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On How Discipline Is Necessary In Everything

1744 words - 7 pages

Discipline is necessary in everything. Without discipline, there would not be success, unity, or peace. A world where there is no discipline is a world of chaos and corruption. Relatively, a church without discipline can be listless and unable to operate to the best of its ability. Discipline is essential to everything and especially to churches. In order to better understand the significance of discipline, I have interviewed a clergywoman from my church and will compare her answers to my questions to John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. I asked Naomi Passarelli, an assistant pastor of my church, many question regarding discipline and have decided to center this paper on three of them: Does your church apply discipline when needed? How treacherous must a person's sin be in order for the church to consider intervening? Would you allow a member of your church to live in open public sin?
In response to my first question about the application of discipline in her church, She responded, “Yes we do. But we reserve it for the times when the actions/words of a single member are damaging or dangerous to the larger community or specific members of that community. The discipline is out of concern for the safety of the rest of the congregation, NOT out of a desire to tell individuals how they should live their life. If a singular member is behaving in such a way that it is damaging others directly within the community, there may come a time when that individual will be asked to leave or take a break from the community until the behavior is rectified.” John Calvin is in agreement to this when he writes in Institutes of the Christian Religion, “If no society, nay, no house with even a moderate family, can be kept in a right state without discipline, much more necessary is it in the Church, whose state ought to be the best ordered possible. Hence as the saving doctrine of Christ is the life of the Church, so discipline is, as it were, its sinews; for to it it is owing that the members of the body adhere together, each in its own place. Wherefore, all who either wish that discipline were abolished, or who impede the restoration of it, whether they do this of design or through thoughtlessness, certainly aim at the complete devastation of the Church.(98; Book IV)” Pastor Naomi and Calvin are in agreement because both believe that the only way a church can function accordingly is when the church congregation is working as a unit under discipline. I am in agreement with both remembering 1 Corinthians 12 which refers to the church as the body of Christ. It says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment....

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