Church discipline brings legal threats...

Error message

If, as I believe, there are three marks of the Church--the true preaching of the Word of God, the right administration of the Sacraments, and the right (biblical) practice of church discipline--then the following news piece, Woman Can Sue Pastor for Revealing Infidelity, is just one more in a long line of warnings that biblical churches will suffer growing persecution for their faith. This is, of course, to make no judgment about the likely outcome of this case as it goes to trial, nor to assume that this particular pastor and church are following biblical procedures in their practice of this discipline.

But the case is one of many harbingers of things to come and the wicked will not treat lightly those who model here on earth the coming Last Judgment of the Holy God when, eternally, there will be the separation of the sheep and the goats:

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33)

Eight and a half years ago, when our congregation was founded, we took Ken Sande's bylaws and adopted them for our own...

Mr. Sande, a personal friend who has been a great encouragement to me over the years, heads up Peacemaker Ministries, a parachurch organization best known for their training and publication of peacemaking materials for the Church. Mr. Sande wrote these model bylaws, partly to explain the necessity of biblically faithful churches practicing discipline, but also to guard those churches from such legal harrassment as the above news article records.

For information on the bylaws, click here and note, particularly, the statement at the bottom of the page: "Adapted from Managing Conflict in Your Church, which contains 13 pages of model bylaws, plus 65 pages of other documents, forms and letters, which are available on a computer floppy diskette."

I commend Mr. Sande's work, and particularly those model bylaws, to all churches seeking to be faithful to the Lord in this evil day. Being an attorney and ruling elder, Mr. Sande is wise in his work and has, through these bylaws and their implementation, provided churches one of the best possible defenses in their duty of discipline--that is, if they adopt Mr. Sande's bylaws and follow the procedures they enumerate. I've recommended these bylaws to a number of congregations, not only new congregations but also older congregations open to bringing their practice of pastoral care and common life increasingly under the Lordship of Christ.