Church discipline gone wrong?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by pk4life, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. pk4life

    pk4life
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    There has been a few incidents in my life time, where I have seen "church discipline" take place.

    Once, a young, unmarried girl who had become pregnant, stood in front of the church, and apologized for her sin of fornication. The pastor then gave her a hug, and she was greeted by many people afterward. That girl stopped going to the church soon after.

    Another time, a man had gotten into a sexual sin, and the pastor admitted that the man had "apologized profusely" in a meeting with just he and the pastor. The man was told he should go through church discipline, and was stripped of his duties in the church. He then got in front of the church members, and apologized for what he had done. The man had a falling out with the pastor some months down the road, and left the church.

    Where does this idea of apologizing for your sins in front of a church come from?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    The only time someone should be brought before the church is if they are unrepentant.
     
  3. Havensdad

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    True, though we are commanded in a general sense to confess our sins to one another...(James 5:16)
     
  4. Zaac

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    The pattern is from Matthew 18:15-17 and how to respond with a brother who has wronged you.

    15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. Matt. 18:15-17

    But the person is only to be brought in front of the church if he refuses to repent in the other two instances.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    That does not translate to dragging someone who is repentant in private before the church.
     
  6. pk4life

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    That's an awful misguided way to use that pattern, wouldn't you say.

    To me, it speaks of punishment, and not of gaining a brother.
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    That has always been my understanding also. Though I have also heard, "the more public the sin, the more public the confession" - don't see any Biblical support for it though - not that there isn't any, I just have not seen it.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    I have not seen it either. My position is that regardless of the sin it should go through the process and once repentance has been obtained them the process is over. However, with regard to leadership in the church I believe they should make a public confession if the sin is serious as they resign.

    Just a side note, I do not believe failure while in the ministry means one can never serve in that position again. When we create doctrines that hold people's past and repentant sin against them then we should automatically know we are wrong.
     
  9. Herald

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    It depends on the sin. Child predators come to mind. Should they be restored to their office?
     
  10. pk4life

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    Did they repent and depart from their iniquity?
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Of course not. But I think it is great when someone decides to do it on their own. I make a practice of openly confessing my sins from the pulpit. I think open confession keeps us all honest, and combats the "fine-itis" that occurs every Sunday morning....(as in, "How are you doing?" "Fine.").
     
  12. pk4life

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    What about someone who slept with another mans wife, and then had that man killed?

    Should someone like that retain their position?

    Well... not from prison I guess...
     
  13. pk4life

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    I've heard pastors do this also.

    However, I'm still waiting for a hefty Baptist preacher to admit to gluttony from the pulpit.

    edit: without it being sarcastic.. that is.
     
    #13 pk4life, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2013
  14. Scarlett O.

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    But in what context?

    Are the churches who are dragging the "sinners" down to publicly tell all their dirty secrets and apologize for them - are those churches also anointing the sick with oil?

    Our sins - no matter how grievous - are committed against God alone. Certainly we may owe certain people restitution and we may owe society some jail time and we may have to forfeit things in order to pay consequences for our actions. But we ask for forgiveness of the sin - for repentance's sake from God alone.

    But confession of all the gritty details of our lives? In front of the whole church? That's not in the Bible.

    I just have to wonder about these churches who drag down pregnant girls and adulterous men. Do they snoop into the lives of the rest of congregation to see how many of the membership looks at porn every Saturday night before coming to church on Sunday morning?

    We've had two people in recent years who apologized to the church for adultery. One man and one woman in separate events and times. In both of those cases, they went to the pastor as asked if they could apologize to the church as the adultery affected their work at the church and affected some of the membership.

    In both cases, the pastor agreed, but spoke for them as not to allow time for spilling unnecessary details.

    He said in both cases that they had been down a "road" that they shouldn't have been and they knew it and had made restitution with those offended and had come to him to ask permission to express sorrow to the church. He said that they were repentant and that we should pray for them and their families and show them the love of God.

    The people never spoke at all nor were made to come forward.
     
  15. Judith

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    I too have seen this done with a young woman who was about 15 years old and pregnant while not married. It comes from a passage taken out of context in James which reads;
    James 5:16
    Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    The problem is that if this principle is followed to the letter as they believe then all that would ever get done in a service is confess sin by most everyone every service.

    The problem today is that very few churches even follow church discipline of any kind. So it is easy to see why the church is where it is.
    When we do things our way instead of God's way we lose.
     
  16. Salty

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    I visited a church one night - with such a preacher. I remember him saying that is was wrong to say bad things about obese folks.
     
  17. Mexdeaf

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    I'm obese, and not afraid to admit from the pulpit that it is a sin I struggle with- one of many. I ask our church folks to pray with me about it and help me by not giving me sweet stuff.

    My biggest challenge is that I need to be more active, but with three jobs where I spend the majority of my time sitting down either studying or teaching, and working on a MS degree, it is tough.

    Plus I'm in my late 50's so my metabolism isn't what it used to be.

    Prayers appreciated.
     
  18. Salty

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    According to Army Standards, I am about 90 lbs overweight. My BMI is 40.6.

    Next Tues I have a 0630 hrs apt at the VA to re-enroll in the VA MOVE program (note: i get off work at 0530 hrs).

    Mex - lets work together on this!
     
  19. Havensdad

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    First, lets be clear I am talking of voluntary confession.

    Second, the context is not just being sick. James is saying, "Admit your sins to start with" so you don't get sick. So, the Bible is still clear that we should "confess our sins" to one another.

    Third, read:

    Act 19:17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.
    Act 19:18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.
     
  20. pk4life

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    Well, I certainly wasn't throwing around any accusations here :thumbs:. Just some of what I've grown up with, it gets joked about a lot.
     

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