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What’s the Bible say about shunning? Synonym’s for the word shunning are, to avoid, to keep clear of; not to fall on, or come in contact with; not to mix or associate with.
The first form of to shun can be seen in the following verses,
2 Timothy 2:16, “But shun profane and vain babblings: they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
Job 2:8, “The LORD said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job, --- a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and escheweth (shuns) evil.”
Job 28:28, “The fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart (shun) evil is understanding.”
So, in the above cases, to shun or depart from evil is good. But, to shun also has other meaning, as in the deliberate avoidance of someone.
In religious or established church’s, shunning is a form of church discipline against those who have violated church rules. It’s a formal decision by church members to ban and to not interact with the person who is to be shunned.
It’s a practice for Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons the Amish, Mennonites and others to shun former members. Shunning is only applied to those who have been baptized by them; to those adult members who have willfully violated their vows. Non-members, and those who never took the vows are not eligible to be shunned.
Jewish parents prefer their children marry within the faith, if not, they may strike at them or shun them utterly: “do not give your daughter to a Gentile’s son, and do not take his daughter for you own son. For if you do, they will remove your sons from worshipping the LORD.”
It is directly in the Torah in Deuteronomy 7:1-4. The issue set forth in the text is that non-believers will turn the son to believe and worship other gods. Ahab and Jezebel would be a prime example.
Adolph Hitler made it a crime to associate in any way with any Jew. Here’s another form of shunning; since the Jews have had a state of their own beginning in May of 1948, they have become more vulnerable to the world’s hostility. Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only member of the United Nations whose right to exist is regularly challenged and who’s elimination from the world map is the aim of many U.N. member states, except for the United States and a few others.
The extent and duration of the shunning vary among the various groups that practice it. Certain cults and traditional societies practice severe forms of shunning, it, at times may lead whole families to be ostracized from all aspects of society.
In other cases, shunning goes beyond excommunication: to be shunned is to be denied personal interaction with church members in all social, non-ecclesiastical settings.
Shunning can be used or misused in spiritual manipulation; but there is a proper place for breaking with certain individuals,
1 Corinthians 5:11, Paul is dealing with a man involved in gross immorality. He writes, “If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer (reviler), or drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one, no, not to eat.”
Verse 13, “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore, put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
Now, the ultimate goal of excommunication or any form of shunning is to restore that person to the faith,
Galatians 6:1, “If a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
For the fallen, we are to apply a form of discipline that will bring on a quick repentance, and we are to ultimately reunite any fallen brother or sister with the body of Christ. Yet regardless of any and all circumstances, we have the responsibility to pray for all, and to extend forgiveness when repentance is evident.