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Solas

Church Discipline

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I'm going to sit back (mostly) and learn on this one.

Evangelical Churches today are quite lax and loose when it comes to Church discipline.

 

What does Church Discipline look like in your local congregation?

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Until I get an answer on my current church, I have an answer from an Evangelical Free Church that I previously attended ...

 

Discipline starts at admission as a member.  I remember clearly being required to appear before the Elder Board to be questioned on my salvation and theology before I would be admitted as a member.  Thus many ‘sins’ that would need correcting would have been revealed when one chose to become a member of the church.

 

I was deeply honored when I was asked to be a deacon, and utterly terrified that anyone would think that I was somehow qualified to hold any position of even a modicum of authority in the Body.  As I continued to study scripture and learned fancy words like Calvinism and Arminianism to describe basic conflicting truths of scripture that I had already wrestled with and found some answers to, I became convicted by the fact that “counting the offering”, while a necessary task, was NOT the Biblical job description of a Deacon.  I was failing as a deacon and the Church was failing to both empower and require its deacons to live up to their Biblically mandated roles.  Being aware of the correct steps to confront such an issue, I ultimately addressed the Pastor and Elder board to state my concerns and to resign as a deacon.

 

Among the concerns that the self examination had opened my eyes to was some serious heretical teaching from the pulpit. (Like there are no miracles and all scripture is to be interpreted as allegorical, heretical).  Because the Pastor grew up in the Church as a youth and later a Youth Pastor, many on the Elder Board were unwilling to confront him.  As others saw what I had seen, they first confronted him, and ultimately chose to break fellowship ... walking away from the church they had literally and metaphorically built over the last 30 years of their life.

 

(Since you only read sound-bytes, I doubt that you will ever read this far.).  🙂

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23 hours ago, Solas said:

I'm going to sit back (mostly) and learn on this one.

Evangelical Churches today are quite lax and loose when it comes to Church discipline.

 

What does Church Discipline look like in your local 

Church discipline in a Reformed church begins at membership. Members are different than attendees for example as I was used to in a non denominational church. Members vow to be subjected to church discipline in both life and doctrine should they be found delinquent. The discipline can vary and so can the process, if one repents then it wouldn't go as far as a trial or result in excommunication. As far as doctrine that too could vary, but denying the Trinity or even professing Arminianism would disqualify one from membership, that is, if they refused to be edified. Such people may attend our church but members are subject to church discipline.

 

In my life I've witnessed Pastors knocking on doors when a person was committing adultery and even witnessed a gag order and a restraining order to restrict someone from church property because they wouldn't stop gossiping and slandering other members. 

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I have knowledge of a new to the area pastor,  when he found out there was a couple of couples that had swapped It is a bit fuzzier but that is close enough  . In  sound bite he told them to make it right or dont put your money here,. He did not tell them they could not come to church . With some counselling they fixed it as much as that situation could be fixed. 

 

Pentecostal church

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, William said:

Church discipline in a Reformed church begins at membership. Members are different than attendees for example as I was used to in a non denominational church. Members vow to be subjected to church discipline in both life and doctrine should they be found delinquent. The discipline can vary and so can the process, if one repents then it wouldn't go as far as a trial or result in excommunication. As far as doctrine that too could vary, but denying the Trinity or even professing Arminianism would disqualify one from membership, that is, if they refused to be edified. Such people may attend our church but members are subject to church discipline.

 

In my life I've witnessed Pastors knocking on doors when a person was committing adultery and even witnessed a gag order and a restraining order to restrict someone from church property because they wouldn't stop gossiping and slandering other members. 

 

1 hour ago, Becky said:

I have knowledge of a new to the area pastor,  when he found out there was a couple of couples that had swapped It is a bit fuzzier but that is close enough  . In  sound bite he told them to make it right or dont put your money here,. He did not tell them they could not come to church . With some counselling they fixed it as much as that situation could be fixed. 

 

Pentecostal church

 

Thank you both....and atpollard.

1 hour ago, atpollard said:

Does Pentecostal count as an ‘Evangelical Church’?

If your Church practices church discipline...go for it.

Edited by Solas

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I work among countless groups, so may not speak directly to the OP, but have seen several facets to this from no discipline to social-terrorizing  abuse.  I know of groups that do well, strongly encouraging Mt 18 with focus on restoration, while dealing firmly with those willingly and flagrantly continuing in ongoing sin.  Although it sometimes fails, church discipline can work.  

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Our Pentecostal Pastor (Earl Harrigan) was raised Moravian, so the church has a strong influence of "In essentials unity.  In non-essentials liberty. In all things charity." (The motto of the Moravian Church).  For visitors, sin is expected.  Church is also a place for sinners to come and find grace.  Yet sin is confronted with a simple and direct approach.

1. the fact that it is sin is acknowledged.

2. love, support and assistance in correcting the problem is given.

