Index by Subject

Withdrawing from the Disorderly


The subject of withdrawing from the disorderly is not a popular one among brethren.  I personally have been a member of congregations where withdrawing from erring brethren was practiced sporadically, if at all.  However, if any congregation of the Lord’s people expects to be accepted of God, we must diligently know and practice God’s Word.  When Paul wrote God’s instructions: “…withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the traditions that you received from us…” (2 Thessalonians 3:6), this was not an advisement or suggestion, but a commandment; the same apostle wrote: “…if any man thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the fact that the things that I write to you, they are the commandment of the Lord…” (1 Corinthians 14:37).  If individual Christians or the church (the body of Christ) fail to keep the commandments of God, we do not know God (1 John 2:3) and “…will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).  However, even among brethren who do understand what God expects on this instruction from His word, there seems to be profound disagreement about how to actually carry out these instructions. While God does allow some judgment to be exercised, most of this subject and its application is quite clear, when we allow the Word of God to define itself.  It is the purpose of this article to examine, from the scriptures, and from the scriptures only, what God has to say about how we are to withdraw from the disorderly.

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Solid Food: Why We Must Have Discipline in the Church

Beats there a heart so brave that it does not fear to bring up the subject of discipline in the church? Only the newest babe in Christ or somone totally out of touch with the history of local churches could fail to realize that exercising church discipline is fraught with troubles and heartaches. Strong elders shake with trepidation and mature preachers measure their job security when the necessity arises. Friendship and fellowship are tested, family ties are strained, motives are searched and suspected, wounded feelings are multiplied and churches are sometimes split in an attempt to “withdraw from the disorderly.” Of late, the additional prospect of lawsuits has a chilling effect on this action and the first step is to check with an insurance agent to be sure that liability coverage is available before the church acts to correct a wayward member. In the light of such turmoil, some are led to ask, “Who needs it?” It seems as though more harm than good can result. Perhaps it is best to leave well enough alone; it is not worth the risk; let’s just leave such matters up to God and the final Judgment. Is there some compelling reason why we must have discipline in the church? Is it worthwhile? Is the cost too great to pay? What are the reasons that faithful Christians will consider in the light of such difficulties? Continue reading » Solid Food: Why We Must Have Discipline in the Church