Recently I preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 5. As a follow-up, some who listened to that sermon might be asking the question, “Is church discipline a bad idea?”
My first response would be to warn us about using such a pragmatic test for such an important issue. The real issue is whether or not the Bible requires local Christian congregations to practice discipline.
One of the things we observed from 1 Corinthians chapter 5 was that the Apostle Paul was gravely concerned about the response of the congregation, as a whole, to the reality of a very public and serious offense being repeatedly committed by a man in their assembly that claimed to be a Christian. The people were said to be arrogant versus mournful when confronted with a terrible sin in their midst.
It occurred to me that, if we have an arrogant attitude about our sin or the sin of someone else, then we are doomed before we start when it comes to church discipline.
Unless we are grieved by sin and brokenhearted over the damage it does to our selves, our families and our local churches, no amount of “procedure” or “right practice” will be able to make up for our lack of mournful repentance.
Since this is such a tough topic, I thought you might like some additional information so I’m posting a PDF from another reformed pastor for your further study– IS CHURCH DISCIPLINE A BAD IDEA?