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All Articles For Understanding Church Discipline

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. The following or similar events could happen in your church. Because a man of the church falls into the sin of drunkenness, drives while intoxicated, and finally slams into a parked car, he is arrested, put in jail, and the story appears in the next day’s daily paper. The elders visit the man and find that he is sincerely penitent. He even appears before the consistory out of the desire to show the elders that his repentance is sincere. But the consistory makes a public announcement...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Our children need to be disciplined when they sin. As children of God and members of the church, we need in our life the discipline of Christ directly with His chastening rod and heavy hand, making us repent from our deviant ways and return to the right relation with Him and our fellow believers. But He also gives the church the responsibility to discipline its members. That is, Christ uses at least two methods to bring us to our senses when we are pursuing an unhindered...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. (In the past 2 articles we have seen the Confessional and Biblical basis for church discipline of unrepentant sinners. The step of silent censure and the first two public announcements have been treated. Now we proceed to the third.) The Third Announcement. After the second announcement of discipline has been made to the congregation, the elders continue to work with the unrepentant sinner. It is difficult to continue labor when there is no positive fruit, but the call is still to work with the sinner. The...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Love is the ingredient required in all church discipline. Church discipline must be loving church discipline. Whether it be discipline of sins that are public, sins known only by the consistory, or sins dealt with on a private basis, all discipline must be done out of true love for the sinner. And that love must be shown to the sinner. Parents who discipline children without a generous portion of love both as their motive and in their administration are in serious error. So the church. Discipline that is not loving...

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