Read 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” (v 11)

Much has been written in recent years about the Amish practice of “shunning,” the Meidung. But few who rail against it understand the concept and the purpose.

The shun is instituted in a situation where a person who has become an avowed member of the church disobeys one of the church’s ordinances and will not repent. And the purpose is to cause the shunned individual to want to return. Facing isolation from the wonderful social life of the Amish community is designed to cause the prodigal to see that the price for such beautiful gifts is small indeed. And it seems that the Amish draw some of their ideas for it from this passage or ones like it. Those being shunned must eat at a separate table even from their own families.

In these verses, the Apostle Paul was zeroing in on the idea of being cozy with those who are in deliberate and unabashed rebellion to God’s Word. The Amish would hold up their rulebook, the Ordnung. But New Testament believers must give the greatest reverence to the Bible. It is the Book that demands our first allegiance. And keeping regular company with those who lightly esteem it will infect our own souls sooner or later. (Valerie Quesenberry)

Shun evil companions, Bad language disdain;
God’s name hold in rev’rence, Nor take it in vain;
— H. R. Palmer

You will become like your companions.