Matt 18:17 lets read it and then talk

17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. KJB.

How can you “tell it to the church” if the church is not visible if would be impossible to fulillment if the church was just a spiritual society… What do you think.

Hi Bill - this is what I was able to get for you…

The church: the second of the only two instances of this word in the gospels;

see the note on ⇒ Matthew 16:18.

Here it refers not to the entire church of Jesus, as in ⇒ Matthew 16:18, but to the local congregation.

Treat him . . . a Gentile or a tax collector: just as the observant Jew avoided the company of Gentiles and tax collectors, so must the congregation of Christian disciples separate itself from the arrogantly sinful member who refuses to repent even when convicted of his sin by the whole church.

Such a one is to be set outside the fellowship of the community.

The harsh language about Gentile and tax collector probably reflects a stage of the Matthean church when it was principally composed of Jewish Christians.

That time had long since passed, but the principle of exclusion for such a sinner remained.

Paul makes a similar demand for excommunication in ⇒ 1 Cor 5:1-13.

vatican.va/archive/ENG0839

It’s perfectly possible, if one regards the empirical Church as distinct from the Church of the elect. And we make that distinction every time we doubt the salvation of any Christian - ourselves included.

Only the elect in the empirical Church are truly the Church, because they are sure to be saved. No one else in the empirical Church is, because they are not Christians in God’s sight, but only in man’s estimation; they are not elect, so are not children of God, so are certain to be damned. God’s displeasure abides on them, and Christ will say to them, “I never knew you - depart, you accursed, into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. Yet to man’s sight, they are members of the Church. As such, if they hold office in it, they are to be obeyed.

If a man whom God foreknows will be damned is made a bishop in God’s Church, he is to be obeyed as such. His damnation is certain, but this does not affect the obligation of Christians; they are not God, so they cannot see as God does - they have no access to God’s foreknowledge. God’s foreknowledge is infallibly certain even so. So the elect, whose salvation is no less infallibly certain because God foreknows it & them, are the true Church of God because they and not the reprobate are “heirs of salvation”. But the elect cannot use their assurance of salvation, no matter how certain, as a reason to despise the authority of those whom God Alone knows to be reprobates.

AFAICS, there is nothing in this that is not compatible with Catholicism - or with the teaching of St.Thomas.

When we put it into context, it is not harsh at all. It is in the context of forgiveness, after all; and is just one part of a longer speech - which also contains the admonishment to Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven, and the part about rejoicing over the lost sheep.

Think about how Jesus Himself treated tax collectors and Gentiles. He converted them and helped them reconcile with God.

I think that, in this verse, He is talking about what we now call excommunication: a treatment designed to induce repentance and reconciliation. We can’t help anyone repent if we exclude them entirely from our lives.

And it just struck me that this is the Gospel of Matthew, who had been a tax collector before being called to be an Apostle!

Vindicated at Last!

I made this comment a month or so ago, saying the “Church” was comparable to
a parish of today, and was shouted down. Good to know that 2000 years of tradition and magisterium of the church are on my side!:thumbsup:

=Bill Pick;5216891]17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. KJB.

How can you “tell it to the church” if the church is not visible if would be impossible to fulillment if the church was just a spiritual society… What do you think.

Mt. 18: 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 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. 18* Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

GREAT question!:tiphat:

Bill my friend, the Church (The RCC) has NEVER been invisible, even when it went underground. Nor is it invisible today. Batter, abused, bloodied, ignored, denied, but never my friend, NEVER invisible. Why?

Because you and me, my friend, all IPRC’s are visible. The only Bible most people will ever read is how we, you and me and all Catholics lead and live our lives. Amen!

In culling verse 17, as in any culled section, one must take great care in order to gain a full and proper persprective.

Is Jesus really saying to shun these people? Yes, but only in a limited manner. He is saying “don’t befriend them lest they effect you’re Faith,” but He is not saying do not try to convert them. We are to know, live. and teach our faith, so when we encounter unbelievers, especially those who think that they know more and know better, at a minimum we are to pray for them. If called, we are to instruct them, and pray for them.

Keep in mind the example of a “tax collector” takes the offence out of the realm of being “personal” they treat everyone in the same crooked and unfair manner. So let us not make it personal!

Mt. 18: 21"Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

See, same book, same chapter, and here “is the rest of the story!”

Love and prayer’s

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.