Saturday, January 19, 2008

Church Discipline

1) Church discipline-Our churches have become quite laxed in this progress. I can find a few reasons for this: a) Lack of training our elders and other spiritual leaders, b) Lack of understanding by the congregational as it is an act of love, c) pastor[s] laziness in his duties...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First of all, is church discipline lax towards members who are unrepentant? What about a congressman who supports abortion as a part of his political platform? Should this congressman be allowed to be a member of a WELS church?

Other perspectives ??

20 comments:

Pastor from Colorado said...

John,

I think the congressman question might be loaded. If he stands for pro-choice, then I think that brotherly admonition is needed. We are not here to seek approval from man. I however can see a situation where someone from congress may have to vote in favor of such a bill because it is attached to another bill that his constituents are in favor of and that he has campaigned for...these situations happen more often than we as Christians would like. In most of those cases, no one is aware of the other parts of the bill because most people only care about the one issue on the bill. I also suppose one might ask...is there a case in which abortion would be okay...what if a woman and child would both lose their lives, but if the baby is aborted the woman has a chance to be saved? It is one that I have heard brought up before...thanks for addresssing the issues!

John said...

Pr,

Not sure if the question is loaded. But as you may know there is a WELS member that is a Democratic congressman and supports abortion.

John said...

here is a link to the congressman's votes on abortion
Ron Kind

2 cents. said...

This has bothered relatives of mine who attend the same church as Ron Kind.

They did approach the pastor, but were told there was nothing that could be done.

I am not a member of that church nor am I a voter in the area Ron is a represenative of.

Pastor in Colorado said...

I appreciate the information about Ron Kind. I have never heard of this man until this blog and I do have some questions, but I still feel the necessity to talk with Ron first and to find out why he voted in this way. With that said and rereading some of the more recent posts about church discipline here. I am rather confused as to how the pope and a certain pastor can be seen as the same person. They are clearly not...one is a brother of the faith (I have seen nothing to suggest otherwise even if there were some poorly constructed sermons on some website) and not the "antichrist" or a sheep in wolves clothing. How do you take Matthew 18? I read it as needing to talk with those especially in our faith family..."brothers" (including called workers) who are not aware of their offense and/or are struggling in that offense. The story before this one talks about how shepherd searches out the lost sheep and works to bring him back in the faith. My heart is troubled when some say that I don't need to talk to someone when there sin is public or because I already have the facts...in my own experience there is always more to the story and my love in Christ leads me to want to hear even the persistent errorist before I would have to carry out the final act of love. I am interested in what others think about this so that I can better prepare my people and help them to better understand their role in practicing Matthew 18. Thanks for keeping with the issues!

Pastor from Coloraod said...

I forgot one thing. For those who might be interested, the Baptist Church from which those sermons came from...those sermons are not that pastor's either. Outreach.com provides such sermons when you order special material. For instance, if you do a series intitled "Grace Anatomy" which is a take off of the TV show Grey's Anatomy. I can see how such a catchy sermon series could benefit St Mark's church and those sermons are given with no need to put a disclaimer that this came from them. I personally would use their sermon texts (passages) but still write my own since I cannot memorize other people's works...I am not condemning or pointing the finger...I just think that most of our laity may not know that such things are available and they are not considered plagerism by these companies.

John said...

I believe Ron Kind has been a life-time member of his WELS church.

How do pastors deal with couples that are living together? I was at one church where a public excommunication was carried out because of this.

I am also wondering how many excommunications a church actually carries out each year.

California on my mind said...

"I am also wondering how many excommunications a church actually carries out each year."

I've been a pastor for over 25 years and I've only had one excommunication. Does that make me lax? I hope not. I hope it means that my efforts to restore erring brothers and sisters resulted in repentance before the last step of Mt 18 is reached.

As far as couples living together--It occurs much more frequently than we can ever imagine. Sadly, especially in larger congregations where pastors don't have as close a pulse as to what's going on with the flock, the parents keep it from the elders and pastor just so there is not church discipline. And I know for some pastors today they have so much in the congregation keeping them busy that dealing with live-ins is placed on the back burner. Our flesh doesn't exactly cherish making those discipline calls.

Bespoke said...

Pastor from Colorado now says, "Two wrongs make a right." If the Baptists plagiarize, by golly, so should we. In fact, it's good for us. I would plagiarize too if I could remember those soothing Baptist words. Why tell everyone we are lying and cheating. It would only confuse them.

Pastor of Colorado said...

