Is anyone familiar with the practice of shunning?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Zenas, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Zenas

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    Kentucky has a number of dry counties, meaning the sale of alcoholic beverages is not permitted. In order for a dry county to go "wet", there must be a referendum with a majority vote in the county. A referendum is held when a petition asking for it, and signed by 25% of the voters in the last general election, is submitted to the county clerk.

    A petition was recently submitted in one of the counties. Being a pulic document, the pastor of one of the Baptist churches in the county reviewed it and found the names of some of his members on it. Apparently this particular church has a covenant with the language about abstaining from the use and sale of alcoholic beverages. So the pastor called out these members and demanded that they publicly repent or else be shunned by the church.

    Have any of you seen this practice used in your church?
     
  2. annsni

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    What did they do wrong? Even if the church has a covenant about abstaining from the use of alcohol, these people did not partake of it.

    Yeah, I've been around when church discipline has been carried out - only a couple of times did it have to go to the last step, although numerous times, people left before we got there. I think church discipline is Biblical, vital and yet it can very easily misused and abused. Great care and caution must be taken to follow the Scriptures properly and to be sure it's not being used as a manipulation tool or a tool to boost pride. In this particular case, I think it was misused.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    Wow...just...well, wow.

    I've heard of it...usually involving the Amish or German Mennonite families living near Scranton, Pennsylvannia (or the Schrute clan)...but never seen used in Baptist churches.

    Sounds backwoodsie. If as a pastor you don't have enough moral corruption to deal with I guess you can justify going after people over wanting a drink from time to time. (I'm not a teetotalist)

    If this is a form of church discipline he seems to have skipped a few steps. But, wow, I mean really? You really want to tell people "well don't come back to this church" over this issue? Really?
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    It is called church discipline and it has nothing to do with the Amish.
     
  5. Jerome

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  6. pinoybaptist

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    I guess it means what shun means.
    ignore.
    avoid.
    pass.
    don't talk to, don't visit with, don't have nothin' to do with.
    it's that particular church's right and privilege and no one can tell that church what to do or how to do it.
    remember the "autonomous" of Baptist distinctives ?
    If those members know their covenant they shouldn't have signed the document, if they don't then they've been told.

    personally, though, I don't see where the Scriptures say "don't drink", though I know a lot of places it says don't get drunk.
     
  7. Jerome

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  8. annsni

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    This church itself should be disciplined: "Griminger, who explained he hasn't been an active member of the church for four years, says he had not been approached by any church deacon, other than through the letter."

    Should they have not followed Jesus' own direction in Matthew 18?
     
  9. Jerome

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  10. Jerome

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    NPR station interviews law school dean: Are OP church's actions against petition signers a voting rights violation?
     
  11. Jerome

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  12. Salty

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    The autonomy of Decatur First Baptist allows them to hire a female pastor, likewise the autonomy allows the GA Bap convention to dis-fellowship Decatur First Baptist.

    The story said they may seek fellowship* with the Cooperative Bap Fellowship.
    So whats holding up the transfer?

    Salty

    * or should I say person-ship! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    What a ridiculous practice. Childishly ignoring people. The pastor in the OP is just a busybody with too much time on his hands.
     
  14. Magnetic Poles

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  15. Jerome

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    Cadiz (Ky.) Record, June 2009:
    "Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol, at their evening meeting Thursday, voted to get a copy of the signatures on a petition to bring the wet/dry issue to a vote in the county if there are enough signatures for the petition to be certified, and to advertise the list in The Cadiz Record.
    It was also decided, however, that prior to Grow Trigg getting enough signatures, TCAA will publish an ad stating that they are going to publish the names of those who signed the petition, either all at once or in sections.
    TCAA leader and pastor Bob McIntosh said they oppose alcohol because “it leads to destruction,” and added that the group will verify the signatures on the petitions even if the county does not."
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    I don't know how you become a member in your church but in Primitive Baptist churches you present yourself for membership, are baptized if you are not baptized, or, a letter of inquiry is sent to your former PB church, and upon receipt of the reply from your former pastor, you are then accepted into the membership of the new church you joined, amen-ed by the congregation.
    Or if after a fair and considerable period of time your former church or pastor fails to reply, then you are presumed to be of good standing in that church, and are accepted into the new church.
    Now, whether you are an "active" and involved member of the church is between you and your God, but for as long as you have not transferred membership to another church, it doesn't matter where you are, you are a member of the church, and subject to the covenant of that church, and the discipline of that church.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    Never seen it in a Baptist Church in either England or Canada in my lifetime. I always worked to get people into church, not send them away.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. annsni

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    I think you misunderstood - it's not the fact that he's not been to church in four years but that this was the first contact the church had with him regarding this matter. They didn't come to him directly, find out what happened, speak to him to see if he truly felt the way they thought, etc. Instead, they assumed and went for the full guns. That is not the Biblical way to approach church discipline.
     
  19. exscentric

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    Been around since Paul's time :) (see I and II Corinthians)

    Here is something from a little later:

    ON THE BAN: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

    By Menno Simons
    1550

    QUESTION 1. Ts separation a command or is it a counsel of God? Answer. Let everyone weigh the words of Christ and of Paul (I Cor. 5:ll)...and he will discover whether it is a divine commandment or whether it is a counsel. Every thing which Paul says in regard to separation he generally speaks in the imperative mode, that is, in a commanding manner. Expurgate, that is, purge, I Cor. 5:7. Profigate, that is drive out. Sejungere, that is, withdraw from, I Tim. 6:5. Fuge, that is, flee, Titus 3:9. Again (II Thess. 3:6) We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I think, brethren, these Scriptures show that it is a command; and even if it were not a command but an advice of God, should we not diligently follow such advice? If my spirit despise the counsel of the Holy Spirit, then T truly acknowledge that my spirit is not of God. And to what end many have come who did not follow God’s Spirit, but their own, may be read in many passages of sacred history and nay he seen in many instances, at the present time.

