I came across this teaching by John McArthur on http://www.biblebb.com/macqa.htm. It is very interesting but poses a bit of a problem for many churches that not only do not practice discipline, but dumb down sin to the point it is unrecognizable. The answer of course, is get into a Bible teaching church that exposits scripture so you will know!
I have a question about worshipping and fellowshipping with so-called, or a professing believer who is in sin, hardened sin of a grievous nature. You’ve come along side them to confront them and there is no repentance. They go to another church and that church does not practice Matthew 18, and so you have a situation where the four steps of Matthew 18 are not applied by their church. They want to go to conferences with you, perhaps pray with you, have fellowship with you, and yet, you’re reluctant to do that because of their lack of repentance.
Well, I think you should be reluctant to do that. I think that’s the whole point of putting someone out of the church’s fellowship. I don’t think that means you can’t come in the building; I think it means you’re disconnected from the people who are the church. And I think that that’s exactly the intent of Scripture when we are instructed that we have to separate from these people in the fullest sense. I think anybody who walks disorderly--I’m just looking at the end of II Thessalonians--“who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which you received from us. You yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you. We did not eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but work with labor….” and so forth and so forth and so forth. If anyone doesn’t work, then he shouldn’t eat, and if there’s somebody walking disorderly (not working at all), they are “busybodies,” and he says, you know, “These are the people who affect the fellowship.” And he says in verse 14, “If anybody doesn’t obey this word in our epistle, note the person and do not keep company with him.” That’s verse 14. Why? “That he may be ashamed.” In other words, you want to heap the real shame on him that he deserves.
You don’t count him as an enemy; don’t consider him an enemy. But, admonish him as a brother. And how would you admonish a brother? Get it together--confess, repent, get your life right. But, do not “keep company.” That’s as explicit as it can be.