The Flesh and the Franchised Church

by Dan Barnes on May 21, 2012 · 37 comments

I have become convinced that we have focused on the wrong thing too much today in the Christian faith. We have put so much effort into the things that we DO and not enough focus on NOT doing. Stay with me here, I’m not talking about a list of things not to do. I’m talking about not working so hard to justify ourselves. I am talking about surrender and I think that is one of our biggest struggles. Our flesh seems to be alive and well and we haven’t put our flesh to death. We have instead found more acceptable ways of gratifying our pride and ego. We have Pharisee religiousness and it feeds our pride. We work harder and claim its for God, but we have taken all the credit and we feed our flesh.

What do we celebrate in this day and age? What is a “great church”? It has a name now, we call it “mega”. Unless you have a mega-church, don’t expect to be heard or valued. I am being a little over dramatic, but I feel like we push so hard for the big business, franchise and expand mentality. We want our churches to hit four digits in our attendance, multiple services and multi-campus models. These things are fine until they become the goal, the idol and the object of worship. These things become the new idols that we justify. One of the excuses the Pharisees had for killing Jesus was protection of the Temple. Rome was gonna tear it down if the Jews rebelled. The religious leaders justified their action in the name of protecting the faith. We strive with the same justification, to save and build the church. We forgot that Jesus said He would build the church, but that doesn’t matter. It depends on us, and we have to work harder.

I see the issue as this, we are prideful yet we don’t flee from the temptation. We run into this sin, arms open and justify every step. It’s pride and we begin to devour people. When things threaten our success, we get angry and we cause divisions and hatred. We quote the verses about Jesus cleansing the temple, but we forget the anger of man does not bring about the righteous of God. Our anger comes from the zeal for success, and our pride doesn’t allow for that. We begin to see brothers and sisters as the enemy if the no longer agree with us. If they are in the other “camp” they become a threat. We label and slander and back bite to protect our success and pride and status. I make divisions and focus on those things which divide and stop trying to even come to an understanding.

Have we abandoned the truth of the Scripture for Americanism and American idealism. We want bigger, franchised, marketed and patented. I am not saying having a large church is bad. I’m saying having the goal of a large church is bad. To have the idea of having “success” that is based on what we see in American culture and no on scripture brings us churches that do no ministry, don’t share the gospel and don’t teach scripture, but have a lot of people. It’s become a heart breaking situation in American Christianity. We are not winning this battle, maybe it’s time to change tactics.

We need a model of a small, reproducible, cost effective church that can rapidly move. I’m not the only one saying this, it’s not a new concept, we have been saying this for years. I believe it’s not working because we let our ego get in the way, we let pride creep in and American consumerism begins to tempt us away. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we get too excited about being on stage and holding the attention of a large crowd that we can’t let it go.

As always, I need to define “we”. If you don’t think you are part of “we” then you are not. When I say “we” I am talking about me and those who struggle in these things with me. If you feel this, if you see this, if you feel like maybe there is something wrong, but you are stuck in the problem, you are “we”. If you think I am totally off base, you think I am wrong and rambling, then you are not with me, and clearly not “we”, so don’t get offended, I’m not including you.

1 Tim Rogers May 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Dan,

A good word!

What do we celebrate in this day and age? What is a “great church”? It has a name now, we call it “mega”. Unless you have a mega-church, don’t expect to be heard or valued. I am being a little over dramatic, but I feel like we push so hard for the big business, franchise and expand mentality. We want our churches to hit four digits in our attendance, multiple services and multi-campus models.

We want to stop the “idol” worship of the “mega-pastors” but let’s face it. Most pastors will walk 100 miles to preach a sermon, but will not travel in an air conditioned vehicle two blocks to hear someone else preach. Unless, that is, they are a mega church pastor who has a cult-like following.

Also, something else that adds to this “cult-like” following is the name dropping seen through the blogs. Just note the name dropping in the first paragraph of this post.

2 Doug Hibbard May 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Surely you don’t think Dave’s personal association with Noah is name-dropping, do you?

