May 162013
 

anglicanThat person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereunto.

So what do you think justifies excommunication? Do you agree with this article?

 Posted by at 4:01 am

  131 Responses to “XXXIII. Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided”

  1. Sounds like a very formal and structured application of 1 cor 5. Too bad it never gets close to being implimented in churches where it’s the Leadership that needs the Boot (otherwise known as the Left Foot of Fellowship).
    I ‘excommunicated’ myself years ago from the Visible/Organized/Business like ‘church’.
    When it starts acting like the Church Jesus founded then I might consider ‘trusting’ their Leadership again, but untill then, I will keep meeting with and enjoying Christ with other fellow believers in a context of true relationships with me and my family.

    I guess you could say I excommunicated the ‘church’ from my life in order to purify the fellowhip ‘until such a time as THEY repent’
    Blessings, In Chrisy
    -MIC

  2. Sorry, it should have read

    Blessings in Christ
    -MIC

  3. I have said before, I don’t know how excommunication (church discipline) is supposed to work in 2013 America.

  4. About a month after we had left our abusive church, the pastor and elders came to our home asking if I knew anything about someone reporting him to CPS. I told him I had heard someone reported others to CPS, but not him. I refused to tell him who it was. I had found out earlier that he was recording that conversation, so they were asked to leave. On his way out, he told me we were excommunicated. I kind of laughed and thought – so what?? We’re already gone. But I didn’t realize what it meant – – that if I ran into former members, they would shun us. Being shunned by people you had previously spent time hiking/camping with, eating with, fellowshipped with, etc, was so hurtful.

    Since my case went very public, he has discussed publicly about shunning to defend himself. He says it is a loving thing to do – that the pain of torn relationships will cause us to repent – and that it hurts them as much as it hurts us. I have no idea what we’re supposed to repent from – – what, saying that he was a spiritual abuser? That’s not happening.

  5. Josh

    My take on how it’s supposed to work, 1st century or 21st it shouldn’t matter biblically, is “kick their A** out and don’t let ’em back in till they respent”. If that means having a list for greeters or posting warnings for the body, then I’m all for it.
    If they choose to attent elsewhere, then that’s on them, but Shepherds should guard the safety and security of their flock and safeguard their ‘food and water’ supply.
    Restoration and redemption is for those who live lives of repentance and obedient faithfulness to the Lord and His Word.
    Sorry, gotta go to work. I won’t be able to back and forth on this.
    -MIC

  6. “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

    Groucho Marx

  7. I don’t believe in penance. Show me the word or the concept in the bible. I do believe in restitution though, which I have done.
    There are so many oddball churches today that being excommunicated could be a good thing. It was in my case. I couldn’t get better until I got away from the infection. When I was later asked if I thought I could get back into the group I laughed and said “No thanks. I’m not interested. I’ve moved on.”
    I used to idealize the first century church. They were so messed up that they had to stay close to Jesus or else.

  8. G

    Great quote. Unfortunately, ‘churches’ nowadays are run like clubs. Some Mickey Mouse, some Biker Bars, others just glorified Elks Lodges.
    Don’t join any of them. Join Christ instead, then meet with other believers that you can have real, family to family relationship with.
    That is the REAL Church, the Body of Christ.
    People, not Clubs. Ditch the Club scene, man. Even the church club scene.
    -MIC

  9. Gary,

    I said ‘repentance’ not pennace. I’m sorry if I made myself unclear
    -MIC

  10. mike,
    I was responding to “…until he be openly reconciled by penance…” at the top. I’m very wary of extra biblical creeds and such, and it’s no fun being turned over to the devil until you realize that the guy who said that was an immature dunce. Now, I could repent of calling the guy a dunce but I wouldn’t do penance. 😉

  11. Mike,
    All churches are clubs, Mike.

    One can only “join Christ” by becoming a follower of Jesus, as an individual.

    Beyond that we’re stuck with the unavoidable vagaries of the human group dynamic.
    Be it a preschool, high school or office, the power plays are always the same. Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO recently stated a most outrageous value system but its always in play

  12. Julie Anne, sincere question, because I think this lies at the heart of lots of issues with modern church:

    Assuming you were unknowingly doing something that need to be corrected, do you think it would have been possible for you to have been excommunicated, and that it would not have been abuse?

  13. I think I disagree with the tone of the article. It sounds like “kick them out until they come to their sense.” – especially is shunning is involved.

    This leaves no responsibility for the church to help with the restoration. This comes from a wrong headed view of what it means to treat them “as an Heathen and Publican,”

    Many have the view that to treat them “as an Heathen and Publican,” means not to have anything to do with them – don’t get yourself soiled around them. But is that how we are to treat unbelievers? No –

    The way a Lutheran would attempt to do it would be to withhold the Table from the person, but allow them to remain – where else are they going to hear the law & the gospel – to hear how their sin condemns them and how Christ saves them?

  14. Interesting societal, cultural and emotional implications . . . but the Bible is clear. In the sin of divisiveness, Paul tells Titus (chap 3) very clearly:
    9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

    It’s not a matter of preference, it’s a clear issue of divisiveness and Paul seems unconcerned about further showing them law or Gospel. “nothing more to do with them” as a direction to a Pastor – is clear. To MLD’s point, ‘nothing to do with’ would include more than withholding the table – but that should/must be a minimum, but not the only manner of ‘discipline’.

    Now as to divisiveness – for example ( a real life one), when does flagrant sin in the midst of a church become divisive? Paul’s writing gives us directions . . . culturally, we recoil and cop out from addressing flagrant sin if all of our church leadership doesn’t meet BMI standards, height and weight charts – if we’ve got a pudgy presbyter we can’t address adultery anymore. Seems problematic to qualify our obedience to the Bible.

  15. Assuming you were unknowingly doing something that need to be corrected, do you think it would have been possible for you to have been excommunicated, and that it would not have been abuse?

    I think first we need to establish the biblical precedent for excommunicating. What is the criteria? If the church was doing due diligence in accordance with scripture’s teaching on excommunications and found us to be clearly in the wrong, that would not have been abuse, no. (Am I understanding you correctly?)

    In our case, we were never even church members which is a requirement to even start church discipline process. Secondly, we had already left the church. How exactly does one excommunicate a non-member AFTER they leave a church? Weird. Thirdly, we never had any issues brought to our attention by any pastor/elder while at that church and this “you are excommunicated” response was said to us as my husband told them to leave our property for failing to turn off the recording device (a month after we had already left the church).

