Disciplines Blessed Result
Discipline is one of the apparent missing ingredients in twenty-first century Baptist churches. Some believe that a legalism among Baptist churches in the twentieth century led to a spirit of what some called “legalism” among Bible-believing Baptists, but as the pendulum usually swings from the extreme to the extreme, today we seem to be headed toward the error of license. The early Baptist churches in America believed that it was a privilege to be a member of the congregation, and thus they maintained church discipline. The following example is from the records of the Sinking Creek Baptist Church, a branch of the historic Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church. A brother was cited for “gitting drunk, swearing and getting angry.” Another man, “…for abscenting him Self from the Church and refusing to hear the church.” Another, “…for Dansing at Sundry times and places.” “The following month he was suspended for not attending business meetings.” Another prominent member allowed his “darter go to the dancing school.” Another man was guilty of “fiting” and said that he would “fite” again. Another man was guilty of slander. One of the main areas in the mid-nineteenth Century was the issue of Cambellism, when many Baptists were going to the Church of Christ and embraced baptismal-regeneration. But when they were restored there was “Joy in the Camp” as Polly Grissom on March 22, 1828. She repented, returned and was restored. Discipline was not a matter of the assembly venting their anger on the individual believer, but the desire to restore them. Also to maintain a pure testimony, that the work might go forward. They also knew that would not only have to answer for themselves at the Judgment Seat of Christ but as the entire body.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp, 168 – 169.