Church Discipline

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Frogman, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    If a member of your local church is charged with a particular sin (practicing) and they deny the charge when approached and then two or three are gone to them and they deny the charge, and then it is brought before the church, when they deny it again, if the church accepts their denial as truth, is it then Biblical to bring charges against the person who started this charge in the first place?

    An honest question.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Before you bring it to the church, you need to know for sure what is going on. You don't bring something before the church that is not proven true.
     
  3. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Thanks Pastor Larry. I understand this. Let me say it this way.

    If I am a member of your local church, if I fall into an adulterous lifestyle, you know about it, you confront me (Biblical process is followed), all the way along the line, I deny this. In the end the church accepts my denial of the charge, then brings charges against you for your accusation of me.

    Where is the burden of proof? is it not with myself to withstand the "real" scrutiny of the investigation of the church?

    Is it realistic to think that in every case and possible scenario, I will simply admit to my sinfulness and repent, or is it plausible that my first reaction to you, to those 2 or three witnesses you return with and also later before the church, that I will deny these charges?

    Then, on the grounds (after little investigation) into my lifestyle, you are charged (not individually) but collectively by church action for bringing these charges against myself, even though you know I am continuing in this lifestyle and have only provided a cursory denial of the charge.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Bro D.
    Time is the best friend of truth. If you can wait it out, God will vindicate. If not, God will lead a man to another church.
    Thanks ----Bart
     
  5. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Thanks dear Brother. Just for clarification, I used myself as an example. Although this is a real situation, it is not directly involving myself as either the person bringing the original charge, nor the person standing accused.

    Sadly, very sadly, it has been about a two year process, that was ignored at the first, and is now festered to an open sore.

    I fear the latter of your 'conclusions' will ultimately be the result of my personal actions.

    Thanks dear brethren for your replies to me.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Usually, in that case, there is enough solid evidence. If I do not have the solid evidence, then I will not make it an issue. I may talk to the person about it and point out that there are some things that seem out of place.

    Secondly, it is a process of time. When we did it here (the last and only time so far) it was a matter of almost a year, from the first confrontation in February or March until the discipline session in December. During that time I was in regular contact with this person urging repentance and confession. They simply refused. They dropped out of church and thye refused to come and defend themselves.

    I agree with Bart, that time is the best friend of truth. Usually, time will bring it out. If the person maintains denial, then you are in a tougher place, but usually there is evidence, such as "I saw ...," phone records, etc. If you do not have either a confession or solid evidence, you should probably think twice about going public.

    However, in the case where it is brought public by the pastor, who should be the one making the final call on when and what is brought forth, then I would hope that the congregation has enough confidence in the pastor to know that he acted in good faith, rather than making spurious charges. In that case, a pastor needs a little "political capital" (to use a worldly phrase). If he has built up a reputation of godliness and care for others, he has some political capital to spend here without running the risk of being accused of being vindictive and hateful.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Having read your last post, I would add to say this: If there was not the evidence of vindictiveness of hatred on the part of hte original accuser ... if that person was acting in good faith and biblical principles, then I don't think there is grounds for discipline.
     
  8. Frogman

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    Thanks again Brother Larry,
    This involves as I said a complicated two years worth of processes, which at the first was ignored and now has erupted to involve more individuals. It is all confined to one specific group.

    It is becoming a problem, which is going to be very difficult to resolve without someone being hurt. I don't think intentionally, but nevertheless, hurt feelings are hurt feelings.

    Brother Dallas
     

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