Jerry Falwell, Jr. Should Face Church Discipline for His Support of Trump

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Rob Fall's picture

The universal or the local.  At least among Baptists, "church discipline" has some specific meaning. It is handled only by the local church is a member of.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There are so many better ways to influence a person's thinking... and what a mistake it would be to start disciplining members for having confused political views! The church is a teaching institution primarily (Matt 28:19ff) and only a disciplining institution when all else fails.

... the very idea conjures a dozen nightmare scenarios. (And I am no Trump fan... that's a diff. issue entirely)

John E.'s picture

"If Jerry Falwell, Jr., or anyone else, is not a member of a local church, then church discipline is off the table."

John E.'s picture

If "disciplining members for having confused political views" is what is taken away from the article, I failed (which is always a possibility). In the article, I did attempt to draw a distinction between the church member who votes/supports Trump and the church member who publicly (obvious to the community) stumps for such a gross evil and, whether intended or not, is an action seen by many in the "secular" world as being reflective of the view of the Bride of Christ. In my understanding, church discipline is not just for the repentance of the person being disciplined but is also to protect the local church's ability to share the gospel. Maybe the location of the church would play into this, too?

Being able to actually interact with comments is a breath of fresh air. If you read even a small sampling of the comments on the article, you know what I mean.

FWIW - before even pitching this article, I discussed it with my pastor. And, while not walking back my assertion, one of my primary objectives with this article was to get people to read about a robust view of church discipline (some of you may think too robust, maybe), a means of grace that is way under-utilized in broader evangelicalism. In other words, with Falwell Jr. and Trump as the hook, they read about a topic that they would probably never read about otherwise. If they attend church, many of my readers attend generic, squishy evangelical churches. However, as I stated above, I am not walking back my assertion that if I were to publicly support Trump as wholeheartedly as Falwell Jr. (and using his language of Trump's inclusion as a brother in Christ), I trust that my church would discipline me.

G. N. Barkman's picture

It seems we lurch from one extreme to another.  Most churches do not even attempt to practice church discipline.  It's too difficult, and too controversial.  Then, when churches start to wake up to their Biblical responsibility, there are always some who advocate discipline for things the New Testament does not mention.  That, my friends, is Pharisaism.  Let's faithfully administer discipline for the sins listed in the NT, as for example in I Corinthians 6:9,10, and leave our opinions and additions at the door.  The only thing worse than no discipline is over-bearing discipline.   God is dishonored both when we add to, as well as subtract from His Word. 

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

John, thanks for the clarification. There is indeed a difference between holding an opinion vs. using influence to publicly advocate.
I'm not yet persuaded that the difference puts it in a disciplineable category though.