Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Church Discipline Question

QUESTION RECEIVED:

My pastor told two couples in our church that they were in sin, although not directly. This was done so by telling all the elders in the church about their sin of gossiping. The issue was then brought before the church, but the church never made any judgment on this. Isn't that an unbiblical way of confronting someone, Matthew 18? Also, is a pastor's opinion a reason to cast these two people out of fellowship?


MY ANSWER:

First the pastor should go to the couples accused of this destructive sinful lifestyle. If this sin of gossiping, a sure ministry killer, is not dealt with then the pastor should get an elder or two, in love and care for the offenders, and present the matter to them. The purpose of church discipline is to get the sinner to repent, not crush them.
Do you know that you have the 100% facts after this information has gone trough, by your description, almost everyone in the church? If you are wrong you can be damaging the reputation of the pastor and rip a church apart. You would have committed a great sin. Jesus Christ is "Faithful and True" as described in Revelation 19:11. In fact "Faithful and True" is one of His names. You must deal only in the truth and not allegations as a Christian.


#1 You are asking about how a sin should be disciplined. Is the pastor an offender? Be 100% sure. Or are you not knowing about true church discipline as it is stated in the Bible, and making a claim with out the truth?

First read 1st Timothy 5:19 ESV " Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses."
Make sure you have a valid accusation against anybody especially a pastor. You can destroy a church with a false witness and be judged by man and the Lord.
Their is an order in how to proceed with flagrant unrepentant sin against God.

What if the couples are guilty of the sins you say the pastor charged them with?
Matthew 18:15-17 ESV " 15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

Your goal in church discipline is to "gain your brother" as he repents and puts away his godless lifestyle. This has to be handle in love and concern for your brother. Self righteousness will hurt you, the pastor and the church. You want the victory for all.
If the pastor or lay offender is wrong, and does not repent, and does not heed the discipline, treat him like "a Gentile and a tax collector." In other words-cut him of-excommunicate him. If he is a Christian he will hate to be cut of from the body of Christ. Excommunication could lead him to repentance or perhaps salvation.

First, know you are saved. Know that Jesus Christ died and took the punishment of your sins on the cross. He gave us forgiveness of sins, peace with God and eternal life in heaven. Humbly, as a forgiven sinner yourself who has received grace, proceed slowly for the glory of God and the reputation of Christ.

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