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Redemptive Discipline: Concept & Application- Part 2

Royce Snyman


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 19, 2017
    9:00 AM
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How grateful we are to be able to call you loving heavenly Father Father we need your help to know ourselves how to be loving we're here for a class on redemptive discipline because both of these are needed in our church today in a very real way 1 without the other is neither and we pray the Father that you will help us as we seek to make it complete in way you want to be so as we talk about some practical applications of the principles that are here I pray for you wisdom in your understanding pray that you give me words to speak and for those who are sitting in this class yours to hear me thank you in Jesus name. OK Well we want to the our 2nd part of our study just a reminder that yesterday we spent some time in the Word of God good place to be always specifically we spent some time in revel a I mean revelation Matthew Chapter 18 and in Matthew Chapter 18 we were looking at the Council when Jesus gave and we looked at basically the whole chapter we went all the way through to the end of the section where Jesus speaks about the pieces that he wants to put into place and the the specific steps in relationship to discipline that he want to do carry out. And then we also review briefly at the end reminded ourselves of the parable of Jesus taught and on the issue of forgiveness and today we want to take that foundation of Matthew chapter 18 and apply those principles in is practical a way as we can now let me tell you that my of the purpose of this class and my goal in what we are doing in this class is to be as practical as I possibly can be I'm not only wanting to give you theological tools Ab but I want to give you practical tools and I also want to give you a chance to practice those tools this to me I believe is a vital missing link not the missing link but a missing link in developing to our churches into being strong churches for Jesus in these last days. The material that I handed out to you yesterday the supplemental material that I gave you yesterday it's in your notebook. Speaks to the value of discipline in churches run in 1 part of it written by something you have understand sermons and then some other parts written by non Adventists which you would not even hardly expect in Christianity today because it feels like not necessarily is true but it feels like. The Christian world is kind of a band in any kind of. Standard or I don't want to use the word rules but and you know it's it's kind of feels like anything and everything goes and that's the feeling that you kind of pick up from Christianity today but that's not fair to all Christians not all Christians are in that particular mode at the at this time and some of them understand even when they've got wrong theology in terms of the Sabbath and other things they do understand that in order for their churches to stay strong there needs to be some level of standard and direction for their churches so that's that's that material want to be aware of reminding you that doing a little bit of back won't back up oh now I want to take us into. Our study for today and we're going to start with a small group project and you remember we started with 1 yesterday and we kind of worked in a general way with that but today I want you to take the principles that we established and apply those principles to this work now I'm going to go a little bit farther here for a moment now I can do the. I want to go to the slide then I'll back up here for a moment it's in your notes you know under the section 2 applying concept every dept of discipline in the local church I just want to review this Matthew 18 process because some of you were unable to be here yesterday and that's great I'm glad you a break that you weren't able dear but great that you're here today and I want to apply those principles here and if you're not reminded of what those principles are and those steps and you going to have a little bit of time time struggling with that So Matthew process makes it clear that there are 3 basic steps available Cindy I don't think you got anything yesterday right. This is here and 1 more. From yesterday. So reviewing what we did yesterday Jesus told us that if our brother offends us and we're speaking generically here a brother or sister offends us 1 on 1 visit with a member is what we need to. Need to do 1 on 1 individual going there and working together with them privately if that doesn't work we move to the 2nd step and that's 2 or 3 leaders who are visiting that offending member the 3rd step is if that's still those in work the offending member is brought before the congregation but I want to remind you that these steps can be applied in all kinds of discipline processes we name 3 yesterday we named ostrich. Discipline we named Judge Mental discipline and we name redemptive discipline and we said that ostrich discipline is what is prevalent in most of our churches today and you all get the analogy of the ostrich sticking its head in the sand would be the way they don't actually do that. Speaking from Africa you know growing up around Australia is they don't do that but anyway somehow they got the reputation of sticking their heads in and that's what the people in our churches are doing most of the time we just hide away and pretend that it's not going on or that it will somehow solve itself and if we leave it alone it's better that way and then if we try to deal with it the 2nd kind of thing we dealt with was the issue of Judge Mental. Discipline comparing that with discipline that is redemptive and we talked about the similarities between them and the differences between them recognising that these 3 steps can be taken in both but not come out with the same results that there is a redemptive discipline step and that is the step that God wants us to be taking. In everybody get to sign in because the she got up here but I'm not sure it got back to everybody if you were here yesterday