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Excommunication according to the MINUTES. I need clarity.
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Post Truman Here Truman Smith
Link I told you I would not discuse this and I will not . But I can see that you will never pastor but a handfull of folk ever if that . And if you did you would in just a few days have it down to where you couild handle it . I know all the Scriptures that you offered and you did not disappoint me . But you are yet to learn about people . Keep studing and praying and some day you might live long enough to have that holy church you so desire , But if you do you will out do the Lord Himself . Have a good day . God Bless . T Acts Enthusiast
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8/16/11 7:27 pm


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Post Re: Truman Here Link
Truman Smith wrote:
Link I told you I would not discuse this and I will not . But I can see that you will never pastor but a handfull of folk ever if that . And if you did you would in just a few days have it down to where you couild handle it . I know all the Scriptures that you offered and you did not disappoint me . But you are yet to learn about people . Keep studing and praying and some day you might live long enough to have that holy church you so desire , But if you do you will out do the Lord Himself . Have a good day . God Bless . T


To me, this is a really strange response since I am just basically asking, shouldn't the church do what the Bible teaches about church discipline?
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8/16/11 8:14 pm


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Post Truman here Truman Smith
Didn't mean to hurt your feelings . I thought you were lecturing me on how to obey the Scriptures . And telling me how wrong I was . You need to read trying to understand the spirit in which my post was written . I am all for obeying the Bible admonitions but many of the erring ones simply won't allow it . And there are other ways to handle a situation without you yourself getting involved in destroying innocent lives . Sorry if I hurt your feelings . The Bible way is certainly the ideal way to handle those situation but all parties must work together to make it happen and if one party doesn't then one must find other ways to protect the sheep . I have much to do for the next few days so my presence will be very limited here . I'll expain it all later . Love And Peace . God bless . t Acts Enthusiast
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8/16/11 9:25 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
I think there is wisdom in what Truman has said. Too often we throw out the baby with the bathwater. Perhaps church members are a bit like teenagers. We can be all hard-nosed with them & lose our influence with them, or we can choose our battles through discernment and seeking the Lord over what's truly important.
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8/16/11 9:31 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Except in extreme cases where someone refuses to openly repent to the church of publically known sin, I really don't see the point in publically excommunicating them. Just let them go away. It's not like the early church, where there was no other church for a rebel to go. Nowadays if they want to join a church they can pick any number that will gladly accept them. Acts-perienced Poster
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8/16/11 9:39 pm


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Post Bro Bob
I would like to thank theElder for his post. Every single thing he said is on target. I am every bit as stressed about this as I get about anything.

I know why that is. God became relevant in my life as he protected and carried me through a personal experience with this kind of abuse. It was not in the church. But I knew the same thing existed in the church. All of you know stories, and I know some too that I can not tell.

At least not yet.

As my situation came to a head I asked my dad to accompany me to the place where my trial was to be held. In the parking lot, before that meeting, preacher that he was, he wanted to read some scripture. I wasn't in the mood, but I listened.

Over the next two years I saw God live out Psalms 35-37 in my real life.

Since then and to this day, I do not take scripture for granted. It is real. It is current. It will predict things for you that you could never accomplish at your own hand. I learned why he instructed us that vengeance did not belong to us, it belonged to him. It was simple really, I just never saw it before.

Since then, an attack against me personally doesn't do much. But when I see anyone who is accused, but denied a fair hearing it pegs my needle.

I know we ignore the MINUTES at every church in the land. I know we don't care. And I know dotting the Is and crossing the Ts is tedious. So I keep my mouth shut. (Hard to believe isn't it, but except for here it is true.)

But the moment someone says they are laying claim to the rights the BIBLE and the MINUTES affords them, at that moment we should keep our covenant.

......................................

I was shocked to learn about the method employed at Baxley. I did not know it had changed.

We used to offer scriptural support for determinations we had made in our polity. But there is no scriptural support quoted for this change. Indeed, as LINK as so well stated, scripture could not contrast with our new method more starkly.