    QUESTION 2. If any person should not observe this ban and yet be pious otherwise, should such a one be banned on that account? Answer. Whoever is pious will show his piety in obedience, and not knowingly or willfully despise God. For if anyone willfully keeps commercium with such whose company is for- bidden in Scripture, then we must come to the conclusion that he despises the Word of God, yea, is in open rebellion and refractoriness (I speak of those who well know and acknowledge and yet do not do). For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry (I Sam. 15:23).

    Since the Scripture admonishes and commands that we shall not associate with such, nor eat with them, nor greet them, nor receive them into our homes, etc.; and then if somebody should say, I will associate with them, I will eat with them, I will greet them in the Lord, and receive them into my house?--- and admonition of the Lord, but that he despised it, rejected the Holy Spirit, and that he trusted, honored, and followed his own opinion rather than the Word of God. Now judge for yourself what kind of sin it is not to be willing to hear and obey God’s Word Paul says (II Thess. 3:6, l4): Now we command you brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye orderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us; that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Inasmuch as the ban was so strictly commanded by the Lord, and practices by the apostles (Matt. 18:17), therefore we must also use it and obey it, since we are thus taught and enlightened by God, or else we should be shunned and avoided by the congregation of God. This must be acknowledged and confessed.

    QUESTION 3. Should husband and wife shun each other on account of the ban---as also parents and children? Answer. First that the rule of the ban is a general rule, and excepts none: neither husband nor wife, neither parent nor child. For God’s word judges all flesh with the same judgment and knows no respect of persons. Inasmuch as the rule of the ban is general, excepts none, and is no respecter or persons---therefore it is reasonable and necessary to hear and obey the Word of the Lord in this respect; no matter whether it be husband or wife, parents or children,

    Secondly, we say that separation must be made in the congregation; and
    therefore the husband must consent and vote with the church in the separation of his wife; and the wife in the separation of her husband. If the pious consort must give his consent, then it is also becoming that he also shun her, with the church; for what use is there in the ban when the shunning and avoiding are not connected with it?

    Thirdly, we say that the ban was instituted to make ashamed unto reformation. Do not understand this shame as the world is ashamed; but understand as in the conscience, and therefore let it be done with all discretion, reasonableness, and love. If then my husband or wife, parent or child is judged in the church, in the name of and by the power of Christ, to be banned, it becomes us (inasmuch as the evangelical ban is unto reformation), according to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, to seek the reformation of my own body, namely, of my spouse, and also of our nearest kinsfold as parent or child; for spiritual love must be preferred to anything else. Aside from this I would care for them and provide the temporal necessaries of life, so far as it would be in my power.

    Fourthly, we say that the ban was given that we should not be sullied by the leaven of false doctrine or unclean-living flesh, by apostates. And as it is plain that none can corrupt and leaven us more than our own spouses, parents, etc., therefore the Holy Spirit counsels us to shun them, lest they leaven our faith and thus make us ashamed before God. If we love husband or with, parent or child more than Christ Jesus, we cannot possibly be the disciples of Christ.

    Some object to this, saying that there is no divorce but by reason of adultery. This is just what we say; and therefore we do not speak of divorce, but of shunning, and that for the aforementioned reasons. To shunning, Paul (I Cor. 7:10) has decidedly consented, although this is not always coupled with adultery; but not to divorce. For divorce is not allowed by the Scripture except by reason of adultery (Matt. 5:32; Luke 16:18); therefore we shall never consent to if for other reasons.

    Therefore we understand it that the husband should shun his wife, the wife her husband, parents their children and the children their parents when they apostatize. For the rule of the ban is general. They (the godly) must consent, with the church, to the sentence; they must aim at Scriptural shame unto reformation and dilgently watch, lest they (themselves) he leavened by them, as said above.

    My beloved in the Lord, I would here sincerely pray you that you would make a difference between commandment and commandment and not consider all commandments as equally weighty. For adultery, idolatry, shedding blood, and the like shameful and abominable works of the flesh will be punished more severely than a misunderstanding in regard to the ban and particularly when not committed willfully and preversely. Therefore beware that in this matter of matrimony you press no one farther than he is taught of God in his heart and that he in his conscience can bear, lest you boil the kid while it is still sucking its mothers milk (cf. Deut. 14:21). On every hand the Scriptures teach that we should hear with the peak. Brethren, it is a delicate matter. I know too well what has been the result of pressing this matter too far by some in my time. Therefore I advise you to point all to the sure and certain ground. And those consciences that are, through the Scripture and the Holy Spirit, free and unencumbered will freely, without the interference of anyone, by the unction of the Holy Spirit and not by human encouragement, do that which he advises, teaches, and commands in the Holy Scripture, if it should be that one’s spouse should be banned. For verily I know that whoever obeys the Holy Spirit, with faithful heart will never be made ashamed.

    this is about half of it :)
     
  20. matt wade

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    The pastor should have gone to these people individually. If they didn't repent, then he should have gone with a deacon or two. If still no repentence, then it should have been brought before the entire church. Still no repentence? Then a revoking of membership is required.
     

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