Church Discipline and Tom AscolIn this post, Brother Bob Ross pokes a big hole in Brother Tom Ascol's crusade for increased church discipline.
Is Brother Tom "really as serious about it as he portrays -- or, is this just an item he can use to bash Southern Baptist churches, especially the very large churches?"
Bob to Charles:
Of course you know, Charles, that Tom Ascol of the "Flounders" has been getting a lot of attention over what he calls "our need to recover our commitment to a regenerate church membership."
I don't suppose any Baptist -- especially a Pastor -- does not hope that all who are baptized and become members of the church are regenerate (born again). However, the more I think about Tom's crusade the more I wonder if he is really as serious about it as he portrays -- or, is this just an item he can use to bash Southern Baptist churches, especially the very large churches?
For instance, is Tom willing to "cover all the bases" with his disciplinary proposal, applying it to all categories of non-attending members, such as --
(1) Members who consistently, and for no good reason, do not attend Sunday evening services?
(2) Members who consistently, and for no good reason, do not attend midweek services?
The Scripture often quoted -- Hebrews 10:25 -- does not specify "assembling" merely for Sunday morning service. And it is not merely applicable to the "every-once-in-awhile" sorts.
So I wonder if Tom gives equal emphasis to those members who are skipping Sunday evening and Wednesday evening meetings? And does he apply this in his own church to all services?
I personally find that those who skip Sunday evening and Wednesday evening are more of "drag" on church morale than those who are simply "no shows" for any service.
My fellow pastors, we must be willing to lead our churches in these paths if we are going to be faithful to our Lord. Failure to do so is a failure of duty. It does not matter how loudly one proclaims his commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord or the Bible as His inerrant Word. If there is a blatant, ongoing neglect of the simple, plain teachings of our Lord regarding church membership (Matthew 18:15-18, for example), then Christ is being dishonored and His glory trampled.
Does this apply to midweek service and Sunday evening service? Or is it just applicable to Sunday morning service?