Friendship Baptist situation
On Feb. 27, at a special church business meeting, the Friendship Baptist Church received the procedure for excluding a member from the church. The right of a church to exclude a member is commanded in Matthew 18:14-18. A procedure for excluding a member from the church is established in the “Hiscox Directory.” The 1984 constitution and bylaws of Friendship Baptist Church are consistent with the commandments of Jesus and Hiscox regarding the exclusion of a church member. The 2007 constitution and bylaws do not contain the commandments of Jesus and Hiscox regarding the exclusion of a church member. Christ commanded exclusion, which should be used only after a member refuses to obey and respect the will and vote of the church. Every effort is to be made to restore a member with love, forgiveness and compassion. Therefore, the three spiritual principles of exclusion as taught in Matthew 18:14-18, Hiscox, church discipline, and the 1984 Church Constitution are: fairness, compassion, and accountability.
Fairness means that the process is fair and the people who subject to exclusion are treated fairly. In the element of fairness, it is important that the entire church membership is thoroughly informed about the exclusion, given an opportunity to review the process of exclusion, and an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas about it. It is also important that the membership will be given proper notification about the date of the meeting when the church will actually consider the exclusion.
The element of fairness also means that persons will be notified and given an opportunity to come forth and make a presentation in defense of themselves. They will be made aware of the charges brought against them for exclusion and they will be given proper time and notice to bring supporting documents as a matter of defense. At the end of the day, it is important that the church feels that the entire procedure was handled fairly: opportunity for input in the process, notification of the meeting, and the vote that leads to exclusion or non-exclusion of the members. Compassion very simply means that a person will have an opportunity to acknowledge his or her error.
— Grandy323 From www.LansingCityPulse.com