This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Susan 10 months ago.
April 4, 2018 at 8:47 am #7238
I really enjoyed the podcast and everyones input again today. The description Byron gave of the liftoff at Cape Canaveral was of particular interest to me in light of my church experience.
Where I used to attend, we had communion every Sunday after spending an hour reflecting on Who God is and how He suffered in our place and how loving and forgiving He was and is. This reflection happened through songs, prayers (by men) and personal public reflection (by men). I looked forward to this humbling experience every week. It was comforting to hear about God’s attributes on a weekly basis. After this hour, we’d go downstairs for snack and fellowship for about 1/2 hour. After this, we’d return upstairs and listen to the most man-centred, one-hour Arminian sermon you’d ever hope to not be part of.
For an example of application… they would regularly put people out of fellowship for a minimum of two weeks if they came to the elders and repented of sin. When asked why they practiced this putting out of repentant sinners, they answered that it’s done to show the world (and the congregation) how seriously God takes sin. All that was said with a straight face and no reference to Scripture.
In case you think this is an isolated incident or church practice, you’d be wrong. Their presence can be found in almost any part of the world where christianity is allowed to proliferate and they’ve been around for generations.
Sad but true.
April 18, 2018 at 6:36 am #7326
That’s astounding. I’ve never heard of this “intermittent excommunication” Not even the Catholic Church does this.
April 18, 2018 at 10:51 am #7334
I am sorry to hear of your experiences. While not as extreme, I have been in situations somewhat similar to what you describe. I was a member in a reformed church that “disciplined” a young man, who was 17 or 18 at the time, for eating a hamburger secretly against his father’s command. His father had become convinced that a vegetarian diet was best for him and his family. Because this young man had not “honored his father and mother” he was required to keep himself from the Lord’s Supper for a certain period of time. This was not a frequent event in that church, but the law hung heavy in that place, at least it did for me. In God’s mercy he has brought me out of that kind of thinking. But yes, that mindset is not uncommon.
There are many reasons I am no longer a Presbyterian, but this kind of misuse of church discipline is one of them for sure. And I have seen it in more than one conservative Bible believing Presbyterian church.
And now I will repent of this anger, and remember the gospel again!
April 18, 2018 at 1:47 pm #7338
Thanks for your responses.
It’s unfathomable that these churches exist, but we have two in our small community, one at either end of town, and they’re tightly knit with other assemblies within their non-denom denom worldwide.
I hope to get over this, and pray I’m not using it as an excuse, but I really don’t trust anyone anymore. For instance, the thought of signing a membership card with a church is something I will likely never do. I hope this is just a season, as I don’t want to be an outsider all the time, but that’s where I’m at right now. I think what God is showing me is that in spite of it all, He hasn’t left me nor forsaken me, even though I feel alone, I am not.
Yes Tom, I repent (or try to) daily in hopes that my heart is not deceiving me and I grow a bitter root. Feeling so uncertain about everything is very troubling but it’s what drives me to the foot of the cross more now than ever before.
April 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm #7339
The father should have been disciplined for even suggesting that vegetarianism was proper.
April 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm #7360
I have been burned by churches before as well. This is what the Reformers pushed against… just put in another context. Law over Grace. Jesus has left the buildings of many of these places long before the people leave. It is sad and unfortunate. Praying for you.
P.S. I agree with Byron’s assessment of this discipline as well 😉
April 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm #7379
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