View Full Version : Has your church excommunicated someone?

06-11-2006, 10:30 PM
Has your church excommunicated someone?

06-11-2006, 11:01 PM
I was in a church that expelled a member, or "churched" him.

Excommunicate? I don't think so...

06-12-2006, 10:16 AM
Pardon my ignorance, but how does expelling a member differ from excommunication?

06-16-2006, 01:19 AM
Try asking, "Should your church excommunicate" someone and see how different it should be.
BTW...you are referring to church discipline, right?

06-16-2006, 08:59 AM
Yeah, excommunication as the last step of church discipline.

Ben W
06-18-2006, 08:14 AM
Not to my knowledge,

Yet there was one case in the church that I grew up in where I did think that should have been the action taken in the case of one lady who had some serious problems with the way that she treated other people that belonged to the church in a threatening manner. The church leadership felt that they could deal with it, yet dealt with it poorly and several families left the church over it. They eventually realised that they could not help her in the way that she needed to be helped and had her sent to a live in programme which she did not follow through with and came back to the church causing more problems before she eventually left of her own descion.

I realise that the leadership were keen to help her, yet they got out of their depth and it was then their fault that those people left. Their action in leaving hurt the whole church which a few years later had a huge split over another issue. I wonder if they had taken the action of excommunication in the first place, even for a stated period of time if it would have been different, and think the answer is probably yes it would have been different.

06-18-2006, 04:34 PM
I thought only Catholics did that. ;)

06-18-2006, 04:51 PM
Yes, sadly, a member in an adulterous relationship who refused counseling and or reconciliation but chose to continue in his sin!

06-19-2006, 08:11 AM
Yes, sadly, a member in an adulterous relationship who refused counseling and or reconciliation but chose to continue in his sin!

That is a good sentiment. I have been in a church that excommunicated someone. And even though it was a person I never met, it was still very sad.

Even though adultery was the initial cause, isn't it safe to say that the only reason anyone is ever Biblically excommunicated is for not evidencing faith? If when confronted with adultery the brother/sister confesses and repents, they will not be excommunicated. But if they harden their heart, it is no longer the specific sin, but instead that they held on to the sin instead of Christ.

06-19-2006, 04:26 PM
I didn't know any church excommunicated anyone except for Catholics. Interesting.

06-19-2006, 06:38 PM

It comes from 2 Cor 5 & Matt 18 (and other places) where you first confront someone with their habitual sin (not just "I heard you cuss yesterday" but "I've noticed you have a real hard time controlling your anger") If they confess and repent, we welcome them back into the fold. If not, we follow Jesus advice and take additional witnesses, the elders and finally the whole church. If at any point they repent, then it's as if they never commited the sin. But if they don't, they are removed from the roll and in effect, the church is saying "we have no indication that you are saved."

We are not saying they are absolutely lost, but just as far as humans can tell there is no difference between that person and someone who has never accepted Christ -- that's why it is sad.

Hope of Glory
06-19-2006, 08:42 PM
Yes, and when you're my size, you automatically become the "bouncer" if they become violent.

06-19-2006, 10:24 PM
Yes - a few times and the last time was just last week. :( Someone was very inappropriate with members of the opposite sex and wouldn't stop. They were finally told not to come back anymore. Most of the times that we've had to do it, it had to do with adultery but there HAVE been other reasons too.


Bro. James Reed
06-25-2006, 04:17 PM
Yes, although we call it exclusion, not excommunication.

In fact, and unfortunately, we have had to exclude 2 former pastors; one for adultery and one for joining another faith and order.

It does seem like almost all exclusions involve either someone committing adultery or someone joining a different type of church.

It should always be a last resort, but it also must be done on occasion.

What's unfortunate is that some churches would exclude you for walking too close to a bar, and some churches wouldn't exclude you for being a practicing Mormon-polygamist.

Finding the middle ground between too much discipline and no discipline is difficult. We should always try to err, if we're going to err, on the side of mercy and fellowship. Middle ground is hard to find for most people due to emotional, worldly attachments to one another.

06-26-2006, 08:08 AM
Our CHurch did once. Adultery again in this case. She left her husband for another guy and then eventually married him.
Neither had been very faithful to church in a while but we felt it best to go through the action anyway to do our duty.

