As a writer I have penned my thoughts on church discipline. I have been on both sides of the discipline fence. On both sides, it was both necessary and it was helpful. In fact, historically church discipline has been identified as a mark of the what constitutes a true church.
Yet, the mention of church discipline usually is followed by an outcry of intolerance by our society. Church discipline as usually practiced does not fit into the western mindset of tolerance and acceptance. So any report of church discipline will usually be followed with many objecting to the church infringing upon the right of individuals to live as they want.
However, I have discovered that those who object the most actually do favor church discipline. You may be wondering what I am talking about. Well, here we go.
Those who are extremists when it comes to individual rights (as opposed to institutional rights) do favor church discipline when those in institutional authority trample the rights of an individual. When a church leader violates a child in a sexual manner, everybody wants the leader removed and punished…and rightfully so.
So the issue is not if church discipline should be exercised, but the issue is when and for what should discipline occur.