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Excalibur's avatar

Discipline within evangelical churches seems to have become something of a concern for pastors. What are some of the legitimate means that pastors can use to discipline their flock?

Asked by Excalibur (331points) January 2nd, 2010

I am interested in the legitimate means that pastors and senior church members can use, if at all, to control and discipline their flock. I personally do not think that they should be employed. However, I have read that a return to discipline of what are perceived to be errant members is becoming increasingly popular amonst church leaders. Is this acceptable? And what instances, if any, should discipline be administered and how?

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15 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Your whole question is really creepy. Think about it. Why in the world should an adult have control and discipline over other adults? What about free will?

Excalibur's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I couldn’t agree with you more. But it is occuring in churches across the country and I found it troublesome. That is why I asked the question. Do these practises come under cult practises by any chance?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Gee, maybe they should look into the succesful practices of the Church of Scientology, which is quite evangelical. They have the Rehabilition Project Force (RPF), which is a system of slave labor camps in the desert in southern California and in the bowels of the old Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida. They even have work camps for kids. I hear it works — if the wayward aren’t completely rehabilitated, they certainly will keep their mouths shut and stop embarrassing the church — if it doesn’t kill them first.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

This is one of the reasons I find certain “religions” very scary. They seem to use scare tactics to keep their “flocks” in line. Pastors and senior church members need to lead by example and offer advice and direction to their parishioners .. not bully them.

Excalibur's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Oh my! What discipline! It’s enough to send chills down one’s spine.
@JustPlainBarb I totally agree with you Barb. So, what could one do when one comes across these bullies? I take it, there are no disciplinary measures for the pastor and senior church members? Or, are there?

JustPlainBarb's avatar

@Excalibur I have a feeling that the only recourse for the people being “bullied” is to leave the church. I try to feel sorry for people who fall into these traps, but actually they’re there on their own free will and allow themselve to be brainwashed sometimes. Not sure if anyone can help them if they don’t help themselves.

Excalibur's avatar

Thank you Barb. I think you’re right, although I believe that, just as we are allowed to take a faulty product back to a store, one should be allowed to return the ‘product’ sold by the church. But who would take on such a venture? A lawyer, perhaps?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It sounds like these churches are protracting the concept of Penance, which originally was punishment for sinning against the laws of God, to now mean sinning against the church. When the Catholic church took this stance, people protested this, among other things, and the Reformation began. These churches may be forgetting what protestantism is all about.

Why does one need a church to connect with God anyway? According to the tenets of Christianity, He is omnipresent. So, connect with Him. If you want to connect with people, join a book club. If you want to connect with people who happen to also be Christian, join a Christian book club.

HasntBeen's avatar

I think evangelical preachers should really put the “pedal to the metal” on the Discipline Question™. By all means, they should use whatever tactics are available to pressure, manipulate, control, and dominate the flock. This is perhaps the greatest thing they could do for these people to help them awaken to what they’ve fallen into. :)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Jeez, and here I was trying to be serious for a moment. How’s it going Stableboy?

jaketheripper's avatar

I think that positive pressure to conform (“hey buddy we do it this way, you should do it this way too”) or else disassociation are the only possible methods and even the latter seems difficult to execute while maintaining the original message (peace love etc…)

HasntBeen's avatar

Hello Corvus. I thought I recognized your caw :)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Kaaaafkaaaaaaa! Kaaaafkaaaaaaa!

mattbrowne's avatar

Disciplining their flock sounds to me like the belief in a frightening world replete with evil and ruled by an avenging God. I would rather look at values like love, kindness, respect and responsibility and the belief in a compassionate and merciful deity. The religious right has inflicted enough damage. It’s time for change.

Sandydog's avatar

In the NT the original churches or Ekklesia were communities who helped one another financially.
The concept of priests and revs and pastors only came in centuries later after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire.
In that context no “pastor” has any right to tell anyone else what to do

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