Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 35 - How do you work not only with the offender but with the rest of the congregation in the case of an excommunication? (Video)

No. 35. >> Let me follow up. Teach me how to work not only with the offender but with the rest of the congregation, all of whom become aware of the discipline of the church in exercising either the minor ban or excommunication. Thank you. >>DR. JOEL D. BIERMANN: You're right, the whole congregation will become aware. They should become aware. Because church discipline is really the action of the whole congregation on behalf of one of its members. It's the whole congregation saying: Brother or sister, please don't continue in the choices you're making. Please don't keep going in the direction you're going because the direction you have taken, the direction you are choosing is leading you away from Christ. Is leading you away from the church. And it's going to lead you into error. And it's going to lead you into damnation. Please, don't. So the whole church is saying this. And there needs to be a fair amount of education here. Teaching your people in the church to recognize the value and the obligation of church discipline. Saint Paul does this plenty of times. It's in Galatians, other sections of Scriptures. I Corinthians 5 where Paul tells people in that congregation: You have an immoral brother, expel him. Strong language. And Paul doesn't mince words. He -- this immoral brother is doing things and making choices and carrying out activities that are against God's will. And are hurting the church of Christ. He cannot be there. And so the church has to recognize they have this responsibility, this obligation. And you have to do a fair amount of teaching. And I would strongly encourage you, David, and the other three of you, teach this stuff before you're in the middle of the situation. It's always far more difficult when you actually have real people with real faces with real relations in the church. And real connections to members of the church. Nobody wants to kick out, as we put it, a nephew. Nobody wants to excommunicate a God child. Nobody wants to do this. And it seems so hard to do it. So it's important to talk about these ideas. And to establish these principles. And teach about church discipline. And the need for excommunication and why it's there when you're not in the middle of it. So you take the time to talk about these things in Bible classes and in confirmation class. And yeah, even in sermons. When you're not in the middle of a bad situation. So when the unfortunate day comes when you might be in that situation, everybody realizes: Hey, we've been taught about this. We know what we need to do. We realize our responsibilities. We recognize the obligations we have to one another. We have a debt to each other to care for each other, hold each other accountable, pull each other along, help each other to walk with Christ. And we're not going to let anything get in the way of that. Not even my -- the fact that I don't have a stomach for it or that I don't like confrontation or that I don't like there to be tensions. No one does. No one does. Let me say that again. Some people get the idea that I really get into this conflict stuff. And I really enjoy challenging people. I don't. I don't like the conflict. I like there to be just peace. No problems, no tension. Let's just all roll along. But if I'm going to be a faithful shepherd and hold people accountable to God's will and make sure they are walking with Christ and not walking away and not being deluded and deceived by sin and its claim and being pulled away from Christ, if I'm going to do that seriously, I'm going to have to move out of my comfort zone. I'm going to have to move into the confrontation role on occasion. As much as I hate it. And a congregation that is going to love its members has to do that sometimes. It's a loving thing. Not a harsh thing. And that needs to be taught to people. It's a hard lesson to learn. But it's an important one.