“If strict discipline, and thereby strict morals, were maintained in the church, it would in all probability be one of the most powerful means of conviction and conversion towards those who are without”
This past weekend I had the joy of hosting our first Peace Makers Retreat! As a church we have spent some months discussing the importance of unity and handling conflict in the local body: it has been nothing short of amazing as to what God has done in our fellowship and in our individual families. There are scores of people in American churches today that go haywire when anyone mentions anything about submission, accountability or discipline within the church. There are several reasons for this:
(1) they are like the spoiled child that has never had any discipline in their life and when someone actually implements it and it impacts them, they respond like a two year old that has been told “no” in a toy store. They go crazy! This is the reason it is helpful to be able to teach a biblically balanced approach to this, before it is implemented.
(2) The only “discipline” they have ever seen has been when a staff member or pastor fell, morally or ethically, and had to be removed. To define this one event as discipline is difficult at best. If a man has fallen in an area of his life and has to be removed from his position, it would make it difficult for Matthew 18 to be carried out correctly. The goal of Matthew 18 is restoration – requiring him to leave his position limits the ability to restore in the body because, let’s face it, it is a removal and in many cases the man and family simply leave. Not getting into if it is right or wrong to respond in this way, we can certainly say this is not the normal expectation of accountability or discipline.
(3) They hate, despise, and have disdain for anything that resembles authority in their life. This is a person who either needs to receive the truth of the Word, or they are simply following the same tract of rebellion their daddy did when he was thrown out of Heaven. They just hate any sort of authority or submission.
All of this to simply say, I thank the Lord for a church that is “getting it.” We don’t have it yet, but we are being sanctified in a way that breeds the understanding that we are responsible to Christ first, but also to one another. Our Peace Making Team will be here to serve you, to help counsel with you, to coach, mediate, and pray that we are a church that walks in unity. Statistics from Peace Makers say that 50 churches a day fall into some type of major conflict! Is it any wonder that there are so many people that have no understanding about Christ? Thank you to the Peacemaker Team and Staff for a wonderful, encouraging weekend…thank you to a church that is “warring” for peace, and thank you to our Lord who allows this by first bringing us peace from Him! To God be the glory!