It was sad because they had been the first couple married in our church after our church was started.

06-26-2006, 02:45 PM
They have in theory.

Tom Butler
06-26-2006, 04:14 PM
For flagrant sin, not in the last 50 years, according to our church records. However, we have excluded more than 100 non-resident members in the past year who we haven't seen in years and don't know most of them. We adopted a more charitable euphemism--we "removed them from our rolls."

Another term is "withdraw fellowship."

In the late 1920s, our records show that our church withdrew fellowship from a man for gambling. The gambling that he did was invest in the stock market!

Not long after that, the church "churched" a deacon for dancing--with his wife. Another deacon brought it to the church. The accused said yes he did dance with his wife and he wasn't sorry, so they excluded him. His wife also confesed to dancing with her husband, but she was sorry, whereupon the church voted to forgive her.

How times change.

06-26-2006, 04:38 PM
I want to draw a distinction between "excluding" and "excommunicating" someone. From what I can tell, in most cases, someone may be excluded for not lining up exactly with the church. While excommunication typically carries with it the idea that the church is giving witness that the person is not even saved.

We have removed 100s of people from our roles after trying to contact them with no luck. However, we are not saying we don't see any evidence of salvation, but rather we have lost touch with them.

However, when we've excommunicated someone, we've told them that in part this means the church has no assurance of that individual's salvation.

Bro Tony
06-26-2006, 05:38 PM
Literally the only way a church could actually "excommunicate" someone is for that church to believe that they are the dispensers of salvation. The RC church believes that salvation comes through the church, whereas evangelicals believe that salvation is a personal act of God in the life of an individual. Biblically, since the church did not give the salvation they cannot remove it. The NT speaks of disciplining one who is in sin, it never tells the church to "excommunicate" them---it is not within the power of the church to do so.

Bro Tony

06-27-2006, 07:36 AM
Bro. Tony in his post numbered 1,907 is correct and offers a open slap in the face of those churches that Practice excommunication. Bro. Tony to continue to tell the truth clearly and with boldness
disqualifies you for a membership in my self-righteous church. Therefore you're officially excommunicated from that church.

Hope of Glory
06-27-2006, 10:41 AM
ex•com•mu•ni•cate \'ek-ske-"myu-ne-'kat\ vb : to cut off officially from the rites of the church — ex•com•mu•ni•ca•tion \-'myu-ne-"ka-shen\ n
(c)2000 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. All rights reserved

Bro Tony
06-27-2006, 07:35 PM
Bro. Tony in his post numbered 1,907 is correct and offers a open slap in the face of those churches that Practice excommunication. Bro. Tony to continue to tell the truth clearly and with boldness
disqualifies you for a membership in my self-righteous church. Therefore you're officially excommunicated from that church.

Sorry Mima,

If I compromise and water down the truth---can I stay?:smilewinkgrin:

Bro Tony

06-30-2006, 05:59 PM
ours may kick a guy out becuase he claims to be able to prophesy but act really weird and he said himself he's been kicked out of several other curches before him....well if he continues to ask the Pastor to adopt him as his Father....

07-25-2006, 02:33 PM
Should have...yes.
Has done it...no.

Tom Butler
08-01-2006, 10:05 PM
As I understand RC theology, there is no salvation outside the RC church. (I think Vatican II may have modified that stance. RCs will know better than I about that).

By excommunicating a member, they are cutting the person off from access to salvation through the sacraments.

That's why they are called sacraments, because RCs hold that they have saving efficacy.

Baptist congregations, when they exclude,withdraw fellowship, "church," or remove a member from the roll, are not technically passing judgment on their salvation. But such action is designed to be redemptive--to bring them face to face with their sin, urge repentance, and return to the fellowship of the church they have deserted, or flagrantly offended.

08-03-2006, 05:56 PM
Baptist congregations do not pass judgment on salvation, period. You are right, the purpose of disfellowshipping is to bring the member face-to-face with their sin, hoping that they will return to full fellowship. At a previous church, years ago, our brand new pastor wanted to remove a member from the membership rolls (I won't mention the offense). The Deacons declined to let him do that. It never came to a vote of the church.