just sign your name if you were not here yesterday and you're signing in today please put your name and your address on there so the know how to contact you if you're in another 1 of my classes put your name and address there anyway because if I'm looking at that I don't want to have to go look some rare are also not a getting contact with you find 1 and 2 are needed so these 3 can be prevalent in just indiscipline that is Judge Mental and it can be present in discipline that is redemptive that is all in how we apply that in our goal is redemption so that the soon can be contain We are also concerned that the Matthew 18 process be followed and if any of the steps in the process the send problem a stop redemption can be accomplished when you can stop it and you contain the problem we're going to come back to that in just a few moments take your notes right now and do this if you would I want to spend a few moments talking about this in a very practical type setting I'm going to ask you to break into groups a little bit and you know you got to do is to turn your chairs and I like for groups if you would be willing to do this not everybody like small groups and I get that Ellen White says that small groups are actually a training tool that she saw as a valuable thing and so I'm a take advantage of that opportunity you got to do something a little bit different and I want you to read through this now don't fall into the trap because some of you that were I mean the ones who were here yesterday you say there's a saying that we did yesterday it's not. OK so please read through this I'm going to get in your groups and then I'm going to read through it and then I want you to talk about it so do that right now if you would. What's that. Well I'll do all of us here for a moment. OK We're going to spend about 5 to 10 minutes doing this I want to have enough time to discuss it but I don't want you to develop a whole theology and write books on this limited to about 5 to 10 minutes here's a scenario you can follow along as you read I'm standing up here with a camera reading it so the camera knows what we're doing that's for the people who will watch it afterward you understand all right this is a hypothetical situation any similarity to reality is totally coincidental Disclaimer The scenario is that you have a man in your church Mr B. was a gifted with enthusiastic leadership talent 1 of your elders in the general Sabbath school Superman attendance is wife is not a member of the church but does attend fairly often you receive a phone call from Mrs B. who tells you with reluctance that she is suspected her husband of being interested in another woman she tells you that through a private investigator she has evidence that he has been having an intimate affair with a woman at the local spa Mrs B. shows no sign of vengeance the states that she will appreciate whatever you can do to save their marriage and project protect the good name of the church which she says she has come to respect because she attends from time to time and she appreciates the church you arrange a visit with Mr B. alone with you and 1 of the other elders scenario has changed. Upon arrival at the home Mr B. appears strangely withdrawn after prayer you discuss with him the situation you have been informed about and ask him what you can do to help if it is true almost immediately begins to lash out at his wife and you for bringing someone else from the church he defends his conduct and tells you that you don't know his wife he jumps the gun and boldly states that he will not voluntarily resign because he does not believe it is all that bad so what has taken place is the scenario that we talked about yesterday asked taken place with a private visit but the situation has not stopped and so you are coming back the 2nd time with someone else and this is what develops in the scenario take a few moments and talk about it decide how you would apply Matthew 3rd 18 here and do so in a redemptive loving way think what you would do in that situation now somebody kind of be the spokes person there's always somebody because I'm going to ask you to tell me basic steps that you decided to do based upon Matthew 18 OK. And you've got 5 minutes to try to narrow down here take it where you're at and figure out what your steps are so that you can speak to us here in a moment. All right I'm going to give you 30 seconds to wrap it up. All right staying in your group's right now and I realize how artificial Lissa's there's a lot of stuff you don't know about those Mr B.. And there's a lot of there's a lot of stuff you're making up about Mr B. And it may not be all true but it may be. And so I just want to talk to you a little bit about kind of what you think here so let's. Look at the discussions were getting rather interesting actually. But I'm going to start back over here with this group tell tell us what steps did you want to take with Mr beings our spokesman OK. Well. Good. Great good thank you. For. All right I love the thinking here folks this is great I mean if I designed this on purpose what you're saying it would I could've done better at it. So I really like what you're doing because. I can see that you're thinking through this process and you're identifying trying to identify what your goal is and what you're trying to do now is figure out a way to get to that goal and you want to be honest and fair to the church manual to the biblical principle that you're also trying to figure out how do you help this person and you don't know a lot of dynamics but I'm going to tell you what there are times when you know that person and you don't know a lot of dynamics you don't know what's really going on there and some of you have spoken even to that along the way as well all right I'll be here. All of this is greatest I'm going I'm having fun now are you ready to go home. If this is working right we're back where we supposed to be. OK great thank you this is this is helping to develop the flow that we need to have here and I want to take us on now to talking about some of the tools for managing redemptive discipline in the local