Lacking the self discipline and humility to Learn,
modern humanity forms its Opinions
and spews its hatred, obscenities, and invective –
on the basis of a “Tweet”… “blog” or Internet video.
To 21st century humanity, “Love” … means
“Approve of Whatever I Do.
ANYTHING that withstands Vanity, or calls for
Self Control and Moderation … is deemed
“Narrow Minded” or “bigoted”
by those whose only Rule of Life is
the gratification of “Me”.
Should there be any reading these words,
who possess that humility to learn –
rather than spew invective with the Ignorant Hordes,
I trust that the following summary will help to explain
the practice of Shunning or, The Ban.
The practice of shunning or, “The Ban”,
was originated by Anabaptist Obbe Philips [1500-1568]
whose companions were forced to endure the aftermath
of the diabolical Munster Rebellion of February, 1534.
There, followers of a certain Jan van Leydn,
and Jan Matthijs; combined with a group of Lutherans
led by a man named Bernaert Rotman, who
(as is almost invariably the case with tyrannical despots
and self-serving cult leaders)
– intentionally perverted Biblical practice
as an excuse for personal tyranny –
gained control through political means, of the town of Munster,
where they summarily established polygamy and (essentially)
the imprisonment or “execution” (murder)
of anyone who did not agree with their despotic rule.
The rebellion was quickly attributed to the Anabaptists,
since the rebels were, plainly, neither Romanists nor Reformers;
as well as the fact that van Leyden
was heard to have publicly stated his belief
that biblical Baptism was only upon profession of faith.
Then, as now – (tragically, for the victims of malicious masses
who are too lazy to discern historical facts) –
merely to be an “Anabaptist”, was often to be equated with
the depraved instigators of the Munster Rising.
Because of this association that was held by the Ignorant,
against the Anabaptists,
it was exceedingly necessary at the time,
for the leaders of the peaceful, God-fearing Anabaptists
to prevent the younger and immature members
from having any association with the Chiliastic
(obsession with “end times” unbiblical, “Rapture” nonsense)
rebels that were connected to Munster.
Hence, a “Ban” was declared, as a means to give those
who might be tempted to join with such unstable
and immoral people, pause …
… to stop and think; and to, hopefully,
prick the conscience enough to prevent anyone easily led,
from being swayed into social interaction
with the Munster adherents.
The repercussions that were felt from the actions
of these pseudo-religious Charismatics forced Anabaptists
to be very, VERY careful of anyone
within the Anabaptist church
who began to act, or speak as though
they were about to run off into some egocentric tangent
or corrupting lifestyle,
that could bring disgrace — or, in those days,
Imprisonment, Torture, or Death –
upon the good and upright members
of the Anabaptist fellowship.
The “Shunning” was NEVER regarded
as any type of punishment
out of ‘hard feelings’ or ill will.
Rather, it was a practice established in order to demonstrate
to an erring or rebellious brother or sister,
that what they did was most definitely NOT condoned
by their family or friends.
It was a way to force them to stop
and look at their conduct;
to oblige them to consider seriously,
whether their recent course of behaviour
was truly what they wanted to pursue;
and whether it was “worth it” for them
to lose the companionship of those who had held them
so dear in days past.
The decision to be made when faced
with the prospect of The Ban was, in effect:
ARE self-serving lusts and self-centred pride
more important than the community
of moral friends and loving family?
In the 21st century, where “Right” and “Wrong” is all but extinct;
and in which every snake-oil salesman with a smooth tongue
is welcomed as a “Christian” (as long as he promises
to present some entertaining, self-elevating
or emotion-pandering novelty into the ‘church’ congregation),
the concept of The Ban is criticised as “severe” or “unloving”.
Rarely, in the minds of those who despise biblical morality,
is any deeper meaning ever considered.
A three year old girl is playing on the kitchen floor,
while her mother boils a pot of potatoes on the kitchen stove.
The child, curious as to what is happening,
reaches up to touch the orange-hot coil
on which the water in the cooking pot is being boiled.
Seeing the child’s hand inches away from the top of the stove,
the concerned mother knocks her child’s wrist away,
whilst shouting a forceful “No!!! ”
… The illustration is lost in this age
of self esteem and children’s “rights”.
Is the mother wrong for grabbing her child firmly,
raising her voice, and saying “Never, ever do that again!!! ” ?
The way in which modern society carries on
about parental discipline (for those, that is,
who actually use it) the answer seems to be … “yes”.
