I was asked this last weekend about what a fellowship should do when a predator or threatening individual comes among them. Apparently some people think that you must allow anyone to participate, no matter how argumentative or threatening they behave.

The adulterous and predatory almost always cannot be reformed, and must be excluded. They will victimize and destroy. We are commanded to cast out those who steal, love and make a lie, commit adultery and refuse to repent. The Teaching & Commandment we have been given instructs us:

[Y]ou shall not kill; he that kills shall die. You shall not steal, and he that steals and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall not lie; he that lies and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall love your wife with all your heart and shall cleave unto her and none else, and he that looks upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repent not he shall be cast out. You shall not commit adultery, and he that commits adultery and repents not shall be cast out; and he that commits adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsakes and does it no more, you shall forgive him; but if he does it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. You shall not speak evil of your neighbor or do him any harm. You know my laws, they are given in my scriptures. He that sins and repents not shall be cast out. If you love me, you shall serve me and keep all my commandments. (T&C 26:8, emphasis added.)

This is still binding. If your fellowship includes those who ought to be “cast out” you have the obligation to do so rather than encouraging evil by tolerating it. Be patient, but be firm. If a person refuses to repent and forsake sins, end fellowship with them and invite penitent others who are interested in practicing obedience and love.

Christ’s gospel is not impractical. It is designed to give those who seek righteousness to be able to achieve it. Tolerance and compassion are needed. But tolerance and compassion do not include acceptance of sin. Particularly the sins listed in the above revelation.

I would not go out of my way to uncover the sins of others. But if they wear their sins openly, you have an obligation to “cast them out.”