Church Discipline: Andrew, Mars Hill, and a bunch of biblical ignorance

Update:  Mars Hill addressed what happened and acknowledged that the leaders involved overstepped their bounds.  And I’m going to defend Driscoll here:  He’s pastoring a freaking large church.  It’s unlikely he’s personally involved in the vast majority of these cases.

http://marshill.com/2012/02/13/a-response-regarding-church-discipline

The relevant text:

The church is made up of sinners, leadership included. The result is that sometimes things are handled poorly by leaders in a church discipline process and sometimes those who are under church discipline respond poorly. In such instances, it is the responsibility of the church leadership to protect our members, and when we hear of leaders overstepping their authority through the church discipline process we are quick to act to rectify the situation.

In both cases that have been brought to light, things did not go as they should have, and well before they were ever written about in a public setting by bloggers and journalists, Mars Hill leadership stepped in to investigate. As a result of those investigations, it was determined that the leaders involved had a pattern of overstepping their authority. As such, they were released and are no longer on paid staff or in formal leadership in any capacity at Mars Hill Church. Again, these actions were taken months ago, prior to any public exposure.

……………………………………………………..

A popular story flashed all over the Internet last week regarding a story of church discipline enacted by Mars Hill upon an individual identified as Andrew.  According to his version of the events, Andrew got physical with a girl who was not his fiance, confessed to her and his leaders about his sin, but was then forced to jump through hoop after hoop of confessions before being whacked with an overly harsh form of church discipline (including a contract that he needed to sign, agreeing to multiple predetermined steps).  When he felt that Mars Hill was no longer the church for him due to this treatment, they warned him that he was leaving as a member not in good standing and that they would inform any church he tried to attend about his sin.  He told his story to a blogger, Matthew Paul Turner, who then wrote about it and caused quite the firestorm.

That was just a summary, obviously.  Turner has two posts on this (Part 1 and Part 2), and Mars Hill put up on article on general church discipline here, although they did not address this matter directly.  Apparently, Andrew’s brother, Stephen, has written general thoughts of the ordeal here.

Before I talk about church discipline and this story in particular, I’m just going to… well, be mean, in general, towards many Internet commenters.  Naturally, when a story like this hits the Internet, we are gifted with massive amounts of stupidity.  If you ever want to rid yourself of the illusion that human beings are essentially smart, read comments on Youtube, ESPN, CNN, and the like, especially since these comment sections are largely not moderated.  The amount of poor argumentation, ignorance, and willful blindness is astounding, and it never ceases to amaze me.  The majority of comments on Turner’s blog are no exception.

Allow me to zero this in on many professing Christians.  I would expect stories like this to bring out the bitter agnostic or atheist who talks about the Bible and Jesus as if he knows anything (he doesn’t) and gleefully denounces religion, but to see incredible amounts of biblical ignorance from Christians is downright sad.  Stuff like, “Jesus would never excommunicate anyone” (apparently they are not familiar with Matthew 18), “There should only be LOVE!” (as if God’s love precludes holiness and justice), and “Where’s the grace?” (It’s in the blood of Jesus, who died for something called SIN), among others, makes me want to bang my head against a wall.  This kind of hippy bullcrap does not show a lick of biblical knowledge or sound reasoning, and frankly, Christians who use such sloppy catchphrases should be embarrassed.  Such an attitude does not show love because it is not grounded in God’s truth, who is love.

Some might be thinking, “Just another one of Mark Driscoll’s fanboys trying to defend him.”  Nope.  I am not a big fan of Driscoll and I’ve criticized him many times before.  I ripped him for his careless review of The Shack (even though I didn’t particularly like the book myself) as well as his bonehead use of the phrase “false gospel” to describe different interpretations of the righteousness of Noah, which was made even worse because his interpretation completely ignored Gen. 6:9.  Whenever I hear him preach the Gospel, I affirm it, but if I hear Reformed theology, I disagree, and when I hear him say really dumb stuff, I laugh at him.  I am not weighing in on this because I feel the need to defend Driscoll or his church, who may have indeed screwed up here.  I am weighing in to talk about why church discipline is both biblical and necessary.

