Friday, December 19, 2008

Unclear on the concept, I think

A Florida woman, being told that her church was going to follow the final step of discipline of Matthew 18:17, has decided to work to "keep her privacy" by talking to Fox News and others. As if people at her church don't read the papers and watch Fox News.

I guess the pastoral staff at her church owe her a thank you for making her sin public and sparing them the trouble.

On the serious side, do pray for this hurting, confused woman, her boyfriend (ex?), and this church. These things do get ugly from time to time, and even if the church is completely in the right, things can get expensive if they lawyer up.


Anonymous said...

"Bottom line, on January they 4th they are going to the church publicly with my sins, and my children will be sitting in church at the time,” Hancock told"

Ummmmmm...she COULD keep them home that day. I mean, I'm a big one for "obey the Lord's command to worship on His day unless providentially hindered," but we're talking about someone here who is obviously not a stickler for obeying the Lord's commands. It's always interesting how people who are in the wrong will very frequently pick up on a minor side effect that is TOTALLY within their control to find a way to accuse the other side of doing something terrible. "Imagine! Humiliating the mother in front of the children!" As though there's NO aspect of this situation over which she has any control, right down to custody of her children and deciding whether or not they should be in that church on that day.

Ironies abound in this situation.

Anonymous said...

It does sound, though, as though this church is not a shining example of biblical restoration/discipline. The ladies' neighborhood watch/gossip society thing is particularly disturbing. However, we can't void attempts at discipline just because they're not always done right. It's unreasonable to hold up a standard of perfection in the execution of discipline, if the result is that no discipline will ever occur. Both sides have responsibilities here.

So it's a sticky situation all around. This is not a case of someone who was brought down by inaccurate gossip, but someone admittedly guilty of the very things of which she's accused, but the kind of gossipy approach to discipline being fostered could cause real harm in some other situation, and is not biblical.

Anonymous said...

OIC, the kids are legal adults. In that case, they probably already know what's going on, and if she doesn't want them to see her "humiliated," she could just warn them or ask them not to attend that day. Making this "about the children" when the children AREN'T even children, is just so twisted.

Bike Bubba said...

I'm thinking that the ladies' group was simply an attempt to bring the matter before a few more eyes before beinging the matter to elders. I would have to hazard a guess that this woman is merely lashing out against her former church, and this is simply a convenient spin.

And the kids thing--as if her just-grown kids aren't aware that she's been living in sin! They might be embarassed that THEY weren't the ones bringing the matter up to their mum, but please...

Anonymous said...

Okay, you have a point that her word on how things happened isn't trustworthy. If she's representing things fairly, the idea of someone who was not previously aware of the situation watching her house all night to see if she returned home is irredeemably bizarre, in my view. But she may have been exaggerating or misrepresenting what was said and what sort of people were involved. For example, if my close-knit circle of lady friends in my church came to know of something I had shared with one of them because she was deeply concerned about it, that would be one thing, but if were bandied about by a self-appointed group of morals police, some of whom I didn't have a close connection to, that would be something else, IMO. I'd rather see it go to the elders than random women in the congregation. While women are naturally the people you'd expect to be closest to such a situation, unconnected women probably should be farther removed than the elders from things that don't concern them directly.

We can't tell, especially given the untrustworthiness of the person reporting, which of these it was, or something else entirely.

Bike Bubba said...

You might be more comfortable with elders, but Matthew 18 merely says "two or three witnesses."

If it was 12, yes there was a problem. But two or three? No issue. Elders and the church are the next stage.

And I don't know that she's flat out lying--"spin" is probably overstating it--but the word of the aggrieved is not, Biblically speaking, authoritative.

Anonymous said...

What's so unfortunate is that through all of this she just doesn't get it. She runs off to the press to get some positive reinforcement, desperately pointing the finger at someone else, "It's not my fault. Look at them!" She couldn't even take responsibility for breaking up with the man or deciding not to break up with him. Even her inability to do that wasn't her fault. It was love's fault.

Come to think of it, what's even more sad is that this type of situation makes it that much tougher for a church to do what they are supposed to for fear of this kind of mess.

John said...

“I am very concerned about how it would affect them.”

Obviously she's not that concerned, or she would end the relationship. Not to mention, she evidently has very little fear of (and love for?) God if she remains unrepentant in the wake of church discipline.