Reasons to Avoid Churches Who Will Not Practice Church Discipline

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The biblical church discipline process described in Matthew 18:15-20 is often messy, costly, and accompanied by damage. The pain experienced is typically unmatched when a professing believer must be publicly put out of the local church.

Even so, when practiced biblically, it is consistent with biblical love, care, and obedience to Christ. It is that sacred process where the holiness of God is upheld, the purity of the church maintained, and the value of souls practiced. Mark Dever rightly says that church discipline is “a loving, provocative, attractive, distinct, respectful, gracious act of obedience and mercy, and that it helps to build a church that brings glory to God.” A friend of mine personally experienced that very thing. He was biblically disciplined out of a large church and to this day he confesses that it was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

But more importantly, it’s a non-negotiable matter in God’s kind of church. Robust confessions of faith such as the Belgic, Scottish, and Heidelberg Catechism rightly identified church discipline as a sine qua non ingredient of a local church.

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