  16. I think there is a big misunderstanding in Christian-land.

    Paul the Apostle was a sinner and fallible and capable of being wrong.

    Paul the Apostle was NOT Jesus Christ.

    The “Logos” is the literally “God’s utterance”…the only one who is the true Logos is Jesus Christ who we assume is God incarnate and pre-carnate and post-carnate and He alone is the Logos, He alone is Truth etc.

    Paul the Apostle is not a deity, his words are not deific and his example was often sinful and wrong and man’s imperfect attempts to live after Jesus, the True Logos, ascended.

    I think if we clear up that myth, then some pieces fall into place.

  17. I do not see Jesus Christ excommunicating anyone, other than a bad disciple/leader like Judas Iscariot. Jesus Christ would leave the 99 to save the 1 and would do whatever it took to reach His lost sheep.

    I see Jesus “excommunicating” only one person in the bible. That example should be telling.

  18. Good points, Julie Anne, and you have a very healthy way of looking at it, all things considered.

    I think that excommunication, except in extreme case (think rapist, child abuser), is lost on our culture. Much like women w/ head coverings, it is something that was productive and useful in the 1st century, but our culture has evolved to a point to make it almost impossible.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, or good, just very impractical in our world.

  19. @18 – so what do we do with Matthew 23 where Jesus pronounces repeated “woes” on experts from among God’s chosen people or His weeping over Jerusalem in v37-39?
    He pronounces “judgment” on ‘this very generation’ in v.36.
    Hard to argue that Jesus considered these people ‘in fellowship’ with Him.
    Matthew 18 indicates direct commands by Jesus to 11 followers and one devil about altering their conduct toward those who refuse correction from sin.
    Jesus’ speaking about judgment must indicate that there will be some measure of eternal excommunication.

  20. How should a church react if one of its members decides the Trinity is unbiblical and begins making that view known throughout the church with no intent of receiving correction? How Should doctrinal matters be addressed for the protection of the church while looking towards correcting/restoring the aforementioned individual? Is there a time that a parting of the ways needs to take place??

  21. E, how do you think Jesus would handle it?

  22. “Paul the Apostle is not a deity, his words are not deific and his example was often sinful and wrong and man’s imperfect attempts to live after Jesus, the True Logos, ascended.”

    What does it mean that man’s attempts ascended?

    Are you switching to Red-Letter only Christianity now?

  23. (I got moderated for Bible links, sorry if this post doubles)

    @18 – so what do we do with Matt. chap 23 where Jesus pronounces repeated “woes” on experts from among God’s chosen people or His weeping over Jerusalem in v37-39?
    He pronounces “judgment” on ‘this very generation’ in v.36.
    Hard to argue that Jesus considered these people ‘in fellowship’ with Him.
    Matthew chapter 18 indicates direct commands by Jesus to 11 followers and one devil about altering their conduct toward those who refuse correction from sin.
    Jesus’ speaking about judgment must indicate that there will be some measure of eternal excommunication.

  24. E, if the person is sowing discord in the body, and attempts at correction fall on deaf ears, I would say it’s time to part ways.

  25. . Secondly, we had already left the church. How exactly does one excommunicate a non-member AFTER they leave a church
    ———————————————-
    Answering this in a general way, not related to Julie Anne’s situation.

    The problem with not having membership is that people do come and go from churches, and others only come once in awhile. There are plenty of people that consider us their home church, yet only attend on average maybe once a month. There are others that don’t consider us their home church, and yet visit us once a month (or more) as well.

    So it is impossible to know when someone has “left” the church, unless they specifically write a letter or otherwise contact someone in leadership to advise they are gone and won’t be coming back.

    If a church does have membership, then I don’t think one can “leave” the church if they never first “joined” the church through membership.

  26. “I have said before, I don’t know how excommunication (church discipline) is supposed to work in 2013 America.”

    501 C 3 prevents true cheuch discipline form being excercised because if the person who is being ex communicated decides not to go laong with it then there problems

  27. “Great quote. Unfortunately, ‘churches’ nowadays are run like clubs. Some Mickey Mouse, some Biker Bars, others just glorified Elks Lodges.
    Don’t join any of them. Join Christ instead, then meet with other believers that you can have real, family to family relationship with.
    That is the REAL Church, the Body of Christ.
    People, not Clubs. Ditch the Club scene, man. Even the church club scene.”

    This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  28. A 501c3 requires a church to be open to the public, but does not stop making the church private property with the right to remove someone from the premises. So while church discipline can certainly be exercised, it is hard to call it excommunication since someone can just go to the church down the street (often even of the same denomination) and be welcomed with open arms.

  29. And as we all have seen, if it is the pastor that is getting the boot, he can just go down the street and start his own church – probably will siphon off a decent percentage from the loyalists at his old place to get a nice start. 🙂

  30. This is another old-timey Article that does not apply today and most of you us are glad it doesn’t. What if there was only One Church in the country and all the local parishes were connected to it. Suppose you are excommunicated by this One Church- where will you go? You are doomed. This is what happened in medieval days, both in the East and in the West. The Popes and Patriarchs used it as a tool (sometimes rightfully, sometimes not) to keep kings and emperors and political opponents in line. The Pope used to excommunicate entire countries which meant until their king gave in, no baptisms, weddings, funerals or communion could be conducted lawfully in that country, which in the RCC mindset meant they were all going to hell.

    But nowadays, it should mean that if a person is in serious, unrepentant sin he should be kicked out until he repents and shows some fruit of genuine repentance. But as Pastor Steve has noted, this is not very effective in our pluralistic society. Even in the more tightly knit Orthodox world you can be excommunicated by the Russians and accepted by the Greeks *if* there is no communication between those two parishes. If Father Vladimir calls up Father Stephanos and says “We excommunicated Dmitri and he’s heading your way” he might not be readily accepted. Who knows. It’s a complicated world.

    The Article implies shunning. Amish style shunning? This is a popular topic in the Amish Romance Novel genre so beloved of homes schooled girls.

  31. “A 501c3 requires a church to be open to the public, but does not stop making the church private property with the right to remove someone from the premises. So while church discipline can certainly be exercised, it is hard to call it excommunication since someone can just go to the church down the street (often even of the same denomination) and be welcomed with open arms.”

    But can you guys require someone who say is in adultery or fornication to leave? What if they decide to come anyways even after being told they are not welcome?