I took that as evidence that the man’s just old.

And he hates smileys :)

3 Dave Miller May 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I’m just old. Marty Duren is Methuselah!

4 Doug Hibbard May 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I’m honestly not very familiar with Marty Duren–seen the name a few times, but that’s about it.

5 Dave Miller May 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Marty was one of the early luminaries of the Baptist blogging world – back in the wild west days.

He kinda dropped off the map for a while, then he turned up and now works for LifeWay. He is also writing a blog again – and its a good one. “Kingdom in the Midst.” Worth reading.

6 BDW May 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I got to chat for a while recently at the Truett Starbucks with a seminary student from SBTS (who also writes some for Baptist Press and former assistant to one of the SBTS VPs). He was in town to see his former college roommate graduate and get ordained.

We were chatting about Baptist politics, etc. and I brought up Ben Cole. He’d heard of Ben Cole but didn’t know much about Ben Cole. Said he was just an undergrad at the time and didn’t follow the Baptist blogosphere that closely.

Made me feel very old. If you can remember details about the Memphis Declaration and Joshua Convergence, you probably have been reading Baptist blogs for way too long.

7 Doug Hibbard May 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

When the “Baptist blogging world” was young, I avoided it like it was a disease. A few exposures to some of the bitter attacks I saw almost drove me from ever participating in anything of a blog nature. Not sure if you or Marty or Ben Cole or who all that involved–I’d rather just happily know you now for what I see of you now.

8 Dan Barnes May 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

That’s funny right there.

9 Dave Miller May 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Don’t encourage Doug.

10 Christiane May 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I think, in this day and age, is still celebrated Christ.
There is no One else to celebrate. Where Christ is, there is the Church.

“O Jesus,
You place on my forehead
the sign of Your saving Cross:
“Turn from sin and be faithful to the gospel.”

How can I turn from sin, unless I turn to You?

You speak,
You raise Your Hand,
You touch my mind
and call my name,

“Turn to the Lord Your God again.”

11 gail mcconnell May 23, 2012 at 12:29 am

Christine,

it is that simple, yet that complex. Our human brains are often so full of trying to analyze Christ and who we are in relationship to Him, that we miss the simplicity of Christ. He is the One Who lives in us. He is with us through the Holy Spirit just as He was with the disciples when he walked on this earth as Son of man/Son of God. He is still here. We may not see Him physically, but He dwells within His church, the body of Christ–the body of believers who have come to know Him intimately through surrender. The shortest distance yet the longest journey is from the head to the heart. The children of Israel wandered in the dessert for forty years because they didn’t surrender. Is it any different now in the church today for those who refuse to surrender?

12 Anthony May 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm
13 Frank L. May 22, 2012 at 12:32 am

Dan,

As a rule I recoil from posts that criticize churches for being “large” and “growing” and having “numbers.”

I found your point of view quite refreshing and inviting.

One of the problems with the “mega-church” movement is mega-churches could tend to equate themselves with the “kingdom” and the pastor as the “king.” They would pull away from any “cooperative” effort because they could.

Obviously, that is a generalization that could be challenged, but not wholly disputed I don’t think.

I believe the day of the American mega-church is over–if it ever started. Less than 2 out of 100 evangelical churches are over 2000 and well over 75% are under 200.

I agree wholeheartedly that we should look for a “neighborhood” model. I believe we should have cooperating churches on every corner. We need to put a missional community within walking distance of every person.

The idea of the “Sage on the Stage” needs to give way to the “Guide on the Side” in regard to preaching. Quite frankly, I’d much rather preach to inspire one person than preach to impress 1000 (and for those that are wondering, I have a better chance of doing the former than the latter anyway).

Thanks Dan. I think “we” have it right.

