Project Documents

Date of Award

1981

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Norman K. Miles

Second Advisor

George Rice

Third Advisor

Arnold Kurtz

Abstract

Problem

Church discipline is an important function of the church. In the Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists there is the need to administer discipline in such a way that the restoration of the erring member is ensured. This is expressed by the presidents and some ministers of the conferences there. It was the purpose of this study to develop some guidelines that will facilitate the restoration process. It is hoped that this study will assist in the development of an understanding of discipline as restoration and the providing of guidelines for its implementation, especially in the Caribbean Union.

Method

A comprehensive study was made of discipline in the New Testament--identifying incidents and admonitions regarding church disciplinary actions. The information obtained was used to develop the concept of discipline as restoration. This is a view of the church as a teaching, caring, and reforming community. A letter was sent to the presidents of the five conferences of the Caribbean Union, to assist in determining the pastoral attitudes toward discipline. For purposes of illustration, a sampling of three case studies was taken from the Caribbean Union. The information was obtained by interviewing three pastors. They were asked to give an example of church discipline in which they were involved, a rationale for their decision, and an idea of their concept of church discipline then and now. The case studies were evaluated by the New Testament teaching on church discipline. The aim was to draw up some guidelines that will facilitate the restoration of disciplined members.

Conclusion

An approach to "church discipline as restoration" can benefit the Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Caribbean Union because it emphasizes dealing with the member in a loving and caring way in order to facilitate his repentance. It is people-oriented. Therefore, when the church and the pastor see their mission as a caring community, the emphasis in church discipline will be the restoration of the member.

Subject Area

Church discipline, Seventh-day Adventists--West Indies

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