Church discipline - a lesson from the United Methodists : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Lately I've been visiting the UMC website. As a former member of that church with a long family history in it they continue to interest me.

As you've probably heard they're going through the whole fight on homosexuality again. It's been going on for a long time in that church with the conservative, read anti-homosexuality group winning the vote time after time, year after year. They won again this year too, though local bodies vote the other way as recently happened in Washington State.

Then something interesting happened. Just after winning the vote yet again a conservative group floated the idea of a formal separation. Why would the winning party consider separation? I'd expect the losing pro-homosexuality party consider leaving.

It appears the conservative group realizes something that's been obvious all along: The two views are incompatible, and cannot exist forever in the same denomination. The opposite side won't leave nor will they won't give up. There also appears to be no move to expel the minority view as heretical, so it's up to the majority to suggest separation.

This all points up the importance of church discipline. In my denomination any minister who even suggested a pro-homosexual agenda, let alone professed to being a homosexual would immediately have their credentials revoked and be dismissed.

Homosexual lay persons would be welcome to stay in hopes of receiving deliverance, but speaking a pro-homosexual position would lead to a command to keep silent or leave.

As a result we don't suffer the same agonies as the UMC. We've staked our position, and there it is.

The homosexual issue is only one of many possible issues. Does your local body, or your denomination practice church discipline as it should?

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2004


-- Anonymous, May 10, 2004

Brother RP,

I went out to the UMC website and read a passionate letter by Dr. Bill Hinson on the homosexual issue. I hadn't realized how much the church is struggling with this paradox. It seems the church is caught in a trap of its own making. To the extent that the church has compromised with the winds of change that occur within the society, so this wind, though foul, expects acceptance too. I of course am considered orthodox in my leanings and fundamentalist in my doctrine since I reject modernist interpretations of the Scriptures and give no ground to the ever encroaching darkness of this world. So it will come as no suprise that I applaude your denomination's stance. I wish I can say the same for my beloved zion. Although we have towed the line on the homosexual issue thus far, given our more obvious and recent compromises, it would not be surpising to witness yet another capitulation. What denomination do you fellowship with? I would be interested in learning more about your doctrine and practice.

In Christ,

-- Anonymous, May 10, 2004

I attend an Assemblies of God church. We're one of the Pentecostal denominations. AG churches vary widely in character and style, but all adhere to the Statement of Fundamental Truths. The denomination also puts out a number of position papers on various issues.

My own church is much like a charismatic non-denominational church in style. We advertise casual dress and contemporary worship. We sing very few hymns, using the "praise and worship" genre of music in our services. This is different than most of our sister AG churches in this region. They're more the small, country, southern gospel personality. We also have a Spanish speaking AG church in town.

You can check out our denominational website at, and my church's site at

-- Anonymous, May 10, 2004

What's up with the whited out answers?

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2004


They are not whited out; the first message was malicious code designed to deface the posts; the second was the fix to remove the code.

When you see the .......@...., that is the signature of the person defacing our posts.

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2004

It saddens me that you guys still think that if you "ban" something it will go away. Guess what it won't. And while you may not think that it lurks among you, if it wants to be in your midst, it will be there. It may not be an open expression, but most activities viewed as perverse rarely operate in openness.

It is my prayer that you guys start praying that God for it is only God and not you or your denomination that will effect the change that must take place in the heart.

But knowing you guys you will keep on thinking it is in your power or under your authority. It is my prayer that you will seek first the kingdom rather than leaning on your own understanding.

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2004

Excellent case here! A view such as the one expressed above would lead to church discipline in the AG. If preached from the pulpit that minister would be dismissed. If expressed in public by a lay person the church leadership would feel led to publically disavow such a view as heretical, and the church would make a firm statement that it does not hold the view of this person.

If the person were a Sunday school teacher he'd be removed, and if he continued to push this view in church even as an attender with no office at all he'd likely be asked to leave. It would be necessary to protect the church.

But the above person is not a member of the AG. How will the AME deal with him? Who is his pastor? He should be reported.

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2004

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. As for church discipline you may keep that and praise that. As for me and my house we will seek the one who is responsible for Matthew 9:11-13.

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2004

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