What would you do Wednesday!
Unfortunately, today’s scenario is inspired by true events.
Consider the situation below. Explain why the pastor(s) should or should not carry out excommunication during the Sunday morning worship service on a church member who is under church discipline.
Three months ago, a husband’s illicit affair was uncovered. The man admitted to a five year affair. He has been married for 15 years and has two kids. He has been in counseling with his pastors. Despite the counsel for the man to repent and reconcile with his wife, he has decided to leave his wife for the other women.
The pastors have decided that the final step of church discipline, excommunication, will be carried out during the regular Sunday morning worship service. The man’s sins will be presented to all who are gathered for worship. The church members will then vote on whether or not to excommunicate him.
Some members of this man’s family, who are members of another church, are concerned about this step of church discipline being carried out on Sunday morning. The relatives fear that presenting this man to the congregation with guests and unbelievers present is more of a punitive rather than a restorative approach to church discipline. The family believes that a more punitive approach will make any attempt at reconciliation tougher. The family is also concerned about the reputation of the cheating husband’s wife and kids.
The family would like to talk to the pastors about not carrying out the excommunication during Sunday morning, but to do it during the Sunday evening service were 99% of the time only members are present.
How would you advise the concerned family?
- Since they are not church members they should stay out of it.
- Express concerns to the pastors, but respect their decision.
- Empathize with the family, but advise them not to try to persuade the pastors.
- Help them organize a boycott of the church unless they change the disciplinary time.