What the Bible Says

The two main passages regarding disciplinary action (and booting someone out of the church) are Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5.  We’ll begin with the Matthew passage:

  15 If your brother sins against you,go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  18 I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven.19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father n heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

The first thing to notice is this:  Jesus spoke these words.  So much for the notion that Jesus would never want someone kicked out of a church.

Secondly, repentance and reconciliation is what is sought, not vengeance.  Only after a refusal to confess do the subsequent steps become necessary.

Third, the sin in question is obviously one that warrants consideration of removal in the first place, so it is quite a bit more serious than, “Jimmy told me to shut up once and it hurt my feelings.”  It is not merely personal offense either.  While the text does say specifically that the brother sins against “you,” it’s more to emphasize personal responsibility to forgive and seek reconciliation than it is to try to categorize sin as “personal” and “impersonal”; for example, it would be inappropriate to think that if an unmarried deacon is found to buy prostitutes from time to time, he cannot be disciplined because he is allegedly only harming himself and no one else.  Not only does this text not support this, numerous other texts regarding the body of Christ (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. 12) refute the notion that members’ sins can only effect themselves.

Fourth, the matter is to be kept private if possible.  It is incumbent upon the member who discovers this sin to try to initiate reconciliation without bringing things out in public.  I do not believe it has to be a wooden formula; for example, if you don’t go by yourself but bring a leader with you, that is hardly unbiblical, nor is it unbiblical to have a few more steps than this (after two or three people, if you decide to try again with two or three people or even five, that’s not necessarily wrong either).  Jesus was not concerned with giving a handbook for church discipline but rather that intentional and repeated steps are made to bring the sinner back into the fold, guarding against flippant reactions or dishonesty (hence the need for multiple people to confirm as witnesses).

Fifth, if all else fails, then it is brought before the “church.”  The use of church here refers to a local assembly of believers who are in voluntary and covenant association with another.  That is just obvious in the text and obvious when you think of virtually any organization.  If I join a professional club at a school, that is my choice, but when I decide to do so I agree to their terms of membership.  Likewise, if I were to become a member of a local church, I agree to be held accountable by the other members of the congregation.  Thus, the church has the right and the duty to pass judgment on these matters (for those alarmed with my use of “judgment” here, read this).  She also has the authority to do so, because verse 18-20 establish their authority to administrate insofar as the church is in Christ.

Sixth, only if the sinner is unrepentant even in the face of the church is he removed.  This does not mean, obviously, that literally every single member of the church needs to show up on his front door, depending on the size; that is both impractical and probably intimidating.  What it does mean is that the whole membership is involved, meaning that they are informed of the matter, they are told what the leaders are doing, and they are allowed to voice their concerns.  In other words, removing someone from fellowship should never be done lightly and should always have the backing of the membership.  Essentially, since the person shows no evidence of being a follower of Christ, then the church treats him as a nonbeliever (without actually making a judgment on that matter).

Next, let’s look at 1 Cor. 5:

 1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature[a]may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

Paul’s words seem harsher than Jesus’, but on close inspection, they are in line with that of Christ’s.  While Paul does not instruct a gradual process like Jesus does, we should understand that he doesn’t because A) The sin is already public and B) the sin is especially obvious and egregious that it’s not even a matter that requires much time to understand (basically, it’s like getting a summary judgment).  Also, this sin has been going on unrepentantly; in verse 2, Paul is astounded that some of the Corinthians were even proud of the behavior.  Paul still grounds the dismissal in the authority of the local assembly, as is made clear in verse 4, and he still aims for the person’s restoration: “Hand this man over to Satan” sounds harsh, but he means that the person needs to be thrown out into the world and hopefully see the fruitlessness and evil of his ways so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

In summary, here are some basic biblical guidelines regarding church discipline:

-The sin must be harmful and divisive enough to warrant consideration of removal.  This obviously requires some wise discernment and should be a guard against politically-motivated actions.

-Private steps should be made for restoration, unless of course the sin is already made public.

-Only in the face of unrepentant and defiant behavior should the entire church be involved, whose authority lies in Christ.

-If, even when confronted by the church, the sinner is unrepentant, then he should be removed.

-Church discipline is always aimed at restoration or salvation, not retribution.  Even when someone is removed from fellowship, it is considered a last-ditch effort to make him realize the error of his ways and come back to be restored or, if he was never a believer to begin with, to see that his sin leads him nowhere and that he needs Christ.

