Biblical Church Discipline
A church was reorganizing and moving to a nearby town and in doing so they decided to rewrite their constitution. One of the men in the church felt that they need a stronger statement about church discipline and ask me what the scriptures taught. In reviewing the scriptures I felt that many Churches have gotten away from scriptural discipline.
The Bible teaches us that if we have an offense against a brother that we should go to him and try to correct it. Today we find that when someone has an offense they talk to everyone except the one who the offense is with. When someone does that they are just being a gossip and not truly trying to solve the problem. Many problems in the Church could be solved if folks would follow this simple plan that is taught in the scriptures.
Next the Bible teaches that if you go to them and they won’t hear you or repent of the sin that you should take a witness with you. I remember a case many years ago when I was in Wisconsin that a problem came to this point. I had gone to the party and talked with them about their sin and they refused to repent. Then I took one of my Deacons and went the second time. Again they refused to repent and I remember on the way home the Deacon and I prayed they would change their heart so that the matter didn’t have to be brought before the Church. When I got home the phone rang and the individual said they realized they were wrong and they were going to repent. I praised God because we saw the brother restored. That should be our goal. Gossip destroys and ruins relationships.
The next step is to bring the matter before the Church. In many Churches today matters are not taken care of biblically and what happens the Church is hurt and people are hurt. Bring the matter before the Church and have them work out the problem. Sometimes the person must be removed from the Church but sometimes they can be restored if we will work diligently to restore them with meekness. We should not allow the sin to go on without repentance but we need to learn to be forgiving as Christ was toward us.
I think every church ought to have a church discipline clause in their constitution. It ought to be patterned after what the Bible teaches us to do in these cases. Does your church have a biblical plan for church discipline? If not ask why?
Thanks for stopping in today and I hope you will come back tomorrow.