church and something that most churches have not thought about I had not thought about tell a gala more years ago mentioned it to too many of us as pastors I can't remember the context exactly how excited I was to get that perspective because of what it what information it gave me and the direction that that it gave me so I'm going to take you through some of this today and try to give you some of those principles but I want to start by pointing you to the church manual I don't have a lot of time to spend in the church manual because if I go there I'm going to get bogged down but I've given you a copy of that and some of the have won out there some of those extras that were floating around here that it was a stack of them I think somewhere. Where they might be air there we go thank you. So if you take a look at this I just want to share a couple of pieces that are in here with you there's some good counsel here 1 of the things I appreciate about the church manual a lot of people think of it as like a dictionary. And you know who want to read a dictionary there are people that like to read dictionaries and they are fascinating and terms of seeing what words mean and all of that but most of us get pretty bored reading a dictionary but the manual is not really a dictionary the manual is a practical guide that is filled with Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy counsel and dealing with a multitude of different kinds of scenarios in relationship to the things that we deal with in a local church and I'm not talking about discipline I'm just talking about organizationally but this section on discipline is a very helpful 1 this is from the latest edition of the church manual on pages 56 to 68 we don't have time to go through all of it but the 1st section is some counsel from the Bible Prophecy and dealing with erring members you notice Matthew 18 is quoted there and some counsel also from Bollywood 7 she talks they also talk here about God's plan and working through this and the direction that is given here and again good information I'm not trying to go through the details as an area that I want to get here in just a moment I want to hit the highlights as Remind us on the next page of the authority of the church and the role and responsibility that the church has charge members especially American church members and I say that respectfully but in some parts of the world people already have a natural built in respect for the authority of the church almost to a fault in the United States we've gone almost to a fault the other direction we tend to be very independent in the United States and there are times when church members that you say wow I don't care what the church doesn't money. And that's the attitude towards that and there is a good balance in there the God wants for us in relationship to that in the section on church churches responsibility there's a quotation from Volume 3 of the testimonies that says God holds his people as a body responsible for the sins existing in individua. Among them if the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the Sens which bring the displeasure of God upon the body they become responsible for these sins our churches are not taking this issue seriously I go to churches and even share this information and some of the leaders in the church are so scared about hurting somebody has feelings or taking a stand or actually believing it's wrong that they will ignore this council and allow things to continue I'm going to tell you honestly I don't understand that and I did but I it's what a yeah it is and it's and it's part of the challenge that we face in our being trying to be respectful because I know what it's like to actually have to encounter these things and you have to deal with them and it's it's it's difficult I understand that but I also believe it is unhealthy and dangerous for the church we talked about that a little bit more we also need to be reminded that in the next section that the UN consecrated resists discipline we need to be reminded that the UN consecrated I think that's in there. It must be a real important paragraphs possession he says it twice I'm trying to remember if I did that or if they did that anyway we need to safeguard the unity of the church which is what this is all about it talks about the reconciliation of differences on the next section and sometimes I don't think that some of these differences are handled in the ways that some of our churches ought to some conflicts that happen in the church should result in church discipline we allow the conflict to go on and nobody wants to deal with and solve the problem and sometimes that problem is that there are certain people that are causing strife in the church and we will discipline somebody for robbing banks or having an affair but we won't discipline people for the fact that they are disrupting the unity of the church and my preaching in the little bit. The next section deals with settlement of grievances among members same concept there and I think I did it again but it says it differently doesn't THAT I AM have to go back and look at that I'm sorry I copied this out of the off of on line and I'm just trying to stand wise duplicated the reasons for discipline are listed in the next section and there are a lot of reasons that are outlined there they are called is the legal portion of this of this ARS portion of the manual on discipline and it lists some of the things there like denial of the faith in the principles a fundamental of the Gospel in the fundamental beliefs of the church or Dr unteach in doctrines contrary to the same heresy would be a simple word for that and for turning the back on the teachings that church then there are other things including the violation of the law of God in the violation of the Sabbath and other commandments as well and then a number of other things that are listed there then comes the process of discipline this is the part that I want to just give you a little bit of a highlight before we move on here now to the church manual outlines 2 kinds of discipline the 1 is a vote of censure and the other