  32. Solomon, I have never asked anyone to leave our church. So we get that straight.

    If someone is politely asked to leave for cause what is private property and refuses to do so, then that becomes a legal matter.

    Your reference to the 501c3 (which you do bring up often) is not relevant here. Movie theaters and restaurants (not 501c3s) also have a legal requirement to be open to the public, but also as private property have the right to refuse service to anyone they want. Of course, they risk getting sued if they refuse service in a way that violates the law – like solely for skin color.

    But in America anyone can sue anyone for anything. Could an adulterer sue a church for kicking him out – of course. Would he win? Probably not. But it would not be determined by whether the church was a 501c3 or not.

    I’ve pastored a non-501c3 church too, as I have stated before. But the duties to the public are the same.

  33. What if the adulterer after being asked not to come back anymore decides not listen and shows up for service? Do you guys have legal backing to require him to leave the grounds?

  34. Solomon, haven’t I already answered this? Or is this some sort of process to get to a gotcha moment?

    And why are you so focused on the adulterer example?

  35. to Xenia’s post and SolRod’s . . .

    We had a situation where we found that a couple was not legally married – to only each other, anyways – and they were writing fake prescriptions and had presented fake receipts to the church’s benevolence fund. All this came out at once. They refused any corrective measures in any of the areas; would not meet regarding the still being married to someone else, would not receive our elders into their home to discuss the drug problem and would not receive us into their home to talk about the faked receipts.
    We told them they could not continue to show up at church for two reasons: They kept hitting people up for money at church and we could not according to the Bible allow them to take communion and participate in body life when they were in known, flagrant sin.
    They left our church.
    I tried repeatedly to get an appointment with the pastor of the church they went to attend. After 1 month of trying to meet with the guy face to face, I wrote a letter and gave him copies of the letters we’d given to the couple, as well as their faked receipts.
    He wrote me back that the church and staff was “aware of the personal differences and difficulties” but assured me they could ‘bear with the family’ while they worked through their “wounded hearts and difficulties”.
    I wrote back and told him that writing fake prescriptions and lying about expenses and being married to two women at once was not a difficulty or a personal difference, but sin. He did not write back.

    Xenia’s right – it’s a lonely bit of Biblical obedience.

  36. “Solomon, haven’t I already answered this? Or is this some sort of process to get to a gotcha moment?

    And why are you so focused on the adulterer example?”

    it doens’t have to be an adulterer, it could be a fornicator, homosexual, lover of money etc.

    You didn’t really clearly answer the specific questions as what legal recourse do you have when someone shows up anyways. I’m not talking about lawsuits. I’m saying you ask the unrepetant sinner to leave but she/he continues to show up to service. If you call the cops will they back you when you tell them that you don’t wnat this guy her because he is a sinner? Or do they say that he has a right to be there. I mean he/she is not harrasing anyone or threatening them she/he’s just an unrepentant sinner. Most in that situation would probably syat away after being asked to leave but some may not care what the pastor says and still show up.

  37. So does the 501c3 requirement violate the 1st amendment free exercise of religion and freedom of association? (Assuming free association also means freedom to exclude others who are not willing to abide by the group’s standards)
    Could I force a biker club to accept my membership eventhough I don’t own a Hog or wear hopelessly outdated leathers and a red bandana from Easy Rider?

    Why are we letting the government tell us how to run our churches by submitting to 501c3?
    -MIC

  38. OK, Solomon, I see I think what you are asking. I just don’t get the connection to the 501c3.

    But I really can’t answer for the police. I imagine if the pastor (and a bunch of elders) are all united in saying a certain person has been asked to leave and refuses to do so, with only the one guy saying he is not bothering anyone – that most cops would take the church’s opinion and remove the guy. Of course, the moment he resisted the cops, then he is in a world of a different trouble.

    If ushers try to politely remove someone from the sanctuary who physically resists and makes a disturbance, then the guy has really lost any argument that he is not making a disturbance.

    Having said all that though, at least speaking for myself, the person would have to be a harm to others – like Rob’s example. There are lots of people battling sin that I know of in our church, but they are not hurting others and the point of Paul’s correction to Corinth was the rest of the church was being emboldened by someone’s public, flagrant sin.

    And we are reminded the purpose of church discipline is restoration and not simply to purify the church. Today restoration is largely impossible after that step because there are dozens of churches around the block that will accept someone in an instant…again, as Rob’s example shows.

  39. “Why are we letting the government tell us how to run our churches by submitting to 501c3?”

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  40. Why are we letting the government tell us how to run our churches by submitting to 501c3?
    ————————————————-
    Um…all you “give up” is open active political endorsement and campaigning. Even there, as we know, there is plenty of freedom for personal opinion, petition drives, guest speakers who are politicians etc. if the 501c3 wants to go down that path.

    Of course, it also excludes you from having a “whites only” church or some other non-public assembly so if that is your idea of what a church should be, then by all means, avoid the 501c3.
    Some people think that by avoiding 501c3 that they no longer are under the various laws of government having to do with public safety and so forth. Wrong.

    And as one who pastored a church that was not a 501c3, I can assure you once there are some assets, there is a world of trouble – the likes of which blogs like this often report. Our church was small, owned nothing, and just rented a place on Sundays so it worked. The church I pastor now would have a world of problems if not a 501c3

  41. The NT assumes some things foreign to our current culture.
    It assumes that all believers will be part of a local fellowship.
    It assumes that participation in that fellowship is absolutely vital to believers and exclusion from it would be considered utterly tragic.
    It assumes that exclusion from the body would bring such grief at the loss as to lead to repentance…and it demands that upon that repentance that the sinner be brought back into fellowship.
    It assumes that the state of ones soul is the most important thing to the believer.
    It is almost impossible to use the power and grace of excommunication today.

  42. Michael @ 42 – Home Run. Said what I’ve hinted at, and tried to think through. That is it exactly.

  43. agree with Josh @ 43 re: Michael’s 42 and add that the failure to value/cherish the fellowship of the church isn’t only a failure by the individual believers, but is a structural failure of the fellowships themselves. It’s not just a person who lacks the desire for (as Michael perfectly said) God’s prescribed power and grace, it’s the people who meet together corporately and empty the fellowship of functional power and grace by apathy, ignorance or willful manipulation for selfish gain.

