Tonight while surfing the Internet and watching the nasty weather outside I came across a story on Foxnews.com that caught my eye. The headline read “Sinner In Love”, but it was the subheading that really caught my attention. It read “Church to expose Florida woman for ‘Immoral’ relations with boyfriend.” The story is about a woman who is involved in the process of church discipline. You know, the type of discipline hardly ever observed in the local church today. Except for the more faithful churches, this kind of discipline is deemed too harsh in most evangelical churches. God’s word teaches Christians to be holy as He is holy. God also teaches us in 1 Corinthians 7 that we should
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Many years ago I first learned about church discipline from Dr. John MacArthur Jr. through his sermons on tape. To me it sounded so harsh and alien because I had never seen it practiced. At least not practiced correctly, and certainly not out of love and for the restoration of the one involved in sin. MacArthur’s church, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and our church here in Omaha at Omaha Bible Church both believe that the church must enforce the standard of purity within the local church. We implement church discipline in that if someone sins, we confront him or her for their own good and the good of the church as a whole.
The article on Foxnews.com mentions the three steps involved in church discipline. The three steps come from Matthew 18:15-17. Does your church practice this necessary discipline in order to maintain the purity in the church? What do you do if you find out that someone in your congregation is living in sin with someone else? Do you confront them on love? If you do, where do you take it from there if they do not repent of this sin? The bible is very clear what should be done to preserve the purity of the church and for the ultimate restoration of the sinner.
Please be in prayer for this church in Jacksonville, Florida. Pray for the member to repent and for the leadership there. I emailed the article link to my senior pastor this evening and he replied back that the senior pastor is a friend and like him a graduate of The Master’s Seminary.
The article also mentioned above is linked here.