is a vote to remove from membership former church manuals have called this a vote to dispel oh shit we don't use that term anymore because you came to this class you won't use that term anymore in your church either. It's not a bad term it's it's just that something about disfellowshipping it just sounds harsh I suppose removing somebody from membership is not easy either is a thing but that's the way they say it and that's the way we've come to it the discipline measure discipline by censure is very similar to some of the things that we've been talking about here and that's what's up on the screen and it is involves a step process before actually removing a person from membership and does not necessarily have to result in the removing of a person from membership a censure period my. Be form 1 knee 1 month 2 a year a year is X. X. is the longest that is recommended but a month about the time you need to be able to process something that's ongoing and the center takes a person out of any offices they may be in at that particular time and in leadership roles whatever and they're still members of the church but they recognize that they are being held accountable for their actions what can happen after that is it can automatically drop and they get their membership back in full standing and that assumes that that what needed to be corrected was corrected but if that is not corrected then another action has to be to act has to take place and by the way both of these take place by going to the church board 1st and then going to the church and business session and so you'd start by taking the name of that individual to the church board and recommend a vote of censure to the church and business session then that recommendation is taken to the church and business session and that is discussed there and then if they are voted to it is voted to censure or in the case of removing from membership that takes place at that particular point I'm being brief year we'll deal with more details on that later question. That's an interesting question and it appears that technically no it automatically drops unless you do something about. I had an incident to read before because that's what I thought and I think I'm trying to remember where it is here. Yan and I in I do think if their conduct a satisfactory they may be then considered in regular standing without further action and shall be notified that the censure has ended so it doesn't have to go back to the business session doesn't have to go back to the church board the board may simply want to say alright we've done it everything's great let's send it send the individual the notice that it's done that's that doesn't take action it just simply takes that OK good question thank you appreciate it discipline by removal membership we talked about that and there's some other details I wanted to mention those to you as we go on here so you have that context and what I'm about to tell you in the heart of applying the part to now applying a concept a redemptive discipline the local church I reminded you already of the Matthew 18 process we went through that I reminded you that the goal is redemption and that's the direction we're trying to go and now I want to stress with you the fact that the church the steps in terms of following this action prior to the church manuals censureship action could actually involve another step that's not mentioned in the church manual. And you're saying oh where are you going with this all right stay with me and I feel on solid ground here because I didn't come up with the gala morning. And I'm really thankful that he did and it's and when you see the process here you'll understand that it's in keeping with the spirit of the church manual and the direction so let's take it in detail right now and look at it as I want you to understand applying this principle in this manner 1st of all Point number 3 up on the screen here and in your notes says that the church can ensure the containment of the problem or sin by more fully utilizing the board of elders how Let me give you a little bit of an example here. Of some redundancy in there on my screen song and have to clean that up. That's why when your group in the back was asking me the question about do you take this is the next step to take it to the church manual I mean the judge board my answer was yes according to the church manual but I would like to suggest to you today and of our galaxy gala moral standing here he would make the same suggestion to you that's it it is in keeping with the same spirit but for the sake of containment to contain it as long as you can in order to keep it private and keep it from moving beyond and into the church generally the elders being the spiritual leaders of the church are the most trusted ones to be able to keep it contained and to keep it private and confidential and if you can keep it within that circle a circle that is praying for the individual a circle that is pleading with God for that individual a circle that is going and pleading with that individual that they might be able to see how this could take place and how the. Change in their life could be affected by recognizing that this is sin and that there's a problem that can be dealt with I really appreciated the way your groups were processing this because you were all trying to find ways to accomplish that goal you were trying to find ways to get the man's attention to help him to realize this a problem to help him to realize that that he can get help and get counseling that there are all kinds of things that can be done here so let's try to put this into a practical thing with Mr B. please. I know situations I'll try to mix up some Scituate. Asians a little bit to put that in perspective you have your own and you probably know it but I'll just use it by way of illustration a man who runs off with a younger woman leaves his wife of 30 years she's got 2 or 3 kids he's now taking on a whole lifestyle that he already left behind for what he thinks for some reason is better taking on all those bills and all those significant issues and raising children and all of that when