Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What are the Right Attitudes and Actions with Church Discipline?

Real church discipline ain't so much like a crime-calloused, unregenerate, jaded policeman with his legal pad in hand who is greatly interested in finding all who are involved so that he can merely pull out his gun on em and on that big fish at the top. It ain't merely interested in the solid proof to be collected with a heart towards seeing lots of pain applied to the criminals, or even in all the facts of what led up to the crime as the one he caught is say ..bleeding out on the ground. It's not merely about zeroing in on the guilty culprit alone with tunnel vision, trying to see how many felony and misdemeanor crimes can actually be added to his Rap Sheet and charged to him, or about calling for the right back up or eye-witnesses ..or about slapping on the cold handcuffs, and driving him to the station in order to have the book thrown at him ..as he is slammed into the slammer. Hey gang, my wife just loves to watch the County Jail shows and this was on my mind. It would appear to me that the police person's job ends at the jail or at the court a little later, but the job of the Judge, the workers at the jail, and that of the lawyers only starts at that location. It's interesting to see the order in which they do things and how the paramedics also come into play.   

Nawww, Church discipline is more like a paramedic rushing to get on the scene before it's too late, not initially writing down any notes per se for the purpose of discovering how the lacerations on the leg got there, or how the stolen property got there, or how the bones were broken, or if the person even deserves his attention or not. Yes, it's initially like the appropriate non-violent paramedic who acts quickly with bandages, tourniquets, splints, and first aid salve in hand ..just to see if the person can be saved… to see how many lives can be rescued! It's first about seeing what can be done so that more people on the scene don't get hurt by the same cause in such a dangerous zone. It ain't passive, hardened, or uncaring at all.  

It's like a broken hearted shepherd who finds a wayward, wandering sheep as he weeps, applies help, prays hard, and tries to restore the person ..and restore as many ill-effected folks as possible. Getting to the root of the issue is indeed important in the broader scope of things, but real church discipline involves a heart for God and the guilty sinners, before it has a heart for the systems of jurisprudence that punish. Has your personal witness been more like the unfeeling policeman lately or more like the first-aid applying paramedic when you come upon a disaster involving saints and sinners? You might not be a church leader, but you can certainly have the right church attitude.   

Are policemen needed? Yes! Are godly policemen and paramedics a blessing for society? Absolutely! 

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm just trying to show a difference in approach and attitude because some Christian leaders are too cold-hearted and hyper-legal in their approach when they find the wounded and fallen. They fail to grasp what is harming God's sheep and harm further. Sadly sometimes they are harshly misapplying the law with ego involved and with an aim to clobber instead of restore. 

This is why we are to pray for our church leaders and love them. 

Hey, I love policemen too because they do all they can to gather facts, to learn, and to protect people, wanting to restore order. They lock away the unteachable rebellious predators, and keep harm and wrongs from happening again. Grateful for em. Both types of workers are of course needed in our corrupt society on earth. Duh! 

If crimes are committed at your church, then please call the police quickly ..instead of trying to do their job for them. That's not within your jurisdiction. 

But in regards to Church discipline by church leaders, immediate attention, truth, genuine love, gentle compassion, and quick rescuing is imperative! Sadly, many congregations ..perhaps fearing law suits now.. don't even believe in church discipline anymore. They ignore and fail to address those who hurt or are hurt. 

But when there is proper Church discipline, then there will be more people fearing the Lord and getting saved. Join me in reading through Acts again. Today, I'm just looking closely at the attitude and actions of God and of the righteous in these contexts: 1 Cor. 5:1-9, Lk. 10:30-37, 15:4, Matt. 18:12, Acts 5:4. Got or seen some church-hurt or biblical church discipline happen? Perhaps you'll find some more fitting verses or remember a church experience to share with us below. Want more? Like: facebook.com/shareJesus
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