 

The most common problem that we face is unmarried people living together.  The pastor has performed and the Church has put together more than one "wedding" to correct the issue at a cost to the couple of only the state issues marriage license. [and the Body would have paid for that if the cost was ever a real issue.] 

 

We have brothers who struggle with crack addiction.  They know it is wrong, they need no additional punishment.  They find people who check up on them and remind them that they have a home at New Beginnings Life Center, they are missed, and they should come back.

 

If someone has a problem with someone else, the two people with a problem are sat down together to deal with it ... like Christians!

It is more pragmatic than institutional.

 

Where there are wolves that seek to harm the body ... "US Highway 19 runs North and South, feel free to take it in either direction, but you are not welcome here."

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Never heard of Moravian Church so i looked it up interesting. 🙂

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3 hours ago, Becky said:

Never heard of Moravian Church so i looked it up interesting. 🙂

I visited one once but it was too liberal for my taste. (But here in So. Cal, you can't be too picky lol).

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Your the pastor coming to  a new church . First thing that will hit is the "i am more important to the pastor/church then the other guy" gossip mill.  You learn Joe and Sally are not married... Susie is a closet drunk. Bob has an eye for any female. The former pastor did not pay the bills. ETC   Will you lay out how you would handle such @Solas

 I forgot the classic I give  $ more to church then anyone else 

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9 minutes ago, Becky said:

Your the pastor coming to  a new church . First thing that will hit is the "i am more important to the pastor/church then the other guy" gossip mill.  You learn Joe and Sally are not married... Susie is a closet drunk. Bob has an eye for any female. The former pastor did not pay the bills. ETC   Will you lay out how you would handle such @Solas

 I forgot the classic I give  $ more to church then anyone else 

Not my 'yob' Becky, but I am curious how different Churches handle these matters, that's why I started this thread.

'Administration' has never been my forté , I leave that to my wife lol.

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Who decides what sin to ''discipline'' though? Should churches prevent people from attending? When Jesus stated ''whoever is without sin can throw the first stone,'' and all of the people left the area where the woman caught in adultery was to be stoned, could that serve as a metaphor that we aren't supposed to condemn someone if we ourselves have sin to repent of? I can't imagine that anyone in any church USA, is sinless. lol 

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With all the Sweet Christian lady tone i can muster up .. Coward  🙂 

 

9 minutes ago, Solas said:

Not my 'yob' Becky, but I am curious how different Churches handle these matters, that's why I started this thread.

'Administration' has never been my forté , I leave that to my wife lol.

 

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4 minutes ago, Deidre said:

Who decides what sin to ''discipline'' though? Should churches prevent people from attending? When Jesus stated ''whoever is without sin can throw the first stone,'' and all of the people left the area where the woman caught in adultery was to be stoned, could that serve as a metaphor that we aren't supposed to condemn someone if we ourselves have sin to repent of? I can't imagine that anyone in any church USA, is sinless. lol 

1Cor 5 comes to my mind as an example.

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Posted (edited)

lol ^^

(that lol was for Becky's comment) 😄

 

I just think, what is the point of keeping someone out of a church building? Jesus is everywhere, the vast number of Protestant denominations don't hold the keys to a vault where Jesus is kept hidden, and only those who are sinless can gain access to him. So, basically, someone isn't allowed to go to one building because a group of people feel that they have a right to keep that ''sinner'' out, but that same sinner will find another church. And then maybe repent, and then...will stay at the other church, that welcomed that sinner. Now, if you are a church leader or pastor, very different. You shouldn't be leading a congregation if you are unrepentant.  But, I don't see the point in meddling in everyone's business and deciding...'that sinner needs to go!' lol 

 

Edit to add, if the person is posing a safety issue, or threat to the congregation, obviously that is a no brainer, and they should be asked to leave. There are situations that warrant that. But, there is a lot of gluttony for example that goes on in the church...so you have someone for example who isn't committing the sin of adultery, but is a glutton or is prideful, or is a gossip...and he/she dictates if an adulterer stays or leaves? Or another sinner, whereby that person doesn't struggle with that sin, but struggles with others.

 

Unless it's a safety issue, or that person is causing others to sin, I don't see why they should be kicked out of a congregation. But, again, it's just a building. More people should be concerned with what Jesus thinks, not the church they belong to. There's a vast difference.

Edited by Deidre

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3 minutes ago, Deidre said:

lol ^^

(that lol was for Becky's comment) 😄

 

I just think, what is the point of keeping someone out of a church building? Jesus is everywhere, the vast number of Protestant denominations don't hold the keys to a vault where Jesus is kept hidden, and only those who are sinless can gain access to him. So, basically, someone isn't allowed to go to one building because a group of people feel that they have a right to keep that ''sinner'' out, but that same sinner will find another church. And then maybe repent, and then...will stay at the other church, that welcomed that sinner. Now, if you are a church leader or pastor, very different. You shouldn't be leading a congregation if you are unrepentant.  But, I don't see the point in meddling in everyone's business and deciding...'that sinner needs to go!' lol 

I think good shepherds would want to keep wolves from infiltrating the flock, especially with false doctrine. As a matter of fact they are commanded to do so...

