On Church Censure - a brief explanation
We believe that Jesus Christ reconciled us to God the Father and to one another. Because of the fall and our sin nature, sometimes conflict happens between two members of the church. When an offense cannot be overlooked and when the parties cannot resolve the issue between themselves, scripture calls members of the body of Christ to go to the church leadership to help resolve things in light of the gospel of grace.
Perimeter has a well thought out plan to help people through Spiritual Care Process under the direction of the Shepherding Department and Reconciliation Ministry Team.
Occasionally, even after counsel, prayer and encouragement, one party refuses to resolve the conflict in a biblical way and to reconcile. It is at that time that church discipline happens. If one party refuses to repent and/or reconcile, the elders of the church are required to use the means given to the church to protect its peace and purity and to bring the erring member to an understanding of truth and love. In few cases, because of continued willful refusal to engage in the process and refusal to turn from sin, the church is forced to censure an individual.
Censure may take the form of suspension from the Lord's Table. Basically, the church is barring a person from the body of Christ as experienced in communion. It is hoped that, if the individual is in Christ, the Spirit within them will so long for the Lord's Table that they will repent and move to reconciliation.
Censure may also take the form of excommunication. In this case, the church is removing the individual from church membership and treating the member as a non-believer. Again, the heart of the censure is to move the individual to repentance, believing that if the Spirit is resident, the individual will be reclaimed.
Church censure is not to be taken lightly. Our prayer is that it is used by the Holy Spirit to restore those who have been overwhelmed by sin that they might be renewed in Christ.
Scripture calls us to tell the church when censure has happened. We do not release names, except to those who need to know. We encourage the congregation to pray with us for those who are under censure, that they may repent and be restored and we may rejoice and give glory to God. If you have questions, please contact Randy Schlichting.