Sunday, July 27, 2008

Should the church discipline its members for false beliefs and wrong behaviors?

An Episcopal Church bishop says "No" - "We were able to clarify that neither he nor anyone else gets disciplined in our church for beliefs".

An Anglican Bishop says "Yes" - "God took these bell ringers from their individual circumstances, with varying degrees of faith, wove them together in mutual submission to the discipline of the bells and used them to make something both wondrous and beautiful.

Key is a willingness to submit to discipline and authority. The giving of time and talent, the individual struggles to learn the 'changes,' are important. But without submission to a common authority, the bell captain, they’d just be individuals pulling on ropes and ringing bells producing chaos of notes and chords rung at random. This would quickly drive the town’s population to distraction and anger. Not a pleasant result. No blessing to be gained here."

And The Bible says -

...and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:17

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." I Corinthians 5:12-13

If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. II Thessalonians 3:14-15

These are just a few representative verses. The Episcopal Church has taken a position that is destructive of the life and witness that Jesus entrusts to his Apostolic Church. May God have mercy on us and show us a way forward.

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