And he is correct that this won't be the last of the fallout from using our substitute for correct instruction.

If I tell you that we will not be satisfied, and will extend this authority to the pastor without need for AB involvement you will think I am over-reacting.

Most of us don't know the MINUTES. This will come as news to a lot of you, but the dummies that birthed this church, and left it to our care thought removing a member in secret was such a bad idea that they included a rule that even when a member WANTS to be removed, and he sends a letter asking to be removed to the pastor, he must also send a copy to the treasurer. And even then, it is not final until the church in conference grants the request. (S39. VI. 3rd paragraph pg 182 of the 2004 MINUTES)

Even granting a transfer or receiving a transfer from another church must be approved by each church, although no conference is required and the vote can be taken at any church meeting. (I know you don't do this at your church. but it is still in there and we used to do it every time.)

So I ask you, Church of God, what should be done to a pastor who takes this same authority, currently restricted to the AB, and removes members from the roll without asking or even notifying the church? If the AB can do it, why can't the pastor just do it?

And if he does, what is a mere layman going to do about it? Will you become unruly and complain to the AB? Will you appeal to the IEC?

Or will you keep your mouth shut. Or will you excommunicate yourself. The pastor, the AB, and certain posters here will all tell you not to let the door hit you in the rear on your way out. Al Graham and Charles Tyre may be the only ones excommunicated so far. But we have faces and entire families missing in every church over this thing. And we are delighted they are gone. And we can't figure out how we are going to pay the bills.

You have the correct read, theElder. If you are as good at investing in stock as you are at reading me, then you can die a wealthy man.
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8/16/11 9:42 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Lord Chancellor wrote:
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Except in extreme cases where someone refuses to openly repent to the church of publically known sin, I really don't see the point in publically excommunicating them. Just let them go away. It's not like the early church, where there was no other church for a rebel to go. Nowadays if they want to join a church they can pick any number that will gladly accept them.


And if they want to stay at the one church and continue to cause trouble and division as was the case in Baxley, GA?


I guess that depends on how much trouble they cause and how patient the pastor and overseer are. I have several old codgers in my church that cause trouble and fight every change I try to make. They want their church to stay the same as they are used to. While it can certainly be frustrating to me at times, I don't think it's at all worth kicking them out of the church over.

That said, I am not privy to what went on at Baxley except what I have read on this board, so I honestly can't say anything much about that case.
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8/16/11 10:04 pm


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Post Bro Bob
Quiet Wyatt, your stock continues to go up.

One word of warning to you, though. In about 15 minutes you will walk by a mirror and there will be an old codger looking back at you. And he will detest the music.

Dollartree has reading glasses for, you guessed it, ONE DOLLAR.
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8/16/11 10:53 pm


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Post Bullseye77
Lord Chancellor wrote:
Judah4Him wrote:
Bro Graham cussed on the radio talking about his church and pastor--- "admirable"??

Hmm... Don't understand your dog in this fight I guess.

Rolling Eyes


Basically boils down to this, if I remember it correctly. Perhaps, Bro. Bob can provide the link to the radio spot where Al Graham details his side of the story. I'm sure it's saved in his favorites folder.

Al Graham disagreed with decisions made by his pastor at a COG in Baxley, GA.

He tried unsuccessfully to have his pastor removed when he found out he couldn't control his pastor like a puppet and that his pastor would not cower down for him. The AB took a vote. The Baxley Church liked their pastor and wanted to keep him.

Bro. Graham and a cohort threw a tantrum, showed their behinds, and wreaked havoc in the Baxley Church.

After putting up with this for so long and trying to resolve the problem, the AB of South Georgia, Ray Garner- a man with impeccable integrity and character and a man whose picture should be listed in the dictionary alongside the definition of "longsuffering"- said enough is enough. He met with the men and put them out of the church, as he should have done and according to the authority granted him by the General Assembly of the Church of God.

