Article - Is It Wrong To "Mark/Note" Christian Individuals And Congregations Of The Lord's People? (part 3)
The following are questions with Bible answers concerning church discipline: (1) Does marking congregations violate church autonomy? Answer: Congregations are autonomous in organization and executing matters of opinion; but they are not exempt from boasting about one another (2 Corinthians 7:4; 8:24), cooperating with one another (Philippians 4:14-15), or marking one another (Romans 16:17-18; Philippians 3:17-19) in either a positive or negative light. (2) Should we not mind our own business within each congregation; for each congregation has enough problems of its own? Answer: As brothers and sisters in Christ universally, we are commanded to help one another both physically, and more importantly, spiritually (Acts 15:1-5, 41; Matthew 18:15-20; Philippians 2:4). When a congregation needs money or financial support, other congregations are more than willing to help (which they should); but when it comes to spiritual needs (which is far more important), some want to “stay out of it” which is showing a lack of love and concern for their brothers soul. (3) If we mark an individual or congregation, will we not be making them look bad or shaming them? Answer: That is exactly what the Bible teaches us to do (2 Thessalonians 3:14). Prayerfully, it will shame them to true, godly repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). (4) When a congregation is marked, can there still be faithful Christians within that congregation? Answer: Yes (Revelation 3:4). However, if one attends a congregation in which they worship incorrectly (causing all who worship to commit sin, 1 John 3:4), condone of sin (Romans 1:32), or feel that they are fighting to no avail (Acts 13:51; Matthew 7:6), they cannot continue worshipping there. If one attends a congregation in which they can worship correctly, stand for the truth, and see improvements, they need to continue to contend for the truth as long as their garments do not become defiled. Doing the right thing never has been easy (Matthew 7:13-14). The same is true when it comes to marking the unfaithful. There will be those who get offended, mad and emotional. This is to be expected (Galatians 4:16; Matthew 10:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 11:6; John 6:66). However, we must fulfill the will of God and mark those who are both faithful and unfaithful. We must restore the clear distinctions between faithful congregations and unfaithful congregations. There must once again be that clear distinction for the protection of thousands of God’s precious people as well as the lost of the world we are so desperately trying to reach.
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