In response to a question about whether a congregation should disfellowship another believer for voting, David Lipscomb offered this advice about any act of withdrawal of fellowship (Gospel Advocate, 1875, 399):
Our brother asks the question how far may a man go in sin, without being withdrawn from. We are not much of a believer in capital punishment either in church or state. We are never willing to give a man up finally, until we believe he has committed the sin unto death. So long as a man really desires to do right, to serve the Lord, to obey his commands, we cannot withdraw from him. We are willing to accept him as a brother, no matter how ignorant, he may be, or how far short of the perfect standard his life may fall from this ignorance. We do not mean either to intimate that we are willing to compromise or to hold in abeyance one single truth of God’s holy writ, from any motive of policy or expediency. We will maintain the truth, press the truth upon him, compromise not one word or iota of that truth, yet forbear with the ignorance, the weakness of our brother who is anxious but not yet able to see the truth. I feel sure, if I am faithful and he willing to learn the truth, he will come to the full measure of my knowledge. Why should I not, when I fall so far short of perfect knowledge myself? How do I know that the line beyond which ignorance damns, is behind me, not before him? If I have no forbearance with his ignorance, how can I expect God to forbear with mine?
What is needed is patient instruction and discipline in the church, instead of withdrawal from the weak. Final withdrawal is the end of discipline. I have no doubt it is much too often hastily resorted to without previous instruction and discipline…So long then as man exhibits a teachable disposition, is wiling to hear, to learn and obey the truth of God, I care not how far off he may be, how ignorant he is, I am willing to recognize him as a brother. No matter how wise or how near the truth or how moral a man may be, if he sets up a standard of his own or another and is not willing to learn of God, take his law and obey him, then I can withdraw from him.