have you ever excommunicated a member of your church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Yeshua1, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    And would that be the appropiate "punishment" for a true Christian who jusr refuses to deal with known sin issues?

    At that point, would even his salvation be called in question, might he just be a professer?
     
  2. annsni

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    While my husband hasn't done it personally (he's an associate pastor), our church HAS done it. It's not been a pretty thing but our prayer is repentance and restoration. In a few cases that has happened and a few cases resulted in true colors coming out and people leaving anyway in a very angry huff. But it is the healthy way to deal with sin that affects the congregation.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Is it!?! How so?
     
  4. saturneptune

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    Last time for us was in the 1940s. The congregation disfellowshipped a married couple for dancing with each other. The action was totally unjustified. A few years before that someone was disfellowshipped for investing in the stock market. Before a congregation can exercise church discipline, the lives of the congregation have to be collectively above the person they are disfellowshipping.

    In a sense, we exercise church discipline by removing names from the roll that have not been heard from or seen in years, or in some cases, decades.
     
    #4 saturneptune, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2014
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    Yes. A couple of times. Once, in the case of a deacon who was found to be practicing adultery and refused to repent, once, in the case of a young couple who would not stop living together (that very nearly ended up in a lawsuit), and once in the case of a woman who was promoting false doctrines.

    One of the saddest cases was a man who had a mental illness, who refused to take his medicine and, when off his meds, became...let's just say, not safe for the ladies in the church to be around. We pleaded with him to stay on his medication so he could be a part of the church, but he just wouldn't do it. We did everything we could think of to accommodate him and his needs, but when he attacked a young woman in our church, we had to remove him. That whole incident was tragic on so many levels.

    We've also removed people from the roles for non-attendance/non-participation, but we don't see that as excommunication.

    Church discipline can be as simple as just putting your arm around a brother and saying, "Hey, what's going on? Anything we can do? How can we pray for you?" It rarely rises to the level of excommunication but, when it does, it should always be done humbly, Biblically, with much prayer, and with the goal of restoring the brother or sister to a right relationship with God.

    If he refuses to deal with the sin issue (i.e. repent), then wouldn't that be an indication that he's not a "true Christian"?

    Yes.
     
  6. pk4life

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    Once there was a belligerent couple that was consistently making a scene during services. As soon as they were talked to they got angry and left for good. So I guess that is the best example I have.

    I have, however, seen on three separate occasions (in the same church) where repentant people were dragged through an unscriptural church discipline process... and then they stopped coming too.
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    Judgement begins in the house of God, we are to judge among ourselves, to put out from us those whose lifestyles and refusal to submit to church discipline, and more important to the admoniyion of the Lord, are to be kicked out of the assembly, as cannot allow for persisitant unrepented/unconfessed sin practices to go on, as it provides a liceanse to sin, and gives the testimony of that church a black eye!

    also important to remember though to be done ONLY as last step, and that their is to be an open door for that person to come back once right again with the Lord!
     
  8. Jacob_Elliott

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    My church has done this twice. The first time was our music minister who had been making very inappropriate sexual comments to women. The final straw was when he started doing it to young ladies in our youth group. We went to him three different times and refused to admit it. We offered to pay him to go to a Christian counselor and he refused. The second case was a young woman who was letting a married man live with her and was sleeping with him. Again, we went to her 3-4 times and she denied it. Well she got pregnant and still refused to repent.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    Do you think that if a church refuses to deal with it when necessary, that they cann fall under chaistisement of God, or maybe have their testimony and influence in area really damaged?
     
  10. JohnDeereFan

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    Absolutely. Look at what happened to the Church at Corinth when they refused to expel the immoral brother.

    Look at the reproach Ergun Caner and those who support his sin have brought on the Church and on the cause of Christ.
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Another was Jimmy swaggert, as the AoG requires a minister caught in that to step down a year for couseling and a review before rassuming pulpit, but he took the La district 3 montha and broke awa, as he wanted it on his terms!
     
