Catholics view Matthew 18:18 as Jesus giving authority to His Church to bind and loosen. Here is a Protestant take on that passage …A True Story – He loved her more than life itself. Even after 25 years his heart skipped a beat when she was near. He would be excited in anticipation of just being with her. He would open the car door for her, serve her tea in the morning in bed, give her back rubs and massages, draw a bath for her, cook for her, clean for her, do the wash, and anything else he could think of to serve and please her. He worked two jobs to provide a good life for her and their son. He would often give her flowers or roses for no other reason than the fact that he loved and cherished her.
Years ago an indiscretion on her part tore into the fabric of his heart. He wanted so much to forgive and move on. All of the Christian books, seminars, courses, counseling, and articles were telling him that if he forgave and showed unconditional love, the love of Christ, that there could be a healing in the marriage. So he made it his life’s passion to find this love and freely give it to her. The deeper he researched these truths and embraced them the more he gave. The more he gave, the more he loved her so he gave more. After years passed from the indiscretion she had more. Toward the end, the advice of some well meaning Christians was to let her go. He felt that God was still telling him to Love her with Christ’s unconditional love, not ‘throw her away’.
It was so hard when he felt her slipping away. She was unhappy and looking for something else out of life. She had other men, and was slowly pulling away, separating her life from his. He felt like he was trying to grasp precious water or oil with his hand, but even though he tried with every fiber of his being it slipped through his fingers out of his reach. All the information he was finding was telling him that this love would conquer all. They would have the best marriage possible when they were through all this, he believed this with all his heart.
He felt like she was the most beautiful flower in the garden and by pampering, loving, caring, weeding, watering, and protecting this flower it would surely grow beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. But he was wrong. In the end she left him for someone she said was her “soul mate”. That lasted about a year, with others in between. Her wish was to separate from him and never have this relationship that he felt was God’s design. How could he be so wrong? It took a long time but finally he realized that it does no good to water a dead rose!
"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
Matthew 18: 18-20 (NAS)
… I post this to show how differently the same passage can be viewed.