From an article by John Ortberg at ChristianityToday.com:
“Church discipline is really about the spiritual health of the whole body. In larger churches, people can start to think of it simply as scandal avoidance. But the lack of appropriate administration is really a failure of love and a compounding of sin: ‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt’ (Lev. 19:17). Discipline does not merely protect the church from contamination: It builds and strengthens the bonds of love.”
I’m not going to keep riding this horse, but I’ve seen too many congregations sweep sin under the rug. Ortberg talks a lot about leadership, and I think that’s appropriate. But is there some level at which we should confront our spiritual siblings? Gal. 6:1 talks about doing that—meekly, humbly. But anybody ever tried to do that? Immediate result: “Judge not!” and a lot of finger-wagging.
Should it be different? Can it? That’s something I’m still working out.