Ready. Aim. Misfire?
There is a military term known as, friendly fire, which describes a situation when there is injury or accidental death from being fired upon by your fellow soldiers. War is horrific and tragic enough without someone’s baby not coming home from a bullet fired by a friend. It’s unimaginable! Likewise, in the Body of Christ, when a church member refuses to give up carnality, and goes without being disciplined, that guilty member can cause unnecessary loss. Church discipline requires a God given grace to execute properly but, it is still one of the hardest things to do, and we are ALL required to do it. Here are the best three reasons why the lack of discipline in the Body of Christ is catastrophic.
It Impedes Progress.
We’ve all heard the saying, “One bad apple spoils the bunch!” but, when it comes to a church lacking discipline, that “bad apple” is a soul that is impeding heaven’s agenda. How can one person have so much power? Free will. When we come to salvation; knowing Christ as Lord and Savior, we put on the new nature that Jesus freely died for but, we are still wrapped in flesh. We are like newborn babies with previous addictive habits that require intense rehabilitation and therapy. Just as an alcoholic holding on to his sobriety would never lick the cap of a beer bottle, a saved church member should never be allowed to flaunt their flaws.
Paul said, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:17 Saved folks are just sinners with the ultimate upgrade and when we forget our sobriety, our new nature, we will give in to all kinds of wickedness, bringing our fellow brothers and sisters down with us. It’s dangerous to let such behavior go unchecked!
It Wastes Grace.
Isn’t it unbearable for a person to be completely wrong AND have them shout it from the rooftops? An undisciplined church member can flaunt their sin and abuse the grace of God as He waits for them to repent. Just as we live our lives as lights to the world in order to inspire the lost to submit to the cross, we must practice the discipline of our church members, that they may be reminded of the price of Calvary. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)
We have gained salvation and redemption through the blood of Christ and it would behoove us to stay under His grace and in His love. Discipline reminds wayward members of the very cost of their lives and prayerfully restores them back into the fold.
It Questions Christ’s Credibility.
As the world watches for another fallen pastor and perverted priest to ruin God’s people’s reputation, our neglect to correct one another only adds to their contempt. What makes the church so different from the world when they are guilty of the same sin? Ouch! We are under the world’s microscope everywhere we go, every second of the day, and if we are too busy acting like the world, what exactly do they have to look forward to in salvation?
Romans 6:4says, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” We predicate our entire faith on the FACT that Christ rose from the dead, and it is the only reason we can live new lives in Him. When a church member is wrong and goes unchecked, it allows the world to scrutinize the resurrection of Christ. Aren’t those people suppose to be different, changed, and like Jesus?
Our beautiful brothers and sisters who serve in the military can contest that discipline ensures the safety and victory of battles. The Body of Christ can ensure the same when we put it into practice, with love and sound counsel. We all have assignments, missions, and purposes to fulfill, discipline allows us to stand united and confident, and that heaven’s agenda will be executed without the tragedy of friendly fire.