 

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
(Act 20:28-30)
 

 

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2 minutes ago, Solas said:

I think good shepherds would want to keep wolves from infiltrating the flock, especially with false doctrine. As a matter of fact they are commanded to do so...

 

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
(Act 20:28-30)
 

 

We're not talking about false doctrine. We're talking about people who are sinning, but are within our church congregation. Obviously, someone who is teaching false doctrine shouldn't be permitted to lead a church, or lead people astray. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Deidre said:

We're not talking about false doctrine. We're talking about people who are sinning, but are within our church congregation. Obviously, someone who is teaching false doctrine shouldn't be permitted to lead a church, or lead people astray. 

I believe the principle is the same, but I'll let others answer. I'm suppose to be asking lol.

False beliefs lead to false actions.

Edited by Solas
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Many sinful folks will hide in the church, from pastors to pew sitters. Wolfs of all sorts hang around church groups. Calling a bad guy ( or girl) before group can often rid  cancer from the group. Cover-up is a very ugly sin. 

4 minutes ago, Solas said:

but I'll let others answer.

WOW what a surprise 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Becky said:

Many sinful folks will hide in the church, from pastors to pew sitters. Wolfs of all sorts hang around church groups. Calling a bad guy ( or girl) before group can often rid  cancer from the group. Cover-up is a very ugly sin. 

WOW what a surprise 

Yes, no one should be covering up anyone's sins. If someone is ruining the church, leading people astray, causing division, or committing crimes, for example, should be asked to leave. But, if we're honest, many people don't fall into that sin category. There are probably many church goers who are having sex before marriage, and yet they are there every week, in church. But, they aren't causing strife or leading people astray. They just mind their own business, and remain in their sin after they leave church. Should church leaders ask those couples to stop living together, and if they choose not to listen, they aren't allowed back to that particular church? 

 

The pastor at my church said it best, this past Sunday. He said that many non-Christians look at us, and don't see anything different about our lives. Many Christians are having sex before marriage, living together and not married, viewing porn, doing ''recreational'' drugs, gossiping, swearing, etc. They don't see how Jesus has changed the lives of many Christians, because those Christians live their lives just like non-believers. That to me, is the heart of the issue. So, by asking someone to leave who refuses to repent for example, that will set a good example for the rest of the church. I guess I see it from all sides.

Edited by Deidre
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In reading the OT the Children were told to wipe all the bad guys out  . When they did not do as God said they paid a heavy price.  I dont think when  Joe and Sally walk in the door the pastor or anyone else should stand up and shout their sins, that to me is 'throwing the first stone.  Dad counseled the Sally's and Joe's getting them to 'come clean' before the Lord. Small town, small church group dad was new  every one was watching him.  

 

I would hope Christian people teach their kids the reason we wear white wedding dresses. Teaching kids Godly stuff takes time and work.. 

 

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22 hours ago, atpollard said:

Until I get an answer on my current church, I have an answer from an Evangelical Free Church that I previously attended ...

 

Discipline starts at admission as a member.  I remember clearly being required to appear before the Elder Board to be questioned on my salvation and theology before I would be admitted as a member.  Thus many ‘sins’ that would need correcting would have been revealed when one chose to become a member of the church.

 

I was deeply honored when I was asked to be a deacon, and utterly terrified that anyone would think that I was somehow qualified to hold any position of even a modicum of authority in the Body.  As I continued to study scripture and learned fancy words like Calvinism and Arminianism to describe basic conflicting truths of scripture that I had already wrestled with and found some answers to, I became convicted by the fact that “counting the offering”, while a necessary task, was NOT the Biblical job description of a Deacon.  I was failing as a deacon and the Church was failing to both empower and require its deacons to live up to their Biblically mandated roles.  Being aware of the correct steps to confront such an issue, I ultimately addressed the Pastor and Elder board to state my concerns and to resign as a deacon.

 

Among the concerns that the self examination had opened my eyes to was some serious heretical teaching from the pulpit. (Like there are no miracles and all scripture is to be interpreted as allegorical, heretical).  Because the Pastor grew up in the Church as a youth and later a Youth Pastor, many on the Elder Board were unwilling to confront him.  As others saw what I had seen, they first confronted him, and ultimately chose to break fellowship ... walking away from the church they had literally and metaphorically built over the last 30 years of their life.

 

(Since you only read sound-bytes, I doubt that you will ever read this far.).  🙂

The one (s) doing the questioning usually have a bigger problem with salvation than the ones being questioned . If you want to see a storm brewing just mention Calvinism to them. Words fly off of the ceiling ,tables get turned over and chairs fly through the wall.

Most churches despise the Doctrines of Grace .

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Doctrines of Grace tear down their statutes of man 

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