  44. One thing that feeds that beast is the seeker mindset. We’ve taught people that church is about ME. My wants, my needs, my desires, my tastes. Obviously, it should be about God. What does He want? What does He desire?
    When you fundamentally miss the mark like that, you make it very easy for the attender to say, I don’t like the carpet color here, I’m going elsewhere. If people will happily walk out over the carpet color, style of music, length of sermon, or whatever…how are you then supposed to tell them that excommunicating them is a big deal?

    We DO need to re-grasp the Biblical idea of church, but we can’t start with church discipline. We must first regain the very fundamental idea that church is about God, for God, and for His pleasure. That would take years to regain even in a single church. For excommunication to be effective, every church in town would have to be on board. Thus, I don’t think church discipline/ excommunication is gonna be valid in my lifetime.

  45. For this to work in America, Americans will have to discard their motto: “Ain’t nobody gonna tell ME what to do.”

  46. Steve Wright. I may be making things convoluted in my own mind, but I cannot figure out what you are saying here:

    If a church does have membership, then I don’t think one can “leave” the church if they never first “joined” the church through membership.

    What do you mean someone can’t leave if they never joined through membership?

    Is it your opinion that people should become members of churches? If so, where is that in scripture?


  47. “Paul the Apostle is not a deity, his words are not deific and his example was often sinful and wrong and man’s imperfect attempts to live after Jesus, the True Logos, ascended.”

    What does it mean that man’s attempts ascended?

    Are you switching to Red-Letter only Christianity now?”

    …and that would be “bad”, why? 😉

  48. @ 47 – I think Steve was just agreeing with you. How do you excommunicate someone who is not a member? Seems silly.

    I do know that Steve’s church does NOT have membership.

  49. When participating in The Mass and taking “communion” (the sacrament of the Transubstantiated Eucharist) was the defining point of grace for the confessing liturgical church member, to be “excommunicated” would be the leverage the clergy could use to manipulate the believer.

    Kinda makes me say, “Hmmmmm…”

  50. I excommunicated myself a little over a decade ago and haven’t looked back.

  51. Julie Anne, it was part of a larger comment. If a church has membership there is an expectation of regular attendance (and I was a member at a church that had membership) – and it is certainly proper for the pastor to call a member he has not seen for awhile and ask where they are?

    But if that commitment does not exist, because the Christian has chosen NOT to become a member (for whatever reason) then how does the pastor know they have “left” the church and what would that even mean? That they are not going to show up anymore? Unless a formal notice is given to that intention, the church and pastor does not know – because a non-member may come and go, visit other places etc.

  52. #52 In my case, Steve, we were asked to not come back (we were going to leave anyway). If they hadn’t told us, they would have been able to tell pretty quickly we had left because I played the piano & sang weekly for praise and worship. The church only had around 100 people. When a family of 9 is missing, it is quite noticeable – that’s almost 10% – lol.

    I’m in a church now and have elected to not become a member. (I just received a generic letter from the church office pushing church membership and threw it away.) In many churches, it is pushed in a big way.

  53. Julie Anne, I guess I misunderstood the timeline about who said what when. 🙂

    And I imagine that would be quite a void – to lose 10% of the church! 🙂 Hard to miss that after a few weeks in a row.

    The funny thing to me (and this is not directed to you) is that the pastor and church leadership would have a non-member be so prominent in service. Like at our place, we don’t have membership, but we do require people attend for at least 6 months before they are allowed to serve in any capacity whatsoever.

  54. CK, I dunno. I think that the words of Jesus are perfect, not His followers (same as today). I’m not convinced that Paul the Apostle’s letters to the churches were meant to be equal to the literal Logos of God, even if Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Every guru today thinks they are Paul and filled with the Holy Spirit as well…and I don’t think any of their words are on par with God’s literal words (incarnate) nor do I think the example of any human, besides Jesus, is infallible.

    I think the paradox comes, largely, from deifying not only the bible but the followers of Jesus.

  55. For this to work in America, Americans will have to discard their motto: “Ain’t nobody gonna tell ME what to do.”
    ————————————————–
    Xenia’s point here is crucial.

    On the one hand, I think any church that someone would actually feel uncomfortable in inviting a guest (especially an unbeliever) is probably a church where that person needs to move on. No bomb throwing, just agree to disagree and split. Could be over a variety of reasons too. Doctrine sure. But what about political or cult jokes from the pulpit, or ripping on other Christians, or begging for money, or attendance contests and so on…

    On the other hand, it is truly disappointing to see how few people (especially in evangelical circles) are able to hear a “No” to their request (or sometimes, their demand). Even when a detailed explanation is given as to why the “no” is stated, too often that first “no” is enough to drive them to another church with their nose out of joint – and all the prior weeks or months (or years) of praise about how great the church is all goes out the window.

  56. Steve, I know a group of people- can’t really call them friends- whose main joy in life seems to be sitting on the edge of their pews every Sunday morning daring the preacher to say something they don’t agree with. These kind of people will never submit to any kind of church authority, ever. They are a law unto themselves.

  57. < Like at our place, we don’t have membership, but we do require people attend for at least 6 months before they are allowed to serve in any capacity whatsoever.

    I agree with you 100%, Steve. I guess part of this was the KoolAid I was drinking and also my natural desire to help when there is a need. I’ve been an accompanist since a kid – whoa over 40 yrs now – and there was definitely a need there so I stepped in to help (and keep my skills up). I regret that now. Looking back, I get what was going on. This pastor is all about “looking good.” When he saw that I was an accomplished pianist, he wanted me because it made him and his church service (music aspect) look good. In fact, we were attending 2 churches at the same time for about 6 months and he had me playing piano even while we still had our feet in the door at the other church. That was wrong on his part (and mine).

    At our next church, I started involving myself musically about a year after we got there and knew it was a healthy church that we could grow in. I had learned from my previous experience. Also, I’m aware that to have a physical presence front and center week after week implies an important commitment and connection with the church body. It was wrong to take a position like that without that kind of commitment. Always living and learning . . .

  58. Julie Anne, thank you for understanding and hearing my post. To repeat, I do not see the fault as yours, but with the pastor and leadership. One can’t let need trump relationship if one is the overseer of the local church. You just wanted to help. We have people like that too, fall in love with the church after 3 weeks and seek to volunteer and I encourage them to just worship for six months. Hang out for coffee, get to know people, don’t worry about “serving” – People understand, if they are legit.

