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Posts Tagged ‘church discipline’

Churches that have grown up in the intensely private and individualistic ethos of Western culture find Paul’s call for corporate accountability disturbing.  Our beloved canon within the canon has become Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged,” which we misinterpret to mean, “I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me.”  … This Matthean text is an important warning against hyopcritical self-righteousness, but it does not in any way preclude the church’s corporate responsiblity, as sketched here in 1 Corinthians 5, for disciplining members who flagrantly violate the will of the God for the community.  The fact that the church so rarely exercises disciplinary function is a sign of its unfaithfulness.  Our failure to do so is often justified in the name of enlightened tolerance of differences, but in fact “tolerance” can become a euphemism for indifference and lack of moral courage.

Richard B Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation, p89

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