What conduct deserves church discipline?

Published 8:29 am Friday, April 20, 2018

As we consider the type of conduct that is deserving of church discipline, we must go to the Word of God for instruction. The Bible alone serves as our standard in cases where discipline should be administered. Consider some cases as mentioned in the Bible.
Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17, teaches that a brother who sins against another and is unwilling to repent of his wrongdoing could eventually be withdrawn from.
The apostle Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, that those who practice sins such as fornication, covetousness, extortion, idolatry, drunkenness, reviling, etc., could certainly be for withdrawal from fellowship.
In Romans 16:17, Paul instructs the church to mark those who cause division and those who cause occasions of stumbling through teachings contrary to the gospel. In Titus 3:10, Paul warns the church to reject the heretic; in other words we are to reject those who follow after false doctrines.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 teaches the church to withdraw from those who walk disorderly. In this verse, disorderly refers to those who have become weak in faith and as a result have left the faith. They have become neglectful of their Christian duties and have replaced them with worldly living. While these may not be involved directly in fornication or some other great atrocity they simply have not fulfilled their Christian duty of faithfulness. From these we are to withdraw. Oftentimes the determining factor in withdrawal from an erring Child of God is their attitude concerning their sin and unfaithfulness. We would do well to examine our lives daily to be sure that our present demeanor in life is what it should be.
In such cases where withdrawal is warranted, the entire congregation is involved. What good does it do if an eldership initiates the process of withdrawal, but the congregation refuses to withdraw? Elderships would be wise to instruct their congregation on the process of withdrawal. They should also teach each new member that if they want to identify with the congregation over which the Eldership exercise supervision, he or she will be expected to live in accordance with the instruction found within the New Testament. Each member should be taught that if there is willful sin that is not repented of, that the congregation will practice discipline as outlined in the pages of the New Testament.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 423-737-2287 or by e-mail at tmagho1@comcast.net).

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