The punishment of the majority

“The punishment of the majority is enough for such a person.”  (2 Corinthians 2:7)  It is a painful read.  Profitable, but painful nonetheless.  2 Corinthians 2 recalls a time in Corinth when an opponent “stands up” to challenge Paul’s integrity and the rest of the congregation comes to Paul’s defense by disciplining the brother who is spreading discord.  Not a happy moment!  Some scholars think this is the same brother who was sleeping with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5.  True or not, the context of chapters 1 and 2 implies a personal challenge to Paul and the courage required of the church to stand with him.  Thank God for such a majority!  Pastors (as all believers) are “jars of clay”.  Apart from the steady and courageous support of the members, no pastor can stand against the constant and overwhelming criticism that comes.  Strange thought!  Pastors protect sheep.  Sheep also protect pastors.  We have to stand together or the outcomes are unfortunate for everyone concerned.

Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

0 thoughts on “The punishment of the majority”

  1. Interesting post. It gave me a lot to think about today while doing mindless tasks.

    It is probably just me, but I see this totally differently…. in light of the verse in Eph 6:12 where it says our struggle is not against flesh and blood…could it possibly be that Paul is trying to help the church guard against the easy crossover from church discipline into personal hatred and unforgiveness/unhealthy judging? I can only imagine how many flawed believers have been caught in a trap of church discipline (with the desired end result being get them out of here, rather than earnestly desiring their restoration) by the church leaders who are to look over their souls as one who will give an account (Heb 13:17…. of course, the first part of this says we are to obey our leaders and submit to them… I own that). Anyway, for me…. and I speak only for me…. what I am getting from this is that we are to love one another… even when mistakes have been made and relationships have been broken. The outcome should always be restoration to God… for everyone. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation.

    No matter how you take this, we all need a lot of prayer support from others and Grace from our Lord. Lord, help me to see the “jar of clay” aspect of everyone I meet and the possibility that it can be FILLED with You…. to Your Glory. Amen.

    Great post. Thanks!!

  2. I am always surprized how God’s Spirit leads us to respond to a challenge in God’s way. In this verse we should forgive and comfort because we see how much each individual is worth in God’s eyes. My first thought would have been to punish or judge instead of to comfort. But Paul always saw God’s goal in the challenges to redirect our natural urges to bring glory to God so we can receive a blessing as we respond to the challenge. Like Luke 6:37-39 shows. A Christian’s first response is not to hurt but to heal and reconcile as Christ did. God wants to bless both parties the person being challenged and the person who challenges.

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