"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Banned From Church:Reviving an ancient practice, churches are exposing sinners and shunning those who won't repent.

On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey,(picture left) a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs. (Listen to the 911 call)The charge was trespassing, but Mrs. Caskey's real offense, in her pastor's view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he'd charged her with spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" and expelled her from the congregation. "I've been shunned," she says.Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent. While many Christians find such practices outdated, pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders.The revival is part of a broader movement to restore churches to their traditional role as moral enforcers, Christian leaders say. Some say that contemporary churches have grown soft on sinners, citing the rise of suburban megachurches where pastors preach self-affirming messages rather than focusing on sin and redemption. Others point to a passage in the gospel of Matthew that says unrepentant sinners must be shunned...

To read more go to:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120061470848399079.html?mod=fpa_editors_picks
PS:Would like to have more info regarding this particular case.I think it is UNFORTUNATE that a pastor calls police to have a member of his church removed,WHEN THERE IS NO VIOLENCE or THREAT involved....
Personally I have nothing against PROPER DISCIPLINE applied according to what the Bible says.The problem is that most of the churches out there have pastors that are so out of touch with the Scriptures,that they don't know what discipline is all about....
Whenever DISCIPLINE is to be applied on a member/members of a given church there has to be also the spirit of restoration with the proper people to minister and pray for the person under discipline to help them in the right path of love and restoration.
DISCIPLINE is not meant to destroy a person,but to edify and correct in an environment of love and compassion.
Of course these things may be ancient history to many,since most of the churches in America have slowly shifted to "new things" and removed the old foundations of faith....
No wonder we are in the mess we are INNside the christian church.....

As in the days of Noah....

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