Pastor Todd Painter
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Aren’t members of our Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches supposed to be separating themselves from those that walk disorderly? Many separate from the ungodly lost that surround us, but do they separate from the disorderly among us? Let’s take a few moments to examine what the Bible teaches about this topic.
I think our text verse is a wonderful example that we can learn from. I would like to break down this verse and examine each phrase:
1st. Now we command you, brethren. This I believe is specially directed to the members of the church in general. I think that is pretty simple to see.
2nd. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe Paul here is strengthening the command by giving the Name and authority of the great Head of the Church; meaning Christ himself commands you.
3rd. That ye withdraw yourselves. This means metaphorically to keep out of the way, or to withdraw oneself from. In other words we should avoid fellowship with these people.
4th. From every brother that walketh disorderly. The term brother would indicate that these are people professing to be Christians. However, their walk is disorderly which means literally, out of the ranks of the rest of the group. This could be a wayward church member who is walking out of step with the rest of the church. Perhaps they have even quit attending the church, which would definitely mean they are out of step with the group.
5th. And not after the tradition; I believe this means the instructions; not the example of Paul, which is afterwards mentioned, but the instructions which he orally delivered when he was at Thessalonica, and subsequently confirmed by the Epistle which he had written to them.
6th. Which he received of us. Paul is definitely talking about the doctrine which they had received from him. If someone goes contrary to the teaching given to the church as a whole then that one is walking disorderly.
To sum it all up; we can clearly see from this verse that the apostle commands us to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and to have no fellowship with those who obey not his instructions. Those who don’t obey are doing evil, so we must avoid making disorderly people our companions, otherwise we shall soon be led astray and contaminated by their evil principles. The happiness or misery of the church member for present time is dependent upon those whom they now choose as their “friends” that they fellowship with.
If you fellowship with those who are discontent with the program of the church, then you too will be discontent with the program of the church. If you fellowship with those who leave your church then you too will be in danger of one day leaving your church too. Usually you will leave in heart first before in body, but typically the body eventually follows the heart! So to answer our question; yes, church members are to withdraw from the disorderly!
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