Far better, apparently, to not “damage the child’s self esteem”
– to let a child throw a temper tantrum
and defiantly do whatever it wants –
than to stand firm and declare that such an action is wrong,
and will not be tolerated in the family.
The same is true in a moral community of caring families
who seek the higher good for their children and loved ones.
When young people or adults determine to behave
like selfish or immature children, they must be
forcefully confronted with the standards of right and wrong
of the community of people, amongst which they live.
When deviant men in modern society sexually brutalize little girls;
when savage youths torment and assault an innocent
or elderly member of society;
when sadistic killers beat a victim to death,
every effort is made to assure
that their “rights” must not be violated.
Every excuse under the sun is offered to show how
sadistic and irresponsible people are victims of society;
or victims of circumstance … or that mummy did not
hug them enough when they were children.
Conversely, people are jailed by belligerent police
and tyrannical prosecutors despite lack of evidence;
and based upon the supposition of incompetent investigations;
because the media and “the public” want “something to be done”.
Equitable consideration, judicial discernment,
and the application of wisdom by those who are maturely
and morally qualified to do so,
seem rarely to be exercised anymore.
For forty years – in secular society – the “rights”
of paedophiles, rapists, and murderers
have been increasingly protected;
while to uphold capital punishment for sadistic predators,
is tantamount to being ‘barbaric’.
Protect the offender; victimize the victim,
is the way of modern “justice” towards those
who can “work the system”.
And society turns its collective conscience
to the next “reality” television programme
or spectacle of grown men playing games
around a sports field or ice rink.
It is little wonder then, that holding people accountable
for their malicious actions,
is now considered to be “unreasonable”;
or that morally shunning an obdurate offender
in order to protect the innocent, is deemed “unloving”
by the bulk of apathetic humanity
in this decadent and self-deifying age.
Protection of the Weak;
Protection of the Innocent.
Removal of the threat to a peaceful community …
… are concepts that have long been
increasingly distasteful to a humanist society.
By following the unpleasant practice of shunning,
the biblical Christian family declares that its members
CARE enough for the Children and the Innocent
in its midst,
to make certain that the Wilful moral offender
will not be permitted to corrupt those
who seek to live in peace and contentment
within the community.
Although the practical application of The Ban, noted above,
should be more than enough reason
for its inclusion in a Moral society,
there is – for the Anabaptist – a further reason for shunning.
In communities such as the Amish,
adults are not members of the church
until they make a vow unto God and fellow church-members;
proclaiming that they wish to join the church
and abide by the conduct of their fellows.
When such a person decides to pursue a course of selfishness
and defiance, it behoves the remaining members to shun him
– not merely to (hopefully) return him to the fold …
but also, that the church community
may not be seen to be taking part, or assisting,
the offender to break the vow that had been made unto God.
What seems rarely to be considered by those
who brazenly voice their malice
at the very idea of the Ban,
is that shunning does not mean that
– whilst social fellowship is indeed removed –
compassion for the offender is also removed.
Nothing is further from the truth –
however much the Ignorant may vehemently insist to the contrary.
Should a tragedy such as is common to daily life occur
– illness, bereavement, weather damage to home or property –
the community will, and does, rally to the aid of the offender
in their time of turmoil or distress.
Housework will be done; meals will be provided;
repairs to home or outbuildings
will be carried out by the community.
One is obliged to wonder just how often
such can be said of worldly society at large.
Can the Practice of The Ban extend
to matters that are ridiculous?
Wherever men impose their own subjective notions
and opinions into the lives of others,
abuse will inevitably occur.
It is tragically observable that in communities
continuing the practice of The Ban, shunning extends
to offenses as (surely?) mundane as someone
leaving to join another church
or live with a different community.
There is an all-too-often-forgotten concept
known as Christian Prudence, which requires
wisdom and mature discretion;
and the sensitive application
of the whole tenor of the Bible.
Sadly, people increasingly seem incapable
of applying judicious wisdom to individual situations.
In matters of morality, the Ban certainly has its place.
It is admittedly sad, however, when a “tribal” mentality
takes over from common sense and discretion.
Given the immoral, selfish, greedy, litigious,
and gratuitously violent state of society
in the 21st century,
one cannot but believe that the bulk of humanity
should far rather
look to the practice of morally holding Reprobates
accountable for their actions …
rather than criticising those who do.