The primary question for many people is Why is shunning practiced? The social isolation of an individual who shares the same belief seems unkind, almost inhuman.
Is that really the case? This practice dates back to the first century Christians when the Apostle John made the point: (2 John 10, 11) 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. 11 For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.
The Apostle Paul described what things these ones could be engaged in at (1 Corinthians 5:11) 11 But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. . .
So it was an approved practice in the Christian congregation.
Now Paul also explained what we are to look for when a fellow Christian is found to practice things listed above, he is recorded as saying: (Acts 26:20) 20 but to those in Damascus first and then to those in Jerusalem, and over all the country of Ju·deʹa, and also to the nations, I was bringing the message that they should repent and turn to God by doing works that befit repentance. . .
So shunning doesn’t apply to everyone who commits sin, it is a practice reserved for two types of sinner the one who fails to repent, repentance is evidenced by their course of action. Secondly those who fail to accept the word of god and preach an alternative doctrine.
In the congregation it is often described as having their ears tickled or hearing words that satisfy them.
The Bible clearly lists the practices that are offensive to God and separate individuals from God. There isn’t a sense of ambiguity but it cause offence in the early Christian congregation and continues to cause offence to liberal society.
Shunning is a consequence of saying on the one hand “I am a Christian and dedicate myself to keep God’s standards” but in practice have been found to be hypocritical and unrepentant; therefore the statement is no longer true.
If I volunteer for a project and I am giving a role with responsibilities, when I decide to stop volunteering or fail to accept the responsibility does the organisation I say I volunteer for have any reason for keeping me on as volunteer? Not at all. In reality when volunteers fail to turn or fail to behave in an appropriate manner they are often told they are surplus to requirements. If they try to come back it is a harder road because they let the project down previously. Society naturally shuns people. Christians who practice this openly are really being honest with the person.
We can’t profess to be a Christian and associate with Christians if we are leading a false life. Think of the Bible account of Ananias in Acts chapter , his sin wasn’t public but was known to God. Although others would never have been aware of the deception he was judged.
Where we are aware of sin Christians are required to reach out to help the sinner but if they don’t want the help, they continue to live a life outside of Gods standards then shunning has to be the consequence.
No Christian I know that accepts shunning does so with a sense of joy.
So in answer to the question – Yes shunning is Christian because the aim is to restore that person to a good relationship with God whilst protecting the congregation of Christ.