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Fireheart 1945

"Defend your clan, even with your life." - Warrior code, Warrior cats novel series

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  • Today
    Sin affects others, not just ourselves

    In Chapter 7 of the book of Joshua, a soldier named Achan steals some of the treasures of Jericho. It had been commanded of Israel that they would either destroy with fire what they could or, if the material in question (such as gold or silver) could not be destroyed by fire, it would be given into God's treasury (6:18, 24). Achan stole a mantle (NIV translation says "robe"), 200 shekels of

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  • 1 week
    On knowing God

    One of my Christian professors once said that they were a skeptic about God. He continued, saying that he was skeptic about God in the sense of us - humans - ever being able to know God exhaustively. There is no shame in saying, "I don't know," regarding God if we cannot know the concept in question, or in admitting that we can't know it completely. Even with eternity to know God, those who are

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  • 1 week
    The Assyrian Invasion of Judah and its implications

    In 2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36-37, King Sennacherib of Assyrian invades Judah. Given that King Hezekiah of Judah had rebelled and stopped paying tribute (2 Kings 18:7), this was not surprising; the Assyrians were brutal in dealing with rebelling peoples, dealing cruelly with war captives and deporting rebellious nations in an effort to kill future rebellion and destroy their

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  • 2 weeks
    How the devil ensnares us

    In Chapter 4 of Charles S. Stanley's book, "When the Enemy strikes," the author relates a story to the reader. A pastor teaching a group of children had one strong boy come up to the platform. He then told the boy to break the string, which he easily did.

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  • 3 weeks
    My Favorite part of War of the Worlds

    7:37 and beyond;

    To paraphrase a meme;

    HMS Thunderchild; teaching Martian [invaders] to respect the Royal Navy since 1897.

    2 comments · 25 views

Church Discipline · 4:17am March 6th

By discipline, I do not mean punishment. Punitive measures are designed to make people suffer. Discipline is corrective, designed to lead people to do or stop doing an action.

It's no secret that church has become something of a problem, namely that people either point to scandals within the church or they don't really see how the church is different from the world outside of it.

By church, I do not mean a building of worship, but rather the body of believers. The word translated "Church" in the English Bible is the Greek word "Ekklesia," meaning "assembly," as in an assembly of people. That is what the church is; the assembly of believers.

The kinds of problems that the church faces often, if not usually, stem from a lack of discipline within the church. Deacons who, er, grab the backsides of women (my professor for my Christian Discipleship class said one of the deacons of a church he was involved in did this), pastors who turn out to be hypocrites (one reason I'm rather afraid to become one), people complaining about problems within the church to people outside the church (thus reflecting badly on the Bride of Christ) rather than bringing these problems up either in a worship service or privately with the pastor, etc. The Catholic Church still has yet to recover from the sex scandals. If the Church had stripped the molesting priests of their positions and handed them over to trials by jury, things would have turned out differently. Instead, the Catholic Church would move these priests around (while these priests continued their unholy activities against children), and, like the priest from Boston, when the authorities were closing in, would whisk them to the Vatican for diplomatic immunity from all those parents screaming for their heads.

These problems are a result of a lack of church discipline. The church is supposed to be, as I said, the Bride of Christ. We can't just say, "oh well," when someone in the church (whether a leader or a lay member) is caught doing something. There has to be some corrective action, taken within the church, to stop the activity.

Matthew 18:15-17 provides us with a clear picture of what to do;

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

If there is a problem, first try and resolve it privately. If not, bright a couple of people to witness the charges you bring, and again, attempt to resolve it privately. Only if they still don't listen should the problem be brought to the church for discipline. If they ignore the church, then we are instructed to treat them as lost; not rudely and offensively, but to treat them as no longer a member of the body of Christ, because they might not be. This should not be done vindictively, nor should it be done with hate or with ulterior motives; the goal is correction, not to forsake the person in question. Furthermore, this should be done as soon as possible, as soon as the bad behavior is detected. The sooner the problem is noticed, the sooner a solution can be found.

Paul wrote, in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is intolerable even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been stricken with grief and have removed from your fellowship the man who did this?
Although I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, and I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are gathered in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, along with the power of the Lord Jesus, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of the Lord."

In the words of Insight.org;

Paul didn't mean he handed them over to Satan literally. Rather, Paul meant he excommunicated them from the church, exposing them to the realm of satanic influence. Those outside the church are not under the spiritual protection of the body of Christ and, in this way, are exposed to the dangers of sin... the intent of the disciplinary measure was to bring about repentance and return to true fellowship (1:20).

Church discipline isn't high on the list of many churches today. All too often, we want to think, "Well, that's just X person," or "We aren't supposed to judge" or "I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings/hurt our relationship." In addition, a lot of churches focus on music or other things rather than a sermon that focuses on the Bible. Sadly, these things can lead to negligence, and to damaging Christ's reputation to those outside the church. This is something enemy wants to happen, so that he can drag as many people down to hell with him as possible. This obviously cannot be ignored.

At the same time, we shouldn't be unjust or harsh. The penalty is meant to bring people back to fellowship and remove damaging behavior, not to turn someone into an object of hatred. We should be careful that our disgust for an action does not lead to hate for the person. We should also check ourselves for ulterior motives before taking disciplinary action, otherwise a person innocent of the crime they are accused of may be unjustly subjected to discipline. We should pray and seek wisdom, namely in God and the Bible, and do what we can heal a problem before it comes to any form of excommunication, which is possible, if only we look for a godly solution and attempt it with a desire to succeed.

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Comments ( 2 )

Bruh if you WERE the pastor when I went to church, hell maybe I would still be a Christian. THOSE words are what I wish people would say. *Hugs you*

I don't usually post recommendations for my stories on people's personal blogs, but if you read what I've written for my most recent story, Windows of the Soul, I ask some very important questions that I think would bring the religious and secular world closer to an understanding. If we wish to be free of evil, we may have to directly face it ourselves. There's still a few chapters left to write, but I'm more than willing to discuss this from an analytical point of view.

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