Church discipline.

Church discipline.

1. Before continuing in this article or any article in this blog, I recommend that you read the article entitled, Lakewoodites for McCartney: (which was originally written when I was running for a seat on the city’s council,) otherwise the paragraphs that are numbered 2 – 5 and 77 – 78 of that article. But persons ought to know that they (and you) are responsible, (although some act recklessly,) and ought to act responsibly.

2. Although this article is intended mainly for persons that are either Christians or that claim to be, nonchristians may read this too. I think that the lost ought to see that Christians ought to, are willing to, and are able to, handle some problems within the church, although some procedures for discipline ought to exclude the attendance of nonchristians or nonmembers, unless they are interested parties.

3. Based on my reading of the King James Version of the Bible, I think that there are basically three (3) steps to helping to solve the world’s problems. And those step are in the following order.

1. Christian.

2. Church.

3. World.

4. Individual Christians are to be living rightly before God according to the scriptures, being led by the Holy Ghost. If they see a church problem, they may handle it, and rightly expect it to be handled within the church: otherwise unsettled problems could lead to grief. Churches ought to care about the members by doing judgment and justice. (Consider II Chronicles 9:8.) If the church puts its house in order, it may then rightly instruct the world about solving some of its problems: (such as legal, immorality, crime, racial violence, and financial,) otherwise the world doesn’t have the time, and won’t feel the need, to listen to hypocrites.

5. Therefore when I desire to improve this world, I need to live rightly before God, which I don’t always do. Then when I am proper, I may then seek to handle church problems, which I have assayed (attempted) to do. That has not been easy, I’m sorry to say. I have learned that some persons which claim to be Christians are false. See II Corinthians 11:26. Some persons that claim to be Christians have resisted calls for church discipline according to the scriptures.

6. They are so blind or reckless that they seem to either not see or care that the lost world is not about to take seriously that (the scriptures) which the church so called won’t practise. Such nonfeasance (See James 2:17.) is a stumblingblock, and is against God’s law according to Leviticus 19:14. In the light of Matthew 7:16, about knowing one by his fruits, that is an indicator that such an one is probably not of God.

7. It is a lack of practising and enforcing the scriptures that has led to some of our problems in the world to day. Christians, so called by some, that read the Bible, but don’t apply it to the real world, have a vain faith according to James 2:26 and I Corinthians 15:1-2.

8. An example of not exercising (practising) the scriptures is a state that has a difficult time executing (enforcing) its death penalty because it cannot find a vein into which a needle may be inserted to kill a capital criminal. If the state should follow the scriptures, such as death by stoning or sword, it could kill those criminals forthwith.

9. But why would a government take the Bible seriously when some of the church so called won’t?

10. I advocate the establishment of church courts, or the provision of a forum for each church that would like to be known to take the scriptures meaningfully, whereby cases can be heard for judgment. The nonchristian world has enough sense to have courts. But some churches falsely so called will not honour the Lord by setting up church courts. Thus the world puts to shame false Christianity. But some false Christians do not have enough of a sense of scriptural righteousness to be ashamed of themselves. (See Jeremiah 3:3.)

11. Some scriptures for Christians to ponder for enforcing church discipline in an orderly way are I Corinthians 14:40, Matthew 7:1-5; 5:23-24; 18:15-18, James 5:16, Luke 17:3, I Corinthians 5 & 6, (chapters five and six) Matthew 5:14, I Peter 4:17-18, Leviticus 26, and other scriptures.

12. Every Christian is accountable, including pastors.

13. If a Christian so called trespasses against you, [whether you are saved (a Christian) or lost, (a nonchristian)] you ought to read those scriptures, and confront that person privately, which I’ve done. If that doesn’t work, you ought to take with you a witness or more, and confront the trespasser again, which I’ve done. (But by the time of the initial date of the posting of this article, that happened one (1) time. And it took years for me to convince one (1) person to be a witness. Such a lack of care and effort can be discouraging. Allegorically, dead wood is fit for the fire, and so is a tree that produces bad fruit. Consider Matthew 7:16-20.)

14. If you don’t gain that person, which is made manifest by that person not confessing and repenting, you are to then bring the matter before the church. (I attempted to do that; but failed to find any Christians that took the scriptures seriously enough to obey them in a meaningful way in this matter. Shame is on both the trespassers and them, because they were made aware of a problem, and neglected to act in a Christian way. Consider John 15:22.)

15. I suppose that there are various ways to bring a matter before a church. I read that some churches have a church court. And the world uses courts. Therefore that seems to be a reasonable suggestion.

16. There ought to be an hearing provided for both sides of a cause. There is to be a due process according to the scriptures. See Joshua 20:9 and John 7:51. (America practises that scriptural principle.)

17. If you would like some ideas you may read court rules. Some of what the world practises it got from the Bible, and has retained those scriptural practises more than some churches have. And worldly courts seem to be basically okay, except they basically if not entirely will not judge directly from the scriptures. You may consider the following link for a pertinent video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZhpSmsTm70&feature=PlayList&p=D8FA643A1E23459F&index=7

18. If you need a witness, and your church is in or near Lakewood, Ohio, or if would like some ideas about establishing a church court, you may contact me after you read the scriptures that are referred to in this article.

19. If a matter has been brought before a church, and the accused is shown and found to be guilty, and the trespasser refuses to confess his fault, and won’t repent, refuse him. According to the last sentence of I Corinthians 5:13 it is written, Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

20. Neglecting to do that tells the world and its governments that persons that are called Christians do not take the Bible or God seriously. Therefore why would a Christian expect the world and its governments to take the same seriously?

21. I have stood before a local legislature, and addressed it based on the scriptures about immorality. And although the legislators politely listened to me, they basically ignored me (and thereby ignored God). Why would they take me or the Bible seriously? When they see me alone, with little or no visible support, why would they take me seriously?

22. When candidates that tolerate the sin of sodomy get thousands of votes from a city, and a Christian candidate that takes God and his word seriously only gets hundreds of votes, why would a legislature take a Christian or the Bible or God seriously?

23. The world and its governments are all accountable before God. I can and do expect them to take me, the holy scriptures, (including the law of God,) and God seriously. And I can prove the validity of myself, and them.

24. But when they see a lack of support, they could conclude that they don’t need to heed God or his word or his people. And although it could be argued that such legislators are wrong, one way or another, (such as by being satisfied with some American Supreme Court decisions which have disregarded God,) because of the lack of support by persons that present themselves to be Christians, such persons (that claim to be Christians) that do not practise the scriptures are going to give account of themselves to God, with those that don’t claim to be Christians. See Romans 14:11-12 and other scriptures.

25. We can have a better world. But you that are Christians have a job to do. Firstly you individually are to live rightly before God. Secondly you are to cleanse the church by practising church discipline.

26. Thirdly you are to instruct your rulers, which I do. You may do it. (See section 3 of article I of Ohio’s constitution.) You ought to do it.

27. As a flat tire doesn’t change itself, so a problem doesn’t solve itself. As a man has to change a flat tire, so a problem ought to be handled. And it ought to be handled according to the scriptures. See Isaiah 8:20 and I Corinthians 15:3.

28. If you are satisfied with man’s way, you’ll get man’s results. But if we rightly do this God’s way, we’ll get God’s results. Better recipes produce better products when followed.

29. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope that you will search the scriptures, and justify them by acting according to the word of God.

Edward M. McCartney

Lakewood, Ohio

Posted on October 13 anno Domini 2009.

This second (2nd) edition was revised on December 8 A. D. 2009.

2009.10.13.1f.

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