What would you do Wednesday!
Today’s situation deals with the uncomfortable issue of church discipline. To make the situation more uncomfortable a church discipline contract will also be involved. The scenario is inspired by real circumstances surrounding a former Mars Hill Church member named Andrew who was issued a church discipline contract to sign.1
Imagine that you (or a friend if you wish) has just confessed and repented of being sexually involved with a fellow church member who happens to be the child of one of the church elders. The confession took place in the covenant group that you are a part of where it was then taken to one of the pastors/elders.
The pastor then issued a church discipline contract which he expected you to sign and follow. The discipline contract laid out the following steps that would be taken on the road to restoration.
- You will attend a covenant group and meet with its leader on a regular basis.
- You will not be involved in serving in the church.
- You will not pursue or date anyone inside or outside of this church.
- You will write out in detail your sexual and emotional attachment history and share it with covenant group leader.
- You will write out in detail the chronology of events and sexual/emotional sin and share it with the covenant group leader and a pastor.
- You will write out a list of all people you have sinned against during this timeframe, either by sexual/emotional sin, lying or deceiving, share it with the covenant group leader and develop a plan to confess sin and ask for forgiveness.
How would you respond (or advise your friend to respond)?
- Follow the contract no questions asked.
- Possibly follow the contract after some clarification.
- Inquire as to whether or not the elders child was also issued a contract.
- Dispute the contract explaining that you have repented.
- Leave the church.
- Andrew, former Mars Hill Church member. Mark Driscoll’s Church Discipline Contract: Looking For True Repentance at Mars Hill Church? Sign on the Dotted Line ↩