Friday, December 19, 2008

Church Discipline Under Attack

A fellow seminary grad of mine is pastor of the Grace Community Church in Jacksonville, Florida. The church is now under attack for exercising church discipline on one of its members. It was on FoxNews's main page of their website this morning (click here), and posted on DrudgeReport yesterday here.

The articles are designed to attack the church rather than the sin in which the member is living in. The titles of their articles are FoxNews - "Church Threatens to 'Out' Sins," and on Drudge - "Woman Says Church Threatening to Make Sins Public." FoxNews even provides a PDF of the church's letter to the lady notifying her of its decision. These are typical depictions of how pagans view God's commandments. They mock them.

The ironic thing is that the lady has already "outed" herself. She had made it public and obviously feels no shame. According to the one article she has sought to withdraw her membership, but many churches have clauses in their by-laws that say if you are in the process of church discipline you cannot withdraw your membership. And you must agree with that when you become a member of the church.

So it will be interesting to see what happens here. We should certainly pray for wisdom for the church, and for the lady to repent.