Contemplating Matthew 18:17

This seems apropos given the recent discussion popping up around this verse and how it’s used in “church discipline” situations. Here’s the verse, for context it is talking about someone being unrepentant in the community, I added in the illustrations:

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan

or a tax collector.”

I know I’m probably missing something that the clever exegetes will pull out of this – that this passage is really talking about how it’s more loving to hold to the bad old way of treating tax collectors, you know, with contempt, like how the Pharisees did it:

Still I can’t square this with Jesus’ persistence in treating tax collectors and pagans well and not ignoring them or telling his followers to shun them, instead he’s always calling them to be disciples and/or saying they possess more faith than anyone in Israel. Indeed, let’s remember that the slur against Jesus was not “enemy of publicans [tax collectors] and sinners” or “shunner of publicans and sinners” or even “passive-aggressive ignorer of publicans and sinners” but “friend of publicans and sinners.” Why should we use Matthew 18:17 to justify acting like some bad mix of Pharisees and Scientologists?