    And frankly, this is how much child abuse does take place in churches. There is almost always a need for help in the childrens ministry, and so some guy shows up and smiles for 3 weeks, drops the fact that “at my last church I worked the childrens ministry, do you guys need anyone here” and in many places he is in. No background check, nothing.

    If ever some secret pedophile shows up at our place, he finds out quickly he won’t even be considered until he shows up faithfully for six months, and then AFTER that we do a background check and then AFTER that we might let him be an aide with one of our other adults always present…..that alone tends to keep a lot of the bad guys away. THEN the established procedures that nobody, no matter how long they have been coming, is allowed alone with a child, allowed behind a closed door etc.

  59. Steve – I agree with you that the primary onus should have been on church leaders in my situation. However, I do wish I had my creepo meter engaged because that should have sent red flags for me, but it didn’t.

    Glad to hear you have those kinds of safeguards in place for children’s ministry workers.

  60. I went to the dentist today for my normal 6 month teeth cleaning (4 months in my case because of coffee staining), this is a very professional office with very high ratings, a father and 3 sons with multiple offices, everyone who works there are all Mormons, anyway they are very professional, very good at what they do (all of them) from the person at the reception desk to the hygienist to the dentists. The dentists are very well connected with others in the dental field as they are Mormons also, who are also very good at what they do, very high rated. Anyway they all smile and are very cordial, answer all questions as best as they can, yet they seem to lack real concern, kind of like we are good and you need to fit into our business, kind of makes me think I’m there to serve them not we are hear to serve you. When they answer my questions it reminds me of a scripture your lips praise me but your hearts are far from me. Hope I never let them down.

    You can punch all the dots have all the bases covered and miss the mark.

    Well my teeth are really clean, but I would rather have people that care about me more than punching the right dots and having high ratings, it’s just so hard to find.

  61. I want to say that I am very impressed with Julie Anne in this thread. You certainly don’t need my approval, but I think it is very healthy the way you’ve spoken honestly in this thread about your own mistakes in the situation, and how you are learning from that. You were obviously wronged by the church, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, but we cannot control another person’s actions. We can only control our own, so to continue to learn and develop into a better person, even when the other parties are acting awful, is very admirable.

  62. Steve wrote
    “On the other hand, it is truly disappointing to see how few people (especially in evangelical circles) are able to hear a “No” to their request (or sometimes, their demand). Even when a detailed explanation is given as to why the “no” is stated, too often that first “no” is enough to drive them to another church with their nose out of joint – and all the prior weeks or months (or years) of praise about how great the church is all goes out the window.”

    Believe it or not Steve but “NO” can come from a congregant saying it to a pastor in a healthy church. But I know of no CC pastor that is willing to be corrected by a congregant let alone a fellow elder in any meaningful way. I think some of the better CCs have bylaws that require 2 or 3 elders to discipline the senior pastor but I have never seen it happen. However, my understanding is that most senior pastors can get rid of any elder at will. In addition there is usually no congregation involvement at all. Your comments are biased from a senior CC pastors point of view and leave no room for a CC pastor to be corrected in any meaningful way by the congregation or the elders. A Moses Model pastor is in charge of his church and can NEVER be told NO by anyone without the implicit threat of retaliation. A CC senior pastor is the only one with power to ultimately say NO in a CC church. People need to understand this and the implications of it.

  63. Thank you. Yea, I’m a work in progress and don’t know if I’ll ever fully arrive. And that’s ok as long as there is forward momentum. What was destructive for me and my family was the complacency in thinking that we had arrived. That attitude is proud and allows no room for improvement/criticism.

  64. Andrew, why go there? ..

    My comments have NOTHING to do with CC affiliation. Do you think that pastors of all denominations don’t on occasion, have to say “NO” to someone in the church? Half of our people here go to churches where the pastor can choose to say “NO” to the offering of the Lord’s Table!

    I sometimes think people see a CC pastor and someone like Julie Anne having a respectful healthy conversation and they just can’t stand it and have to jump in to start a foodfight.

    (And note to Julie Anne – I fully second what Josh wrote and have appreciated our little discussion here)

  65. Steve said.
    “Andrew, why go there? ”

    I thought the topic was about church discipline. Is this off topic or something?

    “Do you think that pastors of all denominations don’t on occasion, have to say “NO” to someone in the church?”

    I will answer you question with a question. Should not all pastor of all denominations also have to accept the answer of “NO” occasionally from someone in the church?

  66. thought the topic was about church discipline. Is this off topic or something?
    ————————————————
    Did you post something about the topic of church discipline? Or did you just paste my words, ignore their point, and rip on all couple thousand Calvary Chapels in the common stereotypical manner?

    If you have instruction on how a church should practice discipline against a member, I for one would love to read your take.

    And posting a 2nd unrelated question is not the same as “answering a question with a question’ – it is just typical unprofitable internet strife and I’m not going to participate more in it.

    People tell the pastor ‘No’ all the time, in a variety of ways and contexts. I’m guessing you have done it a lot.

  67. Steve,

    In lieu of your friendly dialog with Julia Anne, I would just love for you to answer the first part of her number 16 which you seemed to have conveniently ignored.

    “I think first we need to establish the biblical precedent for excommunicating. What is the criteria?”

  68. Andrew! Glad to see you back. 🙂

    Anyone can tell any pastor “no”. Any adult anyway. Nobody can force you to do anything. Now, there is a pattern of submission ( yes, mutual) needed if there is to be spiritual growth. But yeah, any pastor says “Hey, come to church tonight! I mean it!”. All you gotta say is “No.”

  69. Josh,
    Thanks for the welcome back. I agree the mutual submission does lead to spiritual growth as my wife and I have a wonderful relationship with our pastor. He was at our bible study the other day and he really got to see the fruit of our labors which was wonderful.

  70. That’s great to hear! So glad you are finding growth in your current fellowship.

  71. Julie Anne was answering a question, and did so well. My views pretty much accord with Michael above, and my comment that you responded to was along those lines. I’ve never excommunicated anyone so I am not the expert to discuss that with…

  72. I didn’t expect our pastor to come to our small home fellowship since he is an extremely well know pastors in some circles but he did and I am glad he did. I think he is a humble man.

  73. I believe Andrew does bring up a couple of good points:

    For church discipline to be effective in a clergy/laity system, wouldn’t the congregation need assurance and trust the Elders are acting patiently, responsibly and without favoritism.

    And trust the Elders are also teachable and open to correction.

