Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Church Discipline

This a phrase that is gaining traction in neo reformed circles and my old church. During my youth group days it was speak the truth in love. These new proponents of it present this as a way to keep people in line with threats of excommunication. I find it funny that the 9 marks assholes are repackaging sonlife youth group curriculum for church bodies instead of youth groups.

Most average church goers don't notice any of the subtle changes this full church management package will make once fully implemented.  The God of fear and shame will take over and everybody involved will enjoy keeping fellow church members in line. The leaders know they hold your entire social life hostage and you have to take whatever changes they make. Unless you no longer care and leaving is the only way to maintain your sanity.

I understand churches have to address issues with members that fall into sinful behavior.  However, this system stinks of losing your individuality and subjecting yourself to spiritual abuse.

Most folks will acquiesce and not notice the police state that has taken over their church. There will be people who stay because they are too chicken shit to leave and there will be some who flee the situation. The healthy folks always leave these situations and people with guilt stay.

The sadists will run the elder board and the masochists will conform to it. This system kills individuality and makes atheism an attractive alternative. In my opinion, church discipline is a veiled way of control.


  1. I left the following comment on another blog.

    In 1994, I moved from Ohio to Texas to co-pastor a Sovereign Grace Baptist church in Elmendorf, Texas. I wasn’t there very long before I realized I had made a huge mistake. After trying to find a way to make it work, I decided to resign and return to Ohio. Imagine my surprise when I was told I couldn’t resign. Since I had to have the church’s permission to join the church, I had to have their permission to leave the church.

    Well, I resigned anyway and the church exercised church discipline against me. I was excommunicated and to this day I am considered a publican and heathen. Keep in mind, my only sin was resigning. My wife and children were not excommunicated, the church said, because they were under my control.

    I was at the church for seven months. During this time they disciplined numerous people over things like not regularly attending church or disagreeing with the pastors.

    I am no longer a pastor or a Christian. Of course, in their eyes, this is proof that they were right in exercising church discipline against me.

    Since then, I have met and pastored a few people who were disciplined in Calvinistic Baptist churches. In every case, the person was disciplined for things that certainly did not warrant being excommunicated. In one case, a woman moved to Ohio from New Jersey. The church elders counseled her against the move, she moved anyway, so they excommunicated her.

    Using church discipline like this is abusive and quite harmful to people mentally and emotionally. It is troubling the practice is becoming more common.

    I can understand disciplining someone over gross, open sin. However, most often church discipline is used to control dissent and difference of opinion.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Bruce, I have enjoyed your blog and frequent it. I had never heard of SGM until I started checking out Wartburg Watch. There are lots of similarities between them and my old church. I can't understand why any church would want to not let people go who want to leave. I guess its because they want control and think they are the only true church.

  3. Forcing people to stay anywhere through any means is punishment, and doesn't resemble living in faith in any sense. Such tactics, even when applied to others, should make anyone immediately question everything about that church.