Church Discipline

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    A member of my church has been arrested and charged with indecent exposure by a member of the local PD's Vice Squad. Both step 1 & 2 of Matt.18 have been followed. My question is "Should the member be brought before the body in absentia?" He has refused to admit guilt, denies the charges and refuses to come before the body. In my opinion the body should be informed in order to withdraw fellowship. I would like to hear your opinion in regards to this incident.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    How long ago was the charge made? What does he say happened? Is it going to trial? Are you certain that he did it? I am trying to get a time handle on the thing.

    If he did it and refuses to repent, the next step of dis-fellowshipping him ought to be taken.
     
  3. annsni

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    Those who know him are most probably aware of what's going on. As to the rest of the church, are you going to accuse before the evidence and trial is in? With a case like this, unless there was a member of the church who was privy to what happened and knows for sure he's guilty, then I do not think that you can go before the church yet. However, if he does come back to church, until the trial is over, I'd have a church member "shadow" him - and let him know about it. It's for his own safety as well as those in the congregation because if he's not guilty, it is making sure that no one can accuse him of anything while he's there.

    Once the trial is over, then you'll have your answer as to how to proceed.
     
  4. Berean

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    Tom Bryant;
    This incident happened in mid 2007, entrapment claimed convicted, sentenced, (jail & fine)appealed and still pending.
    Subject has previous history and one other instance of same offence where he came before body and asked for restoration.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    A previous history denotes a spiritual issue, as well as a psychological one.
    I think, when all the facts are in, the church should exclude him from membership, but not disallow him from attending services.

    That way, he can be counselled, prayed for, and guided.

    The purpose of exclusion should be explained to him, but he should still be loved because only the Lord knows those who are truly His.

    Just what I would do if I were pastor.

    Nobody has to necessarily agree.
     
  6. ituttut

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    This looks to be habitual behavior, and if not a young teenager, I would look to scripture for guidance. We find in I Corinthians 5 what a Body of Christ church is to do. The church can do this in an act of love for the saved sinner. If the sinner is not saved this act is for the love of the church involved.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    1. Church discipline is that oft neglected teaching of our Lord.

    2. Whenever the church obeys our Lord's command, the church has grown (Acts 5:1-16).

    3. But I believe we should take Paul's approach first and then church discipline as the next step if there's no restoration.

    "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal 6:1-2, TNIV).
     
    #7 TCGreek, Mar 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  8. Salamander

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    Church him. Then allow time for repentence unto restoration. Watch him carefully. If he refuses to change his behavior, turn him back over to satan as Paul did.

    A very sorrowful administration of the church to have to perform, but it will help the church to grow if the formula for discipline is followed.


    God will be glorified and sinners forewarned.

    If we allow those guilty of such heinous crimes to run free in our local assembledges, how long before they take over???
     
  9. TCGreek

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    Sal,

    I couldn't agree with you more.
     
  10. Joe

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    You say he has been truthful in the past, even admitting he has done this before? yet he is suddenly now, lying? His word was good before, on this exact issue yet it isn't good any more. That doesn't make sense.

    What makes more sense is a Cop saw his past conviction and framed him. The system is based on $$, Cops are pressured to arrest though quotas are illegal. In our State, it's DUI's especially since when they come up with enough of them, the Federal Government matches the funds. It's a gold mine. I would check out the evidence against him also.

    I would say believe him, you have no reason not to. He is your brother. Let it go, certainly do not humiliate him in front of the congregation further.

    It is his word against another Cop (unsaved person).

    But I would certainly warn others in charge of the children and watch him closely, just in case.

    Just my two cents.
     
    #10 Joe, Mar 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  11. saturneptune

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    It would also depend how your local church has treated other sin in the church. Sin does not exactly equate with breaking the law. For example, how many of the members on your church roll have not showed up for years? Has the church disciplined them? How many members are living in an intimate relationship that are not married? Has the church disciplined them? How about the gossips in the church hall ways? Has the church disciplined them? etc, etc, etc Oh and one more, how many have been disciplined for stuffing themselves like Christmas turkeys at the last pot luck and laughing about it?

