Sanctions for Midweek Nonattendance?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Jerome, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    What do you think of a Baptist association that recommended that churches discipline members absent from midweek services? (True story; I'm not making this up)
     
  2. matt wade

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    If it's in the church bylaws and members agree to it before joining a church, then by all means let the local church do what it wants. I personally wouldn't join such a church.
     
  3. jaigner

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    *ding, ding, ding*

    There's the legalism alarm.

    What a ridiculous concept.
     
  4. rbell

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    I think the Baptist Association is overreaching, punitive, extra-biblical, and legalistic; and it ought to mind its own business.

    I agree with MW's assessment of a church doing so. But an association? My church wouldn't be a part of it.
     
  5. Jerome

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    Also if members could show "good cause" for their absence, they could escape discipline.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Yeah, they could get a doctor's excuse. Or maybe they could get permission from the pastor in advance.

    Don't laugh. A charismatic group in my town adopted what it called a "shepherding" model. It required that some life decisions be submitted to the elders in advance. Such questions as changing jobs, taking a vacation, were taken to the elders, who would pray over them and give them God's answer.

    This same group would not allow a member to start a Bible Study in his home until he was deemed (by the elders) spiritually mature enough.

    By the way, the group did not have Wednesday night services.
     
  7. glfredrick

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    In three churches I've led, I helped the church to abandon Wednesday and Sunday night services. In each case, they were poorly attended and the oldest members of the congregation were the ones fighting to keep them, even though they were most apt to miss.

    I've found over the years that forcing people to be in the church "building" every time the lights are on is diametrically opposed to the people actually "being the church" in their world.

    I also recall that Jesus intentionally sent His disciples out -- not brought them in. After being "out" they greatly desired to come back "in" to learn the next step and to be near their Lord. At the end of His earthly days, when He could have told us anything, He said, "Go ye therefore..." That ought to teach us something!

    If the church wants to enforce something, enforce that families use the time that they would normally be parked in a pew at church to mobilize their neighborhood for the gospel, or perhaps spend a quiet night with their family! I gave my people permission to do so, and then gave them tools to help with the process. After they got over the shock of not "doing what we've always done before" they not only liked the change, they became MORE active overall!
     
  8. abcgrad94

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    I think that association should let the churches function the way they are set up, without the association's interference in their governing policies.
     
  9. Salty

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    Key word is RECOMMENDED - would be interesting to hear the DOM's point of view.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    Are there any links for this story. If it's an association saying it then it means that churches got together and voted yes to this stupid recommendation. If it's a DOM who recommended it, the story ought to be amended to read that it was a DOM. The DOM can't make pronouncements for an association.

    Either way, it's stupid.
     
  11. annsni

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    I wonder what they would say about our church that doesn't even have anything other than the Sunday service and then home groups because we don't have a building!!

    But I would not attend or join a church that required "attendance" rather than joining the family of Christ in that church.
     
  12. Jerome

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    The association was the London Baptist Assembly of 1689 (you may have heard of their Confession?).

    From the Narrative of The proceedings of the General Assembly of divers Pastors, etc.:

     
  13. rbell

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    I'm confused. Are we talking about a church's policy, or an association's recommendation?

    Both are silly, but the latter monumentally so--because they are stepping so far outside what Baptist Association is supposed to be about.

    If this is an association thing...somebody desparately needs a hobby.
     
  14. mcdirector

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    oh my! I don't think they understand the role an association should play.
     
  15. rbell

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    Agreed. Or is "meddling" now a spiritual gift? :D
     
  16. Don

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    Haven't people throughout the ages considered "meddling" their God-given responsiblity? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  17. Luke2427

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    That is hilarious and accurate!
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    This should probably go in the Baptist History section.

    Does anybody know when we started the practice of Sunday night and Wednesday night services? Who decided this?

    I don't really have a problem with the practice. After all, we who come on Wednesday night are the most spiritual people in church.

    The Sunday night folks are right behind us.

    I know this is true because that's what I've was taught as a child--that Sunday morning Christians are spiritually deficient. And the least spiritual are those who don't come to Sunday school, and just show up for church.

    I don't know where to put the guy who came to Sunday school, but didn't stay for church because he didn't like the preacher.
     
  19. rbell

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    I know there's a tongue in cheek element here, but I thought I'd re-iterate that an association has better things to do over recommending punishment for autonomous churches. I think it's a silly role for a church to take on...but this wasn't a church going legalistic; it was an association doing so.

    Maybe this "Baptist Association" could conveniently lose the first half of the name on their door. In practice, sounds like they already have.

    I really wish Jerome would post a link, so we could remove the discussion from the hypothetical and be most accurate in our assessments.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    It was tongue-in-cheek, of course.

    This Association action may not be an isolated instance, I don't know.

    I do know of an Association in Western Kentucky which refused to allow women to serve as messengers. That, of course, infringed on the autonomy of the local church. At least one congregation left the Association over the issue.

    I realize that a group of churches which comprise an association may define the qualifications for membership in its group, but this is over the top.
     

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