Church Discipline

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Fawn, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Fawn

    Fawn
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  2. mcdirector

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  3. donnA

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    This church used the biblcal model for discipline And after reading and studying our new churches by laws, we would handle it much the same way. Except the steps would be carried out by pastorial staff. Which is a big improvement over how our previouse church would and has handled it, by doing nothing.
     
  4. sag38

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    From what I can tell the woman is no longer attending the church. Without going into sordid details the church should remove her from membership and withdraw fellowship.
     
  5. Fawn

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  6. donnA

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    Do churches usually remove people from membership if they do not attend for a while? How long till they are removed?
     
  7. saturneptune

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    Several things strike me about the article. First of all, the model for church discipline is not public humiliation, but repentence and reunion. The three steps in Matthew are go to the person yourself, then take a person with you if that does not work, then let the church body handle it. That is hardly public humiliation. This being an elder rule church, the elders should have handled it privately. If in fact their mindset is to humiliate and not encourage repentence, the the elders need to be removed from office.

    My next question is how does the church know she is having an immoral relationship?

    Donna, as to your question, our church has a policy in writing of withdrawal of membership after one year of non attendance and support for one year, with execptions for military, college, medical reasons, mission field, or living away temporary on some type of job. In practice, we have only removed from the rolls non-resident members after decades of absence. Resident members who do not attend, which is about 65% of the roll, we have barely done anything about. Again, each local church must decide their own policy on attendance.
     
  8. Havensdad

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    Scripture does not say "and if they refuse remove them from membership", nor does it say "if they refuse, tell it to the elders". It says if they refuse tell it to the "assembly"(ekklesia).

    What makes me sad, is while this church is doing EXACTLY what scripture has commanded (in fact, they are being nicer than scripture: scripture never says "write them a letter, warning them of your intent to tell it to the church"), Christians all over the net are joining in with secular folks, atheists, etc., who hate Jesus just as much as these rules this church is obeying, in attacking this obedient church.

    Shame on every one of them, for holding up a "scolding finger", for a church that had the guts to obey Christ. The reason it makes those Christians uncomfortable, is because they do not have that kind of guts themselves.
     
  9. mcdirector

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    ack! don't apologize! Happens lots of times ;)
     
  10. Zenas

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    This church has the correct scriptural model for discipline of its members. We should all take notice and learn. However, this woman has withdrawn from the church and now she is a nonmember. They no longer have any authority over her. If they bring her up before the church like they have announced, she will have every right to sue them for a number of things--intentional infliction of emotional distress; publication of private facts; outrageous conduct, and possibly some other torts. The courts will bend over backward to not get involved with a church disciplining its own members. But when the church reaches out to deal with the spiritual state of a nonmember, it is clearly actionable in a court of law.
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Becoming a member of a church is a contract. She has no legal wherewithal at all, as long as there by laws are clear. Secondly, I think she has lost all credibility with THAT claim, by going to the national media. It is her, not they, who has exposed her adulterous affair.

    Where in scripture does it say "And if they withdraw membership, nevermind"? The reason for the "tell it to the church" bit, is so that the church body knows the reason they are "not to eat" with her, fellowship with her, etc.

    If you just "took the elders word for it", there could be a woman ostracized from the community because she was smoking a cigarette, or having a glass of wine with dinner.

    No, this church needs to continue following the Bible, as if the media never got involved.
     
  12. saturneptune

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    The issue is not what type of church government, but the purpose of church discipline. It is not public humiliation. It is repentence and restoration.
     
    #12 saturneptune, Dec 20, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2008
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    There is no contract unless such terms and conditions are detailed in such a contract. She has every right to sue them, and I hope she does. What a bunch of busybodies! I hope she does sue and gets a boatload of their money.
     
  14. Jon-Marc

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    Since she is no longer a part of that church, they have no business saying anything about what she's doing. Had she stayed in the church, they would be within their rights to take it before the church--as long as they went through the Bible's commands in Matthew 18:15,16 first. First the rebuke should be one on one, then with two or three witnesses if the offender won't listen to that one. Then if the person won't listen, it is to be taken before the church body. However, she has left that church and is no longer subject to their discipline. Why embarrass the children needlessly and drive them away?
     
  15. Havensdad

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    Who said anything about church governance? The "assembly" means the "assembly", not "the elders" or "the deacons" or "certain important persons". Regardless of church governance "ekklesia" is not "presbuterion" nor is it "diakonea".

    Jesus said to tell it to the "assembly": that is the entire body in a given area. They are not TRYING to humiliate her: when sin is exposed, it is by it's nature humiliating. There is no way they could obey Jesus' commands without humiliating her.
     
  16. Havensdad

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    Busybodies? Because they are obeying Jesus?

    This is not gossip. It is the Church leadership explaining to their congregation exactly what happened, so there WON'T be a bunch of "gossip" ("Do you know what I heard it was?..."No, I heard it was______").

    If they get sued, they will be suffering for the sake of Christ and His Word. And they will be rewarded in Heaven for it.
     
  17. Havensdad

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    Not so. There is no allowance made in scripture for someone "withdrawing their membership" to avoid the disciplinary process. As far as the rest, they followed it to a "T". They went alone, then with witnesses. When she refused the "group" they informed her they were taking it to the Church. She withdrew her Membership.

    But they MUST continue the process: were they not, there would be no end of stories, painting the woman in an even WORSE light than she is now: situations like this one breed no end of tawdry tales.

    Actually, they are doing the woman a favor, by preventing worse stories from circulating. The woman has brought humiliation upon herself, by going to the national news media.
     
  18. Zenas

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    I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. I agree that the woman's case would be stronger if she had not gone to the press with it, but that is a defense and not a bar to bringing the action. The smart money is on the woman winning if the church goes through with its plans.

    By the way, Havensdad, do you really think the members of that church should shun this woman? If so, could you please explain what you mean? Are you suggesting they should not be her friend anymore?
     
  19. Salamander

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    Why could anyone take this woman's objection seriously???

    She's already PUBLICKLY revealed her sins!!!:tonofbricks:

    I agree with church discipline. This church is following the Scripture to turn such an one over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.

    She has beat their deadline allby herself. Now if she will just realize how far satan has already taken her and see she has done his work by revealing the sin which the church would do if she refuses to repent.

    The best advice she could receive is to get the deadbeat out of her house before she totally destroys her children for the illicit affair.
     
  20. Amy.G

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    I thought Christians weren't supposed to sue one another? :confused:


    Not only has this woman disobeyed God by living in a sinful relationship, she is disobeying God by taking other Christians to court.

    I do agree that the church handled the situation correctly until she left the church. There is no point in bringing her sins to the assembly if she has already left. She is no longer a part of the church.

    The church does not have any right to discipline people who are on the outside.
     

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