Monday, August 17, 2009

It's already been good, now that you have served and protected me.

We continue with our series based on The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. The following are some notes from the Sunday school lesson at Providence Church.

DUMB MOVE #9: Allowing Wolves to Live Among the Sheep

6 facts drawn from biblical warning passages concerning wolves among the sheep:
  • Fact #1: Spiritual wolves are masters of deception.
  • Fact #2: Spiritual wolves are dangerous.
  • Fact #3: Spiritual wolves are evil.
  • Fact #4: Spiritual wolves always reveal themselves.
  • Fact #5: Good people can morph into wolves.
  • Fact #6: Spiritual wolves love power.

4 Reasons We’re Hesitant to Remove Spiritual Wolves:
  1. We foolishly believe people will change without discipline.
  2. The intermingling of personal relationships
  3. We’re afraid of collateral damage.
  4. We don’t know what to do.

6 Basic Conclusions Drawn from Biblical Passages Addressing Church Discipline:
  • Conclusion #1: No one should get a free pass when it comes to bad behavior.
  • Conclusion #2: Not all bad behavior makes a person deserving of confrontation or removal from church.
  • Conclusion #3: Biblical church discipline is a process, not an act.
  • Conclusion #4: Biblical church discipline should be carried out with patience.
  • Conclusion #5: The removal of a person from the church’s fellowship should be the last resort.
  • Conclusion #6: There should be no guilty feelings on the part of church leaders who exercise church discipline … and no animosity directed toward them by members of the congregation.

Discussion Questions:
  1. “The Bible tells us not to judge, but it also tells us to confront troublemakers in church. How would you resolve what some people say is a conflict between these two commands? At what point does a person’s behavior ‘cross the line’ and become worthy of discipline?
  2. What are the risks involved in church discipline? What are the risks of a lack of discipline?
  3. Dagg said, “When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it.” Why might he be right?

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