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Discovering a more authentic expression of the life of Christ in us apart from the duties of institutional religion, this podcast asks honest questions about the origin and validity of institutional church rules and practices. These religious rules and practices lead us away from the simplicity of the gospel into an exhausting performance-based faith.

Aug 16, 2020

Welcome to episode 38 of The UnSunday Show! The topic of what we call church discipline has been on my mind the last couple of years. I've tried writing down my thoughts about it but writing just isn't my thing any more. At least not right now. It's easier to talk about it than to write about it. Here are some of my initial thoughts on church discipline in light of my understanding of the New Covenant.

Matthew 18:15-20 is the go to passage most often used as a proof text for the validity of church discipline. It's the one that I was trained to use and that I used. But what if this passage, like so many others in the first four books of the New Testament, belongs in the Old Covenant, not the New Covenant? What if we've incorrectly inserted ourselves into it?

I cover four main ideas in this episode concerning church discipline that have brought me to the conclusion that Matthew 18:15-20 belongs in the Old Covenant. 

  • The word 'church' isn't in this passage.
  • The passage is laced with Old Covenant language spoken to Old Covenant Jews.
  • Israel was under Roman rule and subject to Roman laws and control.
  • The process explained in this passage is not repeated in the New Covenant scriptures even though there were times it could have been.

I'm sure I'll be talking more about this in the future as I'm only scraping the surface of where my thoughts have taken me the last couple of years with this topic.

-Mike