he's long since past that time say nothing of the lady that's involved in that process taking on an older man who's going to die in a little while maybe that's your goal I don't know. You know all those I'm just saying you know we just haven't thought those processes through as people when we get into them and our heads don't work and our hearts seem to get confused and that's what you're suggesting is that we help a person kind of work through this process so if you take the situation with Mr B. And you're coming to him there's nothing that says the you have to move instantly to begin to move to censure the biggest danger this 2 pitfalls in relationship to this kind of a scenario with Mr B. But 1 is is is coming in as a heavy handed hammer to try to solve this problem and say you know what you've messed up I've been here 2nd time you're here telling us you don't like us anymore I'm taking this to the church board and we're going to we're going to have you censured that's the judge mental approach isn't. That's really what's going on but the redemptive process of saying wait a minute what really is going on here is there's something we're missing Do we need to be praying more here what what is going on some of you brought up is there is there something going on with the wife we don't know about I mean she's coming across and coming out of this picture clean you know she's the the saint in the picture she's not an admin this but she treats the church nicely and all that been you know maybe she's not so nice at home and and is that an excuse for him to do that No but what are the complicating factors in here and being able to listen through all of that and sort that all out so here is a little bit of a process that you can work out with this the 1st 1 is that the pastor or the elm elder of visits the offending member and that is the step 1 the Matthew 18 process the individual the private visit and working with us and by the way Joe and I were talking about afterwards because we hadn't in our class yesterday we're talking about should we go 1st privately and then to somebody else there are unusual times and that's what he was speaking to him because I know Joe Joe and I have had some situations where we've had to deal with that are unusual and there are times when you have to be somewhat careful what you do. There are people that will threaten you with a lawsuit just walking through but you would generally know that when before you even go over there in that case it doesn't hurt to have somebody else with you and you're still following the principle of Matthew 18 but understand that that particular individual has potential problems in their life and they may not be balanced and you need to address it that way and that's just a scenario but assuming you're dealing with a church member similar to the sun that you're not expecting them or have reason to expect something truly unusual like that that principle applies so the pastor maybe gets the call or the elder you an elder get a call and you go and you visit that individual but that doesn't work out it doesn't issue only because Mr B. says I thank you for coming I really want to talk about this remember our scenario yesterday and any We really is responding to this and so you're praying that indeed he's going to follow through with his commitment to break it off and to move on with his life and you even talked about man you this is this is not good you need to get on with your life and you need to get counseling as a matter of fact you need to step out of being a leader in your church for a period of time we won't talk about that people have a reason to step out for personal reasons and and whatever you can just step out we do want talk about it and we won't say anything to anybody that's what that scenario was before but now we come to the scenario and Mrs B. calls and she says no it's not working out he didn't do anything he said he would he's refused to go to counseling and he's still seeing her so that's why you come the 2nd time with a pastor the pastor the elder or 1 or 2 other individuals again the goal here is redemption the purpose is a series of appeals as we talked about yesterday this is the next in a series of appeals of trying to reach that individual and work with them there may have a new Ben 1 or 2 or 3 visits by that pastor or the individual trying to work it out and it doesn't seem to be working here. So you come in you have this visit here as we've just had the scenario and the problem still is there he is more content chorus now he's more rebellious he's got an attitude toward this and what is your next step what are you still trying to do while the church manual doesn't apply that your next step is going to the church board or when you go to the church board you're going to a much larger body and less contain body correct and not always you want everyone to be on the church board being the spiritual leaders they want to be they are spiritual leaders whether they are accepted or not or behave like it or not but you still looking at the elders as being the leaders here and look let's face it this man is an elder he is the Sabbath school superintendent he has influence in your church this is going to have ramifications in implications for your church you you are dealing with. Really sensitive ground which you working it could divide your church and listen let me tell you there's nothing like a squabble over a situation like this when church members start to take sides so we're not only dealing with the salvation of this individual the elder and the his redemption but we're also dealing with what are the implications of taking this to the church at large and can we somehow keep this contained and still begin to move. It may be that in this particular moment you see no opportunity to move forward and visiting with him or you see some light a possibility there is something that you can do and that is in your church if your board of elders are already established in your church as being able to be a place where this can be discussed and work with in a more contain way the church elders could put this