...maybe it should start with itself.
Church discipline troubles me. I am well aware of the Matthew passages and even agree with them. Problem is, the church has so screwed up its influence and place in society with believers and non-believers alike, I am pretty sure I would tell a pastor or church deacon or elder board who likely doesn't know me, but wants to correct me, to take a hike.
Further, the church has no business in my personal life - it doesn't even have its own personal life in order. Church authoritarians many times just want you to know they have "power" over you. Because of its failings, the church has long since been stripped of any authority God gave it - it has suffered the natural consequences of its own lukewarmness in failing to to be salt and light in the world. It is no longer the center of life. And don't blame the secular society for this. Blame the church - and uncomfortably, this means blaming the leaders and ourselves. It has been said many a time that if you want respect as a leader in the community, you have to be a servant of all and live the life you preach at others. The church hasn't done this... not even close.
But a friend who tries to set me straight? Him (or her) I would listen to. If my wife were to confront me? I would listen to her. My kids? Yep. I would listen to them. As a matter of fact, I can't live the Christian life without many friends and family who are also accountability partners in my life. I would fail miserably without them.
The church, in its current state? That, sadly, I can live the Christian life just fine without ever darkening its doors again.
morning song. - It happens every morning. The music is there. Going to sleep is always challenging for me. Laying down the lists and the thoughts and the ideas and the car...
5 years ago