14 cb scott May 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

Dan Barnes writes excellent blog posts. Of course, that is my opinion. Maybe I have that opinion because we have followed similar paths in the process of receiving an education from Christian institutions.
(I must add that for me to state that Dan Barnes has similar thoughts to some of which I have had may be considered by him an insult and something he would consider repulsive. Therefore, I apologize for making this comment if that is the case.)
Nonetheless, I think the following paragraph could be developed as Ph.D. research and dissertation:

“Have we abandoned the truth of the Scripture for Americanism and American idealism? We want bigger, franchised, marketed and patented. I am not saying having a large church is bad. I’m saying having the goal of a large church is bad. To have the idea of having “success” that is based on what we see in American culture and not on scripture brings us churches that do no ministry, don’t share the gospel and don’t teach the Scripture, but have a lot of people. It’s become a heart breaking situation in American Christianity. We are not winning this battle, maybe it’s time to change tactics.”

15 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 9:59 am

It is not the case CB, I am honored by your complement. Thank you.

16 gail mcconnell May 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thank you Lord Jesus! I praise Your holy name! You are Lord! You are God! You are Creator! You are the Light! You are Friend! You are Almighty! You are Emmanuel! You are Savior! You are Mighty Fortress! There is to be a revival all right, but it is not a tent revival! It is a heart conscience revival. And that only comes through absolute surrender to the Lord God Almighty! As human beings (whether a layman or even a person in a church position–pastor, assistant pastors, leaders of small groups, leaders in structured church positions), we tend to think with our heads instead of our hearts. Big difference! We can get all logically about this from our left brain (which is what males often do). We can get all emotional and touchy-feely about this from our right brain (which is what females often do). But the only way for heart conscience revival is if we unashamedly fall to our knees in absolute surrender and say “God, help our heart consciences to revive. it is impossible without YOU!” That is what a child does. A child does not come to her parents in intellectual mode and say “Let’s talk about life and what it requires of me!” A child is totally dependent on her parents to teach her, raise her up to know right from wrong, and example that for her in her life. The Word reminds us that “unless we come to Him as a child, we will not enter the Kingdom of God.” The beatitudes remind us who will be “blessed”. Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are the office holders in a church; blessed are those who are self-reliant and self-confident; blessed are those who whine and feel sorry for themselves; blessed are those who take and rationalize about it; blessed are those who have the best credentials; blessed are those who hurt others because they have the power to do so.” No, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit (who know we are insignificant without Him); blessed are those who mourn (who weep and repent over our heart condition that separated us from God); blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (who have an inner hunger to be transformed by God through His Word and Holy Spirit); blessed are those who are persecuted (who suffer when others reject us, criticize us, mock us, abandon us, betray us, and even kill us). The Kingdom of God on earth is His holy presence living in us and working through us. There is NO LOGIC TO THIS AND NO EMOTION TO THIS! There is only the mysterious miracle that happens when nothing else works….when one comes to the end of self and realizes “i am not I AM; i am creature, not CREATOR. I have been duped by the devil into thinking I am something. I have been duped by the devil to think that I can figure God out and manipulate His will.” This is when true real life that makes its way to eternity begins. This is when God delights in His born again children. This is when the refining fire of purification moves. OUCH! This hurts! It is not comfortable to die to self centeredness, selfishness, pride, lust, self-reliance, self pity. It is very very very uncomfortable. It is not “normal” to the flesh. The flesh does not want to hurt or suffer. It avoids it at all costs. And yet that is where God becomes God and we become His vessels. When God moves through a human being who has been put through holy refining fire, there is a change that is not rationale. It is then that the human being cries out “Here am I God, send me.” It is then that the human being under the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit cannot do and say that which he/she use to do or say without being checked by Truth. If my lips speak unclean, Truth checks me. If my lips are unclean, it makes my spirit sick. There is no longer any way to rationalize or make excuses. It is then that I fall to my knees and even on my face and repent. Grace restores me and I am now growing up a little bit more, being so thankful for Grace.