individual under a period of grace of their own. That is not advertised it could be still the person stepping out of the out of the office or whatever but the goal is still now to get that individual's attention and say Now 1 we want you to understand we're really serious about those and you say that you know you're not going to resign or whatever and we're not to that's not the issue some of you talked about we're you know we're trying to help you here we're not we're not trying to hurt you in trying to talk that all through but we're going to go back to the elders and we're going to have a discussion about this yes you're an elder but you're not welcome at that meeting. You don't and I'm a big 1 to hear this 1 say in a different way but that's not a meeting for you to attend but we're going to talk about and we're going to be praying for you so the board of elders meeting the talk about it is dealing with generally in most churches in Michigan you're dealing with elders from 2 to 4 or 5 a number something like that and you're keeping the situation contained but you have a little bit more authority and I'll tell you how you get that authority in a moment the you've got a little bit more authority to deal with this issue and to be able to address this problem and still continue to try to get his attention Step 3 is if the member continues to resist the issues presented to the board of elders rather than of the church board this group represents a spiritual leadership of the church it is a smaller group and since the purpose of the period of grace is stop the problem and sin from continuing the elders could be empowered to establish this period of grace with that purpose in mind now let's take a few moments and talk about how you might be able to accomplish. How do we go about doing that so your notes have outlined this a little bit and if you follow along with me and there will also be able to discuss it I pointed out by showing you in the church manual what the church manual says you have a copy of that in front of you and that material is is the authority of the church working on the US and though the church manual does not make provision for the board of elders utilizing a period of grace. What can happen in the local church the local church can do this and the stablish it because it's in keeping with the spirit of what you're trying to do you're seeking to redeem our gala more found by experience that doing this kind of a process just gives you 1 more step that still moving in the same direction but still gives you 1 more opportunity to redeem and utilizes people that are might be better equipped to handle that process of seeking to bring that person back to the state of spiritual state where they need to be and getting their attention so here's how you could establish it number 1 you could discuss this process at a church board meeting do not wait till you've got a minister be the situation to discuss this with the church board are I had the best time to do with varying for your taxes not April 15th but way before who are April 15th like April 16th looking forward to next year or at the best time to prepare for something like this is to do the work with your board when you're not under the stress of dealing with an issue take it to your church board and outlined this process and say how do you feel about this if the church board somehow feels uncomfortable maybe they don't trust the pastor in doing this or they don't happen to like the elders they may not want to do that but most boards will respond with this saying hey we we know what you're trying to accomplish here we're all for showing grace and really and seeking to redeem people so that's go with us so you talk about of the church board you voted at the church board as a recommendation to the church and business session with me the next step is what. Business meetings so you take it to the church in a business session you have this recommendation discussed their end of the church and business session votes to do this then it establishes the authority of the church board of elders as the individuals who can establish the spirit of grace there without having to bring up a report to the church board in an effort in an endeavor to be able to work with them and I put a little suggestion in here that I didn't get from gala more but it's just 1 for me and and I think it makes some sense but there might be situations that you would want to do it a different way the church manual for a vote of censure gives you from 1 month to a year. I'm suggesting that the board of elders that there is a period of grace is a shorter period because you don't want to continue you don't want to continue with the situation and just keep it going for years and years and years you're trying to contain this if it's a problem it's a problem as a problem now and you don't want to keep it going forever so you might want to make that period of grace and suggests that period of grace of maybe $1.00 to $3.00 months that the elders can establish and then if it's not resolved after that time then the elders have the responsibility to bring that situation to the church board. In the period of grace I would suggest no and less for some reason the board of elders had reason to say this situation is such that it's not going to be helpful who the person to be taken out of their office but you know I'm going to tell you here's the problem if you don't take that person out of office and they are an elder in the church and generally most other areas of responsibility. They are providing a spiritual image before the church and if they're standing up on Sabbath morning and you know that they're smoking or you know that they're having an affair with somebody and they're getting up there and leading out in the prayer service and all that that's a mockery to gone all right and you all know Ellen White story the story from Ellen White where she came in to a church and she had a vision about it and she could never could say anything about it and 1 day she was there and all of a sudden came together and she was listening to this preacher preach and she got