We’re gonna DISCIPLINE the lad

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

Many pastors are making lots of money writing books on the subject, and they get paid a lot of money just being a pastor, even tho they pretend to be humble taking only small tokens to survive as a humble servant.  They call themselves, “SERVANT LEADER”. The rest of us are just servants, to serve him.   How do we serve?  Paying him ten percent to beat us down.

They are REALLY hot on this Church Discipline topic, and their interpretations of it just make me want to puke.

Pastors/Elders have no authority anywhere in scripture to punish any Christian what so ever.

But they think that they do.

Before I begin, I just want to start off by saying that when I read Matthew 18, I see a HABITUAL sinner, in which, when confronted, all he has to say is “My Bad!”, and he’s forgiven.  WHERE IS THE DISCIPLINE?

Oh…I see…3 verses, Matthew 18:15-17 means that the whole chapter is about Church Discipline?

I was in the US Navy.  I know all about the word DISCIPLINE.  A person that is kicked out is NOT disciplined.  The military person that is KEPT is disciplined.  In other words, PUNISHED TO CORRECT A DEFICIENCY.

But where in Matthew 18 is anyone punished to correct a deficiency?  It’s not there.  So why do reformers put it there?

First of all, Matthew 18 is between 2 people only, and no where does it say that pastors/elders get involved in an issue between 2 people.  Who are those two people?

Person number 1:  The VICTIM ONLY

Person number 2:  The ACCUSED ONLY

Note:  I’ve heard some preachers say that if you see someone in a sin, then this applies.  How?  The person who saw is a witness, not a victim.  Therefore, if you have seen someone in a sin, this STEP does not apply at all, because you are not a victim.  There is a different book, chapter and verse that covers this one.

Matthew 18:15 KJV

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass AGAINST THEE, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

In the KJV, if words are added for emphasis, or for the purpose of better understanding, then those words would be italicized.  The words, “against thee” is NOT italicized.  Modern English translations have OMITTED “against thee” from the passage.

That is step 1.

Step two requires ONLY the 2 people involved, plus eye witnesses of the sin (Deuteronomy 19:15), not the pastor/elders.

Deuteronomy 19:15
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Matthew 18:16
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

NOTE:  Those who practice church discipline seem to think that Matthew 18:16 is discussing people to witness the confrontation of an unrepentant sinner by the accuser.  NO, that is wrong.  The purpose of witnesses is to prove the accusation, and Deuteronomy protects the falsely accused.

Exodus 20:16
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

If there are no eye witnesses, then the whole issue stops at the end of step 1, and it goes no further.  The church (congregation) does not hear it at all.  Neither does the Pastor/Elders, who seem to think that they have “all authority under heaven”.

PLEASE NOTE:  Pastors/Elders LOVE to reference the following:

1 Timothy 5:19
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

They seem to think that this is UNIQUE only to them, that they are in an exclusive club, that they can make an accusation against someone without 2 witnesses, but that it takes 2 for them.  This shows just how much that they are abusing the congregation.  It shows their ignorance of scripture which shows that 1 Timothy 5:19 is stating that elders are treated NO DIFFERENTLY than anyone else gets treated.  Again,  references are Deu 19:15 and Matthew 18:16, as well as:

Deuteronomy 17:6
At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

2 Corinthians 13:1
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.


Hebrews 10:28
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:


Step three requires the WHOLE congregation, and the pastor/elders have no more say in the matter than a pew sitter.  The accused has a right to defend himself, and that is what step three is all about, to present the facts on both sides, just like a court hearing.

Did anyone ever think for a moment that a reason that someone is unrepentant is maybe they didn’t do what is being accused?  God put in place safeguards to protect the accused in the case of false accusers, which is why eye witnesses of the sin is required before it can even go to the congregation if step 2 did not solve the problem.

NOTE:  In Matthew 18, there is a victim.  NO ONE has authority to forgive except for the victim.  Pastor/Elder cannot forgive on behalf of the victim, and neither can the congregation.  In Catholicism, priests forgive sins, and there are no protestants that believe that priests have authority to forgive sins.

Then there comes the troubles of victim shaming if the victim does not forgive, and before you know it, the victim is put in this crazy doctrine of church discipline.

1 Cor 6 discusses things that are small matters, and some matters are not small, and church’s that practice church discipline ignore Romans 13.  No one needs pastor/elder permission to call law enforcement.  Can you believe that pastors actually advise not calling the law?  Hush hush in the church?  Pastors demand that the victim swiftly forgives their tormentor, so that everything is hunky dory?  The tormentor gets to stay, to intimidate the victim?

1 Cor 5 are those people that fall under verse 11.

1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

This shows that the individual in 1 Cor 5 is NOT a brother at all.  It shows that he is a wicked person that needs to get kicked out.

And, Paul, being a lawyer of the law of Moses believed the accusations based on Deuteronomy 19:15.  Otherwise, he would have scolded the Corinthians for being busybodies, tattle tales, tale bearers, gossipers and bearing false witness against thy neighbor.

Yes, there is no such thing as church discipline in the bible.  But they sure love preaching it.

Pastor = Feed.  What’s the food?

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Knowledge and Understanding.  What does that look like?

Nehemiah 8:1-12
And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

What is the job of an elder?  Well, what did it mean as a child when we were taught to respect our elders?

Elders are mentors, not authoritarians to whip us into shape.

Every Christian STRUGGLES with sin.  Those that are spiritual are to mentor us, not beat us down with punishment, which is a key word in discipline.  

There is a difference between STRUGGLING with sin, and outright not giving a damn about sinning.

Now, I must bring up 2 Corinthians Chapter 2.

Many seem to think that Paul is instructing the CONGREGATION to forgive that wicked person from 1 Corinthians 5.  Where in God’s name did they come to that conclusion?

First of all, as I have been saying, the congregation has no authority to forgive any sins on behalf of the victim, if there is one.  Therefore, we cannot confuse Matthew 18 where there is a victim and 1 Corinthians 5 where there may not be one.

Secondly, we are all sinners, and what brought us to church in the first place?  Wasn’t it because Satan destroyed our flesh so that the spirit may be saved?  Church is not a place for those who wish to practice verse 11.  If they give up those things, then yes, they are indeed welcomed, just like we were when we first came to church.  But NOT until Satan destroys the flesh FIRST, which means that you still kick him out and let Satan do his thing.  People sometimes REPENT just because they got caught, and that does not solve the problem of the flesh.  However…

In 2 Corinthians Paul is discussing a DOWNER letter that he wrote to the Corinthians and it made him sad that he wrote a downer letter and he was asking for forgiveness for writing a downer letter, when he wanted to write a letter that uplifts instead….IN THE 3RD person, which he often did of himself, especially in 2 Cor. Look at chapter 12. Paul was not discussing the guy in 1 Cor 5 at all in 2 Corinthians 2.

But based on their conclusion, that wicked person is brought back into the church and the victim is left hanging by victim shaming if the victim refuses to forgive, when it is so noted in that same Matthew 18 that if the victim does not forgive, then the sin is still unforgiven in heaven.  If the victim forgives, then the sin is forgiven in heaven.  The victim has the right to decide when and if the accused is forgiven or not, not the pastor/elders.  This may take years to get to that point.  But the problem is, the accused never repented to the victim.  He only repented to people who have no authority to forgive on behalf of the victim.  Pastor/Elders/Congregation and Catholic Priests have no authority to speak FOR or on behalf of the victim.

You can discipline your children, but we are adults, and pastors/elders are not our parent.