So why don’t we have more people who claim to be Christians or believers walking by faith (which means speaking and doing what faith requires)? Because human beings are basically self centered and don’t want to be uncomfortable. Because human beings don’t want to admit their selfishness or their pride or their lust (remember the Pharisees who were ready to stone the woman caught in adultery….remember that the man who engaged with her was not around?). Jesus drew a line in the sand. He got down in the dirt beside that woman….He got to her level and looked her in the eyes. He did not spit at her, laugh at her, mock her, or pick up a stone to stone her to death with the Pharisses. Instead He said “yes, she is a sinner.” Then He stood up, looked ath Pharisees and said “You who are without sin cast the first stone.” One by one (because when God speaks, people bow!), they dropped their stones and walked away. Then Jesus said to the woman “Do you see anyone condemning you. Neither do I. Now go and sin no more.” This my dear fellow broken and wouned church people is where God wants us! He is a God of Truth and Mercy.

I know this woman well. I was this woman. I was Mary Magdalene. Jesus was not about rules or about catching people at their worst so He could stone us to death. He was about mercy. Without Grace and Mercy, Truth is fruitless to people who are outcasts. Without Truth, Grace and Mercy, don’t change people. Everyone needs to receive Truth and Grace and Mercy. Yes, those who have been “going to church” all their life. They need heart revival! And yes, those who have been the “outcasts” also need heart revival!

God put me in Cross Church in Rogers Arkansas two years ago. The pastor of that church, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, is a heart revival man whom God uses not because he is a great preacher, but because the Holy Spirit has touched that man, a human being, in a way that makes the people who listen to Him uncomfortable. Those who don’t want to be uncomfortable mock him, reject him, persecute him. Yet why are we surprised? If they persecuted Jesus for preaching the unwatered down truth with grace, then they will persecute God’s anointed. I don’t worship Ronnie Floyd. I am grateful that God has used him to minister to my broken heart and change me from the inside out. I am still a holy work in progress. I am not who I need to be, but I am certainly not who I use to be. I was very lost and very dark; today I am found and I am light. It just keeps getting better inside of me. Faith increases in me as I hear the Word of God, spend time with the Word of God, confess sins that are revealed to me, repent of my sins, ask God to help me, spend time sitting at Jesus feet instead of being a busy bee Martha (by the way, Martha is both male and female as far as the character of “busyness” goes). I weep alot. I weep for lost dreams and lost relationships. But most of all I weep because Jesus loves me. I weep because He did not cast me out of His Kingdom into eternal darkness. i weep because He loves me so much. I weep because He continues to purify my heart conscience and restore my soul to sound mind. I weep because He has made my body a temple of the Holy Spirit and no longer a body of defilement.

What is more important? Numbers or Truth and Grace? Many are called but few are chosen. Why? Because chosen demands humility, repentance, and knowing that without Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, we are sick in our thoughts, words and actions. Now, that is the simple triuth! Check it out in the Word of God which by the way “is the word of God!”

By the Way, look for the website that will upcoming in August. It is called Honor From Shame. It is a website for women. God has called me to write for His glory and to bring hope and promise to women who live in a dying world.

Blessings!

17 cb scott May 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

gail mcconnell,

Do you have a sister in Oklahoma named Debbie Kaufman?

18 gail mcconnell May 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

cb,

As a sister in Christ I must! I may not be intellectual and don’t have theology written all over my name; but God has encountered me and no one can take the Truth away from me. The oil of gladness in the midst of trials is hard to define. As pastor preached one day: The problem is not the problem people think is the problem. The problem is ones own self. He must increase and I must decrease. And the kicker to this is this: It doesn’t happen through theology and it doesn’t happen through intellectual ability. It happens through humility and realizing that if God doesn’t come through, I am toast!

19 Joe Blackmon May 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Wow, I’m surprised Huggy Bear didn’t delete that one, cb. Funny stuff.

20 gail mcconnell May 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

God bless you brother.

21 Christiane May 23, 2012 at 1:25 am

he will need it
:)

22 dr. james willingham May 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

We need a better understanding of our theology. One of the most creative periods in Baptist history, 1740-1820, reveal the believers then were a balanced, flexible, creative, constant, and magnetic group, individually and collectively.

