John Stonestreet highlights here a church in Dallas, TX that practices church discipline - setting it apart from many churches these days.
Recently, Watermark removed a man caught in sexual sin from its membership rolls. Watermark is one of those rare churches these days that practices church discipline. After the man’s Facebook post titled, “Watermark Church Dismissed Me for Being Gay,” was picked up by the Dallas Morning News, the church is, no surprise, being accused of religious intolerance. A Morning News columnist wrote an opinion piece titled “Watermark megachurch banned a gay man that it didn’t deserve to have as a member.”
What most of the media coverage neglects to tell is that the decision to remove the man was neither arbitrary nor sudden. After the man decided to actively pursue a homosexual relationship over a year ago, friends and church leaders began meeting with him to understand how to better love and help him.
But, as Pastor Wagner wrote, “this friend made clear to us that he no longer believed same-sex sexual activity was inappropriate for a follower of Jesus Christ and no longer desired to turn from it. Like any member whose beliefs move away from the core commitments, biblical convictions, and values of Watermark, it became appropriate to formally acknowledge his desire to not pursue faithfulness to Christ with us.”
And so the church did the only logical thing—it removed him from its membership rolls. But now, they are made the villain of the story for holding members accountable to live by Christian teaching on human sexuality.
John correctly highlights that the Reformers listed church discipline as one of the three marks of a true church. While those churches that remain faithful to practice it will face increasing scorn from the culture, the contrast between them and the dying culture will be as stark as light versus darkness.