Disciplined: Then What?

Sometimes members of our church are unclear concerning how to relate to a person who has been removed from the membership of Trinity Baptist Church through formal church discipline. This concern usally arises out of a desire to help the person who was disciplined and yet not be in violation of the Scripture. However, the desire can be, and often is, misguided and actually undermines the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading →

Church Discipline—We Are Not Alone

We recently had to bring three of our members before the church for church discipline. This is always a sad time. As a matter of fact, one of the saddest times in the life of a church is when someone who professes to be a follower of Christ willfully rejects following the Scripture and has to be removed from the Lord’s assembly.

The Bible clearly teaches church discipline, and there are a growing number of pastors who are leading their churches to follow the clear New Testament teaching concerning church discipline.

Baptist churches have historically been based upon the New Testament teaching that the local church is an assembly of freely associated people who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit in salvation, followed the Lord in believer’s baptism by immersion, and covenanted together to encourage and hold each other accountable to live holy lives.

Baptists still believe in a regenerate church membership and baptism by immersion, but the esteemed position of the visible regenerated life of holiness as demonstrated by the practice of church discipline is rare. It is so rare, that when we practice it, a sense of aloneness stalks us.

I want to assure you that we are not alone. First and foremost, Christ said with regard to church discipline “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20) We can never be alone when Christ is with us. Second, although the scantiness of churches practicing church discipline is scandalous, it is delightfully encouraging that more and more pastors are practicing church discipline as they seek to be the true church. Thirdly, we do not stand alone in the halls of Christian history because Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Anabaptist…practiced church discipline.

I thought you might find the following article’s glimpse into the recent history of church discipline in Baptist life encouraging. Continue reading →