up and said You have no business being in that pulpit and you've got a wife here and a wife with somewhere else and kids there as well whoa. You know and because that's a mockery to gone that is why God steps into those kinds of situations and if it's absent of that nature then it would be I'm trying to think of a scenario where a wouldn't be but I'm having a little trouble with that right now. Why. Now. The problem the problem you have at that point. And as you're doing that kind of scenario is that when the elders of got to quickly get to that individual and say hey we're trying to help you here and you've made this a lot more complicated we're going to have to take a new direction here so you pray that that never happens because that really messes everything up but some people big Some people will do that and you know it because you're telling about it and I agree with that so the process is such where you're working to limit this to 1 to 3 months you're stablish ing that if that doesn't work then you go and you take that on to the church and the church board into a church and business session accordingly as it needs to be I said here. Or how this is worked in the Michigan conference church and so let me give you an example of my own experience. As a pastor. You run into these problems from time to time and 1 of the challenges is that it's not just the problem you're dealing with it's the way it tends to affect the church as a whole and I encountered a situation and I'm going to be very careful about this because this had a really positive outcome in the end and the individuals that were involved in this are leaders in God's church today and I'm so thankful for it but I don't ever want that past to get back to those individuals or be any whatever OK so I'm being very careful about it but there was a situation where there was a young couple when I was. Pastor in 1 of the churches the pastor who over the years or that made sense. And this young couple who was basically living together. And in those days it wasn't even narrowly as common as it is now we're talking on of 30 years ago. And yet it was becoming more common and people had those kinds of things and in this particular case the couple's excuse was finances are right there the girl in the situation was was a local and the boy was from out of town and was trying to establish you know a home there and and a place to live in of a way to be able to to get a job and all those other kinds of things and you know there's no question about it in that kind of a scenario it's really tempting to live in the same place and save money so that you can and you can deal with that and of course that kind of a scenario people say well there's nothing going on here and so on and so forth and you know what I want to believe people I had people in that situation and I've had people since in similar situations they say yeah right OK yeah that is I mean we're talking beings here and we're talking I you know whatever well you know what it's very possible that there might be nothing going on but the truth of the matter is the Bible also tells us to avoid the appearance of evil and that is the appearance of evil for sure it doesn't look right it is a dishonor to Jesus it's a dishonor to the local church and people that are looking out from outside into the situation who are not members of the church they know what the church stands for and they know what the Bible teaches many Christians do and they're saying wait a minute what's going on here and it really does do harm to the church so we had the conversation with the. With the church in relationship to the situation. When the battery man died which makes a whole lot of sense and that's great because it's that anyway we're done with that so we we're dealing with a situation on the church board we're having conversations with now what didn't happen here at this point I had not established this process of working this way but I'm going to use the scenario so that you can see how that process can work we met together and we were talking about this especially on the board of elders and it wasn't just on the board that we got to this problem we're dealing with a board of elders but I believe my memory serves a long time and believe that we did eventually get to the church board but we were still keeping it contained was not something that was NOT know and so it didn't the containment issue wasn't so much what was needed but what was needed was a continuing process of seeking to get their attention I had talked to them elders had talked to them and it worked with that but it was a continued process where we didn't back down and say you know some of the members want to say he's a really that bad doesn't really matter doesn't whatever but others were saying no we really need to do deal with this and I remember that it was particularly an elder and his wife. That went and met with this couple and pled with them that they needed to not do this for the sake of the future the their future relationship with the Lord and setter and their situation with the church and they suggested to them a solution to the problem they told them how they could get housing and be able to work that through and to solve that problem and the couple reluctantly accepted that council but did accept the council and went through with that and you know what I look back at that situation and I am so happy that it worked out that way if we had only visited them once it took multiple visits it took different people going and pleading with them and correcting that situation and helping them understand the danger that they were in even though they didn't seem to recognize the danger they were in it took multiple times of doing that but the end result was this couple was say they were able to be married in the church they were able to be leaders in the church and they are leaders in God's work today and it's only because the church was faithful in its work but if the church had not been faithful in its work I don't know where that couple would have wound up I don't know what would have happened there and if that church had not