Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't disagree with the preacher or you may end up in jail.

I just read an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about churches who are taking dramatic measures in disciplining church members for "sinning." One little old lady in Michigan was arrested for trespassing, handcuffed, and taken to jail for attending church after having been banned from church after pressing the new pastor to appoint a board of deacons. The pastor decided that she was spreading a "cancerous spirit" in the church and banned her from attending anymore. At another church in Texas, a woman who who went to her pastor for counseling and confessed having had an extra-marital affair. The pastor publicized her sin to the congregation, apparently so that they could shun her.

According to the article, more and more church leaders are disciplining their congregants by exposing their "sins" to the rest of the congregation, causing much discord and humiliation. Isn't this the type of behavior that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for? This type of stuff is one more reason that I have against joining a church.


Ayatollah Mugsy said...

This kind of behavior is deplorable.

My grandparents had a similar experience years ago when a preacher tried to publicly shame them for not volunteering enough at some kind of carnival. This despite the fact that my grandfather was working 16-hour days and was exhausted. Needless to say, they stopped visiting that church.

Tony Arnold said...

Remember your post about the MTSU student who got in trouble because of her poor choices?

I would suggest that some Christians are making poor decisions on where to attend. The preachers' and elders' at churches exhibiting such un-Christian practices, should have no members which to preach to, lead, or discipline. They should have an empty church.

The best way to handle stupidity is to walk away and leave them to their own demise.

JMG said...

Mugsy, I know you would never do that sort of thing to your congregation.

JMG said...

I agree with you, Tony, but that's easy to say. People have much too strong a tie to their particular church building to leave over that kind of behavior. They'd rather stay and duke it out with the leadership over who controls what goes on inside that building than move on and find a better group of people to worship with. It's very sad, really.

Tony Arnold said...

It is very sad when people let power corrupt them to the point of practicing evil in a house of worship.

Worse, is they never realize that their one acknowledged enemy is the one they are serving with such behavior.

JMG said...

Yep. I think that enemy makes most of his advances inside the church, using "good church people."