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The Rev. Dr. Elton Richards

Tell It Like It Is!

Matthew 18:15-20

September 08, 1996

The Rev. Dr. Elton Richards (ELCA)

Shame on Matthew for such sloppy editing! Shame on Matthew for putting words into the mouth of Jesus! This grievance manual inserted in Matthew 18 is an intrusion! Such guidelines for conflict resolution may be necessary in the workplace but definitely not salutary in the church.

I can hardly believe Jesus could have uttered these words. The text concludes with the excommunication of an impenitent offender urging the church to treat that one as a Gentile and a tax collector. In his ministry Jesus embraced such people and much to the consternation of the Scribes and Pharisees, even ate with them.

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