the weblog of Alan Knox

The Community of Christ and Correction

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in blog links, discipline | 7 comments

The Community of Christ and Correction

Miguel at “God Directed Deviations” has written a good post called “Remember the guy who Paul the Apostle ‘Delivered Unto Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul might be saved’?” (Yeah, that’s a long title, Miguel.)

In the post, Miguel is talking about “church discipline” as it is commonly called today (although the phrase is not used in Scripture). He quotes passages from 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2 to paint a full picture of what happened between this man and the church in Corinth.

Make sure to read Miguel’s post.

Here’s something that’s usually not discussed in relation to this topic: This all assumes real community in Christ – i.e., real relationships between people. Otherwise, when we refuse to fellowship with and spend time with someone, then nothing is missing. A deep common relationship with Christ is necessary for this kind of correction.

What do you think?


7 Comments

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  1. 8-9-2012

    Like when Jesus scolded Peter and called him as satan for his foolish words, if we tried to actually walk out this kind of correction today, we would most likely be considered mean-spirited and devoid of God’s grace and love. It is funny what so many nod their heads in agreement to, when it is in The Scriptures, but will then vilify as poor manners and ill behavior and less than Christian if we actually do it in the really real world of today. But I digress.

    If I am purposely sinning, I need to be removed from fellowship, indeed. I need to be put out into the wilderness. This is not me losing my Salvation, no. This is me being corrected by my Father, and He chastises those whom He loves, yes?

    I read the original blog over at Miguel’s place, and commented accordingly.

  2. 8-9-2012

    I’ve come to realize that “church discipline” is best seen in a relational light. So I agree. As practiced by institutional churches its hurtful and judgmental and damages our witness to those outside.

  3. 8-9-2012

    Alan,

    Miguel’s article is spot on! Thanks for pointing us in his direction.

  4. 8-9-2012

    For decades, our small fellowship began with the premise that when Paul instructs those who are spiritual to restore a fallen brother, its a foregone conclusion that spiritual discernment and Jesus love will restore them. When or how is immaterial. If they were truly brethren, they are His sheep, they know His voice and eventually, they will succumb to His loving voice, and a lot of that speaking and acting will be thru us. That being the premise, it is therefore understood that if they do go out from among us, its because they never were of us in the first place. Jesus says some men’s sins show up early and other’s later. It’s Him who reveals the hearts and we simply follow His lead as children naturally do, not trying to ‘fix’ anything or anyone.
    When Gods family(s) live daily in the kind of transparent, sacrificial love that we read about in the gospels and Acts, only a brave few fakers will dare to join our families, because their fake spirituality wont easily hide among a group living in truth and love.
    Putting folks out of the church wont be much of a problem because they will either repent or leave on their own.
    The natural analogy is that new life pushes last years dead leaves off a tree so you dont have to go around with a stick and beat them off.
    Our church models resemble tree beating, and there are a lot of beaten Christians laying around doing little in the kingdom when what they needed was strong family love, care and discipling from mature growing Christians.
    We saw powerful demons defeated, generational sin finally beaten and love and joy fill hearts for the first time as true freedom from sin and self became habitual.
    But it took every one of us, living in close daily proximity and interaction at every crossroad of our lives to fulfill His love. Healthy biological family are in each others lives and faces 24/7, watching out for each and every one, and thats how we make it thru the years and past the hurdles and dangers. Likewise in Gods family, Jesus cant be in every human situation himself, using body language, emotions, eye contact, words, prayer, intercession, helping, rebuking et al.But Him in us can do it, if we are actually arranging our lives to be available like that.
    Fellow shipping a few times a week, or only in meetings or at school are good, but not good enough to know each other intimately, and effectively disciple one another as we are instructed to over 50 different ways in the NT.
    The Lord has begun to make many of us aware of the radical change in lifestyle we are going to have to make if we are going to see radical holiness, power and witness.
    And we havnt even begun to talk about how Satan will come out of his hiding place in the churches and families to oppose those who obey God.
    Currently, there arent very many dangerous Christians in America, at least measured by the lack of opposition, as well as orchards full of fruitless trees, by biblical definition.
    But the Lord is changing that, and Im thrilled to be able to tell my children that they are seeing something that many have waited for without fulfillment. My guess is this isnt going to be a smooth scenario change from a Laodecian church to a Phillipian church. But He will get the glory and honor He deserves from all of us, one way or the other, and thats what matters.
    Blessings
    Greg

  5. 8-10-2012

    Good comments, everyone. Thanks for continuing this discussion.

    -Alan

  6. 8-11-2012

    You’re reading a post from someone who has been technically ‘under church discipline’ for over a decade…we called it the ‘left foot of fellowship’…because we came to believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still operating today. Needless to say, it was a very legalistic, non-charismatic church.

    The interesting thing was that, while they had gone over the process of going to your brother, next taking an elder, and then finally taking it to the church, this ‘offense’ was so grievous they whipped out a passage about immediately cutting out an heretic with no recourse. I can’t seem to find the verse…this is the best I can do: Titus 3:10 “Reject a divisive person after one or two warnings.”

    Your comment is right on…being cut off from ‘fellowship’ had no impact because there was no “deep common relationship” in Christ…it had always been one-way and we had seen the light.

  7. 8-11-2012

    Tom,

    Organizations of any type typically require complete agreement (or at least agreement on certain things). Plus, organizations can only deal with disagreements (or other problems) on an organizational level. Of course, that leads to personal hurts, as you experienced. I’m sorry that you had to live through that, but thank you for sharing it with us.

    -Alan