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Old 02-04-2008, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,056,977 times
Reputation: 11268

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What do you think about the linked story?
What do you think of people being arrested for showing up at church?
What do you think about police, as public servants, being called to a church that has a tax-free status?

Winston-Salem Journal | Shunned, Shamed: Sinners get the boot for many reasons as churches enforce their view of morality (http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArti cle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354363268&path=!living!rel igion!sub!article&s=1037645509089 - broken link)

On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said that a former congregant was in the sanctuary. “And we need to, um, have her out ASAP.”

Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10 percent of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff’s officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs.

The charge was trespassing, but Caskey’s real offense, in her pastor’s view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he’d charged her with spreading “a spirit of cancer and discord” and expelled her from the congregation. “I’ve been shunned,” she says.

Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent. Although many Christians find such practices outdated, pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders.

(More at Link)
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,036,959 times
Reputation: 4273
This is something coming back??? Heck, as a teenager I went to a Protestant church a few times with my ex-girlfriend and I saw that sort of stuff a lot. I truly thought that was typical of most, if not all, Protestant churches. I really did. Maybe she was just going to one of those "cutting edge" churches..... but seriously, I just always figured that's the way it was.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,026,539 times
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I can't say I'm surprised. Don't most churches have processes like this? I know the church I was raised in could dis-fellowship people, the Catholic church can ex-communicate people.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,056,977 times
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But calling the cops to arrest someone for going to church. What would Jesus do?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,026,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
But calling the cops to arrest someone for going to church. What would Jesus do?
Well honestly, how many people really follow that?

Jesus embraced a prostitute and told the pharacies who were going to stone her that whoever was guiltless should cast the first stone, so their entire premise is off but then again, thats all religious faiths, they are all about judging.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,056,977 times
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Lindsey, the article states that: Scholars estimate that 10 percent to 15 percent of Protestant evangelical churches practice church discipline - about 14,000 to 21,000 U.S. congregations in total. Increasingly, clashes within churches are spilling into communities, splitting congregations and occasionally landing church leaders in court after congregants, who believed they were confessing in private, were publicly shamed.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:23 AM
 
2,484 posts, read 7,899,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
But calling the cops to arrest someone for going to church. What would Jesus do?
If Jesus were alive, I highly doubt he'd be going to one of the many protestant churches from today. Much of what the churches practice nowadays stem from the ego and the fallcies of man, attempting to parade it in the name of God. I can imagine Jesus opening another can of "Why are you disgracing the house of my Father?!" on some of these people. Unfortunately, that won't happen (anytime soon) and those who choose to run their churches on make believe rules and egoism will do so as they please.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:37 AM
 
479 posts, read 1,019,973 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
What do you think about the linked story?
What do you think of people being arrested for showing up at church?
What do you think about police, as public servants, being called to a church that has a tax-free status?

Winston-Salem Journal | Shunned, Shamed: Sinners get the boot for many reasons as churches enforce their view of morality (http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArti cle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354363268&path=!living!rel igion!sub!article&s=1037645509089 - broken link)

On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said that a former congregant was in the sanctuary. “And we need to, um, have her out ASAP.”

Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10 percent of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff’s officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs.

The charge was trespassing, but Caskey’s real offense, in her pastor’s view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he’d charged her with spreading “a spirit of cancer and discord” and expelled her from the congregation. “I’ve been shunned,” she says.

Her story reflects a growing movement among some conservative Protestant pastors to bring back church discipline, an ancient practice in which suspected sinners are privately confronted and then publicly castigated and excommunicated if they refuse to repent. Although many Christians find such practices outdated, pastors in large and small churches across the country are expelling members for offenses ranging from adultery and theft to gossiping, skipping service and criticizing church leaders.

(More at Link)

That's insane. Why would anyone expel someone for asking a question?
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,056,977 times
Reputation: 11268
The article gives some examples of why people were "shunned" - for most of them, it was because they questioned the elders or asked for financial accountings.

Curiouser & curiouser.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
1,313 posts, read 2,726,544 times
Reputation: 674
While I believe that calling the police in to arrest a former attendee is pretty harsh, the Bible is pretty clear on church discipline. Like the article stated, disciplinary actions are meted out according relevant to the particular infraction. However, it is supposed to always be done in a private manner so as not to embarrass the person(s) involved and publicize it, thereby creating a stir among parishoners. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

We are blessed in our church to have a pastor who told us outright that if there is something that we disagree on with him, to come to him and discuss the reasons why. He is open-minded enough to realize that he is human and therefore, subject to mistakes. He has, in the past, been corrected by someone regarding something in a message and then came forth and admitted his error in front of the church folks. I thank God we have a honest pastor who isn't afraid to do what's right but also is willing to admit to mistakes.

Many folks criticize the churches for being overly judgmental towards others but it is not just a church phenomenon. How many times in our own lives do we criticize others in our little circle of friends, family and those we come in contact with throughout the day? What are our feelings towards, let's say, entertainment people, politicians, the person at the store who cut you off for the parking space, the color of someone's skin, etc.? By nature, we are a judgmental species. There is always going to be an issue with something or someone that illicits some sort of negative response, whether private or public. The key is to forgive and then forget which is the hard part for all of us. Imagine if we could all be like Christ when he forgave the sinning woman who was about to be stoned by the masses. He simply told her that her sins were forgiven and to go and sin no more. That's love and forgiveness. God bless.
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