dealt with them redemptive way they might have pushed them farther away from the church rather than bringing them in to the fold and closer to it and enabling them and empowering them to be workers for God that is redemptive discipline and what needs to happen we did establish in that particular church a redemptive discipline process that I've outlined here we eventually took it to the church in business session and were able to stablish a period of grace and to be able to do it on the Elders level to keep it contained and it. As a wonderful thing it was a good thing here I can't tell you that church is still doing that I'm curious right now after trying to find out now that I'm doing it but I believe in the principles that are established there and the value that is gained by doing so I hope what I've shared with you today is valuable I'm actually going to end our class just a few minutes early I hope that doesn't offend you. And I'm going to don't worry about overdoes. And tomorrow what we're going to do is we're going to take some directions here and begin to apply this now here's what I really want to do is I want to take this and start to to put it into real situations that you might be struggling with and but I want to be careful with this because I don't want to be I you know I'm recording this and so I don't want to become so alive here I might turn the recorder off and we get to that point and I really want this to become practical for you and terms of the way we apply this and we'll talk about other issues and and other challenges that come in dealing with this so that's where we're headed in the next couple days here so we've got the foundation now we want to find the best way to move forward with this and dealing with real life situations and and how to manage them we've got the foundation Now let's be practical with it so thank you very much I have time for questions if any of you have a question you can do that fine anybody have a question of all pleased. That's an interesting question. Why are you trying to work with a person who is not a member of the church. OK or that I just wanted to hear that I figured that was the gays so they were attending church and working on that. OK OK I'll tell you what I'm going to do would you bring that to us tomorrow and I'll you won't be here tomorrow OK you won't bring it tomorrow will you or I will bring it on Thursday we'll have time to be able to do that and I will be dealing with other situations but what would we do in that kind of scenario because here is what I want to do and 1 of her stand about that when you you know it comes to a situation and I know our immediate reaction is that an individual in this particular case we've got no authority over them that's true in a sense but you're talking about a person has been intending this church for years right and what are the issues that they're going through and the real question is not what authority do we have to discipline them or to punish them the real question is what can we do to redeem. And that's the question we want so that's what we want. Part of the question that you have and here and it's the same it ultimately is the same scenario is the how's the person going to respond but 1 of the things the reason that I want to take the time to talk about it is because what are the scenarios that are that are causing the church to feel like that if they were a member we would want to discipline them and I think that is valuable for us to process here because the way we deal with these kinds of issues affect the church and the unity of the church and the strength of the church and I can give you some scenarios on the same level that we've had to work with on a and a very strong way and a lot of our churches don't when we start to deal with it that way some churches of actually reacted to that and said whoa wait a minute we know we're trying to help a person yes maybe but at what cost and that's why I want to bring that situation to develop it Doc you're absolutely right but I want to understand this narrative I think would help us all. Absolutely. Well all. That. Most of the boys. Who are at home. They're not. That's exactly right and that's that's that's the challenge for me. Absolutely which is why I'm taking the time and I'm taking 5 days to talk about this process because the way we do this and the understanding of these issues is critical to the church 1 of the things we want to talk about in the next 3 days is also how do you manage conflict in your church what tools do you have and it's not just discipline those are not the only tools you have and may be able to manage it there are other tools that help to work through these issues of conduit the situation with Mr B. is a situation of conflict because when you go and you meet with him and he's got this attitude you're now in conflict so what tools do you have to know how to deal with conflict you know my natural reaction to conflict is why are you going to be nasty that way you can just you know have your life and your wife and your and your 2nd wife or what I mean you know that's not a Christian I have to do I'm telling you about you know what can happen when Christ is not working in my life and and that's why I have to be dependent on Christ and we have to keep that in mind and how do we work with that but some conflicts are much broader than 2 individuals and how do we deal with that and work with that soul and. Secondly Well folks thank you very much I've enjoyed it we are out of time now so let's have a closing prayer together and ask the Lord to bless us the rest of this day Father thank You for the discussion that we've had today and thank you for the principles of redemptive discipline we want to save individuals we all also want to protect your church we also want to be faithful to use so that you can trust us with more as we go our way the day less us and keep us Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio tapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermon leave visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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