Dearest Eman... may you have peace!
May I respond and shed a little bit of "light" on this subject, as I have been granted to by my Lord? Thank you!
First, let's truly understand where the WTBTS "tradition" of disfellowshipping originates from: Charles Taze Russell was a Congregationalist, from Pennsylvania... Amish territory. In its time (Russell's time) "shunning" was a BIG part of those "religions" and that area. The man was a product of his environment and taught this condemning, thus unloving, practice to his followers. Unfortunately, they, in their hard-hearted, stiff-necked blindness, still practice it today.
Yet, my Lord himself literally went AFTER a man 'expelled' by the Pharisees... sought him ought. In whose "footsteps" then are we to "follow"?
Paul, too, was a product of his environment, having been educated as a Pharisee. So, when he started out, he had MANY pharisaical habits, which the Jewish apostles had to correct from time to time (which is one of the reasons they stayed away from each other, truly). Thus, you will note that after having said what he did in 1 Corinthians (which is actually his SECOND letter), he RETRACTED it in his words at 2 Corinthians 2:1-11 (his THIRD letter), upon the correction of the others:
"For this is what I have decided for myself...
NOT TO COME TO YOU AGAIN IN SADNESS."
(Note, this was his THIRD time coming to them, and THIS time, he message was different than the previous two... 1 Cor. 5:9; 2 Cor. 13:1)
"For if I make YOU sad, who is there to cheer ME...
except the one made sad BY me? And so I wrote THIS
very thing (the letter of 2 Corinthians) that,
when I come, I may not get sad BECAUSE OF THOSE...
OVER WHOM I OUGHT TO REJOICE... because...
and get this, please:
"I have confidence in ALL OF YOU... that the joy
I have... IS IN ALL OF YOU."
So, Paul retracted his position that any one of them was lesser or more evil than any other. For joy is a "fruit" of my Father's spirit, and thus, even the man who Paul wanted disfellowshipped he now acknowledged had joy IN HIM... and thus, the spirit of God in him.
"For out of much tribulation and anguish of heart
I wrote you, NOT that you might be saddened (but...
they WERE!), but that you might know the LOVE that I
have more especially for you."
Remember, Paul considered the Corinthians his "children", entrusted to him by God, and therefore himself RESPONSIBLE for such ones. When one transgressed, then, he felt personally responsible, as well as defeated in his ministry. But, he was corrected and learned that this was not the case:
"Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has
saddened NOT me, but all of you to an extent -
not to be too harsh in what I say."
Sigh! Paul was, after all... just a man. Couldn't take ALL of the responsibility, so he now says that this matter came up because of the conduct of ANOTHER and Paul considered that one to have truly caused the sadness. But, he WAS learning not to condemn, as shown by his attempt not to be too harsh... THIS time... and we can accommodate the "weakness" of HIS flesh in not taking FULL responsibility. I mean, who does?
And so, he concedes and acquiesces:
"This rebuke is sufficient for such a man, so that NOW...
ON THE CONTRARY... (as opposed to what Paul wrote BEFORE!)
"YOU SHOULD KINDLY FORGIVE AND COMFORT him
that SOMEHOW..." (including Paul's erroneous and
unloving admonishment to expel such one! Ah, pride...
such a destructive emotion...)"
"such a man should not be SWALLOWED UP BY HIS BEING
OVERLY SAD!" (Paul acknowledges, then, that
the man COULD have been 'swallowed up'... and lost to them
forever... due to now being in a weakened state just because
of the grief put upon him by their LACK OF LOVE. Even today,
many who are "expelled" considered themselves cast out by
God, condemned by man AND God, and thus unworthy of life.
Their reaction, then, to serving God? "What's the use!?"
But... ALL have sinned and ALL have fallen short, dear ones...)
Anyway, Paul goes on to say:
"Therefore I EXHORT YOU... to CONFIRM YOUR LOVE for him."
Well, okay!! He then goes on to make a statement that he trying to see if they were going to be obedient to THAT end as well:
"For to this end ALSO, I write to ascertain the PROOF OF YOU,
whether you are obedient in ALL things."
(Sigh! Again, Paul was being just a man, by saying "I only did what I did and am doing what I do now to see if YOU are obedient." Taking responsibility for one's errors is one of, if not THE hardest thing to do! Like Peter, who showed himself to be hypocritical, Paul, too, had some 'imperfections'... in his HEART! He had "judged"... which he was never granted to do!)
Anyway, the PROOF that Paul was speaking of now was that in fulfillment of my Lord's words as recorded at Matthew 5:43-45, which commands those who belong to my Lord to "love your enemies," stating that DOING SO will PROVE us to be "sons of [our] Father who is in the heavens."
Paul then ends his admonition with the words that:
"ANYTHING... YOU... kindly forgive... ANYONE... I DO, TOO!"
and concludes with words to the effect that whatever he has forgiven he has done so for their sakes in the sight of Christ so that the Adversary would not conquer them. What Paul meant was that HE had now "got it" and was following the "law" of the Christ, which says that "whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven," as well as "Stop judging and you will by NO means BE judged." Paul, then, KNEW that if HE did NOT forgive such ones, by his anointing with holy spirit he was CONDEMNING such ones... AS WELL AS... condemning himself. Paul... got it.
Now, to move on to the TRUE "spirit" of my Lord's words at Matthew 18:15-18:
Whether we who belong to God and Christ want to ADMIT it or not, we ARE "our brothers' keeper." We ARE responsible for one another; however, we are such to the extent and ONLY to the extent that we are 'SENT' by God, through Christ... LITERALLY... to warn our brothers! And when I say literally, I do mean literally.
Ezekiel 3:20, 21
We are NOT, however, responsible to the point where we need to mind one another's business. On several occasions, the disciples asked my Lord with regard to his opinion or intentions of someone else, and each time... he corrected them.
Unfortunately, it is our "nature" to be concerned more with the conduct and practices of the NEXT man... than we are with ourselves. Remember Cain? He got angry because he didn't "measure" up. Had he worried about himself and HIS sacrifice, however, and not that of Abel's, he might not have murdered his own brother. But overcoming that "nature" is one of the BIGGEST lessons my Lord taught when he walked on the earth in flesh. And it was this "nature" that the Law Covenant sought to EXPOSE... and CORRECT!
The Law was written NOT so that Israel could condemn one another, but so that Israel would KNOW SIN... for THEMSELVES INDIVIDUALLY... and FORGIVE those 'who trespass against us'. Thus, my Lord himself, the Son and Christ of God, JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH... FULFILLED the Law in that while he never transgressed it HIMSELF... he forgave ALL those who 'transgressed against' it, thus transgressing against HIM, and thus transgressing against God. He LOVED, so that he judged no one... and forgave all. That, dear ones, IS the Law's fulfillment: love.
Anyway, the "spirit" of my Lord's words STILL command that we love such one, even if we have been sent to warn them and they don't listen. True, their "blood" will be on them for such failure, BUT... once we have done "just so" it is NO LONGER OUR CONCERN. Who are we to say whether they have a "ransom" or not? For my Father, the Holy One of Israel, JAH OF ARMIES, shows mercy to whomever HE wishes to show it. All WE "owe" such ones... is love. Nothing more, certainly nothing less... and... WITHOUT hypocrisy.
By the spirit of my Father, JAH OF ARMIES, as granted me by my Lord, His Son, JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH, by means of holy spirit, I, myself, SJ, have spoken these things to you.
Again, may you have peace!
A servant to the Household of God, Israel, and a slave of Christ,