Monday, June 05, 2006

Torturing our Own?

A couple weeks back, we had a short discussion at church about past hurts brought on by churches, and their people. Someone made the comment that the church is the only army which kills its wounded.

I remarked that we don't kill our wounded. We keep them alive and torture them for awhile. There was a hearty laugh in the room.

Why do we identify with this sad observation?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Church Discipline and Soteriology

Matthew 18 is not optional behavior according to Jesus. It appears to be a mandatory pattern for dealing with one another. Yet the fact of the matter is that there is a style of leadership practiced by church pastors and leaders today, which teaches and models that it is acceptable, and proper to bypass this section of scripture.

By making an example of people before fully understanding the situation, and before confronting them one on one, we run the risk of isolating them, and potentially driving them away from God. I know people who have left the church, and walked away from the faith on the basis of such treatment, and I would imagine that people are being driven away from God, or brought closer to Him daily by the activities of church discipline.

Is the world looking on and judging how we love one another, and thereby making a judgment about how much we look like Christ? Is this bringing them closer, or keeping them away? Could it be that the style of one's church discipline has soteriological ramifications?

I have some thoughts about this myself, and have only briefly touched on it in my other blog.
  • Style Difference or Heresy?