23 Max May 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm

The organized church in America is full of flesh babies. Whether it’s “mega” or “micro”, flesh is drawn to shallow water where the swimmin’ is easy … where “doing church” is fun and festive. Perhaps the problem is not so much the mega model, as it is the mega message and mega messenger in many of these places. Church crowds are not necessarily congregations of the Lord. “Surrender” is not in the common language of such works.

Regardless of church size, format or model, it really boils out to what rules: Flesh vs. Spirit. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 8:1). “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). “But the hour cometh, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23). This essentially describes the New Testament model of genuine church.

24 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Right on Max. We live in the flesh and expect to grow fruit. It doesn’t happen. We try so hard to bear fruit when we are not attached to the branch. Once we are attached, we bear fruit, but apart from Him, we can do NOTHING.

25 Max May 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Amen Dan! “They that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8), whether you find them in “mega” or “micro” churches. Somewhere along the line, we got off-message in this regard.

Great post. Thanks for making us think.

26 Frank May 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Max,

You said, “”"Flesh vs. Spirit.”"”

I think you hit the proverbial bulls-eye on the head without throwing the clean baby under the bus–or some such cliche.

That theme is all over the Bible, especially the N.T.

27 Mike Leake May 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Dan,

I’ve been chewing on this one and your last one for a little while. Trying to decide whether or not to comment on this. Obviously from my comment I decided to dive in.

I think this statement can be dangerous and might expose what Dan Phillips would call a muddy mysticism:

“I have become convinced that we have focused on the wrong thing too much today in the Christian faith. We have put so much effort into the things that we DO and not enough focus on NOT doing. Stay with me here, I’m not talking about a list of things not to do. I’m talking about not working so hard to justify ourselves. I am talking about surrender and I think that is one of our biggest struggles. Our flesh seems to be alive and well and we haven’t put our flesh to death.”

Perhaps I am just overly sensitive to this given my present context. But I sense a good amount of “let go and let God” in this. I don’t want to hi-jack this thread or make a rather lengthy response. So I’ll instead try to steal traffic (LOL) and tell you to check out this article: http://www.mikeleake.net/2012/04/idol-destruction-101-part-3.html

At the end of the day I do indeed agree that often we are ministering out of sinful flesh than the Spirit of God. Where I think my disagreement lies is within your first paragraph–which if I read it correctly would be where your partial solution is found.

28 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Mike, I can see your argument, but it seems to me it represents the extreme. No matter what your theology is, when it comes about my self effort to the extreme, it becomes a prison. We check what we are doing until it becomes a burden, we check what we are not doing until it enslaves us. This argument can be made for anything, anything taken to the extreme and the ultimate limit becomes dangerous.

My point is that too often we carry around the flesh and it’s lusts and we continue in them and then justify ourselves by our works. We attempt to balance the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit, which is also prison. I think we both agree the goal is to help people be free.

Lastly, I don’t think we can forget how often we are told to crucify the flesh daily. We are to take up the cross, put it to death, leave it behind. Yes, we minister out of our flesh, but we can’t ignore the teaching of scripture on the matter either. Thanks for your comment.

29 Mike Leake May 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Dan,

Forgive my density. I do not understand the whole of your your response. I’m thinking perhaps because my original comment was not totally clear.

So let me try again.

What I hear you saying is that we do tons of things in the flesh and then we try to justify ourselves by what we do. We try to see if we can balance out our “flesh” acts with our “Spirit” acts, when the better method would be to crucify the flesh.

With this I’m mostly in agreement. But that first paragraph sounds like your solution or method to crucifying the flesh is different than what I would say. So rather than making this anymore lengthy allow me to ask a simple question.

When you say, ” I am talking about surrender and I think that is one of our biggest struggles” what do you mean by “surrender” and how exactly is that “surrender” lived out?

30 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I am talking about with “surrender” that we no longer take the responsibility for bearing the fruit. In ministry, I see myself trying to force love and push for peace and fake joy and connect and cause results because I feel like that is what I have to do. The moment I decide it’s not about me anymore and I stop performing, I find that love and joy and peace come. I work hard to be “super Christian” but my efforts get me no place.

