what are your experiences with church discipline?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by mioque, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. mioque

    mioque
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    In my (IFB) church some have started to call me teflon-Julie behind my back, because I'm still a full member with a fulltime payed job inside the church, despite having had more disciplinary hearings than any 2 other members in my churches history combined.
    7 at last count. [​IMG]

    My first was for hurling a jar of peanutbutter at a rabbi (and hitting him right between the eyes) at the tender age of 9. The poor man had been invited to talk to the adult sunday school class about his faith.
    I had coïncedently read the (real not the children's bible version) Book of Judges for the first time in my life, and had come to the conclusion that he had dropped by to kidnap me and the other womenfolk... :rolleyes:

    2 During my university years I was accused of having turned into a communist agitator. Looking back, I think I was more of an anarchist actually. But the Elders were completely right in suspending my membership for what in the end turned out to be about 4 years.
    I'm still banned from any leadership position in my church because of this. However in my church the only 'leadership' positions open to women are assistent sunday school teacher or heading a committee with only female members (like the bakesale committee).
    So careerwise that's no great loss.
    I'm also permanently banned from joining the evangelisation committee or doing volunteerwork for them.

    3 After having been the verger of my congregation for about a year I was accused of sullying the baptist reputation and promoting Catholicism during a sunday school class I was not even supposed to attend.
    I was cleared of all charges after it became obvious that the people responsible for teaching that class hadn't showed up. So I had to improvise a lesson on the spot. I had told the children about the Anabaptist reign over Münster (a subject that I was writing an article about at the time). Jan van Leiden and his buddies just didn't happen to be model baptists. Breathless retellings of my lesson by 8 year olds did the rest.

    4 Threatening to urinate in a church elder's cup of coffee.
    I am a continuïng presence in the excursion committee of my church. The one that arranges holidays for interested church members and also smaller scale events like visits to musea and even the movies sometimes.
    For a particular large outing to a city with a gothic cathedral I gave an introduction on the subject to the participants (most of the congregation). I used the main hall of our churchbuilding and had borrowed the pulpit for the ocasion. One elder objected to this, so I told him that I for all practical purposes outranked him, because I made his coffee when he was at the 'office' and I could pee in it....
    To this day the headpastor refuses to tell me how he made this one go away.

    5 Accused of having an affair with the head pastor.
    I'm an unmarried woman. He is the most important man in the church (and 30 years my senior). We have known eachother and gotten along very well all my life. We are most certainly friends, not to mention allies in the soapopera that is called churchpolitics. So surely it must be all handcuffs and massageoil between us. :rolleyes:
    All charges had to be dropped because of a complete lack of evidence, which is not that strange if you are completely innocent.
    The thing that makes both are blood boil looking back is, that because they would have had a terribly difficult time replacing him at the time, the intent seems to have been to kick me out of the church for good and to forgive him and give him a second chanche.

    6 Accused of being a lesbian (that's after being accused of engaging in marriagewrecking heterosexual behaviour only a year earlier). But this time they had evidence. I had downloaded pornography from the internet.
    I had visited www.Chick.com ....
    Apparently there is a pornographic magazine in my country called Chick. Nobody had bothered to actually follow the link on the computer in the churchlibrary I had used.
    It was 3 hours into the hearing before I figured out what they were talking about.

    7 Last year I caught our sundayschoolteachers telling the younger children that the pope was the beast in the Book of Revelations, because he walked around with a crown on his head with 666 on it.
    So I arranged an excursion to a museum that happened to have an exhibition containing 3 papal tiara's. No text worth mentioning on any of them.
    So they looked a bit foolish at the end of that day. So I was charged with undermining our sundayschool. On the other hand they had been false teachers on this issue and it came out during the hearing that they very likely would not have believed me if I had simply told them. So in the end the whole thing was dropped
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Monique

    Sounds like you are a trouble making archist lesbian husband-stealing Roman Catholic commie to me. [​IMG]

    Actually my life has been pretty tame in comparison. I had the misfortune to preside over an excommunication meeting once. It had to be done, but I didn't enjoy it one bit. I had been asked to assume the pastorate of a church, and there was a fellow who was a member there who felt he was called to preach. Most of the church didn't agree. At any rate, this fellow got in good with one of elderly ladies and eventually moved in with her. (Nothing sexual was ever considered, but we did think he was stealing from her). At any rate, she was his biggest fan, and wouldn't hear criticism of him. She was about 90 at this time, a widow, with no children to look after her. As time progressed the church decided to revoke his privelidge of speaking in public, (preaching -- he was never ordained). About this same time he set up a business in one of the local antique malls, and wasn't long until he was arrested for stealing from his neighbors in the mall. He was convicted in court and ordered to pay restitution, no jail time. He had quit coming to church after his arrest, so we hadn't heard his side of the story. After his conviction, we sent for him to come and answer for it to the church, and he refused to appear. But Sister B was there, and when the deacons made the motion to excommunicate him, she objected, and we had to have a church trail in absentia. We finally got through to her that it was more likely than not that the courts of the land were just in their decision, and that it was more likely than not that he had been stealing from her. So, we averted loosing her as well. The next meeting time, we had 5 to join the church, and over the next year we had 24 more. So, I am convinced that holding members in fellowship who have acted unjustly toward their church and the community is a hinderance to the church, and ought to be dealt with accordingly. Still, I did not enjoy the experience of presiding over the meeting, but it had to be done, and the church was better off for it.
     
  3. dianetavegia

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    I had a senior pastor ask me not to send out 'Get Well Cards' or 'We Missed You in S/S Cards' without his looking at them. He checked all outgoing mail.

