097- What I’ve Learned About Church Discipline- with Bill Holdridge of Poimen Ministries

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Does anybody even practice what we call church discipline anymore?

And if a church does practice church discipline, why do they do it? How do they do it? What is its purpose?

Show host and Poimen Ministries Director Bill Holdridge draws from the scriptures, coupled with his experience in pastoral ministry, to make suggestions to pastors about the whys and how's of church disciple. For instance, Bill calls us these principles in mind:

  1. Church discipline is closely related to Christian discipleship.
  2. If the church discipline process requires separation from the body, the goal of the excommunication is restoration.
  3. Church discipline is actually an application of Divine chastening.

To be a Great Commission church, the church must exercise church discipline with its many forms and applications. To be a holy church, the church must practice church disciple. To develop mature believers, the church must trust Jesus to assist Him as He perfects His people. One tool He uses is church discipline. This podcast is aimed at helping pastors and churches do this better, with grace and truth applied at the same time.

BULLET POINT #1- Church discipline is closely related to Christian discipleship.

Discipline and discipleship are part of the same idea. Discipleship could also be called preventative church discipline. When congregants are discipled, they are not candidates for church discipline. A person who is in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, who exercises his/her spiritual gifts for others’ sake, who is involved in the Great Commission, who is accountable, etc. has made himself immune to the need for corrective church discipline.

BULLET POINT #2- Church discipline is actually an application of Divine chastening. (Hebrews 12:6-8)

BULLET POINT #3- Matthew 18:15-18 has to do with interpersonal conflicts. Against you is not found in Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus do not contain these words, but the Majority text does. (https://credohouse.org/blog/textual-problem-study-matthew-1815)

BULLET POINT #4- The number of people who are made aware of the discipline is determined by the number of people who know the ones being disciplined.

BULLET POINT #5- If the church discipline process requires separation from the body, the goal of the excommunication is restoration. Restoration to God, first. Then to other believers, second. (Galatians 6:1)

BULLET POINT #6- Authority to exercise church disciple comes directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20)

BULLET POINT #7- Conditions must be clear for the disciplined person’s return into full fellowship.

BULLET POINT #8- The church governing documents (Bylaws) and board minutes must be consistent with the Bible’s teaching on church discipline, and internally consistent with BOD minutes or elder’s meeting minutes.

BULLET POINT #9- Effective church discipline requires a deep team of leaders that are all-in, and who understand how church discipline should be practiced, Biblically.

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