how should we treat members of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches or anyone who partakes in the idolatry of images?

But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
I have friends that are Eastern Orthodox and my parents and brother both have images of Christ all over their homes. Over the past year I have really struggled with having fellowship with my family and friends over this issue in particular.

Is the verse quoted above applicable to the situation?

Josh,

All of us fall short in so many ways. Why would the images of an EO bother you more than their complete misunderstanding of Scripture, salvation and the application of the work of Christ?

Fred,
While I understand that the EO has many other primary issue problems, I am struggling with how we should apply 1 Corinthians 5:11 in our lives. Especially in regards to confessing christians with which we have fellowship.

Is it idolatry to have images of Christ?
Is it idolatry that Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 5:11?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
You've got to remember that the Apostle Paul is talking in the context of a situation of church discipline.

Those who are under church sanctions are to be partially-shunned by authority of the elders in certain cases. See Matthew 18. This is not to be done without the authority of the elders.

You do not have the authority to engage in some kind of informal discipline of your own.

Treat your friends and relations in Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy as those who are idolaters and probably - almost certainly - unsaved, who happen to be within the bounds of Christendom.

Try to win them for Christ by your behaviour and gracious debate and argumentation about salvation and how we are saved. I know this can be very difficult.
 

gene_mingo

Puritan Board Junior
You've got to remember that the Apostle Paul is talking in the context of a situation of church discipline.

Those who are under church sanctions are to be partially-shunned by authority of the elders in certain cases. See . This is not to be done without the authority of the elders.

You do not have the authority to engage in some kind of informal discipline of your own.

Treat your friends and relations in Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy as those who are idolaters and probably - almost certainly - unsaved, who happen to be within the bounds of Christendom.

Try to win them for Christ by your behaviour and gracious debate and argumentation about salvation and how we are saved. I know this can be very difficult.

Richard,
In Matthew 18 are you referring to this:

15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

16"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

17"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

If not which and would you please show how this is in the context of of the elders of the church?

I understand that the argument will be that Paul is speaking in the context of church discipline that is exercised by the leaders of the church, but I don't see that in the text.

Would you please go into a little more depth on how the text supports the claim?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
All of us fall short in so many ways. Why would the images of an EO bother you more than their complete misunderstanding of Scripture, salvation and the application of the work of Christ?

The right question. Where the gospel is being lost, it's pointless to go after people for commandment violations. Once the gospel is recovered and treasured, the church can be reformed more fully.

My guess: You won't make any headway confronting them on this. You'll only come across as a holier-than-thou busybody and miss a chance to witness to the gospel, which is how we best promote the honor and glory of God.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
You've got to remember that the Apostle Paul is talking in the context of a situation of church discipline.

Those who are under church sanctions are to be partially-shunned by authority of the elders in certain cases. See . This is not to be done without the authority of the elders.

You do not have the authority to engage in some kind of informal discipline of your own.

Treat your friends and relations in Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy as those who are idolaters and probably - almost certainly - unsaved, who happen to be within the bounds of Christendom.

Try to win them for Christ by your behaviour and gracious debate and argumentation about salvation and how we are saved. I know this can be very difficult.

Richard,
In Matthew 18 are you referring to this:

15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

16"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

17"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

If not which and would you please show how this is in the context of of the elders of the church?

I understand that the argument will be that Paul is speaking in the context of church discipline that is exercised by the leaders of the church, but I don't see that in the text.

Would you please go into a little more depth on how the text supports the claim?

I Corinthians 5:1-8 is talking about the need to discipline a member of the church who was having relations with his father's wife - his stepmother. In II Corinthians the Apostle says the man should be restored.

I Corinthians 5:2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (ESV)

He is removed and put into Satan's realm, not by preventing him attending church, but by preventing him taking the Supper and by not having Christian fellowship with him. Christ has promised to back up such action by His Spirit where it is properly done.

See also e.g. the texts in the Gospels about the keys of the kingdom being put in the hands of Apostles and their successors the elders, and about what is bound or loosed on Earth, being bound or loosed in Heaven.

This is the context in which to read I Corinthians 5:9-13. It is about Church discipline authorised by the elders.

Apart from that, in the cultural context, eating with someone meant that you were completely reconciled to them and their views. Eating with someone had a profounder meaning than today.

You could eat with your relations, and yet make clear to them that you didn't view them as brothers and sisters in Christ, that you disapproved of idolatry and wanted them to exercise faith in the true Christ and repent.

If you believe you can't eat with brothers and sisters who are engaging in certain flagrant sins e.g. idolatry, fornication, covetousness, greed, swindling, reviling, drunkenness, without tacitly supporting or condoning their behaviour then don't.

But I think if you make clear to them that you don't view them as brothers or sisters in Christ, and/or you dispprove of their idolatry, you've cleared yourself.

By the way, does anyone know, the nature and severity of the covetousness, greed, swindling and reviling, spoken of here by the Apostle as subject to church sanctions?
 
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beej6

Puritan Board Sophomore
To the OP:

I've faced similar situations, for example, the vast majority of my biological family are RC. I've confronted those closest to me, inadequately to be sure, regarding their "non-Christianity."

However, let me address a slim possibility (which I've also encountered) that your family / friends who are, say, EO, you believe to be confessing Christians despite their 2nd commandment violations. Again, you can warn them of these. Whether you drop fellowship with them can a different matter altogether. You may simply choose not to meet them, for example, at their houses (where the idolatrous images are displayed). Whether they accept this as reasonable terms of your relationship could point to where they view your belief and their own.
 
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