Church discipline corrects, holds leaders accountable, and teaches people to think twice before acting foolishly. It is always redemptive. That is, it restores those it disciplines. Discipline brings cohesion to a group such as a church, but especially a family. It helps to prevent people from hurting others and themselves. It serves to maintain unity within a church by keeping people accountable to the highest standards of cooperation.
Throughout most ages and societies forms of divorce have existed. Divorce is an unnatural act. Christ made this clear when He responded to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:8-9 ~
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Wedding vows cartoonYet the reality of life is that divorce is not only common, but often necessary for people’s well-being. Even some Biblical men of God suffered the pain of divorce. These include Moses, who sent Zipporah away (Ex. 18:2), David- who apparently divorced Michael (2Sam. 6:23), and Hosea the prophet. In our modern era divorce is becoming so common among those in the professional ministry that denominations are scrambling to form policies governing ordination and remarriage.
One of the facets of being an adult is learning how to get along with those you don’t always agree with. Many of my ministry friends have different perspectives on Scripture, politics, and church. For the most part, I have found that I do not need to ‘de-friend’ these colleagues over these sorts of issues. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have strong opinions about these matters – opinions which I am happy to share where appropriate, even with those who disagree.
Being a pastor is the highest privilege someone could ever receive because they have devoted their life to fellowship with Christ, the Source of Life, their hearts to love God, the Source of Love, their minds to understand the Bible, the Source of Wisdom, and their efforts to preaching, the means of Grace for everlasting salvation of a soul. What a privilege!
Where have all the pastors gone?