Archive for the ‘gossip’ Tag

Objections to Church Discipline Part 2   Leave a comment

I received some feedback from someone on my Google account, basically saying that church discipline involves gossips talking about other people’s business. I’d not added that to my list of objections to church discipline, so I thought I would address it.

Gossip is definitely on the list of sins the church should avoid stringently. But there is a difference between gossip — idle chatter of unconfirmed rumors — and talking about the known (or strongly suspected) sins of our fellow Christians with the goal of bringing them to repentance. But we are so afraid of doing the first, we refuse to do the second. Paul would say it is not to our credit.

There’s a line in Proverbs that says some men’s sins run ahead of them to the city gate. Church discipline is about Christians policing their own community for the good of the individual, the community and the cause of Christ. What Christians do in their public lives (and in their private lives when it becomes public) reflects on themselves, of course, but it is also used as an excuse by the world to judge churches and Christianity in general.

Now there are times when the world judges us by its standards and gets it wrong. No argument there. And, one area where it gets us wrong is in this area of church discipline. Mean, backbiting, gossiping … these are the claims of the world upon the church when the congregations exercise their authority within the churches. But unrepentant Christian sinners also claim this when confronted. Brad’s working on a post about accountability, so I’m not going to go there today, except to say that if the individual does not discipline himself, the church is required by God to do so, and if it does not, the world has a point about us being hypocrites. And since so few churches today exercise church discipline, it may require that Christians will have to call other congregations to accountability.

We do not do well when we allow sinners to live openly in our congregations without the congregation dealing with their sin. Brad will deal with this more, I think, but his biggest complaint about churches is that we are so determined not to gossip that when we know (WHEN WE KNOW) sin is occurring in the congregation, we don’t talk about it. We don’t do well when we do that, folks! Holding one another accountable for righteous behavior is not gossip. It’s God’s requirement on the church.


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