    Some elders and forms of government do not give much assurance.

  74. If you don’t think your elders are biblically qualified to exercise church discipline…then you need to find a different church.
    Pretty simple, actually.

  75. Michael,
    We didn’t have any elders or a pastor in our church until last year. I would hate to leave the church I have come to know and love if we happened to somehow get a bad guy in our congregation. I think it might be worth it to stay around and fight if this ever were to unfortunately happen to us. I pray it doesn’t.

  76. Look, my point about people accepting a “no” has to do with stuff like

    a) Can we have a big petition drive for Proposition XYZ
    b) Can you announce XYZ before services – it will only take about 5 minutes
    c) Can we use the sanctuary for XYZ
    d) Can my child do his/her fundraising for special cause XYZ
    e) Can I sing next week in the praise band?

    and so forth and so on….I always give reasons, and those reasons are not rooted in my “inner dictator” but in what is best for the entire church of God. And when the church is several hundred each week, there is something known as precedent, and so to be fair to ALL, and not just pick and choose favorites, we have some standards that I typically am the one to explain when someone gets their nose out of joint…I try to do with a smile on my face, explain why, with encouragement as appropriate, but if the other person insists on how ‘other churches’ do this for us, or how Jesus would want us to do this, or just general arguments, at some point you smile and say “I’m sorry the answer is still no”

    (You’ve either experienced this tightrope or you haven’t)

  77. Steve,
    This isn’t really about church discipline or excommunication but since you have brought it up i will address a typical concern.

    A church may have a van to carpool people. One group may want to use it to transport the elderly to and fro church. Another group may want to use it to transport some handicapped adults from the church. Both groups can’t have it their way. So who decides? To me this is a classic example where both groups have legitimate needs and showing favoritism I believe is forbidden in the bible. I don’t think this should be decided by one person but every group or person’s legitimate need should be considered.

  78. Andrew, I can’t relate to that specific issue as we have no such van. But it seems to me that if the van is purchased “to carpool people” as you wrote, then I assume there was a ministry that was priority. However, in your example, I don’t see the difference between picking up and dropping off the elderly or the handicapped. Why can’t both be served?

    In other words, wise leadership would seek to accommodate all. If the story was changed some where the usage was in true conflict, then I suppose a large measure would be given to the ministry that was first using the van, rather than a 2nd ministry who asks to use what is an unavailable van. Sort of like when someone asks to start a ministry, use a room that already is occupied with a prior ministry – it is not “showing favoritism” to tell someone the room simply is not available at the date and time. Then like I said, seek to accommodate with a different time.

    I don’t know that this rises to the level of Solomonic wisdom, but more just common sense. However, rest assured, if there is some sort of legitimate ministerial conflict, all parties, plus the pastor, assistants, Board or whoever else is relevant should be (and will be) brought into the mix to solve it.

  79. Andrew,

    How do you have a church without elders?
    I don’t see that in Scripture…

  80. Andrew (and everyone else who loves the stereotypes)

    We had a decision involving someone that the Board needed to vote upon. We have never had a vote that was not unanimous. People hear that and they assume they are all my yes men (and one woman). Wrong.

    In this case, though I was somewhat on the fence, I was a yes, the rest of the Board expressed their concerns and felt a No was appropriate. So I changed my vote to No, so we would be united.

    Then I was the one to contact the person and give the news. Not as “Wow, I was in there fighting for you but the rest of the Board outvoted me” but as saying that we all voted No. So I alone got the earful in return as this person was obviously upset.

    And of course the person left the church immediately….(though has since returned)

    If I do say so myself, this is the sort of leadership I would expect from pastors. On multiple levels

  81. Steve,
    The elderly may be very wealthy and their tithe money very much appreciated. The handicapped on the other hand maybe very needy and socially embarrassing.

    Anyhow, this relates to a real life story at my previous church. The van was occasionally used by the men’s group for men’s group activities. For instance it was used by the men to transport only a select few handpicked men that were friends with the leader on a trip to Atlantic City for entertainment purposes. I was part of the men’s group at the time but I guess I wasn’t in the inner circle of 10 that that van could accommodate. To me this was a misuse of church property for this type of entertainment and favoritism.

  82. “How do you have a church without elders?
    I don’t see that in Scripture…”

    I didn’t say it was ideal or good but are you saying we ceased to be a church when the previous pastor left?

  83. The elderly may be very wealthy and their tithe money very much appreciated. The handicapped on the other hand maybe very needy and socially embarrassing.
    —————————————————-
    Well for starters, this is why people who make such decisions should not know how much money people give. I insist on not knowing anything about that, ever. And I don’t.

    Sure, sometimes it can be rather obvious if someone has money. So assuming that is the case, as pastor, if we truly can’t serve them both with the van, I make sure we take care of the handicapped person first. I would think that is obvious. The rich guy can take a cab if necessary, but hopefully we can find someone to give him a ride too.

    As to your Atlantic City story, of course that was a misuse of church property. Again, seems rather obvious.

    My question to you is if you WERE invited (and someone else left out of this trip) if you would have protested anyway and declined the invitation. (You don’t have to answer – no way of telling anyway except God knows)

  84. Steve,
    They justify the trip to Atlantic City because it was a time for the guys to bond and form relationships with each other. I am not sure if I would have protested if I was invited. I have never mentioned this concern until now. If I went I probably would have played some poker or slots, eaten way too much at buffet and have gotten in trouble. Just saying…..

  85. You know Andrew, it’s funny how in God’s providence, it seems He let you be excluded from this trip and it was an eye-opener of an example of something wrong in the church. Yet, if you had been invited and gone along, you would not have had the same opportunity for this lesson. You would have been part of the problem so to speak, and not part of the solution.

    And that was wrong. Brothers can get together from church and they have every right to decide who they want to join them or not, but they just can’t use church property that belongs to everyone and not invite everyone.

  86. Andrew,

    No, you didn’t cease to be a church in the transition.
    I was just seeking some clarity.

  87. That was a weird church Andrew. Look at my # 45. I think church sponsored gambling trips would be way more along the line of “What do I want” rather than “what does God want”.

  88. Steve,
    This happens all the time in many churches. I am not saying it all bad. Should men and women have separate groups that each use church facilities or rooms or should all groups be made available to anyone?

