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A CHURCH DISCIPLINE STORY


When we have the authority to discipline a wayward member, or Elder or preacher, we should do so, but we must still be careful how we deal with it, because we may very well find ourselves opposing God or getting His way. We might find ourselves becoming wolves rather than sheep.


Years ago an evangelist told of holding a Revival at a church that was in turmoil. The Preacher of the congregation wasn’t quite as good as he should have been. People were leaving and the church was struggling.


This evangelist was well known and respected, so a group from the church asked him to come and talk with them. But the moment he stepped into the room he found himself faced with a crowd of very angry people. They hadn’t asked him there to help them "solve the problem" – they were looking for someone who would listen to their grievances and assure them that they were RIGHT. As he sized up the situation… this was a not a good thing.


He looked out over the assembled group and asked "Who is the leader of this group?"


A man toward the back raised his hand and said: "I am."


The evangelist smiled and then said “Well, I expect that you have gathered because you are a group of spiritual people who are concerned about your preacher’s many faults?"


In response the group began to list off a series of rather small complaints, that taken together mounted up to an almost insurmountable challenge.


"Well then," said the Evangelist, "since you are spiritual people, then the scripture from Galatians 6 should be your guide 'Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.'"


The leader practically sprang out of his chair "I’m not about to restore that preacher!"


"Well then," Gothard responded, "by this you are indicating that you are either unspiritual or rebellious... which is it?"


At this, the man stormed out of the room.


A woman was in tears and said "But so many are leaving..."


The Evangelist responded "The Bible calls us a BODY. My body loses cells all the time. It’s only when cells get together in an unauthorized group that it is becomes a cancer and that can lead to weakness and death."


He continued by noting that if they continued in their action that their rebellion against the preacher would lead to their teenagers rebelling against Christianity.


(Bill Gothard, Basic Youth Conflicts Seminar. From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Iron Man = A Wolf In Iron Clothing, 6/16/2010)

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