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Ellen

The Pillars of the Faith

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Ellen

As I am preparing the lesson for next Sabbath I am thinking the answer to the questions about what we should disfellowship or sanction a member for is that we must all believe in the pillars of our faith.

So I am trying to limit them to the shortest possible list. 

We can all be united but not all agree on every thought the stories of the Bible puts in our heads.

Disfellowshipping a member is practicaly non-existant here.  The last members we dropped from the list asked to be removed.  Some of them we didn't want to remove them but had to respect their requests.

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

I do not equate the so-called "pillars of the faith," with the standards that apply to whether or not a person remains a member.

Historically, dating back to the 1800s and the time of EGW the following were the five doctrines that were the pillars of the faith:

*  Sanctuary

* Second advent

*  Soul sleep

* Spirit of Prophecy

*  Sabbath

The so-called 27/28 were never intended to be the arbitrator of who should be a SDA member.

The standards for member ship are laid out in the so-called 13 Baptisimal vows.

The SDA denomination today is divided as to whether congregations exist to be places where people on a spiritual journey can grow, or whether our congregations exist for people who have arrived as a specified plane of spiritual existence.;  The answer to your question will likely depend upon which of these views you want to support.

If you agree with the first, you will likely expel form membership very few people and then mainly when they no longer wish to be a member.  In one congregation I pastored, we did not expel any person, outside of a determined wish to be removed from membership, if there was even one vote not to expel them.  I would first call for the negative vote.  If one person voted not to expel, we tabled the action and didn ot expel.

If you agree with the second, your task will be to define the   specific level of spiritual life that they must attain.  That may not be very easy?

 

 

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JoeMo

This is just my opinion, but for me, whether or not someone remains in the church is not a matter of faithfulness to all 28 Fundies as it is a matter of faithfulness in one's relationship with the Father and the Son; and relationship with your brothers and sisters (which take in several of the 28).  Given that, for me reasons for church discipline (up to and including disfellowship) are:

Quit believing in God/Jesus

Put anyone's writings on par with or above scripture

Chronic disruption of services

Adultery, murder, theft or other blatant public sin

Sabbath (for SDA's only; not for all Christians)

Salvation by grace and GRACE ALONE

Showing up to church "under the influence"

Our behavior (unless egregiously evil or dangerous) should not generally be a factor in membership (but may be a factor in less severe church discipline).  Most of us initially became Christians because we knew that somehow we were broken beyond our ability to help ourselves.  We realized that we don't just want a Savior, we NEED a Savior, or we are doomed.  Yes, the church may function as a sanctuary for the saints; but more than that, we should function as a clinic for sinners.  Remember the song "Just As I Am"?  If we are to come to Jesus just as we are, many of us are coming into Christ with baggage looking for sympathy, kindness, and grace - not punishment.

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Gregory Matthews

The "28" were never intended to be the standard for joining the SDA Church.

You seem to have stricter standards for discipline than I have.  As one example, would you really want to discipline someone who attended a church service under the influence?

 

 

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JoeMo

If they are so loaded that it is obvious; or if it is a frequent occurrence.  Maybe nothing beyond escorting them out of church for the week.

I do the same thing if someone is obviously "unfit for duty" at work.  First couple of times I send them home with a warning and advice to sleep it off. If there were to be a third time (there never has been), I would report that person to Employee Relations.  I'm not a tattle-tail; but I am a corporate cop; so it's my job.

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