Church discipline

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by IfbReformer, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    I Corinthians 5

    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature[a] may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

    6Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
    9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

    Many churches today do not literally "expel" people from there churches for fear of lawsuits. They will simply revoke their membership(which means they cant take communion or vote, or serve in a office(such as teacher or bus driver) - other wise they can continue attending and participating in church activities. How does your church practice church discipline? Is it possible in our modern age of lawsuits to really practice church discipline as it seems to be suggested here in I Corinthians 5? Does I Corinthians 5 really demand we literally put the person out of our church? Or just revoke their membership?

    IFBReformer
     
    #1 IfbReformer, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2009
  2. Amy.G

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    No. Our church expels those who refuse to repent. A few months ago the church voted to expel a member who was involved in a homosexual relationship with a teenage girl who was living with her and her family. This member was also married with 3 children. She refused to repent and was even planning on marrying the girl.
     
  3. annsni

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    We also practice full church discipline. I think we only had one person who wanted to come back but was stopped at the door. Everyone else chose to leave the church and not come back. Not that we do it a lot - in the 12 or 13 years we've been there, I think it's happened 3 times??
     
  4. donnA

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    Haven't been at our church long enough for problems like that to come up. Bet we were told in the new members class last year that there have been time sof church disciplin, 3 times in the churches 21 year history, one chose to leave the church and another eventually repented and returned and another immediately repented, not aware of what she had been doing was that bad (it was more then gossip or something that slips by too often), she is apparently a stronger more committed chrsitan now. So I do know for a fact that it does happen there. Which was something we were looking for in a church.
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    Our church turns them into deacons. :tear:
     
  6. DrRandyGrace

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    I heard that, TS, I'll be a witness!
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    While I am all for church discipline eg turning them out and shunning them. I wonder if there is a consistent attempt to restore them? After all that is the purpose of church discipline.
     
  8. annsni

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    My question is what is the Biblical mandate for what we're to do to restore them? Are we to follow them and continue to try to change their mind or are we to turn them over to Satan and let them decide whether to repent or continue in their lifestyle?
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
     
  10. donnA

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    but how? what exactly should a church do?
     
  11. IfbReformer

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    But isnt that passage refering to a brother who is in the church? Its not someone who is living in open unrepentant sin is it? I know its a matter of interpretation - but I think if you look at Paul's attitude in I Corinthians 5 its about turning them out to Satan - hard love - see if perhaps they will repent.

    One other thing I did not mention is - I think there are some cases we can all think of where church discipline has been abused - I think its a very serious thing to discipline someone and should not be done lightly.

    For instance - just because someone disagrees with the Pastor or leadership on something does not mean they should be disciplined - unless they are trying to cause a division in the church.

    I even heard of a church once disciplining a woman for divorcing her husband(no infidelilty on her or his part) it was just that he was abusive to her. They felt she did not have sufficient grounds to divorce him so they disciplined her. I think when its a gray area like that we ought to avoid using church discipline.

    IFBReformer
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Which is not antithetical to restoration.

    Anything can be abused

    true

    It is not a gray area. however any spouse that is being abused should immediately leave them to obtain safety.
     
  13. Baptist4life

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    We have "removed from membership" several people from our church. It is voted on in business meetings by the congregation, without really going into the details of the person's sin, we just say "conduct unbecoming a Christian", and this is AFTER meetings with the pastor and deacons trying to restore the member.

    Most everyone already knows the situation, but we feel no need to openly discuss another's sin in public.

    Most "removed" members do not come back because they won't give up the sin that caused the problem. However, we have also had a few that repented, asked forgiveness, and are now once again a well loved, and welcome member.
     
  14. Johnv

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    ?? I've never heard of a single congregation whose membership or attendance policies are implimented with lawsuits in mind. As a matter of judicial history, churches are permitted to allow or refuse to allow whomever they want to attend, and use whatever discriminatory practices they want.
    In my current church, which is only a few years old, we had one member who was being disruptive (occaisionally interrupting the mornign message, frequently spreading some scripturally crackpot ideas when conversing with other churchgoers, and some other actions which included trying to cause strife amongst the brethren, and in one case, being caught in an act of petty theft from the church). Our church has a consistory form of government (not uncommon in reformed churches), of which my wife and I are both consistory members. Disiplining this person came up in a consistory meeting, and we voted to disallow this person from attending, the duration of which is to be contingent upon a demonstration of repentence as determined by the senior pastor. It als called for the senior pastor to notify him as to why the action was being taken. The decision to discipline this person was not one done lightheartedly. In fact, it's the first and only time I've ever had to deal with that as a church leader. It weighted very heaveily on my heart. I don't wish the the need to discipline a person on anyone or any church. If I never have to deal with that again, it will be too soon.
     
    #14 Johnv, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2009
  15. IfbReformer

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  16. annsni

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    We have our ministry covenant and employee paperwork written with a lawyer's advice so that the church can remove someone from employment or volunteer positions. There's no way someone can come back and say "unfair" now. Unfortunately, it's a reality in our society.
     

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