The “D” Word

28 Mar

D word

I hate the “D” word.

I also hate the “A” word.

They are very similar, and they are both painful.

Discipline and Accountability.

(Those are the words you thought I was talking about, right?)

This week as we continue our study of 1st Corinthians, Paul continues confronting the Christians in the church of Corinth.  Interestingly, the Lenten Compact intersects with the sermon.

Paul has heard about a pretty dicy situation going on in the church.  The situation is racy enough that we decided, even though this is the 5th Sunday of the month and they are supposed to stay in the sanctuary for the sermon, we are dismissing the elementary kids to their normal teaching time.  You can preview it if you want.  Just read 1 Corinthians 5.

Paul is bold in his response to the situation.  It raises all sorts of questions about church discipline, accountability, excommunication.  We live in a community where shunning is very much a part of regular conversation because of the Amish.  In fact, the Amish use this passage as a basis for how they practice shunning, when they refuse to eat with someone shunned. Maybe you have been privvy to the creative ways they get around this, like saying a shunned member of their church can’t eat at the main table, but can eat at an extension of the table.  Sound legalistic?

So how do we practice church discipline and hold each other accountable in a healthy way, in a loving way, in a way that is restorative and faithful to God?  As the Lenten Compact devotional suggests, we’re going to have to see what was the potential end of the story in 2 Corinthians 2.  Join us!

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