• What Should We Say? Article by Jonathan Akin

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | Galatians 6:1

    Brother, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). Church discipline is both painful and awkward. How should we interact with those under discipline? What should we do when we meet such people while shopping for a birthday present, when we sit next to them at work, or when we see them getting mail from their mailbox? What should we say? Biblical Directives Fortunately, the Bible gives us clear direction. Jesus exhorts us to “let him be to … View Resource

  • The Assurance of Discipline Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    The older I get, the more I wish my father had disciplined me more than he did, and the more I grow in Christ, the more I pray for my heavenly Father’s loving discipline. When we’re immature we see discipline as a negative thing, but as we grow we begin to see it as one of the most enduring blessings of life. Discipline assures us that we’re loved and cared for. It shows us to whom we belong. It demonstrates we are worth another’s time and energy. It makes us confront, confess, and repent of our sins. It humbles us, … View Resource

  • Bless Those Who Admonish You Article by Alexander Strauch

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Ps. 141:5). If there is a religion that unapologetically emphasizes human fallenness, sin, moral corruption, self-deceit, greed, pride, and perverse selfishness, it is safe to say that it is the religion of the Bible. Because of our foundational beliefs in the reality of sin, Satan, and human depravity, we should understand well why people in positions of authority are easily corrupted. In fact, the more thoroughly we understand the biblical doctrine of sin, the stronger our … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Son(s) and Church Discipline Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Providence reigns, even over editorial requests. When asked to offer pastoral insights on church discipline in light of the story of the prodigal son, little did I realize where this assignment would take me both spiritually and emotionally. Listening to the text of Luke 15 afresh left me very convicted but even more hopeful. I’m convicted because, after pastoring the same church family for twenty-six years, I wish I had a scrapbook filled with church-discipline stories that reflect the gospel-saturated beauty of Luke 15. I wish I could tell you about all the repentant Christians who, through well-implemented church discipline, … View Resource

  • Open and Shut Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2009

    Q. What is the Office of the Keys?  A. The preaching of the Holy Gospel and Christian discipline; by these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 83) Church discipline is one of those topics no one really wants to talk about. Not only do people fear that such discipline entails church officers snooping around in their private business and then outing their private sins to others in the church, church members also don’t want to be perceived as being judgmental toward others. If snooping is what biblical church discipline entails, … View Resource