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What is your opinion on the Church disfellowshipping a member because of pregnancy outside of marriage?

From a personal standpoint, all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God and to disfellowship a member because of pregnancy is throwing them back into the world instead of loving them and encouraging them in their spiritual life and recommitting themselves back to the Lord. Don't take me wrong, I am not encouraging the sin!!!

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Mercedez

 

It is sad, but the church militant is the only army that shoots its wounded.

 

Ray

MsMS

 

We are on the same page.  Obviously I did not eleborate in my post.  IMO, those who fall and are repentent, as shown by their effort to make things as right at possible, these should recieve the help of the church.  However, in all things remember this admonition.

"The evil that led to Peter's fall and that shut out the Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable."  {COL 154.4}

When was the last time you saw someone disciplined by the church for pride or self-sufficinecy?  In all of my years, I have yet to see one.  However, I have seem many, many cases of church discipline being instigated by those who are proud and self-sufficient

 

Again, if someone has committed such an agrevious sin that is brings disrepute on the church, then they should be disfellowshipped.  The one time I was disfellowshipped was on the basis of the allegation that the church did not know where I had only been gone from the area for just a few months prior.  However, they waited until my Uncle, who was on the board, was not present to pass it, as they knew he knew where I lived.  This was during a time in my life when I was badly wounded, as my wife had become pregnant with another man and had taken my children away from me and was blaming me for everything.  Did I get the slightest help from the church?  Instead I was told that I could never remarry. 

 

Divorces do happen.  There is not always (if indeed ever) an "innocent party."  I have yet to see such a situation where both parties did not bear at least some guilt.  However, that is up to God to judge, not the church.

 

In contrast, a parctice that God places the death sentence on is flaunted.  Two lesbian lovers, openly living together.  A situation where their status was well know, were ordained as local elders.  How much more of an affront to God can be made? 

 

One pastor who had an intern working for him, divorced his wife and married the intern's wife.  Yet, he was moved to another conference. 

 

Another pastor was falsly accused of sexual advances and still many who know him do not know the truth about the false accusations. 

 

Another pastor was alledged to have fallen sexually, but his wife stayed with him and even though there was no proof and the lady who was supposedly involved said that nothing had ever happened, yet he was fired.  In fact, it came out that the accusation was an out and out lie and yet nothing was done to rectify the error. Instead the pastor was told that if he would accept the blame, in order to get the guilty conference official off of the hook, that he would be given a church in another conference.  SURE!!!

 

Inequities abound in the church in this area, that is not even a question.  However, we can be assured of one thing that the record for those who perpetrated such inequities will not be one they will want to meet. And those who have been ill treated, will have that taken into account when the judgement sits.  Remember this:

    "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  Romans 12:19 (ESV) 

This has happened in my own life.  I have been lied about and slandered.  I made no effort to retaliat and three of the ones involved died shortly afterwards.  Under circumstances (in two of the cases) which could only be seen as the hand of God working.  So, I know that God will set things right.  However, it is our responsibility to be sure we are on the loving crew, not the pride crew. The most important thing is when we see someone so treated, to come along side of them and be a true Christian friend.  In my situation, I was fortunate that several church members did just that.  But, not all are that fortunate.

 

Remember this.  The same letter is in the center of both sin and pride.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray
 

 

 

 

 

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had enough faith in Jesus to allow him to do the discipline. I think He is capable to doing that.  He has far more wisdom than we. But yet WE think it to be our job and go about it with abandon. Oh Lord ... come soon.

 

I am so sorry Mercedez for your experience. But I am happy to hear of your healthy attitude towards it.  May you grow in His Grace.

MsMS ... you say "
Rob, are you saying that if someone has sex with another, they are "married" to that person???   Without a legal marriage??? "
While I be-est not Rob ... Let me point out that A Legal Marriage is not necessarily a Biblical Marraige and a Biblical Marriage may not be a legal marriage. They come from two different authorities.
The same applies to divorce. There are legal divorces and there are biblical divorces. Which authority do you behold to?
(I'm not say  you as in you. But you as in US.  :)

Gabriel

 

If I may say so, while I agree with the apparent intention of your use of the story of Mary being brought out "Caught in the very act," we must look at this situsation from the way the Jewish law and Jesus looked at it.