Bespoke,

You have said some things that are untrue of me. In another area of this blog you give hint that I am one of the pastors from Green Bay. In doing so, you are trying to discredit me as a planted sympathizer. I am certainly not in both cases. (John-this is where I have great issue with this blog). I am choosing to talk with them in person as Matthew 18 requires us to do with any "brother". You also state in this blog that I am advocating plagerism. I am not doing this either. What I am saying is that such websites do not require or even hint to the preacher to do such a thing. In most cases, they realize that the minister will probably rewrite it. I publish such sermon series in my bulletin as belonging to such a group and I do not use their sermons as they contain many hints of Armenian/Baptist/Roman Catholicism as to the opportunities to "help" in God's salvation plan as well as at best remind you that sin is just a little mistake in your life. We as preachers need to be strong in our Law and Gospel. I am deeply concerned that we are creating a generation of preachers that are looking for the easy way out...but I also am concerned in the lack of laity support that I see because the pastor then is over worked and given no time to rest. Bespoke, you have spoken ill of my reputation (8th Commandment) and that is a sin. Thanks be to Christ who took our sins to the cross, paid for them in full, and kept them their for all eternity. My sins and your sins included.

Anonymous said...

"Bespoke, you have spoken ill of my reputation (8th Commandment) and that is a sin."

Your reputation has been harmed? Care to explain that one? I didn't think you could bear false witness against an anonymous blogger. How can youre reputation be spoken ill of if no one knows who you are?

PCK said...

"Your reputation has been harmed? Care to explain that one? I didn't think you could bear false witness against an anonymous blogger. How can youre reputation be spoken ill of if no one knows who you are?"

And there is the loophole used by bloggers as to why the 8th commandment is never broken in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Yes you can bear false witness-it doesn't matter if the person states his name or not. Do we not bear false witness against our neighbor when they aren't even around???

I can see why some have issues with this blog. I came across this via Lutherquest (LCMS website) and was very surprised to see this. I didn't know it exsisted. It seems very easy to "yell" and accuse others. It really bothers me to see so much of this on here. I wish we could discuss things nicely and constructively.

Anonymous said...

"I wish we could discuss things nicely and constructively."

That is hard to do when almost every criticism is met with cries of "Slander!" Not every criticism is slander or an accusation of sin. The less defensive we all are, and the more we are willing to put the best construction on what our critics say, the better these conversations will go.

"And there is the loophole used by bloggers as to why the 8th commandment is never broken in the blogosphere."

It isn't a loop hole. It is a practical fact. How am I slandered if no one knows who I am? Read the Large Chatechism. False witness is anything that tarnishes a man's reputation (even if true, such things should not be said if they cannot be proven). But how can someone's reputation be tarnished when they are anonymous? To use a sports analogy-no harm, no foul.

Now, as to the St. Mark pastors, what has been said is not slander either. Becuase, although they're names are known, the allegations have been proven.

If you want to talk about loop holes, PCK, lets talk about refusing to offer communion every Sunday because in Christian freedom, we don't have to.

PCK said...

Anonymous at 12:57

I truly have no intention of starting up that discussion on the Lord's Supper again (for the umpteenth time). I will not take the bait.

Anonymous said...

"I truly have no intention of starting up that discussion on the Lord's Supper again (for the umpteenth time)."

PCK,

Nor do I. My point was, there seems to be a double standard here. Some anonymous posters are capable of being slandered, while others who advocate good, confessional practices, have their motives judged, and are accused of legalism, are not.

PCK said...

Which is why I would contend that face to face discussions are far more valuable than writing on a blog. It is easy to type/write things that you probably would never conceive to say in person. When you have a face to face meeting you (plural) need to think through what you are going to say, or at least consciously think about how to phrase things. Writing, especially anonymously, is almost a license to say whatever you want/whatever is on your mind, leaving no consequences for words and actions. Add to the fact that it is more difficult to sense sarcasm etc., through a blog/email, face to face discussion about issues is far more valuable and productive than venting on a blog, in my opinion.

Confused in Livonia said...

If I and some other members of a Wisconsin Synod church would like the Supper on Sunday, why would some others vote to refuse me and them?

I am confused, isn't this contrary to the Lutheran Confessions, I thought Wisconsin Synod churches subscribe to them?

Anonymous said...

Confused,

I think the Lutheran Confessions are just advisory in the Wisconsin Synod, not binding.

Anonymous said...

Pr.,

Armenian? C'mon, guy, in theory you went to seminary.

Arminian.