The Church’s Role Of Policing It’s Members — McAtee Interacts with Rev. Bill Smith

Recently Rev. Bill Smith (CREC) wrote an article in the Kuyperian

Freedom of Speech?

suggesting that people should be held responsible in the context of possible church discipline for what they write on social media The idea is that when a member of a church writes something that would be a black eye on the church he is a member of, the Church ought to have the place to discipline that member if needs be.

Now, this certainly has merit as an argument. For example, if someone who is a member of a Church is writing something like, “People who homeschool their children are a stigma on the community and not responsible parents,” then obviously the Church officers need to deal with that issue, with formal church discipline even being a possibility.

However, having admitted that, one must consider the state of the Church today. For example, though Bill Smith is a fine chap, I would not want him policing what I write. I have, for example, inveighed against Federal Vision and Bill would likely find that to be something he and his Elders would need to talk to me about were I a member of the church Bill serves.

It’s simply the case today that the state of the Church is in such shambles that if one desires to have the ability to speak God’s hard truths (e.g. — Sending children to Gov’t. schools is sin, Federal Vision is heresy, R2K is heresy, Our Seminaries are Compromised, Christians are biblically required to resist our current tyrant State, illegal immigrants need to be deported, etc.) then one must go slow on agreeing with the premise of Rev. Bill Smith’s article.

If anything all Rev. Bill Smith’s article really teaches is that if you want to be able to speak your mind don’t become a member of a conservative Reformed Church because, exceptions notwithstanding, the conservative Reformed Church currently is only referenced as a “church” by way of courtesy.

Sure, if the Church was orthodox today, Rev. Smith’s insights would be spot on. But the Church is not orthodox (Rev. Smith is Federal Vision) and so, unless I am extraordinarily confident in the Church I might join — that it shares my Christian world and life view — I would not join a Church if I thought they were going to police my words.

To underscore this, I know of Reformed people who are political activists and they, for the reasons cited above, refuse to join Reformed Churches understanding that the political noses they are tweaking could well mean church discipline if one of those politicians picked up a phone and called the Minister of the Church they are a member of.

In brief, I suppose this can be summed up as,

1.) The Church is in disrepair
2.) Because of that they will go after those who are orthodox
3.) If you’re going to raise your voice don’t join even a conservative church
4.) UNLESS you’re absolutely certain they are on board w/ your controversial Christian positions.

If you disregard this counsel don’t come crying to me when your church threatens church discipline for not towing their post WW II consensus line.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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