After being put to the curb, Al Graham who also owns/owned a radio station in South Georgia bought air time and a newspaper ad to attack Ray Garner, the COG, and the local church.

Bro. Bob is here to defend them because, as he sees it, troublemakers ought to be allowed to cause trouble and dissent in the local church with impunity.

Why? Well, I don't really understand it, myself.

It seems that Bro. Bob believes that any member should have the right, not just to question a pastor about finances and such (I think we all agree they have that right and responsibility), but to cause trouble and attempt to divide the church when they can't micromanage the church and/or get their way or when the pastor doesn't operate the business of the church the way the member feels he ought to. I don't expect him to verify that statement. But, that's the way it seems to me, anyway.

All anyone has to know is that Ray Garner put someone to the curb to know that whoever was put to the curb was a troublemaker who deserved to be put to the curb.

LC, I don't know you. We have sparred a bit here on Act-celerate, but I don't know you. I do know Ray Garner. In all the years I have known him, he has never given me reason to doubt his integrity or his love for the church. I am aware of the situation on Baxley. Having just come through a similar situation in my state, I want to say that I believe you have made a correct assessment of the situation. My thoughts may be colored by my own experience, but you have described what I have gone through almost as though you were here. An individual disagreed with a decision. Threatened to leave if the decision was not changed. Went to every member he could and ran down the Pastor, told lies on some of the pastor's family, drove wedges between the pastor and members of the church, wrote letters and made phone call to the AB. Literally destroyed a congregation because he couldn't have his way. And left only because of a strong suggestion by the DO under the direction of the AB.
What struck me with my situation was how vicious and destructive this spirit was when it couldn't have it's way.
I detected the same thing in the situation at Baxley. Even if the pastor was wrong, and I am not saying he was or wasn't, this never should have gone into the paper or on the radio. The public has a bad enough perception of the church as it is, without the airing of dirty laundry.
This destructive spirit can only have one source. The carnal person being manipulated by the devil.
I'm having trouble expressing my thoughts on this. Bottom line: LC, I think you nailed it. Thanks.
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8/17/11 10:22 am


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Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Except in extreme cases where someone refuses to openly repent to the church of publically known sin, I really don't see the point in publically excommunicating them. Just let them go away. It's not like the early church, where there was no other church for a rebel to go. Nowadays if they want to join a church they can pick any number that will gladly accept them.


What did delivering the man over to Satan and not keeping company or eating with the man mentioned in I Corinthians 5 accomplish?

--that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
--a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump--it helped prevent this.

What if neglecting to correct someone in this kind of sin results in negative eternally consequences for them? What if the spirit is not saved in the day of the Lord Jesus because the church did not step up?

Doesn't it make more sense to obey the word and leave working through the problems of the church system and society up to the Lord?

What would happen if parents said, "My child is unruly. But I don't want to spank him, so I will send him to foster care." That reminds me of another poster's suggestion to tell someone to go to another church.

If the church is not involved and doesn't know about it, the church may still fellowship with the man, and leaven can still spread. Telling a man to go to church somewhere else doesn't keep the leaven from spreading as other believers keep company with him outside of church.

It sounds like church discipline is being used as a means of making life more convenient for church officials and pastors. Does anyone get icked out or asked to leave from the COG denomination for sins like fornicating, swindling, etc. or are they all asked to leave if they don't fit with the vision of the pastor or just make his job more difficult? I don't see where the purpose of church discipline is to make a pastor's job easier in the Bible.

Removing someone from fellowship is supposed to be a last resort, something you do not want to do. For interpersonal conflicts, Christ gave several steps for the man to be corrected, with the last step being hearing the whole church. If a denominational official can just remove a man without making it public in the church, doesn't that remove opportunities for the man to repent? Matthew 18 comes right after that lost sheep verse. Church leaders should have the heart of the shepherd ready to leave the 90 and 9 and go after the one. I can't help but think that someone who is creating division who thinks he's right, might possibly back down if he stands before the congregation and has a chance to 'hear the church' to stop being divisive. If he sees the whole congregation considers him divisive, he may repent. If not, if he is removed, the body knows what discipline to impose.

