I'm not sure this clever bit of prooftexting would pass the scholarly sniff test, but it's pretty brilliant on its own terms! However, I think someone else noted that the parable of the unmerciful servant, which is all about forgiveness, comes right after the church discipline passage in Mt. 18.
So in Matthew 18, Jesus tells us to treat those under church discipline like tax collectors. And he shows us how to treat tax collectors by inviting them to be his disciples, by eating with them, by loving them just the same.
The church discipline process at MH didn't seem at all redemptive or restorative; nor did it seem to provide, for the poor chap being disciplined, any sense of what his penance would accomplish.
Yeah I had thought something similar about that Matthew 18, and how it all comes down to the context of how it was spoken. I just thought I would throw it up here because it did strike me as a fascinating comment.
Another thing I was thinking about the church's discipline process, is that it doesn't really leave much room for the restoration to happen naturally, in it's own time (or maybe better God's timing). I mean sometimes working through various issues, especially dealing with the hurts caused to others, and also caused by them, can take years for people with the help of God's spirit working to sort it all out. This idea of just going up to people and repenting isn't always that simple.
They seem to be trying to solve a problem that is very relational, between the person and himself, the person and God, and the person and those who were hurt........ into something that is more or less formula. Not to mention all of the other possible aspects to the situation. Like for instance, maybe some people need to repent to Andrew, because they saw what was happening, or about to happen, and didn't help him in it...... or possibly even encouraged him in it.
Who knows, maybe the fiance was originally the instigator and he was trying to pull back.
See that leads to something that people commenting on this do not seem to be touching on...... all of this response by the church isn't just bringing pain, condemnation, and shame on to Andrew, but I would suspect also his fiance, and those close to her. I mean it's all publically set up against Andrew, but the public that is involved in this knows darn well who the fiance is, and she basically did all of the same things that Andrew is accused of, being the original covering up of what they were doing, ect. Anybody that stops and thinks about the issue can see that she, although more behind the scenes, would be observing the whole fiasco, knowing
, that people are connecting Andrew to her in their understanding of this.
Plus another big problem with the situation is that a couple who was preparing for marriage, has broken apart through him surely going to far with another girl.... but not "all of the way". Their relationship is probably not beyond restoration, but there is no indication that this is a large part of the Church's agenda.
Edited by Attica, 25 January 2012 - 05:17 PM.