Started on 7/11/11
Completed on 7/11/11
Shunning! That is one we have a hard time understanding about the Amish isn't it? I actually get it. I wouldn't like it and it would be beyond difficult to shun a member of my own family, but I do get it.
I grew up in ultra conservative Churches of Christ. It was rare but there were instances of disfellowshipping members that were straying. In some cases I believe it was done incorrectly and most likely not out of love in the way it was intended from their interpretation of the Bible. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth even now.
If the practice is to be observed, I think the Amish do it pretty accurately. You can tell they shun out of love and with mighty hopes that the lost sheep will find its way back to the flock. Unfortunately I never saw it used with love growing up.
Luckily, we are members of a Church of Christ (and I am thankful that each congregation governs itself with autonomy from other ones) that has not exercised that practice in the 4 1/2 years we've been there. And we were at another for 5 years before that that did not exercise the practice either. Grace and mercy and an abundance of love seem to rule. Makes my heart feel better.
Father, help me always act out of love and reach out to others in Your name. Help my life reflect the light of Your love.