Culling within a church fellowship is the work of the enemy, as he has blinded you by your own self importance. Who gave you the right to judge your fellow brethren says the Lord. Am I not the owner of the harvest and I will be the one who separates the wheat from the tares.
Have you not listened to the words of my son when he was here on earth? He spoke in parables so that the people without my spirit within them would not be able to understand. He told the parable which you have called the parable of the weeds, which Matthew my faithful servant recorded in his letter.
This is to be found in chapter 13. You will note that the owner’s servants where all for pulling up [or culling the weeds] the weeds, but the owner was very clear in his reply when he said – “No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "
If any of my children should be involved in this barbaric practice my judgment will fall on them says the Lord, for I am the one who holds life and dearth in his hands. Is not my desire for all within a fellowship to bear one another’s burdens as Christ bore your burdens; to all be one and to pray for the one who have fallen? I have appointed intercessors for this vey reason within my body says the Lord.
Having written the above under the guidance of the Holy Spirit I then read the passage concerned in 1 Corth. 5 and began to doubt what I had written as Paul was clear in not associating with such an immoral brother.
On reflection and waiting on the Lord I believe the crux of the issue that God is so against is the practice of “Culling.” As @tech rightly says culling is a livestock term where it means something picked out and put aside as inferior.’ This is not a practice that God would be proud of in this age of grace as God never treats any person as inferior. Believers who advocate this practice are treating their fellow believers like cattle that they deem to be sub-standard and need to be taken out. If I am not mistaken this was the policies that were rampant in Germany in the 1930’s.
How on earth has such thinking made its way into the thought patterns of born again believers? How prevalent is this abhorrent practice?
A word search on 'culling' , here, will reveal three blogs, and yours and tchables are two of them. I would read everything in the other blog carefully before seeing too much in the subject. I live in the bible belt, and I know of a few churches that will 'withdraw fellowship' from a member. The purpose for their doing so is just as Paul instructed. To hold such accountable, and to bring the person to repentance. If they repent of why they were confronted, then they are welcomed back just as Paul instructed. I don't know of any that 'cull', and that just to condemn the person.
A close reading of the blog in reference will show that repentance is what is sought and hoped for. Purge out the leaven, Paul taught. This to the church. But we are given the hows and the whys in scripture. Before I rushed to judgement of those who do, I would carefully consider their reasons and purpose. It may be very different than reported of some.
No 'culling' is not a biblical term. Nor 'attack' dog. Rambo, pope, potentate, (other than Jesus Christ), or many other terms used. Purgatory. Penance. Speaking in tongues required as evidence of salvation. We should be careful with labels and words we use. But if we do indeed use scripture, then people on such matters as mentioned should not make such a fuss. It is for accountablity, repentance, reconciliation. Such, for instance, as 'those who practice' mentioned in scripture. It is clear that more than flesh and blood is meant. It means exactly what it says. Those who practice. It is odd that some who use words defining never really quote them as given.
For the record, I have never been involved personally in removing a member. I have on several occasions been involved in the one-on-one, and taking two or three witnesses. It never got to the church in my personal experiences. But I know of some it did. I also know of 'one', wherein the person died suddenly from an accident, the Lord ended the matter. If we believe that a person can 'practice' sins written of in the letter to Corinth, Galatians and Ephesians, with no consequences in the eternal then there is no reason for the warnings. But if they do indeed have consequences, and we do nothing, what good have we done them, really? And as those who care for the flock?
Personally I would not use the tares and the wheat parable, to take away from what Paul instructed the church. Or Jesus Christ either. Scripture will give us the whole, if we will take it, on such matters. Good to get things out in the open and discuss them. Thanks. God Bless brother. billy.
Over the years, I have known of situations when a member was "dis-fellowshipped" meaning their name was removed from membership roll of the local church and that in turn removed it from the roll of that particular denomination. It rarely happened and in nearly every case, it was initiated by the member requested that they be removed from the church roll for one reason or another.
There were a few rare occasions when it was not instigated by the member, however, in every single one of those cases, the member had already broken off fellowship with the church and had usually done so for at least a year but it was usually longer. During this time, attempts were always made in regards to restoring fellowship. Sometimes restoration occurred but sometimes it did not.
When all attempts had failed and the member was not willing to meet with the pastor or other elders in the church, in other words they made it clear they did not desire restoration, they were notified that there would be a meeting regarding their membership status and they would be invited to attend. I never knew of anyone doing so. It was at that point that it was clear that the member had no interest in restoring fellowship.
Now, there have been times this was a "wake-up" call for the individual. I know of a few situations where restoration took place.
It is always an extremely serious matter and every effort should be made to love, help and pray for the wayward member so it does not come to this. We want restoration, not separation!
However, let me ask you this question. Do you really want a pastor who abandoned his wife and children and openly is committing adultery? This is what happened in one church I attended and the pastor, after refusing to give up his mistress, was removed. If you don't think they should be removed from their position, exactly what do you think should be done?
Ah... now I understand a bit better. I'd like to present this analogy:
It will be five years ago tomorrow that I had to have surgery. Within me there was a 3.5 cm tumor. This tumor was not a "foreign body". It was a part of me which had mutated. It was in fact, what is known as a grade 3 tumor. It was made up of breast cells which had mutated to the point that they no longer functioned or even looked like they were supposed to look.
Now, at this point, this tumor was not giving me any trouble. In fact, it had gone undetected by both myself and my primary doctor until a routine mammogram revealed that deep within me, there was a deadly disease. Cancer.
If I had let it be and done nothing about it the disease would have spread and probably taken my life within five years. In order to save my life, I not only had to have this tumor cut out of me, I had to have eight rounds of aggressive chemotherapy (it was what was known as a triple negative tumor and very aggressive) and 33 rounds of radiation. Surgery is no fun and left me disfigured to a certain degree. Chemo was a nightmare which dismantled my immune system eight times, made my hair fall out, changed the chemical composition of my nails and skin, made me unable to cry "normal" tears (that's more important than one might think) and wonder if I would survive. Radiation, though better than chemo, burned my skin (radiation burns are no fun) and left me side-effects as well
However... today I am alive and cancer free. Was it necessary and worth it? Yes, I believe it was. I believe that if I would not have made the hard decision to take these steps (and believe me, it was a hard decision), I would either be in hospice or dead. In order to make that decision, I sought the advice of a few experts... my team which included a radiologist, a surgeon, a nurse navigator, an oncologist, a radiation oncologist and a couple of radiation technicians.
Are there times when radical steps must be taken within the Body of Christ? Yes, I believe there are times when it is necessary. You cannot treat a cold like it is cancer but on the other hand, you cannot treat cancer like it is a cold. This is why it is so critical for us NOT to decide on our own course of treatment. We must apply to the Holy Spirit and then follow His direction.
I would just like to simply say, that what I will take from this personally is just the idea of being careful not to take it upon ourselves to "weigh" each other's worth and separate the inferior from superior. There can be some Christians who seem to be "super Christians" and may be tempted to look down upon others who may not have as many obvious "gifts" or abilities or knowledge. I'm not going to weigh in on the heavier subjects discussed above, but I think we can also just look at it as there is a master who decides who is wheat and who is weeds.