  12. annsni

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    Joe and Mary are married and Joe decides to have an affair and leave Mary. Mary faithfully continues to attend your church but Joe left for a time. Soon Joe and Sue, his new girlfriend come to church and sit in the front row, enjoying the benefits of church. The congregation fully knows the situation. What do we do?

    Bill is a gentleman who starts coming to the church, is excited about things there and joins. Soon it is found that Bill likes the women a little too much and begins to use praying with them as a way to get uncomfortably close to them, sometimes even touching them lightly in inappropriate ways. He is approached about the issue by a deacon with the blessing of the pastors. Bill continues to do what he does. Bill is then visited by the pastor and another deacon who is a police officer and he is told in no uncertain terms to cease and desist. He does for a couple of weeks and then goes right back to what he loves to do. What do you do?

    Jill is a young woman who works with the youth as a youth sponsor (youth leader). She is a great girl and has been a big help but then it is discovered that she threw a party at her house while her parents were away (she is in her 20s and still living at home) with alcohol and drugs that she provided. Some of the youth attend the party and get drunk. She is removed from a leadership position and spoken to and she refuses to agree that she did anything wrong and her parents also support the daughter. What should be done?

    A longtime member in good standing leaves his wife (also a longtime member) and begins cross dressing. He is now pursuing an operation to become a woman but he still wishes to attend your church and be a member. What do you do?

    In some of these cases, it is really in the interest of the health of the congregation to gently "excommunicate" these members not in spite or anger but in hopes of future restoration. Contact is still kept with each one in hopes of working with them towards repentance but they are no longer allowed to be a member of the church and in some cases, they are asked to no longer enter the church building (as in the case of Bill).
     
  13. JohnDeereFan

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    That was a little different. In Swaggart's case, he left before facing church discipline.

    In Ergun Caner's case, the Church neglected their obligation to him and to the Church to discipline him.
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    Same situation though, as his church refused to discipline by AoG rules the agreed to uphold, so broke off and went independent!
     
  15. JohnDeereFan

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    I didn't realize that. Thank you for the correction.

    In Ergun Caner's case, he was fired from his position but it looks like nobody loves him enough to exercise church discipline.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    his LA district and church did that, as they realised having his ministry without him there would not keep offerings coming in!
     
  17. Jon-Marc

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    In one church we had a young man (early 20's) who refused to bathe. The stench coming from him was nauseating, and visitors said they wouldn't be back. He was given the choice to bathe or leave. He told the pastor that he had no right telling him he had to bathe and chose to leave and not come back.
     
  18. JohnDeereFan

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    Hmm...

    First, is there a reason he wouldn't bathe? Did he have a physical condition that made it painful (there is such a thing) or a mental condition like a phobia?

    Second, what was the church's Biblical grounds for excommunicating him?

    Just from the little bit you've described, I have to agree with Stinky. I don't see bad hygene as a reason for excommunication.
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    I was disciplined from the membership of my home church in 1968 for "disloyalty". I didn't care (I wasn't loyal!!)

    Sad thing - in WWII our church had a conflict with folks who were not in favor of war with Germany (they had family there) and created a stink. The church passed a by-law that the Pastor/executive committee could immediately dismiss a member and forbid them coming on church property for "disloyalty". To America, of course, and the war effort. Reasonable.

    So 30 years later, because I had met with the pastor and executive committee about some horrific problems in the church and told them I was moving my membership, they used this executive power to immediately dismiss me. Disloyalty . . to THEM. Sad.

    I was licensed to preach in a new congregation many miles distant and when the church sent for my "letter of membership" to be transferred they got the note that I was NOT a member because of "disloyalty".

    I share this because I count it as a badge of honor!
     
  20. Jkdbuck76

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    Dr. Bob, were they heathens who DARED to speak evil of covered dish pitch ins? :)
     

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