I should also clarify that being repentant does not just mean saying a casual, “Sorry.”  It is confession of sin and involves a genuine turning away.  This does not mean that the person never falls again or becomes Master Holiness in a week but that he is committed to living for Christ, and that is evident to the church.

Church discipline is never fun, but when done biblically, it is actually the most loving and gracious thing we can do to an unrepentant sinner.  What’s worse, pretending that a potential nonbeliever is saved and letting him believe that or confronting him with his need for Jesus?  Or how about allowing a believer to damage his witness and harm his church against showing him that his ways are displeasing to the Lord?  There is nowhere in Scripture where “love” equals “pretending sin isn’t there.”  That’s not love; that’s deceit or a lack of care.  Furthermore, not only does it seek to protect the person who is being disciplined, church discipline protects the body from destructive behaviors and keeps the body of Christ healthy.  I think even Christians who disagree with some of interpretations on the above passages can agree here.

That said, the reason why Jesus and Paul are so careful is because such a practice is ripe for abuse.  On one extreme, some churches don’t practice church discipline at all, but on the other extreme, some churches use “church discipline” to self-righteously belittle people and/or to squash any sort of dissent.  Neither is biblical and should be guarded against.

This discussion alone refutes the majority of comments that are decrying the practice of church discipline and shows that Andrew’s brother’s blog article was simply not well-thought out.  He carelessly throws out labels of “fundamentalism” and then chooses to run to quotes from various authors rather than grounding anything he says in Scripture.  It was hardly a very illuminating piece, and if he is a Christian, he must state his case much more carefully.

Mars Hill and Andrew

Now to this particular issue:  What are we to make of this whole fiasco?  First of all, let me advise caution:  As I said above, we’ve only heard one side of the story.  I’m not saying Andrew is necessarily dishonest, but I’ve seen enough ex-church goers embellish things or downright lie to make themselves look like the victim or the hero.  We have to tread lightly because we simply do not know the whole story.

However, granting that Andrew’s story is at least partially credible (this is bold for a reason), it may well be that Mars Hill was overly harsh in its practice of church discipline.  If he is telling the truth that he confessed his sin multiple times for an entire month before he was actually informed that he was under church discipline (and given a contract at that), then the church only served to beat him down after he confessed his sin rather than try to build him up.  A restoration process is reasonable to have, but nowhere in the above texts is there indication that the threat of discipline continues after confession, as if confession never took place.  It’s one thing to have someone admit he is in the wrong but not care; I’ve met plenty of those.  It’s quite another if he confesses and genuinely wants to be restored, as Andrew, according to his testimony, wanted.

Also, in its letters to all the members instructing them to disassociate with Andrew, there is no mention that it was he himself who confessed his sin and brought it to light, and the implication was that he was caught red-handed and then refused to listen.  Again, if what Andrew says is true here, that is hardly fully honest by Mars Hill.  Furthermore, the detailed instructions on how to treat Andrew were frankly a bit much and sounded controlling.  While Jesus teaches that we are to treat him as a “Gentile or tax collector” (meaning, a nonbeliever), that doesn’t mean we are duty-bound to disassociate him in the manner and degree Mars Hill was directing.  It honestly sounded as silly as, “Don’t invite him to your birthday party.”

Nonetheless, while Mars Hill may have erred in its implementation of church discipline, the church is assuredly not wrong in teaching it and practicing it.  Also, none of that necessarily excuses Andrew from bolting from the church or airing dirty laundry to a blog.  He may argue that he’s trying to warn others away from what he sees to be a dangerous church, but to run to a blog that seems very anti-Driscoll seems more like slapping Mars Hill then a genuine concern that Driscoll is running a “cult.”  If he truly experienced that kind of treatment from Mars Hill, I feel bad for him, but I hope he is very sure about his course of action, or otherwise he just crapped all over a church that is preaching the Gospel.  If he also believes in grace and forgiveness, then he should know full well that no church is perfect, and many a church could look bad if we plastered all their bad stories on the Internet.  I’m not necessarily defending Mars Hill; they are open to criticism as any organization is, but criticizing them for some mistakes is a lot different than accusing them of being an un-Christian cult (which he didn’t do but is fostering with his story).

