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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Biblical Unity

There’s recently been quite a bit of discussion concerning the concept of Biblical Separation on the blogs that I frequent. I’ve posted my thoughts on this topic before and anyone who knows me, knows that I consider separation, with extremely few exceptions, as nothing more than surrender to total failure. More often than not it is simply taking the easy way out at the expense of a brother or sister and the will of the Lord. Normally those who are studying separation are not those who are calling for it but rather those who are given no choice in the matter at all, sad indeed. Those seeking separation are most often those preoccupied with being right as opposed to doing right, even sadder still. They tend to use separation, or “excommunication”, like a whip in order to force and coerce a false allegiance and thereby avoid the time, effort and sacrifice required to develop disciples. That’s not sad, it’s evil. It is the way that seems right to men.

At this point I would much rather concentrate on the problem rather than continually deal with the consequence. Separate if you must but I intend to do all that I can to find a cure for this disease that leaves the Body of Christ torn and broken. I’m going to try and focus on what seems to be a more foreign concept in the Church today, Biblical Unity. I would appreciate everyone’s input, prayer and encouragement. I am very blessed to have several wise and well-trained believers that visit here and I want to urge each of you to take up this topic as well. Let’s devote just a little time to the study of doing right. We can always go back to arguing about who is right any time. ;-)


Anonymous ron said...

Hi Bro. Kc.,

As I mentioned in the last post " You got to stand for something or you will fall for anything " ! It those people that let their mind recieve something someone said that contradicts their beliefs and instead of renewing their mind from the scriptures and not arguring about it ! A lot of people , its sad to say , kinda like trying on a new outfit till you find something that will work ? I think all folks should have the same spirit 24/7 each day ? To many people let others talk them into not liking hog jowls and blackeye peas just cause they don't like them ? Its no harder to live your life and believe in it than to change everytime someone changes it to mean something else ? I hope I've said enough to at least change someone else's mind ?

Blessings and love ya'll Bro.
Grandpaw Ron.

5/02/2009 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Grandpaw, thanks so much for taking part. I totally agree with you concerning being in the Spirit 24/7! ;-) I really do think we should be able to discuss and even debate our various theologies and doctrines but I think you’re absolutely right that each of us should confirm these things to ourselves and not try to force anyone or be forced by anyone to believe anything contrary to where the Spirit leads.

We love you brother! Hugs for those sweethearts! ;-)

5/04/2009 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I used to believe that church discipline should be used more frequently. But as I got older (and the more I've sinned) I've seen the Scriptures that deal with this from a different perspective. I have no doubt that it is Biblical and there are times when it is proper to use it.

I'll give a few examples of what we've just gone through but I'll post the results after the examples:

1) We just went through a pretty major deal in the ministry where I live in which there was a brother who was being divisive. I watched as men more spiritual and patient than I worked with the brother for 3 years to try to resolve the issue. It seemed that there was progress after each confrontation but then the brother would go back to his old ways. It was really causing the Church some confusion and hurting many people.

2) There was a couple who disagreed with a doctrinal issue we were adopting with regard to elders. No problem so far, right? But then the couple started finding those "itching ears" and began causing factions within the ministry. The couple and Church leadership wrestled for 2 years to try to resolve this but the couple continued to try to rip the ministry into an "us agains them" mindset.

3.) A brother was borrowing money from brothers and sisters but not paying it back. (No problem so far. A lender should not expect to get it back.) The problem came when the brother started showing up to church and lying about whether or not he borrowed any thing from anyone else that day. And then it got to the point when the brother would show up to church, borrow money, and then leave before church started. Though people were warned not to lend him money, he was quite good at manipulating the emotions. This went on for about 5 years.

Now, in all three of these situations the leadership of the church found that it was in the best interest of the church and of those who were causing the problems to tell the offenders that they are not welcome back into the fold until they repent.

However, in all three cases the offenders walked away of their own accord before any such action was taken.

So, though Church discipline was being enacted, it was done with extreme patience and a tremendous amount of time. As a result, the Church grew because everyone was challenged to study out the issues at hand. We all got to know our Bibles better. And prayerfully, those who left will eventually repent and come back.

In a nutshell...much time, much patience, and much Bible study and prayer.

Just my take.