    Gracious girl! You are VERY naughty! :eek:

    Diane
     
  4. mioque

    mioque
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    Jeff
    "Actually my life has been pretty tame in comparison."
    ''
    Ahum... you dug up enough information to write 25 books on the American Civil War and you are the one of us 2 with the tame life?
    I spend most of my days cleaning a big building and making gallons of coffee and tea for those who use it...
    Not counting my dissertations, I have only written 2 books in my life, an introduction to arthistory and a history of Christian art, both published by a now defunct Socialist publisher that was trying to find a new niche after the collapse of Communism.

    Diane

    "You are VERY naughty!"
    ''
    It's the pee remark isn't. It somehow seemed the perfect thing to say at the time. :rolleyes:

    The only time I deliberately set out to cause trouble was with the 666 thing. After I caught the teachers telling a huge falsehood in a field I have a degree in, the realization dawned on me that they would not believe me if I simply walked up to them after class and explained their mistake to them. Wounded pride got the better of me at that moment and it went downhill from there.
     
  5. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Monique

    I am a person who cannot be still. I'm not hyperactive, but I absolutely cannot stand to be idle, I also an am insomniac, and I do most of my writing in the wee hours of the morning.

    As for deliberately setting out to cause trouble, and your reasons, sounds like a worthy cause. I cause a great deal of "trouble" too in my congregation. Someone will get a notion in their head, and I do word play with them to get them out of it. A good many Primitive Baptists are KJO, and I delight in pointing out that is not a good position to take. I have most of them broke of the notion of a 6000 year old earth too. So, I play with the fringes of things from time to time. As for the notion of the Pope being the antichrist with the 666 thing -- I really thought that was an issue left in the dustbin of theological history--that is until I began reading some dispensationalist stuff. I live a sheltered life, I know. I read the Hal Lindsay stuff in the 70s, didn't convince me then, read the whole Left Behind series, and find that line of thinking to be bizzare. Others apparently don't. (Ducking for cover and waiting for incoming).
     
  6. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Mioque - ever thought of finding another church?
     
  7. dianetavegia

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    No, Mioque! All of it! Shocking!

    Diane
     
  8. blackbird

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    Here's the "skinny" on discipline!

    When its time to discipline "SOMEBODY ELSE"---the folks will all jump on the bandwagon! But when the "banging" involves a "good ole boy" or a member of the family---there's the excuse, "Well, Preacher!! You know!?? He's family and all! He's a good tither and a good SS teacher!!"---and here's the biggie---"We can't!! He's a Pillar in the community!"---as if the Community "peace" holds more priority than church purity and holiness!!

    Too!!! This too! I find the guilty have a way of "skippin'" town(moving their letter or something)--before discipline can be "tracked and pursued"---proving the proverb--"The wicked flee when no one pursues."---Proverbs 28:1

    Usually here's what happens----the word gets out that the "Preacher wants to set up a meeting with ya!"---they'll run like scalded dogs! Just get the word out that they face discipline and see which rat runs where!!
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    If someone is at a church they fee they're supposed to be at, then that would be akin to cutting off one's nose despite the face.
     
  10. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    My comment was from her perspective. If all of this is going on at the church that is so uncomfortable to bear, and getting in the way of a fruitful ministry (the "soap opera") then maybe that's not where she belongs.
     
  11. mioque

    mioque
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    Jeff
    "I have most of them broke of the notion of a 6000 year old earth too."
    ''
    Congratulations, that would be very difficult overhere.

    "As for the notion of the Pope being the antichrist with the 666 thing"
    ''
    Strange thing is that Anti-Catholicism is normally not an issue in my church. But it creeps in mixed in with the dispensationalist stuff. Still I work very hard at stamping it out. The Anti-Catholicism that is not so much the dispensationalism.
     
  12. mioque

    mioque
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    Blackbird
    "Usually here's what happens----the word gets out that the "Preacher wants to set up a meeting with ya!"---they'll run like scalded dogs! Just get the word out that they face discipline and see which rat runs where!! "
    ''
    This is often true, showing up at your hearing is the best first step if you want to come out of a disciplinary meeting still a churchmember.

    Debby
    "ever thought of finding another church? "
    "If all of this is going on at the church that is so uncomfortable to bear, and getting in the way of a fruitful ministry (the "soap opera")"
    ''
    Never.
    All of my grandparents were born again in that church, as were my parents, as was I.
    But much more importantly that "soap opera" seems to be vital to the survival of our church. We have a group in my church, (it includes about half the leadership) that is very good at spreading the Gospel, but not nearly as good at maintaining a thriving congregation. They bring a lot of new people to Christ, but if they were fully in charge the turnover rate in my church would be huge and the theological worldview of it's (ex-)members would degenerate in a very scary/silly direction.
    So the head pastor runs a loyal opposition movement. Focussed on building up the congregation as a community of saints and erasing the falsehoods that creep in from all directions as discretely as possible.
    I'm one of his henchmen (henchwoman?) in this effort. We are doing quite well at the moment.
     
  13. HankD

    HankD
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    Bad mioque, BAD!

    [​IMG]

    HankD
     
  14. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Then I reverse myself, you seem to be thriving on the controversy!
    Not unlike me...
     
  15. mioque

    mioque
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    "Bad mioque, BAD!"
    ''
    Thank you, thank you I do my best. :D
     
  16. Major B

    Major B
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    What you need to do now is marry a CCM musician with a shady past and long hair. If he was a Calvinist, that would be even better--sort of a cross between Albertus Gomarus, Michael English and the lead guitar guy with Petra--sort of a Reformed Baptist version of Mick Jagger. If he were half asian and half black, it would be even better!
     
  17. mioque

    mioque
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    I can hear the gossip now:"Did you see? Julie has become a groupie. I always knew she had it in her."
     

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