Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Church disicpline is an integral part of the New Testament pattern. The practice has been largely ignored but should be employed in a loving and purposeful manner.




INTRODUCTION: A. Preacher Jerry Shirley says that there are three things that have been elevated to the

status of “god” in our society over the last 40 years:

1. Open-mindedness

a. If you hold traditional Biblical values, you’re considered by society as being

either “narrow-minded” or “close-minded”

b. Truth is considered relative and circumstantial

--The slogan for open-mindedness: “What’s true for you may not be true for


2. Total acceptance

a. The cry of our society is for “tolerance”

--If you’re not considered tolerant, you’re considered a bigot and a hate-monger

b. The slogan for total acceptance: “Don’t judge me.”

3. Privacy

a. Privacy has been raised to the status of a constitutional right

--When nominees are considered for the US Supreme Court, one of the big

questions is usually: “What is their stance on individual privacy?”

b. The slogan for privacy: “What I do in private is none of your business.”

B. Sadly, those concepts have entered the church

1. Many churches practice those three principles as if there was biblical authority for

their practice in the church

a. Reported in the most recent issue of The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing from Focus

on the Family:

There’s an effort aimed for the next general assembly of the Presbyterian Church

(USA) that would allow individual presbyteries to decide whether to ordain

homosexuals to the clergy.

At least one presbytery has already ordained an openly gay minister. Rev. Joseph

Gilmore, who presided at the ordination of openly gay Raymond Bagnuolo, said

the members of South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., are feeling

enormous pride. Gilmore told Family News in Focus radio that what the Bible

may have to say about such ordinations no longer applies. “When the writers of

the original sacred text — the Bible — wrote all those years ago, they thought

the earth was flat. Am I obliged to think the earth is flat?” he asked. “They also

thought that there was only one sexuality and that was heterosexuality.”

--(a side note: The Bible teaches that the earth is round. Columbus got his idea

about the earth being round from the Bible.)

b. I also need to state that not everyone in the Presbyterian Church (USA) holds to

that particular view. The PWB also included this information:

Earl Tilford, a professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, a PCUSA

school, called it another step in a long march to apostasy. “It started in 1967

when the Presbyterian Church decided that the Bible was not the Word of God,

but that it contains the Word of God — along with a lot of nice suggestions,” he


Rather than a contentious split, Tilford suspects the erosion of Bible-based

teaching will bring slow death to the denomination. He estimates that even at the

current rate of decline in membership, the denomination will be gone in 35

years. “It’s hemorrhaging its membership,” he said. “If gay ordination and/or gay

marriage ever becomes the law of the church, you will see half the members


2. If those three principles of open-mindedness, total acceptance, and privacy aren’t

official principles in other churches, many church members practice them in their

own lives in regards to their personal behavior

--When confronted with their behavior, they become upset that church leadership

doesn’t practice these principles in regards to their behavior

C. Because of the arrogant behavior of church members, church discipline has been a

subject that has largely been avoided in the modern church

1. When confronted with ungodly behavior, some people conveniently quote Jesus

from Mt. 7:1 – “Do not judge or you too will be judged.”

--When you do that, you take that quote out of context

2. Listen to the rest of what Jesus had to say on this subject in Mt. 7:1-5 – “Do not

judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be

judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look

at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in

your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of

your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first

take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the

speck from your brother’s eye.”

3. Jesus is addressing hypocrisy in this passage

--He’s saying that before you attempt to help someone else with a problem, you

need to make sure there are no glaring problems in your own life.

D. Two reasons why church discipline is still a necessary part of Christ’s church:

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