As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I want to highlight some of the comments that have been left on my blog posts during the past week. Hopefully, this will give more visibility to some of the reasons that I love blogging â€“ dialog and interaction.
Ben left this excellent comment on my post “Replay: What’s the big deal about church discipline?“:
I greatly enjoyed this post. Iâ€™m wondering, however, if your concluding statement is in need of qualification. Wouldnâ€™t you agree that church discipline benefits the local assembly as well as the one in sin? Certainly the practice or promotion of false teaching or immoral living requires action from the church, regardless of whether or not the one in need of correction has developed strong relationships with the others in the assembly. When false teaching and sinful behavior are dealt with, the purity of the church is preserved. This doesnâ€™t seem meaningless to me.
Iâ€™m not attempting to discount the importance of fellowship when it comes to church discipline. As you clearly demonstrated, this is extremely important when it comes to the restoration of the sinning member. Iâ€™m simply wondering whether or not you would agree that there might be benefits of church discipline that are not contingent upon the type of fellowship that exists. While there are certainly problems with exercising church discipline apart from true fellowship, there are also problems with not exercising church discipline at all out of a fear that true fellowship has not been achieved.
Bob left a very good comment (as well as a good series of comments) on my post “People recognize shallow relationships among the church“:
I do think that it is important to note that â€œfamilyâ€ has a very wide context with varying commitments. A Fatherâ€™s commitment to his children is certainly different than that to one of his siblings and even less to a second cousin. So if we are to use the imagery of family, I think that it is important to acknowledge that, even though we are all connected spiritually, the relational aspects of family are very different depending on the context.
David wrote this comment on my post “Can you disciple someone who disagrees with you? Can you be discipled by someone who disagrees?“:
I think the purpose of discipleship is to help one another learn to know Jesus Christ. I believe we should not endeavor to tell our brother or sister what to do or think but rather help them to discover what JC is saying to them. JC has a unique relationship with each of His brother & sisters and what He is saying to us where we are at in our walk with Him may be different to that which He saying to others in their walk with Him. The Bible has good principles to guide us but if JC is not giving these principles life in an individualâ€™s walk they become just Law and will lead to condemnation.
If I understand your point, and its implications, then we should be more concerned that other saints obey what they understand without being discouraged and attacked, than that they change what they understand to â€œmyâ€ or â€œourâ€ understanding (well, and of course we both consider our understandings to be more perfect and correct, or we would change themâ€“unless ego and pride gets in the way!).