Those Who Don’t Believe in Church Discipline are Arrogant

What a statement. But is it actually true? Church discipline is a hotly-contested issue and is rejected, attacked, and hated by the religious world, by many professing Christians, even by evangelicals who claim to believe the Bible. Would that all Christians believed the Scriptures that teach church discipline as much as they say they believe John 3:16.

Many respond to the practice of church discipline by saying something like, “How arrogant and judgmental that church is to do that to someone; it’s wrong, unloving, arrogant, and judgmental.”

But who is actually proud and arrogant about church discipline–the church that practices it or the person who rejects it and argues against it?

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6, concerning the attitude of the Corinthian church, that they were arrogant when they had not used church discipline on an immoral man in their midst, but had rather tolerated his sin: “Are you not arrogant?” (vs. 20) and “Your boasting is not good” (vs. 6).

Paul says that the person or church that rejects and does not practice church discipline is arrogant. Why? Because they believe it is wrong to do it when God says it is right; they reject it when God says to affirm it; they believe it is unloving when the Bible says it is a loving practice; they believe it is bad when God has already said it is good. How is it good? It is good because it is for the rescue and restoration of the sinning person.

So why is the rejection of church discipline actually an arrogant thing? Because people think their views, their wisdom, goodness, kindness is wiser than God Himself. One might even admit the Bible affirms church discipline, but then will say, “But I . . . . .” and then they proceed to disagree. And that is the height of arrogance. Who are we to say that what God has ordained is not the best thing possible?

We are not wiser than God, even on such a challenging and difficult issue as church discipline. Let every Christian test themselves- Is God right about church discipline or not, and if I disagree with the Bible on it, what does that say about me? Pure and simple, it is arrogance that rejects the biblical doctrine of church discipline. Unless we think we are wiser than God.

– Mack Tomlinson

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