February 15, 2009
One of the challenges of discipline in the local Church is, “Who will guard the guards?” Every child of God ought to live his or her life in accordance with God’s will and purpose. One ought to be respectable in the Church Community and society in general, because of his or her known Christian lifestyle. The words of Jesus as preached in the Sermon on the Mount sets the stage for a disciplined lifestyle.
He says: 14.Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 16.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14 and 16)
Elders and Stewards within the Moravian Church, play a pivotal role in so far as discipline is concerned. It means that Elders and Stewards within the Church ought to live right. One’s walk and talk must be consistent. There ought to be no double standards. As a leader in the Church, one’s heart ought to be pure and Godly, however, many times some of our Elders and Stewards bring shame on the name of Jesus and ultimately the Church. Some lie. Some cheat. Some steal. Some commit adultery. Some gossip. Some hold malice, anger and hatred against their brothers and sisters. Some gamble. Some smoke. Some live in the rum shop. Some use obscene language. Some have their wife or husband and still get involved in other illicit relationships under cover. Most of these things are done in the dark until someone is caught, however when confronted, there is always denial. Some will even swear on the Bible that persons are telling lies on them.
Our leaders must walk good and not lead God’s people astray. Paul in writing to the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 14, wrote these words as he addressed leaders and Christians in the Church:
7. And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9. So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
Elders and Stewards should use self regulatory methods. When they find that they cannot live up to the standard required of them to lead because of their lifestyle, they should resign or submit themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As leaders, Elders and Stewards should set the example, for a whole generation can perish because the leaders are involved in unholy alliances with evil. The Elders and Stewards must be like beacons on the hill top, to point others to Jesus Christ. Paragraphs 75 and 91 of the Book Of Order gives the Pastor the authority to suspend or Discipline a leader who is not walking right with God and who is bringing shame and disgrace on the name of Jesus and the Church. Is there someone who will stand up for righteousness?