The danger of “self church-discipline”

Self-discipline or self- control is a good thing and a fruit of the Spirit. Self-church discipline is something entirely different, deeply distressing and quite dangerous.

I want to suggest that most “Church Discipline” is self-administered. Remember that church discipline will often include asking people to step down from particular roles and responsibilities and eventually may include exclusion from church membership.

So, what happens when someone self-disciplines?  They start to exclude themselves from things including: Continue reading

Advertisements

Justice, The Church and Repentance

My dad tells the story of an occasion when he went to preach at another church. He rode out on his motorbike and arrived at the front door in his leathers with his helmet under his arm. A lady greeted him at the door with the immortal line:

“I don’t think we want your sort here.”

When he explained that he was the visiting preacher, she became extremely flustered. Continue reading

Terror (Revelation 8-9)

“Change course” came the signal to the bridge.

“No! We advise that you change course” was the response

Again: “We strongly advise that you change course.”

The officer on duty signalled a reply “This is a US Navy cruiser. We strongly advise that you change course.”

After a short pause, the reply came back, “This is a lighthouse … we strongly advise that you change course.”

What will it take to get people to change course and turn from sin to God?

What will it take to get you to turn to him? Continue reading

Church Health Check

Last week, we talked about the pressures that we face which might discourage and even overwhelm us. We saw that the churches, John was writing to were under intense pressure too. They were the minority in a cruel, Godless empire.  They faced opposition and persecution. We will see some of that this week.

However, you know, often the greatest pressure that causes discouragement, despondency and even suffering does not come from the outside but the inside.  How many people have experienced tearful, sleepless nights because of what was said to them by another believer or the fall out at the church meeting? How many have ended up just drifting along aimlessly due to a lack of good teaching and discipleship. How many have ended up burnt out and given up because of bullying in the church (and you know, sometimes that’s because of overbearing leaders but sometimes it because of bullying members who oppose leaders because they see their own status threatened).  Continue reading