Category Archives: Church Discipline

Pastor Goes Ballistic On Church Members

Watch as this First Baptist Pastor comes”unglued” moving from pulpit to pew to angrily and arrogantly wake up a “sleeper.”
This leads to an even more serious attack as he spots an uncommitted member. “And where have you been, Mr. Underwood?”…I noticed on the calendar, I’m supposed to marry y’all. What makes you think I’d marry you? You’re one of the sorriest church members I have!”

Can’t make this stuff up.


Drunken Worship Leaders

It’s a sad day in the Kingdom!

Antinomian “worship leaders” using their so-called liberty as occasion for drunkenness and  vile vulgarities has now become all to common. Little wonder, local churches reject biblical standards  and flagrantly refuse to administer anything akin to restorative discipline. If you do, you are labeled a cult. If you don’t, you are called a “grace” church.

The Reformers called these libertine types “false churches”. I beer_keg_manstand with the Reformers!


“…it is increasingly common to hear about worship leaders getting drunk after church services and dropping f-bombs while they boast about their “liberty” in the Lord.”

“One of my closest ministry colleagues posted this on his Facebook page last year: “There was a knot in the pit of my stomach this afternoon after I hung up the phone with a friend of mine who pastors a growing church in our city. He relayed to me an anguishing story of how some members from his worship team were hanging out with other worship leaders in a key local church. He reported to me that his team came back from that hang-out experience quite perplexed as the f-bombs were flying from the openly and unashamedly drunk worship leaders.”

Another pastor told me that he sent a number of young people from his congregation to train in a ministry school known for its worship. All of them came back to his church with a drinking problem, the result of hanging out with other “worshipers” in the ministry school. And on and on it goes.”


Posted by on February 13, 2013 in antinomian, character, Church Discipline, GOOOFY, sanctification


Denomination Refuses To Discipline Lesbian Pastor


An attorney says that In failing to discipline a clergywoman who “married” her lesbian partner, the Presbyterian Church USA is sending a clear message to the denomination.

Laurie McNeil, at that time a pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, married her partner in Massachusetts before an Episcopal priest. Afterwards, charges were filed and reached the denomination’s highest court, which ruled that the facts of the case do not justify disciplinary action.

Attorney Whit Brisky of Mauck & Baker represents some of the Presbyterian churches who object to the inaction.

“The ruling of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission effectively said that there were really no rules for what Presbyterian pastors can do outside of Presbyterian worship,” he details.

“So they’re free to get married in some other church with no repercussions at all,” even though same-sex “marriage” is banned by church law, notes Brisky.

He contends this ruling sends a message to members of the denomination.

“Well, I think this certainly at the very least makes our message garbled and confused,” the attorney offers. “Or at worst, in effect, the denomination now approves of homosexual conduct and same-sex marriages.”

Brisky further suggests it also conveys the end of the line for any future litigation on the same issue.



Navigating A Moral Crisis

Tullian Tchividjian is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He recently discovered that a high-ranking staff member in the church was guilty of engaging in marital infidelity.

I personally appreciate the explanation of how he navigated the troubled waters of such a moral crisis on a Sunday morning with his congregation.

Especially insightful is his approach to actionable discipline and restoration. He referred to  it as being a “two-word church” rather than merely a “one-word church”. This brief  excerpt illustrates  the difference.What a balanced, mature, and wise distinction.

His illustration with the prodigal is simply priceless!


“I preached from Galatians 5:13, and among the things I emphasized and explained to our church was that we are not a one-word community (law or gospel) but a two word community (law then gospel). A law-only community responds to a situation like this by calling for the guy’s head (sadly, many churches are guilty of this). These churches lick their chops at the opportunity to excommunicate. A gospel-only community responds by saying, “We’re no better than he is, so why does he have to lose his job? After all, don’t we believe in grace and forgiveness?” A one word community simply doesn’t possess the biblical wisdom or theological resources to know how to deal with sinners in an honest, loving, and appropriate way.

Explaining that we are a law-gospel community, I showed how pastorally this means we believe God uses his law to crush hard hearts and his gospel to cure broken hearts. The law is God’s first word; the gospel is God’s final word. And when we rush past God’s first word to get to God’s final word and the law has not yet had a chance to do its deep wrecking work, the gospel is not given a chance to do its deep restorative work. Sinners never experience the freedom that comes from crying “Abba” (gospel) until they first cry “Uncle” (law).”