  89. Josh,
    In all fairness to the church, I didn’t say it was a sponsored gambling trip. It was a bonding trip for the men but it was never advertised. I am not really sure what they did and since it was not an advertised church trip. It definitely was not a missions trip but they did use the church van. It was pure entertainment. I just heard about it afterwards. I agree with most of your #45.

  90. Andrew, there are different ministries of a church, youth, men’s women’s whatever. And it certainly is proper to have church property used only for those ministries.

    And likewise, if the men’s ministry is doing something, there is not necessarily an obligation (in a large church) for all men not part of that ministry to be invited.

    The difference I see is that this sounds like some guys in the men’s ministry, decided to do something without inviting all the men’s ministry. Or of it was not even the formal men’s ministry, then all the more a problem to just have a few men decide they need to bond and then take the church van to do so.

  91. I probably should also add that there can be maximum numbers allowed too. Maybe the invite goes to all but there are only 50 spots available for something….that sort of thing.

    Bottom line is the church property needs to be used for church business. And where I sit and my concern for liability, I would want the church van (if we had one) driven as limited as possible, with as few eligible drivers as possible, and only as necessary. Even with good insurance you’re still risking the assets of the church everytime that van hits the road.

  92. Steve,
    I actually drove the van a few times. Another trusted guy would just go to the office and pick up the keys and off we were. I was helping him with some of the inner city kids. I questioned him a few times about this but he had no problem picking up young kids from a very bad neighborhood without any of the parents permission and transporting to another very bad neighborhood in Philadelphia for ministry. I have to admire this guys heart to take such a risk to help these kids but WOW this is asking for liability problems.

  93. At least that sounds like a good use of the van – helping those kids. You know, if we think so much about liability concerns we will freeze and probably decide to just never open the church. 🙂

    Like with everything, there is a balance. We try to put some common sense precautions when the conern is the possibility of something going wrong and getting sued. Of course, when the concern is protection for our own, especially the children, we are much stricter with the rules and regulations.

  94. Steve,
    Its ironic because when it came to other peoples kids, they were willing to take huge risks since most of those kids didn’t have parents that cared but when it came to kids of parents in the congregation it was a completely different standard.

  95. Yeah, that one is tough to swallow. Hard to justify caring more for the protection of one kid over another just because one kid is a church kid and the other isn’t.

  96. “How should a church react if one of its members decides the Trinity is unbiblical and begins making that view known throughout the church with no intent of receiving correction?”

    How should Christians react when the Senior Pastor of their church says Jesus isn’t in the Godhead but when He will returns Jesus will rejoin the Godhead? I’d say that they should avoid a church like that like the plague.

  97. Excommunication is Scriptural and proper. It’s one of the marks of the church that they practice church discipline. It has always been messy since our inclination is to just ignore problems and tell the abused that they need to forgive their abuser. We don’t like conflicts and discipline is conflict city…

  98. Mrtundraman,

    The situation you mention sounds like it may not even be correct to call this a church.

  99. This being said, it is very hard to make church discipline work when the person can just go down the street to another non-denominational church.

  100. Andrew, that church is Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and I’d call it a cult.

  101. MTM, I was not aware they said that but doesn’t surprise me.

  102. See….Andrew and I, having a nice conversation, good interchange, very civil, building that bridge of friendship all day (and I have greatly enjoyed conversing with you, Andrew. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. The day did not end as it begun for either of us)

    But Tundra, can’t stand to see such things. Comes in throwing his anti-CC hate, which as Michael shared in the TGIF, apparently goes back almost 20 years or so to the Usenet days.

    Fast forward those years to our present day – compare the change and growth between the two men. (And yes, the doctrine of forgiveness is critical for both)

    Tundra may have been the pioneer for blogs critical of churches, but Michael has blazed a much better trail.

  103. Well I am heading off to our bible study. We will be studying the Healing of the Officials son in gospel of John. All have a good night.

  104. Have a great Bible study, Andrew. God bless!

  105. “See….Andrew and I, having a nice conversation, good interchange, very civil, building that bridge of friendship all day (and I have greatly enjoyed conversing with you, Andrew. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. The day did not end as it begun for either of us)”

    See Andrew and I were having a great conversation too. Discussing the thread and what do about a pastor who teaches heresy. How could a Christian deal with that? Particularly in a church where there’s no way to remove a heretical pastor. Sure they can kick out a disruptive attendee – in handcuffs – but they won’t lift a finger to remove a pastor who teaches heresy – or even question him.

    “But Tundra, can’t stand to see such things. Comes in throwing his anti-CC hate, which as Michael shared in the TGIF, apparently goes back almost 20 years or so to the Usenet days.”

    But Steve can’t stand to hear the name of his leader taken in vain. He has to react with hatred and enmity towards those who tell the truth. He will never speak to the actual quote Chuck Smith made:

    “The Father was not put in subject to the Son, but the Son willingly to the Father. Now, when this purpose is accomplished then Jesus will once again take His place in the Triune Godhead. And no longer will there be that, uh, position of a little lower than the angels, but now returned in the glory and as he prayed Father, glorify me with the glory I had with thee before the world ever was. When God said “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness”. And so, uh that’s the way that things are going to progress until there is just one God, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ruling over the universe. All things then in subjection to Him. That God may be all and in all.”

    Instead of actually dealing what what is an abominable quote Steve has attack the messenger.

  106. Steve wrote “Fast forward those years to our present day – compare the change and growth between the two men. (And yes, the doctrine of forgiveness is critical for both)”

    Wow, Steve… Judge much???

  107. Why all the repeated personal attacks Steve? I don’t attack you personally…

  108. mrtundraman @ 97

    Taken from my #21 “How should a church react if one of its members decides the Trinity is unbiblical and begins making that view known throughout the church with no intent of receiving correction?”

    MTM @ 97 How should Christians react when the Senior Pastor of their church says Jesus isn’t in the Godhead but when He will returns Jesus will rejoin the Godhead? I’d say that they should avoid a church like that like the plague.

    Here is the rest of my #21 ” How Should doctrinal matters be addressed for the protection of the church while looking towards correcting/restoring the aforementioned individual? Is there a time that a parting of the ways needs to take place??”

    MTM, You’re on record over the years and currently that Chuck Smith in his present state will end up in hell if he doesn’t repent of his false teachings. In an earlier discussion here I asked you the same of Greg Laurie but you wouldn’t answer yes or no instead choosing to ask me questions which I responded to.

    You believe CCCM is a cult. You suggested on Believe’s blog people might want to protest/carry signs at the Harvest Crusades.

