Is 2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15 referring to the excommunicated (David Dickson)

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Vers. 14. And if any man obey not our word by this Epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Exhort. 7. That they note the refractory, and brand them, that obey not the Apostolical doctrine, that is, that they excommunicate those, which is manifest from this, that he commands that they have no society with him that is thus noted, which is the consequent of excommunication, and for this end commands that the excommunicate person, segregated from the society of others, be∣ing ashamed might enter into himself, and repent.

Vers. 15. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

He expounds the Commandment, that they be not cruel toward the excommunicated person, or esteem him as an enemy, but to shew their hatred to his sin, that the excommunicated person may understand that under that severe correction, there is brotherly love, and so he may be reduced into favour with God, and the Church, by repentance.

David Dickson, An exposition of all St. Paul’s epistles together with an explanation of those other epistles of the apostles St. James, Peter, John & Jude: wherein the sense of every chapter and verse is analytically unfolded and the text enlightened (London: Francis Eglesfield, 1659), p. 157.

I had always presumed that this verse was referring to those who had received lesser censures than excommunication, though I wonder if David Dickson is referring to the lesser excommunication (suspension from the Lord's Supper)? His comments on verse 14, however, would seem to suggest that Dickson is referring to the greater excommunication.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
In excommunication, is a former member now counted as an unbeliever? I’m not quite clear on that. What’s their membership status during excommunication?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
In excommunication, is a former member now counted as an unbeliever? I’m not quite clear on that. What’s their membership status during excommunication?

It would be my opinion that we are to view one who has been (justly) excommunicated as an unbeliever until they repent. They are not merely a member under discipline but a heathen and a tax collector.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
In 2 Thessalonians 3, surely the man isn't excommunicated, since he's to be admonished as a friend and a brother. As you said you've understood it, also. So Dickson's comment on the two verses doesn't seem clear to me, either.
 
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