Constitution of Covenant Baptist Church
We, the members of Covenant Baptist Church, do ordain and establish the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
(Click on an Article below)
Article VI: CHURCH DISCIPLINE
Section 1: Purpose of Church Discipline
It is the God-given duty of every Church member, including Church staff and officers, to participate in and subject oneself to both formative and corrective church discipline. When biblically administered, church discipline is beneficial to both the individual and the church body. The ultimate goal of discipline is always restoration. But when principles from the Bible have been followed, in spirit as well as action, and restoration has not been achieved, separation is necessary (Matthew 18:15; 1 Corinthians 5:5-8; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Hebrews 12:15; Romans 2:23-24; 2 Peter 2:2; Revelation 2:2, 14-15, 20).
Section 2: Formative Discipline
Formative discipline is the practice of Colossians 3:12-16, particularly “[letting] the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” This is accomplished in the context of public worship and small group meetings, in which there are opportunities for prayer, teaching, preaching, encouragement, counseling, and the exercise of spiritual gifts for building up the body. We believe that the failure of members to participate in formative discipline leads to the necessity of corrective discipline.
Section 3: Corrective Discipline
A. Procedure for Discipline
i.Because every Church member is considered a minister, all members are encouraged to exhort and stimulate one another to love and good deeds. If a member (the restorer) has firsthand knowledge of another member (the offender) in sin (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-17; James 5:19-20), he should go privately to the offender and make an effort to restore him to fellowship with the Lord and His church. If the offender repents, the matter is over; the offender is restored.
ii.If the offender does not repent, the restorer is to take one or two other members to again confront the offender with his sin and again seek to restore him to fellowship and obedience. If the offender repents, the matter is over, the brother is restored. If the offender does not repent, the members who went to the offender shall advise the Elders of what has taken place. If the Elders are satisfied that all actions have been undertaken with scriptural motives and actions, and that the offender is indeed in a state of unrepentant sin, then the Elders shall inform the offender of the next step.
iii.If the offender remains unrepentant, then, at a special conference of the Church, the Elders shall inform the congregation of the offender’s sin and refusal to repent. The entire congregation shall be encouraged to go to the offender and seek to restore him. If the offender repents, the matter is over; the offender is restored.
iv. If the offender does not repent, he is informed by the Elders of the next step. At a special conference of the Church, the Elders shall inform the congregation of the offender’s refusal to repent and of their recommendation that the member be removed from the membership. Upon simple majority approval by the congregation, the member shall be excluded from communion, their name removed from the membership, and the entire congregation urged to avoid any social contact with the offender.
B. Procedure for Reinstatement
Should an offender, previously excluded by discipline, show by his attitude and actions that he has repented of his sin and is once again striving to live a life of obedience to Jesus Christ, upon his request, and by approval of the Elders, he will be reinstated as a member and joyfully restored and welcomed back into full fellowship.