Plan Now to Attend the Tenth Annual ACELC Free Conference July 27th through the 29th at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eagle, NE. - "Christ For Us: Ecclesiastical Supervision"

July 27, 2021, 9:30 AM

Verse of the Day

Annual ACELC Free Conference
Ecclesiastical Supervision

July 27-29, 2021
Immanuel Lutheran – Eagle, NE

Register Now

The Binding Key:
The Lutheran Theology
of Church Discipline

Our culture tolerates nearly everything. Conforming themselves to the world, many churches have accepted this pagan doctrine of tolerance.

Even more concerning, congregations in our own Synod have followed suit. They preach acceptance instead of repentance. Open Communion is the norm. The vast majority of cohabiting couples sit impenitently in the pews without any admonishment or correction whatsoever. Many divorce with no grounds for divorce. And the list goes on. Yet, faithful pastors who do admonish, discipline, and excommunicate their members to bring them to repentance are considered to be unloving, intolerant, and rude. To many, church discipline is a thing of the past—an old, hateful, barbaric practice from medieval times that has no place in our churches. Much of the time, those called to repentance don’t repent - they simply leave the church and join another LCMS church with a pastor who won’t practice church discipline.

The common response I’ve heard from these pastors is that church discipline is legalistic. However, in this paper, I will argue that church discipline actually preserves the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins!

I look forward to presenting at the 2021 ACELC conference on Ecclesiastical Supervision. I will present on the Office of the Keys, specifically, the Binding Key. I will cover the Lutheran theology of church discipline, closed communion, and excommunication. Here are a few questions that I will address in my paper:

• What does the Bible say about the withholding of forgiveness?
• Is church discipline a mark of the Church?
• Are there different degrees of discipline?
• Whose responsibility is it to exercise discipline?
• What happens in the case of an unjust excommunication?
• How does the withholding of forgiveness relate to justification?
• Why have churches given up the practice?
• How should we move forward?

Register for this year’s ACELC Conference on Ecclesiastical Supervision at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eagle, NE. The Conference will be in person from July 27–29. Sign up here.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Rojas+
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Winter Garden, FL


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