    An arrest by civil authorities is not a standard for church discipline. It is sin against the Lord.
     
  12. Sopranette

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    Watch him very, very closely. He should certainly never allowed to work with certain people again. This kind of crime has a way of escalating, even going as far as rape. I'd be very careful. That he seems unremorseful is more than a little troubling.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  13. Salamander

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    I would suggest that the fellow move to a far away town and start over again in another church explaining his situation to the future church without asking to be a member for a very long time.

    In so doing he should contact the pastor of his former church about his intentions and simply move on, and that without telling him where he is going.

    This man needs a new start and it seems he is bogged down in this particular place.

    If he remains in this area and there is question of his innocense to the degree of not being able to prove his case, it would be to his better interest to start over.

    I say this because it seems, at a glance, that he is hindered, the church is hindered. If he is innocent God is not mocked and will certainly be his rereward.
     
  14. Salamander

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    It seems more he will always be "suspect" in that scenario.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    I have to agree with this approach.

    The goal of the church's action should be redemption, not punishment. If he is willing to work with assigned church members/professionals on discipleship (learning how to be transformed so that he can resist this sin) and counseling (to help him figure out what areas of his life make his vulnerable to this sin), then you should not "church" him. If he resists or makes excuses, then more dramatic action needs to be taken.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    You have raised some important issues here, saturneptune.

    That's why most of our churches need to repent.
     
  17. Palatka51

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    If he is still in jail make visitation a ritual. If he is out on bail pending trial, let the law take it's course. If found guilty, render Biblical discipline according to what Paul laid down in the Corinthian Church.
    Having a previous history is disconcerting. It shows a deeper desire for that sin. He could be very hard to reach for reconciliation. Harder still will your love be as you seek his restoration. Letting go may be the only choice.
     
  18. Joe

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    Wise words. Why is this automatically any worse than other sins?

    The key is whether there was a victim or not who called the Cops THEMSELVES to report it.

    If he flashed a friend, then clearly ignore it. They were horsing around. If within the arrest paperwork there is a statement by a stranger who says he flashed her, I would still be cautious. The Cops may have pressured her/him to write it. See how the statement is worded, and PHONE this victim before hurting your brother needlessly. Or visit them in person. I bet this person will say he/she didn't feel it was intentional and walked into view of it.

    Very few people do something like this intentionally to shock someone (hurt them) yet many are arrested for it when it's only done for fun.

    If a Cop witnessed it, and says others saw it but there is no real people to pinpoint, then that is not credible.

    OR he may have needed to relieve himself, yet there was no bathroom nearby. Most of these types of proscutions, imo, are bogus.

    Usually, it's a few people horsing around in too public of an area, when they didn't realize someone was there. Living in the Foothills, it's not uncommon for people flash/moon one another for fun, (runners, hikers and bikers on the trails) but if a Police Officer sees it, you could get arrested. The Courts are left with deciding whether the area was public or private. No one takes it seriously.

    Basically, was it intentional to hurt a stranger (shock them)? Can this be PROVEN? If so, it is a very serious situation imo. He's probably not dangerous but like Sopranette said, it could escalate to rape. Probably not.

    You have alot to examine before condemning your brother imo. If you aren't up to the task, then I would stay out of it.

    P.S. Just saw he was arrested by a Vice Squad? Oh my! Sounds pretty questionable to me, he's probably innocent but the paperwork should help decipher this.
     
    #18 Joe, Mar 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  19. standingfirminChrist

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    That is called 'stalking' and is against the law.

    In Paul's judgment against the man who was having an adulterous affair with his step-mother, Paul did not say, 'Wait until he comes to trial.' Paul said, 'Put such an one out from amongst you.'

    If the man has been confronted one on one, or two on one, and still does not repent, Jesus said 'Take it before the brethren.'

    It would be wise to follow Jesus command and Paul's instruction. Announce before the congregation that the man has fallen, that they are not to hate him but rather love him, but he must be put out from amongst them.
     
  20. standingfirminChrist

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    Bad call. You do not know that the cop is unsaved. I have police friends that are saved... two of which are preachers of the Word of God.
     

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