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January 25, 2008

Daily roundup

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Jason Taylor

Church discipline is one of the most difficult problems. While the church should not be unkind, equally there are certain types of behavior that cannot be tolerated. The thought of a Church with to much emphasis on discipline and to little are equally shocking. The first brings about a vision of judgmentalisms and petty obsession with easily seen but comparativly petty weakness to the exclusion of easily-hidden mortal sins("this train don't carry no gamblers, no high-toned women, no cigar smokers"). It is apparently permitted to be prideful, avaricious, angry, envious lustful, gluttonous, or slothful. But you better not gamble let alone smoke a cigar.
The other extreme leads to thoughts of corruption. Anyone remember Michael Corleone taking Mass while conducting assassinations? It may be to much to ask him to be virtuous, but he could at least show propriety about such things. He should be loyal to our Family to and if he isn't he should be kicked out: it's not personal, it's business.
Several random thoughts occur. One is that an elder should be in the hot seat first. It goes with the job. For example the "bad priests" should have been defrocked for committing a grievous crime and adding to that by reflecting ill on a profession that depends strongly on it's good name. The same would of course go with a Protestant cleric if any ever does such a thing. Which is of course conceivable as Catholics don't have a monopoly on sin.
Another thing to exactly understand is how are people to be treated if they are expelled? Completely and pointedly ignoring them doesn't seem to be what is demanded. At the same time they are not to be treated as being in full fellowship, nor even as being an unbeliever with whom one mingles on reasonably amiable terms.
Finally everyone who takes part in Church discipline must remember that he is himself fallen and must guard his heart lest he become self-righteous. Condemning others brings the subtle pleasure of being able to raise oneself up by comparison. We must be careful not to enjoy it to much.

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