We try to be smarter, better, nice looking, great speaking and intelligent in our own power and then take the credit, because the flesh is arrogant and prideful. At some point we have to stop and take a deep breath and live out of who we already are. Christ is already in me, and I am as righteous as I’ll ever be because of His righteousness. I just need to let Him live that our in me and stop trying to force it and do it myself. I stop taking credit and give Glory to God. Does that make sense?

31 Mike Leake May 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Makes sense.

If all you are saying is, “we need to live out of who we already are” then you and I are in absolute agreement.

But I can’t get around some of the language that sounds very Keswick. That’s probably more my problem than yours. LOL.

“I just need to let Him live that out in me…” Let God
“and stop trying to force it and do it myself.” Let go

“The moment I stop performing”… Let go
“I find that joy and peace come”… Let God

Sorry, if I’m overly sensitive to this. I don’t want to attribute Keswick theology to you if it’s not there. But I see people getting slain by this stuff daily. And if we aren’t careful with our language those that have this muddy mysticism will hear “let go and Let God” in our language even if we ourselves do not embrace the theology.

32 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I agree that we need to be careful with our words, but we also have to remember how communication works. There is the sender, me, who has a specific idea in the message based on who I am and how I think. There is the message itself, and then there is you, the recipient. You hear the message based on who you are and how you think. That is why this sort of dialouge is so important, because I don’t hold to the “let go and let God” theology because it’s empty. I have the cliches we use, “let go and let God” being one of them. It doesn’t do anything. Let go of what? I am just saying we need to clear out some sin and quit trying to balance the scales. Quit trying so hard and just stop destroying yourself. It’s not a “let go” it’s “stop it”.

I completely reject the concept of “letting go” because it becomes a work, and it is still about me. If you can point to your action and say “I am good because I did this” then chances are you are still off. The “let go” theology is the same prison as legalism, just with a different spin. We imprison ourselves to the same lust, pride and ego in different ways. Either I am trapped by law or I am trapped by “letting go” or I am trapped by tradition or by ritual. It’s all the same stuff in a different package. My point is to leave all that stuff behind and just focus on what Christ calls you to.

33 Mike Leake May 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Dan,

Well put. I agree.

34 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm

After reading on Keswick, I am not advocating that at all. My point is more freeing, that we try so hard to bear fruit, when instead we need to tap into the vine. We need to get rid of the stuff that is keeping us from Christ. I think we want to hold on to our pride and our ego yet still be in Christ. We get frustrated when it’s not working and we try to force it. My only point is to kill the flesh and connect with the Spirit. Not in a legalistic sense, but in a practical sense.

35 Max May 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Dan / Mike, sorry to intrude on your interesting exchange here, but I’ve been contemplating on your comments during an extended coffee break.

I’ve been particularly reflecting on Dan’s statement “We attempt to balance the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit, which is also prison. I think we both agree the goal is to help people be free.” Scripture is clear that we can’t help someone out if we are still in!

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). If we truly walked that truth out in the Spirit, we would not walk in the flesh. It’s not a matter of letting go and letting God, it’s a matter of genuine surrender to His will and not mine.

36 Dan Barnes May 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I agree Max, I am talking about our lives, and then in the process of discipleship encouraging others to do the same thing. I think that our job is to teach the scripture, teach these principles and train and equip the saints to continue to teach and train.

37 dr. james willingham May 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm

It is hard for Americans to realize that bigger is not always better. Sometimes it is a curse, an abomination. God’s concern is with quality first and foremost. Quantity must take second place. The reason why our churches are so weak is the lack of church discipline. Some, I think, planned to take church discipline out of the picture. Back in the thirties I found a case of discipline in my first pastorate which became a reason to discontinue discipline as it was a miscarriage of the same. My third church had a similar event in its history around the same period, the result being that they never again practiced church discipline. I tried to get them to exercise church discipline, but they refused. It was heart breaking, to say the least,.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: