Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I think the title says it all. Are there rules/guidelines for Church Discipline for members of the Church that are blatantly involved in adultery?

Specifically, I'm referring to well-known, unabashed involvement, not a one-time or short-term slip up. Understanding that we are all human and all able to fall into temptation, I am not referring to a situation where a person falls into sin, and then repents. I'm talking about openly unashamed sinful behavior.

For example, a member becomes involved with a married man, becomes pregnant with his child, then works actively to break up the marriage, with no sign of a repentant spirit.

Without focusing on what we think ought to happen, I'm looking for a defined policy or set of guidelines, similar to the Catholic guidelines, or those found in other denominations?

share|improve this question
2  
Mary, I hope you don't mind, but I edited this to fit the site guidelines, leaving personal details out, but still ask the same basic question. –  David Stratton Jan 31 at 4:13
1  
Good edit @DavidStratton . Mary, this site focus on official doctrinal stances or positions, rather than what you might call Christian living. We have several types of questions that are always on-topic. After David's edit this question now is. –  fredsbend the Grinch Jan 31 at 16:37
    
Openly unabashed sinful behavior begins with a one time slip. That's where the JW disfellowship also begins. When you do something that calls for being disfellowshipped, you are expected to not communicate with those who have not been disfellowshipped. You can communicate to the elders that you wish to begin the process of repenting, but if you seem insincere they will let you know. So continuous badness will result in your continuous need to not communicate, and the elders will continue to tell you you're not ready to be accepted back until you cease these acts. –  Bubbles Apr 2 at 2:47

1 Answer 1

A simple answer to a simple question:

Is adultery grounds for excommunication or other discipline ...? ... I'm talking about openly unashamed sinful behaviour.

The answer is "Yes".

...and its called "disfellowshiping" instead of "excommunication".


Slightly extended...

By comments under your question and the obvious fact that this is a personal situation of yours that prompts you to ask, there are many circumstances which people run from that sort of discipline, and do seem to evade it. There are many circumstances where contending parties have different accusations and versions of a story. Obviously there is no divine revelation to reveal the true nature of what happened, so there is the obvious human limitations that keep things from getting solved.

With that in mind, many people successfully (seem to) evade discipline, but there is the simple fact that its not humans they are disobeying, or running from. Here is the more important thing:

Galatians 6:7 [Amplified Bible]:

7 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [a]by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and [b]that only is what he will reap.

Compare to Proverbs 6:27-29:

28 Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned?

29 So he who cohabits with his neighbor’s wife [will be tortured with evil consequences and just retribution]; he who touches her shall not be innocent or go unpunished.

Marriage is God's arrangement, and typically judged by God himself. Disfellowshipping is the least of one's fears when they are blatant and unrepentant in their course.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.