    In recent personal experiences with you you have totally misrepresented me on Believe’s blog. Now here I ask a question about doctrinal matters in regards to protecting the church with the intent of correcting and restoring the individual. That covers all churches but you feel the need to make it about Chuck Smith. You can present your arguments about Chuck until the cows come home but I believe you are walking on very thin ice to judge his eternal destiny because of some comments he has made that you see as heretical.

    Do I think Chuck is perfect? No. Could he have handled Believe’s situation better? Yes. Did he mess up on 1981? Yes. Does CC as a whole have issues. Yes. Are there scores of CC’s that don’t have issues? I believe there are.

    Steve Wright has been man enough to stick around while undergoing untold numbers of personal attacks. He puts himself out there knowing some despise him. He is by no means some sort of saint but he has earned his stripes. He’s a CC guy and a perfect target for you.

    There’s a lot of ammo for you that I just stated. Fire away.

  109. E,
    Don’t argue with MTM. This is a man who has 2 Masters degrees, much learning in the original languages and has studied Church history to it’s fullest. This is a man who is correct, for no other reason than his credentials – ask him.

    You can’t win with MTM – Steve W is wrong, not by his words but because of his association.

  110. Still strutting around and knocking over the chess pieces, MLD?

  111. erunner claimed “In recent personal experiences with you you have totally misrepresented me on Believe’s blog.”

    How so? And if I did that there, why bring it here?

    Also, why do you always keep trying to cause a fight with me an Michael? He has repeatedly told you to stop. I am sure you will say you are just standing up for Michael but if he chooses to put the past behind us, what business is that of yours? Other than that you’d like to see me gone from here, that is.

  112. MTM, If I had the ability to quickly find my posts on Believe’s blog I’d gladly show the examples. I brought it here because I don’t trust you and I’m afraid you’ll use this blog to continue to make your not so subtle points about CC.

    In the middle of last month I became involved in a thread where part of Larry Taylor’s booklet re associate pastor’s was being discussed. I entered the dialogue to let people know that Larry had regretted writing what he did and is no longer the same man today as he was when he wrote what he did.

    The moderator there thanked me for my contribution and footnoted the article to let people know that booklet doesn’t reflect Larry today. She then asked if I could link a few articles he wrote for me that I shared on my blog.

    What were your final words about Larry not being the same now as he was then? “It really doesn’t matter.” The moderator in the next post said it did matter and explained why.

    You expressed nothing positive for the changes Larry has made. He was CC after all….

    I’m not trying to cause a fight between you and Michael. He’s told me to stop twice and I won’t bring up the stuff you blogged any more.

    What I don’t like is you being all over Steve Wright, stating CCCM is a cult, holding that Chuck Smith is not a believer and pretty much saying the same of Greg Laurie.

    I actually enjoyed the dialogue between you and Xenia and thought it was fruitful. You have so much positive stuff you could contribute but you seem to be unable to refrain from all things CC. Maybe one day you will tone it down.

  113. ERunner. I remember that exchange there, but I don’t see that I have misrepresented you in any way there. T have misrepresented you I would have had to make a claim that you said something which you actually didn’t say. And you don’t seem to have any reason to have made that charge against me so I will ask you to kindly withdraw that charge, seeing as how it is unsubstantiated. I am prepared to forgive you for your false charge, are you prepared to admit your false statement about me?

  114. MTM, The example I gave was to demonstrate your attitude towards anything related to CC. It was negative even in light of me demonstrating Larry is a different man whose life is dedicated to helping the suffering.

    To show you the examples of misrepresentation I would have to wade through all of the archives there which is quite time consuming. The misrepresentations are there.

    I will apologize for not showing an example of misrepresentation as that is only fair. My statement is not false though and if I have to dig through the archives I will. That would take time but they are there.

  115. ERunner I thought Christians weren’t supposed to make false accusations?

  116. ERunner, How can I forgive you if you think you did nothing wrong?

  117. MTM, It’s clear this is more a form of entertainment for you than anything else. I will provide you what I have described and then you may respond. Not that I expect it to accomplish anything though……

  118. I am fairly confident I have never represented you. If I have, I will apologize. It is more likely that I mocked you rather than misrepresenting you.

  119. erunner,
    You said “MTM, It’s clear this is more a form of entertainment for you than anything else.”
    That’s what I’ve been thinking.

  120. I’m calling this.
    I do not believe in posting things cross blog…I’ve never liked it when it went the other way and I don’t like it here.
    I won’t post threads from other blogs.
    Erunner has nothing to prove …he’s been a personal friend for years and a big part of this blog.
    This dispute ends…now.

  121. Erunner has nothing to prove
    —————————————
    Understatement of the week….maybe the whole year.

  122. Michael, I’ve had issues with MTM since I arrived here seven years ago. I know the problems that created here in the past as you had to intervene several times.

    And it appears nothing has changed since then. I have my convictions and try to be true to them. I’m clearly failing and it puts you in a terrible position and probably bores others to tears while others wonder why I just don’t leave things alone.

    MTM…. we only know one another via the net and it’s quite possible there’s more to each of us than what appears in cyberspace. I will try to avoid this type confrontation in the future for the benefit of all involved. Maybe I need to take a look at myself and do an inventory when it comes to my dealings with you. I regret this whole episode.

  123. E, you are a man who knows grace. Thanks for your example.

  124. How can you not love this man! (erunner I mean)

  125. Sorry for being a fly-by-night….I’m a long-time lurker and seldom poster…..but definitely a fan of the PP and erunner…

  126. When you’ve tried to connect with someone and they treat you this way, the best thing to do for yourself, for them, and for others, is to completely ignore them. Don’t even tell them you’re going to ignore them. That gives them the opportunity to grow up or leave quietly. Not to mention it drives them nuts.

  127. Oh, wait a minute. That would be a form of excommunication. 😉 😉 😉

  128. Ha ha! PP excommunicated someone from this church. Hee hee Sometimes I crack myself up.

  129. I think Tundra is sincere, I wouldn’t be so quick to judge him. E’s a good-hearted dude but we all have our opinions on things and we all think we’re right. Tundra’s a bulldog, it’s his personality. He has a pretty consistent angle in what he appeals to and usually presents a well-though-out position and very persistently. He’s much nicer about it than I used to be.

  130. All I know is what I read in the paper. I saw someone pushing without cause. Don’t know any more than that.

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