1. Mary had not sinned.  Oh, I realize that many contest that, but that is not the main point here.  But Jesus did not condemn her, and Jesus does not cover sin.

2.  The law read that if a couple were caught in such a situation in a town, that both the man and the woman was to be stoned.  Where was the man?  He was standing in the crowd of the accusers.  He was one of the church leaders that had set up the trap.  And he had been healed from leoprisy by Jesus.  How is that for appreciation?  Read the story in the Desire of Ages. chapter 50.

3.  The woman's husband or father was to bring the charges.

4.  The church rulers were to defend the victim, not press the charges.

5.  Mary had been enticed into sin by a church ruler, Simon.  Not unlike the situation of sexual abuse.  If someone is raped or sexually abused, do we stone the victim?  Or should I more accuratly say: 'should we stone the victim?'

6.  Jesus had no condemnation for Mary, should we?

For these and other reasons, this does not correctly illustrate a situation where both parties are willing participants, as seems to be the the problem presented here.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

 

I don't think that anyone is saying that adultery or fornication makes a marriage. What I think they are saying and what I believe is that there is no requirement to get a marriage license. Marriage licenses are a relatively new invention. That is why there is a such thing as common law marriages. And biblically when a man and woman decide to get married there is no requirement under Gods law to file any paper to be married. What does matter is whether those people can legally be married. What I mean by that is nither of them were previously married and got divorced without a biblical eason to do so. It really is a commitment between to people and God. Not a court or pastor.

MsMS

 

What would be well, would be to review Matthew 18, the biblical instruction for dealing with such issues.

 "And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  [16] "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.  [17] "And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.
[18] "Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
[19] "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  [20] "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst."
[21] Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" [22] Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
[23] "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  [24] "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents.  [25] "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.  [26] "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.'
[27] "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.  [28] "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.'  [29] "So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.'  [30] "He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.  [31] "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.
[32] "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.  [33] 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?'  [34] "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him."  [35] "So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."  Matt 18:15-35 NASB

Commentary should not be necessary.  But this one aspect I do feel needs to be underlined.  When the church or anyone else for that matter, witholds forgiveness when it is requested, they loose all of the forgiveness of their sins that they have recieved.  Is anyone so perfect that they have never needed to be forgiven?  I certainly have never met any such people, although I have met some who seem to beleive they were in that category.

 

Ellen White adds to that counsel.  She says that when there is sin involved, that the ones who plan to go and speak with the "offender" should pray first for the right spirit in themselves.  Only when they truely love the sinner, are they then qualified to go and talk with them. 


Could this reallly be the reason that more people who are being buffeted by Satan do not recieve more visits?   Remember when pointing at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at us. 

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

 

 

To Ray: THere is one circumstance in the bible that justifies divorce and that is marital infidelity of the spouse, so if the church is telling you that you could never remarry was based on you being married to your wife, they are wrong (see Matt. 5:31).

Mercedez


Thank you for your comment.  I firmly believe that myself too.  However, "infidelity" in reality has a more broad implication than many are willing to accept.  And that is their right to not accept it.  It keeps things more simple, but not necessarily more accurate. 

 

There may be times where sleeping with the wrong partner is on the same level as destroying the reputation of your partner.  Give it some thought.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

MsMS

 

In another of your posts which I was not able to respond to directly, you questioned about Mary, Martha's sister, being Mary of Magdala.  Please read in The Desire of Ages, chapters 50 and 62 etc.  OK?

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

I feel that it would be better if both mother and child be coming to church.  We should not throw a stone at anyone for their sin may not be as big as ours.  Not that one sin is bigger than the other one.  We  should help raise the little one and come together as a church family and welcome them both with loving arms.

No need to disfellowship someone. As Gabe has pointed out ... we should leave judging sinners to  God. That is HIS job and not ours.

 

And guess what God has done to our sins -

 

" He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19

 

Just WHO do we think we are to dig up sins that our Saviour has cast into the depths of the sea? What arrogance.

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