Also, the Matthew 18 instructions come right before the instructions to forgive 'seventy times seven' and the parable of the unforgiving servant. II Corinthians talks about receiving a man back into fellowship. Shouldn't there be a provision for a man to be restored to fellowship, instead of the decision of denominational officials far removed from the situation being 'final'?
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8/17/11 1:13 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Link,

I honestly don't know where you got all that from what I said, but in any case you certainly have an imaginative way of taking something and putting the worst possible spin on it, don't you?

As I said in the portion you quoted, in cases in which someone refuses to repent of publicly known sin, I would do what had to be done (which is precisely what Paul dealt with in 1 Cor 5).
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8/17/11 1:27 pm


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Post Truman here Truman Smith
Link how would you handle a person who did not belong to the church or a person who refused to join and still caused the church to be in a riot about varies thing ? That person being a major trublemaker ?? I'll need an answer tonight for I will be absent foabout a week ,most of the time . I have some pastoring to do . Love Ya . God Bless. T Acts Enthusiast
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8/17/11 5:13 pm


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Post Re: Truman here Link
Truman Smith wrote:
Link how would you handle a person who did not belong to the church or a person who refused to join and still caused the church to be in a riot about varies thing ? That person being a major trublemaker ?? I'll need an answer tonight for I will be absent foabout a week ,most of the time . I have some pastoring to do . Love Ya . God Bless. T


I don't see how formal church membership has anything to do with it. the Bible doesn't teach formal church membership. We become members of the body of Christ through faith.

The issue is keeping company with a man and eating with him, not having him on a membership roll. One could remove someone from a membership role, but still keep company with a fornicator contrary to scripture. or one could refuse to keep company with a man but not take him off the roll. That isn't the issue.

If someone is sinning by creating division, they that are spiritual should come and restore him. If there is a sin against an individual, that individual should confront him, then come with two or three in an effort to restore him. (Hopefully, the elders of the church are spiritual, and can get involved here.) If the first step doesn't work, bring him before a gathering of the church and let the church exhort him to repent.

It helps if the subject has been taught and the church knows what to do. There is likely to be some variation in style on how these things can be carried out.
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8/17/11 5:22 pm


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Post Truman here Truman Smith
Like here is a verse to think about when it comes to church membership . Acts 1:15 ..... the number of names together being about one hundred twenty . HUMMMMM the number of names ..... God Bless . T Acts Enthusiast
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8/17/11 9:28 pm


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Post Re: Truman here Link
Truman Smith wrote:
Like here is a verse to think about when it comes to church membership . Acts 1:15 ..... the number of names together being about one hundred twenty . HUMMMMM the number of names ..... God Bless . T


I can't seem to find the part about some of them signing a form to become a member, and then having a little ceremony where they sing "The Church of God is Right", or the part about the ones who don't sign still being able to attend, take communion, but not being able to participate in the GA.
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8/18/11 5:26 am


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Post Carolyn Smith
Acts 2:37-47

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do ?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent , and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off *, even as many as the Lord our God shall call *.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort , saying , Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized : and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together *, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had *need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread fromc house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved .
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8/18/11 6:00 am


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Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Link,

I honestly don't know where you got all that from what I said, but in any case you certainly have an imaginative way of taking something and putting the worst possible spin on it, don't you?

As I said in the portion you quoted, in cases in which someone refuses to repent of publicly known sin, I would do what had to be done (which is precisely what Paul dealt with in 1 Cor 5).


Jesus taught dealing with a personal sin between two parties publicly. His instructions have the person sinned against and two witnesses bring the matter ('publicly') before the church.
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8/20/11 4:48 pm


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