5/04/2009 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Wow Jeff it’s great to see (read) you! I pray you and yours are all doing well.

I’m hoping I can address the problem(s) that lead to the consequence of discipline. As Barney Fife would say, “Nip it in the bud…nip it, nip it, nip it” ;-)

I think the contents of your nutshell are critical and I hope to pursue the Bible Study portion here soon. Your help in that would be very much appreciated.

5/04/2009 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Jeff (!!) and KC,

I thought it might be interesting to point out that although I go to church with Jeff, as a person not in a leadership position, this is the first I've heard of these ongoings. I have no idea who he is talking about and couldn't even imagine who it is. We have a regular attendance of about 150 to 160 - not a really large group. Most people would think we should be rampant with gossip and busibodiness.

I like that I am unaware of the things I am not involved with. But I am grateful for lessons taught to me based on the things leadership has learned through their studies inspired by these events.

I don't think that it would be proper church discipline to herald the failures of my brothers and sisters (or me!)

5/04/2009 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Okay, I’m officially blown away! I knew you guys were both CoC but I had no idea you were in the same congregation! Small world indeed! ;-) Normally I don’t like to make any denominational distinction but I’m going to make an exception and say that of all I’ve been blessed to study with on-line, those from the CoC that I’ve inter-met were the least dogmatic and the most receptive to scripture. I appreciate you guys! ;-)

5/04/2009 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Thanks, KC! I didn't know for sure whether you knew or not.

I think Jeff would agree with me that we, as a "denomination" have had our fair share of legalism. But we do have a strong tradition of studying the scripture for one's own convictions - and an openness with confession of error.

What I've come to understand (and please know, my understanding is always morphing) that it's often a matter of maturity. I find young Christians and movements often start very idealistically, very convicted and energetic for the gospel. They often become very legalistic in their zeal. I know I was. So I've chosen to accept that as a natural progression of growth, and that scripture directed to elders in teaching the young are a primary prescription to the ailment.

I must admit, as I witness the grace, patience and wisdom of more mature Christians in action, I become more and more frustrated with "older" Christians that do not seem to mature in this way. If I were in the midst of a congregation of these immature elders (meaning those older in the faith), their example would, and has, stifled my own growth. Ultimately, my growth is between God and myself, but even God recognizes the responsibility of elders to teach appropriately.

As Jeff has described, I've come to know church discipline as more an act of patience and love, than marking and avoiding.

5/04/2009 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Missy I really had no idea you both belonged to the same congregation but I shouldn’t be surprised. Both of you have always displayed the same devotion to scripture. I can appreciate there are legalist in all denominations and I will reiterate that it’s the CoCer’s that are willing to discuss the Bible that I’ve found most devoted. There are also those who won’t even give the time of day to others outside their own group and hate anyone who will but again that’s the same with all denominations. Those brethren are always the hardest ones to love. ;-)

I agree spiritual maturity could be lacking in some older believers but I’ve found more often that these are simply overtaken in a fault. I may have a different take on marking and avoiding and I plan to detail that in this series. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on my understanding in that.

5/04/2009 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff (DK) said...

Wow, Missy. It's been such a long time since I've visited the blogosphere that I forgot that you visit Kc's place. I'm glad kept that comment as vague as I did! And I apologize if I caused your thoughts to go down a road they didn't need to travel regarding the "who" and "when."

Quote: I think Jeff would agree with me that we, as a "denomination" have had our fair share of legalism.Ahhh...the memories of yesteryear. (yiks!)

Yes, to our shame, several years ago we had a VERY legalistic world-wide ministry and many were chased out in the name of church discipline when it really should have been a "And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." (1 Thes. 5:14) situation.

Thankfully the Lord employed His own style of Church discipline and disciplined us, and we learned a great deal, but unfortunately it was after the faith of many had been bruised, or even crushed.

My family and I are all doing quite well. My new job is going great. We just bought our first house this past month (after 18 years of marriage and 2 kids!). I thank Missy's hubby, Mr. Right, (and about 20 others) for helping with the move. God has truly blessed us beyond what I deserve.

I look forward to seeing the progression of your study series here.

5/05/2009 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff thanks so much and I praise God for all your blessings!

5/05/2009 06:03:00 AM  

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