This whole situation is just a mess:  The ignorant discussion around church discipline by many Christians, the apparent way Mars Hill enacted church discipline, and then the way Andrew decided to go to Turner, someone who dislikes Driscoll, to bomb the church.  Just another reminder that we all need Jesus, I guess.

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15 thoughts on “Church Discipline: Andrew, Mars Hill, and a bunch of biblical ignorance

  1. Frustrating. Troubling. Disconcerting. Sad. Frightening. I will freely admit that I underwent my own church discipline in 2000 at Overlake Christian Church and this story horrifyingly reminds me my own account, with much pain and trembling, even 12 years later. My heart BREAKS for Andrew. My flesh CRAWLS at reading this article. We are to be Jesus with skin on. We are to faithfully administer God’s GRACE in its various forms. Legalistic tarring and feathering of God’s chosen people, His royal priesthood, His holy nation, does NOT result in better community or better growth. It results in an impoverished church, a beleaguered sense of trust in God and the body of Christ, and cultivates a climate of fear-based worship where God’s children are walking on eggshells. I can only imagine what Andrew must feel right now. Andrew, I love you in Jesus’ Name. You are repentant, you have repented, and you are forgiven. I do not know you, I have never met you, but you are LOVED IN JESUS’ NAME. I am deeply proud of you for bringing your sin into the light, and for bringing Mars Hill’s leadership’s sin into the light as well. Knowing church discipline all too well, I can freely also admit that one sin that cost me my position of leadership, my community at the church, my connection to the body of Christ there, etc., also eventually lead to an even greater sin which cost me my freedom and sent me to prison. I do not blame my actions on the church or the leadership, but I will indefatigably say that there is an inexorable tie between the church discipline / excommunication I received from Overlake Christian Church, and my eventual crime. Do I wish I could take back my crime? Yes. But I also wish with all my heart that I could take back the church discipline I received, and replace it with something restorative like a warm hug. Alas, warm hugs are not mentioned in Scripture for those undergoing church discipline. And such a legalistic, grace-lacking approaches only send us further down the drain, with no hope of compassionate restoration. Wash your hands of us if you will, you beloved megachurches, and in the process so subsequently condemn yourselves as unloving, uncompassionate, and unbiblical. Jesus loves me the same that he does me, and that is my Amen, because truthfully I’d rather ALWAYS be the guy beating his chest, saying “God be merciful to me, a sinner” than be you.

    • With all due respect, Ryan, your comment illustrates exactly the problem I was addressing, and that is a lack of interaction with the relevant biblical texts on the matter.

      First of all, I strongly doubt you read my article fully and with care. I make clear in the article that I have no intention of defending Mars Hill (I explicitly criticize them), and I do not attend that church or any mega church, for that matter. I think Mars Hill was heavy-handed in how they dealt with this; that doesn’t mean church discipline is wrong in itself.

      Secondly, if my article makes your skin crawl, then you are free to show me where I was incorrect in interpreting Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. Throwing out platitudes about grace and love does nothing (unless, of course, you are prepared to judge, as you have so condemned others of doing, that only Christians like you believe in love and grace). If you love Jesus and you respect his words as well as those of the Apostle Paul, you have to deal with these texts. For that entire comment, as long as it is, there are hardly any scriptural references save one, which is the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee. You know what? I like that parable too. Here’s the thing: The parable condemns those who think they are righteous before God on their own, not those who enact church discipline as instructed by Jesus and Paul.

      Third, and this relates to the first two points, I make clear in my article that church discipline is always restorative in intention. “Warm hugs” are a nice thing to say when we’re singing Barney songs, perhaps, but when a man dumps his wife and brings his new girlfriend to church without a hint of remorse, that is something that must be addressed sternly. Doing otherwise disobeys Jesus, nor is it loving at all because it is misleading this man into thinking that his actions are right before God. I am sorry that you underwent a rough experience with church discipline, but universalizing your experience to supersede clear instruction in Scripture is irresponsible. Church discipline can be done wrongly, but it is also a mistake to not do it at all when faced with great sin.

      “truthfully I’d rather ALWAYS be the guy beating his chest, saying “God be merciful to me, a sinner” than be you.”

      I want you think long and hard about the irony of this statement, and reread this parable in Luke. Who is trying to be self-righteous here? I am sorry if I sound harsh, but your comment was not very responsible for someone who claims to have biblical literacy.

      • With all due respect, leesomnia – your comment “someone who claims to have biblical literacy” is a stab and an insult. Be careful of those. You do not hold the franchise on Biblical interpretation. I did read your article in full, and was attacking neither you nor your article. I was merely attempting to show empathy and love to an individual who is apparently being over-persecuted for coming into the light. You appear very defensive; if you’re going to post an article like this, you should expect a variety of responses and not be so trigger-happy to jump all over opinions that neither refute your stance nor claim any sort of hierarchy of opinion. Perhaps you in turn should re-read my post and determine where I was really directing my vitriol: against a church that has forlorn grace in favor of policing its constituents. I was not saying that your article itself made my skin crawl: the situation itself does, and the emotion I’m experiencing for this poor individual. I’d encourage you to step down from your pulpit and realize that I was merely showing love to Andrew, not dissenting with you in any way.

      • Ryan:

        You are right; I do not hold a franchise on biblical interpretation. I am open to criticism on that front, which is why I am willing to post these things on the internet. I merely pointed out that you did not interact with what I wrote, but I guess you never intended to. If am misunderstood your intentions, then I am sorry; I have no desire to fight with a fellow Christian over a misunderstanding. I will say, though, that this is kind of misleading:

        “My flesh CRAWLS at reading this article”

        I hope you can see how I thought this was referring to the specifics of what I wrote. Because of that, I called for criticism of my interpretations, which is of course fair game, rather than merely empathizing with Andrew. If I came off harshly, then I am sorry.

        I will encourage this: Try to show grace to Mars Hill as well, or other mega churches, as you say they should have shown to people like Andrew. First of all, we only have one side of the story. If we do assume what Andrew says is true, then I believe Mars Hill came down too hard, but no church is perfect; it’s not the first time a church hurt someone, and it won’t be the last, unfortunately, because churches are filled with sinners. I don’t even like Mars Hill that much, but as far as I can tell, they try to preach the Gospel and I will not condemn that even if I find some of their practices questionable.

      • Agreed. As James 2:13 says, “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” AMEN. I believe in strong love and accountability, but not angst-producing oppression. That is not restorative in the slightest. I was citing a reaction to the story that you were writing about…I should have pointed that out, my apologies. Of course I was not offended by your journalism…I am not a critic of words. 🙂

    • Well, Mars Hill has answered.

      http://marshill.com/2012/02/13/a-response-regarding-church-discipline

      And they agree; something messed up in the process. Here’s a relevant excerpt:

      “The church is made up of sinners, leadership included. The result is that sometimes things are handled poorly by leaders in a church discipline process and sometimes those who are under church discipline respond poorly. In such instances, it is the responsibility of the church leadership to protect our members, and when we hear of leaders overstepping their authority through the church discipline process we are quick to act to rectify the situation.

      “In both cases that have been brought to light, things did not go as they should have, and well before they were ever written about in a public setting by bloggers and journalists, Mars Hill leadership stepped in to investigate. As a result of those investigations, it was determined that the leaders involved had a pattern of overstepping their authority. As such, they were released and are no longer on paid staff or in formal leadership in any capacity at Mars Hill Church. Again, these actions were taken months ago, prior to any public exposure.”

      I’m glad they are self-reflective and working towards Christ.

      • Yes, I had seen this already, and it warmed my heart that they were receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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  4. I think this illustrates the point that while the intention of a church covenant may be good, the potential for abuse is too great. If you need that level of control over you’re membership then you don’t trust them. And that’s what it comes down to. The “Mars Hill” incident may not have been endorsed by the lead pastor but the culture of control was such it seemed the right thing to do for those doing it. Mars Hill controversies go back at least 20 or so years with many former members speaking out negatively. This level of control does not work. Many North Americans value and have fought hard for freedom of choice. “Covenants and discipline” are too “1984”. The leadership determines the right way to think and peer pressure enforces it. If that’s the present reality of Christianity then I know that I’ve made the right decision not to attend church.

    • Hey Jack:

      Again, thank you for dropping by and sharing your concerns. However, I will again have to point out that you’re making hasty generalizations based on one or two cases. If I may use my marriage analogy again, it’d be bad logic to say that because the potential of abuse in marriage (or any such close relationship) is great, it is therefore the case that marriage itself is bad. Heck, even if it were true that every single marriage we could find in society was horrific, that wouldn’t make marriage bad in principle because Scripture clearly teaches that it is good. You can’t go from description to prescription that easily.

      You state, “If you need that level of control over your membership then you don’t trust them,” but one can easily say, “If you’re afraid to sign a covenant that merely restates ethical principles that are found in Scripture, you’re not trustworthy to begin with.” Of course, that wouldn’t necessarily be fair either. The issue isn’t control, it’s clarity and accountability. Church discipline is a biblical concept. Christians mess up all the time when it comes to applying biblical concepts because we are all sinful human beings, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to apply them rightly. If you have a problem with church discipline in general, then your problem is with the Bible, not with “organized church” per se.

      “Many North Americans value and have fought hard for freedom of choice.” I would actually say that what Americans have come to value these days is freedom of choice without consequences, which is both impossible and unbiblical. Furthermore, what Americans value isn’t necessarily the same as what the Bible values, and Christians should always stick with the latter. Americans also value greed and sexual promiscuity these days; should churches cater to those too?

      As far as your problems with church, I’ll simply encourage you to look at Scripture and see how it tells Christians to be part of a community. Christian brothers and sisters are there to support, encourage, teach, and yes, sometimes rebuke us, but that’s because we’re all supposed to be walking towards Christ. The correct Christian attitude when faced with messed up churches (and there are a lot of them because, again, we’re all sinful) is to go and be part of the solution, not just bail. Even if it were the case that some churches are so far gone that it’s better to start over, I’d encourage you to start your own community and then make sure it follows biblical principles. However, I think that if you do, you’d eventually find out that it isn’t easy: People will screw up, people come from all sorts of different backgrounds, teaching is hard, etc. Basically, I think a lot of grace needs to be shown to churches, the same grace that you seem to think all local churches lack.

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  6. In researching signing a church covenant I came upon your postings which were extremely helpful and answered all of my questions and resolved all of my anxieties about it. Thank you.

    In your post – Posted on February 1, 2012 on http://marshill.com/2012/02/13/a-response-regarding-church-discipline you stated in the following paragraph under the heading Update the following. Could you please explain further what you meant by ” if I hear Reformed theology, I disagree.” I have never replied to a posting before so do not know how it works. Could you please respond to me by my email so I do not miss your response if you have time to give me one. Thank you very much..

    Some might be thinking, “Just another one of Mark Driscoll’s fanboys trying to defend him.” Nope. I am not a big fan of Driscoll and I’ve criticized him many times before. I ripped him for his careless review of The Shack (even though I didn’t particularly like the book myself) as well as his bonehead use of the phrase “false gospel” to describe different interpretations of the righteousness of Noah, which was made even worse because his interpretation completely ignored Gen. 6:9. Whenever I hear him preach the Gospel, I affirm it, but if I hear Reformed theology, I disagree, and when I hear him say really dumb stuff, I laugh at him. I am not weighing in on this because I feel the need to defend Driscoll or his church, who may have indeed screwed up here. I am weighing in to talk about why church discipline is both biblical and necessary.

    • Hi Sunny:

      Sorry for the late response. I’ll also copy this to an email so I make sure you get it.

      I’m very glad you found the posts helpful, as helping others think through this stuff was the goal of the writing them. As far as disagreeing with Reformed theology and Driscoll, I’m sorry if I came off a little strong, but all I was saying was that I disagree with a certain system of theology that Driscoll and others adhere to. It’s also known as “Calvinism” or “5-point Calvinism.” I have strong disagreements with it and have written about some of those disagreements on this blog, but it’s not a salvation issue. I fully affirm men like Piper, Chandler, Mohler, etc. as brothers in Christ who do great work for God’s kingdom. My point in bringing it up was to show that my intent was not to defend Driscoll or Mars Hill, whom I did not feel the need to defend, but rather it was to defend the concept of church discipline from Scripture. I hope that helps.

  7. Pingback: Another Church Discipline Story Hits the News: The Village Church, a Missionary Who Watched Child Porn, and His Wife | leesomniac

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