I illustrated this point by reminding our church that the father of the prodigal son did not fall to his knees and wrap his arms around his sons legs as the son was leaving, but as he was returning. He had been waiting, looking to the horizon in hope. When he saw his son coming home, crushed and humbled, he ran to him. But he didn’t stop him from leaving. He didn’t rescue his son from the pigsty. If we really love people and want to see them truly set free, we have to get out of God’s way and let the law do its crushing work so that the gospel can do its curing work.”


Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Accountability, Church Discipline, gospel, infidelity, justice


When The Minister Makes It Personal


The Pharisees Question Jesus

The Pharisees Question Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A most troubling experience it is. Your congregants share how much they thoroughly enjoy the  ministry of  the word and affirmingly posture themselves as “happily fed campers” in the house. 

You instruct on the importance of “rebuke” as a means of grace to produce a mature faith.  lovingly but forthrightly you unpack  Matthew 18 to redemptively address times of relational conflict that lead to an offense and show them how to righteously walk it out in a Christ honoring way. 

As their minister, you feel some sense of fulfillment knowing that word-based equipping is common place with the saints you serve. But then it happens. One of the affirming congregants journeys into the realm of serious sin and now integrity calls you to make personal application of the truth that has gone forth.

It’s time to move from public pulpiteer to pastoral practitioner. As the shepherd,you insert yourself into their life and press for authentic repentance from sin. And the unthinkable happens!

                                                                                                        Ezekiel 32:33

“To them you are nothing more than a singer with a beautiful voice who sings love songs or a musician who plays an instrument. They listen to your words, but  have no intention of doing them.”

Ezekiel’s words become your reality as  “the luv” quickly turns into defiant resistance and you begin to endure relational rejection, and slanderous allegations.  What was once hailed  as a “good word”  is now accused of being abusive,legalistic, or even cultish.  The family leaves the church. How can this be?

Give  Spurgeon a read as he explains the cause for  such uncharactered things to happen.


n religion men love far rather to believe abstract doctrines, and to talk of general truths, than the searching inquiries which examine their own personal interest in it. You will hear many men admire the preacher who deals in generalities, but when he comes to press home searching questions, by-and-by they are offended.

If we stand and declare general facts, such as the universal sinnership of mankind, or the need of a Saviour, they will give an assent to our doctrine, and possibly they may retire greatly delighted with the discourse, because it has not affected them; but how often will our audience gnash their teeth, and go away in a rage, because, like the Pharisees with Jesus, they perceive, concerning a faithful minister, that he spoke of them.


Church Discipline Isn’t A Dirty Chore

Jesus et brebis

Image via Wikipedia

Bobby Jamieson gets it right in this recent article over at 9Marks.

A church that neglects or disregards redemptive church discipline is denying the Gospel to the wayward one. For this reason, the Reformers framed three marks of a true church and included  discipline as an essential identifying trait.A congregation that was absent of this mark was to be excluded from being viewed as an authentic church.

 Here are some excerpts that convey  well-reasoned gospel truth.


When it comes to life in the church, I think that many of us treat church discipline as a dirty chore. From private rebuke to public exclusion, we can resent the whole process. We hold our nose and look the other way as we go through the motions, eager to be done with all the mess.

 I don’t deny that dealing with sin in the church can be uncomfortable, painful, and even disheartening. But we shouldn’t treat church discipline as a dirty chore.

Corrective church discipline begins—and, praise the Lord, very often ends—with one church member privately confronting the sin of another member. In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus himself commands us to do this when our brother sins against us. Then Jesus provides further instruction about what to do if the individual doesn’t repent, ultimately culminating, if necessary, in excluding him or her from the congregation.

…When we confront a sinning brother, we should have in hand not only a rebuke but also a blank check of forgiveness. If the brother repents, the check gets quickly written and handed over, and we’ve both won (v. 15).

Church discipline is the gospel in action. Just as God doesn’t leave us in our sin but comes to us in rebuking grace, so we also extend that grace to others. So, despite the pain and discomfort it can bring, we shouldn’t treat dealing with sin in the church as a dirty chore.

 Instead, we should count it a solemn privilege to imitate the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-nine on the hillside to go after the one straying sheep—which is each one of us.”

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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Accountability, Church Discipline, doctrine, gospel